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.