.: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::

.:18:. Moving on.

{The Beginning . Fall 2007} we became first time home owners of a cute town home!

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pre-kids, we actually ate outside a lot, played some intense games of Yahtzee, enjoyed the lovely sounds of cars driving by as well as the millions of large bees that hung out in our only tree.

Easy downtown bus route for the hubby’s job, walking distance to park, farmers market, shops and restaurants. Just outside of downtown to feel busy and quiet at the same time. We had a heated garage (huge bonus in MN), and belonged to an association that kept our grass green and neat and our stairs shoveled (at 2am… shoveled nonetheless!).

While residents of our new town… we got married, bought a dog, had a couple jobs, took some awesome trips, met some wonderful people, had two kids and now we’re ready to proudly mow a lawn and tackle some snow with our own hands (I have a feeling I will not be as excited as that probably sounds)! We enjoyed the town fair, fireworks view from our front windows, meeting neighbors while walking our dog… or meeting their dogs (truth: funny how you end up knowing the dogs names vs. the neighbors names). I will really miss Sparky + Lulu – they were awesome neighbors.

::The (actual) Neighbors:: became comparable to the movie, “Neighbors”. The basis of the movie is ridiculous and very unreal, for the most part. However, certain scenes were uncomfortably real for us. Ok, comparing us to this movie is a bit of a stretch but their were more similarities than any normal person would care to accept. For many years we were calmly sandwiched in between a very nice man who kept to himself and a young couple who we rarely saw. Really, our entire development was full of yuppies, retirees, or road warriors who called their town home a 2nd place to live. As we were just getting used to life with two babies, our nice calm neighbors moved and we were blessed with a hip young guy and his lady friend. They introduced themselves along with their friends on the week they moved in and on a day they had to get to a concert and use our printer for the tickets.  We were like, “of course, yeah that’s totally cool, cause we’re totally cool and hip and oh yeah… I need to go breastfeed my screaming twin babies quickly, but please help yourself and no need to take your shoes off or leave your cigarette outside.  We’re super cool, so whatever.”. We actually did try to come off this way initially, while throwing looks of “what are we doing?” at each other. I think it was the dirt left behind or the cigarette smoke that lingered in the air or even the mesquitoes that made their way in, as the angst party crew sat in our doorway.  All of this got to us quickly and we knew we were in for some “real fun”. Fortunately, they were very nice. When we asked if they could please turn their music down, they would apologize and turn it down. When we complained too may times, we received a nice bottle of wine – who knew?! A final straw seemed to calm things down a bit… An attempt to politely (again) ask for them to “keep it down”, I almost walked into a contradicting house plastered with Miley Cyrus and her infamous wrecking ball on one wall, Our (blessed) Saviour on another wall, a billowing cloud of smoke and a naked dance party. A quick glance into the house made me turn around and just pray someone else says something. Luckily, I wasn’t the only neighbor who was annoyed.  We finally had some peace (for a little bit).

::Wednesday nights:: is beer pong night! Yep, of all nights. The middle of the week. Not a Friday, not a Saturday… a Wednesday! They would loudly congregate outside right when we had to get the girls to sleep (their front door and the girls’ bedroom window were just feet from each other). They amped up their base so the neighborhood would know where the cool kids were. I used to think our walls were thick and kept sound in very well (this was probably a selling point when we bought). That sound barrier was quickly broken and we very slowly got used to hearing the repetitive bounce of the ping pong ball, followed by loud cheers filled with laughter and cursing.  …you know, kind of like a lullaby. I say this because our nursery shared the closest wall. This was a huge source of frustration in our new parent life and then (when I knew their was really nothing I could do about it)… I dug really really (really) deep, to look on the bright side. The sounds became fairly similar to that of a heartbeat and faintly comparable to life in the womb (I assumed).  For my children… I ran with this positive spin.  For me and my husband, we didn’t sleep very well for the past year and we quickly became irritable on Wednesday nights/Thursday mornings when guests were leaving and shameful walks began… Needless to say, we were very anxious to move.  Funny, our girls were great sleepers through it all and they still are (should I thank the neighbor for this??).

