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the party

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Linc and Viv’s first birthday party went by so fast, I have trouble remembering if it actually happened!  May and June were crazy busy months for us with them turning 1 and the launch of Love Well.  We had been telling ourselves for months that their party was going to be super simple and not over the top, but the closer it got the more excited we became!  More ideas just kept popping into our heads, and while I still don’t think it was extravagant, it did end up taking quite a few naptimes and late late nights!  They only turn one once, though, and we really enjoyed everything we did to try and make their party special.

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Anyway, because of how crazy the preceding weeks were and the fact that we left for vacation 3 days after it, I truly feel like it was all kind of a blur.  I remember this one, distinct moment when I walked their cakes over to them and everyone was singing – I stepped outside of myself and looked in.  I saw it all taking place – the two burning candles, our small living room overflowing with people who love our babies, the twins acting so nonchalant and unimpressed with the whole thing – and I burned the moment into my memory before the singing stopped and the chaos resumed.

It really was a great afternoon.  Family and friends loved on Linc and Viv.  We ate baked potatoes with all the toppings, corn on the cob and chips and dip.  We drank lemonade.  We opened presents and oohed and ahhed at the thoughtful gifts that were brought.

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And we sang. For two little babies who blew our minds when they entered this world one year ago.  For the joy they have brought, the battles they’ve overcome, and how they’ve made our world a place we never even imagined it could be.

 

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you are 1 year old, sweet Linc!

 

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You are such a busy, busy boy these days.  You aren’t quite walking yet, but you are so close!  You pull up on everything and walk around everything you can.  You love to climb, whether it’s out of the bathtub or up on your toys.  You love to be tickled.  You’re an easy audience and you laugh at almost anything daddy does to get a smile out of you.  This past week you’ve started talking more and more.  It sounds like you know a foreign language!  You’ll wave you little hands in the air and point your little index finger and just talk and talk.  I would love to know what you’re thinking and saying!  You also are loving your sister more and more.  You’ve always loved her, but lately you two are interacting more and more.  When you wake up from your naps or in the morning, the two of you just sit and talk back and forth from your cribs.  You’ll pass blankets and lovies back and forth between each other.  It makes my heart explode to sit and watch you on the monitor.  I love seeing your relationship grow, and I know you two are going to cherish each other in the years to come.

- from mama’s letter to you

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What you weigh – 17 lbs. 4.5 ounces – You got a great report from Dr. Sigler at your one year appointment.  For the first time ever you were on the chart for weight, coming in at 5%.  While we know the percentage doesn’t really matter – daddy and I are still so proud of how much you’ve grown!

What you eat
  – You are only nursing 4 times a day now…I hardly know what to do with myself! Ha!  You basically eat about every four hours on average now, usually around 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 7:30 before bed.  You only nurse for about 5 minutes each time, though, so I feel like we barely spend anytime nursing now!  I guess compared to how long you used to spend it is barely any time.  You are also still eating your 3 meals of course.  I’ve gotten a little more adventurous in what I make you, and you love pretty much every new meal.  Your favorite now is a roasted red pepper and goat cheese puree.  I also made you a mild Indian dish and you loved it too!  It’s fun to see you try new things, especially when you end up liking them!  We’ve made a lot of progress with finger foods in the last couple of weeks!  Your favorite is toast with goat cheese spread on it.  It’s the cutest thing ever to watch you feed yourself.  While you don’t get them super often, you also love puffs and baby mum mum crackers.  At your 1 year appointment, Dr. Sigler also asked us to start giving you milk with your meals.  We’ve started with Almond milk, and so far you really like it!  You’ve totally mastered the straw sippy cup, and you love to hold it yourself and drink out of it.

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How you sleep –  you have been sleeping even longer than usual as of late.  You go to bed around 7:30 and don’t wake up until about 8 or 8:30.  Your daddy and I are so lucky that you are such a great sleeper!  You also take two naps, one from about 10:30 until 12 and another from about 2:30 to 4.

What you wear – You wear size 12 month clothes, although they’re a little bit big on you.  And your new sandals are size 2.

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Diaper – Bum Genius Freetime with 3 snaps left open in the middle.  We put a Hemp insert in overnight and during your morning nap so that your diaper doesn’t leak.  We also moved up a snap on the verticle fit of the diaper too now!

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these pics taken at Laguna Beach, California on your actual birthday

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Favorite activities – Pulling up and standing, cruising around the couch…or whatever you can get your hands on, playing peek-a-boo, bathtime, eating, being tickled, riding in your wagon, playing in the sand and water at the beach, swinging, walking with help from mama and daddy

Least favorite activities – having your face cleaned, sitting still

 

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Big moments in your twelfth month of life – started drinking milk, first trip to the beach/ocean

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some random thoughts

These little babies are keeping me on my toes and busy more than ever before.  I love/hate that they are changing so much and doing so many new things, and so much of it I’m afraid I won’t remember even though I feel right now like I could never forget it.

