Ok, ok, on to the good stuff. Warning though, this could be long!
It has been quite some time since I (Rett) posted much on our blog. Tony has been the king of all things techie since we left for China and I have gleefully let him! I have, however, been missing my outlet for emotion, and thought I'd give the blog a whirl once again. We LOVED the comments you left on our other site though! And we'll be doing a couple of additional updates so check back there in about a month.
So, we've been a family of four for just over a month now. Wow. A month. Amazing. I honestly mean it when I say that it feels like the girls have always been with us.
I am a mom. Yep, a mom. Unreal. People have asked all sorts of questions since we've become parents and one of those is, "Does it feel any different now that you're a mom?" And you know, I'm not sure. I mean, nothing, and I DO mean nothing melts my heart more than to hear one of the girls yell, "Mama!" and actually INTEND to get my attention. I absolutely love that. I love it just as much to hear them wander through the house singing "Mama, maaaamaa" or "Baba...babbababba". It makes my heart smile. (Right mom?) And I know, someone out there is chomping at the bit to leave a comment saying how we'll be annoyed one day soon when it's a constant stream of Mama's or Baba's, but for now, there's no sweeter sound!
I guess it does feel different now that I'm recalling some events of the past month. The first time I heard the girls giggle with delight while running down the hall cause "Mama's gonna get you" was just great. The first time I had to use my mommy voice and say, "SIT DOWN in the tub or you'll fall!" I felt like a mom. When little LaLa (Abby) was all excited and playing outside and had her first big fall over the wagon handle, I felt like a mom. My stomach was in my throat as I picked her up to see the goose egg that was appearing over her beautiful right eye. My protective gene kicked in and I wanted to rescue her. (She's fine, by the way...singing mere minutes later). So yeah, I felt like a mom then.
I feel pride like mommy's worldwide do, when they learn something new. When I see them reenact something I just did, or say something they heard us say, my heart swells. When they can point at a shape and say, "Circle" yep, I'm proud. And when they show tenderness to one another by giving a random kiss to sister. Or when they're changing clothes and reach over to tickle their sister's tummy, just to get giggles. Mommy emotion fills up.
When the girls launch into their favorite part of Itsy Bitsy Spider (Out comes the sun) on their own, or combo that with their ABC's...wow, I'm in love all over again. They just make us laugh so much!
Church has been great too. Our church family has been so supportive. They ohh and ahh over the girls as much as we do! And I'll tell you, there's nothing more wonderful than holding your child while worshipping God. I looked into LaLa's eyes this past Saturday night as we were singing, and her eyes conveyed such peace....trust...comfort. And MeiMei was relaxed in Tony's arms, taking in the music and all that God is. God is so good.
Now don't get me wrong, it's not all ladybugs and sunshine. I have experienced all the other mommy emotions too. When it's 4:00 A.M. and Tony and/or I have been up three times already because MeiMei (Laney) is crying out again, I feel lots of emotions. I'm tired, grumpy, irritable, sad for her, and groggy. When we've told one or the other to share, not take their sister's toys, or be nice for the 600th time, yep, I feel like a mom. When I have to put someone in time out for pulling hair or NOT being nice, I feel exasperated and worrisome that they'll never learn.
So, yeah, I guess I do feel like a mommy now. I'll be honest, at first, I didn't. I felt like I was playing mommy, you know? Kind of like you do when you're first married. Going through the motions of being a wife...cooking, cleaning, etc. It isn't until your first big decision or the first time you sign your married name that you feel like a wife. I didn't feel mommy-ish for a while. I loved the girls even then, but we hadn't 100% bonded yet. But we're there now.
Speaking of bonding...it has gone well. We appreciate everyone being so conscientious about it. It's so hard on our end. We know everyone has waited just as long as we have for these wonderful girls, and they just draw you to them. But, we've had a couple of times where the girls would be with someone and when we're trying to get them back, they shake their heads no. I know to many of you, that sounds very normal..and it is..somewhat. But we've read, counseled, and experienced attachment and bonding and we know when it's time to pull back. That's why we appreciate it that many of you have purposefully not reached for them. If anything it just reassures us (we're the ones stressing, not them!). But soon, we'll all settle in. Like my mom reminded me...we've only been home a month. It's ok to still have new parent worries and jitters. We're still solidifying as a family. Thanks mom!
Christmas helped us feel like parents too. Although the girls didn't quite understand everything, it was fun for us to start some of our traditions. We toured a local park that is filled with lights and Christmas decorations. We shopped. We saw Santa (from a distance---no chance they'd sit on his lap). They had their first candy canes (thanks Congressman Pence). And we totally felt like parents when we put them in their new Christmas Eve pj's, put them to bed, and then spent the next two hours assembling many, many toys. Their kitchen set was a HIT! Thanks aunt Robin! Tony and I giggled and laughed while A Christmas Story played in the background. It was such fun. And I think I actually woke up before the girls because we wanted to have the lights on, and cameras ready for their very first Christmas morning with us. It was such a good day. Those are the days we dreamed about. But we never dreamed it would be as good as it was though.
As the days have passed, we've enjoyed some lazy days as a family too. The busyness of the holiday season has been fun, but the days where we trap ourselves in the basement have been equally as fun. I have a great life.
Reality is coming soon, though. I start back to work Jan. 17, and I'm in full-on denial. Spending all day with the girls can wear me out, but it's the best "exhaustion" I've ever felt. I cannot stand for one second thinking about someone else teaching them the things we should be. So I am not thinking about it. At least not for another week or two. Yep, denial. So if anyone has a home-based business idea that would allow me to work for two hours a day (during nap time) and make the same pay I do now (ok, I could take a slight pay cut) then send your ideas my way.
We celebrate the girls' 2nd birthday this Wednesday. We missed their first birthday, but trust me, they were loved even then. We didn't even know there were two little ones in our future last January, but God took our prayers for little Abby and multiplied them times two. He knew we were praying for them both. Thank goodness He knows the ending of all of our stories! We can rest in that knowledge!
So Tony and I picked out their first (2nd) birthday cake today. Since they haven't attached to any character or theme yet, we went with Monster Trucks. It's the ONE thing they watch on TV and they'll be able to totally identify it. Yes, Tony was thrilled! Mickey Mouse and Pooh, would ring NO bells with them. Besides, from here on out, they'll have their own opinions and need two cakes to satisfy their wishes. We'll post pics of their intimate birthday party later this week. We're going to do a mid-summer party w/ all of our friends and family and their kiddos once things have calmed down some. So, for now, it'll be a small get-together filled with lots of love!
I couldn't end this post without a few pictures, so Tony's going to attach some. Thanks for being such a great support. God is good...all the time...and all the time...God is good.
Aren't they adorable!!! (even without their hair done yet)
Had to have the new boots on immediately Christmas morning!
Yes, Life IS Good!