“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
Today we celebrate the birth of the two babies I was told I would never have. I am sitting in my kitchen drinking my second cup of coffee as I listen to R&A snore (thanks to some nasty colds) over the baby monitor. Even though they’ve physically been in my arms every day for the last year, I still cannot believe these two little lives are MINE. I cannot believe that shy, curly-headed, country boy I met five years ago is now my husband, and we are raising these two little humans together. I cannot believe I’m the mother of a middle school aged child. Is this real?!
Three years ago, I never would’ve imagine I would one day be writing a blog update for my 11 month old baby. Today I’m writing a blog update for not one but TWO babies! I’m so grateful for these two little tots.
Ryker and Averlee are into everything. EVERY. SINGLE. THING they can get their hands on. Playing in toilets, putting things in their mouths, pulling each others hair, throwing things at each other, chasing Harper (our 3 year old Shi tzu), and trying to “help” unload the dishwasher. There is never a dull moment with these 2.
Here are a few pics from their 9 month 1photo session, which was actually a week before they turned 10 months. . .
Nickname(s): We call him Ry, Ry or Ryker Roo
Favorite Food(s): He loves bananas, fresh fruit, avocado, grilled cheese sandwiches, yogurt, steamed veggies and basically anything I’ve given him so far. The child will eat anything. I hope he continues to eat so well!
Teeth: Ryker currently has 4 teeth. 2 top and 2 bottom. He likes to use them to eat, but he also uses them to bite me. Not cool at all.
Words: He says “mama” “dada” “ball”. He babbles all of the time. We just can’t figure out what he’s saying. ha!
What’s He Up To?: Crawling, pulling up, standing, eating, throwing his ball. He loves to hide and have someone find him. He lights up as soon as he hears his big brother’s voice. He is so in love with his big brother. It just melts my heart. Ryker is a very patient, calm baby. He also recently decided he likes to be rocked to sleep. Ryker sleeps through the night all night, every night.
What’s She Up To?: Crawling, pulling up, standing, eating, torturing Ryker. Averlee likes to take stuff away from Ryker. If Ryker is playing with his ball, Averlee will take it from him. If Ryker is sipping his cup, she will take it away from him and drink out of it herself. Averlee is into everything. She likes to pull all of the diapers off of the changing table, tear pages out of books, smear food all over her highchair, her face, and her hair. She smiles with her entire face. She does not sleep through the night. We do good for her to sleep 3 hours solid.
I’ve spent the last few months trying to decide where I want my blog to go from here. I do not feel drawn to become a Mommy blogger. I don’t have doctor appointments or test results to write about anymore. I sometimes do not even have time to shower daily so the thought of writing blog posts on a regular basis just seems far fetched to me. I’m still not sure where to go from here, but in the last few weeks I’ve had so many thoughts running through my head. I think this would be the best place to share those thoughts…. so here it goes.
A few weeks ago I told my husband how badly I wished we could go out to eat with the twins and nobody interrupt our meal. I said it out of frustration. I didn’t really mean it… well maybe I did just a little. R&A have recently fully graduated to high chairs in restaurants, which means they usually sit at the end of the table for all to see versus when we would tuck them away in the booth beside us. Now strangers come over and talk to us while we are either trying to feed the twins quickly before our own food arrives or when we are trying to eat our own food before one of the twins either (a) decides sitting in the high chair is no longer fun or (b) blows out their diaper. One of the two is always inevitable. A couple weeks ago a restaurant employee came over to talk to us. She was telling us about her daughter who has twins and the things her twins do. She then asked the question I despise the most (aside from the “are they identical?” question of course). She asked which one of us had twins in our family. Our response was of course, “No”. She then proceeded to argue with me saying, “Well honey, one of you has to have twins in your family.” I gave her a blank stare. Exhaled. Then the words just flowed out of my mouth. “Twins do not run in our family. Our twins are miracle babies. We waited two years for them.” By that, she thought I meant they were adopted. I was trying so hard to avoid telling our infertility story in the middle of a restaurant. At this point the table beside us was already listening in on the conversation. The restaurant employee wouldn’t let it go – or let us finish our meal without her 20 questions. So I told her, “No. They are not adopted. We had to do artificial insemenation.” There ya go. In the middle of a restaurant while we were trying to eat and enjoy our time together as a family, I had to share that my husband and I could not have children on our own. All because a restaurant employee obviously couldn’t mind her own business.
I can see how we may have been able to blend into the crowd if had not had twins. People are so fascinated with twins. People ask so many questions. Some are good questions. Some are a little silly. Example: “Are they identical?” Do people even realize what it means to be an identical twin? I believe the first criteria would be for them to be the same gender. Just throwing that out there.