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After months with our house on the market… something had to be done. This was that “something”. Probably not what sold our house, but this was our fridge the week we found our buyer!

::Showings:: are not easy with two kids and a dog but I didn’t know how hard it would really be to present my home as if I didn’t have two kids and a dog… on a moments notice.  Ok, we did get some notice. Just enough time to clean up and display our life as semi-perfect and neat (and I prayed they wouldn’t open up any cabinets or closets – ha). But it was exhausting and challenging trying to coordinate naps and meals around showings. Silly to think I could keep my house ultra clean with two toddlers –  I even had a very real nightmare that everything was perfect besides an open poopy diaper in the middle of the floor. It was comical wrangling my gang out the door while I wasn’t suitable to be seen in public (heaven forbid I remember my bra or matching socks), where was the time to get myself ready?? A calm sense of hope would quickly come over me, always thinking “this could be our buyer!”.  Until they opened up our cabinets or closets. I learned quickly that clutter can easily be misinterpruted as poor maintenance.  Well, thanks to some very persuasive fridge magnets the right buyer came along and not shortly after… we found our next home!

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these were just the first few boxes ūüôā

::Packing up 7 years:: of our life is really bittersweet. So much nostalgia emerges, along with a lot of dust and junk. But I hold on so tightly to memories. I had moments of reminiscing where all my senses would awaken bringing me back to those moments… I could smell the rosemary bread (“bun”) in the oven as I thought about the night I told my hubby he was going to be a Dad, or I felt the warmth of layered cozy clothes when we lost our heat in the winter, I paused remembering the simple sounds of busy cars flying down our street or of our sweet new babies sleeping for the first time in our home (baby snorts and all sorts of unfamiliar new sounds), and I was overcome with emotion at various times re-envisioning my girls’ “firsts” in this house. Well, if you haven’t caught on, I’m a bit sentimental and probably reminisce about as much as a teenage girl tries to fix her hair… ha! Remember those days? Ugh my hair and that silly cowlick gave me so much unnecessary stress. Oh memories!! … ok, enough reminiscing. Where was I?…

…Packing up our life. Packing in general “sucks”, as my husband would say. I have to agree (for the most part). Packing is also a great opportunity to TRY to declutter. We started out really strong and just didn’t care in the end – we may have packed a couple boxes of garbage (I don’t remember).

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the girls found many uses for the boxes… they were especially great to color and climb on.

On top of the basic task of packing up a house, packing with children is like putting an open box of treats in front of a litter of puppies. Most boxes we shut were reopened and quickly unpacked as if the most amazing toy they’ve ever seen was hiding at the bottom. If they weren’t emptying, they were excited to help by filling boxes with anything they could find (ie. socks, crayons, food). I already know we’ll be excited to unpack once we arrive at our new home and I’m sure we’ll be surprised at some of the things we’ll find… thanks to our very helpful mini moving crew.

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I double checked, and no I did not pack either child. However, our boxes were labeled appropriately, just in case.

::Moving on:: is a thrilling experience. A shiny new home – we’ll be the first to step inside and say “this is ours” but oddly that isn’t what excites me the most…

A place to hide a garbage from my mini dumpster divers (yay for cabinets made for this), a driveway ready to welcome any chalk graffiti artists, a front view of a peaceful neighborhood – unlike the businesses and busy road that blocked us from a larger busy road, a lawn to mow… ok, more like – a lawn to plant on/build a snowman on/pitch a tent on/do some cartwheels on – you know, all the basic turf play that requires more than a 4’x2′ plot of grass. Another bonus that I’ve never had in my adult life… a basement with a lot of potential – first: to contain all the “stuff” we’ve collected over the years that has no place besides an actual basement. Lastly, just general space. Happy to have a place for guests (aka Grandmas) to comfortably sleep and shut a door for privacy… happy to spread out my girls’ toys so it doesn’t look like a daycare in the entire home… happy to finally feel home.

