Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't forget to see the good

I rewrote this post a few times because I needed to get stuff out. But then I realized I couldn't save it. Because I don't know who reads this. And I don't always want to talk about what I write about. Often that's the whole point of writing for me, it's an obvious outlet. I guess I was looking for a way to write down...that I feel guarded and lonely this week. You'd think that would mean I want to talk about it and be around people. But I don't. I suppose this is a bit of a pity party, but there's nothing specific to feel bad about. You ever have those times where your heart just kind of hurts? And then you feel even worse because you look around and there's so much good? I don't know. I'm really fine. In fact, look at what I have to smile about. Ella is really into looking out our bedroom door. She can't wait for this great big world.




And in spite of his two new teeth coming through, Maxwell is sure
one happy boy.



Thank you Lord for my family and all that you've given me. I look around and realize that I am blessed. I know you are with me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

With Meg

Little Meg invited me to her work Christmas party yesterday. So much fun! Yummy food, bubbly, bocce ball, and an amazing home. Thanks for wanting to hang out with me Meg~


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa

This afternoon we went to see Santa. Partly because that's what you do with kids at Christmas. But mostly, it was for me. Because I have dreamed about being able to do this for the past four years.
As we wait our turn in line...Ella knows something is up.
Really, Mom? Another picture?
Maxwell doesn't mind.

It's our turn! Maxwell is...intrigued.
And Ella...not so much. We'll try again next year Sweets.
In other news- we had fun visiting our friends Drew and Kaden last week.



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lately...

Ella has been really into leaves. Which confirms that when we get our Christmas tree it will be up on a table. If she had her way, she would eat sweet potatoes and leaves all day long.


Maxwell and Ella are both pulling themselves up. They are initially delighted when they accomplish this, until they are left alone and they realize they are stuck and don't know what to do next. At this point they either cry or fall.


This is Maxwell's hilarious new pose. This wasn't hard to capture on camera, as he takes frequent breaks in his day to 'lounge.' We joke that we need to buy him some boxer shorts. I can't help but think of George Costanza whenever I see him doing this...


...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So Big

Today I tried to upload pictures from our Thanksgiving road trip to Utah...and I thought my computer was crashing and I was losing all our photos. Talk about panic. I figured it out and everything is fine, but our computer is playing nasty tricks on me and I NEED an external hard dive to backup all our media. I realize we need to live in the moment and cherish our memories in our heads and hearts...but I LOVE photographs. I would be heartbroken to lose them. All this to say, I was going to give a recap of our trip but I'm tired so I'll say this. We drove (OK, Mike drove) straight through both ways. The babies did awesome. A little crying but they truly are joyful little munchkins. We were totally welcomed and felt right at home with amazing friends- thank you Barretts! We loved our time together with you and all the kids. Sleeping in the motor home was the hardest part of the trip, but the amazing news...da-da-da...when we got home we decided to FINALLY transition Maxwell into his own bed, and...he is officially sleeping on his own, in his own crib for all naps and bedtime :) :) :). I am afraid to write that because every time I say something out loud I end up contradicting myself, but I have faith that he will continue loving his own bed (and we will continue loving ours! alone!). Tonight will only be the third night, but so far he is only waking up once! BEAUTIFUL.

This is a bit of a jumbled post because I'm sleepy and still nervous about the almost loss of pictures, but I wanted to say hello. And post a few pictures. To show you that they are so big. Seriously big.

Maxwell helps his Dad put bindings on the snowboard
Ella makes silly noises 'da da da da ma ma ma ma' while she blows bubbles
When we go out, they are in high chairs now. High chairs! They're practically ready for a kids menu.

The ultimate Maxwell and Ella treat- In Utah the Barrett's had a big screen TV set up, huge screen, like the movies. Saturday night's special feature for the babies...Baby Einstein! Their FAVORITE.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vita

Happy Birthday to the original Vita, my Grandmother, whom I will always call Blano- because somehow as a little girl I decided that's what her name would be. Thank you for loving us so much and being there always. All week we've been thinking about last year and the time we got to spend together at your house. Can't wait to see you soon.

