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[Not So] Silent Night

 

Sing it, Gray! [the first 30 seconds or less are really it. just fyi!]

Nine Months Old

The boys have officially been on this earth longer than they were in my belly. That’s nuts. But man it’s a blast! 9 months always sounded so old to me! I feel like they’ll be a year before we know it. I’m crazy about them. Cam is crazy about them. We laugh a LOT. And we poop a LOT. (Sometimes at the same time). They are chatter boxes. “Dada” was Nash’s first word. “Mama” was Gray’s. And now they both say “mama” over and over and over again. And for now I love it. I keep playing that scene of Get Smart over in my head where the kid is saying Mom over and over again and she responds with “SHAWN, SHAWN, SHAWN, SHAWN! Do you see how annoying that is??” But for now, I will enjoy being the object of their affections. Being adored by three handsome men…tough life, eh?

Cam took the boys to see their mama play in a softball tournament. Gray was less than enthused. haha. They did great! And I had a complete blast. I act like a teenager whenever I play sports again. I love them. I didn’t even play all that well, but man it was a good time! I got a little caught up in the game, because I was playing third, and this 18-year-old kid on a team we were absolutely killing over ran the bag and in all my maturity I squealed “Ohhh you’re OUT!” when I tagged him. And then I apologized profusely. Too caught up. So so fun.

I also slid into third while running the bases. I scored on the next hit and the umpire took his mask off and asked me if I had, in fact, slid. I responded “I’m just really having a good time.” I don’t get out much. But when I do, oh it’s a party.

This month, we also did a juice cleanse. Not for the faint of heart. Oh boy. I made it through a day and a half and wanted to quit. Cam made it three days. I did actually quit when I saw that I had given Gray diarrhea. No good. However, it has really changed my views on food. We need to eat a ton more fruits and veggies. And we have been. I ate vegetarian for an entire week and felt amazing. Since then, I’ve eaten meat much more sparingly and my meal ideas don’t start with meat, which is completely new. I asked my FB friends for veggie meal ideas and since then we’ve had Quinoa Salads, Crispy black bean tacos, Cauliflower alfredo, and tonight we’re headed toward eggplant parmesan. We are eating so, so good. And I love the lack of meat. We are juicing in the mornings. My favorite is grapefruit + carrot and sometimes I’ll add a fresh spear of pineapple to the mix. I haven’t got the heart to juice my greens again just yet. But I bet a bunch of spinach in fruit juice wouldn’t hurt.

Gray baby. Oh he is my happy, easy-going, hungry boy. Look at that smile. He cut his first tooth this month! Oh it has been a long time coming, and it made him downright miserable, so I’m grateful he’s got that cute little tooth instead of sore, sore gums. I know that other bottom tooth will be here shortly, but I will enjoy my happy boy for as long as I can until that happens.

These next few pictures melt me. We decorated for Christmas. As a family of four. We had to worry about where we set the ornament box. We saw just how exciting the glitter and lights really are. There is something about Christmas that kids just “get.” And I’m blown away by how full my heart was this night. After we decorated, the boys couldn’t settle down for HOURS. It was 10:15 and we were still listening to them roll around in their beds talking and laughing with each other. High on Christmas Magic. And Cam and I listened on the monitor or through their bedroom door to the display of sheer joy. Amazed that they probably would never understand that we feel that way almost every night after we go in to kiss them goodnight.

In my family growing up, we had this red tree topper. My parents always called it a star, so when I saw it at the store and told Cam we had to have a star for our Christmas tree, he looked at me like I had grown another head. It IS a star. Either way, we rotate who gets to put it on the tree. Since Nash was born first, it was his turn this year. Melt me.

We took the boys on their 4th and 5th flights to have Thanksgiving with my family in Utah. I remember being so terrified to fly when the boys were 4 months old. Um, I would do that again in a heartbeat. 8.5 months old is a different story. Oh they are BUSY! Gray continued to be the angel child he always is. He plays, talks, smiles at you, eats snacks, takes a nap. Nash on the other hand is standing on your lap pounding the headrest of the seat in front of you, down standing on the floor at your feet, laying on his stomach across your knees, and yelling just to be heard. He’s not mad, just doesn’t like the silence that airplanes bring.

Gray loved to watch all the lights and cars and baggage trains outside. We had to stop in Phoenix for 40 minutes each flight and Gray would press his face up to the window and just watch all the workers outside. Nash actually liked this quite a bit too. I just didn’t snap a picture of him. I love that they are so boy-ish! It makes me so happy to see that come out in them.

The ultimate treat for Nash, though, was the tray table. As soon as we hit cruising altitude [at least on the way there, on the way back the plane was full and we couldn't give Nash his own seat] I would pull the tray table down and set all of Nash’s toys on it. He would pull them off to play with them one by one, and as he lost interest in one, I would put it back on the tray. A conveyer belt of endless fun! It worked for seriously an hour. Parenting for the win!

