Monday, March 3, 2014

Every Mom Should Read This

The article below is the best thing I have read about being a mom. It brought me to tears. It's exactly how I feel about our kids. I had to share with you all. It brought me comfort and inspired me to keep on through the difficult moments I face daily. We have two beautiful children. I am blessed. I'm needed. Me. No one else. Me. I'm a mommy.... It's rarely easy, but it's definitely worth it.

I did not write the piece below. I wish I was that talented at putting my words to paper. I'm copying it for you to read, but the link is also available. I hope you find it as touching as I did!

Mommy, Somebody Needs You

“Mommy, Somebody Needs You.”

Ever since we brought our new daughter home, her older brothers have been the first to tell me when she is crying, whimpering, or smelling a little suspicious.  “Somebody needs you,” they say.  I have no idea how this little saying started, but at first it sort of annoyed me.  I could be enjoying a quick shower… “Mommy, somebody needs you.  The baby is crying.”  Or, sitting down for a second, quite aware that the baby was beginning to stir from a nap…. “Mama, somebody needs you!”  Okay!  I get it already!  And not to mention that the newborn’s needs pale in comparison to the needs of 2 little boys.  Somebody always needs a snack, a band-aid, a different sock, ice cubes in their water, a NEW Paw Patrol, a stream of snot wiped, a hug, a story, a kiss.  Some days never seem to end, and the monotony of being “needed” can really take its toll. Then, it all started to hit me, they need ME.  Not anybody else.  Not a single other person in the whole world.  They need their Mommy.
The sooner I can accept that being Mommy means that I never go off the clock, the sooner I can find peace in this crazy stage of life.   That ‘Mommy’ is my duty, privilege and honor. I am ready to be there when somebody needs me, all day and all night.  Mommy means I just put the baby back down after her 4am feeding when a 3-year-old has a nightmare.  Mommy means I am surviving on coffee and toddler leftovers.  Mommy means my husband and I haven’t had a real conversation in months.  Mommy means I neglect myself and put others before my needs, without a thought.  Mommy means that my body is full of aches and my heart is full of love.
I am sure there will come a day when no one needs me.  My babies will all be long gone and consumed with their own lives.  I may sit alone in some assisted living facility watching my body fade away.  No one will need me then.  I may even be a burden.  Sure, they will come visit, but my arms will no longer be their home.  My kisses no longer their cure.  There will be no more tiny boots to wipe the slush from or seat belts to be buckled.  I will have read my last bedtime story, 7 times in a row.  I will no longer enforce time outs.  There will be no more bags to pack and unpack or snack cups to fill.  I am sure my heart will yearn to hear those tiny voices calling out to me, “Mommy, somebody needs you!”
So for now, I find beauty in the peaceful 4am feedings in our cozy little nursery.  We are perched above the naked oak trees in our own lavender nest.  We watch the silent snow fall and a bunny scampering across its perfect white canvas.  It’s just me and my little baby, the neighborhood is dark and still.  We alone are up to watch the pale moon rise and the shadows dance along the nursery wall.  She and I are the only ones to hear the barn owl hooting in the distance.  We snuggle together under a blanket and I rock her back to sleep.  It’s 4am and I am exhausted and frustrated, but it’s okay, she needs me.  Just me.  And maybe, I need her too.  Because she makes me Mommy.  Some day she will sleep through the night.  Some day I will sit in my wheelchair, my arms empty, dreaming of those quiet nights in the nursery.  When she needed me and we were the only two people in the world.
Can I enjoy being needed?  Sometimes, sure, but often it is tiring.  Exhausting.  But, it isn’t meant to be enjoyed every moment.  It is a duty.  God made me their Mom.  It is a position I yearned for long before I would ever understand it.  Over a 3 day weekend my husband couldn’t believe how many times our boys kept saying, “Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy”!  “Are they always like this?” he asked not able to hide his terror, and sympathy.  “Yep.  All day, everyday.  That’s my job.”  And I have to admit that it is the toughest job I have ever had.  In a previous life I was a restaurant manager for a high volume and very popular chain in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  A Saturday night at 7:30pm with the expo window overflowing with dishes, a 2 hour wait, and the electricity inexplicably going out has got nothing on a Tuesday, 5:00pm at the Morton house.  And let me tell ya, South Florida diners are some of the toughest to please.  But, they are a cake walk compared to sleep-deprived toddlers with low blood sugar.
Once upon a time, I had time.  For myself.  Now, my toe nails need some love.  My bra fits a little differently.  My curling iron might not even work anymore, I don’t know.  I can’t take a shower without an audience.  I’ve started using eye cream.  I don’t get carded any more.  My proof of motherhood.  Proof that somebody needs me.  That right now, somebody always needs me.  Like last night…
At 3am I hear the little footsteps entering my room.  I lay still, barely breathing.  Maybe he will retreat to his room.  Yeah right.
“Mommy.”  A little louder.
“Yes”.  I barely whisper.
He pauses, his giant eyes flashing in the dim light.
“I love you.”
And just like that, he is gone.  Scampered back to his room.  But, his words still hang in the cool night air.  If I could reach out and snatch them, I would grab his words and hug them to my chest.  His soft voice whispering the best sentence in the world.  I love you.  A smile curls across my lips and I slowly exhale, almost afraid to blow the memory away.  I drift back to sleep and let his words settle into my heart.
One day that little boy will be a big man.  There will no longer be any sweet words whispered to me in the wee hours.  Just the whir of the sound machine and the snoring husband.  I will sleep peacefully through the night, never a worry of a sick child or a crying baby.  It will be but a memory.  These years of being needed are exhausting, yet fleeting.  I have to stop dreaming of “one day” when things will be easier.  Because, the truth is, it may get easier, but it will never be better than today.  Today, when I am covered in toddler snot and spit up.  Today, when I savor those chubby little arms around my neck.  Today is perfect.  ”One day” I will get pedicures and showers alone.  ”One day” I will get myself back.  But, today I give myself away, and I am tired, and dirty and loved SO much, and I gotta go.  Somebody needs me.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stroller Conspiracy