But really, I will miss the “home” we grew to love, where my hubby and I started our life together, where we regulary sat on the front patio in the summer to eat, listen to the busy city and play a little Yahtzee – kind of like we’ve been married for 50 years. but I’m so much more excited for the home we will make the most amazing memories in, as we watch our little ones grow!

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Saying goodbye to Golden Valley. The last day in our first home. March 2015.

{Life Continues . Spring 2015} Our first home, with a lawn and a basement – yippee!

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::Our New Home::

 

 

.:17:. Survival: A Child’s life.

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August 2013 ~ My girls at 1 Month

Where am I? Who are you? What are you saying? Why are you staring?

Why don’t you understand me?

I’m so frustrated!!!

These are the questions that I believe run through our children’s heads immediately after they depart from the cozy little world they called “home” for nearly 9 mo. ¬†A peaceful, quiet, calming place where everything made sense. Leaving that behind for a cold, foreign world where the language is confusing, fingers and needles poke at them, disease and sickness lingers in the air they breathe, everything is too big and it’s impossible to tell anyone what they need or how they feel…

Can you imagine? This crosses my mind frequently,¬†while the puzzled look on my face tries to explore the reasons for my children’s unpleasantries. I believe our children¬†go through more than we’ll ever understand (because we were not built to remember the beginning of our life). Learning how to eat, sleep, move, speak, express – the basic necessities in life. They define survival. When we are swamped, our house is a mess and our children throw tantrums we think we have it rough… Something to consider¬†– maybe they have it rough?!

>>TRY THIS<<

Sleep in a cage with just a sheet and wait for someone to take you out of that cage to change your pee filled diaper you slept in all night. When they come to “release you”, you find a way to smile and jump for joy because you love them! Then, you wait for that same person to figure out the complexities of your eating needs/habits and feed you food that you really hate or… you’re just not sure you like yet. You sit with sticky fingers and crusty hair in a drool drenched shirt as your mouth throbs (encouraging teeth to painfully pop out). Your tummy hurts and for some reason your bones do too (because you’re growing). You are overwhelmed by your environment, surrounded by walls and furniture that tower over you and stare silently, just waiting to pick a fight. Nobody speaks your language, but they frequently nod and smile as if they understand – – but they have NO IDEA.

Yet in this world you still manage to smile at silly faces, scream with excitement and joy when you learn something new, show your curiosity on a daily basis because you are determined to figure this place out, and you still manage to love the people that welcomed you into this very scary place…

Something us adults could learn from. ¬†The world isn’t fair, it isn’t built for us, not many people really understand us, we crave love + attention and seek solitude.

>>TRY THIS<<

Wake up patiently for the day to welcome you, be happy to see those around you and smile at their silly faces, be grateful for the people who help you and put up with the things in your life you can’t control, embrace the change around you (even when it’s hard), learn from your mistakes and be glad that you did, and just like your children – be curious sponges on a daily basis and challenge yourself!

Yes, this is easier said than done but we all started out this way and we can really learn from the little ones we brought into the world… or did they bring us into the world?!

 

 

.:16:. Parents “away” {first trip post-kids}

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As a new mom, my job description in life has really changed. My duties have been forever altered in order to manage the two subordinates I call my sweet little baby girls. They¬†have relied on me to not only give them life but¬†to give them me and all of me. ¬†I’ve learned that in order to do this, I’ve needed to find ways to keep myself sane. Mom’s NEED this. ¬†They need time with other women, they need actual alone time with their husbands, they need to sip on wine in peace and chug a coffee or two while indulging in some good-ole-fashion tv ;).

…and they NEED a vacation (so do Dads).

