Quinn smiles. Like, all the time. There is something about that smile that makes your knees weak. It is just so sweet. Carly's smile used to explode upon her face. Quinn's gradually forms, like the sun rising (corny? you bet!).
Quinn growls. This scary little monster growl. And she has quite a bit of fun doing it. I'm guessing she knows we think its funny, and she just thinks its downright awesome.
Quinn curves. She rolls to her side and curls her head backwards. I think she wants to roll, to move, but still can't quite figure out how. And that big ol' head isn't helping matters.
Quinn drools. You will always find the front of her shirt wet, and who knows when a drool bomb will hit your leg or slime your hair.
Quinn laughs. Well, kind of. It is actually an amused grunt, and it is the cutest thing.
Quinn is balding. I was looking back at pictures of all that black hair when she was born and can hardly believe it. Her hair continues to thin out on top. Chris went to San Francisco for a few days before we went to Idaho, and he can back and said, "Woa! She's bald!" Poor girl. Carly went through the same thing at about a month old, so we'll look forward to Q's growing back in. I can't wait to see what color it will decide to be. Right now it can't decide between dark brown and red.
Quinn's name suits her perfectly. I loved the name Quinn for Carly. Like, LOVED LOVED it. Chris liked Carly more, and when she arrived, she was just so Carly. So we always referred to our next baby as Quinn, because I just had to have my Quinn. In the two and a half years between my babies' births, Quinn seemed to grow in popularity. And during my pregnancy I saw it popping up for girls all over the place. It is verging on trendy, and I get turned off on a name when it gets too popular. So I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to use it. And I worried about giving her a gender neutral name. I have a gender neutral name, and when I was a little girl I used to pretend my name was Michelle Rose because it was the girliest name in the world to me. But I like my name now, so it worked out. I also worried about giving her a gender neutral name with a twin brother. This has already created problems, as at their blessing the person conducting said it was the blessing of "Quinn and his twin brother John." She'll probably get that her whole life. But when she came out and I saw that tiny girl with all that black hair and those wide bright eyes, I just knew she was the Quinn I'd been waiting for. Other names we considered for her (kind of, Quinn was always the front-runner): Emerson, Anna, Mila (I really loved Mila!), Kendall. But looking at those names now it seems silly. She is just our Q.
John smiles too. But his smile explodes like Carly's did. Sometimes Chris will be holding him and we'll be talking and I'll glance down and he'll just be staring at me with this massive smile on his face. Yum.
John talks. Like, a lot. He has mastered cooing, and on Sunday morning we were awakened by chatter rather than cries. It was the most perfect anniversary present.
John drinks. We just switched him to his fourth formula. Fourth! But guess what? He is calmer, doesn't scream all the time, and doesn't arch and struggle while taking a bottle. He is a whole new man (so far), and we like the new John quite a bit. It does make me sad to think he's had a tummy ache for 3 months, but I'm hoping he is feeling better.
John screams. His new formula doesn't make him more patient, or less of a prince. While he does seem more comfortable, he still prefers and/or demands to be held a lot of the time.
John has hair. Our once bald little old man is growing in some dishwater blonde fuzz and it makes him look quite debonair. He is a seriously handsome little guy. I hope he is a nerd, or I'll be chasing girls away with a stick.
