Sunday, November 30, 2014

How can they be four months already?!

Another month has gone by and, like the ones before it, it seems to have happened at light speed. Where did the time go? It seems like I just wrote the three month post last week..?

The girls have grown and are really starting to come into their own. They are shifting from newborn "infant hood" to tiny humans with lots of emotions, needs, and distinct personalities. This shift as taken them from adorable little blobs to kicking, moving, fun little people. However, this month has been full of changes and Jonathan and I have really earned our parenting stripes. If I'm being honest, this has been the hardest month yet.

We spent two weeks out of the month traveling to visit family in Arizona, thereby changing the twins' routine and surroundings almost instantly. While it was fun to share the joy of the girls with everyone, it was extremely challenging to keep the girls on schedule.  You have to understand: the schedule is our life. Even when it doesn't make sense to others, the schedule is imperative, and sticking to a schedule is what makes caring for twins achievable. Without the schedule it's chaos wrapped up in two adorable little packages that can scream and cry for hours with overtired, underfed, inconsolable rage. These moments challenge the core of your patience and fortitude to keep calm, take a deep breath, and keep trying... without losing your shit, too.

We've been home for about a week now and things are just starting to get settled. The girls AND mom and dad are just getting over a cold and on the mend to being healthy again. We had "fun" adventures in temperature taking, snot sucking with the Nosefrida (disgusting/amazing tool), and waking every 2-3 hours. All...night...long. Kudos to Jonathan for being an amazing dad and taking the night duty so at least one of us could focus our energy on getting well.. I'm happy to say we survived and the girls now have some immunity to at least one virus! Only a billion more to go! ;)

I know this post seems so negative but it's not meant to be... it's just really, really real and not sugar coated. Sometimes parenthood is just a character-building challenge. Though this month has been filled with those moments, it has also been filled with hilarious laughter, the smooshiest heart warming cuddles, the softest sweetest kisses, and some of the most fulfilling minutes of motherhood. Every morning, the girls greet me with their biggest smiles, they grab onto my shoulder when I pick them up, they love getting kisses, being sung to, reading books, playing with toys, laughing, splashing the water during bath time, and are just starting to recognize that the world they are now a part of is big and full of wonder... it's a gift to watch a child see something for the first time and to share their amazement in the mundane. It's a great reminder that every moment, every experience, counts for them and that this time in their life is part of the miracle I have the privilege to witness.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time Flies! It's been Three Months!

Our girls turn three months this week, time absolutely seems to be going at warp speed! My two little squishy lumps of baby love are growing up fast and I can't figure out a way to slow time down.

In the last month the girls have made some big developmental advances! This month the girls have become responsive to smiles, they love being smiled at, and "coo'd ooo'd ahh'd" to,  they make the worlds cutest noises to communicate back if you try to speak to them, and they see so much more now! They've noticed Dahlia and wonder what in the world this huge dark fluffy creature is, and in turn we're letting the puppy slowly get a little more in the babies faces. We have moved them from co-sleeping in our room into their nursery overnight and, so far at least, it's going very well. While I appreciate having a little quieter sleepy time and some alone time with Jon, I will admit I miss their sweet little baby grunts and sleepy noises, but I know it's for the best and we all sleep a little better in our own rooms. Jon and I have continue to tweak our parenting tactics as we go along...!

It's been a big month for us as a family. After some serious soul searching, I decided not to return to work at the end of my maternity leave. Life is just too short and, while there will always be other jobs, this time with them is something I can't ever get back. So, for now I'm full time mom: the hardest job I've ever had in my entire life! I'm on duty 24/7, 365, with no breaks, vacation, or sick days, sometimes my bosses even think it's funny to spit up all over me, or scream at me when they're hungry or I'm doing something wrong. But it's ok, 'cause I'm paid in baby smiles, laughs, and kisses.... I think, it's a good trade.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my life as it relates to the girls. As they get older and see more in the world around them, I recognize that my life -- what I say, do, watch, listen to, and how I behave -- are all center stage as an example for how to live their lives. The reality of this makes me churn with thought about what I want the girls to learn from my example, and how I can continue to work on the personal things I know aren't the most positive things about myself.

