Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Things I never said as a kid: 

"Can I do a puzzle on your phone?"

"Can I see the pictures on your phone?"

"Can I play a game on your phone?"

"Can I sing a song on your phone?"

"Can I watch a show on your phone?"

I can only imagine what her world will be like when she has a three-year-old.

At least mine gets a few minutes of peace now and then.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

five months young.

Five months old.
These little crazies are growing like weeds.
We like them.

Quinn is a little bit delicious. She is a mover that cannot be controlled. She rolls from her back to her tummy the second I put her down. During her nap today we found her sleeping on her tummy, still swaddled! Turning without arms takes incredible core strength. She is starting to sit up pretty well (supported of course). She has a grunt-like giggle. The new hair growing after her balding streak is blond. She seems to really like green beans, though she isn't a particularly good eater since she tries to suck on the spoon like a bottle. She has the most piercing big blue eyes. She likes to bounce, and can stand in the exersaucer for quite a while. She gets a whole lot of love from her big sis, who likes to read her stories, show her toys, share her friends, and insists she sits next to her in the car. Quinn's little unique personality is showing more and more. She seems a little quirky, like she beats to her own drum. For some reason she just strikes me as a flower child. She is as fabulous as they come.


John is a stinking little flirt. He smiles with his whole body. When on his back, he lifts his legs up and tips right to left, right to left. And he can do some impressive scooting. But he has yet to roll over. He kicks kicks kicks all the time. He looks like he is cycling. He has yet to grow into his ears, and he grabs onto them when he is tired. He is teething, and his first tooth broke through today. The bottom left. John eats like a boy. Pretty sure he'll eat us out of house and home and eat all the strawberries before Carly and Quinn ever get any. He got the hang of "solid" food in no time. He seems to like prunes quite a bit and our carpet met the consequences. He still cries a whole lot, but he has good days. He will spend a few minutes in the exersaucer, enough for mom to eat or get a little make-up on. His hair is growing in like crazy, and looking a lovely shade of dark brownish red. It is fuzzy. It is yummy. He is strong and dense and thick. Not chubby, just dense. We were joking the other night that he just seems like a dumb jock, good-looking and content and kind of easily amused. If it weren't for the incessant high-pitched banshee screaming, John would be a perfect little prince charming. He is as hilarious as they come.

Two weeks ago, John and Quinn both started waking up for a feeding around 3 or 4 am. I don't know if it is teeth or growth spurt or just babies being babies, but I am not accustomed to this. I am returning to dark-circles-under-the-eyes zombie mom. I though we'd gotten past this.

Both babies love their daddy. He comes home and they don't take their eyes off him.

I talk a whole lot about how hard this twinning thing is. And it sure is. But there is a lot of fun too. A lot of good. A lot of sweet. A lot of silly. A lot of joy. And as each month passes, I'm able to enjoy it just a little bit more.

Happy 5 months, Q and J.
We're glad you joined us.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thinking out loud.

I used to blog. I mean, way back when I would write about all sorts of things and it would sound good. I used to have a functioning brain that wrote papers and took notes and asked questions. Yesterday Chris asked me to help with something for school, and I said something really dumb and I was going to tell you about it, but you know what? I can't even remember what it was or what I said. This is what has become of me. The combination of long pregnancies, sleep deprivation, and all that dang screaming . . . . it feels like I can hardly form a coherent thought. You know, I used to want to get a Masters degree. But after watching Chris go through that, it doesn't look like that much fun. Maybe I'll take my Bachelor's in Sociology from BYU and go back to vocational school and become a CNA. I would very much like to be that person who puts the baby on the scale and tells the excited mom how much he weighs. The point is, my brain is mush.

The Olympics start tomorrow (or should I say today?). Time is crazy. During the Olympics four years ago, we had just moved to Tennessee. I didn't have a job yet, and our truck was a few days behind us, and I remember sitting on a sleeping bag watching in an empty apartment while Chris went to orientation. We were thinking of trying to have a baby. Now that thought, that possibility, makes up songs about her beloved dishtowel and uses an old piece of foam tubing as a telescope. She is this incredible little thing that didn't even exist 4 years ago. Time is crazy.

I ran 4 miles tonight (or should I say last night?). That is the furthest I've run in a long long time. I know that is chump change for the running masses, but it means a lot to me. My babies are 5 months old, and I'm running 4 miles. 