The truth is, I’m ok with not blending into the crowd though. I love telling people how God gave us our precious miracles, but sometimes I’d really like to be able to make it through a dinner without having someone grill me about how I got pregnant with twins.
Today. Wednesday, September 16, 2015….
I love my children. I love all three of them with every ounce of my being. I love them more than I love Oreos (which is a whole dang lot).
In March, I was desperate to whip my body back into shape. Desperate with a capital “D”. I was doing literally everything I could think of within reason to lose the baby weight. One night while pumping, I stumbled across a health and fitness page on Facebook. I watched as this woman who was currently pregnant did some pretty intense workouts. I wanted to be her. I looked at the videos of her working out while her two kids played in the background. I wanted to be her so bad. I wanted to be in shape so I could be a better mom for my kids. At the current time, I was still wearing maternity pants and shirts even! My kids were three months old and I was still wearing maternity clothes!!! It made me feel so icky. I have ZERO self confidence.
Let me preface the rest of this story by telling you this… before we started fertility treatments, we agreed I would stay at home with the kids. All 3 of them. I wanted to be a full time mommy!
So I joined a “sneak peek” group and realized there were tons of women just like me out there who also wanted to whip themselves back into shape after having kiddos. I chatted with other twin moms and realized, “Hey! They are doing this too! So can I!” Long story short, a week after joining this group of women, I became a Beachbody coach. My original plan was to just use the sweet 25% discount to get my Shakeology shakes cheaper and I would get a discount on products (programs and equipment if the need came about). Well, as I started losing the weight, people started asking me what I was doing. I gladly told them what I was doing, but didn’t really push any sales. I was NOT wanting to become one of those people who turned their social media accounts into a “PLEASE BUY THIS FROM ME” deal. There’s nothing wrong with it if you are the type of person who does that sort of thing, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I did make an attempt to let people know what I was doing though that way if they happened to want to join me or purchase products, they might think of me before buying off of Amazon or Ebay. Once again… I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this. My goal was to get myself back into shape. Period.
Here I am today though. This afternoon I have no clue where my phone is because my twins crawled away with it when I refilled my water bottle. As earth shattering as that may seem, I’m so relieved I have no idea where it is right now. Aside from me being on my laptop pounding my thoughts out on the keyboard…. I am officially UNPLUGGED. This afternoon I have realized I allowed myself to get sucked into working again. Yeah… its a little business. I’m not raking in the dough, but in the last month I have felt the need to be so present on social media so people will realize, “Hey! Kari sells that stuff I was reading about!” I feel like I have to reply to messages as quickly as possible out of fear I will lose a sale. I stay up late at night scheduling posts for my like page.. I sip coffee while I read up on the latest Beachbody news. I scroll Pinterest during nap times so I can find new and motivating things to post on my page or within my groups so maybe just maybe someone will choose ME as their coach. ON VACATION I STAYED UP LATE ONE NIGHT SENDING EMAILS OUT TO PROSPECTS because it was the end of the month and I was trying to close some sales.
Don’t get me wrong. It is fun helping people, but in the grand scheme of things… this isn’t where I want to be. I will share my love for health and fitness with whoever asks! I will tell you what I do and what programs have worked for me. If you ask, I’ll tell you about the Beachbody products. If you want to start a program with me, I’ll gladly shoot you a text each day and we can help hold each other accountable. If you’d like to run with me at the park on Mondays or Tuesdays, I would gladly enjoy your company!!
I have twins who are growing quicker than words can explain. I have an almost 12 year old who is involved in sports. I don’t shower everyday because I feel like I have no time! My hair is in a messy bun 99.8% of the time. I love the way I feel now physically. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I know how to eat and what to eat. I’m wearing the same size jeans I wore in high school. I’m also losing precious precious time because of my presence on social media… all so I can make some extra money. Money I don’t necessarily need. What started out as just a hobby and a way to get a discount on my programs and shakes has totally taken over my day because I have let it.
So today, Wednesday September 16, 2015 I’m telling you this: I don’t have it all together. There are some days I hide in the bathroom just to reply to emails. I ate 5 Oreos last night because I was stress eating. I will not reply as soon as you send me a message. I have no clue where my phone is. I need a shower.
We made it to 9 months. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. Being a twin mama has been rough. It’s the good kind of rough though. It is challenging but oh so rewarding. Being the mom of a middle school student AND a twin mama while living at least 40 minutes away from family and friends and having a husband who works crazy, long hours and travels…. Eh.
