Sunday, June 29, 2008

Togetherness Series--Part 4

Sisterly love edition:

Amelia: "Sam, this is a sippy cup."
Sam: "Um, Ok. I already know that."

Amelia: " I know, I know. But today I'd like to help you with your technique."
Sam: "Okay, sister. Whatever you say!"

Amelia: "Good, just tip it back a bit further. See, that's why Grandma Shari calls them tippy cups, because you have to tip them back really far."
Sam: " Boy, you and mama are big talkers aren't you?"

Amelia: "Perfect! You're a great student."
Sam: "Thanks:) "

Amelia:" Onto the next project. I could do wonders with your hair!"
Sam: " Oh boy."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” Mother Teresa

This picture was taken at the farmer's market last Saturday. Amelia kept crawling towards this homeless man smiling and laughing. She would stop and sit up, looking back to make sure we were still there, and then turn around and smile again. It was so precious and so bittersweet as we saw him wipe tears from his eyes. Who knows the last time he had received such unprejudiced attention such as this.
It's so hard to see all of the hurt in this world, but so hopeful to see new love entering it.

Much love to you tonight, Jen

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dear crazy scooter driver,

At 11pm last night you zoomed past our house like, oh, 100 times! Back and forth, up and down our street. Why would you do that? Don't you know that we all have our windows open to let in the summer night air? Don't you know that we have babies sleeping?

What you may not know is that you are dealing with a mom on the edge. I haven't had 8 hours of consecutive sleep in well over 12 months! We are finally back to the place where the babies are only waking up once during the night and last night you threatened to disrupt that. Beware. I had visions of standing at the end of the driveway and throwing a frying pan at your head when you drove by. Scared, aren't you? Even scarier is that my mom is staying here. Take a look at her last year when we thought we heard an intruder upstairs...

Be very, very afraid if you attempt the same shenanigan tonight. Love, Jenny

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This afternoon was suddenly full of hugs and kisses! Sammy starting smacking my old cabbage patch doll on the lips and Amelia went on a hugging spree. The cutest thing was that she only wanted to hug Sam! He really wasn't interested and that made her a bit frustrated but she kept at it.

Talk about filling a mama's heart with joy! It was a good day, Jen

P.S. Amelia also says "duck" clear as a bell after her afternoon walk with grammy to the duck pond.
P.P.S. When I say, "Where's my eyes/nose" she can point to them!

There's just something about Sam...

Dear Sammy,

As promised, here is your 14 month old update. This has been a big month for you!

1) Your strength has grown in leaps and bounds these past few weeks. For so long you were content to sit and watch Amelia crawl and explore. You hated to be on your tummy and just preferred to sit and observe and play with whatever happened to be within your reach. In my head I knew that you would crawl when you were ready, but my mama worry sometimes got the best of me and I longed to see you move and worried that we should be doing more to help you. Sure enough, though, you suddenly started to show that you wanted to keep up with sister and the scooting began! First backwards, then forwards in an army crawl. We watched you grow stronger and stronger and my heart was so glad. Now you are crawling and trying to climb and pulling up on everything. You are still a bit wobbly sometimes and it makes me nervous but I'm learning once again to let go and let you grow.
We are cheering you on sweet Sam, every step of the way.

2) Socially, you continue to melt everyone's heart. Your smile makes even the roughest person grin back. You still study some faces with the deepest concentration when you first meet them, but usually they are rewarded with that huge smile that assures them you think they are A-okay. You're still our snuggly Sam and I love the way you curl up in my arms to nurse or to be rocked. You love your musical instruments and are so proud whenever you play your xylophone, beat your drum, or shake your egg shakers or jingle bell sticks. We all LOVE to see you dance--sometimes at the most random moments you just break out with your whole body wiggle and it makes everyone around you start to dance too to encourage you to keep going!