Our first trip as¬†parents and first time away from the girls came with mixed feelings. Besides the overwhelming task of detailing my children’s daily routine/mealtime, there was more weighing on my mind… 1. We didn’t even plan it, so until we boarded the plane I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming. ¬†I’ll explain later. 2. I’ve never been away from my girls for more than a few hours. ¬†So, I was excited but also nervous to pass onto someone else, two toddlers – who are bursting at the seams to welcome us all into the world of the¬†“terrible twos”. 3. My husband and I haven’t been alone and away together for a long time and I knew there would be a strange void without our girls but we really needed this. 4. We would be gone for just over a few days, and¬†they were in great hands. But, I had an odd guilt about it. I almost felt bad that I was so excited to get away! Then, on the flip side I felt sad that¬†they were missing out on this experience with us. I knew neither was true. If you can’t tell, I put way too much thought and emotion into most things in my life (ha).¬†Can I blame that on being a mom?! …and pretend I wasn’t like this before I was a mom?! In the end, I was able to succumb and officially turn my out-of-office to “away”. Ok, my office is home and (as stated above) my subordinates are my little girls. Let’s just say I found a way to let it all go. ¬†Sorry…for the song you’re most likely singing in your head right now.

Now, back to this vacation that we didn’t plan…

So, in the fall of 2013,¬†I found myself on a regular schedule alone with two new babies. This became a redundant, exhausting, repetitive schedule and I needed to find something to keep me from going too stir crazy with two little ones. The Today show became my outlet. Specifically the 4th Hour with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. As I chugged a coffee or two and indulged in good-ole-fashion TV, I found my sanity in the candor of these two women. I laughed at their crazy jokes,¬†I (mostly) related to the topics of discussion and instantly became a fan! Such a big fan that I decided to submit an entry as a “Fan of the Week” in January of 2014. ¬†Fast forward 4 months and I got a call that I¬†was chosen as a possible winner! I couldn’t believe it. ¬†I never win anything. I actually thought it was a joke at first. I even¬†asked that over the phone in a slightly annoyed voice. Who would do that?! Well, it wasn’t a joke and before I knew it I was on Skype, on National TV with my girls, winning¬†a free trip to Cancun from KLG and Hoda! I shared a cheesy poem I wrote (yada yada) and talked very fast through my nerves. It was a thrill!

see my poetry skills below.


 

Before the sun peeks out to greet,

I grab my little ones who are ready to eat.

Get out my yawns, stretching head to toe,

turn on the Today Show and let the coffee flow.

 

After diapers then comes bottles and the day begins.

The 4th Hour strikes and we are joined by our friends,

KLG and Hoda, sharing all the cool trends.

 

They sip on their wine and everything is fine

They laugh, they cry, and have such a good time.

I feel lucky to spend the morning this way

What an absolutely fabulous start to my day!

i love klg and hoda

Hannah on the left + Lainy on the right, one of the photos we submitted!

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Top: Just before we won… I had to quickly explain to Hannah and Lainy what was going on and that they needed to behave very well ;). Bottom: Just after we won and the girls were very well behaved!


http://sys06-public.nbcnews.com/today/klgandhoda/mom-twins-shares-poem-about-klg-hoda-2D79778628


 

Since then, we’ve been looking forward to this trip!¬†The past year¬†has been filled¬†with much less than enough sleep, (possibly) dangerous amounts of coffee, way too many diapers, spit up stains, bumps, bruises, drool and much more. It’s so nice that we could mix it up a bit and include some sand, sun, ocean, beachy elixirs, relaxation and time to just sit and do absolutely nothing (ahhh). I am incredibly grateful and flattered to have been chosen and have the chance to go¬†on a vacation that otherwise would have never happened!

