For those of you who are looking for us, I am blogging at http://callmekristin09.blogspot.com now. Simplifying my life a little bit. This blog will be dead in a couple months, so update your link if you're interested in staying in touch!

[Not So] Silent Night

 

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

At the Park

I realize the photos in this post are probably excessive. However I am smitten. Oh man. And so were the rest of the people at the park. We took a walk Sunday afternoon to the park and let the boys slide down a few slides when we caught sight of the baby swing. We figured they might like it. And oh, we were right. They had hardly been in the swing a minute before there was a crowd gathered commenting on how cute the twins were. Ah! I love them.

Cam took some Dad time with the boys while I made dinner. It was one of those days that just feel whole and rich.

It does my heart good to see us this way.

At the Zoo

We took the boys to the zoo for the first time the first Saturday after Cam started school. On a fluke, I looked up when the next discount day at the zoo was and it just so happened to be that exact day, so we packed up and away we went! It. Was. So. Fun. I love the zoo!

The first exhibit we went to was the reptile house. I tend to avoid the reptile house, but I am trying to embrace being the mother of boys, and I really actually enjoyed it! Nash and I cruised the different windows and checked out all the fun colored snakes and lizards. Cam is a reptile pro and could always find them faster than me. That albino alligator totally creeped me out though!

It makes me so happy to see our boys in their stroller without their car carriers. I know they love being so curious and looking around at everything around them. I love watching them experience the world and reach out to check things out. They’re getting much more “grabby”.

I also feel like zoos are getting better at planning their exhibits. I have been to a zoo tons of times before, but I really felt like I could see the animals in action so much more this time around! We were SO close to so many animals! This was a kangaroo. There was another kangaroo in the exhibit that had a joey in its pouch. She was taking a nap at the time, so we didn’t see her. But I thought that was so cool.

*ma-CAW!*

I think flamingos are so dang pretty. These guys were getting fed at the time. Most active I’ve ever seen flamingos.

This picture makes me so happy. Look at us! We are parents! We have kids!

Penguins are always my favorite. Why is it that they always look like they’re at a party? They are adorable. I want one.

This guy was totally showing off for the ladies. My kind of bird. ha.

See what I mean? Total party.

Nash liked the penguins best too. He was being such a ham.

Ah! I love him!

We picked the gorilla exhibit to feed the boys. They had all these comfy couches and wrap around windows that we could look into the exhibit without even getting up. I don’t think we ever saw a gorilla, but it was so nice to chill out in the air conditioning and have a comfy and semi-private place to feed the boys and take a break.

After I fed Gray, Cam took him on this rolling chair. He was having such a blast. They would spin around and slide across the floor. Gray was giggling so hard.

I am so glad we took the time to spend some quality time as a family before Cam started school. Moments like this don’t just happen. Strong family relationships take effort. And we needed to bank some Dad time. It doesn’t get better than this.

I think the African animals are always the highlight.

They had this perch where you could feed lettuce to the Giraffes. We didn’t pay to feed them, but some people around us did. Cam actually petted this one! So cool.

Like I said, they’re getting better at designing exhibits. This was inside a restaurant. The lions would get right up on the glass and play with you. I had never seen a lion so close before! They were rolling over and jumping up on the glass. It was the coolest thing!

This gorgeous lioness just watched the boys roughhouse. Beautiful lady.

And when we first walked by the Elephants they were all really far away. and then they brought the food out. Everyone loves food. The Elephants got up real close and were eating. I think it is so cool to watch them feed themselves with their trunks. It really is like another hand. It made me really appreciate the beautiful design of God’s creations.

Outside the elephant exhibit, we asked this lady to take a picture of our family on the copper elephant statues. Cam straddled this little elephant and we all gathered around him. I think the lady missed the point because that little elephant isn’t in any of these pictures! So funny. Thanks for trying Cam. You are a really good sport.

We stopped by the penguin exhibit on our way out and that one penguin invited his friends to the party. Everyone was in the water! diving and splashing around in the waterfall and swimming up against the glass. So fun. I love them so much.

After the zoo, we enjoyed a Sonic slush to cool down and a nice quiet drive home. The boys were exhausted! Oh what a fun Saturday.

Six Months Old

Six months. Today my boys are closer to being a year old than they are to being newborns. That is crazy! [It is also my goal for breastfeeding them, so I'm pretty proud of that! Anything from here on out is just a bonus. Good job body!] I have had my first twinges of “they’re growing up so fast!” I really am loving the stage they’re in right now. We are finally settled into our own home and I couldn’t be happier. The boys have their own nursery, something I’ve dreamt about for years. They are goofy, mischievous, sweet, kind, hilarious, flirtatious BOYS. It is a blast. They have experienced a whole lot of “firsts” this month and watching them experience new things never gets old.

