Twins, man

The other morning the twins went downstairs two minutes before I did. As soon as I heard a dining room chair being moved I knew I had better follow.

In that two minutes the got sharpies out of a drawer. The drawer they had broken the baby lock off of just a couple days before.

They scribbled on the end of the center island and each other. By the time I got downstairs they knew their fun was up and easily surrendered their sharpies when I asked them to.

Baby-proofing is neverending here. We’re constantly having to up our game (notice the duct tape belt around the top of their diapers). A new baby lock is now on that drawer. And thank goodness for The Pink Stuff.

2021

This has been a busy year for us. I simultaneously can’t figure out how the time has gone by so fast and how we fit so much into just twelve months. Tomorrow will be 2022 and the start of twelve more months of adventures.

In January Fritz and Adrian got their first semester report cards for 7th and 9th grades and both did amazing for their first time in public school since kindergarten and second grade. We also continued trying to figure out just how much food to make to feed our small army (spoiler alert: it’s always too much or too little).

In February we put up a baby urinal in our bathroom and it’s been the best thing we could have done. There was more figuring out how to feed our small army (we’ve pretty much got it down now). We got a playground put up in our backyard. We ended up with COVID in the house and had to quarantine at the same time pretty much the entire state of Texas shut down due to a freak snowstorm and crazy cold (we got lucky and never lost power).

In March I started getting more creative with Mayci’s hair. All the adults in the house got vaccinated for COVID. Zeke turned six on Pi Day. The next day Noah had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and have tubes put in his ears. We got brave and took all six kids to HEB for the first time.

In April I sprained my foot when I gracefully fell down the stairs of The Beast. We also discovered Zeke has hair like Fritz’s: It grows SO fast!

In May our six-year-old officially changed his name to Zeke. School got out and so Mayci finished pre-k, Zeke finished kindergarten, Adrian finished 7th grade, and Fritz finished 9th grade.

In June the kids were bored of their 11-week summer vacation within about 30 seconds so we started our summer schedule which continued the entire summer and worked great. We got Fritz’s end of course results (all three passed). We entered Birthday Season when Adrian turned 13 on Juneteenth. The end of the month the twins turned two.

In July we got Adrian’s STAAR test results (he did great especially because it was his first time taking that sort of test). On the 6th Nicholas turned 3. And then on the 11th Fritz turned 15. Adrian saved all year and enlisted the help of a few other people in order to give Fritz an Oculus Quest 2 for his birthday. On the 18th Anthony turned 4 ending our intense streak of five birthdays in less than three weeks. Fritz got all registered for the virtual school for 10th grade.

In August we finished birthday season on the 2nd when Mayci turned 5. Zeke and Mayci both took off in their reading (best decision ever to work on teaching them how to read over the summer). We found out who the three elementary schoolers’ teachers would be (they’ve all been the perfect teacher for each kid, especially Zeke’s). In the middle of the month it was time for four of the kids to be off to pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, and 8th grades (and Nicky moved to a new room at preschool). A week later Fritz started 10th grade. Just before the end of the month my beautiful mother turned three-quarters of a century old.

In September we started getting monthly boxes of Young Adult books from Literati for Adrian (love those books). Dance classes started up for Zeke and Mayci. I did the most complicated and beautiful hairstyle on Mayci that I’ve done so far (53 twists). The twins moved out of their cribs and into their big boy beds. We took four of the kids to the movies for the first time. Mayci went to dance camp at the high school and got to perform at halftime at a football game.

In October we pulled Nicholas out of preschool. We got the four littlest boys new church clothes. I did some fancy hair on both Mayci and Haley. We had some really cute costumed kids on Halloween.

In November Jamie and I went to see The Beach Boys again. Lola moved in with Cameron and Tami and it’s helped Nicky’s eczema so much (he’s allergic to dogs). We celebrated Jamie’s 46th birthday and one year since we adopted the kids by playing at a trampoline park. We got our family pictures taken. I started having more time to read again thanks to Haley playing with the twinplets six hours a week and the kids getting a little older and more independent.