John's name fits him perfectly, too, as it so happens. Without fail, after I tell a stranger his name, I get asked "Is he named after someone?" Like, we couldn't just like the name John and decide to use it. Today I met a baby George and I was on the verge of asking the same question, but held it in and just said how cute he was instead. The answer? Kind of. Chris's late grandfather was John, and he has and continues to bless our lives through his kindness and generosity. And his wife, Baga, is by far one of our favorite people around. Chris has two cousins named John, though neither of them go by it (one goes by his middle name, the other by his initials). We are happy our son can carry on a great name. But, we also just really liked it. I liked it before meeting Chris, a throwback to my tween obsession with the Kennedys. I have wanted to name a boy Connor Jack, for as long as I can remember. But thanks to the last name I married into, that wasn't going to be happening. But our John is just a little nerdy mama's boy, and he couldn't be anything else. Other names we considered for him were Asher, Grady, Hudson, and Kellan. If we had had two boys, I wanted to name them Kellan Patrick and Hudson Jedd, each middle name being after a grandfather. I LOVE Dexter and Burke, but Chris wouldn't go for either. Baby boy came out and we couldn't decide what his name was. I was wheeled out of the operating room I delivered in, leaving behind Quinn and Baby B. When they brought him to me I stared and stared. John or Kellan? John or Kellan? John or Kellan? John. And his middle name, of course, is my maiden name. I wanted him to not only have a piece of me, but to be reminded of all the great men who bare the name Thomas who are examples to him.
Both babies are super wiggly and watch Carly when she runs around like "how does she do that!" When John is angry, he kicks the floor and it makes him scoot. The other day I was bathing Q and came out to switch babies and he was in a totally different place. It surprised me! Quinn is close to rolling from her back to her tummy. Neither baby has rolled over yet, though they are getting better at tummy time. I want to worry about this, since Carly rolled at 2 months, but I have to remember every baby is different, and they get a month leniency anyway.
Both babies are sleeping 8+ hours pretty much every night (knock on wood!), and I give full credit to swaddling. Love those velcro blankets. Since we switched John's formula he has slept 11 and 12 hours. Monday he didn't wake up until 10:30!
They have begun to notice each other. You always hear stories about twins who can't sleep unless they are together, etc. I've always felt like my twins are total strangers to each other. But lately they look at each other and register recognition. The other day I was making Quinn a bottle and she was screaming and John was looking at her with worry. I came with the bottle and he looked at me like "It is about time! She needs her bottle!" I am sure they will be good friends. Even if they can't stand each other.
In February of 2006 Chris and I went shopping for diamond rings. We found one that fit my general idea, and Chris put a down payment on it. A few hours later, we headed to lunch (with my parents, actually!) and I burst into tears in the car. I wouldn't tell Chris why. He panicked. He thought I didn't want to marry him. Finally, he got it out of me: "I don't want that ring!" I cried. I felt so guilty that he had put money down on it, and then I changed my mind. "I can get my money back, and we can find you the one you want," he relied. Whoops. My bad. I wiped my eyes and headed in to lunch.
A month later I found my perfect ring at a jewelry store in my hometown. The next day Chris proposed. I had my ring. And I had my man.
In Idaho last week, I headed back to the hometown jewelry store and got my ring "dipped", a service they offer that makes your rings look brand new and perfectly shiny. Nothing like dipped diamonds to make you feel like a giddy newlywed.
And this week I lost my rings. I couldn't find them anywhere and panic set in. I cried a few times, and looked and looked. Chris and I discussed the possibility of getting a solid band to replace it, as new diamonds would be out of the question. My heart hurt over them.
And then . . . I found them. Under a pile of clothes, under a pile of pacifiers that the babies won't take, in a glass bowl on our dresser. Such relief.
I've been wearing those rings for 6 years today. I've seen a lot of rings since then, and I've never seen one I love more. They are still my perfect rings.
You know, where the kids are cranky and sleeping weird and constantly asking for someone other than you, the babies want to be held all the time, there are piles of folded clothes that made it out of the suitcase but never in a drawer (but as long as the suitcases are empty and back in the basement you made progress, right?), and you go to the gym and realize those 20 bowls of ice cream you had in the last 10 days were probably not the best idea.
And it doesn't help that the you came home to two doctor's appointments in two days for two babies, heat-scorched flowers, a broken dishwasher, and a mailbox full of bills.
I want to rewind and start over.
But instead, I look at pictures.
Why does Idaho have to be so dang far away?
It was a nice vacation.
Luckily Chris has an easier summer schedule ahead, so there is a lot of fun to be had.
