Survivor- Twins: Outwit Outplay Outlast

7 Feb

Today, our twins are one year old. One. Year. Old. Twins. Weird.

In the last year, Rhett and Lucy have turned into chubby, smiley little babies on the verge of standing and walking. Their personalities are distinctive, although over the last year they’ve often developed certain personality traits opposite of one another and then spontaneously switched them. They’ve started to act like brother and sister, playing and interacting with each other as well as fighting over toys, climbing over the other, and stealing pacifiers from the other’s mouth then crawling away quickly.

Right now, Rhett is a koala bear. He loves to cling and cuddle. When I hold him, he grabs my thumb with his hand and grips it tight. He loves to put his head on our shoulders. If you look away from him while you’re holding him, he leans over and moves his face into your sightline with a big smile to say “remember me?” He has the most charming smile. His hair is bright red. It’s impossible not to kiss his cheeks. He just started to say “Mama” yesterday and today he learned to give kisses. His favorite thing to do is empty the tupperware cabinet. He adores Finn and follows him around everywhere, trying to get his hands on Finn’s toys and food. When Finn deigns to notice him, it’s like the sky has opened and a ray of sunshine is lighting Rhett up, he’s so happy.

Lucy is our independent girl. In a lot of ways, she’s very similar to Finn as a baby. She’s cheerful and easy-going. She knows no strangers and when older kids are around she’ll crawl after them like she’s one of them. When she gets tired, she grabs her teddy bear and rubs it’s paw just under her nose the same way Finn does with his bunny’s ear. When she gets really tired, she just leans forward and falls asleep. She’ll eat anything that she can cram into her mouth, from stickers to snow to whatever Finn has left lying around. Her favorite hangout is under the high chairs where she can graze for dropped crumbs. I love having a girl to dress. I’ve just started to attempt to make dresses for her.

I was just reading over the February archive of this blog to jog my memory of where we were a year ago.

Because really, I can remember very little of it on my own. In fact, Patrick and I have decided that this year will always be known in our family as The Lost Year. The bizarro year that flew by in a surreal haze as we watched, sleep-deprived and disheveled.

Today isn’t just a celebration of our babies turning a year old. It’s a celebration of our survival as parents. Everyone with twins told us that the first year was hard but then things would get better. We decided that for the whole first year, our single goal for our family was Survival. No trying to be Supermom, or Multi-tasking Mom. Not even Coherent Mom or Makeup on Mom. Simply Survivor Mom.

We did it. Today we woke up (actually we were woken up by Finn who has made it a habit of jumping on us when he decides its time to get up) after a full nights’ sleep (a treasure that we’ve enjoyed for a few months now) and all of our three children were happy, healthy and loved. We got everyone up and changed. We fed them and set them loose to begin their daily demolition of the living room. Patrick left for work and the twins trailed after him, looking at the back door longingly, then returned to dismantling an Exersaucer.  I looked around at my content playing children and just felt so happy to have gotten to this point. I cheerfully got everyone bundled up and took them to the library to get myself a few new books as a reward. It wasn’t difficult or stressful to be out with all of them, they did great. An hour ago, everyone was getting sleepy so I put them down one by one and now the house is quiet while they all sleep. I had lunch, cut some fabric for a new project, and sat down to check the news from Egypt and write this post.

I’m not saying it’s easy now. Somedays it’s so hard it makes me cry. Like yesterday. Patrick has meetings before church so I get the kids fed, dressed, fed again, changed, bundled up and out the door by myself, usually with everyone screaming their heads off because our new schedule falls right in their naptime and makes everyone cranky. By the time we get their I’m sick of all of them and ready to lie about the twins ages so I can send them off to the nursery.  So not so easy. But it’s better now than it was months ago.

Tonight we’re going to give the twins their first cupcakes and sing Happy Birthday to them. Then we’re going to put the kids to bed and go out on a date to mark the end of our year of Survival and the beginning of the rest of life.

Our Happy Family

Coming soon, a photo retrospective from Christmas. Here’s a teaser:

Better yet:

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8 Responses to “Survivor- Twins: Outwit Outplay Outlast”

  1. Nancy February 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Congratulations!

    Bring on the terrible twos, right?

    I mean…don’t think about that yet.

    You guys are doing great!

  2. Liz February 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    That family pic is SO ADORABLE… like you could use it to sell family-geared products. Like… minivans? Hahahahaha.

    Happy Birthday to the twins, but a much bigger CONGRATULATIONS to you and Patrick (and Finn) for surviving!

  3. DaD February 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Happy birthday to your two habibs,?? habobs??? ugh, er, .. TWINS !!

  4. Stacy February 7, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    We love your family. We love that you all survived the twins’ first year. We love that we were a small part of it.

  5. DLewis February 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    So I remember on my mission, about four months in, watching some of the veteran elders in the bus station about to head to the mission headquarters and then go on home. They were tired, they looked a bit ragged, but they were pumped about having worked hard and were ready to go see their family and friends again. I had been out in the field long enough to get my feet wet, know how hard the work was, and how much longer I had. I couldn’t help but look longingly at these guys that had already finished the toughest period of their life and wished for a second that I was in their place, headed towards more restful times rather than the unceasing labor I would be facing for months on end.

    Yeah, that’s what this post was like for me.

  6. Judy Rossow February 8, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Melissa,
    I loved your blog today and the picture of your Happy Family is just great! Glad to know you made it through the fist year……

    Love
    Judy

  7. Jennie February 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Excellent post, Melissa. I’m so glad things have settled down a bit and you can move out of survival mode! My older sister with twins said that she really was unable to remember much of the first 6 months after their birth. Hooray for sleeping through the night! Amazing how you start to feel like a person again instead of a zombie.

    And, I want to add, I am so very impressed that you are able to get them all napping at the same time and actually work on a project.

    By the way, is that a picture of Lucy having fallen asleep on the floor? Now that is adorable.

  8. Lisa Adams February 10, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    congratulations on making it through the first year. Definitely brings back memories reading your post. Survival mode is definitely the way to get through that first year and I love your term “the lost year”. Your babies are adorable!

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