Evelyn & Olivia, Nine Months

There are teeth! We have teeth! Three teeth total. Evelyn has two and Olivia has one. They both look like little crazy pirates and I love it. I do not love teething. Rob loves it even less. Rob takes Evie overnight and her response to teething is OMG I AM DYYYYIIING. Liv is a little more mellow and she is mine overnight. If this is how Eve responds to a front tooth I am very nervous for molars.

Evie and Liv both have crawling down and are little speed demons. We’ve put in a baby gate, but if we leave it open the cat food is definitely not safe. The best thing ever is waking up to Olivia standing in her crib, staring at me with wonder. What are you doing, mama?? Kid, I am trying to sleep. You should too. Then she realizes I am awake and splits into this little crazy grin. My crazy little pirate.

You know when you have an amazing day, trip, week, whatever? You stop yourself and think, this is amazing. This is my life. I stop myself multiple times a day. This, right now, is it for me. This life with these girls… I can’t even. Right now Evie is learning to bounce up and down and shrieking like a maniac in my mom’s lap. Rob is feeding Liv yogurt. This is my life.

I spent the last month just outside Phoenix, getting my ass kicked. Training with Teach for America to be a teacher is one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I have twins. And went to law school. But I made it. I taught reading to 20 fourth graders and am a better person for it (more on TFA to come..).

Yet, life didn’t stop while I was gone.  Evie and Liv continued to grow in leaps and bounds. Crawling, sitting, growing teeth, learning to pull up on everything. I came home halfway through training to find out they had learned how to raise their arms in the air when they wanted to be picked up. They learned to crawl into laps and give hugs and kisses.

And then I died. 

I know they say it takes a village, but sometimes, with Evie and Liv, it feels like it takes an army. Between my parents, Rob, Aunt Jilli, Uncle Batman, and a kick ass daycare, we made it through the month of June. The girls are happy and thriving and I am so excited to see what is next for them.

What is next for us. 

Favorites - 1 of 22When Evie attacks.

Favorites - 2 of 22Evie | Liv

Favorites - 3 of 22Uncle Batman

Favorites - 4 of 22This is not my child. Celery is the worst thing ever.

Favorites - 5 of 22What? No.

Favorites - 6 of 22Livvy snuggles.

Favorites - 7 of 22This crawling on me, on anyone, is new. I love it.

Favorites - 8 of 22Livvy, 4th of July ready.

Favorites - 9 of 22Evie | Liv

Favorites - 10 of 22Grandpa’s birthday!

Favorites - 11 of 22Liv | Evie

Favorites - 12 of 22Olivia.. all eyes.

Favorites - 13 of 22Babies’ first swimming lessons!

Favorites - 14 of 22Olivia | Evelyn

Favorites - 15 of 22Olivia | Evelyn

Favorites - 16 of 22Olivia | Evelyn 

Favorites - 17 of 22Indoor playground! Best thing ever.

Favorites - 18 of 22Evie | Liv

Favorites - 19 of 22Evie

Favorites - 20 of 22Olivia | Evelyn

Favorites - 21 of 22Olivia

Favorites - 22 of 22Olivia | Evelyn

Evelyn & Olivia, Eight Months.. ish

Evelyn and Olivia are actually eight months, two weeks. Mom fail. I have now been in Phoenix for just under two weeks though, so I have been a bit preoccupied…

Eight months and we are mobile! Army crawling and scooting all over the place. Evie has been sitting for quite awhile and Olivia has just recently joined her. Seeing them sit on their own is kind of a surreal experience, especially when I walk into the bedroom and see them just sitting there in their cribs like, oh hey, what’s up?

No check up this month so I really only have a guesstimate on their weight, I am thinking they are somewhere between 17 and 18 pounds, with plenty of healthy baby rolls. They continue to grow hair, which I appreciate. Let’s not be bald until two girls, please and thank you.

What we don’t have any of is teeth! Where are your teeth ladies?! You can’t enjoy nachos if you don’t grow any teeth. I’m just saying. I am not actually worried about the lack of teeth… yet. I am assuming they will arrive when they are good and ready. I am just surprised that we are inching towards nine months with still no teeth.

No sleeping through the night either. Thanks girls, love it.

Babbling has also started in earnest. And.. what I have been waiting for.. fighting. We are fighting over toys! Finally, they realized they are sisters! We have plenty of toys, but the rattle in Olivia’s hand looks super awesome to Evelyn, and vice versa. It is currently adorable; I will keep you posted as to when it starts getting annoying. We have entered into such a fun age where their personalities are growing and emerging.