It's happening. I'm becoming a crazy stroller lady.

I am convinced that stroller companies have banded together to make strollers that are good at different things so your forced to buy multiple strollers. I don't think the perfect stroller exists. Depending on what you want to do, you need a different stroller. I honestly think it's a conspiracy forcing you to buy multiple strollers.

Want to go for a jog? There's a stroller for that!
Want to go to the mall? There's a stroller for that!
Want to go for a hike? There's a stroller for that!
Want to go on a trip and need something compact? There's a stroller for that!

Don't even get me started on these $400+ strollers that don't come with all the accessories. Drink holder? Buy it! Key holder? Buy it! Snack tray? Buy it. Give me a break!!

Here's the deal on my strange stroller addiction that is reaching epic proportions at my house these days.

We started out with a Graco DuoGlider. Why? We had Graco infant seats and it fit the seats. It was reasonably priced (about $120). We looked at the fancy pants strollers, but I couldn't understand why a stroller could cost $500+. Um, it pushes babies around. Isn't a stroller a stroller?

The stroller served it's purpose. We went for short walks around the neighborhood. We didn't go out a lot in those early days, so it was fine. Once the twinkies grew out of their infant carriers around 7 months, the stroller's faults became evident. It only has a lap belt and not a 5 point harness. Cue the curious babies leaning over the sides to grab things and nearly falling out on their head. Once they got bigger and I wanted to go on longer walks (2+ miles) and the thing was a beast to push around our hilly neighborhood. Don't even try to off road on grass or go up and down curbs unless you want to tip your babies over on their heads.

So, the hunt for a jogger stroller began. I was still convinced paying a premium to get a decent stroller was not necessary. Through our multiples group, I found someone selling a Baby.Trend Double Jogger. Used double joggers are not easy to come by... It seemed decent and it cost only $60 so I snapped it up. We jogged in it. We did some off roading in it at a pumpkin patch in the fall. We tackled the hills in our neighborhood. The thing was a beast though! It's so wide it can't fit through narrow doors (we have a grocery store within walking distance and I like to walk there to pick up food when it's nice out. We needed a wide load sign on it to get down the grocery aisles.) Plus, it was huge when folded down and the wheels all had to come off to get it in the back of our Subaru. Instead of buying a bigger vehicle I figured it was time to upgrade to a better stroller yet again!
This time we pulled out all the stops and did a TON of research on double strollers. We read the reviews and we tried them out in the store. I had it narrowed down the the City Mini and a BOB. I lost sleep over the decision. I'm not kidding. I really lost sleep. I talked about it nonstop. I kept flip flopping. It was a major decision. BOB won out. It wasn't really close once we tried out both strollers in the store. It was love at first sight. I had to have it.

