Bonding

The girls are really developing a bond with each other, and it just warms my heart. 

Tonight Ella was having trouble eating her beans, and they kept spilling. She got really discouraged, but then Emma decided to help her out.

Hand over heart!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUYILggVRhU

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What it’s all about

I took this video this weekend at my dad’s house. This is what it’s all about…

I’ve waited my whole life to sit back and watch my kids splash and play. This is what I yearned for before I became a mother…to see my little family happy. This is what I “just waited” for.

Since Kyle and I made it public that we were pregnant with twins, people felt compelled to tell us every horror story they knew. “My neighbor’s cousin was pregnant with twins and they were born too early and were in the NICU for 6 months and blah blah blah blah.” “Oh twins? Get ready…that’s gonna suck.” “Good luck with that…better you than me.” “Just wait until they start walking and run away from you in opposite directions.” “Just wait until they are both driving.”

I’m not kidding… people actually told us these things.

What in the world is wrong with people!? I can’t STAND when people start out with “Just wait” because it most likely is going to end was some negative, crappy thought.

For example…”Just wait until:”

They are both screaming all night.

They both start talking and won’t stop.

They get sick at the same time.

Ugh. Yes. I know parts of parenting suck. Yes, I also know having TWO kids means sometimes it’s going to suck TWICE AS BAD.

But let me tell you this…most of the time it is amazing.

No one ever said “Just wait until they both hold your hand while you walk.” “Just wait until they both give you kisses.” “Just wait until you get hugs from both at the same time.” “Just wait until they hug each other for the first time.”

For some reason, our society tends to focus on the negative. There is already so much negativity in our lives… so I choose to try my absolute best to focus on the positive, amazing, wonderful parts. It makes the negative parts so much easier to bear.

So when someone tells me “Just wait until ____” I try to answer back with “Oh yes but I can’t wait until they both learn to ride a bike, or learn to write their names, or have their first play at school, or fall in love” or whatever else I can think of to keep myself motivated to think positively.

And when times are tough… when someone is finger painting on the living room wall with who-knows-what or when they unroll a whole roll of TP into the toilet at my friend’s house… I remember my mantra “don’t get mad, get the camera.”

Being a parent is the most amazing, messiest, loudest, sweetest, frustrating, and funniest thing I’ve even done in my life. And I will make it my mission to make sure that every fellow parent I cross paths with walks away feeling inspired instead of dejected.

I want people to realize what being a parent is all about. We are teaching our children how to live in this crazy world. We are molding them for the future. We are nurturing their souls so they learn to find happiness.

New routine = Amazing!

A couple of weeks ago, I was complaining to my friends about being tired because the girls didn’t go to sleep until around 11. One of my friends piped up and sternly told me that I have GOT to get the girls to go to bed earlier.

“How?!” I ask, tired and bewildered.

She essentially says “Tell them to go to bed.”

It made sense. With our old routine, they didn’t know when to go to bed or how to fall asleep when they should.

The next evening, Operation GO TO BED officially began.

Now, my girls have always been pretty good sleepers. They pretty much slept through the night after two months. Kyle spent his fair share of nights on the couch with a baby in the swing when they were sick or teething, but generally, they were good. The problem was that we never established a good evening routine so they would just wallow around in the living room until they would fall asleep and then we’d carry them to their cribs. Honestly, I really liked the evening cuddle-time so I didn’t want to change anything.

But the girls were cranky in the morning because they were tired. And I know sleep helps their bodies and minds grow. Plus Kyle and I were losing out on hours of time with just each other.

So, it was time for a change. A big change.

Before Operation GO TO BED, we’d finish supper around 6:45, bathe the girls and then head to the living room to play and watch TV. I’d lay out a big quilt on the floor and make three pallets (Ella, me, Emma.) Eventually they’d come crash on either side of me and would fall asleep after some time…usually by 10, but sometimes it wouldn’t be until after 11.

After Operation GO TO BED, the girls are in bed and asleep by 8:30.

8:30 people. That’s a big difference!

The girls are overall much happier, they aren’t as cranky in the morning, Kyle and I have time to actually talk in the evenings, and we can get to bed at a decent time.

Here’s what we do now.

We still finish supper around 6:45, bathe the girls and then head into the living room. We play for a while or watch TV. But at 8/8:15 the lights go out and we sit on the couch or cuddle on the floor. We turn the bee show on (it’s a channel on Amazon Fire with soothing music and bees buzzing around in a meadow. It’s calming) and then I slowly and quietly read Goodnight Moon. After I read it the first time, I ask them if they want me to read it again (always yes hehe) and I read it again even softer and slower. After I say “The end,” I say “OK girls, it’s time to go to bed.”

Get this.

