My sweet babies. I see you growing into such beauties, right before me. Part of me begs time to rewind. Part of me wants to know what tomorrow will bring and (a huge) part of me just wants to stop, savor the moment just a little longer...then just a little longer...no...just a little longer...
Brent gave me such a wonderful Mothers' Day. We all made it to church...on time!! That alone is such a monumental feat these days. Mary Louise and David played in the nursery for about 30 minutes during the service before I went to get them. They cooperated beautifully when I brought them in for Communion.
Just before church, Brent sent them in the laundry room (where I was folding a last load) shouting "Happy Mothers' Day Mommy!!" and carrying gifts. They were so proud...and so excited that they sped through the greeting and tore into the packages for me! ha. Brent had let them choose a little pendant for me - a sweet sterling monkey figure that hangs from its tail on a chain. A monkey from my monkies. I made the connection out loud a little later in front of Mary Louise who immediately looked confused (she calls the pendant "Monkey George".) She shrugged and said, "No my can be a monkey Momma." Then looking around her backside and feeling her rump, "my have no tail! Der's no tail back der Momma. No my can be a monkey!"
This morning (Tuesday), David looked up at me and said, "My would yike an orange outside Mommy. Juicy orange outside please!" and then..."go upstairs and read a book?" All with his big boy haircut (which you may have noticed streaking by in the Mother's Day video - he was so very good for it - and with 3 kids total and an exhausted Momma waiting, being good and cooperating must be noted and commended!). Brent got him a pair of Cahart overalls last week. Dressed in those, the little baby boy that I swear was just there, disappears totally and a handsome young man, wide eyed and ready takes that baby's place.
David has also developed an - uhem - rather forceful response to things that bother him: after "fussing" which usually includes a mess of words about half of which one can understand, he points in a sideways gun sort of stance with his pointer finger and thumb, narrows his eyes and says very loudly, "UNDA-DAND?" (understand - in case there was any question)...hmmm. I have no idea where he picked up this little quirk...**cough cough Brent cough**
We went to a nearby park yesterday. One that has a walking track and larger structures to play upon. We set up a picnic lunch and Mary Louise and David played on the toys. They obediently stayed where I could see them while I fed Everett and listened each time I requested they do something a little different or stopped them from using areas not suitable for their age or size. After lunch for all, we walked around the track stopping to feel different plants, smell flowers, look at rocks, smush around in a bit of mud. We also pulled grass and weeds and talked about them, clapped for runners tromping by, and just talked about our day in general - all with sweet Everett happily in tow in a sling carrier.
Mary Louise and David are gaining strength and agility all the time. This has been a long road for us. Between being contained in an isolette for just over 3 months, missing out on those last few months of muscle development during pregnancy and eye surgeries bringing peripheral vision into question (only time will tell how much peripheral vision they actually have - they should compensate over time, however).
Yesterday, they climbed up and down ladders and stairs without issue, they balanced across cracks in the boarders around the play equipment and can now dangle for a number of seconds from a bar or set of rings.
We also had a first harvest of carrots this week. Mary Louise and David planted seeds a couple of months ago. Though small, the carrots were certainly enough to nibble on - and Mary Louise and David munched away with greens still sticking out of the tops! (at least I got to wash the actual carrot first!) We are in the process of turning over our little veggie gardens and went to the store yesterday as a family to choose our next crops. Our "big kids" get so excited to see their hard work pay off in the way of a fresh snack...or sometimes a full dinner - we've had salad mixes and lettuce growing for quite some time now and often eat large salads for dinner. They help me cut the herbs and onions we have continually growing and wash them for me so that I can add them to soups, stews, or whatever else we're cooking.
Everett is getting big already!! He has filled out (right through his lovie lovie cheeks) and keeps his eyes open for longer and longer periods. He is going through a bit of a gassy / colicky stage right now - likely related to my continued over production of milk - but is doing very well otherwise. He rarely fusses - and there is always a reason for it if he does - and loves, more than anything to simply stay close to our (mine and Brent's) hearts in a carrier or sling. He can track sounds appropriately by turning his head and eyes toward a voice or toy and is working very very hard to gain more head control - already rarely "plunking" his noggin down after lifting.
Mothers' Day was his actual due date. Hard to believe he's actually 5 weeks today.
Mary Louise and David seem to be exploring and grasping the concept of love. They say, "I love you" often, offer kisses and hugs, realize that they "love" favorite things such as their froggies (ML has a green frog she carries around everywhere and we all know David's attachment to his NICU froggies). Love - such a vast concept. I know they will continue to define, and redefine it over their life time - but it's really interesting to see that first buds of such a profound feeling, thought process, attachment style, philosophy...I'm pretty sure my little guys are once again teaching me much more than I'm teaching them!
They notice EVERYTHING now:
We have to be quite careful in our language, not just what we say, but how we say it. We offer praise to them for making their own decisions, getting dressed by themselves - regardless of style (though I have to admit that I do limit their drawer contents to at least climate appropriate clothing) and following "rules" such as picking up after themselves (A++ kids!! I will refer to this post during the toils and frustrations of teenage sleep fests! - they DID at one point pick up and clean - therefore they have a base to return to...phew. therefore they have a base to return to...)
The other day, I was changing Everett. Mary Louise gets a little stool from the bathroom so that she can see and help with each diaper change. She leaned into Everett's face, looked beyond and announced in an "I just had an epiphany" type voice, "Everett's "hoo hoo" is dus yike David's! My "hoo hoo" not yike David and Everett's." Ok - forgive the, umm, less than technical term we use to reference genitalia. I never thought it'd go quite so far as to have our 3 year olds using it...actually, I didn't think much about it at all until Mary Louise said this - obviously needing some way to verbalize what she was thinking. Oh Freud would have a field day...
Anyhow, David has actually made similar - and independent - observations during the last week. (oh, and if you're wondering, they can also match colors, textures, puzzle shapes and toy groups more consistently these days - ha)
So, 3 years later, we're doing just grand. The local March of Dimes is this weekend and we are excited to participate in the festivities.
As always, there is much to be thankful for around here.
P.S. The Louisiana government has made severe budget cuts to various programs recently. I wanted this to be a personal post, but will dedicate the next one to a more detailed description of the cuts and how you might be able to help. Please stay tuned!!