Prayers are getting answered in the C house. We prayed hard about coming to Michigan, and felt like it was truly where the Lord wanted us to be. And now here we are two years later and things are coming together for Chris and his research in a really amazing way. It is a long story that I'll tell you if you're dying to hear, but prayers are being answered. Chris does a whole lot, and he does it with a whole lot going on at home. He comes home from these long days and watches three cranky kids while I skip off to the gym. He is incredible and selfless, and he is currently passed out on the floor under my cute striped Ikea blanket, with two more papers left to grade. I love him.

We are in this perpetual state of chaos, and I'm not sure when the storm is going to end. I don't know what it is like to have 2 kids, but I daydream about it sometimes. As bizarre as is sounds, I let my mind wander off to a quieter place where there is only one bottle to make and one diaper to change. I am completely inadequate as a mother to these 3 perfect little people. There isn't enough of me, and I feel that they are all getting short-changed simultaneously. I have no idea why this was a good idea right now. But I love these kids. I can't say how much I love these kids, though, if you're a mother you know. What is with these kids of ours? They swoop in and ruin everything. You can't keep your house clean or sleep a healthy amount or even bathe regularly, but one happy smile or silly laugh and you just want to hold them forever and beg them not to age one more day. Why does so much difficulty bring so much joy?

It is so late. Every night I have so much to do but I'm so tired I just want to collapse on the floor and watch Grey's Anatomy or Friday Night Lights. I thought ditching cable and getting Netflix would decrease the amount of TV we watch as well as save money. Turns out it means unlimited entertainment at your fingertips. Totally sucked in. And sometimes I just keep watching because I can't get up, but if I go to bed then I will have to wake up and start all over again. Which is funny, because every morning I wake up and I'm so so happy to see those little faces, because I missed them while they were asleep. 

I went to the temple a little bit ago with my Primary Presidency. Its amazing how things are clearer in the temple, how life seems simpler, like it actually makes sense. I wish I could carry that with me always, but once you get back into the real world and all the screaming and all the drool, its hard to focus. But this time around I got one giant screaming message: "You are caring too much about things that don't matter. Spend your time and attention on what is important". The Lord knows me incredibly well.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

party of five.

1. Carly

Carly is going through a phase. It involves a lot of screaming and not that much patience. She is as fun and as good hearted as they come, just a bit more moody. Two going on 16. She sure loves Quinn, and shares her stuffed animals with her, and even tucks towel around her in the carseat (this is a BIG deal . . . no one gets towel). She insists Quinn sits next to her in the car. This may have to do with the fact that Quinn doesn't scream like John, but I think Car has a soft spot for her sister. Carly's hair is all the sudden really really long. When it is wet it reaches her waist. Our very own Rapunzel. She has even been letting me "do" it ("just one pony!"), though I think that has a direct relationship to the heat.

We had a girl party the other day while Taco John slept away. We painted our nails. Carly loves to paint her own, and I try to mop up the mess as she goes. Q got her first pink toes, too. It was about time.

I managed to take all three kids to the local splash pad the other day. Carly was not a fan. Like her mother, she doesn't like getting splashed in the face. She preferred to eat her sandwich and play with the umbrella. And the babies pretty much fussed and ate. It was nice to get out, and we got to see friends, but I walked away feeling a bit twin-defeated. There was a family there with twins who looked just shy of 2 years old. I chatted with them and they gave me hope. And those 2 year old twins looked like a whole bunch of fun. Hopefully the splash pad will work better for us next summer.

2. Quinn

Quinn rolled over for the first time on July 10. It was an extended event, as she gradually moved from her back, to her side, and they tried to keep going and took a while to get her elbow out of the way. She smiles and is outrageously edible. She is starting to take real, swaddled-in-her-crib naps every afternoon, after a catnap in the morning. The hair she lost on the top of her head is growing back in very light, kind of a strawberry blond. She's our skunk baby. She is the sweetest, and it takes all my will power not to wrap her up in a tortilla and eat her with salsa.

 3. John

John is so annoying. I mean, really annoying. He will scream and scream, and you pick him up and he quiets right down and smiles huge and starts in on a conversation. He is insane. Or maybe he's just driving me insane. Because you kind of want to drop him off on a stranger's doorstep, but he is just so dang cute. And when you pick him up, he is just so dang sweet that all you can do is smile and melt and nibble on his cheeks and ears and neck. And you go insane. I remind him daily that if he wanted to be held all the time he should have come first . . . and alone. He is getting better at tummy time. His hair is growing is a lot, and depending on the angle and light, it could be red, blond, or brown. And it is fuzzy. Good grief he is handsome. Serenity now.

