TIME TOGETHER

The twins have been to several weddings in their life and a few weeks ago we got to go to another one. My cousin, Matt got married a few hours from our home, so we just took a little trip. The children and I slept on the way down and were well rested. The wedding was just beautiful and my twins loved the pasta bar! We all got to dance for a bit and then it was time to see the groom and bride off. I asked Julian who he was going to marry when he got older and he said me and that he wanted to have five children, since five is his favorite number. Natalie wants four children and does not want to get married. She has settled on having only three cats in-lieu of one hundred. I am sure they will not want the same things ten to twenty years from now.

I am so thankful that I get to spend time at home with them at this age. Since I waited so long for them, I am trying to enjoy every second with them. We spend our days going swimming, at the library, on play dates and just doing things around the house. The twins love to make sugar cookies with me. They help to roll out the dough, cut the dough into shapes and then ice them after they are cooked. I am sure their favorite part is eating them. This is meaningful to me because my Mom and I use to make cookies together as well. Julian says his favorite thing to do with me is to snuggle with me! He is just as sweet as can be. Natalie says hers is to cook with me. I think this is the best age ever! They can go to the potty and tell me all sorts of things. This is the best time of my life!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Happy Father’s Day!

I am so blessed to be married to a man who is so happy to be a father. This father’s day, I wanted the twins to really participate in the gift. So this year we made him a special picture book with many quotes from them, so here is what they think about their dad.

Thoughts from Natalie:
My Dad is 60 years old.
His hair is blond.
He weights 40lb.
His favorite food is pancakes and cereal. His favorite place to eat is Pizza Inn.
He is smart because he reaches stuff up high that I cannot get.
He likes to smile.
I love my dad because he lets me hang on him like a monkey on a branch of a tree.
I am proud of my dad because he swims underwater.
Dad always says, dang it and hush to the dogs.
My dad and I are the same because we both go underwater.
My dad is really good at fixing things.
It makes my dad happy when I clean things up.
The pickle monster makes my daddy laugh.
My favorite thing to do with my dad is to swim.
My dad is a special dad!
He is good at playing basketball.
My dad makes me laugh when he tickles me!
I know my dad loves me because he is not afraid of storms and he holds me.
If my dad was a superhero he would be Superman because he is a super dad to the rescue!
He is the best Dad because he loves us! (My favorite!)

Thoughts from Julian:
My Dad is 84 years old.
His hair is black.
He weights 32lb.
His favorite food is waffles.
He is smart because he loves me. (My personal favorite!)
He likes to work.
I love you dad, and I am going to pick a flower for you!
I am proud of my dad because he makes yummy food.
Dad always says, I love you and he calls me Justin Keith instead of Julian Keene.
Dad and I are the same because we both like to wrestle and we are different because God made us different.
I love my dad because he loves me.
My dad is really good at swimming.
When I giggle it makes my daddy laugh.
My Dad makes me laugh when the birdies show tricks, such as Raphael.
My favorite thing to do with my dad is to play baseball.
My dad is a great dad!
He is good at showing tricks.
Swimming with me makes my daddy happy.
I know my dad loves me because he wrestles.
If my dad was a superhero he would be Supergoof because he is a super dad !
He is the best Dad because he plays sword fights with me!

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS

Julian asked me the other day when he would start Kindergarten. Then he wanted to know when they would be going back to preschool. They are out for the summer, but miss it already. I hope they always love school and have great teachers as they did this year.

I was feeling pretty bad for him, but then we got in the mail a VBS that was going on this week. I am happy to say, that will keep them busy this week. We will also be going to Splash Country with friends and family, and will have swim lessons as well. I hope we can find enough to do this summer and the countdown to school will not be something Julian asks about too often. Who would have thought he would miss it already since we have only been out for about a week.

What a blessing he loves to learn and that they like the school they go to. Natalie did complain about a little boy who was mean to her in her class and she was not looking forward to see him. That too is unfortunately a part of the whole school learning experience. I wish I could protect them from everything, but since I can’t I will just rely on God.

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.

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!

WHAT IS LOVE?

Hollywood Studios was the park that was chosen for the second day of our time together. We were excited to see the Beauty and the Beast musical and the Little Mermaid musical show as well. Brian and Joel enjoyed some boy time together as they went and watched the Indiana Jones show and a few other rides that the rest of us were not keen on doing. Thanks to Cathy who stayed with the small kids, Joel, Patty, Brian and I got to ride the Tower of Terror.
Patty, Cathy and Patty’s boys went back to the hotel to enjoy the pool while my family and I went to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse musical. Julian got to have his picture taken with Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, as well as Handy Mandy! When the twins watch tv, they usually pick Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but sometimes Julian gets to see Handy Mandy & Jake. Those are special treats for him, so he was so excited to see them!
We got back to the hotel for dinner and after that Patty and her sister took the kids to a campfire party, where the hotel hosted marshmallow roasting as well as a nightly movie. The twins loved it, they had never roasted marshmallows before and Natalie apparently got it all in her hair, so they also gave them a bath. They did all this for us while Brian and I went back to Hollywood Studios alone!
Brian and I got to have a date! We rode Rockin Roller Coaster, listened to a live band play, watch the Ariel musical again (Brian did not get to the first time since he was off with Joel), ride a few other rides and see Fantasmic! I later told Patty I felt very guilty watching Fantasmic without the twins. Last year in February we all went to that show together and this year I had even brought them all light up toys to enjoy with the show. I guess that is all a part of motherhood. Wanting to enjoy yourself while you are without the kids, but try not to feel guilty at the same time that you are not with them.
Brian and I are so thankful for Patty and Cathy that they let us have that time together, but I know it was also a treat for them to have time alone with the twins. I cannot imagine how much Patty must miss the twins and how she may think of her set of boy/girl twins that she herself lost when she is with them. I am so thankful for all the sacrifices Patty and her family has made on my behalf even before she met me. I am in her debt always. The love her family has shown us is beyond what I could ever imagine. Julian told me one day, “God sent me here to love you Mommy!” Wow, what powerful words, if we could just all remember that is why God sent us here, to show His love to one another. Thank you Patty and Jim for showing me and the rest of the world God’s love by donating your embryos!