My thoughts lately have been turned to teaching. I have always believed that children are more intelligent and perceptive than we give them credit for. I try to remember that everything that I do teaches them something. Without saying a word I can teach them that they are important to me, that I love them, that their daddy loves them, that sometimes it is time for work instead of play, that we do not ask for food by screaming, that we must be kind to our brothers, that church is a reverent time, that we do not roll over in the bathtub, that sometimes mommy is sad, that God is real, that it is important to learn how to be patient, that sometimes a few tears [from both me and my boys] is worth it if it means we raise independent, strong, decisive men rather than clingy, insecure, boys. They are always learning. I am always learning too. Because isn’t that how it always works? The teacher learns more anyhow. I sure think so. I’m learning every day what each of my boys needs. And I am learning how to balance all the demands on my time. I’m learning how to be the best mom I can be. And that’s all I can expect of myself. Not realizing there’s a learning curve is a fast track to the guilt train. I have better things to do with my time than wallowing in self-pity. So I do my best, and give each day a fresh start to try again. And if I do better tomorrow than I did today, I call that success.

My Nash boy loves music. He could listen to Cameron play the piano for hours. He is quite particular though and will definitely let you know if he doesn’t like the song. I love how they have preferences and opinions already! It makes me so happy. It also makes me wonder how other people see my boys, because until I had my own children, babies were all the same to me. Now that I have my own, I see them for the people they are. And it blows my mind how complex they are. Nash has also taken a major liking to his Daddy. For a while there I had two momma’s boys, but I have since been trumped. Nash LIVES for when Cameron comes home. He will get through the day. Flash me a smile every now and again, but when Dad walks through the door? He is a whole new guy. Smiles and laughing and talking non-stop. He kicks his legs, demands to be held by dad, and doesn’t care what Dad is doing, he needs to be right there. It is so fun to watch.

I talk a lot about loving to watch my motherhood dreams come true. Well, a big part of that is also getting to watch Cam do the things he’s always dreamed of. And this month he got a double whammy. He’s always wanted to have a yard to take care of. He loves working outside. So he was on cloud nine when he got to mow the lawn with his son.

Cloth diapering took a bit of a hit this month. We went to Lake Powell and I wasn’t about to do laundry on the lake, so we used disposables. It was a nice break, but honestly I still prefer cloth. It is not a whole lot of extra work, and the financial benefit is exactly what we need right now. Also, they are CUTE. And I’m so happy with how they’re holding up. It makes me giddy to see my boys in their “pirates’ booties.” Cutie Patooties. We have also taken to sucking on everything. Fingers, arms, mom’s hair, necklaces, toys, blankets, etc. Gums are nice and swollen and we’ve run a few fevers, but nothing has broken through yet. And they have only had a few extra fussy days. I’m sure the worst is yet to come, but I can’t wait to see their cute little grins with baby teeth in them!

I made a couple more ties for my boys out of my sister’s silky pink pajama material. I absolutely adore white shirts and ties on my boys for Sunday. They look so handsome. And I hope it helps them learn that we show respect on Sunday and that Sunday is a special day. I don’t even begin to think that our Sundays are super restful, because they’re not. A couple weeks ago, I sent my mom a text about like this, “Mom, WHY do I even come? I can nurse and wrestle my boys at home, and they will probably take better naps there.” But, it’s about consistency. Her response was, “We did our time. :)” And she’s right.

We. Are. Squirmy. Gray has declared mutiny on his car seat. He hates it. And he will wiggle out of it whenever we give him the chance. He does, however, love the high chair because that means food is coming. Both boys are moving around like crazy. Scooching everywhere. I love it. Wrestling has also begun. Nash will roll over until he’s laying across Gray and they both try to grab onto each others arms for a snack. Hilarious to watch. And they have the best time.

This is the closest picture I have of Nash’s “bird lip.” He absolutely can’t hide any of his emotions. I love that about him. When he starts to get mad or sad, and doesn’t want to cry, he sticks out his lips like a little bird. They get all pointy and he scrunches up his face. He always ends up crying, but bless his heart for trying. Those beautiful blue eyes don’t hurt either. Oh what a handsome boy!

My sweet Gray baby. Gray has taken to talking. And he likes it a lot. He will also grin and give me the one eyebrow raise. It makes my heart just soar. Sometimes he gabs in this adorable babbly voice, and other times he talks like a growly frog. Normally when he’s talking like a frog, he is talking to his hand. I just love watching him explore his world. I can’t wait until he can tell me what he thinks about everything.

Ah, food. We introduced “real” food to the boys this month. Shortly after moving to Texas actually. It took Nash a little while to get used to a spoon. He was quite suspicious of the whole thing. But now, we have had Bananas, Oatmeal, Apples, Peaches, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Avocado, and Carrots. And we love them all. I read somewhere that you should offer a new food 10 times before deciding that your baby doesn’t like it. We have yet to even act like something doesn’t taste good. Mostly, Cameron and I move as fast as we can to get the food in their mouths fast enough.

