Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer reading program

We've been trying to take a trip to the library once a week for the girls to participate in the summer reading program. Each week they bring a book in that they read that week to talk about and they leave with a prize - a free scoop of ice cream, a book, a toothbrush/toothpaste, candy, etc. This is the third year we've done this program and the girls really enjoy it. Last week I took just Jane to the library while Eleanor was at an activity and it was fun being with just my middle girl! She is just getting so big, has such a personality, and is such a cutie.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Married ten years!

Today marks our ten year anniversary. That phrase seems unbelievable to me! Ten years ago I never dreamed we'd make a home in Williamsburg and live life with such an amazing and unique community. I think of all the turns our life has taken - jobs, trips, housing, twins(!!), ups, downs, and everything in between - and can't be anything but thankful for a sovereign Lord who has plans greater than our plans and guides our steps. Thanks be to God!
(Our wedding - July 2008 - we were so young!)

(Even younger! 2006 in Freiburg, Germany)

A few moments from our first (hopefully of many!) decade of marriage:
- We've worked a combined total of 10 different jobs, but in the last five years, we've each had the same job (though Chris has gotten promoted and I had a side hustle for a short stint).
- I have spent almost six straight years either pregnant or breastfeeding (it will officially be six by the time I wean the twins).
- We've made five different homes together (a condo, a house, an apartment, a townhouse, and then another house).
- We've had four healthy, happy babies.
- We've lived in three different cities/towns, all in Virginia.
- We earned two degrees; Chris got an MBA and I got my BSN.
- We bought one home! And we've lived in it for five years now.
(At the Kennedy Center for the Lion King - August 2008)

It has truly been a wonderful and busy first ten years together, but we are looking forward to a little more stability and less crazy in our next ten years. I think it would be fun to look back in another ten years to see what life has thrown our way. For example, ten years ago I thought we would settle and live in Northern Virginia forever. I thought we would likely have three kids, work in the "constant hustle" climate of that area, and maybe do a bit more travelling than we have. With that being said, here are a few hopes for our next decade of life together (and it will be interesting for us to see if any of these happen, or if we encounter several curve balls on the way!):
- We hope to stay in Williamsburg and continue building and investing in our and our kids' community here.
- We hope to move (only once!) within town to a house that our family will be able to stay in for an indefinite period of time.
- We hope to take a big trip (without the kids!) to celebrate our ten year anniversary once the twins are a bit older.
- We hope for job stability for Chris and maybe a new opportunity for me (eventually) to do something a bit more flexible.
- We hope for continued health for our family.
(Our fifth anniversary - eight months pregnant with Eleanor!)

I love my husband and am so grateful for his company, sense of humor, dedication, and provision in my life and my kids' lives. Thanks, Chris, for being you...here's to the next ten years and beyond!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Rosie is eight months old

Rosie is eight months old today! She probably weighs slightly less than her brother, but between thirteen and fourteen pounds. Rosie still fits in three month clothes (and some newborn!), but we are starting to transition her to six month clothes because we are getting sick of the same onesies over and over again. She has one tooth on the bottom - her first (!) - and Rosie is finally starting to improve in the food department. She still pushes all her food out with her tongue, but at least seems very eager to have it and tries very hard to open her mouth without her tongue in the way when we offer it to her. It is so obvious that she enjoys it, she just cannot for the life of her figure out how to swallow it. She chokes on pretty much anything with texture. Rosie is still on a bottle strike, but we have determined that we can get her to take one as long as the milk is fresh (i.e. hasn't been frozen). Rosie loves chewing on her toes and staring at her hands. She also sits up well, but I never leave her alone without a pillow behind her because Jane likes to get up in her face and knock her over (in love). Rosie rolls all over the room and now seems to be trying to scoot backwards. She can't get up on all fours yet though, so she isn't too close to crawling. She loves to watch her sisters and smile at her brother. Rosie sleeps well at night, a vast improvement from last month, but still usually eats twice - once around 9:30/10 pm and then again around 2:30/3 am. We still swaddle her, but mostly because her brother is still swaddled. I occasionally put her down without her swaddle for naps in the crib. She is still super happy during the day and getting more chatty by the day. I think at times she is even trying to repeat, "da-da" when we say it to her.

Rosie at one, twothreefourfivesix, and seven months old.

Ben and Rosie:

All the kids at eight months!

Eleanor at eight months.
Jane at eight months.
Ben at eight months.

Ben is eight months old

Ben is eight months old today! He probably weighs between thirteen and fourteen pounds, and though he still fits in three month clothes, they are getting tight so we switched him to six month clothes a week or so ago. There are still no sign of teeth but Ben loves his food. He loves chewing on teething wafers and eating anything mushy. He also is only beginning to find his hands - when he is laying on the play mat he will reach for a toy, but doesn't seem to understand that he could pick up food, or a cup with them. If there is food in front of him, he just looks at it and gets sad until someone feeds him. He hasn't found his feet and doesn't sit up unassisted yet, but he is working hard on those skills. He continues to roll from front to back but now when he's on his back he will roll onto his side. He can't come over to his front yet, but he is getting closer. He will bear weight on his legs for a few seconds at a time now, something he hated doing before. Ben still has to be swaddled to sleep, otherwise he doesn't fall asleep. He is getting a little better in the church nursery if someone is able to dedicate attention to him and there aren't too many babies in there. Ben continues to be a great sleeper at night though, and now can make it from the time I feed him around 9:30/10 pm until about 6:30 in the morning most nights.

