Daily Dose of Joy

 Have I mentioned lately that these boys are my sunshine? 
Oh, yes, they are my sunshine.
My daily dose of joy.
 This morning when they woke up
I had them come into our room.
We all snuggled up, under the cozy blankets,
sharing hugs, kisses & snuggles. 
 And I thought, "This is the life!"
My three guys, all snuggled with me,
in the early dark of morning.
 Then this afternoon we took the boys 
to get haircuts, and they were
just so dang cute.
 Logan, sitting in his chair, all serious.
And Jack, reaching for my hand,
not so sure about the buzzer.
 Then we came home, watched Charlotte's Web,
and had dinner. The boys told me all about their day.
And the biggest news of the day 
is that Logan POOPED on the toilet!
We threw a huge party, with stickers, 
hugs, high fives & TWO candies!

Hooray for you, Logan Bogan!
You rock!


Farewell, Sis D

It's true what they say:
You don't know what you got till it's gone.

My amazing coworker Lisa (who also happens to be my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, my confidante, my sidekick and my life support at work) had her last day today.  I cried a little bit last week when I found out she was leaving. Then again this morning on the way to work, and again as we parted ways when the last bell rang.  (And all the way to my mom's house after that...) I just can't believe she's not going to be there tomorrow.  I can't even imagine being at Lincoln without her. I have come to rely on her listening ear, her New Jersey honesty, and her great sense of humor to see my through the long days away from my boys.  She, too, is a working mom. That is priceless to me.  When I show up crying cause I was short with the boys, or cause they cried as I left, she completely understands.  She's been there, too.  And I feel the tiniest bit better just knowing I'm not alone in my working-mom struggles.
And the way she loves our students...
I just can't imagine that anyone will make them laugh,
follow directions or learn the way she does.

Sis D, I love you.
And I will miss you.
Everyone here at Lincoln will miss you.



The inspiration for my blog posts comes from all different parts of my life. Mostly my boys, but also my husband, my job, my family and sometimes other blogs I follow. Tonight I was inspired (as I am often inspired) by Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things.  Her blog is like eye candy, and her writing is so poignant and poetic. I can't help but feel the shiver of creativity running from my heart to my fingertips as I read each & every post.
Today Kelle shared this quote:

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. 
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms."
~Mary Oliver

 I must ask this:
Can anyone who has given birth to a child,
been witness to their first moments on earth,
not be married to amazement?

Can you possibly hold the being that you and your husband created in love
and not be in awe of the wonders of the world?
Can you look in their deep, knowing eyes
and not be amazed at the miracle of their perfection?
 I think not.

Even now, two years later,
I look at these pictures and feel breathless from gratitude.  

I feel overwhelmed that we created these two beautiful babies
and that they are ours to keep.

"The human heart, at whatever age, opens only to the heart that opens in return."
-Maria Edgeworth
Well, baby, my heart is wide open.


my kids are funny

 This morning Jack was playing with these clothes pins, and then he put these on the potty chair while I wasn't paying attention. Later I saw them there and just cracked up.
We are potty training around here, and it makes for some funny stories. But mostly I love hearing the boys talk about it. I will tell Jack to try and pee more and he'll tell me, "No, mommy. Pee all gone."  Or if I think he needs to go #2 I will ask him and he'll tell me, "No, I fine. I fine, mommy."

Logan is on a new repeating kick, so everything we say, he repeats. This afternoon, while watching the Seahawks game, Josh said, "He totally punked the kicker!" So then Logan kept saying, "Punked the kicker! Punked the kicker!"  He was so happy with himself as Josh and I were giggling.

In the bath tub we have a constant struggle to get the boys to stand up so we can wash their bodies with the soapy washcloth.  Tonight Jack went to sit down and I said, "Stand up, I still have to wash your penis." To which he replied, "I like my penis." Alrighty then. 

At bed time Logan was being naughty, so the third time I went in to give him a time out I took away his dinosaur stuffed animal.  He was really upset, and I told him that if he stayed in bed and stopped crying for a while, I would give it back.  When he finally did so, I returned the dinosaur and shut the door.  From behind the door I heard, "Yay!!! (clapping) Good job, Logan. You stop crying. You get dinosaur back. Yayyy!!!" Jack was so happy for him.

They really get distressed when the other brother is upset or in trouble. This is a somewhat new phenomenon and I am totally fascinated by it. Today I accidentally ran over Logan's toe with our computer chair, and Jack said, "Ouch. You hurt me."  CREEPY!

On a positive note, they are really picking up manners big time. When you are in their way, they say "BEEP-BEEP, EXCUSE-ME" really loud and all together like it's one word.  So cute.  They say please and thank you almost all the time, unprompted.  And we are working on saying "excuse me" if they burp or fart. Right now they just say, "I farting, Daddy." (and then we laugh... not a great example!)

Oh, they are just so much fun.


Three weeks down

 I've been back three weeks now.  It's hard to even remember the summer home with the boys.  I know it happened, I have the photographic proof, but when I try to remember being here for every nap, every hug, every-pee-on-the-toilet celebration, I can't.  I hope I enjoyed it. I hope I didn't take it for granted. 

