Lest we forget…

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The following is a 24 hour account of October 25th, starting at 12am.

Daddy and Mommy have just fallen asleep after a West Wing watch / Girls awake and run into our room, Daddy walks them back / This horribleness continues every twenty mins for the next two hours / From 3am- 4am the entire household remains asleep / Aria awakes, Daddy walks her back / Just before dawn, Juliet grunts insatiably in my arms / Girls wake before the sun / Mommy makes her first cup of tea / Girls gobble up chocolate Rice Crispies / Daddy emerges with Juliet / Mommy and Daddy compare sleeping stories / Girls eat Trix / Every last pillow and blanket is stacked into a huge pile in the center of our living room / Girls perch themselves high on couch armrests and fly into the cushy mound below / Juliet lays on a playmat / Not even 8am, Joe goes back to bed / Juliet goes down for her first nap / Joe wakes / We enjoy a hot breakfast / Juliet wakes / Pandora music and beautiful sun rays fill the home / Aria is a tired mess / Aria is sent to bed for an early nap / Mommy makes a second cup of tea / Naomi is content on an iPad, if content means asking the question “Can we buy a new game?” every 10 mins / Juliet is rocked to sleep, and held for a very long time / The minute Juliet is put down, her eyes pop open / Mommy is grumpy / Juliet is held again / Joe explores the pros and cons of leasing a car / Aria wakes / Joe starts the process of loading girls into the car— potty runs, getting girls dressed, hair done, favorite shoes located and on, snacks, acceptable sippy cups filled, wipes, diapers, extra onesie, baby carrier / Girls are ready to be buckled into the car, Aria screams “I do eh by myself!!” Naomi yells “I can’t see Annie!” / Forty minutes later— we are finally ready to leave the house / After holding Juliet for 2.5 hours, Mommy is finally hands free / Take the 20 min drive to Bates Nut Farm / Upon arrival Juliet poops / Girls do a pony ride, girls feed pigs and sheep, Daddy chases and catches a chicken, Naomi holds the dirty creature, and according to Daddy, girls pick “the ugliest pumpkins of the patch” / A hot and exhausted Mommy and Daddy pack up the car and head home / Girls sweetly sing “Ahh-nie” the whole way home / Catering to backseat babies makes Mommy nauseous / Daddy jumps on Netflix and loads the Bugs Bunny movie on our bedroom TV, Naomi reports “mommy doesn’t like that movie” / Mommy sips a third cup of tea while making chicken quesadillas for an early dinner / We throw down a blanket on our bed, call it a picnic, and dinner is served / Thirty mins pass, Aria hasn’t taken a bite of dinner / Daddy innocently threatens “Aria, if you don’t eat your dinner, you’re not going to the Halloween party tonight” / Forty five minutes later, we have ourselves our very first stand off / Aria will not eat her dinner and Daddy realizes he’s in a corner and cannot back down on his threat / Aria screams bloody murder, and is a horrible blubbering mess as she watches Mommy, Naomi and Juliet leave the house without her / Finally, on her terms (sitting on Daddy’s lap) Aria eats her dinner / As best of friends, Joe and Aria run to the Halloween Party down the hill — Aria delightfully yelling “I eat all my dinneh!!! Pah-tee, Fehns, see Mimi, baby Juwee-et!” / Reunited as a family at the local church’s huge Halloween party / We do everything possible to not repeat last year’s debacle of losing our children twice / On giant inflatables, my awesome Jaguar girls jump and slide with all they’ve got / Daddy corrects Mommy, apparently Jaguar is not a three syllable word / Sun goes down / We head home exhausted / Girls pass out / Like trained zombies, we pick up the same toys, shoes, costumes, markers, puzzle pieces, balls, blankets and pillows like we’ve done every night before / In the quiet, dimly lit kitchen, drinks are poured / Daddy and Mommy hug in the kitchen, with a simple sigh, the day is behind us / The night is finally ours / Lourdes take out for dinner / Second round of drinks poured / With a fourth cup of tea, Jack & Coke, and a large handful of Peanut butter M&Ms, we lounge on the couch to a $6 Amazon movie / Mid movie Juliet wakes, Mommy holds her / Instead of wishing each other a good night, Mommy and Daddy wish each other “Good luck” / Mommy falls asleep holding Juliet / We barely fall asleep, Naomi pops out of bed, Joe walks her back to her bed / Aria pops out of bed, Joe walks her back / Aria pops out of bed… / Aria pops out of bed… / Aria pops out of bed… / Juliet wakes / Naomi pops out of bed… / Aria… (and so it goes).

