I picked up one of my 3 yr olds today and was hugging him. He said, "I'm going to fall." I said, "No, I won't let you fall." I had an epiphany at that moment. I thought about one day when all six of my kids grow up and venture out on their own into this world. I thought, I'd never let any of you fall. But then... I realized that a day will come when I have to let them make their own choices, those choices might cause them to fall, and it would be beyond my control. I can guide them and teach them everything I know about making it in this world. I can be there for them and protect them as much as possible. But I can't always make their choices for them. One day, I just might have to let them fall. I can only hope I've taught them that falling doesn't equal failing and to just get right back up when you fall.
This made me think of God and how he feels about me. He doesn't want to let me fall. He kept me in innocence as a child. He protected me. But one day I grew up and had to start making my own choices. He has had to let me fall because he had to let me grow up and make my own choices. But he's taught me that falling doesn't equal failing. I've learned to just keep getting back up. If I keep getting back up, I have not failed. One thing I can understand about God and being a parent, is that, like God, I don't raise my kids to fail. They might fall and stumble sometimes, but I'm going to be right there to encourage them in getting right back up again. The choice is ultimately theirs however. I pray that I'm somehow managing to raise them to rely on God always. He doesn't call us to fail. He doesn't give up on us. I hope I can be an extension of him as a parent and show my kids the same love he's shown me.
When you ran up to me this morning, grinning ear to ear, and jumped right into my arms...
When I looked into your beautiful blue eyes, saw those dimples on each cheek, and those tiny pearly whites...
When you babbled endlessly in my arms, "Mama...Pray-Lor-wd... Mama..."
And oh, when you hugged me, patted my back and said, "Awe...."
And then came your sister, huge grin when she saw my face...
Another angel climbed into my arms...
(Did God really bless me with these adorable twins?)
When I just sat there staring at your beautiful faces, huge grins, blue eyes...
...and when I realized that those huge grins weren't for any reason except that you were in your Mama's arms...
I realized that God was just being gracious enough to give me a glimpse of heaven.
I realized that even though this world is lost and cruel... good things still exist.
Good things like you make living in this world worthwhile until we can finally go home.
Good things like you give me something to look forward to when I die.
If heaven is as great as I've always heard, you truly must be a glimpse of it...
I am so blessed to be able to hold pieces of heaven in arms everyday. I know now why Jesus loves the little children so much...
I wonder, is this how he feels when he holds me and looks into my eyes? One day, I will run to him, grinning ear to ear... and jump into his arms.
Psalm 118:24 (KJV)- "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in
What a beautiful scripture! As I was listening to one of my twins laugh at himself (in his highchair) this morning this scripture came to mind.
In a family of eight, every minute of the day is definately not filled with the cute laughter of an adorable 1 year old. There is often arguing amongst the "big kids" and two crying one year olds periodically through out the day. They too have begun to bicker among each other. They fight over toys and Mommy's lap.
Daddy is at work during the day and school in the evenings. He doesn't get much time at home right now. Needless to say, I'm often here alone with my six kids from morning wake up to bedtime. Does it get stressful? Of course.
But there is nothing more beautiful than the peace of God when we're weary, and regardless of any daily circumstances, everyday is a day to rejoice in the Lord!
Do bills and finances get stressful in this mix? Absolutely not. Do they try? Of course! We are by no means rich. But there are two wonderful "Daddy's" in our home who take care of us. God, and my husband. Yes, money gets tight and bills can be overwhelming. But I don't worry about them. Because I know that my husband is doing everything he's supposed to do in order to take care of his family, and I know that I'm being faithful to God. He will be faithful to us. So why worry? God takes of us. He has never let me down, and neither has my husband.
Rejoice in the Lord instead of worry! Because he has made this day!
These are just a couple of the things I wake up everyday rejoicing to:
...the sounds of six children! I've gotten head shakes in public, and comments like, "you poor girl" or "you sure have your hands full." People mean well. But sometimes I feel like saying, "Are you kidding me? I am so blessed!" Children are a blessing from God, and I love having a large family. They give me daily joy. I couldn't have been more thrilled the day I found out I was having twins in my last pregnancy.
People look at me and say, "I couldn't handle it. I don't know how you do it." I tell them that you adapt with each new child just like a fish adapts to water. Do you think God doesn't know what he's doing? Of course he does!
He built us with adaptation in mind. I'll be honest, when I brought twins home from the hospital it was a culture shock. I was used to bringing ONE baby home from the hospital. But two babies.... that was a whole new world for me. My first week with them involved a lot of crying (from MY eyes,) stress, sleepless nights, and severe feelings of being overwhelmed & fatiqued.
