I think so. I never thought I'd get to this point, but I think it's finally here. I've noticed that recently, the twins have begun to very much enjoy each other's company. They seem to be content, especially in the morning, to play for long periods of time in the living room by themselves as I work in the kitchen. A few things they really enjoy are the 250 ball collection my sister bought them for Christmas and a miniature house I purchased for them that is basically just a door that opens and closes with lots of switches that make lights and music. Hyrum has even started dancing, to accompany the five or six steps he takes at a time. It is always so strange to witness a child walk for the first time. We have been so used to them crawling around the floor like puppies, then suddenly they are on their feet and they seem so tall and big! The babies also enjoy a drum and a tamborine we had laying around, as well as a set of dominoes we recently unpacked. And guess what? They don't watch Finding Nemo anymore! Yes, it was great while it lasted, but I was really beginning to feel guilty, so I'm glad that they have come up with other things to occupy their little sponge minds.
Another thing that has seemed to simplify things in my life a bit is the fact that the babies can feed themselves now. Some of the finger foods they love are (by the way, Hyrum has two teeth, Joseph has four)...
-Cheerios (of course)
-Grapes cut in quarters
-Torn up pieces of toast
-Torn up pieces of PB&J
and their favorite...
During their breakfast, as the kids get ready for school and finish up their morning chores, I am able to empty out the dishwashers and start cleaning up what's left of breakfast. After the kids leave, I wipe the babies down, take them for the diaper changes, make sure the toddler is happy, then I make my breakfast and take it into the living room to eat as I check my blog on the laptop John got for me for Christmas. I then apply my make-up (for why this is a necessary part of my day, click HERE) and get out of my robe into real clothes.
Today I had a lady who helps me out come over and she spent most of her time making about five dozen tortillas for our family. I was so thrilled to find out that she doesn't use shortening or lard in her tortillas, just vegetable oil. While she was rolling out the tortillas, I cut apart two fryers, seasoned them with butter, salt and pepper, and put them in the oven for lunch. Why, you may ask, if I am a vegetarian, am I cutting up fryers and baking them in the oven? The answer? I still happen to have a teenaged son who really likes meat and I don't feel that I can inflict my beliefs on him as far as this is concerned. Now, when we run out of meat, I don't know that I will have the wherewith all to actually purchase the products that support untold cruelties to animals, so I might just have to buy live chicks, raise them, then have the kids go through the process of butchering them so that they can get a realistic picture of where their meat comes from. Plus, we will treat our chickens well while they are alive, not like at the factory farms in the United States and other countries. But, I digress...
I also put together a simple salad and cut up several Asian pears. Are you familiar with those? If not, you must become so. They are some of the best fruit I have ever had. They are crisp, like an apple, but full of juice, like a water melon. Oh, they are good! It turns out that I must have been inspired to make such a large lunch as the five kids brought four friends home, so we had more than enough food to go around. During the last ten minutes before the kids had to go back to school, we did a mad dash cleaning spree so that I was only left with the sweeping and the high chairs once they were gone.
After I got the babies cleaned up from their lunch mess, I put Johnny down for his nap, then went into the living room to hang out with the twins again. They had already taken short naps during the morning hours, so I knew this would be relaxing time I could spend with the twins without having to see to the toddler's needs as well. I spent some time on the couch doing email, then I enjoyed poring over recipes in this book my daughter and her I-don't-know-what-he-is (friend? boyfriend? man?) gave me for Christmas...
For anyone interested in improving your diet, whether you are an carnivore, onmivore, or herbivore, you will LOVE this book! The photos are beautiful, the information is inspiring and the recipes will make you feel like a better person just for THINKING about making them!
After a while, the twins got fussy, so I tandem nursed them, something I'd stopped for a while, as they kept pulling each other's hair, and enjoyed the quiet of just sitting there looking at their angelic faces. Joseph, with his small face and serious expression and Hyrum, with his easy smile and touseled hair, so happy to be eating yet again! After they'd had their fill, I put them down on the rug to play again and got another snack for myself, then it was time to wake up the toddler and go pick up the kids from school.
I'd made 100% whole wheat bread the night before, so the toddler and I took a loaf over to grandma's and visited for a bit while the 12-year-old boy and the 8-year-old boy babysat for a few minutes. That was a relaxing period, then back home to start dinner. What I came home, from across the street, the 8-year-old boy was sitting outside on a rock holding a twin and looking pensively at the sky. It was beautiful. It had been overcast all day, raining on and off, which is unusual for the part of Mexico where we live, and even the baby seemed to be enchanted by the feel and smell of the air as he was sitting very still on the 8-year-old's lap.
For dinner, I warmed up leftover soup, made quesadillas with the cheese our neighbors made from our cow's milk and the tortilla's Ester had made that morning, and the two afore-mentioned boys made strawberry/dark chocolate milkshakes. Next, we did twin bath time, toddler and 8-year-old boy bath time, called the grown daughter to ask her for a raw vegan yogurt recipe, the teenagers did the kitchen clean up, the 16-year-old boy took over scripture study as I had to go and comfort a crying baby who had woken up after I'd put him to bed, and five of the kids decided that they had to have a slumber party in the same room. I told them they couldn't because it was a school night, but they begged and pleaded and said they wouldn't talk at all. I caved and I'm so glad I did, because look...
Moments like this are what life's all about. Oh, hold on a sec...
...okay, I'm back. Both the babies woke up, but I was able to lie between them in our bed, put both my arms (thank goodness I have two!) around them and they went right back to sleep. It was a little dicey getting my arms out from under them, but they are asleep again. Even though my life is completely insane most of the time and I usually don't even have time to eat dinner until 10:30 at night, I never regret my decision to have a large family and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants lots of character-building experiences! If you're still here, thanks for listening and have a great day!
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