Christmas 2020

The kids went to bed easily on Christmas Eve so we got everything set out and headed to bed ourselves. Instead of wrapping the kids’ gifts (they each got an ornament, something to play with, a book, and clothes – except for Ani and Cameron who got a second thing to play with instead of clothes) I decided to just make one box for each of them. With ten kids that saved a ton of time!

Adrian knew about the kids’ scooters, but didn’t know we had also gotten two adult scooters for him and Fritz. The night before he had been a bit jealous about the little kid scooters. He was so surprised and excited when he discovered there were actually six scooters instead of four and one was for him.

The kids love books. Mayci opened hers (The Princess in Black) to look through it before pulling anything else out of her box. Adrian finished reading his entire book (The Odd 1s Out First Sequel) by the next day.

Mayci found a note from Santa in her box directing her to go to her room. She was so surprised to find Santa had been in there setting up her very own little vanity.

Fritz loves a good pun so he was quite happy with his shirt. It had a stick figure looking at a sign that reads BAD. Underneath the picture it says, “That is not a good sign.”

Noah was up at 4am on Christmas Eve for who knows what reason. We’d had this kitchen in a box waiting to be put together and reviewed since September. We hadn’t planned when we would give it to the kids, but I took the opportunity early Christmas Eve morning to put it together and so we ended up giving it to them on Christmas.

Once Noah figured out how to pull the paper off his box he was pretty excited to find some of his favorite blocks (the magnetic foam kind) inside.

The kids’ bio grandmother dropped off some presents for them on Christmas Eve. They opened them Christmas morning. Anthony was thrilled to find red shoes in his package. He absolutely loves those shoes.

The babies (really all the kids) really like Little Baby Bum. I don’t know what it is about Little Baby Bum specifically because other animated songs videos don’t capture the twins’ attention at all. Just Little Baby Bum. My parents gave them a Twinkle star that lights up and sings.

We often get clothes to dress the babies similarly but not identically. These little dinosaur outfits with knee patches are just too cute on them. The only difference in the outfits is the background color being yellow on one and blue on the other (we have a third one of these outfits, also in yellow, for Nicholas because he’s pretty much their slightly older triplet).

Nicholas is just such a happy go lucky independent little guy. When getting his picture taken he often wrinkles up his face and says, “CHEESE!” I just love that face. I’m going to be so sad when he stops making it.

Santa gave Elijah a car kit with a toy drill. I wasn’t sure if he’d like it or not, but it turned out to be a giant hit. He spent a long time putting it together (and taking it apart). My father was more than happy to help him with it.

Fritz has been having a bit of a rough time healthwise for months now. He was feeling pretty icky on Christmas so he curled up on the couch under his blanket to read a book my parents gave him.

Unfortunately Cameron and his girlfriend Tami couldn’t come over on Christmas because Tami was sick with what we assume is COVID (test isn’t back quite yet). We Zoomed with them to open our gifts. Anthony was especially happy to see Cameron on the screen. Anthony absolutely adores his biggest brother.

Surgery

Waiting to go to pre-op

Anthony had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy last week.

Waiting in pre-op

He was super brave.

In the recovery room

It took him a bit to come out of the anesthesia. He was sleeping very deeply.

Home!

He was so happy to get home. He’s sore but recovering very well.

Magic

With the cooler weather has come drier skin. The lighter lotion we were using wasn’t cutting it anymore so we switched to this magical tub of Palmer’s.

Their skin is like silk and when they say it lasts 24 hours they mean it. But the most amazing thing about it is Nicholas. His eczema has been mostly well controlled, but it requires twice daily rubbing with after bath oil or Aveeno lotion. We tried this stuff and, well, it was just like magic.

His skin is smoother than I’ve ever seen it. The inside of his knees and elbows are always a bit rough, but this Palmer’s smoothed them right out. Out of curiosity we didn’t rub him with anything for a while to see how long it would last.

The result? 36 hours! This means we can just lotion him up once a day and his skin stays even nicer than when we were oiling or lotioning him twice a day. Definitely magic!

