MILESTONES AND CURRENT EVENTS

• Grant and Maria are talking up a storm; only about 50% is comprehendible. One major victory with speech was teaching the word “help”. They now say help (sounds more like “hope” from Grant) when they need help. This is a much better alternative to screaming.
• R’s and L’s are still the biggest challenges. Maria calls our dog “Chawie” and has now started saying “NO Chawie” when he gets too close to her food.
• They both like to help getting themselves dressed, and by help I mean they like to do it themselves. If you try to intervene before they ask for help, you get “No mine!” or “No me!” from them.
• They both like to climb in their booster seats and car seats. Again if you try to help we get “No mine!” or “No me!” I resisted this at first, but this skill ended up coming in very handy over the last week.
• On Friday, April 13, we put our house on the market. 8 days later we had a contract on it. I’m thankful for this because keeping a house “show ready” with two two-year olds is nearly impossible. The downside to having it sell so quick was that we had to kick it into high gear when it came to finding a new home. Long story short – this has not been easy. We have had contracts on two houses and threatened to walk from #2. I’m hoping our issues are resolved and we move forward. Living in limbo is no fun.
• I attribute living in limbo and my subsequent indulgence in bad food and caffeine to appendectomy I had last Sunday night. I have a high pain tolerance and after being doubled over for hours and knowing that the immediate care center doc was wrong – I did not have a virus – Jeremy took me to the ER instead of out to dinner as planned. 8 hours later I was home, minus an appendix. Apparently, I had an ovarian cyst explode and hemorrhage, which in turn irritated the bottom of my appendix. I would still argue that my appendix would have been fine, but I also can’t deny how much better I felt after surgery. When I fall off the wagon with food and caffeine, my ovary gets angry. Nothing like surgery to kick my butt back into gear!
• I told my surgery nurse about embryo adoption and that Grant and Maria were frozen for 7 years. I think she thinks it was the medication talking.
• I have a 15 pound lifting restriction for two weeks. Did I mention I have two two-year olds?
• After 8 days, I started lifting them up again. I feel good and am careful not to overdo it.
• Maria weaned. My belly bandages freaked her out and the milk must have tasted bad after all the meds. She doesn’t want to nurse anymore. I had to borrow my sister-in-law’s pump to get relief the 2nd day. That hurt worse than my incision. It was an abrupt end to our nursing relationship, but she seems fine. She still wants to cuddle during her normal nursing times, which is fine by me. 25 months was a good run.
• They both pull up my shirt and point to my incisions and say “uh-oh”.
• Grant peed on the potty yesterday. I’m not sure he really cared, but we still made a big deal of it. He’s more interested in sitting on the potty sans diaper than Maria is. I think we just had good timing yesterday. However, it does give me hope of a diaperless future.
• I hope life calms down soon.

CHERISH THE SMALL STUFF

Julian wanted me to go with him to the potty, since Natalie was in one bathroom; he wanted me to walk with him to the other, before they got into the bath. I had clean clothes in my hands and was putting them away, so I told him he needed to go by himself. Soon after that an unexpected spray came from Julian. It took everything I had not to laugh, but when you are being sprayed with pee that was shooting out like water from a fire truck hose, it is a bit of a shock. Pee got all over the clean clothes I was holding as well as all of Brian’s clean dress slacks, the walls and who knows what else. That is just another day in the Bailey family; you never know what the day will bring. Why they always want me to go with them to the potty, I am not sure. But even Natalie wants me to just sit by her and tell her a story. At times I get aggravated that they will not do this alone, but I know one day I will miss this.

Other Things I will Miss as they get older:
Snuggling in bed with them in the Mornings
Holding Hands, even when they are strolling
Nightly stories
Buzzy Bee tickles
Hearing Natalie telling Brian he is the best Daddy in the world!
“Mommy, Natalie touched me!”
Natalie sucking on her G.G
Julian rubbing his Moon
Julian telling me I am his best friend, along with Natalie and Chad!

I am sure the list could go on and on. These are just a few things that I am trying to treasure while they are still young.

MY MOTHER’S DAY PRAYER

The first thing I did on Mother’s Day, before I even got out of bed, was to say a prayer on behalf of all Mothers. I prayed for Mother’s who had lost children, such as my mother-in-law did this year, those whose Mother has passed away, such as my friend Karen, those who long to be Mothers and those who are Mothers after such a battle as myself. As I was praying, Natalie came running to my bed to cuddle with me. I could not ask for a better Mother’s Day gift.