What cracks me up is he was SO excited about the toys on the tray table. It invoked even more shrieking, but when I went to take a picture of him being all crazy, he gets quiet like “what? this isn’t insane. I’m not insane. I am chill. YOU are insane.”

This one is a better representation of what really went down. Constantly.

While we were in Utah, we got to go to the temple. It was my first time back in about a year! Once I hit a certain point in my pregnancy, my dress didn’t fit anymore and I didn’t feel like going much of anywhere. Oh it felt good to be back. We were doing a ton of family names my sisters and mom [but mostly my sister, Lindsay. Family History genius.] had prepared. We did sealings, which is like performing a bunch of marriage ceremonies for your ancestors and giving them the blessings of eternal families.

In our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that marriage and family relationships can go on after this life. The temple is where these bonds are made. In a beautiful marriage ceremony, husband and wife are sealed for time and all eternity. If you are sealed before you have children, those children are “born in the covenant” and are sealed to you automatically. If you are not sealed before you have children, then those children are sealed to you through another beautiful ceremony “as if they had been born in the covenant.” I am so grateful for this knowledge and these teachings. It took us so long to have children and now that they are here, I know of a love I never knew was possible. Having the comfort of knowing they are mine forever, no matter what, gives me such peace. I am so grateful for temples. And this is one thing about the gospel I wish I could share with every. single. person. Don’t you think everyone deserves to be with those they love for eternity? I do. And they can be. Anyone can have this blessing. Everyone deserves it. And the most beautiful part of all is that the words “until death do you part” are no where near the marriage ceremony, because they do not apply. What is bound on Earth in the temple is bound in Heaven.

Please don’t be shy if you are at all curious about this. It would make me so happy to be able to share this blessing with even one person. And I just love talking about it. :)

Who could let this handsome man go? Not me.

All dressed up for church! I love my sisters. And my mom. In case you mistook her for one of my sisters, she’s the gorgeous lady in the middle. Don’t feel bad, people do it all the time.

I love this picture. When Gray is extra happy, he will make eye contact with you and smile so big his nose scrunches up. This is the first picture I’ve ever gotten of this scrunchy nose. Oh I love it.

And pretty much whenever Gray is being extra cute, Nash decides to be exceptionally crusty.

The McGuire Grandkids. Lillie girl in the middle. Love this.

Speaking of being expressive.

Here in Texas, we don’t get a lot of snow. [But it DID snow yesterday! woo!] So we have learned a lot about sunshine and crunchy leaves. We love leaves. We love kicking them, squeezing them, eating them, hitting them. Whenever Cam takes one of the boys out for a run, I take the other out to the front yard and we play in the leaves until Dad gets home. And then we all play together, and sometimes it results in a quick trip to the park.

Gray is a chatterbox! He has so many inflections in his voice and he is so expressive! I love hearing all about his thoughts. Sometimes we just lay on the floor and look at each other and he talks and talks and I ask to know more and he grabs my face and talks and talks, and eats my nose. It’s great.

Also, a friend described his hair as OUTSTANDING. I wholeheartedly agree.

Bahaha the faces! The swings are still a favorite. I love that they ride together. Instant happiness for these dudes.

For Christmas, the local library puts together this fantastic Santa’s village with about 20 different buildings to walk through sponsored by local companies. Santa arrives on a fire truck. There is a cafe. Ornament factory. Post Office. Concert Hall. etc. It is all lit up and decorated beautifully. We took the boys there on opening night and walked around to look at the lights. There was even a train! We love trains.

Love these pictures of our little family. People are so nice here! Without fail, someone notices me taking a picture of Cam and the boys and offers to take one of all four of us.

Also, the Ronald McDonald house has a fundraiser called “The Trains at Northpark.” They have set up this exhibit with tons of electric trains that wind through the US. It’s amazing. The boys loved it. I love watching their eyes follow the trains and I was pretty surprised at how well the followed even the fastest train! What a cool exhibit! We bought a Christmas ornament, it’s a tradition, and enjoyed the day with Dad. What a gift!

While walking the mall, we discovered this beautiful display. Santa and all the reindeer are completely made out of candy! So cool!

We stopped to listen to a children’s choir concert in one of the open areas of the mall and feed the boys. They sang song after song about Christ. In a public place. And it was perfect and uplifting. We sat next to this wonderful old man who kept commenting on how spunky the boys are and wanting to help with their bottles. With all this warm weather in Texas, I’ve had a hard time feeling Christmasy, but oh it is here!