Although BOB is amazing and we cruise through the neighborhood with ease, hike in the Smoky Mountains without a problem, scale curbs and grass incredibly smoothly, it's too cumbersome to hall around out in stores. We took it to the mall once and got stuck in the Clinique aisle. Not husband had to move a perfume stand out of the way.

Since rearranging perfume stands is not on my agenda whenever we go out, we stuck with the original Graco stroller for store/mall outings. They have gotten bigger and stronger and it's a pain hauling them around in that thing. It's impossible to go in a store without them leaning out and throwing a stack of shirts on the floor or taking down a mannequin.

I hated the thought of buying yet another stroller, but to make things easier for me to take them out by myself, I started to feel the stroller buying itch again. I started thinking about a City Mini and was creating ways in my mind to justify the purchase. Low and behold, someone posted a Joovy Scooter X2 on our local multiples site. It was gently used and she was selling for only $100. I quickly wrote to the seller, did a quick search on the reviews for the stroller and set up a time to buy it. I'm glad I responded quickly because within hours after I wrote, there were a handful of people interested in it.

This beauty has been in my possession for a few weeks and I LOVE IT!! I took it on a walk and it certainly is not a walking stroller. BOB is the ultimate in terms of walking. However, it is fantastic in stores and navigating tight spaces. The storage underneath is amazing!! I can stand the diaper bag up and not have to lay it down and squeeze it in. It works great for bringing to the grocery store (we often walk to grab items) because I can load a lot under it! It has made my life easier and for that I thank you!

I shy away from 'advice' writing posts. However, I have to share a run down of my thoughts on must have strollers: a decent jogger (I'm a huge fan of BOB) to get out to places with uneven terrain (downtown city walking, zoo, walking paths, etc.), a store/mall stroller and single umbrella strollers (it's nice to get 1:1 time).

Since this was stroller number 5 I decided it was time to sell some of the old ones. I dug them all out and set them up during nap time and snapped pics. I sold the jogger the day I listed it! That's the thing with strollers (at least double strollers. I don't claim to know a thing about single strollers), you can always sell the quality strollers without a problem! The strollers were all parked in the garage post nap time and a lady walking by said it looked like 'stroller city' in our garage. 

Yeah, I know, I have a stroller addiction problem... Move over crazy cat lady. Make room for the crazy stroller lady!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Things I Swore I'd Never Do

You know when you are thinking about becoming a parent and you'll think to yourself or say to your spouse, 'when we have kids I'll never....'  You tally up this mental list of things you'll ideally do or not do when you have children. You know, because you're going to have a perfect family and it's all going to go as planned...

Well, I certainly had a parenting list creating in my little head of how things would go. Then we couldn't just 'get pregnant', we ended up with twins, our twins had horrible reflux, one had colic, etc. You get the picture. Life doesn't happen as you plan. We all know that. Here is a list of things I swore I'd never do as a parent! I'm a rule breaker!!

*LET MY KIDS WATCH TV. I'd seen the kids zoned out staring at the TV not responding when you spoke to them. My kids would never be like that! We'll be doing crafts, playing outside and doing other creative activities. HA! What was I thinking?! We stumbled across a show (Tec the Tractor-worst show EVER btw) that stopped Evan in his tracks. It was a particularly desperate Saturday filled with whining. Collin turned on Baby TV. That damn tractor was there and Evan stopped whining and watched the show. He was hooked. We now have a routine that includes watching Tec while we drink milk because it's the only way to get him to sit still to drink his milk. We also watch Baby E.instein DVD's before bed. Again, it keeps them calm and they drink their bedtime milk this way. We started watching the Ein.stein DVD's early on. They'd be in their jumpers watching them and be content. It was a beautiful thing. I know, kids aren't supposed to have any screen time before they are 2. I thought we'd be doing that, but sometimes we need TV. It calms them needs that to save her sanity.