 Tonight, honestly, it's hard to even post pictures of the boys because I haven't been taking as many pictures as I normally do.  It's been a week since I even touched my camera.  That kills me. There just isn't time for everything anymore. And I hate that. Also, I had really hoped a job would appear for Josh by this week. 

 Being with my bubbas today was so much fun. We snuggled (some real serious snuggling, with every single bubba they own, all their pillows & blankets and the three of us squished onto one cushion of the sofa), we played (thank you, Nanny, for being so much fun at the park!) and we disciplined (hi there, have you met my TWO year old TWINS? That's them, over there, in the corner, in TIMEOUT, waiting for the timer to beep to release them from their "baby jail.")  I am exhausted... Did I mention that Saturday is my day to wake up with the boys and today they were up at 5:11am?

 All week I am able to hold it together. I think positive; I hum cheerful lyrics to songs that bring me hope; and I enjoy wherever I am at the moment I am living it. 
Then the weekend comes, and there is not enough time to soak up all the life I need to be living during the short, sweet time I am home with my three men.  There is cleaning to be done, errands to be run, laundry to be washed, books to be read, kisses to be given and blogs to be updated.  How can I possibly balance all of it?  How can it all be accomplished?

{Logan Henry}
I just have to keep adding to my {forever} to-do list.  Do the bare essentials and let the rest go, I guess.  Like the re-organizing I planned to do with the closets this weekend.  It can wait. Because what I really need to do is spend some time with this little man.
He is so fragile right now.  He has become quite shy, and easily embarrassed (like if he does something cute & Josh or I laugh, he closes his eyes and turns red) and though he does not regularly seek me out for cuddle time, any time I have offered it this weekend, he has gladly accepted. I need to make time to reach out to him.  To hold him, hug him, kiss him, and assure him that although I am at work five days a week, the time when I am home, I will be fully *mentally* here as well.  For him.

{Jack Sawyer}
And this little guy, who wears his heart on his sleeve. Who HATES when Mommy is upset with him. Or just upset in general.  If he sees that I am short-tempered or crying, he'll say, "Hi Mommy" in the sweetest, tiny, soft baby voice that you ever did hear, and if I'm not crying already, it can make me cry.  Because this kid knows me. He reads me.  He feels me.  I have to try and keep it together for him, because he is my barometer. 
Oh, how I love these boys. Heart & soul, I am theirs.  I am doing everything I can to be everything they need. To be their provider, their caregiver, their housekeeper and most importantly their Mommy.  That is my most important job.  I pray that they can feel that. That they know they are my priority.


{My sweet, lovely blog readers, I want to thank you for reading. For allowing me to share my heart with you. For allowing me to spill into my blog the emotions I am facing being a working mother.  I so appreciate this outlet, your love, prayers & support. You mean so much to me. Love always, S }


I want choclate, mommy

It's been all work & no play around the Cunningham household lately. Unfortunately that also means no blogging! I am so happy to be sitting here typing and posting pictures of our beautiful, quickly growing boys once again!

I have been working so hard to make sure the boys are my top priority when I get home that I am often putting them to bed, preparing for the next day and getting into bed myself so that my patience with them the following morning is what it should be.

Not only am I behind on my blogging, but I am behind on the boys' memory calendars also.  They ran out of pages in August and it's on my To-do list to scrap the new ones and get them on the fridge, but at this rate, they may not be ready until October!

I am shocked at how quickly September is passing us by.  I can't believe I've been back at work two weeks already.  It feels like I fell immediately back into the groove, which I am so thankful for.

The hardest part about going to work is being away from these guys. My men.  The sum total of what matters in my life.  But somehow God is allowing me to do it.  Yesterday was randomly really difficult for me, and I teared up a little bit, wishing I was at home putting them in their beds for nap time.  But other than that, I have felt peace about being at work, knowing that it's where I am supposed to be.

I wish that I knew what the future held. I wish that I knew if I'd be home with them next week. Next month. Next year.  But the fact is, I don't. So I just have to plug along, one day at a time, knowing that God is in control.

It seems lately that I find Him everywhere I go.

And I see His good work everyday.

One thing for sure is that Josh being out of school is a huge blessing.  I think that when I was dreading going back to work, I was remembering how much work it was to work full time, take the babies to and from care, and to be fully responsible for their needs a majority of the time.  Now that Josh is done with school, we are sharing the responsibilities of the household and the childcare. It feels so good to have some of that weight lifted from my shoulders. 

Going through this together...
It's just been amazing.  It's such a challenge for both of us.  For me, who wants to stay home, it's difficult to get up everyday and go to work.  For Josh, who wants nothing more than to provide for his family, it's difficult to instead wake up & spend the day potty training two year olds.  Yet, somehow (read: by the grace of God) we have been able to come together during these difficult times instead of being pulled apart by them.  I feel like we are rock solid right now.  I am so grateful.

It helps that the boys are growing up.
They are less demanding than they once were.