While “away”, we were the typical parents concerned for our children as they most likely were having the time of their life with their aunt and uncle, cousins and grandmas. Yet, we still worried – are they going to be ok without us?, are they sad?, oh I bet they miss us! We called everyday and used FaceTime to see our girls (or their blurry little squirmy bodies).¬†Everything was fine but we were now unfamiliar with not caring and letting loose like we used to. However, we quickly turned that around and enjoyed every moment the best we could… parasailing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and thoroughly soaking up the sun. Our vitamin D intake had been depleted from our MN hibernation, and we were desperately in need of this¬†recharge!

Well, we sure did love the little break and I think every couple needs time away to reconnect and just breathe together – while sipping a mojito (my favorite) with feet in the sand and a sun setting over the ocean. Or, anywhere in the world that takes you out of the daily grind and back to just being you two.

~Feeling more than blessed~

.: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…

.:14:. It’s a New Year {for PATIENCE}

 

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Tried to take a normal picture, then decided it was much easier to enjoy the moment.

As another year passes¬†by and a bright + shiny year begins, I’d be remiss not to reminisce… Not just on the year that flew by, but also the year before that and many of the years prior.

There is something so raw and welcoming about a new year. An untouched palette, a fresh start, beginning anew. The chance to try it again, make things better, challenge, motivate, encourage and accomplish. We can’t wait to fill our plates (that are most likely already full).¬†So, why am I looking back when a new year is about looking forward? Well, for me this new year is a stepping stone to the years ahead. It’s my way of responding to my past. We cannot forget or ignore the past but we can learn from it and improve upon it. I believe it’s so important to reflect on our history¬†in order to¬†continue growing. As I think about goals and “resolutions”, I laugh a little because I know (first hand) how easy they are to break and that it’s really just another year… This year is slightly different. I’m not changing anything too dramatically but I believe that what I want starting now, will uncover some beautifully dramatic results…

>>>PATIENCE<<<

2015 (and the years that follow) will be¬†filled with “enjoying the moment”, caring less about a clean house and more about quality time, less concerned about keeping up with life’s fast pace and more about being thoughtful and thorough, less about feeling rushed and more about accepting my own preparedness and saying “it’s ok”. ¬†It’s not that I wasn’t trying any of this before, but I just wasn’t doing it fully. I wasn’t PATIENT enough.

This will be a year of¬†new experiences, new discoveries, new words, and even new teeth… By the way, teething is an experience I never knew took so much patience! I knew it would be rough. ¬†It’s rough to see your children in pain, hear their screams and cries for mercy¬†as they wait for their pearly whites to slowly break through their delicate baby gums. ¬†Ok, now when I re-read that, I cringe and completely understand why we don’t remember this stage of our life… because nobody is that patient, especially a child who lacks the vocabulary and comprehension to tell you what’s wrong or understand when you say “it will all be ok…it will pass…you’ll be just fine my sweet little peanut”. ¬†They hear gibberish and feel an excruciating pain¬†that only time can fix.

This year is the start of so much for our family… the beginning of that dreaded thing called¬†potty training (times two), learning to share and care, all sorts of growing pains, and probably interesting surprises I just can’t fathom at this moment ;). I hope that 2015 will welcome me and my family to¬†a place we can finally call “home”, where we can settle into a new life, new neighborhood, new house with a real basement and an actual yard (ok, I’m getting greedy now). I’m not naive¬†to¬†the fact that the year ahead is going to be hard – just like the past year was and¬†like next year will most likely be – it’s a sort of “hard” that I have yet to experience because every stage of parenting brings new challenges that nobody is really ever prepared for, even if you’ve had kids before. ¬†Every child¬†comes with very different instructions that require a unique set of skills in order to navigate, understand and develop. ¬†Now, when I say that the year will be “hard”, I’d like to stay away from it’s negative conotation. ¬†Of course it will be hard – – it’s parenting!¬†However, I am determined to accept it and work through all of the craziness with strength, creativity, determination, a lot of humor and most importantly… PATIENCE.

