The School Bus

8/26/2015

There was an unfamiliar sound coming from outside, I pulled back the curtains to take a peek, and noticed the big yellow school bus attempting to stop in front of our house. Its screeching breaks were the unfamiliar sound I had heard, and I watched as kids excitedly scrambled inside. “Ugh. So it’s today…”

school bus

First grade.
I should have a daughter in first grade. And for the first time, I let myself think about it. Last year, I vowed to avoid social media this time of year, because the hundreds of first day of school pictures were downright painful. I believe every mom should be proudly posting their growing kids, documenting this stage in life, but it’s just a little too much for me right now. And even though I successfully avoided the pictures, I hadn’t prepared to see the school bus.

As I watched that bus drive down the street, I thought about how a blonde little girl should be climbing on board, and riding to a new classroom, just blocks away from our new home. She should be surrounded by kids and a new teacher. And yet, nobody knows she is missing…except me. And that feeling is extremely lonely and heart wrenching. I completed my student teaching in first grade, so my thoughts then turned to what she would be learning, how she would be acting. I haven’t allowed myself to think like this in a long time, and grief got the better of me.

This morning my thoughts turned to the thousand of mom’s, whose hearts feel like mine. Each year we’re left wondering what would have been, or what could have been, and I want you to know you aren’t alone. That I’m thinking of your child today. And if it were possible, I would have loved to show up on your doorstep the very first day of school with two big blueberry muffins in hand. I would have loved to acknowledge what this day brings, and sit down with you to talk about our children. I would have loved to ask you questions about your angel, because I know how you long to speak about them, and remember them, because even though they aren’t here with us, they are still a huge part of our world. I know there would be a few tears spilled, and a few laughs as well. But most of all, as I was leaving, I wish I could give you a big hug, and say your child’s name, because we hear it so little these days, don’t we?

Joseph Wirthlin color 


When grief wins, and the tears fall, I often think of the quote above. I long for the day us Angel Mom’s get to find out what a hundredfold really means.

Ash1ed 
Sending all my love on a difficult week.

Four Little Masterpieces

8/14/2015

Just after Preslee passed away, I remember taking down her picture that she finger painted on. It was hanging on the fridge and was a cruel reminder of what was missing. Over the past five years, it has been one of my favorite items we have of hers. (Read about it here)

At age two, I had Ledge finger paint his own masterpiece. He refused to touch the paint, and I was so sleep deprived after just having the twins that I poured in cornmeal instead of cornstarch… but in the end, the cornmeal gave his picture a neat texture. :) I kept his filed away for the past two years.

Edible Finger Paint Edible Finger Paint

Last week, we braved finger painting for the first time since Cannon and Cruiz were born. Ledger couldn’t remember doing it, so it was new for all three boys. (All my art projects seemed to stop after having twins!) Ledger dove right in, and the twins weren’t quite sure. In the end, it was definitely worth the work.

Easiest way to finger paintEasiest way to finger paintEdible Finger PaintEdible Finger PaintEdible Finger PaintEdible Finger Paint(Good thing its edible :)

Tip: I swear, the only way to do finger painting is to cover the table with wax paper, and let the kids go crazy! Once they are finished, dip their paper in their painting on the table. Clean up is just folding up the wax paper, throwing it away, and wiping down anywhere their grubby little fingers have touched. Much easier than painting an entire table.

Once their artwork dried, I made a trip to IKEA and bought four matching frames. I’m in love with the final product! I love anything that includes Preslee, so having all four next to each other is a sweet reminder what lies ahead for us in the future. Hopefully one day we’ll have a playroom to hang these in, but for now, I squeezed them in upstairs.

Edible Finger Paint 

These just might be my favorite pieces of art in our home.

Be still my heart.

Edible Finger Paint
Pour 1 cup of cold water and 1 cup of flour into a pan. Gradually add 3 cups of boiling water to the mix. Stir over heat until it boils. Take off the heat and let it cool. Then divide the mixture into bowls and add food coloring. Store in airtight container.

Two

8/11/2015

 Birthday Cake

Cruiz and Cannon’s 2nd Birthday was the first time we didn’t have family to celebrate with. Luckily we love our neighbors, and they came over and partied with us. The more kids I have, and the older I get, the more I realize a Birthday is way more fun if I keep it simple! We played hard during the day and didn’t have much to get ready for before the party started. We had a really fun day, and the boys received a lot of Paw Patrol things, along with a McQueen and Dusty. They were pretty excited. Thanks for coming Jensen’s!

Two years old

 Twins identical twins  Twins 2 year old birthdayidentical tiwns IMG_6157ed Two year old Birthday party IMG_6180ed  IMG_6184edTwo year old birthday ideasTwo year old Birthday CakeIMG_6176ed IMG_6193ed IMG_6192IMG_6195ed  IMG_6206ed IMG_6226edIMG_6213ed 

What I Want to Remember 

IMG_3874ed (Cannon, the other pic of Cruiz was too dark to post, but I caught them sleeping in the exact same position. They do it often.)

Sleep - Cruiz is one of our best sleepers, Cannon on the other hand… our worst. But that’s okay, he just needs to work on NOT waking up Cruiz every chance he gets. He has this scream that is specifically designed to wake up Cruiz, and soon as I hear it, I sprint in. But the boys usually sleep from 7pm-7am and take a nap from  12:30pm-2:30pm.