They stand up, grab their bunnies and walk to their beds. Along the way we tell Bubbles the fish, Penny the dachshund, and Daddy goodnight. No screaming. No crying. No fits.

They stand by their beds until I lift them up. They give me a hug and a kiss, I lay them down and turn on their seahorses.Then they both say “Nightnight sista.”

I turn the lamp off and as I’m shutting the door I say “Good night girls, I love you. Have a good night and I’ll see you in the morning, OK?” and I hear two little “OKs.”

For a few minutes, I can hear them jibberjabbering back and forth and their cribs squeaking as they roll over to get comfortable. Then they are out.

It took two days of “training” to get to this point. Day 1 they cried for 20 minutes. Day 2 it was less than 10. Day 3, they walked themselves in there.

I am still amazed at them. Every day they learn something new. Each day their individual personalities continue to blossom and their bond with each other grows. Kyle and I are SO lucky to have these amazing little girls in our lives.

Random Thoughts on Losing a Child

I just wanted to share a few of my random thoughts.

Losing a child makes you part of a really weird club…a club you don’t want to be part of. And you don’t always know who else is in this club. Plus people don’t usually want to talk about the club. All the people in this club have experienced a similar loss but have unique experiences. Some lost babies before they were born. Some lost babies shortly after birth. Some lost young children. Some have lost older children. Some people have recently lost their child while for some it has been many years.

It doesn’t matter at what age you lost your child, how you lost them, or how long it has been…you’ll always have an ache in your heart for them…for what could have been.

Everyone deals with their loss differently. Some are able to move on quickly. Some never recover. Personally, I’m fine most days but every now and then the heartache of my two lost babies hits me out of no where. I am eternally grateful for the two children I have here with me, but I will always remember my two lost babies.

When Ella and Emma are old enough to understand, I’m going to tell them about their brother, Chance, and their sister, Hope.

~You don’t live here on Earth with us…you live in our hearts instead~

P.S.A. – Don’t Joke About Pregnancy, Please

April 1st is tomorrow and every year I see at least one person post a vague, misleading status insinuating that they are “expecting.” I know it isn’t meant to be hurtful, but joking about pregnancy really isn’t funny. You most likely have a friend who is silently dealing with infertility or pregnancy loss who is hoping, wishing and praying that they were pregnant.

One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

One in eight couples experiences fertility issues.

Trying to get pregnant and then actually stay pregnant is a very emotional roller coaster, and couples who are dealing with these struggles often find it difficult to seek out emotional support. People have a hard time discussing miscarriages and infertility…the topics don’t usually come up in casual conversation.

Kyle and I dealt with fertility issues for over three years before we finally got pregnant. I found out on Christmas Day…I still remember the look of sheer joy/terror/excitement/amazement in Kyle’s face when he opened the present with the positive pregnancy test and the little onesie. A few months later, we lost that baby. Three months after that, we found out that we had actually naturally conceived triplets but were going to lose one of the babies.

Roller. Coaster.

Every pregnancy announcement from my friends was exciting and saddening for me. I was so joyful that my friends were growing their families, but at the same time I was heartbroken at my inability to grow my own family. I’m not suggesting that people hide their joys to keep someone else from getting upset. If you have good news, SHARE IT! I always enjoyed seeing my friends happily posing with their babies because even though it made my heart ache, it gave me a sense of hope…it gave me something to look forward to.The burden of loss or inability to conceive is a personal one and it is up to each individual person to bear that burden and move forward. We cannot expect the world to stop for us because we have experienced heartache and loss. We also cannot expect the general population to fully understand the feeling of longing for a child or the emptiness of losing a child.  But knowing that someone had the luxury to joke about becoming pregnant was a kick in the guts to me… a knife to my heart.

What I’m asking for is sensitivity and empathy.

Don’t get me wrong…I love a good joke. I have a few great ones planned for tomorrow, myself. But please understand that a fake pregnancy announcement could be causing some of your closest friends undue heartache.

Quick Post

Ella and Emma have come a long way with the number of words they know! Now we are working on clarity of speech and two+ word phrases: tall tree instead of just tree, brown bear instead of just bear, etc.

I have noticed them really interacting with each other at home lately. Sunday evening I was making a breakfast casserole and the girls played quietly for at least an hour. I could here them giggling and talking to each other. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! One of their teachers told me that when their classes meet up on the playground, they run up to each other and hug like they haven’t seen each other in years. They try to console each other as well… this morning Emma didn’t want to go into her classroom and Ella picked up the paper her sister had thrown down and took it to her, saying “Here you go!” Last night Emma picked up Ella’s bunny, gave it to her and said “Here you go, Lella.” HAND OVER HEART AWW!!

❤ More later!

Ella & Emma playing with the dancing Easter chicken

Ella & Emma playing with the dancing Easter chicken