About nine months ago I was super worried they would be born and I would confuse them and everything would go to hell. Well, as a seasoned twin mom, I am glad to say that has never happened. I can tell who they are by the shape of their heads and the tone of their cries. I can tell by their eyes and their cheeks and their smiles. I can tell because Olivia is a yeller and Evie is more a whiner. I can tell because I know them. So, soon to be twin moms out there, don’t worry. You will know.

And now.. Evie and Liv, eight months.. ish.

Favorites - 1 of 16This was the first time Evie got to sit in the cart without her carseat. She was so proud.

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Evie and Liv with Nana.

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Evie with Daddy.

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Evie | Liv

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Liv
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Evie
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So proud!

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Olivia with pot roast, beets, pomegranates, etc. She looks like a little murderer.

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Livvy helping with laundry.

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Evie

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Livvy | Evie

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Livvy | Evie

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Liv

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EvieFavorites - 15 of 16Evie

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Evie | Liv

 

Teach for America, Story of Self

One of my assignments for Teach for America is to write my “Story of Self.” This is a story about my educational trajectory. What happened in my education to make me who I am. What happened in my history to make me committed to TFA’s cause of educational equity. Well after a few failed attempts, I’ve got it down…

“I’m not paying for college,” he said. I sat there, thinking I should be stunned, but I wasn’t. Of course my dad wasn’t going to help pay for me to go to school. It had always been that way. He fought battle after battle against my mother my entire childhood. Everything from child support to money for camp was a fight. And there was no reason. My dad was a person of means, plenty of means. He could send me to college easily, wherever I wanted to go. But he hated my mother and he loved to control me. I wanted to go, so of course I couldn’t. He wanted me to go to community college and not “waste” my money at a four-year school. And though I shouldn’t have, I heard loud and clear, you’re not worth the investment.

There was only one school I wanted to go to. I grew up going to a summer camp that I adored. Most of the staff came from Christian colleges on the west coast. Whitworth, a small Presbyterian school in Spokane, Washington, had my heart. I wanted it more than anything. I had the grades to get in and then some. I worked hard in school. I was a yearbook editor, I took AP classes, I worked a part time job. I felt like I deserved this. I didn’t get into honors classes to go to community college.

I should have been crushed by my dad’s words, but I wasn’t. My entire life had been a battle of wills between my dad and I and it had created a stubborn streak a mile wide. I was willful, if not openly defiant. Even in school, if I disagreed with a teacher I had no qualms about voicing my opinion. I was a delight to have in class. My dad should have realized telling me I couldn’t go to the school of my dreams was the last thing he should have done.

What my dad failed to put together is that I had a very powerful ally in my back pocket: my mother. My mom backed my decisions big and small. If I had a disagreement with my teachers, youth minister, or my dad she had my back. My mom had always been my fierce advocate, defending my decisions and my abilities. She didn’t doubt me and for that reason I didn’t doubt myself.

I came home from my dad’s house after we’d had the college discussion. I remember sitting in my mom’s bathroom and talking about how we were going to pay for college. I was thinking about not going. My mom just said, we’ll make it work. She’d get a job, we’d take out a student loan, she and my step-dad would help any way they could. They didn’t have the means that my dad had, but they could help. My mom was always there for me to support me in whatever I wanted to do. And here she was again, making my college dreams possible.

I only applied to Whitworth. I sobbed uncontrollably when I got in. So did my mom. My mom flew to Whitworth with me that fall. We both bawled when she left and I started my college education. But my time at Whitworth was the best four years. It was everything I could have imagined and more. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my time there.

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where I go from here, part IV

part I, part II, part III

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In just a few weeks I leave for Arizona for five weeks for intensive teacher training. When I come back I will start work at whichever school I have been placed with. Evelyn and Olivia will be about 8 months when I start teacher training, 10 months when I go back to work full time. Somewhere in the middle of that I am hoping to fit in swim lessons.

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Decisions about work and family have not been taken lightly. One of the easiest parts of walking away from law was that I knew it would be a good choice for my future family. Teaching is going to provide us with a lifestyle that Rob and I are much more comfortable with. Working and parenting is such a controversial issue, with everyone having the “right” opinion. Well, first, let me say this. I want to go back to work. I want to work. I need to work, for me. Second, even if I didn’t want to, it isn’t an option for us. Rob and I need to be a two-income family. Rob’s income is not enough to support us all unless we plan to live with my parents indefinitely. As much as we love my parents, that isn’t an option either.

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I have had many, many questions about what I am going to do with Evie and Liv once I go back to work. I find this incredibly frustrating. Clearly, I am going to leave them on the porch with a sign that says, free to a good home. Rob would never get questions like this. He is expected to support the family. Way to perpetuate gender stereotypes, yo.

