Thursday, March 24, 2011

10 month love.

They are 10 months old. Tomorrow. My heart is a little panicked, I must admit. Weren't we just figuring out how to strap them into their car seats properly for our ride home from the hospital? Me, sitting next to them holding their little 5 pound 4 ounce bodies still in their car seats, propping them up with blankies- those car seats really seem dauntingly scary with a little itty bitty peanut inside of them.

We took them home and stared in amazement at our little amazing creatures as they flinched their little arms and fingers and looked all around, seeing the world for the first time.

We stared for about 5 minutes and then ensued the never ending list of diaper changing, bottle feeding, singing, rocking, playing, cleaning up, walks to the park, Praise Baby, teething rings, and oragel and my perpetually full cup of coffee... and here we are today, me slightly sorrowful, as I realize this season is quickly coming to an end.

The first year. I know we are still 2 months away, but I am keenly aware that it is right around the corner. I hope my heart can take it.

We are putting up baby gates and growth charts and they are eating puffs, crawling all over and Amelia can even stand up in her crib and against objects. We've rapidly been baby proofing our little house. And above all, we're trying to soak in all of these "lasts," for we surely know the inevitable is happening.

They are growing up.  And I am finding myself praying a lot more, crying out to God in the stillest of moments and in the chaos of it all to protect their hearts, to watch over them, that they would be secure in sensing the Great Author of their lives as they develop their personalities and that we (the parents) would be Christlike examples of what it means to walk in the ways of the Lord. Not to be perfect, but to walk in His truth, and love, and grace.

Oh Lord, how I long for more of you. How I need your peace today. Thank you for our precious gifts and for entrusting them to us. Give us wisdom to guide them.


10 months- Steady As We Go from Jackie Perez on Vimeo.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Choosing Joy

A boy stopped me yesterday.

Our girls have been super fussy. For a month. We worked tirelessly to get them on a routine and got them back to taking good naps (thank you AnneMarie for your help!!) and even got through letting them CIO at night. We saw the light at the end of our sleepless tunnel.

Until the colds.

And the teething.

And the puking.

I've been so exhausted and whiny and generally frustrated lately. To say I needed a Jesus intervention would be putting it lightly.

And then add sick, pukey, teething, non-napping babies.

I decided we all needed a trip to the mall yesterday, in hopes that the car ride would put them to sleep.

It didn't.

But, thankfully being pushed around in a stroller by mama did the trick. After about 20 minutes they were out. I put blankets over the visors so they could sleep undisturbed.

**Note, if you are ever out and about and happen to see a sleeping baby under a blanket in the stroller, it is not OK to come up to the mother and quite loudly ask if you can look at the baby while you are already lifting the blanket and cooing at said sleeping baby... or babies. Not OK!

I admit, I was wallowing. I don't do it very often. In fact, I get quite irritated by people who habitually whine. It's very tiring for me to listen and not just jump in and tell the "whiner" what they should do to rectify their situation. I have been known to block friends on FB who have a propensity towards whining. I just can't take it.

So there I was wallowing and forcing smiles at each person who passed by and insisted on lifting the blanket to peer at my sleeping girls. I bought their Christmas dresses for this year at a whopping $11 a piece. I was finally finding some sanity in my day in the form of festive colored material, beads, and yummy smelling candles.

And then it happened.

I walked into the last store on our adventure and maneuvered my giant double stroller around the tiny earring shop and as I was leaving, yet another person decided to stop me. He was maybe 16 and worked at the store.

Our conversation went something like this:
Boy: you have twins?
Me: Yes, I do.
Boy: Fraternal or identical?
Me: Fraternal girls.
Boy: Can I look?
Me: sure (forced smile)
As he lifted up the blanket a noticeable joy washed over him and he turned to me and said...
Boy: I had twin brothers. They died as babies. God bless all three of you. They are precious.
Me: (stunned) Thank you. God bless you too.

I walked away in a state of shock wondering if that conversation really truly had just happened. I played the words over and over again in my head "I had twin brothers." "God bless all three of you." "The died as babies." I kept translating in my head what he said in Spanish to English over and over again. I knew I heard him right.

As a mom, I wonder sometimes how I would cope if I were to lose one of my babies. But I couldn't comprehend losing two. And it happens everyday. I don't want to be that person living on "what if's" or in fear of what might happen or always complaining about our current situation and wanting to be somewhere further along than where God has us. Right. Now.

That boy won't know the joy he restored to me in that 30 second exchange. How my heart ached for his mother and for him. Here I was wallowing and complaining because the children God had blessed me with were having a hard time getting teeth in and with their reflux back in full swing they have trouble eating. It's not their fault. It's not God's fault. It's just what it is. Yet, somehow, I knew all of my issues yesterday had little to do with the external, superficial circumstances of our girls teething and refluxing and had more to do with me learning (still) to cope with all the failed expectations I had for my life. God has given me something so much more beautiful and wonderful than my dreams, so why do I struggle with disappointment? And why do I take it out on my family and on God? Satan always seems to find a way to creep in to steal my joy and give me false hopes of a life I could have had.

In that moment I decided to choose joy. It is not an easy thing to do when we'd rather complain or question God for what he has or hasn't done for us or in our lives. I realized how much more I need God in my every moment, in my head, and on my lips, woven throughout the moments of my day, so when I find myself embittered with my situation, choosing joy becomes second nature. Not a trip to the mall!

And really, who could not choose joy, when these are your babies! As promised, here are the photos from our recent photo shoot with Goody! Special thank you to Goody for taking pics of our family and for the Krauss' for letting us use their yard!

Surprise! Amelia Grace!

Look at that big ol' belly! Don't you just want to give her a raspberry!!

 Alan calls this her mischievous face!

 Oh I love loving her!

 Stella Natalia! This little pistol is my joy!

 She loves life!

Isn't she amazing? 

So sweet! They are looking at their papi I think!

Could this not be the cover of a greeting card? Who would not be happy to get a card with these chubby bunnies on the front? I would be in heaven!

They love to play together! And steal each other's toys!

I see you and I love you sissy.

Sometimes I catch myself still questioning if all of this is real. Do I really have two amazing, wonderful, heaven sent little girls? And I feel God quietly answering in the stillness of my heart, "yes, you do. And I sent them just to you."

I love our family, and all the joys and struggles that come along the way.

We've been through a lot in such a short amount of time. I love you Alan. 

These girls love them some papi!!!

They really are double the joy and I really am double blessed.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Random Sunday Fun!

Remember this post... Perhaps Amelia is more like me than I originally thought!

I caught Stella with no clothes on just sitting in front of the mirror which happened to be propped up against the wall in the dining room... ok, not really, but I thought the idea was a lovely little impromptu photo! Now I need to get Amelia's done too!

My sweet little girls! Love love love spending time with them today! And do you know who I super love? Alan! Yesterday, he watched the girls while I went out for 3 hours by myself! I shopped for fun Dominican trinkets to send to South Hills for their mission wall, bought some real cheap but super fun earrings, had a macadamia nut cappuccino... it was lovely! Today, he let me sleep for 2 hours while playing with the girls. I woke up to them crawling all over their papi and laughing at each other!

Here's the verse I am holding tightly to today "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Happy Sunday