When Nathan and I learned our boys were sharing a placenta, doctors immediately informed us that this meant the children would be identical twins. For a few weeks, we thought the babies could be high-risk monoamniotic twins, but we eventually learned (to our great relief) that each boy had his own separate sac. I had wanted twins my entire life, and I always fancied how cute identical twins were. Nathan had grown up with several sets of twins in his family (all identical), so he wasn't too surprised when we learned Ezra and Elliott were identical.
After doing a significant amount of research on twins, I let Nathan know his genes had nothing to do with the single egg dividing. According to research, identical twins are not genetic. I suppose it is just a coincidence that Nathan's grandmother had identical twin daughters and that Nathan's aunt, the sister of identical twins, also had identical twin daughters. Further back in Nathan's family, there are other sets of twins (I believe his grandmother's grandmother was a twin) and they are all identical. I don't know what the statisical probability of these random egg divisions is, but I find it intriguing. Who knows? Maybe in 30 years we'll learn that genetics do, in fact, play a role in an egg suddenly dividing. Perhaps all of us mothers shared a desire for twins and willed our bodies to have two babies rather than one (that sounds crazy, I know). Several times, I have jokingly stated, "I willed that egg to divide!" Of course, I know that isn't possible, but I can't wait to tell our boys the story about how we knew we were going to have twins.
Here is a picture of the identical twins in our family. Baby B's are on the left and Baby A's are on the right. Our family loves twins!
As Nathan and I were getting ready for bed last night, we both expressed the similar thought that time has gone by so quickly. The nights of never sleeping felt endless, but looking back, those days seems like a lifetime ago and just yesterday simultaneously (I'm not sure how that happens).
Parents often say things like, "I cannot imagine my life without my children" and I am undoubtedly one of those people. Life before Eliza and then the twins was certainly different, but envisioning a life without them is impossible. I love knowing there will be three little faces to greet me every morning. I love seeing the boys watch me cook breakfast from their highchairs and always expecting to hear Eliza ask, "Can I help?" I love knowing that the babies will greedily eat their raisins and that I need to watch Ezra because he may steal food off of Elliott's tray. I look forward to the fake cries for attention if we leave the room for a minute, and I can't wait to have a few seconds of snuggling when my tired babies awake from their afternoon naps.
Of course, I can imagine not washing cloth diapers every day, pumping, constantly cleaning high chairs, and vacuuming stray Cheerios from every room in the house, but I am grateful those little tasks are really just a small portion of parenting. Nathan and I joke that we are in a constant state of exhaustion, but it's worth it.
(And I could probably write 10 posts alone on my emotions regarding the past year, but I will refrain. I just really love these boys!)
A year ago this very minute, Elliott was born. His little brother arrive 8 minutes later. Those were the most intense minutes of my life, but they were quickly followed by indescribable, overwhelming joy. I've been pretty emotional this morning thinking about our precious sons and that miraculous day. I am still in awe of God's tremendous blessings. Happy Birthday to our little E's! We love you!
I think I am a little obsessed with Dr. Seuss. We watch The Cat in the Hat most mornings on PBS, and Eliza really enjoys Green Eggs and Ham and other Dr. Seuss books. Additionally, we bought The Lorax last week watched it and How the Grinch Stole Christmas several times with the nieces and nephews. I decided to do a party based on all of our favorite Dr. Seuss books/movies, and I was pretty pleased with how our Dr. Seuss decorations turned out.
My sisters-in-law, Danielle and Jenny, spent most of Friday helping me get everything together. Lucky for me, Danielle and Jenny are creative and good at baking. Jenny made the most delicious cupcakes I have ever eaten and two little smash cakes for the boy (and an extra big sister cake for Eliza so she wouldn't feel left out. Thoughtful right?). Danielle made the Grinch cookies (sugar cookies rolled in green sugar with Santa Hershey Kiss Santa hats on top) and helped me set everything up. It took a while, but everything looked great!
Our Cat in the Hat table had goldfish in a tea pot, red velvet cupcakes with blue icing (little Thing 1's and Thing 2's) and little fish in blue jello.