To that end, I took time to write down all the adages I want to relay to the girls. Some I have discovered on my own journey through life, and some are inherited from my mom and have really stuck with me my entire life... the most prominent one being "choose your battles wisely." I can't even recall the number of times my mother said this to me, to someone else, to my brother, to herself even... but it's good advice in moments of trial, and remembering this makes me take a second to pause and decide if this is really worth the fight. I must have written down 50 of them, but I'll just share a few. I know they are cliche, but well crafted words can stick to us like glue, and compel us to think and act differently.
  • There is no weakness in forgiveness
  • Speak kindly to and of yourself. 
  • Sometimes you just have to suck it up and keep going. 
  • Always seek to find a new perspective.
  • Relish in the "firsts" of your life, they only happen once. 
  • You're your own best advocate. 
  • Speak the truth, but gently.
  • Dance like no one is watching, and sing like no one can hear you. 
  • Love deeply and without fear. 
  • Don't settle, live your adventure. 
  • Remember, you are always worth it. 
This month has been even better than the last, and I imagine next month better than this one. Every day I fall more and more in love with the girls. Their smiles and sounds warm my heart, and I can't seem to stop kissing their little heads and rubbing cheeks with them whenever I hold them. I'm continuing to grow as a mother, understanding that this, unlike anything else in my life, is something that can't be understood until you've done it. There is no other feeling or job like it, and the joys and struggles I'm facing can't be compared to anything else I've experienced. I've come to recognize that these girls are gift of a wholly new perspective on life and the world, and I'm becoming a better person everyday because of it.  

Baby girls, heres to you making it 90 degrees around the Sun, I love you to the moon and back again. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Belly Collage

During the pregnancy Jonathan and I decided to take a picture every Saturday to show the progress of my growing twins belly. We managed to get nearly every week from week 16 on.

It's so great when you actually keep things like this up because the product is so fun to look at!  The final picture is 36 weeks and three days, and I delivered 37 weeks and 1 day.  Of course now I'm working on reversing the belly growth ;)

Summer and Samantha are Two Months!

It's been two months since these two girls entered the world and our hearts. The last thirty days have been filled with joy, milestones, smiles, challenges, breakthroughs, and crying... lots and lots of crying.  Jonathan and I are making it through though. We still get out of the house occasionally, we're ironing out our systems, getting our schedules in place and fine tuning them everyday.

The girls are turning into such little people! Jonathan and I are basically the girls paparazzi, taking a million videos and pictures...then I spam the social networks with how adorable my kids are. I'll admit it, I've become one of those people, if your feed is suddenly mostly filled with Samantha and Summer, I'm guilty as charged. In my defense, they are just so dang cute! I can't help myself and must share my little joys with everyone.

All of the grandparents (and Uncle Jason) have come to visit and my mom jumped at the chance to visit again, so she's coming back out this week and staying for a week! I'm excited to have Grandma Julie here again and know the girls will be happy to see her and get some of her amazing cuddles. It's been really special to have everyone make the trip out to meet the girlds, we managed to get pictures while everyone was here so the girls to have these wonderful pictures with their grandparents taken while they were both still so little.

I've been struggling with what to write in this post, what do I share with everyone that makes for an interesting read? So I thought I would write some of my favorite things from the past month of watching these two little ones grow.

- Bath time, probably one of my favorite times of day... the girls love the warm water and just immediately relax as soon as they hit the water. Plus, the smell of their sweet little heads after they've been washed is without a doubt my favorite smell in the whole world.

- As annoying as it can be to wear a baby, there is just isn't anything quite like having a sweet little baby wrapped up against your skin and having them fall sound asleep almost immediately. The way their soft forehead feels against the side of my cheek is probably what I'll miss most someday when they won't let me cuddle them anymore. I'm pretty sure I could just feel their face against mine forever.

- Their smiles, they are so adorable! I absolutely cannot wait till those smiles turn into laughs.

- Family walks around the neighborhood... for six years, it was just Jon and me. Then we got Dahlia, and now the girls. We're a pack, the Stern pack, and I love it.

Motherhood continues to amaze me, everyday is filled with love and challenge. It exhausts you physically and emotionally, and as tired as you are at the end of everyday, you wake up the next day  somehow filled with the energy you need to get through.

Two months and I'm just falling deeper and deeper in love with these two.

That's all for now,

Signed, a very tired and hungry mama. (enjoy the pictures below)

Dahlia decided she also wanted to be in the picture,
I can't believe how enormous she seems next to the girls. 

Summer smiles on a Sunday morning

Sweet Summer cuddles

At the pumpkin patch with Full house Mom's group

Late fall flowers

Samantha smiles! 

More Summer smiles! 

Samantha cuteness, on mommy's handmade blanket.