Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thanks, dollar tree

What do you do with two kids who are tired of having colds when you really need 30 seconds to scarf down some food (and maybe even go to the bathroom)? You let them pull every tissue out of two brand new tissue boxes, of course! Guess we better stock up.

Desperation or genius? Either way, it worked!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Last year on Thanksgiving Day, I wrote: "I have never, however, been more thankful for the path my life has taken."  And I was thankful.  But I was thankful for the destination--the end of the path.  I was thankful to have my adorable, healthy twins in my arms.  This Thanksgiving, I am learning to be thankful for the journey as well.

At some point in the future, Andrew and I hope to expand our family.  We are completely unsure of how or when that might happen, but we both earnestly desire more children.  This fall, when the months during which we went through our roller coaster of miscarriage hell rolled around, I realized that I had never properly processed all that we experienced to become parents to the children we already have.  I never stopped to examine my spirit, to let myself really feel the grief.  I feared that if I let myself stop, I would never get started again.  And I wasn't willing to take that risk.  Once we got pregnant, I couldn't let myself go to that dark place.  I had to protect my mind and my twins.  Then, once the twins were here, the whirlwind began and "processing time" was a luxury I just didn't have.

So this fall, when it became blatantly obvious that I still had some processing to do, I made it a priority.  I knew that I owed it to myself, to Andrew, to Barnes & Frances, to our future children, and most of all, to the children we lost.  So I let myself grieve.  I let myself dwell on who they might have been.  And in the midst of the sadness, God has shown me so much.  He has shown me that He is faithful.  That He can make beautiful things out of ugliness.  He has taught me that healing is possible.  That you can be grateful for something that you never would have chosen in a million years.

In the book One Thousand Gifts, the author's (Ann Voskamp) brother says, "maybe you don't want to change the story, because you don't know what a different ending holds."  This has become my mantra, and I can now finally say that I would not change my story.  The story I lived resulted in Barnes & Frances.  I believe in God, but I also believe in science.  If we had not done IVF, we would not have had twins.  Moreover, Barnes & Frances were created from one specific egg and one specific sperm.  If we had done IVF at any other time, any resulting children would not have been these two miracles.  Only by having three miscarriages the way we did, all in a row and all with the babies living mere days past my positive pregnancy tests, then we would not have done IVF in January 2011.  And we wouldn't have B&F.  It's a bit mind-boggling, but it's true.

So as we enter Thanksgiving week, I feel such deep gratitude.  Gratitude for all the same things as last year, but in a new and deeper way.  And gratitude for a Lord that can make the ugliest ugly the most perfect creation.

Friday, November 9, 2012

14.5 months

It's been a while since I caught you up on what our twins were doing, and they are currently up to oh-so-much.  Here's the rundown on the happenings of two sweet 14 month olds:

  • They are MUCH more stable on their feet.  Of course they still fall sometimes, but the crash landings have decreased.  And they are picking up speed, definitely inching towards running.
  • They can point to their bellies and their ears.  Sometimes their belly ends up being their chest, but it's definitely close enough to count.
  • They love saying "Stella."  Cooper, on the other hand, is doggie.  I guess they have determined that his name is just too hard to try.
  • They are truly obsessed with the dogs.  Like it may be a problem obsessed.  They look for them everywhere (even at restaurants).  When the dogs go outside, they stand at the door and wait for them to return.  I can only imagine how much fun they will all have once the twins figure out the difference in petting and pulling.
  • Other than Stella, doggie, mama and dada, there are really no other discernible words.  But LOTS and LOTS of babbling.  I know they get frustrated sometimes that we can't understand what they are "very clearly" telling us.
  • They love music class.  We go once a week, and they are mesmerized.  Frances has learned to "pat on her lap," and they both love clapping and dancing.  Barnes is obsessed with the teacher's guitar, trying to take everyone's turn playing it.
  • Frances is on a milk strike.  She hates taking milk from cups, so we are trying to sneak calcium in wherever we can.
  • They are both getting molars.  And they are not happy about it.
  • At classes and playtimes, Frances has developed into the more independent baby.  She has no fear, exploring new situations all on her own.
  • Barnes loves women.  When we go to mommy-and-me preschool, he wants all the other moms to hold him.  Maybe he's shopping around to replace me.
  • During bath time, they now love to give each other kisses.  I have never seen anything so precious.  Ever.  Just further proof that every baby needs a twin.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

where are my babies?

Do you ever stop and think about how much your children would be capable of if you would just get out of the way?  A couple of weeks ago we took b&f to the pediatrician to check on a nagging cold.  While there, we somehow revealed that our little ones were still receiving two bottles a day.  The doctor said to stop.  Now.  Before they got anymore attached.  But they are only 14 months old?  How will they get enough milk?  They don't like drinking milk from a cup!  How will they sleep?  Despite what I found to be well-reasoned protests, the doctor didn't budge.

So when we deemed them well enough, we gave it a try.  Instead of preparing two bottles the night before, we got one of their sippy cups ready.  And despite some confusion, they did fine.  They had no trouble sleeping.  They didn't cry or ravage the cabinets searching for their missing bottles.  Nope, they were ready.  Mom & dad, however, were less prepared.  Giving up bottles felt a bit like giving up their last bit of baby-ness.  Babies get bottles.  Toddlers only get cups.  My babies now only get cups.  Hmmmmm....