And Gray. Gray was never suspicious of a spoon. He greeted it like a long lost friend. Whenever we put him in his high chair, he gets this look on his face like “YES. I was MADE for this!” And he was. He is such a good eater! It does get tricky every now and again when Cameron gets stuck in traffic on his way home from school. I’ve learned that the boys are smart. And they are smart enough to learn patience, so long as they know the food is on its way, we can get through dinner without a total meltdown. To accomplish this, I count. “One…and Two for my Nash; One…and Two for my Gray.” If I count, all is well. I think they’ve learned the rhythm and understand what part of the rhythm is their turn to eat. I tested my theory and tried just giving two bites to each boy without counting. And mass mayhem ensued. So yeah, they know. Smart cookies.

The couch is a favorite. We love looking out the window at the trees in our front yard. There is also a train that goes by 3 times a day right outside our backyard fence. That is a favorite part of the day. So much so that even if the boys are eating, we stop and take a moment to experience the train. Once the rumbling stops, the meal resumes.

Bathtime! Along with real food comes a bath every night. I put a few inches of water in the bottom of the tub and just let the boys play for a while before we soap up. They kick and splash and suck on each others’ limbs. We’re working on not drinking the water. They love the dinosaur squirters Grammy bought them and sucking on the washcloth. It crossed my mind that sucking on the washcloth is…gross. And I took it away once or twice, but it is not going to kill them! And they are boys. I vote they get messy. There are too many things that childhoods miss out on these days because of how society has changed and the creepers that are living in neighborhoods across the map. A washcloth? It’s not going to make it on my worry list. This approach to bathtime [letting them play] has resulted in a few more peeings in the tub. They get so excited and after they pee they just crack up. It is too fun to watch.

Nash is a rolling machine. He can flip over so fast. However, he refuses to roll back the other way. Instead he just gets mad. When I get the boys out of the tub, if I’m by myself, I just drain the tub and get one out, wrap him in a towel, and get the other out, so no one is in the water unattended. The first time I did this, I got Nash out, wrapped him up and laid him on the bathroom floor, and in the time I turned around to get Gray, Nash had flipped over and wriggled out of his towel so his cute nudey-bum was out for the world to see. Cute kid. And he was so proud of himself. These boys sure love being naked.

We’ve settled into a really great bedtime routine. After the boys eat dinner, they play while Cam and I eat. And then we all go upstairs for baths, lotion and jammies. Then Dad reads us a few stories while I nurse each boy, [unless he isn't home yet, then I read the Dad Book to the boys] followed by scriptures. Then we have family prayer, and learn about folding our arms, and bedtime kisses, then lights out. And the boys generally sleep for 11-12 hours. It is wonderful. I love them so much. They are such amazing kids. One of my favorite parts of the day is when Cam and I go back in to the nursery before we head to bed. We give each boy a kiss on the forehead, and then Cam pulls me close and kisses me on the forehead too. Everyone should get the opportunity to watch their sleeping baby. It is the most peaceful sense of amazement and wonder I have ever experienced. The love that abounds in that room is so sacred to me.

Gray has this new “trick” that he is so proud of. He just loves showing off his bottom gums. And then he bites, over and over and over again. He is a talker now too, which makes me so happy. He is my quiet one right now. Nash loves the loud and crazy, and Gray gets his giggles over quiet, sneaky things. If I sing doop de doop de doop de do and kiss his nose, he goes wild. Nash, however, likes it when I pound my head into his chest, or tickle him HARD. I love knowing my boys on such an individual level. They are my SONS, not just “the twins.”

We have discovered the wonder that is “Busytown Mysteries.” The boys love the themesong. And it is the reason I can shower and make our bed every day. And, if I do a crossfit workout that day, or just the Back on Pointe circuit from Pinterest, I can get a workout AND a shower in one episode. Half the time I come back downstairs, and Nash has started a wrestling match, so they don’t really watch it for more than 10 minutes or so, but it sure is nice to have that break!

Dad is a boy too. And boys like to be outside. One time I came home from the store, and Cam had the boys in our backyard on the picnic blanket. It makes me so happy to see all three of my boys having fun together. I married such a good man. He is the best dad. He has been so patient waiting until the boys are strong enough to play rough.

And like every good dad, he has started the Star Wars education early. You should’ve seen these boys listen to him read “What is a Wookiee.” I am in little boy land over here, and I love it. So much fun.

The boys have gotten so much heavier, that when dad mows the lawn now, they sit in their high chairs and watch him out the back door.

We are also now in size 9 month clothes. Actually, Gray fits a lot of 12 month stuff. They are BIG boys! I need to find a pediatrician out here so we can schedule their 6 month appointment. I’m curious to know where they fall as far as height and weight go. I love my big tall boys. Another thing I have come to love is singing my boys to sleep. If Nash is fussy, a primary song or two will help him calm down almost instantly. And if that fails, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey is considered our “heavy hitter.” I love feeling needed by them. I love that they know my voice. I love being able to calm them down and help them sleep. I love being their mom.

This picture was taken the morning they turned 6 months old. Right before church. We were speaking in church that day and I was nervous about leaving them with friends in the congregation while I gave my talk. They picked this Sunday to be absolute angels. Just played and sat with their hands folded the entire time. And then when we got home, they took a monster long nap before dinner. Can’t ask for any more than that! We sure are the luckiest.