I’ve discovered something about myself throughout the years. Well, I’m IMPATIENT. ¬†I’m sure many can relate and those of you that cannot… I am assuming you are made of gold, your heart beats to the tune of Amazing Grace, and your feathers have never been ruffled because they are absolutely perfect.

To be fair – I’ve met some very patient people that have inspired me. ¬†BUT, we¬†can all use an extra dose or two of this highly necessary virtue called PATIENCE. ¬†Hey, I’d love a RX but it’s not that easy. This is a virtue I’ve been seeking to attain since I can remember.¬†Maybe it was when I was 8 and I secretly (shh don’t tell) found all my Christmas presents before they were¬†wrapped, or when I was 17 and took my parent’s van out for a drive when I shouldn’t have and ended up with a nice dent, or when I was¬†20 and I lost my patience with a friend whom I believe did me wrong, or especially when I was ONLY¬†27 and began to¬†question¬†why I wasn’t a mother yet, and then of course a couple years later (29) when I found out I was going to be a mother of twin girls and pregnancy felt like a never ending story of aches, pains, fat feet and unflattering clothes!! ¬†We all carry a lack of patience in some shape or form. ¬†As a mother I’m noticing how important patience is to my itty bitty learners who stumble, fumble, destroy, break, and love so hard it hurts. ¬†My actions, my reactions, and my love for my children and those around me are examples I am setting for this tiny fraction of the next generation I am raising.

PATIENCE isn’t just a resolution or a goal, it’s a must needed change for all and it will be my main focus, right along side my innocent little angels who need me to be PATIENT more than I’ll ever know.

 

“Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.” ~ Neil Postman

.:12:. caught in the storm.

calm

High, screeching winds. Hard and heavy hail. Unforgiving rain, changing direction every 30 seconds. Uncovered, unprotected, undeserving but the most necessary place to be.

This is how I describe my day with two snotty nosed babes, overflowing with tears and cries to be held, lack of sleep and hungry yet demanding nothing but to be cuddled.

I found myself in the middle of our house, on the floor in the midst of a storm made up of toys/clothes/food/kleenex, trying to tame two wild animals that really needed me but only fought over me. Clawing and climbing me, as if it were a competition to reach the top of Everest. My back aching, stomach muscles clenched while holding my two unhinged maniacs, trying my hardest to stay calm and relaxed (ha). My face in the line of fire – tiny hands poking at me like sharp tree limbs, slimy little faces rubbing against mine, thrashing elbows and headbutts. Contemplating a forfeit by laying down, hiding under a blanket and letting them go at it. A million serious questions and concerns running through my head, like “where are my ear muffs? why didn’t I put my hair up? how do I calm them down? how do I get up?…”

They look at me with desperate eyes and pouty lips, certain that I am the cure. Waiting for some sort of magic pixie dust (that only moms have), to make it all better.

For us, on this day it’s just the common cold (really, nothing more). I can’t imagine worse and my heart is heavy¬†for those¬†who are dealing with so much more that include hospital visits, bills above their heads, uncertain of the next day. From a minor scratch to long term illness, we do everything we can to be the cure for our little ones.¬†Unknown to the outcome, we do our best to stay strong. We battle the storm with bravery, sprinkle our pixie dust, hug and kiss their discomfort and pain away until we are fresh out of x’s and o’s (which we never are).

xoxo…

.:11:. an ode to the pin.

I love Pinterest and if you were to look at my page¬†http://www.pinterest.com/sclochie/, you’d agree and you might think, ‘wow, this gal is so creative, fashionable, has great taste in food, super organized’. ¬†Oh how I love that it can appear so! ¬†I have to admit, I’ve done/accomplished a fraction of a fraction of what I’ve actually posted… I’m sure this is the case for most. ¬†And yes, I know… “pinning” isn’t proof or validation of my creativity, but it does something to the creative soul. It has now become an inspiration for me to actually be creative, fashionable (to a very tiny degree), slightly food savvy, and organized (when I make the time). ¬†I get this strange buzz of excitement when I “pin” and think “oh, I can’t wait to do this and that”… ¬†But realistically most of what I pin is just a tiny piece of hope that I will do one of the 2,000 + pins. ¬†I’d love to know how other mom’s out there find motivation to do all the great freezer meals, craft beautiful and cheap artwork, reorganize their entire house to look like it should be on the pages of Martha Stewart Living. ¬†Please tell me!

