Day 78: What Great Fun

This weekend Mike and I were in the backyard, picking up sticks and other deadly objects (deadly to a toddler anyway . . . turns out they like to eat sticks and acorns!) Anyway, Mike decided to clean out their little pool, which they have not really enjoyed up to this point. While cleaning it out, it became apparent that our little Baby "N" wanted to get in, and of course when a toddler with an attitude decides she wants something, she can be quite a handful!

Mike looks over at me and says, "What do I do?" And I say back to him, "Let her get in!" So he took off her shirt and her shorts and let her climb in her little pool in just her diaper. (Don't judge us, we were in the backyard!) She had a blast. Which of course made her sister want to jump in with her. Such squeals of delight.

This melee of fun prompted a conversation between Mike and I about what "firsts" these girls are experiencing. Truth be told, we don't know if they have ever been in a pool. We don't know if they've ever played with bubbles or eaten broccoli. We don't know what are "firsts" for them, so we just treat everything like it is a "first." Mike even took pictures of the girls with his cell phone (over 20 pictures to be exact . . . with his CELL PHONE). But I didn't post them b/c as I mentioned earlier, they were just wearing their diapers.

Before we took them in, we let them each have a popsicle. They were completely in love with the popsicle (as was our little puppy who was underneath their little lawn chairs lapping up the lime drips as they fell onto little toes and paws and blades of grass.)

We do know this to be a new development for them. When we got the girls three weeks ago, they were virtually non-verbal. Yesterday, when I sneezed, Baby "S" said as clear as a bell, "Bless You Mimi." Tear.

All that to say, what great fun we are having at the Jones' House. What great fun.

Day 77: I Feel Good

Today I reached a goal. For those of you who have been keeping up, I have been training to be a "runner." I started at the first of the year, with a goal of running a 5K. Technically, I had a goal of being able to run a mile, and "finishing" a 5K. But I actually RAN the whole 5K.

I ran a practice 5K a few weeks ago with a time of 39:06. My official time today was 35:08. Almost 4 minutes better . . . in FOUR weeks. I think that is noteworthy.

I feel accomplished. I felt accomplished when I passed much younger (and thinner) people during the race. I felt accomplished when I ran past people walking up the hills. I felt accomplished when I crossed the finish line and remembered to smile (though I wanted to cry . . . weird emotion all the sudden).

Of course, during the race I felt like throwing up, or fainting, or wetting my pants. I felt like a dork while trying to grab my water while running and then drinking said water, while running.

Jacob coached me the whole way. That is noble on his part because he probably could have finished the whole race in 18 minutes. But he paced me and encouraged me and even made goofy faces for the cameras with me. He started me on this journey, so it was only right that we did this together.

All that to say, I reached a goal. And I feel good about that. (PS, you may not be able to tell how RED my face is in this picture, but this is after I had cooled down for about 15 minutes!)

Day 76: Do You Feel Stuck?

Sometimes it is very difficult to move forward in your life. We all get "stuck" at times and for different reasons.

I remember being in a work situation that was extremely difficult. I hated going to work every single day. I liked what I did. I just felt suffocated in my work environment. But every day I got up, prayed for God to change my circumstances, and went to work. Almost every day I felt God telling me to quit, but quitting seemed like the wrong choice, so I went to work. I went to work despite what I knew to be against what God was telling me. But God has a way. And I did, in fact, end up leaving that job.

I love that I haven't felt "stuck" in a really long time, but as I prayed this morning, I just had this incredibly strong sense that someone I know and love feels stuck. I know a lot of people in different situations. People looking for jobs, people living at home that don't want to, people whose kids are living at home and they don't want them to (not mine, in case my kids are reading this . . . which they usually don't). I know people in miserable work situations, miserable friend situations, and even miserable home situations. And they feel stuck. Somehow, like moving forward seems right, but the steps needed to move forward feel impossible.

All that to say, if that is you, I prayed for you this morning.

Day 74: Great Doesn't Cover It

Well, for the first time in three posts, I didn't repeat the number of the day. I do not attribute this to the fact that I am sleeping more. I am not. I do not attribute it to the fact that I am more rested and "in the swing" of parenting toddlers. I am not. I attribute it to the fact that my coping skills are excellent and I have learned to look at what day I am on before I start writing now.

I have often heard it said that having a baby won't make your marriage stronger, it will strain it like it's never been strained before, and IF your marriage survives, it will be stronger. I have always believed that to be true. I still do.

I don't often talk about my husband's shortcomings (though he has a boatload! ha!) and I'm not going to today either. Instead, I want to say what an incredible man he has been in the last two weeks that we have had toddlers. Each day he calls me during the day to see how it is going. He calls me each day before he leaves work to see if we need anything. He does this even though the likelihood that I am going to snap his head off is high. And when I do snap his head off (b/c seriously, I'm used to corraling grown-ups, not 20 month olds and at the end of the day, I am DONE) he responds so lovingly.

He gets up in the middle of the night. He does dishes, fixes bottles, asks constantly what he can do to help. In a word he has simply been amazing. And, he hasn't asked about sex even one time (sorry, TMI for some of you, but seriously . . .) I'm so impressed with him.

My favorite thing that he does is that while I am bathing one child, he takes the other child for a walk and talks to them all about this incredible world that God has made for them and how much they are loved. And then we switch kids and he does it all over again.

All that to say, what a great husband. Actually, great doesn't cover it.

Day 73: Tired

Wow. I am tired. You forget how physically exhausting it is to parent toddlers. They never stop moving. Never. Not even in their sleep.

