Today, as we are 19 months and a half (a young mom can get away with non-sense month counting like this because who would dare stop us), I just couldn't stop looking at these kids. These superhero versions of Scott and I. We went to the state fair and they ate corn on the cob. They drank out of water bottles. The ran. They laughed. They walked into the calf showing barn while everyone talked in hushed tones while the cows were "shown" and yelled "MOOOOO" at the top of their lungs, and had a smile on their face the whole time. We ended our day on the fast and furiously dizzy carousel... the five of us. Quinn gripping his mama like the boat is sinking, Harper firm and steady on her winning horse - no smiles, all business. And Gracie full of glee, happy to be the baby. And us, we are so happy. So happy to be their parents. Not always happy with their actions, the day or the weather that life brings. But always, always happy to be their mommy and daddy.
This is US. And on a day like this, when you stop to count your blessings and get over yourself and forget that someone (not naming any names - starts with an H and ends with an -er) hits you with a block in the head - you can remember. Everything is in it's place. No mistakes. No questions. All is right.
18 Wheelin' and Dealin'
Simply put, we are 18 (oh OK, by the time I am writing this we are
19 almost 20) months.
So many mountains have been climbed. So many milestones checked. Tears cried. Smiles beamed. Giggles giggled. And silent and spoken blessings counted and I love you's whispered.
So many. All times three. I look back and want to ask that mom, "How did you do it?" Like the whole world asks curiously everyday. Because I don't know how we got here. You know when you are super tired and you go to the store or something, and then you get home, unpack the bags and put them away and then realize you aren't sure how you got home...like you literally don't know if you were the one driving the car, or the route you took or if you opened the garage door or came through the front door. Like that.
I don't know how I get home with every passing month. But somehow we always do.
Dear Quinn, Harper & Gracie -
What strikes me the most at this age is personality and preference. You three little people have just about zero in common most days, other than the fact you shared a uterus the first 8 months of life. Like in one dinner, Harper, you may ONLY eat mac n cheese if you are on my hip, scooping out handfuls with your skinny longs fingers, while shoving it in your tiny mouth, half giggling and half moshing. Or how you, Gracie, will only eat your mac n cheese out of the BIG glass serving bowl, if it is set in front of you while you say"cheeeeze!!" While you, Quinn, are on repeat "milll. millll. miiiiillll." (milk) after taking down your whole plate.
Lots of food throwing. Lots of "I'm doing this for myself, how dare you." The "I want the big piece of toast, banana, pizza,etc" - don't cut my food like a baby. And more food throwing. And more skipped meals. Carbs, carbs and we'll have crackers for lunch carbs. Throw meat. Can follow any basic direction. Can ignore any basic direction. Can repeat almost anything you ask them to say. Can grunt and suddenly be void of all vocabulary. Need to be outside and free. LOVE anything water. Have a nightly ritual after baths; you stand and wait for hooded towels to be placed on heads over those thinning out naked bummies. You get the towel and stand at the door into the bedroom, like a derby house almost out of the gate. Daddy releases you and I always cheer for you. And then you all run, cape flowing behind you...until you crash and fall and laugh. And then you get up and run some more. It is the highlight of your day, and often ours. Every night, Quinn remembers to grab the big "First 100 Words" book and brings it over to Daddy on the rocking chair. That book is magical. All three of you pick up new words every night, just from this book. It mesmerizes you as Daddy says, "Where is the ... CHAIR?!!" And you all point and say your own little version of chair. You love popsicles and trips to get frozen yogurt... spoon skills get better with every trip...for now, we are a sticky covered mess, but thats' what laundry is for. Our favorite place to go is Conner Prairie and see the sheep and play with the pretend farm, train table and old time store. We also have started going to the church and Y nursery...although Quinn still has some kinks to work out with that one.. Pretty much despise the stroller and can only go to the store with mom if you have a good stash of snacks. Love to sing and dance and remember and sign all those songs we have been singing since birth! Our current favorite: Ring Around the Rosy - with all of you carefully searching for each other's hands to hold...sometimes very confused with the "inside out" hand holding (right hand to right hand, it just makes sense that any hand should work?) Saturday morning farmer's market are the best: we get something really yummy (muffins, scones or homemade bagels) and get to run free on the grass - dancing and listening to the music while Mom gets us fresh food that we will probably throw on the floor. Everyone is happy on Saturday mornings.) For the most part, we are happy (unless we are really mad) and givers and already, at this young age, have each other's backs. Q & G, you know when a paci is under a crib, it goes to Harper. Quinn, although you mostly steal it, you know that milk left behind is usually Gracandra's (nope, that is not her full name, but that's what Daddy calls her...????) When Harper strays off (and she usually does), Gracie starts saying "Mar-mar!?" and gets that sheep back on track.