With my girls, I think about the future a lot. ¬†Sometimes too much. ¬†My husband reminds me that I need to just enjoy the moment more – they are only little for so long. ¬†He is right. ¬†But still I find myself daydreaming about tea parties, coloring books full of scribbles, barbies on the floor, princess gowns in the closet, broken-in and “loved” books, bins full of construction paper and stickers on the wall… ¬†It’s so lovely to think about. ¬†But I am enjoying every moment of snuggle I can get with my 17 and 20 pound peanuts. ¬†I blame Pinterest for inspiring my daydreams. ¬†I have a folder labeled ‘for the kiddos’, containing not only things for my 16 month olds, but ‘best books for beginner readers’, ‘how to communicate with teenagers’, and so much more that is really not necessary at this stage of motherhood. So, I’m obviously relying on Pinterest to be around for many more years.

I believe that¬†some day I’ll be able to accomplish maybe a little more of a fraction of a fraction of the clever, crafty, delicious and orderly ideas that sit, collecting virtual dust. ¬†Until then, I will keep pinning – holding onto hope that I will have that kind of time someday… Until then, I will be patient and live in the now. ¬†Ok, I may still sneak off into a crafty little daydream to add more ideas to my “boards”, which I’m sure would have collapsed months ago if these were tangible ideas hanging from my old dinky cork board that I recently “freshened up” with new paint (thank you pinterest)!

“Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can”. -Unknown, via Pinterest

baby hats made from old sweaters.
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.:10:. “mama”: an identity crisis

imageWaking up to my babies is something I am still getting used to. Arggh, I would love just 5 more min of deep sleep. Then I listen to them in awe as they babble and talk to each other. More sleep is not going to happen, maybe if I just put the cover over my face. Then I hear that word, “mama, mama, mama?” ¬†Do they even know what it means? ¬†They use it an awful lot. ¬†I’m not complaining. ¬†I’ve definitely had those “oh she’s saying my name” or “oh she wants me” precious moments. ¬†But, they seem to use it for everything and I’m really starting to wonder what it actually means to them?

I change them, yes. ¬†I feed them, yes. I play with them, yes. I comfort them, yes. I teach them, yes. I guide them, encourage them, help them, yes. I watch their every move, yes – – – well, when I’m not going to the bathroom or doing things moms do when babies sleep… like watch them on the monitor (ha) – or eat/sleep/drink coffee/shower/clean/food prep/relax (kind of).

Who was I before children and who is this person that has taken over my body and changed all the rules on me? My social skills are now limited to words that end in y. Dolly, baby, puppy, yummy, yucky, ouchy, silly… or phrases that contain the word little. “Let’s read this little book”, “how’s my little munchkin?”, “is that a little ducky?”, “how much is this little shirt, ma’am?”. ¬†Honestly, I don’t even think about it, it just falls out of my mouth. However, I’m now realizing that I need to be careful around my tiny mimes, or they will end up sounding like their “little mommy”!

It is cute though. Hearing any words come out of your child’s mouth is cute. Isn’t it? So cute, it’s worth a series of videos with invisible parents loudly whispering “that new word” in the background while actually only capturing sweet shy smiles and giggles, until take ten when they whisper the word back and you realize much later you can barely hear them.

