Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sixteen Months and the last month of 2015.

Perhaps not the greatest day for their photo,
better luck next time. 
Every month I sit here at my computer and try to think about the past month with the girls. It's harder than you think to reflect and some how manage to find the words to articulate what happened in the past month... what changed? How am I feeling? Is there an overwhelming sentiment regarding the comings and goings of the last thirty days? Sometimes (like today) I'm just tired and I have to think really hard because my brain feels like mush, while other months I think about the post for days in advance....

October was really challenging and, as you all who follow along surmised, the girls had a momentary pause in sanity and tried really hard to take everyone nearby down with them. But we did survive! And I am happy to report while November started off with a winter cold for everyone, it was still better than the month before. We spent some time in Flagstaff with Grandma Julie, we've been enjoying the Arizona winter weather and playing on our soft green lawn in the backyard. Both of the girls are great little walkers now, ready to journey to the faraway places on their two little feet (protected by flowery pink sneakers). Samantha in her true fashion went from barely crawling, to speed crawling for sport.. and walking has been absolutely no different. Let's just say she might be the next sprinter in the family... cause holy cow, don't look away for a second! That girl can really MOVE! Jonathan generally takes the girls to park every afternoon before dinner, which is about half a mile away, and Samantha has started walking next to the stroller on the way to the park... and she's now making it (almost) the entire way on her own two feet!

Meanwhile, Summer's command of language has exploded and she knows and uses so many words. She really love animals and can answer "What sounds does a ______ make?" without fail. "Moo, Woof woof, Meow, Raawr!" Between her and her sister, I think the days of quiet times are coming to a distinct close. Soon every moment will be filled with chatter about everything under the sun... I cannot wait to finally know what the heck has been going inside of their sweet little heads for all these months!

December is here again. Last year in Portland, we were cutting down a gigantic Christmas tree at the farm, drinking hot cocoa by the fire, and reflecting on what an amazing few months we'd had with the girls as part of our family. We were starting to get the hang of this parent thing and contemplating where the next year would take us. This year, we're sitting in the Arizona sun on a green lawn wearing flip flops and preparing for baby #3's arrival in the six weeks or so. The insanity of this has yet to wear off, Summer and Sam are still such young little ones themselves... I look at them and am amazed how much they've grown and changed, but they are still the same little squishy lumps I brought home from the hospital, I still look at their cheeks and can't help myself wanting to shower them with kisses and hug them tightly till they wiggle away from me. I can't help but run my fingers through their hair breathe in their mostly sweet little scent.

I'll likely have one more post before our family of four + Dahlia, turns into Stern, party of five. I'm excited, and I'm emotional knowing that things will change. My time with just my two little minis is coming to an end. I know it's going to be great, and yet I'm feeling nostalgic trying to make all the memories we can together.... and know what became of the last year has been extraordinary. The adventure ahead with all of us girls plus Jon is going to be unimaginable.

Happy Holidays from a very pregnant me to you.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

We've all made it to month Fifteen... Amazingly.

It seemed like this month started off with a bang, a relaxing long weekend beach babymoon to Rocky Point with Jonathan. We went, we enjoyed, we slept, we played by the sun, we slept some more, and we fed only ourselves for four glorious days. On Sunday, feeling homesick for the girls, we packed up and headed back to get some sweet cuddles and kisses from our mini munchkins.... But little did we know, something happened to our sweet mini munchkins! There was an abduction.... those sweet, fun loving, laughing little girls. They were replaced by screaming, crying, flailing, inch-worming across the floor in 24/7 furious toddler tantrums (forgive me) but, monsters. This might sound like I'm being harsh, but seriously, this shit has been rough. Two screaming irrational children is extremely challenging... however hard I've thought things might have been before, this was hard in a whole new  freaking way. Want to stand up and walk to the bathroom? "NO!!! WHAAAA!" tantrum, Close the cabinet door? NOOOOO!!

As far as I could tell, I could do nothing right this month. In the Mini's opinions, Mommy was the only thing they wanted, but just so they could scream to me how much I sucked at not doing what they wanted. This started on October 5th, today is October 30th.... and the craziness just now seems to have died down a bit and their happier selves appear to be slowly returning. So like I said, what a freaking crazy circus of a month in parenthood. For a while there I didn't think I was going to make it.... but maybe with a little luck, my wonderful husband, and a lot more help, I'm going to make it through this rude awakening into toddlerdom. New parents out there cuddling your newborns.. brace yourselves, kids/toddlers are amazing.. and holy heck are they hard as balls too, and LOUD, really really LOUD.  Sometimes, when I'd done all I could to try to redirect from a random meltdown cause I was the jerk that shut the dishwasher door and they obviously had told me to leave it open for them... I would just let them scream, try to catch their bodies when they'd fling themselves onto their back  crashing towards the ground in a dramatic fury and cry while inching across the room for twenty minutes... I'd wonder what our neighbors must think: I'd delude myself into thinking perhaps someone would feel sorry for me... but it's more likely they were just glad they weren't me.

So as this month has gone on, I tried really hard to collect all the positive things I could from the days, and then reflect back on those moments to remind myself that even in the thick of toddler twins dragging this pregnant mama and daddy through the ringer.. amazing things happened too. Both of the girls took their first steps this month! They aren't full on walking around everywhere yet, but they walk across the room, stand up and down, and soon will figure out it's a better way to get around than their current passion of knee walking. They've both had a language explosion! What started as "Ball" and "Baby" has now turned into, signing, food, hug, more, and all done. They say things like "bark, dog, meow, dada, bye, duck, and mama" They wave, blow kisses, and my favorite new action: they come over and give hugs! It melts me every single time...  So there you have it, the light at the end of the tunnel that has been October, steps, blowing kisses, and hugs. 

Tomorrow is Halloween, the girls are going as Toddlers in Halloween Onesies. As my friend Anna said, no Pinterest awards this holiday for me, but we're all alive to see November and for now that is good enough.