Imagine waking up 2-6 times a night to feed and change your one newborn baby. Now double that, in between feeding/changing the first baby. I also had no help. Dad had to work, and he also went into his own little "shock mode" that involved completely shutting down when it came to the babies (totally normal for the men.) I literally stayed up all night feeding and changing babies. My mind and body went into shock. I didn't know how to handle it. But God did, and he got me through it.
I adapted, and my children are the best blessings God has ever given me. Everyday is a day to rejoice when you wake up to these blessings!
I have a good husband who takes care of his family. There are not a lot of men out there who are willing to do this. It sounds so simple and natural. But it is an unfortunate fact. He has loved me since I was 15, and he has loved me with loyality and perseverance. I can't say my life has been easy since we met. There has definately been many trials through out the years.
He even stood by to pick up the pieces when I strayed right into an abusive marriage with someone else at 18. I walked down the wrong road because I walked away from God at one point in my life. But God's mercy led me home, and my husband's (and God's) mercy & unconditional love restored what had been broken in my soul due to the abuse. I have a husband who stood by with gentle hands for every panic attack, tear, insecurities, and bad dreams while I healed from a marriage that broke me. There is rejoicing in the blessings of a good man!
I could list my blessings all day. My children and husband are at the top of my list. I would not trade either for the world. Our life isn't perfect. Our finances aren't perfect. Our marriage isn't perfect. Our parenting isn't perfect....
But we serve a perfect God who makes everyday with him perfect. That makes all the difference! It makes everyday worth rejoicing, regardless of circumstances. Circumstances are only surface deep. But God lies beyond the surfaces. He lies in the roots where beautiful flowers grow from. They let off sweet scents that give the world around them an inner peace inside. The scent of a flower doesn't stop its aroma just because "junk" lies all around it. It's roots make it beautiful regardless of what is waiting above the ground. Everyday is a day for rejoicing when God is in your roots!
(A photo I took at my sister's house (below.)
If you've never heard of babywearing, let me introduce you to one of the best things you can do for your baby! It's not just one of the many fads out there. There is actually a science & health benefits for you and your baby behind babywearing. You can read more about the benefits here. There are many places on the web to read about babywearing, just hit "google."
I won't go into depth myself, because this post is meant to inform you of some of the different types of slings available. If you live in my area, I offer free babywearing classes to Moms and Dads (Yes, lots of Dads wear their babies too, including Dads like Brad Pitt!) (If you don't know what area I live in, you'll have to contact me privately.)
Here I will show you some photos of me wearing my favorite slings & I will explain what each of them are:
Here I am wearing a homemade wrap. This is a simple piece of material, cut a certain width & length. Those sizes vary. There are specific ways to "wrap" your baby and you need to learn them before attempting to do so. You can find wearing instructions for every type of sling on youtube, or attend a babywearing class in your local area.
This sling is good for wearing baby for long periods of time. Slings are like shoes. You wouldn't wear heels to go hiking. You'd wear hiking boots! It is the same concept with slings. You want to wear a sling that fits your activity. Though, wraps are very versatile regardless of how long you're wearing one.
They do have longer learning curves. So it may not be the best sling for a beginner. It can actually discourage babywearing if you try to start out in one, because of the learning curve. But some people have a preference for them, and anyone is capable of learning. It's really not that difficult once you learn how! And it's not difficult to learn once you become familiar with it.
Here I am wearing my twins in peanut slings (I refer to them as monkey slings.) I'm actually wearing two different slings here. A peanut sling doesn't look like this. I just put one over each shoulder & crossed them in order to wear my twins at the same time. These are one shoulder carries and are good for wearing baby on your hip, rather than holding them on your hip & not having your hands free. Though, there are several different ways to wear a peanut sling. These slings are not good for extended wearing periods. They're for short wearing periods, a quick trip into the store, etc. I got my monkey slings on Hugamonkey.com. You can learn more about them there.
Here I am wearing a Mei Tai sling. These are Asian inspired slings. They are similar to the way you'd wear a wrap, without the "wrap" part. If you're interested in the wrap and a beginner, this is probably the best way to start out. This sling is typically a square (or sometimes contured) shaped/cut material with four straps, top & bottom. You simply tie the straps around your body (see middle picture.) I am wearing one cut for an adult & my 1 yr old is wearing a mini, child version sling that matches mine, with her doll inside. These are good for little girls who want to be like Mom with their dolls (any sling is really.) This particular sling was homemade. And if they're big enough, even siblings can wear their little brother or sister in this sling. Here is my 10 year old wearing his little sister.