But lately, “mama, mama, mama…” has caused me to raise some questions that I may never know the answers to. Are they asking for me? Telling me something? Requesting my attention? Expressing to the world that they know me?! Or is it just a word that equals EVERYTHING. ¬†I’ve never felt so wanted. ¬†Yet, I’m noticing it’s more than that. ¬†MAMA has become more than a name. ¬†It’s a desire, a demand, an expression of excitement and an exclamation of anger. ¬†It’s the words to a song or a story. ¬†It’s whatever they want it to be and I go with it!

Oh, I gotta run. I have two girls yelling “mama” over and over again… or maybe they’re just chatting about me. ¬†Cute, how sweet of them!!

…don’t get me started on “dada”. ūüėČ

 

.:9:. 415 days later. quite a maze

girls on grass

I was hoping to post something when my girls turned 1. ¬†However, I was a bit busy with birthday planning – you know the ‘event of the year’ that your kids will never remember. ¬†Still, you put your all into it so you can justify all those wasted¬†hours on Pinterest creating a ‘Birthday Board’ with 113 grand ideas. ¬†I mean c’mon, when they’re 18 I’d feel terrible if they look through pictures and wonder why I didn’t hand make everything. So I guess the late nights filled with sewing, glueing, painting and fancy chalk writing is all worth it!?‚Ķ Lucky for me, I actually enjoy this kind of stuff. ¬†For some women I know this isn’t the case and society has put way too much pressure on Moms to create this “homemade life” for their kids.

SO, 415 days later (almost 14 months old now) and what a year we’ve had… A whirlwind, a roller coaster, whatever you may call it. Now, I look back at the months past and imagine the years ahead and I would consider it quite a MAZE! An unpredictable experience filled with excitement and uncertainty, you know you will eventually get through. ¬†A labyrinth of¬†smiles, drool, bite marks, bumps, bruises, tears, giggles, and children’s songs you could sing in your sleep‚Ķ on repeat. ¬†Nothing expected, but everything imagined.

Favorite quote of the year, from my husband Jason (while changing diapers)…”It’s like wrestling gators!”. ¬†Thank god for this man who had never changed a diaper prior to having two babies of his own. ¬†He dove in so fast, you’d think he was a professional gator wrestler.

*Note: I now believe that if we were ever stuck in the everglades amongst gators, we would be well prepared.

Since this is our first summer with all feet on the ground (stair climbers+walkers), no more army crawl or tummy time, we’ve had a little more excitement in the house. Two walkers going in two different directions is equally comical/nerve wrecking/and slightly stressful. ¬†They walk as if in a drunken stooper and just when you think your entire house is baby proofed, they find a way to injure themselves. Along with walking comes a whole new level of independence! They no longer want their nails clipped. ¬†I can hear the gawkers now – “ewe, there’s those world record babies with the longest nails”. ¬†Don’t worry, I clip their nails but (again), this is one of those gator wrestling moments and these are angry thrashing gators. ¬†Another fun sign of independence: they can now touch the top of their heads – like little ballerinas (can you picture it?). ¬†Although when they decide that their sweet smelling baby soft hair needs to be touched, their dainty little twirly fingers are usually full of mango, peas, pasta, applesauce, you name it. ¬†I don’t want to brag or anything, but we may have invented a new fancy hair pomade‚Ķ (patent pending). ¬†The ending result is usually a nice glistening crust¬†that seems to hold even the most obscure styles.

A year of watching two babies grow has been interesting.  They are so different.  I love it so much, I can hardly handle it.  Seriously, It becomes hard to handle and keep everything straight (who did what and when) Рthis is why I write.  I keep separate journals for both, but this is just another way to remember this experience.

To all you soon-to-be moms, new moms, or moms continuing to grow their families: keep your heads up, cry as much as you want, sing those silly songs as loud as you can, do those crazy dances that make your little ones giggle so much they hiccup, hug those babies even when they are squirmy and screaming, and love love love this life you are given. As hard as it may be at times, it is a beautiful maze of never ending moments to relish in.