3) Unfortunately, you and I have been doing the "Mighty Molar" dance these past few weeks. It consists of you not being able to fall asleep on your own because in the stillness of your crib you remember those pesky molars trying to work their way into your mouth.So, you cry the most pitiful wail and I come and swoop you up with your blanket and we stand in the nursery and bounce and sway and rock and whisper shhhh shhh shhh shhh in your ear and hold you as close as possible as that is your comfort zone until you finally doze off. Then, usually around 2:30 am we do it all over again. Sometimes for an hour or two. I tell you, by the end of this teething business I may look like a body builder! Poor little guy, these molars have done a number on you. The pain makes you frustrated and it shows itself as you being super sensitive and hitting and biting and throwing little fits--which is so not you. It's no fun for any of us and we are all ready for you to feel like yourself again.

4) You love textures and will be content for quite a long period of time if you have found something new to touch and run through your fingers. You love to look at shadows and light and observe all that is going on around you. Yesterday we went to the park and while Amelia and Vera were on the go go go you sat and the stroller and soaked it all in with your little feet propped up. I love that little laid back, curled up in comfort side of you. Oh, and how did I forget, you LOVE to eat! Avacado, eggs, cheerios, Veggie Booty, squash, carrots, fruit, ice, chicken, beans....almost anything! It amazes me how much you can fit in that little stomach of yours!

I love being your mom Sam. Love seeing your huge smile, love feeling your face against mine as we sway in the deep of the night, love watching you make people happy and feel connected to you through your knowing looks and rewarding grins. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us this month:) Mama

Here are some video clips of you Sammy,

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hilarity ensues...

Whew, I'm tired! Not so much sleepy as just bone tired. This is my usual state by the end of the day--sometimes I get a second wind and can get lots done in the evenings--but lots of times I am just plain pooped. Even with my mama here with me during the days, somehow we manage to be good and tired by the end of it all. The difference, though, with her here is that we get SUPER silly when we are tired together. The babies watched in complete bafflement as mom and I laid on the nursery floor after baths tonight and started playing ,"Big A little a, what begins with A...? " to see who could come up with the most words starting with each letter of the alphabet. We would roar with laughter when word would come out mispronounced or when one of us said "doo doo" for D and so on. I know, I know. Silly us. It is so much fun though. So much fun to have the companionship of my mom and to laugh and laugh and laugh until we pee in our pants (sad but true). To have someone who knows and loves you fully is just the best gift ever. To have help has been amazing. I mean to get a morning nap while mom takes the early bird shift has been nothing short of luxurious! But most of all, it just fills me up to be in her presence. To see her cool jewelry hanging in her bathroom and her knitting needles clicking back and forth making leggings for the babes. To see a candle burning in the kitchen(as it is her ritual to reward herself for cleaning a room by lighting a candle in it when she finishes:) and beautiful arrangements of roses around the house. To go for walks in the early morning and the Farmers Markets on Saturdays. To see how much joy she gets from life--it's infectious. Thanks mama for bringing us so much joy and for working so,so,so,so hard to make my load light while you are here and Joelie is away.

Speaking of Joelie, he is having a wonderful time in Ghana! Here is a little excerpt from his e-mail,

" We have only touched the tip of the ice berg of what we are going to experience here. It is phenomenal and firmly believe it was the right choice to come here and that it will only get better. I have been able to see and do many things recently, like funerals and school dances and long country drives and witnessing beautiful interactions with the people, that I cannot process it all yet. The clinic has been amazing and getting to meet the people that work there and see how incredibly hard they work has been inspiring.....They (the twins) would have so much fun here with so many little friends and you would have so many "helpers" and they ALL sling/wrap their babies. You would love that part. I am getting very much back in love with foreign endeavors and travel and missions....The people are absolutely beautiful here....Joelie"

Looking forward to having my lovey dovey back with us but am soooo truly happy for this experience for him. All for now, Jen

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Secret Garden..


We went to Red Butte Gardens today with Anne and Vera and it was truly magical.We were there with the early morning dew and the babies had so much fun exploring in the childrens garden. The pictures don't do it justice.I hope to go back again and again to see the babes crawl through the ivy tunnels and sit in the little elf size houses and splash in the fountains. Thanks Anne for introducing us to this wonderful place! Jen
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Monday, June 16, 2008

All about Amelia...