When Trey and I decided I could be a stay at home mom, I had all of these amazing
dreams ideas of what that would look like. I imagined mornings of sipping coffee while watching my children play in the floor. Afternoons of playing in the yard. Picnics under a tree. Trips to the park. Random shopping trips with friends. Playdates with fellow stay at home moms. Can I be real for a second? When Ryker started crawling, which was probably 2 months ago, I went three days without a shower. You read that correctly. 3 days. No shower. If I haven’t showered, I do not want to even think about going out in public. I put make up on once a week to go to church. I strike up conversations with the college kid cashier at the grocery store because I’m that desperate for adult interaction sometimes. My kids have not had a play date because everyone I know who has kids around R&As age either (a) work during the day or (b) live too far away. I do drink coffee in the mornings. I typically have to reheat it at least once because I usually sit it down after I pour it and forget where I left it. After I reheat it, I chug it. There’s no time for sipping coffee in the mornings! ha. There are NO random shopping trips with friends. The thought of maneuvering my double stroller through multiple stores by myself is just overwhelming. Even the children’s stores are not laid out well enough for a stroller! I do venture to consignment sales, but those are usually in and out real quick.
I’m not complaining. I’m just stating that what I had imagined staying at home would look like is not what staying at home actually looks like. Often family members assume since I do not work outside of the home, that I’m just sitting at home waiting on someone to come visit me. Negative. To be honest, there’s not a lot of sitting. . . ever. I’m sitting right now only because the twins are asleep. *Thank you teething tablets!* In two hours I will load up R&A and we will go pick Big Brother up from school. I’ll come home, fix dinner, and load everyone back up and we will go to football practice… where I will push the stroller on a walking trail round and round in circles. I love it. I love how I’ve become so comfortable without make up on. My hair is rarely ever “fixed”. I have officially given 95% of myself to taking care of my family. I cannot imagine anything more important than being the best wife and mother I can be to my family. If that means I have to strike up a convo with the grocery store cashier once a week while I’m convincing a little boy to sit in the buggy and not pull his sister’s hair… I’m completely ok with that.
Ah yes. We have made it to the 7 month mark. *Actually we made it there almost a week ago. Forgive me please.* Where oh where has time gone?! I should probably start pondering 1st birthday themes, right? Too soon?
The last 7 months feel like a complete blur. People say “they’ll be grown up before you know it!” Seriously. If it wasn’t for my iPhone (which crashed a couple months ago btw), iPad, and our camera, I do not think I would be able to wrap my head around just how far we have come since the days of less than 5lbs, feedings every 2 hours, and the tiny, tiny outfits. They have grown and changed so much!
Nickname(s): We’ve come to call him Ryker Roo or Ry Ry. I’m convinced he will grow up introducing himself as “Ryker Roo”.
Favorite Food(s): Anything on a spoon. Seriously. The kid will eat anything. I have only come across one Gerber baby food he doesn’t like and that’s peas. I despise peas myself, so I cannot really blame him for not liking them!
What’s He Up To?: Ryker has mastered the art of sitting up. He has started reaching for me if he wants me to pick him up. He wants to crawl so badly, but he hasn’t figured out how to get his arms and legs to move at the same time. He wears a permanent smile on his face all of the time. He loves loves loves to play in the floor. He loves to drink water from his sippy cup. He enjoys trying to squeeze his sister’s head, stealing her paci, and just touching her in general. Unfortunately, his sister does not enjoy having her head squeezed, paci stolen, or to be touched by him in general. He is determined to make her his best pal though. I admire his efforts. haha.
photo credits to Jenna Henderson @ http://jennahenderson.com/
We’ve made it. Ryker and Averlee are four months old! It was only fitting for them to turn four months old on April 3rd. Exactly one year after my first positive pregnancy test that ended up being a false positive. Here we are today. Our prayers were answered in God’s time and not our own. I knew that would be the way it would work out all along. I knew God had a plan and I shouldn’t question it. I knew that. I had trouble letting go of my own plan though. Today I sit here with messy, unwashed hair… spit up on my shirt… a dirty house… and a full heart. I feel like I could thank God daily for the rest of my life and it will never be enough. I’m so grateful for this experience. I’m so thankful for unanswered prayers that led to these two perfect little miracles.
I also want to add that in the last year, I have been contacted my a number of women who were touched or inspired by our journey. In the last year I have held hands, cried, and prayed with women who are walking a similar path I once walked. My heart aches for them. The pain of infertility is still so fresh in my heart. Everytime someone (often strangers) say, “Oh are they twins? Bless your heart. Your hands are full.” I want to jump up and down and explain to them how hard I prayed and how long I fought just to have ONE baby. Don’t say “Bless your heart.” out of pity for me. I do not need pity! My heart is so full just like my hands. I love every moment of it. I fought hard to have this. There are so many women who would give anything to have just one baby. My heart still aches. Now my heart aches for those women and not myself though.
Here are a few pics from their 3 month photo session.