*HAVE PACIFIERS I was adament in the hospital about not letting them have pacifiers. I didn't want to get them hooked on them. One of my pet peeves is seeing children with pacifiers who are too old to have them. I didn't want to be one of those people. We came home with our two angelic babies and something happened. They became screaming monsters sometimes. Evan was inconsolable for hours on end (COLIC SUCKS). We broke down and gave them pacis. It calmed them down and made them happy. We had a 'only in the crib, car seat or stroller' rule. We stuck to that until teething started. Then they became whiny messes and mom wanted to pull her hair out many days so I broke down and started giving them pacis more frequently. They also got sick a few times and we couldn't comfort them. You know what did (at least a little)? Pacis. Yup. If it makes you feel a little better, have it. I know they have them too much right now, but again, sometimes it's for my sanity. Since teeth aren't coming in fast and furious anymore, we're reducing the time they have them. We'll wean them eventually...

*CRY IT OUT The thought of letting my babies scream in the middle of the night without comforting them seems absurd. Well, after 16.5 months of not sleeping well, I changed my tune. We tried laying them down over and over when they'd wake up at night. We tried watering down bottles. We've gradually reduced the amount they drink in the middle of the night. We've tried letting them cry and going in to comfort them in gradually longer intervals. We attempted to let them CIO before. But one of them crying would wake the other and then we'd have two crying babies. After an hour of crying I just wanted it to stop. Them crying meant neither of us were sleeping... CIO was not very successful. We've mostly just broken down and picked them up, rocked them or even fed them in order to just get them to sleep. Typically, we've been feeding them around 3-4 am. Usually this was the only time they would get up. It didn't seem that bad. However, in the past 2 weeks they went on a series of getting up 2-3 times at night for no apparent reason. That was my breaking point. We are both beyond exhausted. Cranky. Irritable. So, we decided, after a mini mom meltdown, we had to cry it out. For real. We started on a Friday night. Evan is stubborn!!! He was up crying for over 2 hours...  We moved to the basement at one point because both were crying and we couldn't sleep. Both of them were up on and off throughout the night, but we were firm. We didn't give in. It sucked. Night two went better as they were up only 1-2 times and the crying time was reduced to about 20 minutes. Night three, Ella was up once (I went in and gave her a paci) and Evan was up once for a short time, but they slept until 8:20. We aren't doing bottles in the middle of the night. I hope in the next few nights they sleep without waking at all. I hate CIO. Hate it with a passion, but I don't know what else to do. I literally haven't slept soundly in years...

*GET FRUSTRATED/COMPLAIN We tried over 4 years to have children. I always told myself when I heard other women complaining about their kids that I would NEVER do that. I'd always be grateful to finally be blessed with children. While I am beyond grateful for our two healthy beautiful children, it has not been an easy road. Some days I am tired from getting interrupted sleep the night before after working and not getting to bed until 12:30 a.m. Some days they whine endlessly and I get frustrated beyond belief. Some days I feel inadequate. Some days I feel lonely. I complain and even cry to my husband. I have mini melt downs and tell him how miserable I am some days. I dream of running away to start a new life in a coastal town (no I'd never do this, but I think about when I'm having a bad day). There are difficult days and nights. I have not been completely thankful. My infertile self would like to slap my complaining mom self some days.Yes, they are amazing and make me laugh. I can't imagine life without them. I love them so much it hurts. Everyone should have the chance to parent. It's a beautiful thing. BUT, it's incredibly difficult and trying at the same time. I don't want to get frustrated and upset with these beautiful babies I prayed and begged for, who think the world of me, but I must admit that some days I do... Some days I am ungrateful. 

There are other things, but these are my top four. If only life went as planned, I could be the perfect parent I imagined myself being... This parenting thing is hard. I'm learning every day and I am trying my best to do well by these sweet little toddlers who have beaming faces of pure joy when they look at me. Sure, I've done some things I swore I'd never do, but we're all surviving. We're all happy (mostly). We're making it and learning as we go.

What kind of things did you swear you would never do as a parent?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This Really Happened

I've talked a little about Evan's personality, but for this post to be mildly interesting to you, here's a little info about our little guy named Evan. 
He' He's by no means an easy child. I have one of those. I know the difference. He was notorious for being a difficult child to get to sleep. As his personality has developed, I now know why. He's curious. He doesn't want to stop. He's a go getter. We don't call him the CEO for nothing...
Anyway, he's never one of those kids to just fall asleep. He needs his blankie, his paci and he needs to be rocked. He won't sleep unless it's in his crib. There's a way to do it. If you don't do it right, he'll let you know. Once he is asleep, he sleeps amazing (for naps anyway). He's typically a 3 hour napper. 
That being said, this happened today.

