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Happy first birthday

A whole year has passed. Where did the time go? (And why didn't my baby weight go with it?) And now here I am with two one-year olds. They aren't walking yet. C is very close to walking. He is quite steady when he pushes the walker around the sun room. Sometimes he will pick up the toy he is leaning against to get a better look at it. Once he realizes he is standing independently, he drops to the floor. O is still very happy with crawling, though I've caught him standing a few times. I've heard C say something that sounds a lot like, "Wha?" as if he is asking you, "What?" They are fairly easy babies. They tend to wake up in the night if their schedule gets off for too many days in a row, but I can play with their nap schedule during the day. Both of them love being tickled and cuddled. O is very good at pushing cars around on the floor. C loves to take off and find out what D is up to. While my husband and I can get them giggling, D makes faces and does this little dance for them that will get them both in stitches. They notice each other and will make each other laugh. If one of them starts banging his hands on the high chair, the other will follow suit. Right now, they are both completely enamored with their older brother. They follow him from room to room like a "baby train" and will sit watching him play, like when he drives his tractor in the backyard or takes out his music instruments. When I let them loose, they take off in every direction, D climbing, C off one way, and O off the other. At least D comes back when I tell him to. They will turn to look, laugh, and keep crawling when I try to holler after them, "Stop!"

We've had a lot of highs and lows this year, arguing about the family budget, the best way to get them to bed, whether we needed to stop again on our road trip to feed them, and who's turn it is to go in the nursery. We've changed more diapers than we ever thought possible. We spent so much money on formula. We watched two little people discover the world around them and learn to interact with our family. We watched D quickly transition from the only child to the oldest of three. We opened boxes of D's hand-me-downs and reminisced about when D was that age. We dressed the three of them in matching outfits and took pictures. There were many evenings spent holding fussy babies and many nights in the nursery. I cooked dinner with crying babies at my feet more times than I care to remember. We stood by with a camera the first time the babies were in grass and sand. We were delighted every time they tried and liked new foods and laughed when they made faces at "questionable foods." I made a lot of baby food and packed a lot of lunches. There was a lot of crying and even more smiles. We moved to a bigger house. We learned how to bathe two wiggly babies at the same time and tricks to keep everyone calm and happy when we are out of the house. We learned that we need to make time for ourselves or else it doesn't happen. And, after this year, crying babies do not stress us out anymore.

It's been a sweet year full of precious heart-warming moments. I love watching the three brothers play with each other. I think because the years of back seat arguing have yet to begin, it even makes me laugh when I see them fight for a toy or cry when someone takes it away. Their little tiffs and frustrations with each other are still totally adorable to me because they are finally all interacting, finally able to play some games together. D sits and tries to teach them how to build blocks or play with pegs, "No, don't eat it! Stack it!" I love these precious milestones: celebrating our first full year together as a family of five, the birth of our youngest boys one year ago today, and overcoming the challenges of the first year with twins. I feel that my husband and I deserve cold beers, a good movie, and a pat on the back. I realize this is going to sound like an acceptance speech soon, but I really do want to thank my husband for always being a support system to me this past year. It was difficult figuring out how to balance all the different nap schedules, the best way to feed, and where our marriage fit into all of this. There were many times after we finally got all the kids to bed after a long day of fussing and whining, that I wanted to just start crying when I saw a sink full of dirty dishes, overflowing laundry baskets, and dried spit-up in my hair. Even if we could find (or afford) a baby-sitter, most of the time we just wanted to relax at home (when did "home" become so much work?). But my sweet husband would turn on a Netflix, drag our pillows to the couch, I'd pop some popcorn, and suddenly we had date nights that worked for us (and our budget). I love that even with his busy schedule and life with three wild little men, he still made sure that our marriage was a priority.

To my little men, happy first birthday! C, may you always find an adventure, something new to figure out, and your easy charm. O, may you always have good friends around you, somewhere to explore, and a smile to share. And I pray that all my boys keep their brothers close to their heart as friends, confidants, and support throughout their whole lives.


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