Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eleven Month Report

Actually, this is the eleven month and eleven day report--sorry about that! For some reason, the past couple of weeks have seemed more hectic than others. Maybe it had something to do with that returning to teaching thing I decided to do. Oh well, I guess late is sometimes better than never.

On December 23, Dani took her first steps! She went from standing in November to assisted walking early in December to taking a couple of steps. It was a wonderful early Christmas present. Now, she much prefers walking to crawling. It is absolutely adorable to watch her toddle around the playroom, the family room, her crib--anywhere I let her walk.

Lillie is still cruising and crawling with great speed. I've caught her standing on her own for a second or two, and she's started walking assisted by only one hand instead of two. I think she'll get that walking thing down soon enough. She doesn't seem to care so much, though, that her sister is doing something she's not.

More and more I've been letting them play on their own. I'll put them in the playroom and eat breakfast or fold laundry. It seems that not having me as a distraction all the time is making them find each other funny. A couple of weeks ago, they were in their play yard while I went upstairs to get dressed, and I heard lots and lots of giggling. I figured Tim had taken a quick break to come play with them, but when I came downstairs, they were just sitting feet to feet passing a toy back and forth and laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world. I do hope that they keep it up and become the best of friends.

They're also showing signs of wanting to drop to one nap a day. They're still getting tired in the morning, but it's been later, so I've been putting them down for a nap later. Then, when afternoon naptime rolls around, they both fight it like the plague. In fact, I don't believe Dani has taken her second nap for over a week. I really didn't want to go to one nap just yet, but hey, I can't dictate that so much. I've finally decided to slowly push the morning nap later and later because the idea of them staying up from 11:30 to 6 is just craziness. I almost went for a random drive yesterday just to get them to nap.

With all this added mobility and extended awake time, I realize even more that the playroom shouldn't be the only baby-proofed room in the house. We took steps when they began crawling to remove breakables and add cushions and cover all the outlets, but it's just not enough now. I've put together some plans for the family room to make it more baby friendly because our current solution of moving everything from the table to the very small space on top of our DVD cabinets just isn't really working. Storage solutions that are at least four feet off the ground are definitely necessary!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Passing on the Music

This is a picture of me at six years old. That little piano there is probably a few months old, and I'm playing a little tune in my first grade music class. I absolutely adored that piano. I played it nearly everyday until my grandmother bought me the real thing. Then that piano sat safely underneath my real one, still treasured.

When I went off to college, got married and then moved away from home, that little piano was still sitting underneath my big piano. When I moved back to Nashville and bought a house, my big piano came with me, but the little one stayed behind.

Then the girls came along, and I started to really think about that little piano. When they got big enough to really be interested in banging on keys, I knew it was time to bring the little piano to my house.

Alas, my parents didn't love it as much since there was no one to play it. This is what it looked like when I finally rescued it--water stains on top, dust and dirt in nearly every crevice, exposed staples and nails, plus stickers that were put on around the time that picture up there was taken. This little piano needed more than just a little cleaning.

I knew I wanted it to be something special for my girls. I figured I couldn't save the finish and replacing pieces the water stained wood was pretty much out of the question. So I decided to go bold.

After lots of scrubbing, sanding, scraping, priming and painting, and painting, and a little more painting, Lillie and Dani now have a little piano to call their own.

It will not sit safely underneath the big piano, but instead beside it. I hope they play with it well and learn to love music as much as their mommy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Things I've Learned

The craziest year of my life has come to a close, but just like every other year I have made resolutions--to be more organized, to be healthier, to be more productive. With little ones underfoot, maybe I have a chance of keeping these resolutions throughout the year. I've also learned a lot this year. Therefore, instead of writing about what will come of this new year, I'll reflect on what did come of this past year.

Sleep is a gift. It is a wonderful thing that recharges, keeps us sane, makes babies less cranky and easier to manage. I missed it desperately for months, and now I treasure every moment of it.

Saving money is wise. You never realize how broke you are until you have children. Clipping coupons, buying store brands, doing more shopping at Costco, price checking until your fingers hurt and your eyes sting--it's all very, very worth it.

Being selfish is important. I've never had to take care of anyone like I have to take care of these girls. Most of the time, things I need or want are put on the back-burner for them. For sanity's sake, though, sometimes I have to be a little selfish and do something for myself.

Having a shoulder to lean on is necessary. I've gotten tons of support from my friends and family, but I've also found an entire community of women at Twinstuff.com who make getting through the day-to-day much easier. I love everyone who supports me--in reality and virtually.

Love is fierce. I love lots of people in lots of ways, but I've never known love like I have for Lillie and Dani. I've also found a new level of love for the people who were already in my life. It's amazing. It's scary. It leaves me awestruck on a regular basis.

Change is the only constant. I may have this tattooed on my body somewhere. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful--everything changes and shifts. I must always remember that the bad things won't last. I have to remember that the good things don't always last as well. If I can do that, my sanity might just stay loosely intact.