Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Made For You

I am currently on a Grey's Anatomy kick where I'm re-watching old episodes I have seen before on Netflix while the twins are nursing.  I like watching shows I've seen before while they nurse because then I'm not distracted by the plot of a show I'm watching for the first time when one of them needs something. 

Recently, I watched an episode where the characters were singing -- it was Grey's Anatomy's attempt at a musical.  One of the songs struck such a cord with me and so I found it one youtube and have listened to it pretty much everyday since then.

The song is called The Story, and for me it almost perfectly expresses how I feel about my children -- the message I would leave for my children.  I wish I could find a music video of the song where the singer is clearly a mother talking to her children -- and the Grey's Anatomy clip has one verse where that happens, but for me, its more than one verse... this entire song echos in my heart of how I feel about being a mother, about having our three children, about loving each one of our three children, and it makes me cry every time I hear it.

Here is the clip from Grey's Anatomy and below that are the lyrics:

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true, I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines, and I broke all the rules
But, baby, I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do
I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true, I was made for you
It's true, I was made for you


For me, I love the image of each line of my face being related to a story from life's journey.  I also love the idea of telling my children my stories someday -- and really, what good are stories when you cannot pass them on?

And on my life's journey, I have traveled on many windy roads, and had my heartbroken and learned a great deal.  On my journey, I questioned everything at one time or another except one thing -- motherhood.  Through every joy, every trial, every adventure, every misadventure my dream of having children, my dream of being a mother, my dream of having SEVERAL and dare I say MANY children remained.

My husband is wonderful, and I love being married to him, and I love being his wife.  I think we compliment each other well, and we both work at having a stronger marriage every day, but when I think about fulfilling the purpose of what I was put on this earth to do -- I was made for my children. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Something Right

I don't sit around each day telling myself what a good mom I think I am.  For one thing, I don't sit around very often during the day.  Furthermore, I don't think about if I'm a good mom -- and more often than not, I think I could be a much better mom than I currently am.

My fuse is too short to name one of one hundred things I should be doing better each day as a mother.

In addition, I am the harsher parent.  I am usually the disciplinarian, and Tracey knows that when I say something I mean business.  I do think Tracey does well with the structure, but that does not make me the "fun" parent most of the time.

Probably because I worry about an older sibling becoming a bully, and I worry about the next generation having little sense of respect for their elders, I definitely have high expectations for Tracey (and the twins, but they are still very young for the type of correction and training I do with Tracey).

All of that being said, I have accepted my role -- enforcer of the rules, disciplinarian, and keeper of the structure -- the less fun parent -- the mom.  Now, my husband is not all fun and games, he knows how to be tough when necessary, but he simply is not here as often, so I need to run a tighter ship when I'm home with the children alone, and on my tight ship, I am the Captain.

For as many things as I want to improve about how I mother, and given the fact that I have accepted my role as the stricter parent, the other day something happened that brought tears to my eyes and made me realize, I must be something right.

Tracey's school asked her several questions and wrote down her answers and sent them home for us.  It is a precious keepsake that we will have about how she saw the world when she had just turned three years old.  When her teachers asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was, "A Mama!"


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Twins -- One Year

Howard and Caroline turned one year old on January 1st... and I officially missed their growth update for 11 months.  I'm sorry, children.  I really tried my best.

For comparison... here is Tracey at eleven months:

And here are the twins from every month from our first year:
Twins at twelve months:

Twins at eleven months:

Twins at ten months:

Twins at nine months:

Twins at eight months:

Twins at seven months:

Twins at six months:

Twins at five months:

Twins at four months:

Twins at three months:

Twins at two months:

Twins at one month:

Twins as newborns:

At their one-year-old check ups, Howard weighed 21 pounds 15 ounces and Caroline weighed 21 pounds 5 ounces.  Caroline feels so much lighter than Howard, but at every appointment, she shows that she is healthy and growing, and just as meaty as her brother.


Howard is 2'6" and Caroline is 2'4".

Clothing size: 
Howard wears 18-24 month clothes and some 12 month pants still although those are getting pretty snug
and Caroline wears 12-18 month clothes.

Three meals a day, and they eat whatever the family eats.  Actually, they are much better eaters than Tracey these days, who is in the throws of toddler picky eating.  Howard and Caroline eat anything we put in front of them... and Howard usually finishes whatever Caroline doesn't eat.  They drink out of Tracey's sippy cups, and drink cow's milk throughout the day.  They still nurse before their nap and before bed.

Oh, I am so proud of us -- one nap each day, and sleeping through the night (pretty much).  They nap from 11:00-1:30 or 2:00, or later and then are in bed for the night at 7:00pm.  Caroline usually wakes up around 4:00am to nurse but then they both sleep until 7 or 8am.  If I could get Caroline off that 4:00am habit, we would be in heaven!