Confession time: I haven't written down ANY dates of firsts the babies have done. Shame,shame, guilt, guilt. No first smile dates, no first roll from tummy to back. Can you believe it?!!! I think part of it is being overwhelmed by the thought of it and part is being a big picture person. Focusing on stages versus milestones. I have to stop this though. I must. I will.

So Amelia, though I have no dates for you, I am taking this moment to stop and write down the plethora of newness that is in your life right now. The closest I can get to a timeline is saying that you are 14months old and it is in the past few weeks that you have...

1) Started saying words! Your first (besides mama) was Dude, for your beloved dog friend in Texas. Then came Wow!. You have been working on Wow for a while and though you don't say it as often as Dude, I think you mean it when you say "wow wow wow wow". You also say "Uh oh" when you drop something and a "ruff ruff" sound when you hear a dog and "fffff" sound to imitate a fan. You also hold everything up to your ear as a telephone and have started "talking" while you do it. Oh and Dadadada has meaning now for sure.

2)Your temperament: You have become a bit more of my Miss Independent again after a pretty long string of major attachment to mama. You will go to others easier (I think our trip to Texas helped with that) and are content playing on your own for a while, even if I'm in the room. You have been in the church nursery twice now and have done great both times! You will sit with your wooden stacker with great concentration as you take each piece off and toss it to the floor. You haven't figured out how to put them back on but love to get them off as fast as I can "reload it". Same with pulling all of the cloth diapers out of a tub with great gusto and all of your animal magnets off of the fridge:) You are doing SO well with learning the meaning of "gentle", and in fact, your whole little person seems to have softened lately. You try so hard to be gentle with the kitty and with your brother and anything else that we say, "gentle Amelia" about. Outside is still your favorite place to be as you are such an explorer. Indeed, you are still your fun, go go girl self (every single person that meets you comments on how busy you are), but I just see a new side of you blossoming.

3) You are standing on your own now and we are just waiting for those first few steps. You don't like grass on your knees right now and so I think that may be the incentive it takes for you to realize you can move without touching your knees to the ground! You have also started to push your grocery cart that your grammy gave you for your 1st birthday! It is soooo adorable to see you zooming around the living room. Your grammy also taught you how to drink through a straw and you loooove it. You still love breast feeding and really don't care that much about solids. You do love to eat fruit (especially berries) and yogurt and bread and Veggie Booty and carrots and sweet potatoe and cheerios, but nursing is still your main priority and I cherish our quiet time together.

4) You blew your first kiss to your Uncle Johnney Mike. We couldn't believe it! His mouth dropped open and my eyes filled with tears. You haven't done it again since.

5) "Soooooo big!" is sooooo cute with you and Sammy raising your arms in unison.

What an honor it is to be your mama and watch as your personality and soul start to move more and more outward for us to see. It is a joy to be with you everyday Amelia--even after the long nights, even when I feel overwhelmed by yours and Sam's needs-- you make my heart feel glad. I love you my funny, brave, expressive, busy, cuddly little cute as a button girl. Love, Your Mama

A few moments captured for you...

P.S. Sammy, your "baby book" update is coming soon:)

Togetherness Series--Part 3

Here are the babies eating corn together. Sort of together. Not really. I was cracking up watching Sam literally inhale his corn. As you can see, Amelia keeps looking at him and trying to work up some enthusiasm to match his but just can't:) I love watching them do the same thing and seeing how completely different they do it. Like one of my midwives told me, "Jenny, really try not to compare these babies. They are two totally different babies who just happened to share the same uterus!" Indeed they are.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

To my dear one on Father's day...

