Saturday, June 16, 2012


It is so interesting to see how different these two girls are from each other.

Tessa loves to be held, and she likes to interact with others.  She loves to bump heads with others (a trick that Jason taught her).  She also loves to smack people's faces when they pick her up (a trick I am trying very hard to break her from).  It is easy to get a smile and a giggle from her.  She is generally a pretty happy girl.

It has taken her a lot longer than her sister to get moving.  She started crawling finally a few weeks ago.  She still can't pull herself up to standing yet, but she is trying.

Tessa is a talker.  She has many sound including ma, da, ba, along with others.  She does not yet seem to connect them with people.  It has been funny recently though.  She will say dada.  I will then tell her mama.  She then will repeat dada.  She seems to know that it is a game, but I don't think she really associates the words with us yet.

Tessa has been sleeping through the night.  We have had a few rough nights whenever she gets a cold.  She seems to hold on to colds for a long time.  I always wonder if she will have more trouble since she was premature (and needed more respiratory help than Eowyn).

I have been starting the girls on finger foods.  Tessa is a very neat eater for the most part.  She has had some trouble with larger pieces.  She has been gagging a lot, and I have to keep a close eye on her.  Tessa loves watermelon.  I gave the girls some the other day, but I ended up having the clear out her mouth.  She kept stuffing more pieces in there, but she wasn't chewing the pulpy part enough to swallow it.  She will have to wait awhile before she gets her next taste of that.

I will leave you with a few of my favorite pictures.


I cannot believe that the girls are a year old today.  I wanted to write a post for each one of them to celebrate this special day.

Eowyn is always on the move.  She has been crawling since just after 7 months.  For a long time, she crawled like an inch worm.  It was pretty funny.  It took awhile, but she was finally able to get herself to sitting and back down again.  Not long after this, she also learned to pull herself up to standing.  She is now cruising around the furniture, but she refuses to walk holding anyone's fingers.  She will try to either sit down or pull her legs up.

Eowyn is very determined.  If she see something she wants, she will go after it even if it mean crawling over the top of her sister to get it.  I have been transitioning the girls to finger foods.  Eowyn has enjoyed it so much (or at least she is enjoying making a mess) that she will yell whenever she runs out of things on her tray until you give her more.  I am hoping that she will learn to harness this energy to determinedly pursue what is right in the future, but that she will learn to temper the methods of getting there. 

She is sleeping through the night.  We had a bit of a hiccup around the time I got out of school.  She started waking up in the middle of the night screaming at the top of her lungs.  At first since she was not prone to doing this, we went to her, but she would immediately settle down if we picked her up.  Finally, we let her put herself back to sleep a night or two, and now things have gotten better again.

Eowyn continues to remind me of Gabriel when he was little, both in looks and personality.  She can be fairly serious much of the time.  She likes to play with toys and read books, but she rarely laugh.  It takes a lot to get her laughing.  She does smile a lot more these days.  She has developed a smile where she crinkles her nose.  She doesn't like to cuddle much unless she is tired.  When she is tired thought, she will put her thumb in her mouth and settle her head under my chin.  Sometimes she will only do it for a moment before she is squirming to get down and be on the go again.

I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures of her throughout the year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I have been neglecting this place for awhile now. It has happened for several reasons. Mostly because I have been busy with the end of the school year and little ones who want more and more of my attention every day. I have gotten behind in posting the twins monthly updates (okay maybe behind is not strong enough of a word). I hope to correct that next week as I prepare for their first birthday. I also need to post some things about Gabriel soon. But I will leave all of those for posts coming soon. I wanted to write this post on my goals for the summer. A friend of mine started posting her weekly goals a long time ago. I most often just keep mental lists, but I liked the idea when I saw it. Since then, my sister has also occasionally taken up the habit. At the risk of copying (and possibly boring you), I wanted to write down some of my goals for my summer break.

