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.


waiting and wishing said...

I have LOVED watching as our boys have become more interactive with each other. It's so sweet to see them watching out for each other and 'checking in' when they are in a group- the bond runs deep! It's easy to get stuck in the exhaustion and difficulty of raising twins, but I try my very best at the end of the day to be thankful for this AMAZING gift!

Our Journey Through This Lovely Life said...

Such a cute post! I can NOT believe they are 16 months!!!

Nichole said...

A friend of mine with twins posted this on FB too. In a way all of us singletons envy you twin moms a little or at least I do :) You get the two year diaper and sleep deprivation baby stage out of the way all at once!

Mrs. F said...

They sound like so much fun (mostly, because we know it is never ALL fun and games)! I'm glad that you and your family is doing well. My heart is happy for you!