The Lorax and Green Eggs and Ham table was my favorite. We had Lorax Nutter Butter cookies, Sunkist soda with a Lorax face, colorful Twizzlers reminiscent of Truffala trees. No Dr. Seuss party would be complete without Green Eggs and Ham, so we made sure to have a full platter of those treats.
Lastly, there was a Grinch table. We had Grinch cookies, marshmallows (Christmas-y, right?) and candy cane striped Hershey Kisses.
Of course, my favorite part about the party was that the boys were dressed like Thing 1 and Thing 2. In an effort to save money, I made the costumes myself (or tried). Cheryl helped me sew feather boas onto hats, I bought cheap candy cane striped Baby Begs, and ironed Thing 1/Thing 2 logos that I made onto onesies. Unfortunately, the logo did not have a white background (which I didn't notice until after one had been ironed on). I've thought of a way to fix it, but for the party, we just taped on a little sign and didn't worry much about it. The boys looked cute no matter how they were dressed.
They loved the croissant rolls and ham, and their cousins enjoyed all of the other goodies.
Before the boys dove into their cakes, we tried to take a few pictures with them wearing their amazing wigs (Try being the operative word here).
After a few attempts, we eventually managed to get a couple of cute pictures. Elliott even smiled for a few of them!
Ezra was less interested in the hat, but we did get one get picture and ended the baby torture.
Finally, it was time for the fun part: the cake eating! We sang Happy Birthday and gave each baby their very own cake.
At first, neither boy knew what to do with the cake. They looked at it and then they looked at each other, watching to see what their brother would do.
Ezra was brave and decided to try his cake first.
After a tentative bite, Ezra decided the cake was good and dove into it face first.
Meanwhile, Elliott was still scared of the cake and uncertain what to do.
Nathan gave him some encouragement and he finally began to eat the cake.
He was still a little scared, but he eventually got over it and decided that he also liked eating cake.
Ezra definitely destroyed every last piece of his birthday treat.
I'll have to post the video of the cake smashing, but the pictures do a good job of showing who enjoyed their cake more :)
Overall, it was a great party! We were pretty exhausted afterwards, but the majority of refreshments were eaten and everyone seemed happy.
The boys received several gifts (clothes, money, and toys), but their favorite things have been a little musical airplane from our friends Jason and Natalie and Poppity the Musical Dino from Great-Grandma Robbins. You know you are a parent when a new toy that plays new songs is literally music to your ears.
I'm thankful for our boys, for our friends and family who came to the party, for my family members in South Carolina who always remembers to send a card for every special occasion, and for the memories of a really wonderful day.
On the 17th, Eliza and her cousin spent the day getting ready for the Daddy-Daughter Cinderella Ball. It was a crazy day with Nathan and I both working from home, but I somehow managed to get their make-up and hair done in time for the event. Cheryl did their nails and made sure they were dressed like little princesses. We were all pretty pleased with the final looks (especially the girls, who kept saying, "I'm so beautiful!")
Before they left, Cheryl gave them each a pair of gloves as a special treat for the ball.
They loved the gloves and couldn't wait to try them on.
They finally posed for some pictures with their dads and were off to the party.
According to Nathan and Chad, Eliza and Ellie had a great time. There was dancing, cookies, pink punch and every princess received a wand.
The best part, by far, was the ride in Cinderella's carriage.
Ellie, Eliza, and their friend Ahnna had a wonderful time in the carriage. Even though it was really cold outside, they were all smiles.
Over a week later, Eliza is talking about how much fun she had. I'm so glad the girls were able to go!
The 17th also happened to be my 26th birthday, so we had a small celebration at home. Ellie, Eliza and my two nephews, Hayden and Beckham, sang me Happy Birthday and Cheryl made sure I had some gifts (because she is amazing like that).
If I look exhausted, it's because the day was quite crazy. A couple of days later, Nathan and I celebrated my birthday again with our friends Jason and Natalie. It was the perfect celebration with a movie, Coke, cake, cookies, and quiet. I feel so old!