Friday, June 18, 2010

clarification

i had a comment from yesterday's post that made me realize i should clarify. i called the baby "he" because that's what we like to call it, but we don't know for sure that it's a boy :) it'll still be another 4 weeks before we know. we still THINK it's a boy, but our first parental intuition on this child could be totally off. i'll keep you posted!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

k and b birthday

a long overdue update of kennedy and blakely's birthday...

the day started a little rough. about 2am the morning of their birthday, i heard blakely crying upstairs. they rarely wake up in the middle of the night anymore, so even though in my phenergan induced zombie-like state i wanted to ignore it and let her cry herself back to sleep, i figured something must not be right. i went up to her room, and she was sitting up in bed confused about what had just happened to her. "i coughed and spit" she said. "i coughed and spit". the room was dark and i didn't want to disturb kennedy, so i took her downstairs and asked her to tell me what was going on. "i, i coughed, then i, i burped, then...i spit it all". yep, she puked. poor little thing hadn't done that since she was a baby spitting up and had no idea what had just happened to her. she apparently caught the stomach bug going around, and spent the rest of the night in our bed throwing up every 30 minutes. she did good giving me ample time to grab the trash can each time so miraculously there were no sheet changes other than the one on her bed, but it definitely made for no sleep and a pitiful little girl. she cried so hard each time and said "i don't like it" over and over again, but luckily stopped around 6 and she and i slept until 9 while brett got up with kennedy. when we were finally able to roll out of bed, we took them to a new little breakfast place in alpharetta called the red hen. we had gotten a groupon for it awhile back and decided it would be a good morning for it. we then let them go pick out a special birthday surprise, and they both wanted a princess nightgown...the same one of course, and instead of staying out and doing more fun things, they wanted to go back home so they could put it on and priss around the house in it...but decided for fun they wanted to mop?!





after naps, we took them for their first manicure. they are both nail biters, and we told them a few weeks ago if they would stop biting their nails, we would take them to a real place like mommy goes to get their nails painted. if you have a problem with nail biting, thumb sucking, anything, we've found a magic cure. not bribery, but mavala. we got it from our dentist friend, and it worked in a day. it's reeeaaaallllly bitter, and one lick does the trick. they both cried when it got in their mouth, and we felt like child abusers, but it really just took a day of it and the nail biting was cured. anyway, they picked out the same bright pink, and sat still while the lady painted their nails, but gave her dirty looks when she asked them questions. not the friendliest kids. we ended the day with dinner at jason's deli. we tried to let them pick, but of course they picked different places...blakely chick-fil-a and kennedy mcdonalds, so we compromised with jason's "jelly" (i.e. the sick pregnant mom picked the only thing i thought i might be able to eat). i think we're going to have to start celebrating their birthdays on different days or i guess we'll always run into this problem. the hard life of being a twin and having to share your birthday with someone else ;) the day ended with brett making them cupcakes (4 each because they're 4...and they licked the icing off every single one), and princess "gobbles". does anyone else buy their kids gifts from dollar tree? they don't know any better and they get plenty of real stuff from grandparents ;)





the next day was the dreaded well check with our pediatrician. for anyone without a 4 year old, this visit is horrible. "4 at 4" refers to the number of shots these poor kids get. this is the first year k and b have been reluctant to go to the doctor. thankfully they are healthy little girls, and we've only been to the doctor for sick visits twice since they were 2, but for some reason they were not excited to go. before we left, kennedy asked me if they were going to put nails in her like they did jesus, and i really didn't know what to tell her because i'm guessing she was referring to shots. on the way, they concocted a plan that they were going to give the doctor a mean look, then growl at her, then throw her stuff away. scary. the visit was fine and they did great until shot time. k went first and a nurse got on each side of her to give her a shot in each leg at the same time, then the other. we made the mistake of keeping blakely in the room, and the only thing worse than her fear of being hurt is seeing someone hurt her sister, so when kennedy started crying, she fell apart. she tried to jump out of my arms and run away, which made holding her down when it was her turn even harder. there is no worse feeling than having to hold your baby down so she can be hurt (and not understand that it's for her good). so glad that's over.

a few days later was their birthday party with family. they said for days after how much they loved their party. they love all of their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, food, cake, attention, and GIFTS, so it was their perfect day. a few pictures from the day...


brett's brother smoked a few pork butts and we had traditional barbeque fare


party favors


my attempt to get a picture of them together. this is seriously what they BOTH did when i told them to look at me and smile.


our family (including #3, who makes sure everyone sees him)


hilarious attempts at smiling


outfit change #1...wedding gowns from papa and grammy (and my dad reminding me that they would be wearing real ones before i knew it). and i'm well aware their hair looks so 80s...it was my attempt at trying to do something with it.


had to strip down and try on everything they opened


another change


and another


cakes made by mimi




long day

anyway, that's a short (but long) re-cap of k and b turning the big 4. still can't believe they're that old. and in other news, i'm still nauseous around the clock, but not as tired anymore, so pregnant life is getting a little better. i have an appointment next week, but i think it's just to hear the heartbeat. and one prayer request...brett's stepdad's cancer is back and he had surgery this week, so please pray for healing for him if you think about it. have a good rest of the week and weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

life as a wife

i started a class at my church last night called wisdom for wives...a 10 week study on growing as a wife. this was a hand out they gave us and i had to share. it made me laugh, both seeing what was suggested to wives in the 50s, and how life as a wife looks now for the most part. i could make fun of the 50s "suggestions", but the truth is, i would love for life to look like this at my house. if i were married to a jerk, i think i would have burned it, but i'm married to a man who truly deserves a wife like this, and it's what i want him to have. now to deal with the little problem called "me" :)...