Here is my contured Mei Tai sling. It was from an online boutique. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the website anymore.
These are just my personal favorites, and I wear them all. There are Do's and Don'ts to babywearing! There are safe & unsafe baby slings and safe & unsafe ways to wear your baby. So it is important to be educated on babywearing through a class, online, or a babywearing friend!
Babywearing is as natural for your baby as breastfeeding, and it's origins go back thousands of years & to all cultures.
Thanks for reading!
Oh Peanut Butter Jelly Hands... I see you've come calling today.
There you are on the bottom of my skirt and right on my backside too.
I saw you across the arm of my favorite chair.
I see where you've explored my cabinets and painted my clean pots and pans.
Oh, and there you are again across the bottom of the 'fridge.
And don't you look lovely on my tapestries over there?
And wait, the cat's mouth is moving real funny... as if she has some peanut butter stuck in it.
Yep... you must've managed to greet her tail, you silly little peanut butter jelly hands.
There is some lovely artwork on the kitchen floor too.
I should start charging people for the show!
Why, who wouldn't pay a trillon, or two, to see such a beautiful work of art?
Your fat little fingers are cute as can be.
Your scent is sweet as a baby's first bath with just a dash of peanut butter jelly perfume.
I could bottle it up and give it away to the mommy's who miss these days.
How lucky am I to be here now?
You sweet little peanut butter jelly hands...
Here are some Twin FACTS to know before you pop those popular questions to twins or parents of twins (or other multiples:)
Popular twin question #1:
"So, which side of the family do twins run in?"
Twin FACT: Twins are NOT a hereditary occurrence from the father of the twins. It doesn't matter if the twins father has a twin himself & all his siblings have twins too. It will NOT increase his chances of having his own set of twins. A man CANNOT put "twin genes" into his wife's gene pool (or her ovaries) & cause her to have twins. (However, if a twin gene runs in the women in his family and he has a daughter, she may inherit it.)
Therefore, if you see a set of FRATERNAL twins, one of two things happened: It was a random blessing from God, or the "twin gene" that causes women to drop more than one egg during ovulation runs in HER family. The male contributor nor his genes have NOTHING to do with the fact that twins were developed. It NEVER runs in HIS side. So the question should just be outlawed. It's moot. The question SHOULD be (to the mother of twins), "So, do twins run in your family?" Know that Dad and his genes had NOTHING to do with the "twin" part of the conception. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. NOTHING.
Popular twin question #2:
"So are they identical?"
First of all, if you see a boy & girl set of twins, BITE your tongue! Think about this question. "Are they identical?" Identical twins have exactly the same DNA. The only thing that makes them genetically different are their fingerprints as far as DNA is concerned. So, if one is a BOY, and one is a GIRL.... do you think that it's possible for them to be identical? NO. It is not possible for boy/girl twins to be identical. Rarely, the girl may have what is known as Turner's Syndrome & then they do have the same DNA. But you will know by physical traits that she has Turner's. But Turner's is rare. Google it for more info.
Popular twin question #3:
(When the question is directed towards identical twins) "Which side of the family do twins run in?"
First, remember the fact from popular question 1. Secondly, identical twins are NOT hereditary. It doesn't matter if everyone in both sides of the family has twins. If identical twins are conceived, it was a random act of God and had nothing to do with the gene pool. Nothing.
Identical twins come from 1 egg that split & caused two babies to form from 1 egg and 1 sperm. Nothing in our gene pools make that happen. God does.
Fraternal twins however, come from 2 different eggs being fertilized by 2 different sperm. And women dropping multiple eggs during ovulation can be a hereditary thing (but not always.) But the egg splitting is NOT. I repeat, identical twins are NOT hereditary.
Don't tell their mother they're "Double Trouble." It's just insulting. Would you want anyone calling your child trouble? Furthermore, she doesn't see them that way at all. It's double the love!
Don't ask a parent of twins which one is their favorite (I've had this happen!) I replied with (to a parent who doesn't have twins), "Well, which one of your daughters is your favorite?" Moms don't have favorites with their twins just because they're twins.
Twins (and other multiples) are truly blessings!!
As I lay with my cheek against the carpet and stare off into the carpet fuzz valleys... I'm taken back.
There was the night that I was so nervous I couldn't even bring myself to go into the store to buy a home test. I sent my cousin inside to get it instead while I waited in the car.
And then I didn't know how to tell him there would be one more... we already had four. But God had other plans in mind.
At that first prenatal visit I told the dr there must be more than one because I shouldn't already be so big! He laughed at me and said that I was just getting older.