- work with Gabriel on having a consistent daily quiet time
- have Gabriel work on reading and math every weekday
- take Gabriel to the library for the summer reading program
- work with the girls to transition them from bottle to soppy cups
- introduce more food to the girls including moving them to milk
- work on the girls' photo book and the next family photo book

- paint the outside of the house
- work on the ceiling in our bathroom
- deep clean one area each week

- have a constintent daily quiet time
- attend weekly Bible study
- memorize 2 verses a week

- rework the units from the first semester
- write lesson plans and unit tests
- rethink and rewrite rules and procedures for classroom
- prepare to collect necessary documentation for evaluation rubric

This week, I am trying to focus on getting some of these started. I have taken Gabriel to the library to get registered. I have started my first week of Bible study, and I have started a plan for quiet times, memorization, and Gabriel's academic work. I also have been trying to feed the girls more finger food, and I have started to introduce the sippy cups. I will spend the remainder of this week continuing to do work on these. I also need to take all of the kids to the doctor. The girls have a normally scheduled appointment this week (although I will not be surprised if they end up on antibiotics again). Gabriel needs to be taken for several reasons including a spot of his scalp that I want to have checked. I will also be busy planning for the girls' first birthday party. At home, I am going to try to get the house cleaned. I think I will focus on deep cleaning the kitchen. For school work, I am focusing this week on focusing on my goals, rules, and procedures. I may also start working on the first unit.

Well, I am sure that you are thouroughly bored by now if you made it this far. As you can see, it is going to be a busy summer.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two Years

I can hardly believe that it has been two years since the boys were born. I almost think this year has been harder than the first one. Last year, I was pregnant with the girls. On the boys' birthday, I was only a few weeks further along with the girls than I was with the boys. I thought it best to focus more on the twins at that time. This year it has been harder to push aside thoughts of them. So many things remind me of them. Even the weather has been mild this year like it was two years ago. This year has also been harder because as time passes, fewer people seem to mention the boys. Some even seem surprised when I mention them.

It has been hard to think back to my pregnancy with the boys. It is sort of like looking directly at the sun. The whole event is surrounded by feelings so intense that examining them is blinding and disorienting at times. I was overjoyed to discover that I was pregnant after our first attempt at IVF. I had begun to lose hope of having more children, but I felt certain that those days were behind us. I saw our problems as difficulties in getting pregnant, not difficulties carrying pregnancies. Even after I found out that we were carrying triplets, I was still certain that everything was going to be okay. I was concerned about all three babies making it through the first trimester, but each scan showed that all three were doing well. I breathed a sigh of relief as the end of the trimester approached with no problems. It was not to last of course. The next eight weeks became a blur of medical tests and bad news. I made four trips to the hospital here in town and four trips to Cincinnati to be evaluated there. Even through all this, I clung to the idea that we might be able to make it through. I knew the realities of twin-to-twin, and I knew the risks after my water broke. But, their births were still a shock.

I have tried in these two years to move forward with my life while still holding to the memory of Nathaniel, Kade, and Roanin. I am trying to allow the Lord to mold me through my grief. I am learning to be content in the moment. I am learning to see the time with my children as precious even if it comes at two in the morning. it is an imperfect process. Sometimes I feel as if I am dishonoring their memory when I fall back on old habits.

My pastor had a brief memorial for my boys in church after they were born. In it, he compared the boys to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. At the time, I didn't look too closely at the comparison. A few months ago though, Gabriel was reading through Daniel for his quiet time. I came across their response to the king. It has stuck with me as a fitting response for myself. They were perfectly aware that God could save them if it was His will just as I knew He could have saved my boys, but they told the king that even if He chose not to, they would continue to serve Him. I chose to serve Him even though He did not save my boys because the truth is He has already saved them. It was not in the way that I wanted or hoped for, but it was in the only way that really matters.

Happy birthday my boys for I am sure that there is no better place to celebrate than in the presence of the King.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Parenting after Loss

I have had the experience of pregnancy and parenting both before and after loss. I have found it a little different this time around. With Gabriel, I did not have much fear. The thought of not having a healthy pregnancy or having a child that did not grow up never entered my mind. I made sure he slept on his back, but I was not really concerned about SIDS. Although I didn't purposely try to expose him to illness, I was not that concerned about colds or other small ailments either. You could probably say that I belonged to the majority of people who believed the worst would never happen to them.

This time, it has already happened. I have held children not knowing when their last heartbeat would come, but knowing that it would happen within the next few minutes. I have packed up my dreams of what my family was to have been. Does this make me a better parent now? I'm not so sure. I have spent much of the last year fighting down fear. Fear that I would lose one or both of the girls before they were born. Fear that I would have them finally here just to lose them in early childhood. Fear that I would endanger them by the choices that I made for them.

