In honor of Mother's Day, I began reading a new devotional in the mornings called Day-Votions for Mothers by Rebecca Barlow Jordan. The other morning I read the devotional entitled "Passin' It On." She quotes Deuteronomy 4:9, "Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." She says that children are often the mirrors of your life and how we should share with them at least three important lessons that we've learned in life so far. To my girls, I want to share these three lessons:
1. Trusting in God is much better than worrying. Trust me!
2. Enjoy today. It's okay to make plans, just know that they will change.
3. Love God and Love Your Family. Doing this, your life will be greatly enriched.
I have had a life-time of experiences to learn these three things but they have never rung more true than they did this past year. Looking back over the past twelve months; I realize HOW MUCH God has taught me - as a new mom and as His daughter. Being the mother of Adeline and Maralee; I truly do see each day as a gift. Every day, my heart is more filled with love for them and a gratifying love to my God. I have no idea what is in store for their futures, but I have so enjoyed learning more about them everyday.
My dear Adeline, how curious have you become! Your eyes are filled with wonder as you discover new things every day on your crawling adventures. Those same eyes even have a tint of mischievousness as you encounter objects that are just waiting for you to pick up.
Your laughter makes my heart smile and your eyes light up the room. I love how your little grin now bears two tiny teeth. Child, you have the love for eating food much like your father. You have learned that if you bang on your tray, more food will come. Obi and Lu Lu thank you for all the food you throw overboard! I am so proud of you for weighing 15.15 ounces! How far you have come! And, for reaching new heights - 26 inches! One characteristic that you are currently showing is determination. Once your eyes are fixed or your mind is focused; you won't stop until you figure out the answer. Whether it is learning to crawl or pulling up all on your own; you are determined to learn new things.
Sweetie, you are also determined not to let momma change your diaper! Wow, how challenging that has become! It's okay though because you usually make me laugh when you squirm away from me unclothed :) We love you, our kind first-born. Thank you for being YOU!!!!
To my sweet baby Maralee, you are the life of the party. As the old Mary Tyler Moore song goes, "Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well it's you girl and you should know it!" Baby girl, you are loved so very much and you give so much love back. When I look at you and see you smile back at me I know that this is why I chose to stay at home with y'all. You make me laugh when you roll your tongue at me - I hope you have learned how to do it because you think it's funny, not because you think I'm a nincompoop.
You love being the baby and having mom and dad tote you around. You might not be crawling, but you still know how to get what you want. Sweet child, you are going to break some poor guys heart one day with your charming personality. Right now, your hair is flipping behind your ears and it is breaking your daddy's heart! You are just too cute! You have one little tooth coming in and I know that more are to come very soon! Still a little shy of your sister's growth, you weigh 15.5 pounds. Even though sister is older, you are beating her in height at 27 inches.
You are going to be walking around before we know it. In the meantime, you can remain our jumping queen. As your Aunt Starla says, you are going to be a great cheerleader one day! Much like your mom, you take your time eating and you prefer to separate your food. I have a funny feeling you are going to analyze things like I do...please take my advice above and don't worry too much about the details and know that God has great plans for your life! We love you so much Maralee!!!!!!!
Both girls had a great doctor's visit but we are watching a little skin bacteria on Adeline and Maralee's ears (she got another ear infection). Other than these things, we were told that they are still on track developmentally and our doctor gave us the thumbs up on our feeding and sleep schedule. One thing that I have learned from raising twins is a schedule makes a family happy. When we don't go by a schedule, we look like this:
Staying on schedule helps our girls know when it is time to eat, sleep, and play. Our Kindermusik teacher tells us that doing things repetitively helps a baby to learn. Schedules might be hard at first, but stick with it - your baby will learn if you keep the schedule in order. Now that our schedule is set, we have some wiggle room in it. Like, if we are at church and it is past seven....the girls stay awake but then they go to sleep once we get home. I don't think the schedule should rule your day; I think it is simply a good tool to implement and follow.
Before I ended the post today, I wanted to take a look back on the girls' first year. Sentimental me, right? Before their first birthday, I was a little sad that they are already one. They don't look like a one year old and they certainly don't act like one. I felt like their prematurity was staring me in the face. But, now that they have crossed that milestone, I see them being one year old in a new light. I see it as a victory and my heart is proud of our girls and us as parents for making it this far. One thing that I have tried to learn is that their prematurity is always going to be apart of our lives but it doesn't define it. As our girls continue to grow, their prematurity will be in the past not the future. Yes, we will still have developmental issues to work on but I know they will catch up as they grow. We will never forget our NICU experience as we move forward in life and we will remember what it taught all of us. Raleigh and I have a passion for helping premature children and their parents and we have big plans that God has placed on our hearts for this cause. Again, we want to thank everyone for helping us raise money for the March of Dimes and the Kangaroo Chair. Our grand total for both of these causes was close to $700! Over time, we will share more of that calling on our lives, but for now let's take a look at just how far we've come.
Can't wait to see what God has in store for our family this next year! Thank y'all for loving our girls and following our journey!!!!!!
Till next time, let your light shine!