New things/discoveries/accomplishments: 
  • Both babies can crawl up and down stairs pretty safely on their own
  • Howard can say a few words, "Dada" (Daddy), "Lala" (Lexie), "Ba-oo" (Balloon), "Ba-ba" (Bye-bye), "Mama" as of a day ago, and pretty much imitates any sound he hears Tracey say
  • Both babies can throw -- Howard LOVES to throw and has done it for about six weeks.  Caroline watched him throw balls for about a month and then decided that she wanted to play too.  Now they both throw balls (and sometimes other toys) and can even play catch with each other when they're in the mood.
  • Howard and Caroline can each walk while they're holding on to things... Howard is notorious for using Caroline for balance while he's trying to walk and that usually doesn't go over very well.  They also walk all over holding on to furniture.  As of a few days ago, Howard has taken two steps without support, on several occasions, but its hard to repeat.
  • Both babies had their first Christmas... which didn't go according to plan, but it was a Merry Christmas nonetheless

  • Howard is such a thinker.  He wants to do anything he sees someone else doing.  The kids got a car track for Christmas, and it took him about two hours of watching Tracey playing with cars on the track for him to figure out how to put them on himself for them to zoom down the hill.  He also loves to laugh.  He laughs when he's tickled, he laughs at Tracey, sometimes in the car he just laughs at life.  He is also such a boy -- he loves to drop food on the ground to watch it fall, he loves to spit food and drinks out of his mouth, he laughs hysterically when Tracey spits water out of her mouth, he loves anything that can make a loud banging noise.  Lately he has decided he is afraid of Lloyd's barking.  Whenever Lloyd barks, he crawls to me as fast as he can.  If he can get to me, he is okay, but if he can't find me or thinks I'm too far away, he get pretty upset.  Also, this kid is sharp... anything that Tracey or I do, he wants to try as soon as possible.  If Tracey raises her hand when I say, "Who would like some rice?", Howard raises his hand.  If Tracey puts a car at the top of the car track, Howard stands up to make sure he puts a car at the top of the racetrack.  This little boy is sharp.
  • Caroline is so adorable and sweet and she loves Tracey.  She keep up with both Howard and Caroline, but isn't afraid to do her own thing and play alone.  She likes to blow raspberries usually when she realizes that Tracey and Howard are spitting at each other and laughing, she chimes in with raspberries.  She loves to cuddle with anyone (from Tracey to her great grandparents).  She isn't talking yet, but she calls a lot of things "dada" or "tis" (which I think she might be imitating the word "this".  She is starting to bite a lot of things these days, and she is cutting several more teeth, but we are having to work on not biting people, siblings, parents, fingers, and herself.  She loves to lay back in the bathtub so that her head is on the floor and the water comes up over her ears so that just her little face is above water.  She smiles and laugh and is so relaxed in this position, which (as a mother who love baths) I find so endearing.  She loves to do everything that Howard does, but she does it in her own time -- she usually watches him for a few days (maybe to watch how its done or see if he hurts himself doing it) and then tries it herself.  Also, lately, she has started hanging her head whenever she cries.  If she is fussy and we pick her up, but then have to set her back down for a moment, she just drops her chin to her chest and sobs.  It is really sad, but it is also incredibly adorable.

  • Playing with each other
  • Laughing together
  • Pacifiers
  • Nursing
  • Solid food
  • Bath time together
  • Playing Peek-a-Boo
  • Playing with Tracey
  • Tracey's bedroom
  • Lloyd's water dish
  • Being tickled
  • Standing and walking with toys
  • Lexie and Lloyd
  • Electrical cords
  • Cupboards
  • Looking out windows
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Stairs
  • Windows
  • Throwing balls (and sometimes other things)
  • Pulling hair (mine or Tracey's)
  • They like a lot of things...  

  • Being sick
  • Being bitten
  • Being reprimanded
  • Falling off of furniture  

Special Memories

  • Their first Christmas (even if it was unexpectedly in St. Louis while under quarantine because the entire family had the stomach flu)
  • First time meeting Santa Claus
  • First time attending the Rifle Christmas Light Parade 
  • First birthday party with St. Louis family
  • Getting professional pictures taken with our St. Louis family (with seven cousins under age four... it was an adventure)
  • First Christmas tree -- complete with a gate around it all month
  • Time with family and cousins in St. Louis before Christmas (when we were healthy)
  • An impromptu trip to Michigan where we got to see Grammie and Papa's new house  

  • Howard
  • Master Howard
  • Buddy (Tracey calls him this)
  • Buckaroo
  • Doc Howard
  • Little Man
  • Big boy (Tracey calls him this)
  • Little guy 
  • Caroline
  • Sweetheart (Tracey calls her this)
  • Baby Girl
  • Caroline Christine
  • Little Miss
  • "Airoline" Tracey's name for her
  • "Careline" Tracey's other name for her

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Playdate Video

I came upon those youtube video last night while I was searching for a laugh, and this definitely worked.

I used to get a little nervous when I'd take Tracey somewhere to play... now, with three kids, I get really nervous and find myself only going to people's home if they have more children than we do, because "they get it."

So, we invite friends over to our house and hopefully they feel more comfortable than the situation on this playdate.  


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


I know these rectangular toys do something... 
I just have to get them pointed in the right direction...