I insisted that there was more than one. A Mom knows these things. He was certain that there wasn't. But he said he'd send me in for an ultrasound to check the dates, since I thought I was bigger than I should be.
I remember seeing the little flicker on the screen, just 7 weeks along... proof of life, even this young, a heartbeat so strong!
"Are you sure you only see one? Because I really think there's two."
"No Ma'am, from what we can tell there's definately only one here."
I got scared the next week when problems arose. This isn't supposed to happen when you're pregnant. I scurried to the emergency room. Could it be a miscarriage? It was looking so...
They wheeled me off in my bed to ultrasound to see if the baby was alright. She didn't say anything as she began typing her ultrasound findings in on the screen.
But I saw her type it... "Baby A"... and then on the other half of the picture, "Baby B"... Yes, I knew. I felt my heart skip a beat and was filled with overwhelming joy.
And then I thought, "why did Daddy have to fall asleep back in the room? I can't believe he's missing this!"
I joined all the online groups I could find. Just when I thought I knew it all about parenting, I realized that I didn't know a THING about twins! I had entered an unknown territory.
I gained a lot of friends who were having multiples too. Many of them were due around the same time as me.
And as the months passed by, I began to leave those groups one by one. I couldn't take the heartache as I'd watch another Mom lose one or both of her babies each week during our pregnancies. And then.... what if one or both of my babies was next? I couldn't even bear the thought... twins have high fatality rates during gestation. If people only knew...
Many online multiples friends began to give birth. And then I slowly watched their marriages dissolve. My heart ached. Was my marriage next? Something about having multiples is too much for some Dads. Dads are happy at the hospital. But when they get home reality sets in and they shut down. Moms become too exhausted and resentment follows. The "Daddy multiples plaque" hit my home too. For the first 6 months, I was a single mom of twins, even though Daddy lived with us. But his reaction was normal, as I saw all the other multiples Dad go into the same shut down mode. I was able to have more understanding for him.
At your birth I couldn't push you out fast enough... the agony.. and more agony after baby A was out & I realized I had to push all over again for baby B! I was so tired.
It was 8 long minutes in between your births. Baby A came out well and head first. But Baby B was having troubles. I was scared. Finally... out came two tiny feet. You weren't supposed to come out feet first. But you made it here safe and sound... both of you. I could finally breathe.
We took you home and I never hated one sleepless night. Change a diaper, feed, put to sleep, and then the other baby wakes...change, feed, sleep, switch...all night long...all night long, and then all day. People like to compare "Irish twins" to real twins, but there is no comparison to two newborns at once... none.
But I knew the miracles I held in my arms, and I would never take you for granted. I loved every sleepless night and I loved watching you grow.
Six months of total bliss with my babies and a rocky marriage, Daddy finally snapped out of it. He then fell in love with you too. How could he not? His only regret was all that he missed for the first 6 months of your life. It flew by so fast. But we survived it because he's a good Daddy and husband... and because he picked me for a wife. Sadly, many of my multiples friends do not have a marriage anymore. God kept us... God kept us.
I made you both an appointment today for your 18 month well child check. Time goes faster than I want it to. Where's a stopwatch when you need one?
Everyday with you is better than the last. You have little personalities of your own now, and you're really good at making me feel like the most important person in the world... you love your mommy so much.
As I lay here with my cheek against the carpet and stare at the carpet fuzz... I can't help but grin as you are both straddled over my back and bouncing & laughing. I don't know what's so fun about bouncing on Mommy's back, there's not a lot of bouncy cushion there. But what matters is that it makes you happy... because that makes me happy.
There is no greater feeling in the world than what I feel as I stare at the carpet fuzz.
Forgive me if I stare, your blue eyes captivate me.
You giggle at the silence as you sip your tea...
We have 20 minutes til' you get ready for school.
You have a few new freckles on your nose.
How many are there now? God truly knows...
"Look at my loose tooth Mom."
I smile... the intellect of the conversation over hot tea brings me joy.
No talk of bills or money, diets, husbands or problems...
Two different worlds, yet one.
Six years have flown by since you were born.
I feel a dull ache inside as seven is only two weeks away.
I move your dirty blonde hair out of your eyes and stare once more...
in hopes to never forget this moment or that tiny soft face.
I pray your innocence never leaves you and that no one ever steals it away.
I pray that even when that smile leaves your face, it's merely a temporary glimpse...
and that inside, you always remain whole and full of spirit.
I pray Daddy gives you plenty of hugs as you grow
and that we have endless intellectual talks over hot tea.
I pray that God is always your first love...
and that you always stand behind the convictions He instills in you.
You grin at me. I grin at you.
We sip our tea some more.
These are the best kind of tea dates.