Good thing God made you girls ridiculously darling. Cause somehow, after days like this, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I write all of this, all of it, lest we forget… how wonderful our life is.IMG_1837IMG_2536Juliet (2 months old): Hello baby love. You are darling! Our little fair one. When people meet you, they make two comments: One about your size, and another about your complexion. You are a big girl! At 8 weeks you clocked in just shy of 14 pounds, and at the end of the month hit a solid 15. You’re much fairer than your sisters. Your eyes— they’re still holding that intense deep blue, and your hair is strawberry blonde! You smiled your first smile with Daddy! Mommy saw her first smile from you when she and your sisters were dancing to hip hop music, Black Eyed Peas to be exact. Oh how that made Mommy laugh! You love being swaddled. You love being rocked. You do not like pacifiers and you do not like the car. Your sisters love calling you a bubble machine, as one of your best tricks is making itty bitty mouth bubbles. You love cooing, and talking with us! You’re such a sweet baby Juliet.IMG_2635IMG_2977 IMG_1942IMG_1926  IMG_1576IMG_1645  IMG_3165IMG_1900 IMG_2235Aria (2.5 years): Your personality shines! Each morning you run to meet me “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I miss you!! I miss you!!”  Funny things you say: “Cue me! Cue me!” (Excuse me!). You imitate Daddy, “Hey! Ehh your dehneh!” (Hey eat your dinner!). While driving, you very cleverly said “Reh ess go! And green ess stop!” I corrected your silly statement, and you cracked up “Nooo! (you laugh!) Ehs bwackwards!! Red ess go and green ess stop!! Ahahaha!” In the bathroom, you say “Fi-see Fi-see” (Privacy). “Hey eh you talking abwout?!?” “Hey you go!!!”  You lined up all your barn animal friends and then you yelled at all of them— “Leh be fehns!!” *My little one, you LOVE to sing, and sing LOUD! You surprise us with your projection and pitch!! *You’re very particular about some things and so incredibly easy going about others. Your pajamas– you know exactly what you want. Your cereal– you know how you like it (exactly how much milk, and exactly what color spoon). How you get buckled into the car– it’s your way, or no way. The way you place your little pillow exactly on top of your big pillow— it’s as if all of Mars depended on it. Your sippy cup– anything less than half full is completely unacceptable. Your hair– you don’t even care. Your underwear– you don’t even care. Your hair gets washed– doesn’t even phase you. Your face is a filthy mess– you don’t even care. Naomi plays an iPad everyday while you take a nap— it is so unfair, and you don’t even care.               IMG_3171  IMG_2670IMG_1543  IMG_1555IMG_2408 IMG_2365  IMG_1894IMG_1817  IMG_2292  IMG_1914Naomi (two months shy of 4 years): Naomi, you were playing together at a playground when a little boy started grabbing at your things.  You looked right at him and said “No thank you please.”  This did not deter him.  So you looked at him and said in a louder more Big Sister voice “When I say ‘No thank you please’ that means STOP!” My heart exploded, I was so proud of you.  *As Ama was leaving you ran to her, grabbed her hand and lead her to the couch. “Ama you can’t leave without a hug.” You climbed up onto the arm rest, grabbed her shoulders, looked directly into her eyes and said “Bye Ama! You don’t need to be scared. God is with you” (and you hugged her once more). Ama and I stood there, shocked. Kindness oozes from you sweet one. *In a picture below, I said “Smile bigger!” You did. So funny! *Below, you wrote all your family’s names, all by yourself. You’re sounding out words! *Naomi you and I did a little Christmas video together! You played with a train while I sang. When the guys came over to shoot the video of you, you did everything they asked of you, but better. You were darling! In two takes, you stole the show! I was so proud! *When we went trick o treating, I noticed something. Of all the kids, you were the first to the door, and the first one to back to the sidewalk ready to hit the next house, and so on… we couldn’t charge ahead fast enough. You were ready to move and keep moving! Maybe it’s was the candy, or the excitement of the evening, but I loved seeing this “activator” personality in you!IMG_1859IMG_2126IMG_2323IMG_2173  IMG_2438IMG_2152  IMG_2495  IMG_2381IMG_2176 IMG_2776 I adore watching you two play together and be kind to each other! During one conversation, I sat nearby and listened. This is exactly what you said:

Naomi & Aria—- “Then I should give you a hug. (You hug each other). I should give you a kiss for that one. Eh okay. Here’s a kiss on your arm. See my owie? Let me give you a kiss. No! Aria! Kisses make owies feel better! This eh my birthday? No that’s a puzzle piece. Let me see, it’s okay, you will feel better. Let me give you a kiss. Ouchie! I still see that. We need a band-aid for that. Let me go get one. (Aria fake whimpers). It’s okay sweetie, it will get better. Let me go get you a band-aid. We go eh Doctor? I’m sorry Aria, I can’t find the band-aid. I’m sorry my little dear. Let me see your owie. Mimi I see your owie? Righ hew? Nope. Aria you have to look closer, you have to look closer. Eh! A big big owie righ hew! Um yea. Righ hew! Mimi I fi my puzzles. Mimi why you frow puzzles? Hey!! I frow puzzles! Two free, one two free, oh miss!! One two free catch! I deh eh!! (I did it) One two free, oh miss! One two free, I deh eh!! Mimi come wook ah my owie! I have to see better with the flashlight. I do see your owie! Let me go get a bandaid for that! Okay, now I got a sock! Noooo, a bahn-day!! I couldn’t find a bandaid. I’m sorry sweetie. The sock will make it feel better (fake whines from Aria). You silly, I will make it feel better.                              IMG_2456IMG_3315  IMG_2391IMG_2484  IMG_2061IMG_3311  IMG_3318IMG_2654 IMG_3317 IMG_2572 Maertz Family Memories: *Maneevone Family Dinner at the Maertzs. Mommy makes the clumpiest pot of angel hair pasta. You girls love playing with your cousins —and we enjoy another crazy messy family dinner together. *Taco Tuesdays with the Whites.  Joe and Tim playing hoops together at EFCC, and KY and I hang with the kids. *Quick trip to meet Westan Ward, and his beautiful mommy. *After much planning and preparation, Joe tackles the FSOT with Dave Barnes— power outage and dinner with friends make it a memorable day. *Todd comes over for late night music creating. The Christmas Concert is in the works. *Our band buddy Brad marries his girl, and Joe and I (and sleeping Juliet) have the best time at his wedding– dancing under the glowy night and enormous oak trees! *Leading worship at Flood Hillsdale and Kearny. *Mom surprises me with a free afternoon at the mall by myself. I’m still shaking my head, that was a great day. *IKEA family run and Bona Forchette with 4 adults and 7 kids (4 years and under!). *GrampBill comes into town, we take a night out and enjoy test driving at a Nissan Dealership. *Bates Nut Farm. *EFCC Halloween Party– for the record we did not lose our children this time. *Joe trades in his car and leases a Honda Civic. *Mary Ann Erdos and I host a Neighborhood Block Party! 40 of our neighbors come out for a Mexican Potluck. You know a party is a success when it starts at 3pm and folks don’t leave until 10:30! So fun. *Ama and Papa are taking the girls to EFCC Sunday School, giving Joe and I some wonderful quiet time together. Enjoying some great podcasts by Andy Stanley. *Monday Costco trips with Papa. *Filming with Brad and Kris for the Christmas Collective! *9 year Annibirthoween! Joe turns 35, happy birthday my love. Trick or treating in 4S Ranch with Lehman, Heinrichs, White, Torres, and Woodall families! Girls you loved it! Thanks to Ama for staying with our sleeping beauties so we could enjoy a fancy birthday anniversary dinner at Vintana! (Joe gifts me a massage, a Baylor mug and license plate frame(!!), and a projection clock for the night wakes. And I give him a gift at sportsbook.com). Daddy celebrates his birthday with friends: pub and trampolines! Mommy enjoys EFCC on Tuesdays, MOPS on Thursdays and her GrowthGroupGirls on Thursday nights at Kate’s. *Playdates: Allison at Discovery Park (After I brave a Starbucks Drive thru with a super long line of cars! Each time I pull my car forward, I jump out, open a side door, and shush Juliet until she stops crying. I’m sure I looked crazy! *Terri Last joins us for an afternoon. *Emily Ramli comes for a quick lunch hour. *Love on KY and watch Brooklyn for a stint. *MOPS girls playdate at Peets’ home. *Brens and kids, she holds down the fort with all five kids while I run a quick errand! *Quick mornings at 1204 Birch Way, quick afternoons at Paschalls’. *Jans and Damien enjoy breakfast here. *Becks here for a sunny morning.IMG_2101 IMG_2655  IMG_2676 IMG_2208IMG_2190  IMG_3316IMG_2582  IMG_2664 IMG_1631  IMG_3073 IMG_2195IMG_2526