Clothing – They both wear 3T, and often put on Ledger’s 4T clothes which don’t seem all too big. (Yikes! Watch out Ledger!) I’ve been on the hunt for size 9 shoes. Cannon will not keep his shoes on, but raids Ledger’s sock drawer multiple times a day to wear socks. It drives me a little crazy :) Though I looove dressing them the same, and I do it often, if we are going to a park or somewhere to play with other kids, I’ve started dressing them differently. If one boy acts out towards the other kids, I’ve noticed the other kids think Cannon and Cruiz are the same person if they are wearing the same clothes. Therefore, the other brother suffers the consequence along with the one who acted out. So I’m working on giving them a separate identity :)

Talking – They are finally really starting to communicate. It’s making our life much easier! I doubt we will experience the twin’s speaking their own language though. Cruiz speaks a little better, but this past week Cannon’s vocabulary is rapidly coming along. Cannon surprisingly speaks with a very quiet voice, which I love.

IMG_4141(Cruiz, Ledger, Cannon) 

Nursery – Since moving to UT, nursery has been a mess. Our first two kids never had an issue going to nursery, so the fact Cruiz and Cannon won’t go is super frustrating! Especially since they have each other in there! Cannon screams if I sneak out, which makes Cruiz nervous, so he starts crying. Then if we just grab Cannon, Cruiz can’t handle it, and we end up taking both out. So the key is to get to Cannon before Cruiz gets nervous. Here’s to hoping we can figure it out soon.

We cut their hair! Goodbye curls.

  Cannon – This boy is by far my most independent child. He hates to receive help for anything! He’ll kick and IMG_6267edscream if I attempt to help him get dressed, open a roll of smarties, or nearly anything else. He has the determination to keep with anything until he figures it out. I keep telling Pat, if he makes the right friends in the future, this kid will go far. He still prefers men, and is obsessed with his dad. Cannon will go through naughty stages where he refuses to listen, and won’t want anything to do with me, but I’ve learned this is when he needs me most. If I force him to cuddle and sit on my lap, he eventually gives up and enjoys the affection he needs. And for whatever reason he’ll stop acting out as bad. He loves food and to cook in the kitchen with me. He’s super physical, and loves wrestling with anyone who will play with him. We say he’s a more independent Ledger. IMG_6267ed

Cruiz – This Momma’s boy is much softer than his brother, and usually more obedient. But when he acts out, I usually fall apart, because I’m used to him being my constant. He sits still much longer than any child I’ve had. Especially while watching Paw Patrol or Mickey Mouse. Cruiz loves animals and music. He’s my peacemaker in the family, but we are trying to teach him to stand up to his brothers… or he’s going to have a long life. Though it rarely happens, when he snaps, he really snaps, and usually has both brothers in tears! Cruiz has a very similar personality to Preslee, he’s more aware of others and makes friends easily. He will be the first to show anyone affection and still takes advantage of this dimples and can win anyone over with his irresistible smile.

The boys love to go on walks, watch Paw Patrol, sing songs, and play Ring Around the Rosie. They seem to always be copying their older brother, and love to climb in bed with Ledger at the end of each day and listen as I read them all a book before bed.

IMG_6311ed

Though I love the bond identical twins have, I love their differences even more. I can’t wait to see what both boys accomplish in the future!

We love you!

Swimming Lessons

8/07/2015

After losing a child to drowning, I want my children to feel confident while swimming. This summer, we signed Ledger up for two rounds of swimming lessons, and we were pleased with the progress he made! He isn’t the least bit scared of the water, so we needed him to learn the basics/rules. We loved taking lessons at an outdoor pool in Holladay, UT. swimming lessons

Ledger seemed to fit right in the middle of two classes, so after talking with the instructor, I decided to enlist him in the class that seemed to be a little bit above his level. Though he didn’t have a clue what he was doing, he jumped right in and copied the older boys that first day. He made me super nervous, and with my twin boys running around trying to find a way into the pool, I had a silent panic attack. I told Pat I wasn’t sure if I could go back the next day. But like always, Pat calmed me down and the second day went much better than the first. The last week, a couple kids in the younger class went out of town, and his instructors gave me the option to move him down for two day. We decided to give it a try, and it was great to have him learn a few more of the basics.

Ledger loved his teachers, Abby and Taylor. They are sisters teaching out of their parent’s pool.

toddler swimming lessonsHolladay UT swimming lessons  

Let’s talk about Ledger’s $2.99 Ninja Turtle goggles I found at the grocery store the night before lessons started. He wouldn’t take them off, even on the car ride home :)

toddler swimming lessons cottonwood heights swimming lessons toddler swimming lessons splash 

toddler swimming lessons

“Mom! Check out my cannon ball!”

Holladay swimming lessons SLC simming lessons SLC swimming lessons swimming lessons

He rocked at his back floats. SLC swimming lessons

The pool was raised a little bit, which turned out to be sooo nice while trying to keep two toddlers out of the pool. Seriously, it was stressful. Cannon was determined to find a way in, he NEVER gave up.

identical twins

The long awaited trip down the slide. It was about more than Ledge could handle waiting for the last day of lessons.

toddler swimming lessons toddler swimming lessons toddler swimming lessons toddler swimming lessons Toddler swimming lessons

Holladay swim lessons
Giving Taylor a hug goodbye.

SLC swim lessons 
And they had the cutest yard.

The second round of lessons were taught at our city’s rec center. I enlisted him in the younger class, and he definitely learned the basics, though he seemed a little bored at times.

Here’s to hoping as my children get older, swimming will get easier on me.

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