The babies had their 4 month appointment this week, John weighing in at 14 lbs 14 oz, and Quinn at 14 lbs on the dot. They are healthy and beautiful, and its hard but wonderful.

4. Erin

I recently went on a "diet", which pretty much involves eating smaller portions and better balanced meals. So its not really a diet, as much as it is just eating how you are supposed to and not like you're pregnant with twins. I've reached that point where the natural post-baby losing is gone, and now I'm going to have to work for it. I've been going to the gym more and hoping to run a 5k this fall. That's not much, but for me it is. It wasn't that long ago that I spent most of my days bent over a toilet of with a heating pad on my hips. I'm feeling grateful for a healthy body.

I've been doing a few things to our home. Not big things, but just little ones here and there. We have almost moved 3 times in the last few months, as I am desperate for another bedroom. But it falls through every time, and then we feel at peace about staying. So we'll stay. And I'll spice the place up a bit. I'll post pictures at some point. Maybe. My craft skills are mediocre at best.

I did make my first clothing alteration. I ordered matching dresses for Carly and Quinn for aunt Jenny's wedding, and Carly's was big and baggy on her. I had been looking everywhere for matching dresses that would work (it is so hard to find matching clothes in 3 months and 4T! I had them too far apart, I guess . . .), so I decided to try to bring in the chest at the sides. And what do you know? It worked.

Other than that I spend my days in basketball shorts and no make up, covered in drool and spit up, reading books, changing diapers, and being a guest at tea parties. It is a good life.

5. Chris.

Chris is gone for a million hours on Mondays and Wednesdays and comes home to an insane wife. But the other days are good, and I love having this man around more. I can't wait for fall weather, but I am dreading fall schedule. Chris recently decided to pick up cycling. He got a bike at the MSU surplus sale (where the sell bikes that people don't claim), and will be riding it to and from campus. That way he is working out while commuting. I'm a little nervous, but he has a helmet and gloves and neon yellow shirts. I think I might get him some flashing reflectors or something. But I'm happy he is excited about it. And he looks hot in his cycling outfit (can I call it an outfit? probably not). 

We went on a family date night on Friday night. We went up to the outdoor mall and picked up Steak n' Shake on the way home (that's as close as we get to going out to dinner). I sure love these little people, and the man I raise them with. I love summer days, and hectic nights. I love sneaking in to bed and looking through the crib slats at the two little shapes in the darkness, swaddled and snoozing away. I love that Carly asks for "just 3 more hugs" when I put her down for a nap. 

I love this party of five.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

the cutest show in Michigan.

The Fourth of July is pretty much my favorite holiday.
My mom said she doesn't get why all her kids love the 4th so much.
 I told her that means she always made it fun.
My childhood 4ths involved family BBQs with cousins, lighting off little fireworks, and walking down to the fairgrounds with dad to watch the Biggest Show in Idaho.
Since moving away, a Fourth has not gone by where my heart didn't hurt a little, longing to be at that Show.

All this is why I want my kids to love the Fourth too.
The tricky part is that the duo is . . . here. And they just recently got on a real solid night sleeping schedule. And they make everything complicated. And it was 100 degrees outside and the duo just don't do heat and humidity. So we kept things low-key, but had a fun festive day.

We started the day off with a paint project, though it turned out we were out of blue and had to settle for red, white, and green. The cutest patriotic toast you've ever seen was for breakfast, and then we packed up the crazy train and walked to our local pool.

It turns out our pool was closed.
And poor Carly stood there in her swimsuit in the suffocating heat, crying that she wanted to go swimming. I texted a friend who also has a nearby pool, and before we knew it we were having a little pool party.

1) John loved the pool.
2) Q slept pretty much the whole time, and then wasn't sure about the pool.
3) The baby float totally supported Carly and she was a big fan.

After our swim fest we headed home to lunch and naps.
Even this mama got a nap, the best Independence Day present a woman can ask for.

Having spent a while out in the heat and humidity, and knowing it had only gotten worse, we decided to forego our ward picnic, and instead decorated our air conditioned apartment with red and blue streamers and had our very own "American party" complete with chicken nuggets, fruit, and chocolate milk. We are classy like that.