We are in Idaho and loving every minute of it. Our time is ticking away, and I'm getting that sad feeling, you know, when you don't know how long it will be until you see family again. Sometimes being grown up is for the birds.
But we sure have had a wonderful visit. Sunday was the most wonderful of all. In our church, we give babies a blessing, and then baptize them later, at the age of eight. On Sunday we blessed Quinn and John. My little brother Brady also spoke in the meeting, as he just got home from serving a two-year Church mission.
It was particularly special for me. Carly's blessing took place in Tennessee and was a small affair. Just Chris, his dad, my dad, and the bishop. We were so happy both grandpas were there. When we started thinking about coming to Idaho in June when my brother was going to be coming home, it occurred to me that all three of my brothers and my dad and paternal grandpa would be in the same place. We asked around, and decided to hold the blessing in Idaho, though it meant waiting a bit. We were thrilled when Chris's parents were willing to come, and even more so when they got tickets for our same flight, right across the isle (but we're on our own for the way back. I'm not sure we'll make it). My maternal grandparents made the trip too. This meant the blessing circle for the twins had all three of my brothers, both our dads, my two grandfathers, and, of course, my wonderful husband. It was a really beautiful thing to see the men I love most in the world surrounding my sweet babies.
Both babies did really great during their blessings. We were worried
about John, because his screaming abilities would be even more
impressive with the help of a microphone. When it was time for the
blessings to begin, John was asleep so we had him go first. He was given
a beautiful blessing from his daddy. My favorite part was when Chris blessed him with a desire to serve a mission, just like all of these men who loved him did. John has a lot of great men to look up to, his daddy most of all.
After Chris finished he handed John to my mom, and I gave him Quinn. She is the sweetest thing. In the blessing Chris spoke of what a special spirit she is, and blessed her to use her talents to build the Kingdom of God. She is a really special girl, and Heavenly Father gave her the sweetest demeanor. I can't wait to see what she becomes.
The experience was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. We came back to reality pretty quickly, though, as both babies messed their pants minutes after the blessings were done. Ha! At least it wasn't right before, right? My brother gave a great talk. Missions are funny things. We liked Brady quite a bit before, but missions seem to take boys and bring back men. We've had a nice week with him, playing baseball in the yard, going to the temple, and reintroducing him to the real world by taking him to the Avengers.
Quinn wore the same dress and little flower shoe-socks that Carly wore at her blessing nearly three years ago. I was worried, because Q is almost 2 months older than Carly was, but the dress fit perfectly and she looked just as beautiful as her big sister did, despite her sudden male pattern baldness. Ever the gentleman, John donned a white shirt and a little blue bow tie made by a friend in my ward. And when I saw a 4T white dress with a blue bow on clearance at Target, I couldn't resist. All by babies looked heavenly in white.
[I'll see you in white.]
[the original T kids.]
After the meeting we headed home to yummy food and lots of family and friends. It is still hard to live so far away, but I love that when I come home, it feels like I never left.
[Q and her great-grandma.]
[Carly meeting my sweet cousin Novalie. Novalie had her at hello.]
[honorary uncles and aunt: John with Parker, Maren, and Chris.]
[Q and grandpa.]
[Novalie was a good sport and read stories to Carly for a long time.]
[papak, grandma, mimi, grandpa. and we did want Carly there, we just couldn't get her out of the ladybug tent.]
[Uncle Brady and Quinny.]
[Choco and Maren catching a glimpse of their future.]
[my grandpa and grandma T.]
[with my long-time friend Renee and our boys. our babies were due the same day, and ended up being a month and a half apart.]
[all the T grandkids.]
It was a really special day. My heart was full that Sunday night, as Chris and I sat in front of the computer to watch our new obsession, Grey's Anatomy, on Netflix. I sat with a bowl of ice cream thinking about just how lucky I am, how lucky our kids are, to be surrounded by so much love and goodness.