Journey Hair

Every since we watched Jingle Jangle (the first time – there have been many watchings of that movie in our house), Mayci has been wanting to have her hair done like Journey’s. So this morning I gave it a try.

It made us later leaving for school than we like, but it turned out so cute and she was so thrilled with it that it was totally worth being ten minutes later than usual (they still made it with plenty of time to eat breakfast before school started).

I watched a YouTube video of someone recreating Journey’s hair on their own head, but Mayci’s hair is a different texture with looser curls so I had to improvise a bit. The video got me started, though, with the parts and ponytails.

I asked her if she wanted all gold cuffs or half gold and half silver. Of course she wanted both like the little queen that she is. The addition of the cuffs really made the hairstyle just so perfectly fun and fancy.

For a child of only four, Mayci is amazing at sitting to get her hair done. She rarely complains and usually listens very well when I tell her how to move her head or to keep still. The only thing she doesn’t like is getting her hair parted and this one required a lot of parts.

Ani barely let me brush her hair when she was little. I have never been into doing my own hair as a kid OR adult. Doing nothing with Mayci’s hair is not an option and as it turns out, I’m enjoying the creativity. I really love doing her hair!

Playing Together

Since they could play, Noah and Joel have played together some, but in the last couple weeks (about since they turned 17 months), they’ve been playing together a whole lot. It’s fascinating to watch since generally babies this age do the whole solitary or parallel play thing. I had been told that by 18-24 months twins are often really good at playing together and entertaining each other and now we’re seeing that is absolutely true.

Becoming a Family

December 2010

This is the first picture I took after the older four arrived at our house for the first time. We barely knew each other. We didn’t quite know what to do with so many kids. We didn’t even know how old they were!

January 2020

This was way before we rearranged rooms to fit four more kids. This was even before Cameron moved into his apartment. We packed them into what was then Fritz and Adrian’s room those first few overnight visits.

January 2020

The kids were living in a place without a yard so having space to play outside was so very exciting to all of them.

January 2020

There was quite an adjustment after the toddlers were placed with us. Four kids two and under is intense.

January 2020

Something else that’s intense is feeding all these kids. They eat a whole lot of food. Our monthly grocery budget for the 13 of us in the house is $2000.

January 2020

Taking the kids to church (pre-pandemic; we home church currently) was quite an adventure. Just getting them dressed for church was a bit insane. Anthony and Nicholas were in nursery (the babies are still too young), Mayci was in Sunbeams, and Elijah was a CTR4.

February 2020

For a church activity they wanted a picture of me with the kids. This proved rather difficult with four constantly moving little boys.

March 2020

I got pajamas from Carters for the four littles plus Fritz and Adrian. They were quite adorable all wearing them (some have no been passed down to younger brothers).

April 2020

All these boys love their father. This makes sense. He is a very awesome father.

April 2020

The kids are like puppies. They are always piling up on top of each other and rolling around playing.

May 2020

They also like to pile up on Jamie. There’s no toy better than your very own Daddy.

May 2020

It’s funny. The babies now wear the onesie Nicholas is wearing and Nicholas wears the clothes Anthony is wearing in this picture. Elijah has outgrown the shorts and Mayci has outgrown the whole outfit. They have so incredibly much since we’ve had them.

August 2020

Anthony and Nicholas needed family pictures for their classrooms at the beginning of the school year so we sat down before dinner one day and my mom snapped this one with my phone.

September 2020

The littles love taking selfies with their big sister. Also, can we talk about Anthony’s smile? That child has the most beautiful smile.

October 2020

We’ve gotten tie dye clothes from Vine for me, Mayci, and the twins. one day we decided to all wear them and that’s when we discovered that the base colors are all completely different!

October 2020

We got little pumpkins for the four bigger little ones. They were so excited about them and immediately asked for me to take a picture of them holding their pumpkins.

October 2020

Halloween was fun trick-or-treating around our little neighborhood with Anna, two skeletons, two Toy Story aliens, and a fried egg.