I was remembering today being in the labor and delivery room, you having just rushed in from class after getting mom's frantic calls that I was having more frequent contractions. Soon after this the doctor came in and confirmed that I was in labor and 100% effaced and the babies were going to have to come out NOW by Csection. Sam was transverse and they were still just too tiny to try and turn him manually with a vaginal delivery. For me, hearing these words brought finality to the question of a natural delivery. As the doctor's and interns left the room to go prepare for the surgery, though, I looked at you and saw those big, brown eyes full of tears. You lay your head down on the bed beside me and your whole body shook with sobs. While the moment with the doctor had shifted me into mommy gear, leaving my dream of a natural and unmedicated birth behind for a bit, you hadn't let it go. You looked up at me with that quivering chin and said, "I just don't want you to feel like you lost your dream."

At that moment I felt more loved than almost ever before. Of course, we both shed many a tear for the babes and the scary time we had in the NICU, but right then it was as if you were looking into my core being and caring deeply. For me. For your wife. For the mama. What I was thinking today was how glad I am that the babes will have an example of their papa loving their mama deeply and knowingly and purposefully. You have done it many a time since then, but that one will always stick in my mind as the most illustrative. Thank you for your love. Your love for me and for our children. For all of the many, many , many (did I say many), late nights and early mornings with the babes, for the times when you should have been studying but instead were bathing/burping/changing/rocking/walking/slinging/snuggling with a baby or two. For the affirmations you have given me again and again.You have done it all with amazing grace. Jen

P.S. Happy Father's day to my dad too! My hope is that Amelia and Sam will feel as loved and believed in by their daddy as your children always have been made to feel by you.
P.S.S. A video treat for you all of Joel and Sam in a music video completely choreographed by Joelie (this was months ago). Oh my.

We went out, and by out I don't just mean out to eat:)

The night before Joel left for his trip we got to go on a date to see my little brother play! John Mike is traveling with Hayes Carll and they had a show in SLC on their way to Seattle and Portland and Canada. He even got to spend the night with us and spend time with the babes before leaving the next morning. It was so much fun to see him play--I had stars in my eyes as I always do when I watch my brothers perform or work or just interact with others. It was great to do something different with Joelie as well. Yay for date nights with your Love and for siblings who you love with all your might, Jen

p.s. You should head over to Tara's blog and read her sweetest post ever for John Mike's first Father's day.
p.s.s. Can you believe our roses?? Oh, they make me so happy! When I drive into our driveway I feel like I'm driving into a rose garden. Again, all thanks to the previous owners!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our journey to Texas--week two in pictures.

From Tomball we headed to New Braunfels to stay with my brother and Robin at their wonderful abode. What a full week! Some highlights:

*Amelia fell in love with their dog "Dude" all over again and by the end of the week "Dude" became her official first word (besides mama which means more, I'm not happy, I need something, etc)! This morning I opened the door and Amelia looked outside and said "Duuu". Poor Amelia, Duuu is a long ways away.
* Sammy continued perfecting his crawl and grew stronger and stronger as he chased Amelia and explored his new surroundings. He also charmed everyone's pants off with his sweet smile.
* Amelia took off her diaper, threw it over the side of her pack and play, pooped and played in it. Yay!
* Bub took Robin and I on a date to Luby's--our favorite--yuuuummmmm.
* Lots of Taco Cabana-mmmmmm.
*Lots of time with my family--the best part of it all.

Here are some pictures for ya--apologies again to those of you friends who didn't get any pictures with us--boo! Lots more to say. Our dear Joelie left for Africa this morning to do an international rotation elective. I am soooo excited for him and know he will love this newest grand adventure, but boy will he be missed around here! More soon, Jen

View this montage created at One True Media
Texas Journey--Week two

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Togetherness Series--Part 2

Here are some "post -nap play" togetherness clips. Do you hear their short little bursts of sound they use to talk to each other? They will go on and on like that sometimes:) We are lovin' Amelia's little "night night" pretend game too. Yay for new and fun things every day! Not so fun is Sam's teething pain going on these days(and nights!)...but we won't go there on this post. More soon, jen

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Togetherness series--part 1

Having twins is hard, there is no doubt about it. When I have people say, " Oh, I have always wanted twins. It would be so much fun!" I am usually thinking, "Um, it's not all fun and games lady! It's a LOT of hard work." Lately, though, the babes have been doing things together more and I LOVE it. Sam has just started crawling (hurray for Sam!) and that has changed their relationship a lot. Chasing each other, pushing doors closed together, playing peekaboo...hearing their giggles makes me so happy. So, I thought I'd
give you some glimpses of this new is part one:) Jen

Sunday, June 08, 2008

O The Sweet, Sweet Love of Jesus....