Ben at onetwothreefourfive, six, and seven months old.

Ben and Rosie:

All the kids at eight months!

Eleanor at eight months.
Jane at eight months.
Rosie at eight months.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Swinging

Occasionally when we go to the park I will put Ben and Rosie on the swings now. They are still very small and don't have great trunk control so they can't swing alone without propping a bunch up stuff behind them to keep them up, but since there are two of them, it has been working great! Rosie loves to swing. Ben is still on the fence about it but when the girls push him, he seems to enjoy interacting with them.

I can't believe how big they are getting...yet still so small!

Monday, July 2, 2018

June wrap-up

The month of June tends to be one of the busiest for Chris at work and one of the slowest for me. We had gotten into a school year groove with preschool and morning activities which gave us some structure with the babies. Now we suddenly went into having all our time to ourselves in June with no structure at all and it has been hard! I am trying to do my best to enjoy summer, but it is hot, and very hard to do things this year with so many kids so small. I am hoping this will be our hardest summer and that things will just get easier from here, but I'm not so sure.

The girls decided to papier mache a balloon the other day. They apparently saw this on Creative Galaxy (an Amazon show - don't let your kids watch this. I am finding half-finished "craft" projects all over our house now and it is a glue-sodden, glitter-strewn mess). They then used this craft as a pinata and I was finding stamps, bead necklaces, and loose beads all over the house.

Chris and Eleanor made a robot together out of things from the recycling bin. I'm not sure why, but she has been asking to make a robot all the time and says she wants to be an engineer when she gets bigger.

We've been going to the park in our neighborhood in the afternoons.

The babies have started interacting, which has been sweet to see. Mostly they ignore each other still, but sometimes they look at each other and smile or laugh and I love it!

I put Ben and Rosie in the church nursery for the last month and change. Rosie does fine and Ben has had an awful month. There is just so much going on in that room, so many babies, and this needy little man just does not get the attention he needs. We end up sitting together in the service or walking the halls.

I took Eleanor and Rosie to a friend's memorial service this month. Eleanor wanted to hold Rosie - it was so sweet!

One day the girls decided to make lunch by themselves because they were tired of waiting for me to get the babies down for their naps. When I finally got Ben down, I came into the kitchen and saw this. There was jelly all over the floor. They did eat their whole sandwiches though.

I've been using the trails behind our neighborhood with friends in the evenings after putting the kids to bed, but we've also taken the kids on them, too! This was on a 3 mile loop.

Rosie after a long day.

I had an appointment with Ben (thankfully at our house), and this is what Eleanor and Jane did in the meantime.

Grandma came down to visit.

Eleanor decided to color on the screened in porch one afternoon and had to clean it off as punishment. Someone taught her tic-tac-toe so she tried to play it on the wall.

Jessie and her boyfriend Henry came to visit on a trip through to visit his parents. It was the first time Jessie met the twins and the first time we had seen her since August before she went to France last year.

We made crayons out of a bunch of old broken pieces one afternoon.

There was a rainbow on our ceiling inside one day that the girls thought was pretty cool.

The girls have been taking swimming lessons with a friend! Eleanor is about where she was last year in terms of being able to jump in and swim whatever distance she can do underwater holding her breath, but hasn't figured out how to get her head up to breathe yet.

We found another turtle in our driveway after the rain one day.

Ben and Rosie attended their first movie - Storks, one of Regal's $1 summer movies. They were into it!

Rosie has continued to protest the bottle, but Ben held a bottle for the first time the other day.

I've been hiring one of my friend's daughters to help as a "mother's helper" during appointments one of the babies has at our house. She is great at distracting the girls so I can focus on the babies' needs!

We have been taking care of our neighbor's chickens while they're out of town. They have 6 and between them all they lay an average of 4 eggs a day. We are watching them for 8 days so we got a total of around 30 eggs! They also have a little garden we water and fish in a koi pond we feed.

Eleanor continues to come out in the evenings when Chris is gone to "do that thing where we chat on the front porch."

I (and Chris!) finally won HQ trivia! I am now $0.13 richer, and Chris is $0.12 richer.

We went to see a juggling show at our local library.

Eleanor spent a week at day camp doing fun things like learning about chess and pointalism, making catapults, playing sports, and learning songs.

We survived the entire month of June with the heat, and I'll be honest, it actually went a lot better than I predicted it would! It was just as hard as I thought it was going to be, but I guess my expectations were set appropriately low because it went decently! Onward to July.