Gray has been a poop monster. So he got changed in the trunk of the car. Silly boy. For the record, I have changed his diet twice. No change. The kid is just a pooper. He’s happy and healthy. I’ll take it.

We are not very good at going to Church events. Not that we don’t want to go. That’s never an issue. It’s just that in the getting there, we always have some sort of trouble. [Last time it was a meltdown triggered by a corset...] We drove up at 6:15, thinking it started at 6. Parking lot is empty. Boys are screaming. Cam is sniffling and coughing because he’s so exhausted from finals week that his health is taking a hit. I have never seen a nose run like that. And the sniffling was driving me nuts! Since the parking lot was empty, we decided to go home, but I was NOT going to cook, and we didn’t have money to go out to eat. So we went back. Terrible logic, I know. Cam knows me so well. I was LIVID that Cam had pushed us out of the house so fast. Not his fault, neither of us checked what time the party started, but I hated being stressed for no reason. I was feeding the boys while they were in their car seats and squished in that “back seat, in the middle, feet on the hump.” And Cameron turns the music on. Which is normally the last straw for me. I hate music during stressful, angry times. It only makes things worse for me. I didn’t recognize the music. And then without warning, the sweet melodies of Michael fill the car. Oh, I love Michael. Mr. Buble. And I smiled. Big. I love Michael. So, so, so much. Brilliant man. And he saved the day. We went to the Ward Christmas Party because of him. Sneaky move, Cam. But well played, sir. Well played.

And again, we see Gray playing sweetly on Dad’s lap, and Nash squirming around on the floor. He is a busy kid.

And sometimes, as a family, we just match unintentionally. So we had to take a picture. Love these men.

They sat on Santa’s lap for the first time. Gray was mesmerized. I couldn’t get a picture of him looking at me, he just stared and stared at the funny man. Nash pulled his beard. [Which was real, by the way.] Santa didn’t like that too much.

After the last monthly update I wrote, I realized I had forgotten some of the details because I hadn’t taken pictures of them. And that’s no excuse to not record something. Pictures aren’t everything.

So hopefully I can remember everything I’m intending to:

  • Gray likes to hit things if they make noise. The mirror, the ground, empty containers, full containers, his knee, the side of his head, anything.
  • Gray also likes the sound of his voice when his ears are in the water. He sings a long monotone note for 10 seconds or longer and then breaks into this goofy grin. It cracks me up.
  • Nash is grabby! He is so fast. Loves pulling Gray’s hair. But regardless of if there is anything to grab, his hands are always opening and closing and he holds his arms out above his shoulders constantly feeling the air. It’s hilarious. It looks like he’s trying to swim.
  • Gray also gave Nash three hugs last night after baths. It was adorable. Intentional, direct, unmistakeable hugs. There are some things you are just lucky to witness the first time they happen.
  • Grammy bought them white shirts and ties that actually fit! They haven’t had an oxford shirt to wear to church since they were 3 months old. It makes me so proud to see all three of my men in white shirts and ties on Sunday. Classy gents.
  • I changed 12 poopy diapers in one day. They think they’re hilarious. I find them slightly less amusing. But there are worse things. ha.
  • We are officially done breastfeeding. Nash just decided one day that he was done nursing. He just flat out refused. So I gave him a bottle and nursed Gray. And it was nice to gradually wean them [and me] off of nursing. Gray stopped nursing two days ago. And I feel really good about things. As soon as I realized that I didn’t need it for the bonding anymore, I felt much better about my babies growing up. It made me a little sad when Nash stopped cold turkey, but it gave me time to love on my Gray and appreciate him for staying little. People notice a lot that Nash is hitting milestones a bit before Gray every time. And then they compare my sweet Gray baby and wonder what’s taking so long. And I just scoop him up and love that he is my little guy for a little longer. When you have twins, you get the best of both worlds. Lucky, lucky me.

Christmas!

This year we spent Christmas at the McGuire house. (my family). It was a total blast. I loved it. Not a lick of snow on the drive down, either, which made for a nice, easy, and quick drive (relatively speaking…I was pretty uncomfortable due to the sudden growth of these two boys.)

Christmas Eve is my dad’s birthday, so we had a big breakfast and did presents for him. Then, we all went out to my Grandma’s house (that they’re selling this year) to take family pictures.

The photographer was nice enough to snap a couple maternity photos for us. This one is my absolute favorite. :)

Christmas Eve we went caroling. Normally, I hate caroling. I have always said my family just isn’t good at it. We have caroled to a dog, through a glass door because the family wasn’t home (all 3 verses). We have caroled to the wrong house, which turned into the right house about halfway through the second verse (the family had just moved to a new house and the cousin answered the door…a cousin we had never met before.) We have also caroled to a house where the inhabitants did not hear us knock and the daughter opened the door to take out the trash, saw a bunch of large hooded figures, screamed and slammed the door. However, in the years I have been out of the house apparently we have improved at it.