Enjoy your birthday! Love you~


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Laughter

Maxwell and Ella had a doctor's appointment today. Apparently, I'm crazy. I had brought Maxwell in sometime in September and he weighed in at 24 lbs. This was at 6 months. I know, right? The boy is huge! Well, during their weigh in today, little Ella was a wee 16 lbs. 1 oz. and Maxwell was...21 lbs. 12 oz. Wait, what? "Oh, that's not right," I told the nurse. She looked at me and politely showed me the scale. "But last time he was 24 pounds!" I got kind of flustered because I didn't want to embarrass her, but really, have you held my kid? He is HEAVY. I had bets going that he was going to weigh 30 pounds today. The nurse patiently opened his chart and corrected me. In September he weighed 20 lbs. 4 oz. Not 24. Ohhh...well. He's still really heavy.
Both babies are healthy as can be. Literally overnight they have started interacting in a whole different way. They are really playing together. Like, they have this whole inside joke thing going on. They are actually laughing with/at each other. They've been aware of each other for a long time, maybe always, but not like this. It is SO FUN. Just when I think I get something about them, they go and show me I'm just seeing a glimpse of what's to come. Have I mentioned that I love my life? :) :) :)




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Family Traditions

When I met Mike I was 23 years old and he was 34, a father of two teenagers. We pretty much jumped right in and the next thing I knew I was sharing the holidays with his family. Not necessarily Aunts and Uncles, but his family. His children. I remember feeling torn the first couple of years. Part of it was incredibly exciting. I felt honored to be welcomed into a family, to be accepted and appreciated by Michael and Maegann. But it was also scary. What if I got their traditions wrong? What if I left something out that was important to them? How did I hold on to my own family traditions and ideas without stepping on theirs? And, holy shit, I'm the step mom? But just last Christmas my Mom took care of everything and now I'm supposed to know what to do?!

As time went on we fell into our own routines and developed our own customs. Some old, some new. I'm talking about things year round, but as the season changes I'm reminded of how we celebrate the holidays. Cutting down our Christmas tree, searching for the pickle ornament, and most recently our waffle breakfast on Christmas morning (somehow Michael has taken on Christmas morning breakfast and I LOVE it!).

This post is partly inspired by Emery at Moms Are For Everyone and this amazing post. It reminds me of the joy we're finding in Maxwell and Ella. Everything has been special these past eight months. It's a season of firsts. Their first smiles, their first foods, their first crawl...their first holiday. Emery's post stirred comforting memories from my past, from my home. It made me realize our kids, all four of them, experience that sense of familiarity and home when they walk in our door. At least I hope they do. Maxwell and Ella already know when they are home. They flap their arms in excitement when we return after a day of errands. Ella buries her face in her sheets when she lays in her bed. Maxwell goes straight for the doors on the entertainment center where he mischievously turns the television knobs. These things comfort them. They don't notice the carpet that needs replacing or the cupboards that need painting. They know the feel of being held in their rocker and the view they love outside the sliding glass door.

As we experience our first holiday season as a family of six, I want to focus on what we have instead of what we don't have. As a stepmother and a mother I want the kids to anticipate and enjoy our family traditions. I want them to get caught up in the excitement and enjoy twinkle lights, yummy treats, and giving. Whether it's in Christmas or July, I want them to have the feeling I still have when I walk into my parents house...I'm home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Newsworthy

A couple of months ago we were asked to participate in an add campaign for the hospital where the babies were delivered. The media relations woman had seen my thank you card to the nurses and asked if they could print a portion of it. Here's the add they ran in the local newspapers over the weekend :)

p.s. In other news...I went to my ten year high school reunion on Saturday. I stayed the WHOLE night away in a hotel while the babies stayed home with Mike. I had lots of fun but couldn't wait to get home the next morning.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Us.