After the prayer we all got up and got ready for church. My pastor preached about an “An Unconventional Mother,” which was Hannah. He went on to say that bad things do not always happen to us because we do not know God already, but for us to get serious with God, like Hannah did. He talked about what a disgrace it was to be infertile in those times. How it came a point that Hannah would rather die than continue to be infertile and go through such disgrace. But how her husband loved her so much he always gave her a double blessing.

Going through infertility can feel very isolating, because we do not want people to think less of us. We do not want people to feel sorry for us, pity us or heaven forbid rub it in our face. I am sure anyone going through infertility can relate to some or all of those situations. It is hard to hear those stories in the Bible about women being blessed after infertility, only to see that you are still not blessed. But for me, it was always a source of hope.

Mother’s Day was always a very hard day for me while I was going through infertility. Now it is a hard day in a different way. As I went and put flowers on my own Mother’s grave that day, I was reminded to be thankful for wherever I am in life. I am now a Mother after so many years of longing only to be left with a different kind of sadness. Life for me has been about loss, longings, and blessings then the cycle starts again. I am so thankful for the Mother I had that taught me to love with my whole heart, to give till it hurts and to trust God no matter what your circumstances. Most of all, my Mother taught me to keep fighting no matter what my odds. Thanks Mom, if it was not for your support my infertility journey would have had a different outcome.

A TEXT CONVERSATION

This was the text conversation between Jeremy and me this morning.

Jeremy: “Good morning. How’d you sleep?”
Me: “Slept fine; you?”
Jeremy: “I slept good. Heard Maria set up a “No” chorus at 7:30, heard the nursery door shut, got up and found G standing in the hallway with his bike helmet. At least he had his clothes on this time.”
Me: “We’re so screwed.”
Jeremy: “I’m not sure what his plan was..making a break for freedom I guess. But, yes.”
Me: “What did you do with him?”
Jeremy: “Hang him from the fan and turned it on high.”
Me: “I’m sure that was good for the fan.”

Life with kids = always something new…even if you aren’t ready.

ANIMAL KINGDOM AND MAGIC KINGDOM

On the third day of our trip we went to Animal Kingdom. Our family had never been to Animal Kingdom before. We enjoyed the Lion King show and several of the rides. I am glad we went to that park, but can see why we skipped it on our last trip to Disney. That night we got back early and Brian watched the kids while the women went back to Epcot to shop. The fireworks are just beautiful and Natalie told me she could see them from our hotel on the beach.
The next day we went to Magic Kingdom where we got to ride the Haunted Mansion. Natalie did not like that ride and she let us know she did not want to ride it again! Last year it scared her so bad she pooped in her pants and Patty and I were crammed in a small stall trying to clean and change her. I am happy to report this year she did not let out any bodily functions. The kids got to ride lots of rides that they wanted to ride, such as It’s a Small World, Snow White, the Carrousel, the Tea Cups and many others.
I was just hanging pictures up from our first Disney trip together and cannot get over how much the twins have grown. Their faces are no longer “baby faces.” It is hard to believe it was just a year ago. When I took them to the doctor for their four year check-up, Julian only weighed 1 lb more than Natalie and was only ¾ inches taller than her. They are both 25-50% in height and weight. I went ahead and got their Kindergarten shots and Julian did not cry at all! I was very shocked since another family told me her boys cried and cried that it was the hardest doctor appointment so far. That was not the case for Julian, but Natalie did cry, she told me later that the three shots hurt really badly. I took that opportunity to tell her about how I had two shots a day for many weeks while I was trying to get pregnant with her and while I was pregnant. She asked me why and I told her because she was wanted so badly and loved so much before I ever saw her! I thank God every day that He gave me the strength to endure and persevere because the rewards were worth it!

THE THINGS WE SAY

Parenting two two-year olds is a lesson in endurance, patience, and wonder. There are days we find ourselves repeating the same phrase repeatedly and days where we say things we never would have dreamed before having kids. They go something like this:
Don’t lick the tire.
Don’t eat dirt.
Don’t eat rocks.
Don’t drink gutter water.
Don’t bite the ball.
Don’t lick the door.
Don’t use your books as leverage to climb out of your crib.
Don’t climb on the back of the stroller.
Don’t hit.
Don’t bite.
Don’t throw.
Don’t eat play-doh.
Don’t play in the dog water.
Don’t stand on the table.
Keep the water in the tub.
Be gentle with the dog/cat.
Do you want to go to time out?
Are you poopy?
Are you tired?
Are you hungry?
Obey.
Use your indoor voice.
Use your words.
Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else?