We had afternoon milk and watched Tec on TV. (yes, I was one of those people who said 'my kids will never watch tv. Well, sometimes we need it. Sometimes MOM needs it. That's for another post...) He wasn't signing for more after the show ended. Highly unusual. I looked at him and he was asleep. What?! He hasn't fallen asleep on me since he was a tiny baby....

I stood up, fetched a diaper and laid him on the floor. He was still sleeping.
I proceeded to change his diaper. He kicked a little while I wiped him with a cold wipe, but he was still sleeping...
Ella decided he needed his blankie if he was going to be sleeping.
Ella dropped his blankie on his face. What a kind sister.

I carried him up to his room and placed him in his crib. He never woke up.

Can you believe it?! Most kids probably do this kind of thing all the time and it's not a big deal. It's a huge deal to me! Mind blowing. My kid doesn't do this.... The CEO is getting soft.
I had to make sure to document this occurrence because it's only a tad shy of a miracle for this mama.
Sweet dreams my sweet boy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A List

*I have two PRN jobs currently. I don't have the time to keep up with trainings at two hospitals, so I'm trying (yes trying) to quit one. I've contacted the head of the department, but have yet to hear back. I didn't know quitting a job could be so difficult? 

*We go to an open gym weekly. I say weekly like we've been doing this for months. We've been going for a month, but I think we'll continue to go weekly while the weather is cold. It's only $8 for both babies/kids. They get to be around other kids. They learn new skills. It's a beautiful thing. Evan has done a few interesting things while at open gym: Exhibit A-he stared at himself in the mirror and then made out with himself. I had to scrape himself and his tongue off of the mirror. Exhibit B-there is one (ONE) freaking outlet that does not have a safety plug in it in a HUGE space. He has found it and constantly tries to shove his finger in it. (I'm going to bring a plug form home and shove it in there next time). Exhibit C-he is the only kid who constantly runs out the door of the gym into the common space. I have to be the mom, hanging her head in shame, chasing him out or close the door. Other moms chase their kids out once or twice. Evan does it insistently.  Exhibit D-last week was very busy and some of the moms/dad's left their shoes in the gym lined up against a wall instead of in the common space. He was the only kid (out of about 40) who was constantly putting on the adult's shoes. He kind of made a mess of the shoes...I just ushered him away and pretended like it didn't happen. Exhibit E-he tried to kiss a girl today. She was a petite little blonde with blue eyes (good taste son). He went in for the kiss and was met with a hand in his face. The kid is persistent. I'll give him that. He went in another time and was met with the hand of denial again. Being Evan, he tried again, this time using his hands to grab her face as a mode of convincing her. He knocked the poor girl down and then she tried kicking him away. I could go on and on....he's the only kid trying to play with the sound system, running up the stairs in the common area (I noticed that door was closed this week...maybe because of him?) etc. Needless to say, keeping an eye on him and his sister is a work out for me.

*Ella needs her own open gym comment as well. She's the more timid of the two and more independent. One of the weeks we went, she continuously hugged a little girl that was about 8 months old. The little girl liked it and was smiling at her and welcoming the hugs, but the dad kept giving me odd looks as if to say 'get your kid off of mine.' I thought it was adorable, but after a few dozen hugs, I had to scrape Ella off of the girl and get away from the dad before he served us with a restraining order.

*If you are a twin parent, do you find your twins are more affectionate toward other kids compared to singleton kids? I don't see other kids hugging and trying to kiss strange kids at open gym, but ours do this several times. I wonder if they are used to having a kid their age to be affectionate towards and this makes them more open to sharing affection to other kids? Maybe it's just what kids do and I'm over thinking it. I don't know what the hell I'm doing in this parenting thing...I make it up as I go.

*I am so confused what to call the twins....are they babies? Toddlers? What do you call a 16 month old?! They will always be my babies, but I feel ridiculous saying this to other people. Do I have to start calling them toddlers? Will I give them some kind of complex if I continue to call them babies?