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There are so many joys to having two babies, and we’re experiencing them more every day as they get older.  When I hear them wake up from their nap, I always run to grab the monitor so I can sit for a few minutes and watch them.  Sitting up in their cribs, close enough to touch each other’s fingers through the slats, they laugh and laugh and laugh.  Then banter back and forth in their own little language before breaking out into giggles again.  Oh to know what stories they’re telling each other.

Linc is all boy all the time.  Climbing on everything with a fierce determination.  And so much energy!  For awhile now he has been stealing toys from his sister…if she has it, he wants it.  Sometimes she’ll just look at him and then turn away, busying herself with the next thing.  Oh, but sometimes.  Bubba you better look out.  Sometimes she is just not having it, which results either in her lunging after it or simply letting out her piercing cry.  The girl knows what she wants.  That’s all.

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A couple of days ago, I put them in their highchairs while I was fixing dinner.  I want them to have a chance to practice picking up foods and feeding themselves, so I scattered some puffs on each of their trays.  In typical Lincoln fashion, he immediately grabs a fistful and starts playing with them, crushing them in his hand, wiping them all over his tray.  But thoughtful Viv, after several minutes, began to pick up one at a time and move it to her mouth.  With it in her fist, she was having a hard time transferring it to her mouth.  I could tell she knew what she was supposed to do with it because she would hold her first up to her mouth and then pull it away and make a chewing motion with her mouth, the puff still in her fist.  Silly girl.  After a little while of that, she finally figured out how to get it into her mouth, and then there was no holding her back.

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Little sis has also started playing peek-a-boo.  Usually only when she’s in her highchair, she’ll cover her eyes with her hands, and then pull them away and wait for me to say “boo!” before breaking out into laughter.  Cutest. thing. ever.

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One of the greatest joys of my life is watching them discover new things.  To sit back and just watch them play, seeing their minds working things out as they explore.  Definitely one of my favorite parts of parenthood.

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There are days where I feel so exhausted, chasing after the two of them.  They truly do wear me out.  But I love taking care of them so much.  They’re my little people, and it just feels like taking care of them is exactly what I was designed to do.  Most days it doesn’t feel hard, even when I’m tired.  It just feels right.

I’m still nursing them both 4 times a day.  I always assumed I’d nurse them for a year, but as we inch closer and closer to their 1st birthday, it just seems crazy to think about no longer nursing them.  I can’t imagine it.  It’s not that parts of stopping don’t seem alluring, like being able to wear a normal bra or not always having to think about whether I can nurse in an outfit before I decide to buy or wear it.  But I’m just not ready, and I don’t think they are either.  So onward we go.   For how long nobody knows.

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Praise the Lord for these two sweet little inquisitive people and all that they bring to our life.

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happy 11, baby linc!

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My absolute favorite time with you is when you snuggle up in my lap or in my arms and just let me hold you.  I can’t get close enough to you or enough kisses on your cheeks.  You are just such a sweet little boy, and it makes me giddy to know that you are my little boy.  God knew exactly what I needed when he blessed my life with you.  I’m the luckiest mama in the world.

-from mama’s letter to you

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What you weigh – 17 lbs. 4.5 ounces

What you eat
  – You are only nursing 4 times a day now…I hardly know what to do with myself! Ha!  You basically eat about every four hours on average now, usually around 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 7:30 before bed.  You only nurse for about 5 minutes each time, though, so I feel like we barely spend anytime nursing now!  I guess compared to how long you used to spend it is barely any time.  You are also still eating your 3 meals of course.  I’ve gotten a little more adventurous in what I make you, and you love pretty much every new meal.  Your favorite now is a roasted red pepper and goat cheese puree.  I also made you a mild Indian dish and you loved it too!  It’s fun to see you try new things, especially when you end up liking them!  I’ve also been trying to get you to practice with finger foods, but you just aren’t that interested in feeding yourself.  You’d much rather me put a spoonful in your mouth….probably because you can eat more, faster that way!  You definitely love to eat!

How you sleep –  Pretty much nothing has changed since your 10 month update.  You still take two naps – from about 10-11:30 and 2-3:30, sometimes shorter, sometimes a little longer.  You wake up about 7:30 or 8, we change your diaper and nurse, and then eat oatmeal with fruit.  Then you play for an hour and a half or so before going down for your first nap.  After napping, you nurse again, then eat lunch before some more playtime.  You then have your second nap, and after that is your loooong stretch of being awake.  We usually go outside, go run errands, or do something fun like go to the park.  Daddy gets home around 5:30, and we eat dinner soon after.  Around 6:45 or 7 we start your bath and then nurse and go to bed around 7:30.  I love the schedule you’re on now!  It’s so easy, and we have plenty of time to have fun when you’re awake!