We also decided to forego fireworks in favor of sparklers and bedtime. This was a hard decision for me, but in the end I was glad we did! There is always next year, right?

Turns out the sparklers were a huge hit, and we burned through (literally) 9 boxes.

Bedtime came and the kids went down.
The upstairs is extra hot, since the AC here is old.
Our room was sweltering, and Q was not about to sleep peacefully.
Its a good thing she is cute.

We finally got her down (in the pack n' play in the cool basement), and Chris and I enjoyed red, white, and blue milkshakes and Grey's Anatomy until way too late.

Then he slept in the basement with Q and I slept in our living room, because it was seriously hot upstairs (I'm such a good mom, right?).

And that was our night.

As Chris said, "Its not the Biggest Show in Idaho, but it sure was the Cutest Show in Michigan."
He couldn't have been more right.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

a whole lotta summer.

We have had a pleasant few weeks, spending time together and soaking up every ray of sunshine and every extra minute we get with our man. We love having daddy around more, and I'm trying to milk every minute, because when fall rolls around we're back to long days and late nights.

We go on walks just about every night. Our after dinner walk wears everyone out, and controls the fussing that takes over newly-reformed John. I often end up carrying him, and Carly has found she's a pretty big fan of riding in his carseat. Whatever gets us all home. Sunglasses, the beloved umbrella, and towel come on the walks with us. We are a spectacle, that's for sure.

We try not to frequent our favorite local ice cream place, but its hard to deny a beautiful soon-to-be 3-year-old when she asks for an ice cream "with pink eyes!" And they happen to make the most sinful turtle flurry on earth. I have a particular fondness for going after I get home from the gym. Counterproductive to say the least.

We enjoy time at home, too, as the temperature rises and . . . oh, yeah I have a babies all over the place and sometimes it is just hard to get out the door. We watch movies under umbrellas and sit in our bumbos and draw the solar system and wear matching dresses. Many days are laid back. I like that too. 

Chris and I celebrated our anniversary pretty simply. We went on a walk, I took a nap with John, and we devoured a coconut cream cake that apparently had crack in it because I ate the whole thing in 24 hours. I woke up to a love letter and we spent the day with these three little people that we made in our 6 years. It was pretty much the perfect day . . . if you can't be on a tropical beach.

The best part of our anniversary? Chris grew a beard, and he maintains it to this day. I happen to think he looks rather fine with a beard, and I've been begging him to grow one for 6 years. I gets a lot of grief for it, and people are always shocked when they find out I am the driving force behind it ("She likes it?!"), so he is good to keep it and endure the comments. I pretty much love it. We agreed he would shave before his sister's wedding in August (and he can anytime he wants to of course), but this only rolls around every 6 years, apparently, so I'm hoping he'll keep it for me for a while longer.

Carly and I had a Girls Night Out and I took her to see Brave. It was cute, and it held her attention well enough, though she was really excited about her chair and kept informing me "Look mom! My chair moves!" I sure love getting one-on-one time with that girl. She's a good nut.

But I dare say our favorite summer activity so far has been going to Lake Lansing. There is a park and little beach there, and it is just about perfect for a little family like ours. We bring a picnic, sit in the shade, and play on the beach. Carly loves playing in the sand, and is getting braver and braver in the water. And the babes are pretty happy outside in general, as long as we stay in the shade and keep them well-fed.

This weekend we invited some friends and we were quite the site, with 10 kids, 5 of whom were under the age of 1. #mormonsatthebeach

And there is a strategically placed McDonalds on the way home.
You can't help but get something to cool off.

This weekend also involved a train ride on the little train at the mall. You know, one of those things that I tell myself I'll never spend $3 on but then Carly looks at that train with so much excitement and asks in her super polite voice "Can I please ride on that little train?" and all the sudden we're cruising through the mall in the little red caboose.

We also headed to a friends house and enjoyed s'mores and fireflies and a cool evening.
I love how Michigan does summer.

And now we've reached July.
I really love the 4th of July, and I am a sucker for all things red, white, and blue.
Having three kids to dress up certainly makes matters worse.
We attended church today in patriotic style.

Life is good and the sun in shining.
Chris goes back to teaching tomorrow, which I'm not a huge fan of.
But its not September yet, so there is a lot more soaking in to do.