 They can do more for themselves.
And they can fully communicate with us.
The other day we were having a playdate with our buddies Mason & Orion when out of nowhere Jack comes up, taps me on the leg and says, "Mommy. I want chocolate, mommy."  Where does he get this stuff?!?

 I do have good news on the job front.  Josh was able to get on as a substitute teacher.  This is good news for two reasons: He will be able to gain valuable experience while he waits to find full time work, and he will be able to help us financially as my job does not pay the bills.

He worked the last three days of this week, and he was a different man.  He was so happy to be back in the classroom. It is definitely where he belongs. There is no question about that! What a blessing to know that what we are waiting for is for sure what he wants to do with his life.  Teaching is his calling.

I feel that I am truly in God's hands.  That we are in God's hands.
I know that once I accept where we are, He will reveal His big plan.
So I am working on acceptance. And everyday I am making progress.

Meanwhile, the boys are growing up right before my eyes.

They are not having any potty accidents except for #2.
They're still not sure they want to do that in the toilet.
So we're not pushing.

They are going to bed like champions.
We do dinner, bath, jammies & a story.
Then hugs, kisses & lights out by 7:00pm.

Last night & tonight we walked out of their room,
and NEVER had to go back in.
They fell asleep, on their own, without being put back in bed or laid back down.
Miracle of miracles!

We've been working on this for six weeks solid now.
And finally it's paying off.
(We use a video camera that Josh bought & mounted on their wall to watch for misbehavior, and for the first few weeks we were going in more than twenty times over the course of an hour for jumping on the bed, kicking the walls, yelling, climbing out of bed or sitting up in bed.  Then it got down to about a half hour.  And then suddenly we didn't have to go in anymore.  When we did go in, we would give the boys a time out- where we sat them on the rug in their room and held their arms for about ten seconds- and then placed them back in bed.)

And on top of our newly improved bedtime routine
If you have followed the blog for any amount of time, you are likely familiar with the many sleep issues we have had.  For a while we were regularly sleeping on the floor in the boys' room... And I have had to (off and on) rock one or the other of the boys to sleep.  None of which worked like this whole "fall asleep on your own" thing has.  Thank God my husband thought it would work and started.  It was AWFUL at first, but completely worth it!
I am hoping the same is true of working.
That it may be AWFUL here in the beginning,
but whatever God has planned for us will be completely worth the sacrifices right now.
The hardest part is that I just miss them so damn much.

I  miss the cute things they say.
{for example: the other day at the park, this is what the sky looked like, and Jack pointed up and said, "Look, Mommy. It's ocean!"  And I had to explain that the ocean is made of water, and that those were clouds in the sky.}

I miss the cute things they do.

I miss the cute faces they make.

 I miss the smiles.

I miss the laughter.

And it sucks...
Until God gives me a little dose of reality.  And that is exactly what he's been doing.
I have run across several blogs of parents who have lost their children.
That reminds me how lucky I am that they are alive.
I know a few people personally who are facing divorce.
That reminds me to be thankful for my relationship.
I know some people who have been unable (for whatever reason) to provide for their family.
And that reminds me to be grateful for my employment.

So instead of focusing everyday on what I'm missing with the boys, I am making the most of what time I do have with them.  This afternoon Josh & I took the boys to the pool.  The boys had so much fun, and we so enjoyed watching them explore and play.  As I sat in the warm water watching Jack throw a ball & retrieve it, I couldn't help but think how tiny he once was.  I can't believe this clever little boy came from me.  I can't believe that I get to be his mom.  Working or not, I am a very lucky mama.

I am not only lucky to have sweet twin sons, but also women who LOVE them.  And I mean LOVE.  
My mom, Nanny, has had the boys twice a week since they were five months old, 
and she enjoys it more than anything.  

Josh's mom, Grandma, comes to our house three times a week to watch the boys.  
She does my dishes & laundry, and she loves those boys like a garden loves rain. 

It may be hard for me to leave the boys, but they are fine. 
They are overjoyed to be cared for by these women who love them so completely.
Selfishly, of course I wish it was me, but God is teaching me to share.
He is stretching me.

You can see clearly why I wouldn't want to leave though...
They are just so precious.

And they are so funny.  Last week Jack decided he wanted to set up his blanket & all his stuffed animals in the laundry room (on the cold, hard tile) and he somehow convinced Logan to go with him. So they snuggled contentedly with their heads up against the pantry door.

The other day we were eating breakfast together, which they still love, and on the Cheerios box it looks like there are actual Cheerios stuck all over the box, and Jack said, "Mommy, cereal on box... That's funny!"

And last night at bed time Jack told Logan he was going to call Gustav "Goosie" and Logan yelled, "No! GUSTAV! gusTAV! Jack!"  Then this morning Jack said he wanted to go outside and Logan told him "Ask Grandma, Jack."  And on the way to the pool Jack said, "I like the pool," to which Logan replied, "I like the pool, too."

The one good thing about leaving them?
They are so happy to snuggle with me when I get home.
And it melts me.