What you wear – You’re wearing 6-9 month or 6-12 month clothes, depending on sizing.  You’re still in your same shoes, size 1 (Converse) or 2 (Tom’s) but they’re starting to get awfully tight!  I just ordered you a three in sandals to wear on your birthday.

Diaper – Bum Genius Freetime with 2 snaps left open in the middle.  We now put a Hemp insert in overnight and during your morning nap so that your diaper doesn’t leak.

Favorite activities – Pulling up and standing, cruising around the couch…or whatever you can get your hands on, playing peek-a-boo, bathtime, eating, being tickled

Least favorite activities – having your face cleaned, sitting still, we’ve found you’re afraid of the vacuum and drive through car washes (because of the noise)

Big moments in your eleventh month of life – pulling up and walking around things, using your sippy cup (mostly) by yourself, first time to swing, first two teeth (on the bottom)

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two weeks later…

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     Two weeks ago today, I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day.  Even though I spent most of the day sick in bed, I still savored every moment from nursing Linc and Viv separately in the morning, spending just a little longer holding each of them in bed…to rocking them to sleep before laying them in their cribs that night.

I spent so many long days and months praying and hoping to become a mom.  I remember feeling the deepest desire to have a baby to love. Yet even that longing didn’t prepare me for how it would feel to love my babies.  The love I feel is oftentimes overwhelming because I just don’t feel like I have the capacity to be what they deserve in a mama.  It’s like I can’t possibly show them how much love my heart has for them. I’m slowly learning that I can spend every day trying to convey to them through my words and actions what a treasure they are…but I also have to give them up to the Lord every single day because I truly don’t have the capacity to be what they need on my own.

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I try at times to control everything in life in an effort to protect them.  I feel so vulnerable having them out in the world, at risk of something bad happening to them.  It’s terrifying, and if I allow myself to dwell on it, it can be crippling to me.  For several weeks now, I have felt pushed in different ways to leave Linc and Viv in the nursery at church, but I’ve avoided it every time because I just don’t trust anyone.  I feel this crazy intense need to be with them every moment so that I can protect them from any harm that might come their way.  But I know that I have to begin to let them go in some ways.  Baby steps.  So I left them Sunday morning.   With tears filling my eyes I walked away and prayed myself through the service to stay strong.  And when I went back I found Vivian crying, tears running down her face as she lay in the nursery bed.  And it tore my heart to pieces.  I felt like I had deserted her with strangers.  And to think that she might have wondered if I was coming back was almost more than I could handle.

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I had written this post in my head two Saturdays ago, knowing just what I would say about how on Mother’s Day I took a necessary step of every mother – letting her babies go just a little bit – and how it worked out just fine and how I celebrated later.  Instead I feel like I’ve been set back about ten steps.  Honestly, I’m dreading taking them to the nursery again.  But I know I will.  And I know it will be fine.  I guess this is still all part of this journey of motherhood.  Learning to love my babies with open hands, holding them up to the Father and trusting that He’s protecting them and that He has a distinct plan for their lives.

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I also celebrated my own mother from afar last week.  We were with Jon’s mom for the weekend, but I did get to meet up with mom and spend a few minutes with her.  Celebrating her came from a new perspective for me this year.  I’ve always appreciated and thanked her for everything she gave up for me and all the ways she took care of me as a little girl and as I’ve grown.  But this year I, for the first time, understood the complexity and depth of love she has had for me.  The kind of love that keeps you up at night, hoping and praying your babies are safe and okay.  The kind of love that consumes you because you literally feel like your heart is walking around outside your body.  And I’m so grateful to have been loved with that kind of love.  What a special and unique thing being a mother is.  It’s incomparable to anything else, and I feel so blessed to have that kind of love from my own mother and to be able to pour out that kind of love to my sweet babies.  It’s the best thing in the world.

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Throughout the day my thoughts also kept drifiting to all the women out there waiting to be a mother.  I remember like it was yesterday the emptiness that comes from not being able to fill the desire for a baby.  That pain is something one cannot forget.  Now that I’m on the other side of it, it only brings more intensity to the gratefulness I feel everyday to be able to touch my babies faces and kiss their heads.  I think about it often…in the hard times when I’m exhausted and I’ve changed a million diapers and I just want to lay down and go to sleep…it jolts me back to reality and showers me with patience, understanding and a full heart.  I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone.  But in the end I can honestly say the journey we had to walk to have our Linc and Viv has only made life that much sweeter now that we’re on the other side.  So for those women I pray for peace, comfort and hope.

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