This year, my brother brought his guitar and my other brother brought his cahone [sp?]. (It’s a drum that makes all sorts of different sounds. Pretty rad.) We were a hit wherever we went! Such a different experience than years past. We only went out for an hour and sang to our good friends, and neighbors we hoped to meet, etc. I was actually sad to be done when we were out of treat plates.

Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, my parents wrapped up the living room and we all got ready for church at 9am. It was pretty bizarre to not be awake before the sun on Christmas Day. (My super mature 26 year old sister is still the first one awake every Christmas…at like 4:30-5 am. It’s a riot. I was definitely not complaining about the extra hours of sleep, though!

I really enjoyed having church on Christmas Day. It was a beautiful musical program. Cam sang with the choir to help out the tenor section and the boys kicked and rolled through the entire thing. That was probably the best gift I could’ve received because I was nervous about making the drive. The reassurance that they’re both OK is the most important thing to me.

We came home and got back into pajamas.

And tore down the wrapping paper. :)

Please note Jessica’s pajamas. That girl is so absolutely my favorite. lol.

Lillie got a dollhouse full of a variety of characters. Disney princesses, dinosaurs, trucks, Woody, Buzz and Jessie (who are favorites), and woodland creatures all live in harmony there. We try to embrace diversity. :) She was so fun to watch! Having a kid around really brings a whole new level of Christmas magic. It made me terribly excited for next year when we will have two rambunctious, probably crawling boys to keep track of.

JT getting “conservative ties for his mission.” :) This was the last year we would all be together. Mackay and Lindsay won’t be coming out for Christmas morning again and JT will be on a mission for the next two Christmases, so it was nice to have everyone together this time.

Hair done and make-up on for Christmas morning is a definite first. There were onesies in our stockings and cute little socks for the boys. What a fun Christmas!

Also, major husband points right here: Cam got on my pinterest account, found my board of books I’d like to read eventually and ordered two of them. WHOA. I had no idea he even KNEW about that board, let alone how to get on my pinterest account. Total win right there.

There was one bag for the in-laws, which we found a little weird considering Cam lives in Utah and Mackay lives in Colorado, and my parents made them wait to open it through the rest of the Christmas presents. They gave a bag to us McGuire kids after all the presents were unwrapped. Inside were 3 DVDs of our family photos, set to music, with video clips of major highlights. We got to see pictures of my parents growing up, the night of their first kiss, mission pictures from my dad I had never seen before, all the way through the growing up years of our family and into the marriages of me and Cam and Lindsay and Mackay, the birth of Lillie, the glory days of all of us in high school sports. It was 2.5 hours long! Such a blast! In the “in-law bag” was a pack of oreos for Cam and a pack of oreos for Mackay along with a magazine (something financial for Mackay, and one on woodworking/projects for Cam). It was their “we’re sorry you have to sit through 3 DVDs of our family” present. :)

We ended up watching the DVDs on Christmas day and the day after. So awesome.

The days after were spent on a cloth diaper making blitz and playing a new game called Pandemic.

Lots of laughing til you cry, kicks from the boys, and pajama days. Tons of amazing food, including a beautiful Christmas dinner of prime rib served on my mom’s gorgeous china…that we all ate in our pajamas after waking up from naps. Sometimes Christmas is just meant to “be”. No expectations. I think that’s what I love most.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We’ve decorated for Christmas over here at the Call house. I love that Cameron leaves the tree lights on for me to wake up to every morning before he leaves for work. :) My favorite part of the tree is that every ornament has a story. My family has had the tradition of buying an ornament wherever we go on family vacations, and my grandmother painted an ornament for each of her grandkids every year. It makes my heart happy to see that there is a growing collection of ornaments from me and Cam’s life together instead of a bunch of “kristin” ornaments. In the pictures, the first ornament is one we picked up on our trip to Disneyland last year. Then comes the “Oh Lola!” ornament. You can see the key from our first car, which was purple, tied to the top. We totaled it in a snowstorm last Christmas. The high heel is from my advertising internship. The snowflake is from BYU graduation. The I Love You ornament is from our first anniversary. Putting up the tree this year made me realize just how much of a life we’ve made together already. It also made me realize how much life is ahead of us. :) I love that.

Additionally, the silhouette has really made Christmas crafting fun. :) I used a bit of white vinyl to make the Oh Lola ornament (after using spray adhesive inside a cheap clear ornament and shaking purple glitter all over) and made the Merry Little Christmas sign from a piece of scrap wood from when we deconstructed the couch and some vinyl. I sure love being able to create anything I can imagine or re-create anything I’ve seen. :)