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So, what am I going to do with the girls? I am usually a quick decision maker. I know what I want. But I have gone back and forth between nanny and daycare 500 million times. Today I am 75% nanny, 25% daycare. Because it is two babies it is roughly the same cost to do either nanny or daycare. The girls are currently in daycare 8 hours a week so I can get TFA pre-work done. They are doing very well and seem to enjoy being there. My one main complaint is the colds. So. many. colds. I like that they will get interaction with other kids and different adults if they continue to do daycare. However, if we do a nanny they will be getting much more one-on-one attention and much fewer colds. But then they won’t be interacting with other kids and likely be in the house a majority of the time. I don’t know if we will be living near a park or museum or library.. add to this that I don’t know where we will be living and probably won’t until July.. it’s easy to understand why I am feeling a bit tense. But I think, since my parents are willing to take the girls one day a week, a nanny will provide us with more flexibility with regard to scheduling. Now all I need to do is find a nanny..

IMG_6070This is where I am going. Where we are going. I am nervous and excited and stressed. And excited. And nervous. And overwhelmed.

I can do this. We can do this!

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Evelyn & Olivia, Seven Months

And we have… HAIR!! I was pretty much bald until I was two and I was really hoping to not bless my daughters with that trait. So far, so good. They both have Rob’s hairline and their hair is starting to come in. Fluffy and dark. Win!

Because Evelyn and Olivia were five weeks early their checkups are a bit delayed. They are seven months but we just had their six month appointment. Olivia is just over 16 lbs and Evelyn is just under. They have the exact same size head and are the same length. They are both scooting up the growth chart and are in the low 20th percentile. Everything is looking normal.

I am surprised that Evie continues to be about a pound behind her sister. She eats like a champ. My mom feeds the girls their first meal of the day (because she is a saint) and Evie usually wolfs down her yogurt while Olivia is more like, thanks but no thanks. Liv really has to be hungry to be into it.

Evelyn is rolling, sitting, and inchworming. She sits with her one leg bent so weirdly that I am sure it hurts. I fix it every time and she just puts it back. Okay girl, you win. Olivia is sitting, but she can’t get into the sitting position on her own yet. She inchworms but she doesn’t seem that into it. She was the same way with rolling. Evie tried and tried and did it a month before Olivia and Olivia did not care. Then a month later Olivia was just like, oh hey, I can roll over! I am getting better about just letting them do their own thing when it comes to milestones and not comparing.

We’ve had a British invasion over the last month. Rob’s sister, Vikki, and brother-and-law, Matt, visited. One of my best friends from London and her boyfriend arrived two weeks later. It has been a blast having visitors. And the British candy and baby clothes have been a big hit. British baby clothes seem to be heavier on the bunnies and lighter on the glitter. Maybe Evie and Liv will be super into glitter in a few years but for right now, they get bunnies.

It was Vikki and Matt’s first time meeting the girls and it was so amazing. As always, it was rough to say goodbye. It just doesn’t get any easier. We are hoping, hoping, hoping to take the girls to London next summer, but a lot is up in the air.

Evie and Liv have entered into the phase where they notice when you stop paying attention to them. It is mostly hysterical. Liv just yells until someone pays attention to her. They both continue to enjoy being thrown in the air. They also like being tickled, the NBA, kisses, bathtime, washcloths, paper, and anything that lights up.

Without further ado..

IMAG0432Evie and Rob at the aquarium. The aquarium is a big hit with the girls. They may not know what fish are, but they like pretty lights. 

IMAG0456Bathtime! Liv | Evie

IMG_5468Evie

IMG_5495The love swinging. Evie | Liv

IMG_5505Evie | Liv

IMG_5522Have I mentioned they enjoy pulling hair? Especially Jillian’s.

IMG_5530Liv

IMG_5550Evie is very bendy. We call her Yoga Baby. Evie | Liv

IMG_5568Aunt Vikki and Uncle Matt brought Evie and Liv a ton of new clothes from England. She is clearly very pleased.

IMG_5585Family resemblance much? Olivia | Evelyn

IMG_5617Sometimes being a twin is not so much fun. 

IMG_5625Evie | Liv

IMG_5640Olivia with her photographer, Aunt Jillian

IMG_5725Finally, a family photo. Liv | Evie 

IMG_5743They are discovering each other more each day. Evie | Liv

IMG_5792Olivia is ready to meet Mickey!

IMG_5802Evie loves yogurt.

IMG_5862The girls are a big fan of Uncle Batman.