Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Copycat Spouse Sleepover Date

One of my new favorite blogs to read is The Dating Divas. It's a group of women who realize the importance of continuing to "date" your husband to strengthen your marriage. When I read this post about having a spouse sleepover date, I thought it'd be the perfect date to copy!
For some reason I didn't get a picture of the invitation, but it's ok. JT never saw it anyways. He saw the note on our front door and assumed someone left it for me. He yanked it off without reading it and walked inside. Sadness. Oh well. It read:
"Join me and we'll go camp
but not the kind with water
no, you're passport won't get a stamp
but there may be a POTTER"

Horribly corny, I know. JT really wanted to go see the new Harry Potter movie so I figured it'd be fun getting caught up on the old ones while on our "camp out".
I dragged our spare mattress into the living room and did my best to decorate around the baby gear. I also had JT's favorite pizza delivered along with a bottle of Dr. Pepper.
It was so much fun and JT was very grateful! I loved taking the time to show JT how much he means to me and can't figure out why I haven't done it more often. After this experience, I plan on putting together at least 2 spouse dates a month. There's no reason why my #1 man shouldn't get star treatment.
My only warning: make sure you know your spouse's work schedule! I assumed he had the next day off. Oops. I guess we'll have to do that pancake breakfast another day. :)

10 Months Old

I'm sorry this is late! The twins have been 10 months old for a few weeks now. But I promise there's still plenty to share. :)

Delilah is just growing into the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen(not that I'm biased or anything)! Her eyes are that same crystal-clear blue and her hair is coming in a lot thicker. I'm even beginning to notice blond highlights. Delilah still only has her bottom two teeth in. She's not as rolley-polley as before, but her cheeks are still satisfactorily plump. :)  She's about 20 pounds.

She's still very clingy and attached to Mommy & Daddy. It's really sweet but it really is time for her to start claiming her independence. We're trying to slowly help her along. Delilah has also gotten a lot more giggly and will even laugh when tickled!

As far as her recent accomplishments go, DELILAH IS CRAWLING!!!! FINALLY! I'm so happy for our little girl. She can finally at least attempt to stay out of Porter's way instead of getting mowed over. I call her our Clydesdale Pony because she daintily lifts her hands and feet when she crawls across the floor. It's too funny to watch her crawl as fast as she can because it's quite slow and her feminine style is really cute. Delilah has also mastered her first AND second words! The first one was "Da-da" and the second was "Ma-ma-ma-ma". There's a trick to it though: she will never say my name unless she's upset. I'm her rescuer and Daddy is for all other occasions. I'll even ask her to say "Mama" and as soon as she hears me say it she proudly says "Da-da"! Delilah is also advancing in her dancing skills. She loves to throw her head from side to side while you copy her. She's also taken to furiously shaking it back and forth like she's saying "no". She expects you to copy that one too. Delilah definitely never ceases to amuse!

Porter is our big handsome boy! Coming in at 22 pounds he fits anywhere from 9 month to 14 month clothing. It all depends on how snug we want it. His hair is extremely thick and now falls into his face and is beginning to grow over his ears. It's definitely brown and, like his sister's, goes curly when wet. His large dark blue eyes are beginning to develop a ring of green around the middle (just like ME!). He also has 4 of his top teeth and 2 of his bottom. DO NOT LET HIM BITE YOU. My finger has been marked for death thanks to him. We're working on "No bite". He's begun to loosen his hold when he hears me say that.

Porter went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a hernia. We don't know any specifics since the doctor will wait on doing the ultrasound until January when their insurance kicks in. Porter doesn't even know he has a hernia and behaves normally. We've been told to monitor his behavior and bowels to make sure things don't change. After he gets his ultrasound in January, no matter what, we will be referred up to Primary's Children's Hospital in Salt Lake. We agree with the doctor's reasoning on this: if we're this close, why NOT send Porter to the best hospital in childcare around? Knowing that he'll be going there has taken a huge weight off our shoulders. We know that whatever probably surgery he has will go as well as possible in their hands. Their cousin Zachary is more than enough to convince us of that!

Our little man's accomplishments seem to all center around one word: GO! Porter doesn't ever run out of the desire to keep moving. Only extreme exhaustion slows him down. He has no fear and will crawl over anything in his sight (including us). We're careful to keep things spaced apart in the house since he is beginning to figure out how to crawl. It freaked me out the first time I turned around and he was excitedly sitting in one of our lower standing chairs. Porter is very FAST when crawling and is getting very good at free-standing. Sometimes he'll try to figure out how to stand from a seated position. He has also figured out how to wave! It is so cute to watch his flail his little arm around in greeting. He's only done it so far with JT and myself so I have no proof. My one complaint is that Porter has figured out how to WHINE. It's the worst sound in the world--just thinking of the high-pitched squealing makes me shudder. I think he knows it.

The twins are interacting a lot more together and enjoy making each other giggle. After each nap I put them in one crib to share a batch of toys. Their squeals of glee can be heard through the whole house! It's so cute! Once they had so much fun that they never wanted to come out of the crib and spent the whole 2 hours of playtime and 2 hours of naptime in there cuddled together. I was a little upset about that one. Even though I left them alone, I was very sad that they didn't "need" me.  But I am grateful that they find so much enjoyment in each other's company.
Their nap schedules continue the same with morning wake-up call being at 7am. From that point on it's every 2 hours. It's 2 hours of play, 2 hours of nap, 2 hours of play, etc. They let me know when it's time for their next nap if I forget to watch the time. These babies like their sleep. They continue to sleep through the night.
I'm trying to get them developmentally on the same track. It's hard teaching Delilah to be as independent as Porter though. Even with her crawling abilities, she'd much rather sit and cry for me to come pick her up. I usually have to pull open a book and wait for her to actually do on her own whatever she's whining for me to do. This can take 10 minutes (which is a LONG time in baby minutes). I really do think though that she is learning from Porter's example...albeit slowly. :)