Today we went to the doctor for the third day in a row. Seems baby "S" has some pretty severe allergies. I'm just hoping she's not allergic to our house.

I did manage to get a short run in tonight, only 1 and 1/2 miles, but I did get the run in and it did my mind good.

All that to say, I'm too tired to have too much to say.

Day 72: Learning to Be Toddlers

I always make fun of moms who blog and blog and blog about their kids. Like really, who cares about their nap times and bath time antics? Right?

But, here I am, at 48 years of age, with infants, infant girls no less, and they seem to have captivated my world. Their bath time antics really are the most important thing I have to talk about that day. The fact that they waved "bye" to the people on my laptop is highly entertaining and newsworthy. The fact that they have never colored with crayons or blown bubbles is an interesting anecdote about their lives.

I could share with you that in their former life they shared a king-sized mattress on the floor with their mom and 3 year old brother. That is, when they had a house to sleep in and a mattress on which to lay. I could share with you that they have suffered such malnutrition that their bodies do not know how to process all the food they are now getting. I could share with you that they have anger outbursts that could rival a Mike Tyson ear biting match, but those things shouldn't be the most important things about them.

What should be important is that they are learning to blow bubbles and float on their bellies in their bath. What should be important is that they love to be read to and to hear us sing and to play "ride the pony."

All that to say, we are learning about toddlers. And our toddlers are learning how to be toddlers too.

Day 71: An All-NIghter

It's funny how at different stages of your life that "pulling an all nighter" means something totally different. At my current stage of life, it means that our twins took turns being awake all night. And of course, they couldn't be awake at the same time. One would just be going back to sleep when the other one woke up.

Had I known they were not going to sleep their usual 12 hours through the night, I would have gone to bed at a respectable hour, but since I did not have that information, I have only myself to blame for my extreme tiredness today. I had just laid my head on my pillow at 11:40 when the first one woke up.

You forget things like this are a part of motherhood. Well, you forget a crap ton of things are a part of motherhood. Sleepless babies are just part of it.

Last night as I was trying to get baby N to sleep, she popped her head up off my shoulder and said, "Be Sweet." I say that to her and her sister all the time when they are being naughty, so she must have felt "a vibe" coming from me. It made me laugh. Out loud. Then she laughed out loud.

All that to say, I pulled an all nighter. And today could be a long day. I imagine the words "Be Sweet" will run through my head a lot. :)

Day 70: Celebrating the Little Things

Wow. It is amazing how quickly you forget the details of parenting little ones. But it is also amazing how quickly it comes back to you. . . all of it . . . the diaper changing, the bathtimes, naptimes, routines of life.

I feel very accomplished today. I cleaned the kitchen, fixed breakfast and lunch, and even did 4 loads of laundry!

Oh, and as an extra bonus of the day, it was my weigh day. And I have officially lost 20 pounds. Yeah!

Who knows? Maybe I'll venture out on my own soon. A solo flight with the girls. :)

All that to say, I am celebrating the little things. Little girls, little routines, and even little pounds (that add up to big ones!)

Day 69: A New Journey

Today was our first full day with "the girls" as we now affectionately call them. I cannot post their real names anyway, so we will just call them "the girls."

It's been a long time since I parented toddlers. I had forgotten how fast they are, and how quickly they can be into something they shouldn't get into! My, am I tired!

They went to bed last night at around 9:30 (way past their bedtime from what I understand)and for the most part they slept all night. Baby Girl S did wake up at 4:00 a.m. and threw herself a little jumping party in her bed, complete with squeals of delight. Fortunately, Baby Girl N is a SOUND sleeper and did not wake up. Not so fortunately, I am NOT a sound sleeper, so I was awake until about 5:00 a.m. She finally fell back to sleep, but woke up again at 6:10 crying for a drier diaper.

From there, the day became a whirlwind of activity, complete with doctor's appointments, a shopping trip to Target (they need clothes . . . they didn't even have jammies) and an excursion into the backyard for a little running around and scaring our 6 month old puppy!

I know this, I am not ready for a solo outing yet! If it hadn't been for Zack and Jacob helping me, I wouldn't have made it.

But it was a great day. A really great day. The girls like to "sing" to the music and they love music. Such sweet sounds. They don't say many words, but they seem to like 'Uh-Oh' and "mwah" (the sound you make when you blow a kiss).

All that to say, this is a new journey for us all. One that I am sure will exhaust us, try our patience with each other, and stretch us in huge ways. But oh so rewarding.

Day 68: Controls Please

I have not blogged in many, many days. So much has happened since our time in Colorado. I have spent many hours praying and seeking God about this turn our life is taking.

On Wednesday of this week, Mike and I, and Zack and Jacob, will become the foster family of two precious little 19 month old twin girls. To say that we are spinning would be an understatement (and considering I've been spinning for a few weeks now, just imagine how the days are now!)

Our emotions are all over the place. We are happy one minute and scared the next. Excited one minute and terrified the next. We are a mess. A crazy, crazy mess. I have spent the last four days rounding up two sets of baby furniture, car seats, high chairs, clothes, toys, etc! I have worried about how to childproof my home and what to feed them and how to take care of their skin and their hair. True to form, I have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed, but nonetheless, still try to control things.

In our flesh we feel chaotic, but in our prayers we feel peace. As a friend of mine said to me last night, "That's the great part, Carol. Because that means that you can sit back and let God work all of this out."

All that to say, I am truly glad that God is in control. We are ready, knowing that He thinks we are ready.