*Speaking of complexes, we (as in my husband and I) often make comments to each other about the kids. Evan frequently is referred to as 'wild' 'nuts' 'crazy' etc. He's just a rambunctious kid. He's a boy's boy. I'm also paranoid about giving him some kind of complex that he is indeed a wild child. We need to stop saying these things. They understand so much information these days! Maybe it would be wise to start saving for therapy...

*I'm not sure what to label myself. I stay at home with the babies (again BABIES?!), but I also work occasionally (less than 15 hours a week and typically in 4.5 hours chunks). I feel like a fraud when I say I'm a stay at home mom. Don't stay at home moms STAY AT HOME and NOT work? What am I? Kudos to the true blue stay at home moms out there. I need to work. It's not much, but it keeps me sane to get out and use critical thinking skills. Whatever the hell I am, it works for me/us.

*These clowns have yet to give us some good solid sleep for an extended period of time. There's always a tooth or growth spurt or maybe I'm just making excuses to make myself feel better about failing in the sleep department. I don't know what it is, but I'm going to kick the next lady I hear say 'my 5 month old sleeps 12 hours all the time!' in her left ovary. We get several nights in a row of sleeping  form 7:30 until 5ish-then needing a bottle and going right down until 7-8. I consider that a good night of sleep. If you don't just keep your comments to yourself all you people with sleeping babies! Then we hit a kick of several nights in a row where they wake up at 12 or 1 and then 4 or 5. The 12/1 wake up needs some comforting to go back to sleep, but the next wake up is a feeding. We've tried letting them cry, but then one wakes the other and then you have 2 babies up. I don't know what to sucks. I need some sleep damn it! I'm a lot more pleasant when I get proper sleep. Ask my husband. So I don't know if our twins suck at sleeping or if we completely failed and missed the mark on helping them learn how to sleep. 16 months, damn it, and we are NOT sleeping through most nights. FAIL.

*My day is often determined by shit. Yup, shit as in poop. Our babies work like clock work. They eat breakfast. Get out of their chairs and poop while I'm cleaning up breakfast. It's a beautiful thing. We get dressed and take on the day from this point. If they haven't pooped after breakfast. WATCH OUT! There is often crankiness and whining to follow. I'm often afraid to leave the house if they haven't pooped, because there is no telling what is going to happen. I know things are heading in the right direction if we have a morning poop. 

*I don't want to end this talking about poop, but honestly, that is all I have running through my head right now. Our computer is in the basement and it's freezing. We ordered a laptop this week, so maybe next time I can write without getting frost bite. I've had enough of winter!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

16 Months

 Well hello there!! Evan and Ella turned 16 months old yesterday. I'm still figuring out this motherhood thing every day. That's my goal always-to learn something every day to make the next day a little easier.

We have amazing days filled with activities, laughter and sweet moments I don't want to let go of. We also have tough days filled with whining, refusing to eat and throwing fits.

I knew from the start that Evan was going to be a unique individual. He let us know this at about 4 days old and he certainly hasn't changed. At open gym with about 30-40 other kids, he is the one running out the door, trying to put his finger in the ONE electrical outlet not covered and picking up the adults shoes and putting them on his feet. He is a challenge most days. He is also inquisitive, full of energy and fun. His antics keep me on my toes and make me laugh.

Ella is the sweetest little girl. She loves books, animals and giving hugs. Thanks to her brother, she is going to be one tough little girl. She is giving; she often picks up Evan's blanket or paci and runs to give it to him. She is funny in a quieter way than her brother. She is laid back and easy going. She is all girl. Her snuggles and smiles keep me grounded.

I adore the two of them together. Things have gotten so much easier! I knew I'd never keep up with two baby  books, so I bought a notebook to write in. I write all the pertinent info down. I used to do it daily, but I write monthly now. I'm glad I have written things down, because the first year is a complete blur in places... That's what sleep deprivation will do to you I guess. It's been quite the journey. I have many things to work on in order to make myself the mom I want to be, but in the mean time I have two healthy kids and I'm doing the best I can.

One thing I decided to work on today is to stop feeling jealousy of moms of singletons. My friends with singletons seem to have it so easy. That's what I have convinced myself at least, when I'm having one of those days filled with two cranky babies.
I met a friend at a local open gym today and looked at my two running around, laughing, playing and clapping with one another and thought 'twins are amazing.' The singleton mom commented on the two of them playing together and I felt my heart swell. Yup,  this is why twins are special. I may have to enforce a schedule, have two kids fighting for my attention, a messy house and complete lack of sleep, but I have TWO babies. TWO. They are developing a fierce love for one another. They are starting to jabber to each other. It's amazing to watch. So I'm letting go of the idea that singleton moms have it so easy and wonder what that would be like. I don't have a singleton. I have two. Other moms probably wonder what it would be like to have two. This is my life. It's amazing. I'm learning to embrace the craziness and falling in love with it more every day.