Twinsies

September 2019

The twins came with this double boppy. It was an absolute lifesaver for the first few months.

September 2019

Feeding bottles to two babies at once is pretty intense. A friend commented that we must have been relieved when they started holding their own bottles. The thing is… they still don’t usually hold their own bottles!

September 2019

I really had fun shopping for twin clothes on Amazon. We ended up picking very few identical outfits, but instead coordinating ones like these adorable ketchup and mustard onesies.

October 2019

We had to quickly learn about bottles and formula and cribs, things we never dealt with when our bio kids were babies.

October 2019

At the beginning they ate about every three hours around the clock. That added up to a whole lot of lost sleep.

November 2019

When the babies were four months old, Hank Smith, who has school age twins, tweeted that having twins means it’s 3am and he’s holding a baby, his wife is holding a baby, and all four of them are crying. He was not wrong.

November 2019

Having twins isn’t like just having the work one baby twice. It’s like you have the work of 47 babies. There are just so many babies.

November 2019

Infant carseats are another thing we didn’t really do with our bio kids. We went right for the convertible seats. With twins infant seats are a downright necessity.

November 2019

I think the Harry Potter onesies I got for the boys were my favorites of all their clothes. Got to introduce them to an amazing fandom early.

November 2019

They napped a lot on that twin boppy. It was always really funny when they would end up laying the same way. They are definitely twins!

November 2019

After naps one day I put Joel in Noah’s crib to take a picture of them as the Hulk and Spidey. They immediately linked arms.

December 2019

Sitting on Santa’s lap their first Christmas did not even phase them. I’m not sure it’ll be so easy this year. Stranger danger is strong with these two.

December 2019

The best and worst thing about tiny twins is being able to dress them in matching clothes and having to buy two of each of those outfits. I was surprised how long they were willing to leave on their Santa hats.

January 2020

We didn’t expect to have the twins as long as until Christmas and definitely not into the new year. By the end of 2019 we had said we would adopt them (plus their older siblings) and it looked like that was really where things were headed.

January 2020

These two born together boys are indeed friends forever. They recognized each other early on and I think they realize at this point that there is something special about having a same age sibling. They really have a special bond.

January 2020

One minute they are planning some scheme to carry out together. The next they are in a WWE knockdown, dragout fight.

January 2020

Jamie’s gotten good at carrying the twins at the same time. That is a lot of baby. At this point we’re talking 50 pounds of baby.

February 2020

Church with twins means you hear and see nothing, but instead are just hanging out with the twins in a place you don’t normally hang out with them.

February 2020

These expressions are pretty common ones for the boys. Joel is always getting into stuff and Noah is always looking at him like why did you do that.

February 2020

This might be the moment the twins became friends. They sat looking at each other for a really long time “talking” back and forth.

March 2020

When one twin is sad, the other twin will often try to comfort him. This includes when the source of sadness is their twin.

May 2020

They egg each other on about carrying out plans like trying to get through the doggy door (poor Lola… she has to bark at the door when she wants to go out now since the doggy door almost always has to remain locked right now).

June 2020

They enjoyed smashing up their cupcakes and making a general mess at their first birthday party.

September 2020

I don’t get nearly as many pictures of the twins together as I used to because they are just always on the go and don’t tend to both sit still at once anymore.

September 2020

One day the babies were being entirely too quiet in the kitchen. Upon investigation I discovered they had gotten a thing of oil out of the cabinet (a cabinet they had previously broken the child lock off of), opened it, poured some out on the floor, and were having a great time playing it in. The oil got moved up high that day.

October 2020

Sometimes the twins divide and conquer. In October, Joel learned how to open our front door and quickly learned how to see if it was locked (can’t get out) or not (can get out). One day, as I chased Joel down in our front yard, Noah stayed inside happily banging away on my laptop.

October 2020

Having twins is fun, exciting, difficult, trying, and never a dull moment. I never wanted twins, but it sure is a blast having them.

November 2020