Skunk Photo Shoot

The week after Halloween the twins donned their Halloween costumes once again. This time though, it was for a photo shoot! My friend Madelyn is a wonderfully talented photographer and we were thrilled to have her work with the twins. At first I tried to help her out by making the twins smile, but I soon realized I was just in her way! She didn't need my help to get the babies smiling and giggling. We are so grateful for her and the beautiful pictures she's taken.
Check her out at http://www.madelynwphoto.com/

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To music, with love

I've had music a lot on my mind lately. I sure do miss it a heck of a lot. I've only recently appreciated just how big an influence the piano was in my life. I was never really good at the piano since I was mostly self-taught. But I could pour my heart into whatever I was playing and suddenly life was a little better. I haven't had access to a piano in almost 3 years and I am just realizing the toll it's taken on me. I've been going through some hard trials of late and found myself in tears one night because there was no piano to go to.

But it's ok. One day we'll have the money to afford one and all will be right with the world. In the meantime, I give thanks to my Heavenly Father for this gift of self-expression that He's given me through music. I can appreciate the talents that others have and feel its influence in my life. Music is cathartic in a way that exercise, writing, reading, shopping, etc. never could be. I am also grateful for the realization. It's a lot easier to be less frustrated when I at least know what element is missing from my life. :) So even though I feel like I'm complaining, I really am grateful. For the time being I'll make myself content with singing "Los Pollitos" again and again and again to the delighted faces of two adorable ten-month olds.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thank you for your service!

*WARNING* It's a long one!

I am so grateful for days like today where we can properly thank our veterans for the service they have rendered us! I felt a renewed sense of gratitude to spend a day surrounded by my husband and children. I can't help but think of what JT has gone through to get to this point in his life. He's the man he is today in part because of the sacrifices he has made for his country.
JT entered the Marines Corps on July 19, 2004. Bootcamp was followed shortly by SOI. He had a lot of stories and emotion rolled up into those 8 months. It's something special to have the opportunity to hear him talk about it.
After he graduated from SOI, JT was sent to the FMF 2/1, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. He made some great friends there and happened to start dating a certain girl while with them (ME ME ME!). JT was scheduled to go on his first deployment in July of 2005. It was a float to about 17 different places. He was excited to be putting some of his training to use and to be going with the Marines he had become close with. I can't begin to describe to you what it was like to hear his voice when he called me during class to tell me he would not be going on that deployment. He had randomly been selected along with a few other Marines to join FMF 1/1, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. That very LARGE change in plans meant that he would no longer be deploying until January of 2006. He entered into a new training cycle and started making new friends. I had already left for BYU by this time so he took his good friend to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Didn't he look handsome? A week later he flew out to BYU and dressed up to take me out to dinner.

I came home for the holidays and spent time with JT as he prepared and packed for his upcoming deployment. These 2 pictures were taken the night before he deployed. I wanted him to take me with him.

January 21st, 2006 JT deployed for Iraq. It was a very emotional goodbye. I remember him holding me with an intensity right before he left and telling me that he would come home and marry me.

In Iraq JT was stationed at both CampFallujah and Abu Ghraib. There was a lot of action and firefights. His specialty was demolitions. He was a "grunt" so he spent a lot of time doing the actual fighting, interacting with the locals, breaching buildings, and blowing things up. In between all this serious stuff, JT did find time to keep himself sane with phone calls home and antics with fellow Marines.

this photo was taken by a photographer for an article about Iraq that JT was featured in.

 JT came home from his first deployment the end of August/beginning of September (I'm sorry I don't remember exactly when! He would be able to tell me if he were home). I wasn't there to meet him since the semester at BYU had just started. He came up to Utah to visit me and put on his dress blues for an evening out with me.

November 10th was the Marines Corps Birthday Ball and JT flew me down the California so I could attend as his date (even though we had decided to take a brief break in our relationship at that point. Obviously his sneaky plan worked...).

In the time between then and July of 2007, JT was promoted to a Corporal and attended Squad Leader's Course. He was very busy training and even spent some time up at the base in 29 Palms.

On July 27th, 2007 (just 2 days before his birthday) JT deployed for his second tour of duty in Iraq. I remember being pretty emotionally distraught over it. We had hoped to be married by the time he deployed again but realized it wasn't supposed to happen. The pictures are all smiles though because we were determined to stay (at least visibly) in good spirits.

JT was stationed at Camp Habania in Iraq for pretty much the whole 7 months. It was very boring for him. Supply trucks were few and far inbetween, they dealt with unsavory characters that he hated having to work with, and their living quarters were made up of old Iraqi homes. It was a vastly different deployment from his first. Although I appreciated the relative peace he worked in, it took all his strength not to go mad.

JT made it back to Camp Pendleton February 13th, 2008. The next day was the very FIRST time we ever spent a Valentine's Day together! But the exciting news is that March 28, 2008 that Marine married me in the Newport Beach, California LDS temple!

We got married with about 4 months left before he got out of the Marines Corps. He extended his EAS date by 2 months and got out September 18th, 2008. It was a big day for him and the poor guy spent it driving up to Utah to be reunited with this little BYU student. I'm glad he decided to come up though. :) I was missing him. Oh, and the date on my camera is wrong, I promise.

 So there is Jonathan's history in the United States Marines Corps! I thought it would be nice to see it all in a glance and to have the opportunity to truly appreciate the sacrifice he made on behalf of his country. I will forever be grateful to him and to every other man and woman who ever picks up our nation's uniform. We all owe you a debt of gratitude that could never possibly be fulfilled. On this day, we salute YOU. Thank you.