Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A smidge overdue...

Pics from the babies' first birthday party EVER! We had such a good time grilling out, hanging with friends and family, chasing toddlers and watching two of the cutest babies you ever did see smush wild amounts of chocolate cake in their faces.

Tiny Miss quickly realized she had an audience and started performing. Throwing cake. Smushing it into her hair. Laughing hysterically. Precious.

Wild Man was surprisingly slow and steady. We were a bit concerned about his sugar intake because lawsy knows that boy is streaming on a caffiene high (without the caffeine!) 24 hours a day. He saved his loopy-ness until we got home and then went bonkers. In true Wild Man style. Loved it.

Hmmmm, what's this big slice of sugar-infested goodness in front of me???

Let me just take a teensy weensie bite...

Yes, and I'll have another!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More than a babysitter...

So I'm laying in a hospital room, in labor (with twins mind you) when Summer walks in for a quick visit to say hello (she's got good connections that got her to the back room). We chat a bit, she gets invited into the OR to watch the babies be born (again, good connections), she says yes (VERY hesitantly), she and Carter put on their scrubs and lo and behold, Summer girl gets to see more blood and guts than she bargained for that morning!

When in the OR, she was asked how she was related to us.

"Uhhh....she's our babysitter," I say from the table, knowing that was a poor answer.

"No, she's more than a babysitter," the ole hubby pipes in, to the rescue.

"Yeah, I'm basically their sister." Good answer, Summer.

You see, I met this little one when she was about 3.

Even got to be her roommate for a while. Used to take her to swim in the ocean at shark feeding time. Made her learn to throw a ball so she wouldn't end up being a priss pot. Laughed at her when she taped her face up before going to sleep (whoops!). And then forced her to wear a dress she hated in my wedding.

Ah, good times.

Somewhere in the last 13 years that little booger grew up.

And somehow I missed it.

Until tonight.

The chubby-cheeked little 3 year old walked into the room a 5'10" runway model.

(This picture is a collision of 2 of my favorite families. And that handsome boy on the left? Yep, he's still 3 years old in my head too.)

But, never fear, she may have grown taller over the years, but she hasn't grown up a bit on the inside!

Who knew when I babysat this little one so many years ago that she would one day grow up and babysit all of my little ones.

Love how the tables have turned.

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Amazing First Year!

My Sweet Tiny Miss…

I will probably say this every year of your whole life, but I really cannot believe how old you are! Your birth will always be one of the best memories of my life. To watch TWO babies be delivered out of my tummy was truly miraculous! You are a gift to our family.

You have such a charismatic personality and when you enter the room, your siblings flock to you. You are so petite that your Daddy and I always want to hold you. I guess we feel we need to protect you more because you’re just a tiny little thing in our family.

Sometime this year we got into a bedtime routine and I became the one to rock you and put you to bed each night. Because your twin bro demanded a lot of attention, you always seemed to be very independent and self-soothing your first six months. And I started missing you (though we spent 24/7 together). Now we’re making up for it by rocking, talking about Roscoe the pup, saying prayers, and singing songs in the few minutes of alone time we have each night. I relish those times each night.

You smile with your eyes and not a day goes by that your Daddy doesn’t get caught by your smile and say, “You are so beautiful baby girl.” I am so thankful you have 2 brothers to watch out for your pretty self!

I am so excited to watch you grow up but I’m mostly excited about today. And then tomorrow. And then the day after that. Because each day with you is a blast and I’m thankful and HONORED to be your Mommy.

Happy 1st birthday. I love you sweet girl.


My Wild at Heart boy…

I am laughing as I’m writing this letter and thinking back over the past 12 months. I thought I had this parenting thing down until you came along. Wow. WOW!

You had your own agenda from day one and you let us know it! You cried for 6 months straight and we walked you all over our house about 100 times over each night. It was so hard to see you hurt from the reflux, but Dr.AJ promised us you would outgrow that part of it…eventually. Now, a year later, it’s down to about 2 nights a week and continues to improve. There is hope that your little system will get all its kinks worked out…eventually!