In December Nicky suddenly started looking much older and bigger than his little brothers. Anthony’s dreams came true when we put a Christmas tree in our living room. My Daddy turned 77 on Christmas Eve.

And now here we are on New Year’s Eve looking forward to what 2022 will bring us. We know a few things like Trek for the big boys, Fritz being ordained to the office of Priest, Birthday Season ending with us having 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16-year-olds, Ani turning 22 in February, Zeke turning 7 in March, me turning 44 in April, Cameron turning 21 in October, and Jamie turning 47 in November the same day we hit two years since the kids were adopted, and having kids starting pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 11th grades in August. Whatever else 2022 has in store for us, I know it will be awesome!

Twinplets

I took this picture yesterday. I knew Nicholas had grown recently. He’s moved up to 3T clothes (thank goodness since Noah and Joel needed his old 2T ones… even though they strip… sometimes before they even have breakfast… we DO dress them every day). But until looking at this picture I didn’t realize how much he had grown. He’s looking less like the twins’ triplet and more like the big brother that he is.

More pictures

A few more pictures from Saturday’s photo shoot with Jacqueline Eldredge Photography

All of Us
Another of all of us… and Fritz and Adrian are actually smiling!
Another picture of Cameron and Tami
Sisters
Mayci wanted her picture taken with Cameron last year. This year she requested Ani.
Just the two of us
A baker’s dozen
We always love how the all of us in a line pictures turn out.
Another picture of Zeke. He’s getting so big.
Another picture of Nicholas making a very Nicky face
Noah really wasn’t feeling the photo shoot again this year,
Joel was getting over a cold so he was only happy cuddled up with his daddy.
The momma and the papa… very soon post-op… Daddy had his kidney stones cleaned out one week and five weeks before this was taken and Mommie had a hip replacement three weeks before.
Twins on Shoulders
The ladies… Ani, Mommie, Mayci, Me, and Tami

Shifting Naps

We’ve been trying to shift the babies’ naps to one long one in the afternoon for a few weeks now and they are still fighting it. With Nicholas home with us and him totally used to napping 12:30-2:30 or 3, I wanted to get the twins napping at same time. They were napping about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and, boy, do they still want to!

I have to actively work to keep them awake until after lunch. Even on days Haley is here playing with them one or the other (usually Noah) will try to go to sleep on her. It’s kind of crazy how hard it’s been to shift those naps.

Four Little Boys

I got the four youngest boys new church clothes. I decided to have fun and have them all match. I settled on khaki pants and blue polos.

So of course I had to get a picture of them all dressed up. By the time we got home from church three were completely barefoot and one just had socks on.

Ever tried to get a picture of four four and under? It’s like herding cats. Three looking at the camera at once is nothing short of a miracle (and pretty much constantly hitting the button to take pictures).

In order to get them to sit down at the same time we had to promise them M&Ms. Apparently Skittles have lost their currency value among our kids. They have moved on to M&Ms.

It didn’t take long before they were done. They continued sitting, though, because they knew they were about to get those M&Ms. I’m counting cooperation for a minute and a half as a huge success. Even if it was for M&Ms.

I really want to know what these guys were talking about. They ended up giggling amongst themselves like crazy.

First Day of School

Five of my kids were off to school this morning. There was a little hiccup when Anthony refused to get in the van because he thought bringing his nap mat meant he was going to the preschool (they have naptime in pre-k), but we got him in the car and once he realized we were dropping him off at the big school all was well. Nicholas thought it was entirely too early to be arriving at preschool (he’s not wrong). The twins are enjoying being the only little ones home and having their Fritz all to themselves (the virtual school he’s attending doesn’t start until next week).

8th Grade

1st Grade

Kindergarten

Pre-K

Last Year of Preschool