I don't think either way is a healthy was to parent. I think both are understandable given my situations at the time, but I don't think they show much dependence on God. I have been entrusted the care of these children during this moment just as I was with the boys. I need to learn neither to hold to the expectation of a certain tomorrow nor fear what it brings. Becoming dependent on Him is a daily (or sometimes hourly) task.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I know that some people associate April with tax season, but I have always tried to get mine done during the first week of Febuary. My husband used to pay someone to prepare them before we were married, but I have always done them since then. Usually ours are pretty simple so it is not an issue. I wanted to get ours done early again this year, but I was also dreading sitting down to do them.

Last year, completing my taxes was hard. I knew from the time that they were born that I was going to be able to claim Roanin and Kade on my taxes, but I wouldn't be able to claim Nathaniel. In some ways it was hard for me to include them. It felt like I was using them just to get a tax credit. It was also hard to only put two of their names. It was yet another reminder that I never got to see Nathaniel alive. I was also happy to put their names down. In so many ways, I feel like they don't count to other people, but here on my taxes they did. As I entered the boys into the software program I was using, I struggled with the question that has to be answered about all dependents you claim. How long did they live in your house? I stared at the question not knowing what to put. Finally, I opened the help box next to the question. It was a box that I pray you never have to open yourself. It had answers about what to do if you were divorced (sadly common place today), but if you look further there were answers to scenarios like what to do if your child has been kidnapped or has died during the year. I managed to finish the rest of the taxes without further problems. That week at school, I mentioned to my students that I had done my taxes that weekend. One of my talkative students wanted to know if I had claimed a bunch of extra dependents this year so I could get more money back. My heart stopped. Now I don't believe that he knew about the triplets. I had not brought it up to my current students although my students from the previous year obviously knew. I think his comment was random, but I couldn't believe that he had said it to me that year. How does that happen?

As this year approached, I knew I would have to delete the boys off of my dependent list. The software program I use pulls your information from last year and fills in most of the information for you. I know I could have used a different program, but my practical side told me this was ridiculous. When I got to the personal information section, I looked for a way to delete Kade and Roanin from the list. I couldn't find one at first. I eventually figured out that I had to go through their information first before I could chose an option that said that they had died the previous year. It was nice in a way. I was able to click that yes they were my sons before I had to forever remove them from the list. The Lord is gracious though, and I had new names to put on the list as well. I am trying to always keep before me the thought that I am blessed. My dependent list shows that I have been mightily so even if no one sees the other names on my list but me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

7 Months

 So the girls turned 7 months last Monday.  Given how busy my last few weeks have been, I consider it a victory that their pictures got taken and posted within a week. 

Eowyn is as always a girl on the move.  By the end of the month, she can flip from both back to stomach and stomach to back.  The stomach to back flip is a more recent development and is more that I am not too fond of.  She never lets her head down easy so I will often here her head thump on the floor.  In fact, she is not very careful with her head ever so I often hear her hitting it against something.  Eowyn can also turn around in a circle and scoot backwards.  I have seen her occasionally move herself forward like an inch worm, but it seems to be an accident when it happens. 

Eowyn loves interacting with people.  With me, her favorite thing to do is to try to put her hand in my mouth.  She loves watching Gabriel.  He can make her laugh more than anyone else.  I love it when he gets her laughing because although we get a lot of smile, she doesn't really laugh that often.

I started the girls on cereal this month.  I have had the hardest time feeding her.  After a month, she is starting to get the hang of it, but it still takes a lot of effort.  She never wants to move her tongue out of the way.

Eowyn weighed 15 lb 3 oz at her 6 month appointment. 

She got two teeth.

Tessa is still the more laid back twin.  She can also flip over both ways, but she doesn't move much other than that.  She did beat Eowyn to one milestone.  She can sit up. 

Tessa loves her cereal.  Our only problem is when I am a little slow shoveling it in.  She also got two teeth this month.  In fact, both girls cut their first teeth within a day of each other.

She loves being held.  She will sit in your lap for as long as you let her without wanting down.  It is really easy to get her smiling and laughing

Tessa weighed 16 lb 8 oz at her 6 month appointment.

Jason says he is in a lot of trouble with this look.

It is so fun to watch the girls with each other.  They often look at each other and touch each other if they can.  I have to keep an eye on them sometimes.  Eowyn can be a bit aggressive with her sister.  She is often climbing over Tessa, sucking on her hands or feet, or scratching her sister. 

The girls took the twin thing a little far this month.  They both had double ear infections at their 6 month appointment.  Both went on antibiotics.  They did well with it except we have dealing with a lot of blow-outs.

I love this picture.  It looks like they are telling each other secrets.

I imagine Tessa is saying, "Save me mama!"