The babies: (I can still call them that!)
They are just growing up so quickly. They just turned 20 months old.They are talking more every day. Erin calls Elise "yeesh," and they still call Sophie and Sally "Fee Fee" and "Sa Sa." Elise talks, but not quite as vocal as Erin about things. Their personalities totally remind me of Sophie (for Elise) and Sally (for Erin). Erin is such a playful, joking, independent, laughing, loud, snuggly, emotional, dramatic (we've definitely started the tantrum stage), social little girl. Elise is more social than Sophie ever was, but doesn't hog the spotlight like Erin does. I would say she is a lot like Sophie, but not as extreme in her tendencies as Sophie is. She is more quiet, much more timid about trying new things than Erin (example: She is afraid to swing on our swingset or go down the slide, while Erin loved it the first time she got the chance to try). She is very sweet and actually very social too. She isn't afraid to jump in the mix around new kids and actually interacts with others well instead of just playing independently. They both love blocks, books, playing outside, baths, animals. They love to put clothes down the laundry shoot. Tonight, they had an assembly line going. Elise would bring an item halfway to the bathroom, and Erin would run it the rest of the way and then meet Erin back in the same spot to get the next thing. They LOVE when either Ryan or I get home from work or the gym or anywhere. I love hearing MA-MA! They are about 50th percentile on weight and height still. They eat most foods. Their favorite by far are "moo-dees" or smoothies. They just suck those things down. They just started eating chicken. So far that and salmon are really the only meats they will eat. They get plenty of protein though. They get excited and start shouting, "beans! beans!" when I tell them we are having refried beans. It is especially sweet to watch them with each other. They just are always with each other, so they get concerned when the other one is not around for some reason. They rarely cry at bedtime because if they aren't tired, they will entertain each other for up to several hours before falling asleep. They sometimes seem aware of each other's needs and will tell me if I need to help the other one for some reason. They LOVE to give hugs still, and will sit calmly snuggled up with me for several minutes. I just love it.
Sophie and Sally:
Sally is a spitfire. Full of sass and personality, as she has been since she was about 2 weeks old. She is infatuated with all things pink, princess, and sparkly. She loves to play with dolls or dress up. Loves being outside. She does everything with a little extra oompf. Good and bad. Today, I was telling her what a big girl she was getting to be. She said, "Yeah, because I'm eating. I'm eating so I get bigger." (This was during lunch), which I guess is actually the scientific reason she is getting bigger. Then she said, "Do you want to see how strong I am?" as she proceeded to flex her muscles. Then she commented, "almost as strong as Jesus," in a very matter of fact tone. She just cracks me up all day. One minute I am pulling my hair out because of her defiant teenager-esque self, and then the next I am laughing so hard I am in tears.
Ryan recently posted this story on facebook, and it pretty much sums up S and S right now:
"When I tucked Sophie and Sally into their beds just now, Soph wanted me to pray that the storm wouldn't get us. I told her that God is always listening to us and that she could ask Him to do that. I asked if she wanted to pray that, and she said yes, but that she would wait until I left. Sally then asked what she could pray about, so I told her she could pray for other people who were hungry or thirsty or who didn't have a bed to sleep in. She said ok. I told them goodnight, and then, of course, I waited just outside their door to see what they would do. Sophie prayed first, saying, "God, please don't let the storm get us tonight when we sleep. Amen." Sally then proceeded with, "Jesus, can you please give us a pretty pink and purple polka dot dress with stripes on the sleeves and a jewel in the middle, and a golden tiara for our head, and fancy glass slippers, and orange and light blue gloves with flowers on them? Amen." The whole time Sally was praying, I was just trying to keep from laughing so that I wouldn't disturb her, and then as soon as Sally finished, I heard Soph whisper, "I don't want that." Just had to share this"
Me and Ryan:
We are doing well. Ryan will be done with school on Friday! Woohoo! I am really glad for him to have a career that gives him so much time with us. His year was a tough one (at a new school with a difficult student population at times), and I am really proud of him for his successes despite difficult circumstances. He is really feeling like next year will be much easier.
I have been into a fitness kick lately (gotta take advantage while I am feeling motivated!), which has been great. I started easing back into working out more regularly when the twins were around 1. Then, several months ago, I started being a part of these group fitness challenges that a lady in my MOPS group runs. They are really cool because they are totally online (convenient), but a great way to give me an extra reason to get a workout in and eat well. Right now I am doing a 6 week long one. We each set a goal for the 6 weeks, and then Jen gives us weekly mini goals to meet. We earn points for meeting goals and doing other wellness related things throughout the week. I never thought I was very competitive, but the competition has really motivated me! The winner of this challenge gets $150, and 2nd and 3rd place also get cash prizes. Right now I am tied for 1st, so you better believe I am trying my hardest to win! It has also been neat to get an outsider's perspective on things. You know, I used to think I was eating well, but when I looked at it closely, there was a lot of room for improvement, and without this challenge, I probably wouldn't have taken a close look. I realize that, when I prep healthy meals for my family, I feel like I am also eating well, but sometimes I don't eat necessarily what I make for them (especially like kids' lunches and breakfast). I would cut up a bunch of apples of whatever for them, but then just grab something fast and less healthy for myself ( I mean, really, what is not fast about an apple, but I would just not be thinking about it that much). So, I have really tried to focus on my OWN nutrition as well as the kids', which is what I should be doing anyway! So easy to put yourself on the sidelines as a mother, but that isn't good for me and it isn't a good example for my kids either. On the subject of wellness, I read an article the other day about spiritual wellness and was convicted that I am not really as mindful of my spiritual wellness as I am of my physical wellness. It seems like I don't have time, but I know that I do. I can find a few minutes a day to read and pray and just think. Frankly, I just don't want to sometimes, and I know I just need to be disciplined about it anyway. I am so anti-legalistic, that I sometimes confuse that part of myself with just plain being lazy about it.
Ryan and I are feeling the stresses of balancing life with 4 kids and maintaining a healthy marriage. Not in some kind of catastrophic way, just the day to day things that we all face at this stage of life. We are learning that we really need to be intentional. We need to be intentional in our time with each other and our time with the kids. We decided not to have the tv on unless it was an agreed upon family (or couple) activity. We also decided to only check social media/email once a day (I have failed at that one lately). And we also realized we need to be a little more intentional about our time together in the evenings. While it is nice to veg out to Netflix together, this was becoming a nightly thing. We didn't really do anything else together. We want to start reading books together, just talking, or play a game. Or, God forbid, clean/organize/work on projects together. Ha! If anyone has any good parenting/marriage books they recommend we could read together, let me know!
That pretty much sums up life at our house lately!