Evelyn & Olivia, 10 and 11

I failed epically and just never wrote about month 10. It turns out, just when I thought my life couldn’t get more hectic.. it could!

I am a teacher. I teach 11th grade US History and AP US History, APUSH for those in the know. I am a first year teacher with twin babies. I wish people wouldn’t look at me like I’m insane when I say that. Some days, I am barely staying afloat. Some days, I am kicking ass and taking names. Today has been more of the former than the latter. All of the printers were down at work and I was supposed to give a quiz to my APUSH kids. womp womp. I love teaching. I love my school. The kids are amazing. The other teachers are so supportive. I love it. Gaaaahhhh.

Evie and Liv are just fucking awesome. I mean, they don’t sleep through the night, but I have pretty much given up on that. In every other way they are beautiful, perfect, little people. They are little grinning maniacs that I love fiercely.

Liv has spent the last 6 weeks or so being “the quiet” one. Then in the last couple days she went insane and started yelling all. the. time. And swinging her arms very enthusiastically. Yesterday she swung her arm into her sister’s eye. Good job, Liv. On the other hand, Evie crawls so enthusiastically that she managed to tear off one of her toenails.

Evie is a toy stealer. At first, she didn’t act aware that she was doing it, but now she steals her sister’s toys and then mocks her. Cool Evie, cool. Olivia used to just roll with it, but now she is realizing she can steal back. Get that toy, Liv! I foresee a lot of lessons on sharing. Evie also likes to grin with a little scrunchy nose. She looks like a jack o’ lantern.

For the most part, the girls are only minimally aware of each other. They don’t have a secret “twin” language and they don’t play with each other very regularly. Every once and awhile I catch them laughing at each other. I am happy that it seems to be happening more in just the last couple week. I was starting to worry. These will be our only children, I would prefer they like each other.

For the past several weeks we have been doing baby swim lessons. The girls love water and splashing and kicking. We really only decided to do swim as a way to encourage water safety, but seeing how much fun they are having has been so rewarding. We did have one scare where Evie threw up a major amount of water, but it turned out to just be a fluke, weirdo, Evie thing. The evening in the hospital was a barrel of laughs. Other than that teeny thing.. it’s been a blast.

I am off to hyperventilate about inputting grades and planning my first and last First Birthday Party. You really only get one change to get that right…

 



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Favorites - 4 of 18We don’t feed them ice cream regularly. Please don’t send me hate mail. 

Favorites - 5 of 18Liv | Evie 

Favorites - 6 of 18Liv

Favorites - 7 of 18Evie

Favorites - 8 of 18Liv

Favorites - 9 of 18Evie and Daddy

Favorites - 10 of 18Evie, not tired at all. 

Favorites - 11 of 18Evie, very sad to be at the hospital. 

Favorites - 12 of 18Evie

Favorites - 13 of 18Liv | Evie
Favorites - 14 of 18Evie | Liv

Favorites - 15 of 18Livvy with a cucumber roll. 

Favorites - 16 of 18Evie, with what was once a cucumber roll. 

Favorites - 17 of 18Evie | Liv

Favorites - 18 of 18Liv

IMG_7438Liv | Evie

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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