I called you Benjamin Button when you were just a wee little 5 pounder because you looked like a little old man in a tiny baby’s body. Quickly, QUICKLY, you filled out, surpassed your twin sister and have turned into one handsome big boy! (Benjamin Button did grow up to be Brad Pitt!!)

Strangers, friends, neighbors and family always comment on your beautiful eyes. They are icy blue and I get to look into them every day. What a treat! You are my beautiful boy and as much as you’ve fought me this year, I’ve fought harder for you. I love that you are teaching me how to be a better parent.

As the baby of the family, you will always be my special boy. You make me proud to be your Mommy. Every day you grow and change and as much as I want to watch you grow, I want to keep my little runaway bunny in my arms forever.

Happy 1st birthday. I love you baby boy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shall Never See So Much

So there's this book I read recently. It was good.

Really good.

I had exact pictures of the characters in my head right from the beginning and I got attached.

Really attached.

So much so that I even shed a tear or two at certain points on their behalf. That's when you know it's a good book.

It's 1968. There's Tom. He's a young Marine in the midst of Vietnam. I've always liked Marines. Guess because my dad was one.

Tom's got a little sister, Kate. I like Kate because I know what it's like to be the little sister who is proud of her big brother(s).

But remember, it's 1968. Tom's a Marine in Vietnam. And Kate? Just got hired on to the Robert F. Kennedy campaign. And if you're not familiar with the stance behind the RFK campaign, well, it's not so much in favor of the war.

A brother. A sister. On opposite ends of the earth. On opposite ends of the political spectrum. Yet the bond of blood and family still reign.

There is something different about this book. Different than most of the books I've read. And there's a reason for that.

The author.

He's amazing. His writing is gripping and I was awake until all hours of the night reading because I could not put the book down. And when I finished, I slammed the book shut and threw it down on my nightstand with a sense of accomplishment. You know that feeling when you finish a really good book.

So as I glance over to the back cover sitting on my nightstand, that's when I notice it. The author's picture. I look closer. Is that John Grisham? No. Much more handsome. Could it be Tom Clancy? No way. James Patterson? Heck no.

Why, IT'S MY OWN DAD!!!!!!

That's right. My dad is a famous author and has just released his second novel, Shall Never See So Much. He's so famous you might want to just shake my hand knowing that I'm his daughter. Sometimes I just shake my own hand and feel the famousness through my fingertips.

Check out his website www.GeraldGillis.com and go buy the book. If you're nice and pay me lots of money, I can also get it autographed for you. But since the famousness runs through my fingertips, I'd be glad just to autograph it on his behalf.

I'd claim being biased, you know, with the family thing, but this book is so good, I don't have to be biased. It's that good!


The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most; we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

-Shakespeare, "King Lear"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter festivities

Oh what a fun day we had! Easter has become one of my favorite holidays of the year (but you just can't beat Christmas...that's just good stuff). We had an incredible turnout at church - I believe there were over 500 people in the 9:00 service alone!

We began the morning checking out goodies in the easter baskets and then our traditional early egg hunt in pj's. The babies were still snoozing so we figured they would enjoy next year's egg hunt better anyway!

After church we headed to the Herndon's who take in a lot of us peeps without family in town. I just love our Easter family! And the kid population - my goodness - it has exploded!

The Easter Bunny made a grand appearance to many tear-stricken faces. Buster Boy has been talking a big talk about how this was going to be the year of the high five for Mr.Bunny. Though when he saw the ears over the fence, he flipped a lid and screamed in terror. Eventually he got near him, though hesitantly, and when it was time for the Bunny to leave, Buster boohooed. He wanted him to stay. He has already declared next year to be the year of the hug for Mr.Bunny. We shall see.

The babies had a blast! They ate real big people easter food. They got carried around by multiple people. They got lots of camera-flashing attention and they concluded the day with a 2 1/2 hour nap (and so did we!).

And here are some snapshots just for cuteness sake.