1950's home economic textbook advice for housewives
the following is from an actual 1950s home economics textbook, intended for high school girls, teaching them how to prepare for married life...

1. have dinner ready: plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal prepared on time. this is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed

2. prepare yourself: take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. he has just been with a lot of work-weary people. be a little gay and a little more interesting. his boring day may need a lift.

3. clear away clutter: make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. then run a dust cloth over the tables. your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.

4. prepare the children: take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. they are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

5. minimize the noise: at the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, or vacuum. try to encourage the children to be quiet. greet him with a warm smile and kiss, letting him know you're glad to see him.

6. some donts: don't greet him with problems or complaints. don't complain if he's late for dinner. count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

7. make him comfortable: have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lay down in the bedroom. have a cool or warm drink ready for him. arrange his pillow or offer to take his shoes off. speak in a low, soft, soothing, and pleasant voice. allow him to relax and unwind. (this one made me laugh the hardest...brett would think i had lost my marbles and would ask what i wanted him to buy me if he came in to this)

8. listen to him: you may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. let him talk first.

9. make the evening his: never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.

10. the goal: try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

can you believe this is from a textbook? wouldn't a school like get sued or something if they taught this now? i know these are extreme and don't necessarily fit into our "culture" anymore, but i would love for our home to be one where our girls grow up seeing me put brett and his needs before my own each day; where they get to see a marriage of "gospel re-enactment" (in the words of tim keller), with us each pouring out our lives for the other. truth is, i don't want me, my house, or my kids to look too good when he gets home. i've gotta make sure he knows it's tough work raising our wild girls and making a new life in my belly ;) putting someone else (or 3 someone elses) first day after day, and doing it with joy, is definitely never something i'll be able to do out of my own strength.

the other handout, an updated version, is definitely more relatable....sad but true.

the 2000 version

1. have dinner ready: make reservations ahead of time. if your day becomes too hectic, just leave him a voicemail message regarding where you'd like to eat and at what time. this lets him know that your day has been crappy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.

2. prepare yourself: make sure to change out of your work clothes into something comfortable. who cares if he likes it or not...after all, it's most likely his t-shirt and boxers.

3. clear away clutter: yeah right! tell the kids and your husband if they want maid service, they better call one!

4. prepare the children: send the children to their rooms to watch television or play video games.

5. minimize the noise: yell to him over the loud music your kids are playing, that this is what you had to put up with while he was gone. and mention that it was his decision to buy the kids a new CD player in the first place.

6. some donts: don't greet him with problems and complaints. let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. don't complain if he's late for dinner; simply remind him that the leftovers are in the fridge and you left the dishes for him to do.

7. make him comfortable: tell him where he can find a blanket if he's cold.

8. listen to him: but don't ever let him get the last word.

9. make the evening his: never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other places of entertainment; go with a friend or go shopping (using his credit card). familiarize him with the phrase "girls' night out"!

10. the goal: try to keep things amicable without reminding him that he only thinks the world revolves around him. obviously he's wrong; it revolves around you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

summer fun

my friend/4th cousin/i can't keep up because i'm related to everybody from dacula in some way (crystal, is the lineage right?) has a blog where she posts good deals she finds, and recently listed cheap summer activities here. it is a huge, almost never-ending (in a good way) list of things to do in the atlanta area. i know this has been circulating via e-mail, but i thought i would link to her post in case you haven't gotten it. i'm always looking for things to do with k and b and as a family, especially since we'll have 3 extra days with no school and no church activities during the week, so i was so, so happy to have some ideas! this will definitely be my go-to guide for long summer days! also, i've got some pictures to post of k and b's birthday, but i still have to put them on my computer, so i'll get them up as soon as i get around to it. happy monday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

four

i've wondered since i began this blog how i would mark another year of kennedy and blakely's lives. it's hard to sum up 4 years of life when you combine all of the memories with the crazy and indescribable way you love your kids. plus, i didn't have this blog the past 3 years, so i've never captured the previous years. in a nutshell, this post is loooooooong. it's especially hard pregnant because i pretty much cry over anything anyway these days; putting words to my love for k and b might flood the house. of course these are things they obviously can't read yet, but will hopefully appreciate one day:

four years of k and b in pictures...

