1/19/17

Twins' 9 month update!

Ira and Roman are nine months old! Month eight may have been their most adorable month yet. They interact with each other now on purpose, making each other laugh as well as fighting over toys. They are affectionate, silly, smiley little babies!

Roman has become especially aware of wanting and getting things. He is almost like a toddler in this way! He gets super frustrated when he wants something and he can't get it but he is also extremely delighted when the coveted thing is in his hands; his coveted things are mainly: me, crackers, and the TV remote. Roman is an incredibly cuddly baby. He gives the tightest hugs and makes the most heart-melting baby noises as he buries his face into our necks. When he isn't frustrated, he is a soft hearted little baby with quiet babbles and an adorable squeaky little laugh.

Ira is generally quite a content baby although maybe he just hasn't gotten to whatever developmental place Roman is at right now! He loves to play and investigate. It is fun to watch his facial expressions when he is trying to figure out a toy. Intrigue, confusion, surprise, and delight all cross his face. He continues to be quick to laugh. One of his favorite things right now is when Roman rolls over on top of him. He giggles and giggles. I'm not sure if Roman is doing it on purpose but I sure love listening to them when it happens! Ira is very social and loves to search for your eyes and touch your face when you hold him.

Neither one is crawling yet but they certainly get around by rolling.  Gone are the days when I can leave them on the floor while I make dinner! They now are confined to their highchairs or jumpers when I can't be immediately available to help them get unstuck from the space between the coffee table and the couch or prevent them from pulling on the lamp cord!

When it comes to eating solids, Roman loves carbs! Crackers, oatmeal, bread, biscuits... he wants it all. He is becoming quite good at handling food too. I can give him a whole banana and he will devour it! He has one tooth and puts that thing to work!

Toothless Ira's favorite food is yogurt. Ira still will only accept purees. Even if we offer him one of those baby rice crackers he will open his mouth for it, clamp down, and do nothing else. We laugh to see him sitting happily with a cracker sticking out of his smile. Eventually he drops it and that is that. He does not yet pick up food and put it in his mouth, though he does love his purees!

Sleep-wise we have seen it all this month! Before Christmas they both got colds and did not sleep very well. Then over the Christmas holidays we travelled and they slept okay; about how "well" they had been sleeping at home, waking every 2-3 hours. When we arrived back home they got sick again with worse colds. Roman's turned into ear infections and Ira's turned into a cough. Oof. That was a wakeful couple weeks.

However once they recovered from their illnesses they started sleeping better! Roman was sleeping 5-6 hour stretches and once slept 12 hours ALL THE WAY THOUGH THE NIGHT! Unbelievable! The next day I exercised, baked all the things, cooked the best dinner, and READ A BOOK without falling asleep! Ira still got me up twice that night but twice for him is a HUGE improvement! And it was way more sleep that I have been used to getting.

Last night unfortunately Roman woke up every 2 hours and Ira did the same for the first half of the night but them slept 5 hours in a row. John says, "Every night is a new adventure with these babies!" and it is true! However in general I think we are improving. This morning Ira woke up while I was nursing Roman and instead of bursting into tears like he usually does, he picked up his lovey and talked to it until I was ready to nurse him. This is huge for Ira and evidence of his being able to self-comfort! I am starting to see a little light at the end of my sleep deprivation tunnel.

For me, I have been feeling good with my mothering lately. It's still hard of course but I feel like I am really getting the hang of this whole "I have three kids" deal. It's not because I have been doing it perfectly of course, but being so tired over the last nine months has given me a strange gift: the gift of not having energy to worry about everything being perfect. I've had to be very selective with what I chose to spend my time and (more so) energy on and in the course of doing so I've learned what my priorities are and been forced to come to terms with what it means for me to do enough and be enough.

When I was pregnant and had my baby shower, all the guests wrote a piece of parenting advice to me on a notecard. The hosts of the shower put all the notecards on a ring and told me to read through the cards when I needed some encouragement. So I slipped the stack into the side pocket of my nursing chair and indeed I did find encouragement flipping through those cards during some endless nights, especially back in those early days when I was nursing AND pumping AND bottle feeding AND sleeping even less than I am now. The toughest part of those early weeks was always listening to one baby cry when I was tending to the other. Or listening to both babies cry when I was trying to pump for them and could not pick them up. I felt like I could not meet their needs. I wished I could clone myself. I wished I could be more and do more.

During those difficult stretches there was one card in particular to which I kept going back. It read:

"Breathe. God chose you for this. For them. You have what you need." 

When I felt overwhelmed I run those words through my mind. Over the last nine months I have learned what it means to be "enough."

I look back at the newborn stage and I know that even when my babies were crying (or when I was crying!) because my hands were full with the other one or because I had to make the world's fastest peanut butter sandwich before I starved to death or when the screamed while I took three minutes to brush my teeth and I felt like I just could not be enough for them... I was doing my best and it was enough.

Today I still have times like this- almost every day actually- when I get Arie home from school and unload him and the babies from the van and somehow need to simultaneously get two screaming babies out of their carseats (because they both want out immediately upon walking in the door), change two diapers (because they poop 100% of the time in their carseats), get hungry Arie a snack, nurse two babies, give Arie attention after his school day, and prepare dinner... I again wish I could be more  and do more. But I'm only me and the truth is that I'm enough for my family. am the mother God gave these children and I am enough for them. 

When it comes to the tasks of my mothering I have learned that being enough often means saying, "enough." I work hard. I enjoy taking care of my home, preparing meals for my family, and mothering my three little boys. But I can't do it all perfectly.

I'm learning to say:

The house is clean enough.
A simple dinner is good enough.
Our calendar is full enough.
Taking a shower every third day gets me clean enough. (Just kidding. Or am I??)

The only standard I'm holding myself to is my best.

When I was a girl I would get super nervous before tests at school and my mom would always kiss me before the school bus came say, "Do you best and God will do the rest!"

Indeed.

Grace not perfection.

I am enough.

I'm doing my best and my best is enough.

Sometimes when I tuck my last sleeping boy in at night, I look at his peaceful face, studying the details of his eyelashes and falling in love all over again with the perfect flush of pink in his little cheeks and silently say to him:

I'm doing best. I know I don't always get it right. But I'm doing my best. 

And then I breathe.

And remember the words my friend wrote on that notecard:

God chose me for this. 

For them. 

I have what I need. 

I'm enough.  


xo

2 comments:

  1. Hi Jill, I am always looking forward to reading your blog. You teach me and inspire me every single day. Thank you and the boys are super cute.

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  2. You are so inspiring! Thank you for being so transparent and vulnerable about your motherhood experience. May God continue to strengthen you and guide you!

    My husband and I are expecting our miracle snowflake baby girl to arrive in April! We are so excited! I will be reading your earlier posts for advice and encouragement.

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