Q - You have changed the most. I worried you may be a "push-over", with your sisters kind of always "bossing you around," but boy am I not worried anymore. You hold your own and are certainly exploring your independence (this sometimes includes grabbing, with force, anything and everything your sisters have, hitting your sisters across the face and laughing, showing your anger by pausing in the crouched position and then just belly diving onto the floor and letting it rip and the other famous - the reach and pout when something just isn't right in your world.) You love to help - with anything from cleaning, putting items away or bringing snacks or dolls to your sister. You deep down, no matter how "boy" you get to be, are a good boy. You love to measure and scoop and put objects in water to see what they do - with this look of seriousness and commitment. Like someone assigned you to engineer the next best space rocket. You try to say just about everything, but a lot of your words come out with the root "ma" or "da." My current favorite word of yours: "woooork" (Daddy at work) - you say it with such seriousness...with that little boy scratchy voice - melts my heart. One of my most proud moments: giving you an apple and you handed it to G. Giving you another apple, you hand to H. The 3rd apple you keep. A golden rule follower with golden hair...that is learning to push his limits. And in true boy form, usually looks handsome as a devil doing it.
H- You are still the monkey that is happy and free and would do just about anything when challenged, but recently has developed a sensitive side that makes you this sweet little thing that sometimes just needs a good cuddle. Your hair has auburn tones and your skin is like porcelain - you really look like my little doll. You are so independent and you completely entertain and blow me away when I watch you across the room in a new setting - never afraid to go up to a new group of kids (usually older) and just watch, never shy that you "don't belong." I have a feeling, you will always just belong, wherever you go, whatever you do. The plate/food throwing is your MO ... some nights I'm afraid Daddy is going to take you to Grandma's and just leave you there, like some ranch for kids that need to learn to not throw their plates. You squeel. You are just a squeeler. When you are happy. When you are mad. When you are surprised. When you giggle. And your little voice, it's just so little and sweet, like you. You are gaining new words everyday - but still, the sweetest sound you make is "mama." It really is. I also REALLY like the enthusiasm you put into your "aaaaMMMMMMMen!" after prayers at night. That glow worm baby and your old grouse pacifier may go to college with you. Just don't blame me when you can't get a 2nd date. Monkey Mae, Mar-Mar and Harper Jo - you light up our world and keep that oil burning.
Gracie girl - Will you promise, no matter how old we both are, no matter where we both live, that when we meet, you will embrace me and hug me like you do now? Your soft curls and mooshy belly hugs stop me in my tracks. You are such a ham and goofball and really, really like to giggle and have fun. You can be shy, but you mostly feed off others talking to you, smiling with those apple cheeks and sometimes even batting your mile long, dark eyelashes. You are like a little walking, talking sponge. What we say, you say. Watermelon? No problem. Excuse me - "me-me," stops my heart. Mooommmmy. Daddddyyyy. Nnnnn (Quinn) Mar-mar (Harper) May-ma (Grandma) and Bapa (Grandpa) top the list. Your giggle, when it goes deep into your belly and rolls out with a curl at the end, that one is contagious. You are such a little organizer and helper. Not only do you put things in its place, you organize them. Stacks of diapers, balls all in one spot or napkins in a row. You have an eye for neatness and barely ever have dirty clothes when the other 2 looked like they rolled in a bathtub of peaches and ketchup. You have such a song in your heart and a beat in your soul - watching you dance and sing makes me happy. That side head tilt, half smile and finger waving to the music says it all. Your 1st song you sang "Rowwwww, rowwww, rowwww" (your boat). I think you have a career ahead of you. Sweet Gracie girl - we waited our whole life just to have your song.
Just a few pictures. Out of the 2090 images on my Mac...