first time i saw you girls (or atleast remember seeing you):


kissing each other goodbye in the hospital when it was time for kennedy to go home without blakely:


finally together at home:


how the first few months were spent:


this was our first family photo shoot (and last for 3 years) and the day we realized you would probably never like the camera. do you like how me and daddy posed and left you two on the ground to hang out? who does that? yall look fake. see, you weren't the only ones who had a lot of growing to do...


one year (and a hilarious depiction of your personalities then):


two:


three:


and now (most random picture ever. you look like caged animals but for some reason i can't find any recent ones of you together):


you both:
-spell and write your name and spell nicole and brett.
-write all of your letters but write most of your numbers backwards.
-love dressing up. if we're home, you've got on a princess dress.
-live half of your lives as though you're in the sound of music. i have to be maria more than mommy, and i definitely have a 3rd child named "fregrent".
-love fashion and approve of or critique my outfit every day.
-love to read with me.
-love family time. any time the 4 of us are together and having fun, one of you will look up beaming and say "we're having a family".
-never want to be apart from each other, and never stop talking to each other. never.


you both still:
-say "mama hold you" sometimes. it's the one gramatically incorrect thing i'll never ever be able to correct. nothing melts me more than the innocence of that phrase.
-let me have the whole hair cut budget to myself. and get really sad that your hair is not long like all of the other little girls. good things come to those who wait ;)
-won't wear bows in your hair.
-love and look out for each other more than i've ever seen in 2 siblings.

-love to eat and love to know what you're eating is healthy (your favorite nutrient is "fiver"...mama's girls).
-have to have your blanket to go to sleep and suck on the corners to comfort yourself. you turn the blanket around and around until you've wet all the corners, then go to sleep.


kenna grace,
i still can't believe i've only known you 4 years, when now i can't really remember my life without you. here you are at 2 days old. it had been a rough and scary pregnancy, so i was beyond relieved to have you here and healthy (though small and premature):


you stayed at northside for 2 weeks until you were strong enough for us to bring you home. here you are wondering where your womb-mate is:


you cried alot the first 7 months of your life, but after that, were pretty content and easy-going. here you are at one:


two...


three...


and now...


you love reading, dressing up, blakely, and being with people. you always want to know what we're going to do and who we're going to see. you can pitch a fit with the best of them, but when i give you a look that says "really?", you start laughing. you can't stay mad for long. you have the sweetest heart i've ever seen on a kid. you are a people-pleaser by nature, and so obedient. when you see someone hurt, you cry with them and long to protect those you love. i can't not smile when i see your big smile, missing tooth, and deep dimples. it lights up your whole face and your beautiful blue eyes. i feel like you'll always be pretty grounded, but i pray that you'll always know it's not your good performance that makes us love you. i'm sure we'll go through rough times like we already have, but no matter what, i will always be more proud than i can tell you to be your mom. i love you forever and always; so much more than i can begin to tell you with my words.


blake,
when i met you 4 years ago, you were the tiniest baby i had ever seen. you needed special care, and a month in NICU to grow strong enough to come home. i know we talk a lot about your strong will and fighter mentality, but i'm pretty sure god used that to keep you alive in the womb and out.



i still cry everytime i see this picture and remember how scared i was that you would never live a normal life. when i was pregnant with you, the doctors told me you girls would possibly die or have cerebral palsy. i forget about those long, scary days all too often and take for granted that you are not only "normal", but one of the sharper 4 year olds i know.

this is when you were finally big enough to come home, but still hooked up to your heart rate monitor...aren't you huge?!


this pretty much sums up what most pictures your first 6 months look like. i think we were too tired to put clothes on you.


you had a rough start. you had surgery when you were 3 months old to remove a hemangioma that was infected from irritation from your heart rate monitor strap. no wonder you cried all the time.


we made it through a year...


then two...


three...


and now we're here...


you still wear "hair" on your head, resist help because you like to do everything yourself, color in the lines perfectly, and are really, really funny. you're the leader of the pack with your sister and your friends. you put up a tough shell, but have the most tender little heart when you're broken. your heart is most revealed when it comes to kennedy. you'd do anything for her, and long for her happiness almost as much as your own, which is pretty rare at this age. i think you'll probably rebel as a teenager, but take really good care of me when i'm old.

blakely, i know we battle it out a lot. i know we drive you crazy somedays trying to teach you obedience, patience, manners, respect, and to one day know and fear our lord. some days i want to pull my hair out. but there's no one in this world who has ever existed or ever will that i would trade you for. because ultimately, though necessary to function in society and convenient for me as a mom, i don't want your obedience, patience, and respect. i want you and everything that goes along with you. i love you no matter how messy it gets sometimes. thank you for teaching me that you're really what i look like too, and how my heavenly father loves me in the same way, only in an infinitely more perfect way. i thought it necessary to perform and you've shown me how far love goes beyond that. i love you with everything in me, and it grows deeper each day.

happy birthday to my sweet little angels! i'm so proud of the little girls you're growing into.