I read this on Fac.ebook yesterday and I loved it. Loved it so much I had to share with you! It is by no means my list. You can click on this link to read it: 
Reading this list yesterday helped to inspire me to get over this 'life is so hard' thing I get stuck in my head sometimes as well. I have days where everything seems to go wrong and I go to a bad place thinking everything is a mess and life is so damn difficult. It can be tough, but it's also fascinating.
It's easy to forget all the pain we went through to get here.

One day at a time. We're thriving most days, don't get me wrong. I laugh a lot throughout the day. We're getting out and having fun as a family. I need to remember how special the gift of twins is on 'one of those days'.

*22 Unexpected Gifts of Twins*
1. The instant anyone finds out you are pregnant with twins (family, friends, strangers), the red carpet rolls out -- seats, support, snacks; ask and you shall receive.

2. Two "birds," one "stone" = instant family (for the pregnancy-averse, you only buy and wear maternity clothes once!).

3. Two babies came out of YOUR body. Out of YOU. Think about that. If you've had a singleton (what we twin moms call your regularly spaced children), it's amazing. But when I think about the fact that I had TWO at ONCE, "wow" is the only word that describes this physical feat.

4. Holding a baby is delicious -- but holding your two infants at the same time is nothing short of a miracle. 

5. Remember the "double your pleasure, double your fun" ad slogan? When it comes to twin babies, somehow one makes the other cuter and sweeter and vice versa.
6. From birth to the present, it's been fun seeing the physical differences -- and similarities -- between my twins. From fingers to toes, the who-got-what game never gets boring.

7. Twin Love: my two have superhero-strength love for each other. It's stronger than words can describe. And nothing like regular sibling love.

8. My twins are almost past the one-decade mark and I still fiercely treasure alone time with each. 

9. Boy-girl twins are competitive but not as competitive as same-sex twins. Phew!

10. The unspoken rule of "I've got you" between the two applies to everything -- birthday parties, Sunday school, doctor's visits.

11. Although the first year of twins sometimes felt (and looked) like a scene from Sharknado, I'm a more relaxed, balanced and grounded person because I survived it.

12. Now in middle school, my twins are in different classes. Because every teacher is different, each benefits from the other's classroom experience all the time.

13. If one twin misses school, I don't have to call the teacher or a peer -- the twin who didn't miss school has it all in his or her backpack already. Score!

14. Spying! I am not proud of this one but I can corner either Twin A or Twin B and get the scoop on almost any situation, complete with a feelings analysis about their sibling.

15. Having two children the same age means they can share age-appropriate books, movies, games and toys. I don't have to buy two of Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter. (The flip side: we will be paying for college for two at the same time! Gulp!).

16. My twins frequently offer unsolicited praise and support to one another. It's genuine, and comes from a deep-in-their-bones place that I believe has to do with their shared in-my-belly-time. 

17. Anticipationnnnn... twins really have a sixth sense about one another and they just KNOW WHAT IS COMING.

18. One birthday party! I'd be lying if I didn't admit to doing some separate birthday celebrations for friends, but we always have one family party (and have had many joint birthday parties). Less work, more fun for Mom.

19. Same gift, different package. It's a unique phenomenon to see the same strength or talent manifest itself differently in my boy and girl. Both are very musical but in different ways. The way nature wired them similarly and differently makes me smile.

20. Boys will be boys and the same saying applies to girls. But the quirks my two share are genderless. Small mannerisms or gestures are IDENTICAL. Kind of spooky how all that wiring and neurology works.

21. I never realized that having two children in the same exact grade means we are always on the receiving end of every illness, germ or rash. If one doesn't get it, the other does. This I can count on. I admit this one isn't exactly a "gift"...

22. Last but not least, twins really are best friends and platonic soulmates long before they are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, teammates and best friends. It's a miracle to give birth to twins, to parent twins and most of all, to witness the marvel of twins.