Do you ever have those moments where you realize you are content and satisfied? Last night was like that for me. It started with Mike coming home from work. He's been working a lot, weekends too. So instead of cooking dinner we ate In N Out. The babies squealed as he tickled them and they wrestled on the floor. I got to flip through the stack of magazines I've been wanting to read. Both babies went down early. There was no talk of bills or unfinished projects. Instead, Mike and I snuggled together in bed. And I was a wife in love.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who said that her passion is to be a mom first. Her priority is her children. Not a bad priority. But for me, I need my marriage to come first. During our wedding ceremony our pastor shared that he believes our focus should be on God first, then our spouse, then our children. When those are in order, then we are prepared to model love as parents. I agree with him. Last night I felt loved and this morning I woke up full of love to share with my babies. I obviously feel fulfilled by my role as a mother, but there are other parts of me that need to feel validated as well. I am a wife, a friend, a woman.

Before I had kids I always heard 'make time for date nights.' I kind of rolled my eyes at this. Not because it sounded like a bad idea, but it sounded so...sad. Like, the only time you were going to connect with your spouse is for an hour out to dinner? Yuck. But I get it. For me, it's having time set aside to not only focus on my husband, but myself as well. It's taking the time to do my hair and pick out cute shoes to wear. It's doing things that make me feel pretty, even though my bra is still stuffed with nursing pads (or even worse, I'm out of bra pads so I've cut up maxi pads and shoved them down my soooo unsexy bra that goes up to my chin).

As Mike left for work this morning, I missed him. Not because the babies were up at 5 and it was going to be a long day. But because last night something inside of me stirred and I'm glad I'm a wife first.

You know what I mean?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Can't Read My Post Title...

I was playing around with my blog template this morning and I tried a new background. It's from shabbyblogs.com- she's creative and generous and shares the templates for free. But when you download the background it comes with the site's logo, shabbyblogs.com. No problem. But I can't figure out how to move it up or down, so that it doesn't cover the posts. In this post I centered the title way left so it can be read. Anyone know how to move the logo?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

8 Months

Maxwell and Ella,
You babies are eight months old today. And you know what? I love you more every single day.

My favorite things about Maxwell:
I love your smiles. You make me feel like everything I do is spectacular and special.
I love how you play rough and tough with your toys- you shake your stuffed animals around while you laugh, then you look at them like you want them to laugh back at you.
You grab our faces and give big wet kisses. Over and over. And over and over.
You wave at us! You wave hi. You wave bye. You just wave that hand around.
I love cuddling you all night. You are one tough habit to break.

My favorite things about Ella:
You have become a different baby this past month. You all of the sudden realized that you are hilarious. I love watching you crack up when you think you are doing something funny.
I love that you crawl on all fours like a big girl now.
I love that you sit on top of your brother until he cries, then you laugh and wait for him to laugh too...only he doesn't.
You are starting to pull yourself up! You are so strong- inside and out. We think it won't be long before you start to walk.
Even though you frustrate me when you twist and turn when I change you, I love that you know what you want.
I love how your little face turns left to right, then right to left whenever there is any action going on. You don't want to miss a thing.

Your Dad and I love you. SO. MUCH.





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo! Beware of Monsters!


Happy Halloween! Enjoy dressing up and yummy treats :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today Was A Good Day

We had a play date with our friends today and started out at the zoo. As suspected, the babies didn't think much of the animals, but they enjoyed being outdoors.

Next stop- The park, which is right outside of the zoo...


We rolled around and played with our friends Drew and Kaden...

Decided the water bottle was the best toy of all...

Climbed on brother...

And our friends taught us how fun swinging is when you're a twin!

Ready...

Set...

Watch us go!

The only thing missing today was Mike. Thanks for working so hard for us so we get to play. We LOVE and APPRECIATE you.