I discovered this picture yesterday, and it stopped me in my tracks. I sent it to your daddy immediately with the caption, "What happened to these babies!?"
See you are growing everyday. A little bigger, a little smarter, a little sassier, yet a little sweeter. You are changing constantly, and I don't realize it. So I am pressing pause on today. I know I often don't find the time to write in this blog like I once did, but I want to remember everything about these precious days.
So what do these days look like? Your daddy and I are up often during the night. Someone needs to eat, someone had a bad dream, someone fell asleep in the other's bed, someone needs a diaper change or to go to the bathroom. We are tired...very tired. I often find myself wiping make-up away under my eye only to realize that it is not mascara, but these new dark circles that don't go away. Sometimes I look at my bed and want to cry because I am so tired, yet very needed.
You are always learning and saying something hilarious, or profound, or asking an inquisitive question. It makes me wonder where it came from and reminds me to watch my own tongue and actions.
You are making friends and this excites me. Whether it is Mae Stanley who gives a sweet smile to a stranger, Gaines who is shy at first (which makes me giggle because you are NOT shy at all at home), or Woody who loves to tell everyone, "Hello! How are you today? (you are your father's child.)" Your hearts have changed mine. You make me want to be a better person. You make me see people and interact with them.
We are busy. We go, go, go. There is school, church, choir, and soon-to-be baseball. There are naps in cars and nursing in parking lots. I can feed a baby in my arm while tossing chicken nuggets a toddler. I am amazing at changing a toddlers diaper while standing in the backseat. And oh, that backseat. Nothing makes me happier than to look behind me and see my babies in a row. And when you brothers sing and sister coos along with you I know God has given me a slice of Heaven. I tend to drive a little slower or let a car cut me off. So thank you for reminding me to be a little kinder.
Sometimes we stop the go, go, go. Sometimes we stay in our pajamas. We eat PB&Js for breakfast and spend hours playing play doh, or trains, or school. We race cars and build with Legos. We spell words and sing silly songs and dance to loud music. There is beauty in doing nothing because that is when the good something happens.
Sometimes we all get on the ground and stare at the smallest Harvard. Mae Stanley, you adore your brothers. Boys, you adore your sister and even though you sometimes fight, you adore each other. You sleep in the same room, and most nights, in the same twin bed. You two are so different, yet you love each other so much. Maybe you should show the rest of the world that you don't always have to agree with everything about someone to find them spectacular.
Stay-at-home moms often feel unappreciated. I'll admit, when I first became one I was almost disappointed I didn't have an annual review. I wanted someone to tell me I was doing a good job. I wanted someone to be impressed that I got a tough stain out an outfit, that I saved money at the grocery store, that I got you to eat a vegetable. Maybe no one notices that I will take you to the doctor with every sniffle, that I research sleep patterns and the top preschools. I don't earn a blue ribbon for taking you to the park when I am tired or letting you eat the last piece of cake. But now, I don't mind. You three are my greatest accomplishment. I am so proud of you, so I must be doing something right. Right? Right.
Not everyday is sunshine and rainbows. I feel guilty because we eat too much fast food and watch too much TV some days. The house is often a mess and laundry piles up. I send in store-bought cookies for your parties, and sometimes, I completely forget to send anything at all. I forget to remind you of the importance of doing for others. I wish I would lose the baby weight, and then feel guilty for being vain and not appreciating the body that brought you into this world. I run our of patience, and I yell and come down on you way too hard. I cry. I get mad at myself. Sometimes, I can't even muster out a prayer. I just say, "Jesus." I have to ask for God's forgiveness a lot. I have to ask for your daddy's forgiveness, and often your forgiveness. But I want you to remember this too. Know my faults and shortcomings. In these moments, you will witness the beautiful grace that Christ gives to us.
But despite it all, we are happy. We laugh a lot. Our days are special. I am so lucky to have you. And I hope that one, day, when you look through this blog and all the pictures of you when you were younger, you can remember. I love you forever.
And now, basically a January/ first of February photo dump...
A "snow storm" was coming so we prepared
...but there wasn't much snow. We still had fun.
Brooks had to fly out of town, and the boys became very concerned that there wasn't a "daddy" at home. They insisted that they would be Daddy and help me. They did Daddy-sort of things like help me with the baby, and most importantly, wear ugly caps.
The next morning, Gaines loaned his hat to Mae Stanley
But Woody wore one proudly.
Woody was pretending to be Gaines's baby
Mae Stanley's preferred late afternoon nap
They sleep like puppies.
And Gaines drools a lot
Don't be fooled.
The crib sleeping was short-lived.
Gaines thought that since she was in the crib, he could move in to the Rock'n'Play
Mae Stanley got very sick
But thankfully, she is feeling better!
Car naps for the win!
Still working on the bottle, but not loving it
Whew! All done!