As we sang those words today my eyes brimmed with tears. Tears of hope that the babes will know that love. That joy. That truth. Today we became members of our church and we also dedicated Sam and Amelia to the Lord in front of our church family. My heart was somber (even while Amelia blew bubbles and entertained the "crowd") as Joel and I responded "We do" to our pastors questions such as "Do you recognize your children's need of a savior?" Oh how I pray we will be faithful to lead our children towards the hope, joy and grace that comes with knowing the Lord. I pray that we will grow in wisdom as the days go by--seeking Him as we parent and live life with these little ones.

Here are some pictures we took after church. Sam's dedication "dress" as Joel called it was immediately removed by his Papa after the church service, so you'll just have to imagine how adorable he looked in it. It was just like the outfit Amelia has on in the pictures, only with blue stitching and square sleeves:)

It was a special day at church, a special day because we are back with our Joelie and because my mama is here and because it is my mom in love's birthday! Hope your day had something special in it too. Jen

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Our journey to Texas--week one in pictures.

Hi folks--
Here is a very long slideshow with some pictures from our week staying in Tomball. Can I just say a big OOPS to those of you sweet friends and family who came to visit but I didn't manage to get any pictures of? Know you are loved and appreciated even though you aren't in the slideshow ( Gee, Court, Kitty, Tim and Emily to name a few!). Thanks to all of you for making it a wonderful week! Jen

View this montage created at One True Media
Our journey to Texas--week 1

Coming soon--our week in New Braunfels--it's been exciting! Jen

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Empty Nesters...

I know, I know...we are a long way from being true empty nesters. Still, our little snuggly Sam has flown out of our family bed and is in his own little cage...i mean nest:) We decided about a week before we left for our trip that it was time. He was rolling,rolling,rolling to fall asleep and then wanted to roll in the middle of the night and as soon as he woke up! Not a good thing when you are in a bed that you could fall out of and with a mama and papa that didn't really want to play in the middle the night! Every child is different, but I have to say that the transition was so easy for Sam. This is why I wish people (like our dear pediatrician Dr.D) wouldn't try to scare families away from co-sleeping by saying the kids won't be able to move into their own bed until they are five because it will be too hard for them! The first night was really hard--for me! I literally felt my heart aching to have my little Sam next to us as he had been every night since he came home from the NICU. Seeing how easy he made the transition, though, made it easier on us. Still, after putting together the crib we stood back and looked at our increasingly traditional looking nursery and Joel said, "What if I miss the babies sleeping with us so much that you find me in the crib with Sam one morning?"

Oh yes, we will always cherish the memories of our co-sleeping nights(though they were not always smooth, i am not trying to give that impression at all). I am, though, truly thankful for how healing it was for us as a family. A family that had been apart for too long. Our Amelia is still struggling. Helping her transition into sleep at night and throughout the night has always been a challenge. Any change (moving out of her hammock into her own bed/people coming to visit/this trip, etc.) seems to cause her to really regress in being able to fall asleep on her own. Again, wish people(ahem, Dr.D) wouldn't throw out sleep training methods like they will work for every babe. It just isn't so.

Anyway, enough about all that, Just wanted to share with you about our little guy and one of the big happenings in his life. Love to you, Jen

He's not kidding...

He doesn't take his fire fighting duties lightly--look at that face:) My granny and papa had this in there garage and pulled it out for the babes--they loved it! I know this is a random place to start in showing pictures--but you gotta start somewhere and you might as well start somewhere really cute. Jen