BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO BE

People often tell comment on how cute Grant and Maria are. I agree, they are very cute, but do you know why? It’s because they have to be. God designed babies, puppies, kittens, etc. to be cute to ensure their survival. After all, without some level of cuteness, would we really put up with the screaming, pooping, sleep interruptions, and general life upheaval that comes with children? Some might be mildly offended by my assessment, but I think that most people, if truly honest, would agree with me.

We love Grant and Maria and wouldn’t change a thing in our quest to have them. As they get older and strive for more independence, though, things do get a little more trying and we both have to dig deep to find the patience and endurance to get through some days. The good news is that in addition to their cute appearances, they also have some entertaining behaviors that can disarm us at just the right time.

• Maria knows when she’s on Jeremy’s “list” so she comes after him and says “HI!” (pronounced hi-ee) and scrunches her face. Jeremy tries to maintain his stern face, but I can see a softening around his eyes.

• Grant has a mischievous and shy grin where he lowers his chin, looks at you out of the top of his eyes and purses his lips showing off a dimple. It’s impossible not to smile at him when he does this.

• Maria talks to EVERYONE when we are out on our walks. She assaults them with her “HI!” until they respond. One night a man had his back to the street while he was getting something from his trunk. Maria said “HI!” and he looked straight to the sky with a perplexed look; it was like he was thinking, “God, is that you? I didn’t expect you to sound like a little girl.” Then he saw us and appeared relieved.

• Grant has been very cautious of the step off our porch after a nasty fall about a month ago. He holds onto the rail and won’t step off unless you give him a hand. I was at the end of the driveway with Maria and he wanted help. I encouraged him to step down and after a few minutes, he finally gently let his foot down. When it touched the ground and he realized he was okay, he let out the most satisfied smile. He was so proud!

• After hearing us say “awwww” when they would hug the pets or us, Maria now lets out her own “awwww” as she leans in for a hug.

• Grant gets extra ticklish when he’s sleepy. When we’re going to put him down for bedtime, he will look straight in your face, place his hands on your cheeks then lean back with an open mouthed smile just begging you to nuzzle and tickle his neck. He laughs hysterically as we drain the last little bit of energy from him.

• They have an old remote control with no batteries in their toy box. They also know they aren’t supposed to have the “good” TV remote. When left in their reach one of them grabs it and says “Daddy” as they bring the remote to you. I guess Jeremy has trained them that the remote is his. My dad will be proud.

• Ask Maria what a dog says and she growls … I’m assuming she’s imitating Charlie’s snoring.

• When it’s Maria’s turn to nurse before bed, she smacks her lips together, smiles and says “num num.” Mama’s milk is the perfect end to a busy day.

Yes, they are cute and do cute things to make us laugh. For that, I am grateful.

BRING IT ON!

Last weekend we attended a birthday party. While we were celebrating Nico’s first birthday party, Julian noticed that there was something missing from his cake. So we asked him what it was and he said, “Fire!” Well, yes every cake does need candles; it just was not lit yet. Julian also wanted to see Nico open his gift, a UT VOL hat no less. Got to start the kids off right!

Brian and I took the twins to their first UT football game this past Saturday. We were not sure how it would work with the twins, since parking is always crazy and a cold front came through. I bundled them up and prayed for a good day. Brian found a great parking spot that did not cost as much as we thought it might, but it was still a long walk. Along the way we ran into an old friend of Brian’s and his wife. It is always a delight to see friends!

Then the kids and I rested on the hill and had a snack while Dad searched for tickets, he was trying to get them for $5 each and all four seats together. Well, he did not do as well as he had hoped, but $10 each was not too bad. Brian said it was hard to find four together. Once he got them we headed into the stadium to watch the Power T. The first part of the game is always the most exciting for me! The game went well, so we decided to leave after the third quarter. Natalie had fallen asleep and we tried to keep her that way, but it just did not work. Brian took Natalie and I took Julian.

While Julian and I were walking I asked him how he liked the football game and he replied, “But, I did not get to play!” Poor thing, I may not have explained that we were going to watch football not play it! Brian told me that he had an interesting conversation with Natalie as well. Brian had the backpack on as well as carrying Natalie on his shoulders and he was getting tired so he asked her if he could put her down. Natalie told him, “I am small and you’re big so you will have to carry me. When you get smaller and I grow bigger I will carry you.” Then she went on to tell him that she had a hole in her heart and could not get down and walk. Brian told her that the hole had healed up and that it was just fine. She replied to him, “But I am not growing right now.” Brian said, she was just so cute and decided he could endure the weight and pain.

If you are going through infertility and not sure if you can endure another cycle, remember what the prize will be at the end. It is a blessing that is worth the wait and pain of infertility and in my case pregnancy as well.