Happy Birthday, Eila!!!

Eila is one year old today!

Exactly one year ago today, I was snuggled in bed with my husband and our hours-old baby girl, in a beautiful room at the best Birth Center in Portland, OR.  (If you want to see our beautiful room, click on “Madrona” at the bottom of this page.)  We were exhausted from a long night but in complete awe of our new daughter and of what had just happened.  She had been born around 2:30 in the morning, so we were probably in and out of sleep by this time.  (As I write this it’s 6:30 am.)  But whether asleep or awake, we were definitely snuggled together in bed, as that’s where we were lucky enough to spend the next two days after her birth.  We were waited on hand and foot, our every need anticipated by the awesome staff at the birth center.  And Eila never left our sides.  I remember it as completely magical.

(The two big sisters were at our house with Bubba, Kate’s mom, and came to visit their parents and new little sister a few hours after this.  Missing them was the hardest – and maybe the only hard – part about being in the birth center.  But we knew they were having a great time with their beloved Bubba.)

Right now, as I’m writing this, Eila is standing at the front window of the house house rolling a little toy car along the window sill.  Uh oh, she has just started whimpering.  I guess I had better go play with my big one-year-old girl!  First, a few pictures.  (Of course!)













And I haven’t got one of her today yet.  I just tried taking a “One Year Old” video, but I’m having a hard time loading it.  So I’ll just leave you with a few classics.  Some major milestones in Eila’s first year…





Happy Birthday, to the sweetest, fiercest, boldest, most loving and charming 1-year-old this side of Jupiter!

We love you, Eila.


Happy 9th Birthday, Shaelyn and Davia!

Today is Shaelyn and Davia’s 9th Birthday!!

Most of my older photos of them are not dated, so the pictures below are probably not in perfect chronological order.  Besides the photos, I’ve included excerpts from a journal I kept for the first several years of their lives.

Here you can watch them grow before your very eyes, as I have.  Hope you enjoy it.

“I love twins.  (Mine especially of course)  I’ve been telling people that I want to someday adopt 5 more sets of twins.  I do.  I bet not every set is as wonderful as Shaelyn and Davia though.”

– Kate, January 19, 2004

“What beautiful girls I have!  I swear they get cuter every day.  They’re just gorgeous.  I was looking at them yesterday and thinking about how when you look at them you can tell they’re just always going to be beautiful.  They couldn’t not be.  They’re just perfect.”

– Kate, February 3, 2004

“These girls are totally obsessed with frogs.  They love frogs.  They ask for frogs and babble about frogs any chance they get.  They’ll find a frog in any book that has one, even if it’s only a teeny tiny one down in the corner on some page that doesn’t even mention frogs in the words.  When we sing “Old Mac Donald” and get to the “had a…” part, they always say “froggy!”  I put up some pictures of frogs for them that they love, and I put pictures of frogs in their photo album.  Anything that they see that even remotely resembles a frog (for example, a crocodile or the avocado on Lori’s burrito), they’ll ask “Froggy? Froggy?”  My cute little weirdos.”

– Kate, February 26, 2005

*Cut to 5 years later…


“Hooray!  They finally know that one of them is named Shaelyn!  They’re sitting in their high chairs facing eachother, and I just asked Davia who “this” is, pointing to Shaelyn.  “Sha-sha” she said.  YES!!!  And then Shaelyn patted both of her hands on her chest and said “Sha Sha!”  YES!!!  For the past month or two, they’ve just both been “Da da”.”

– Kate, January 7th, 2005

“Also over there today, they were playing in the planter where, a couple months ago, I told them to be careful of the baby lettuces.  Shaelyn said to Davia “That’s baby salad, Day Day!”

When something happens that upsets Davia, she cries for a little bit, then she says “It’s okay, Davia.”

Another favorite thing of theirs to do is running away.  And they say “Run away! Run away!” as they go.  It’s sort of a pain, because they do it outside.  As soon as we get out there, they’re half way down the block, giggling, “Run away!”

Today we were at Longs to get wipes, and I was pushing the girls in the stroller.  Shaelyn leaned over toward Davia and said “I love my sweet baby girl.”

– Kate, August 22, 2005

“This morning while me and S and D were all snuggled in bed together, just waking up, Shaelyn pinched Davia.  (I forget why.)  Davia said, ‘Are you an earwig, Shaelyn?  You don’t pinch people!'”

– Kate, November 22, 2006

“Lately Shaelyn has been calling people ‘old girl’.  As in, ‘Don’t say that, silly old girl!'”

– Kate, November 25, 2006

“We rode up in Bubba’s car – me, shaelyn, Davia, Renny and Bubba.  On the way back, we stopped at In n Out for fries and milk shakes, and we played games.  The best game we played was “I’m thinking of a thing” where you give clues about what (or who) you’re thinking about.  Renny did the first few (her first two things being Shaelyn and Davia), and I did a couple.  Then we asked the girls if they wanted to try.  Shaelyn went first, saying “I’m thinking of a thing… with sharp teeth… that bites you… (some other clues that I forget)… that says wuff wuff” A dog?  “No… that says meow… with sharp teeth” (more clues that I forget) A cat?  “No… that starts with a… it has sharp teeth… a zebra!!”  Then Davia went:  “I’m thinking of a thing… that’s round… and squishy…” A ball?  A bagel?  “No… that’s yellow… that’s on my nose” A sock? (She was holding a sock next to her nose)  “No…” What is it?  “A booger!'”

– Kate, November 25, 2006

“This morning, we were talking about making pancakes, and Shaelyn said, ‘To make pancakes, we need to get the pancake batteries!'”

-Kate, March 10, 2007

“At night, when I’m putting the girls to bed, before affirmations and after stories, we all say a couple things we’re thankful for.  Davia for some reason always says something like “I’m thankful for the Julia that I eat!”  Or “I’m thankful for eating Shaelyn and Bubba!”  Last night, when I asked Shaelyn what she was thankful for, she said “I’m thankful for you, mama!”  Melt my heart!  Then when she saw how happy that made me, she said about 10 more times.”

-Kate, March 10, 2007

“I love these girls so much.  I’ve been worrying lately about money and stuff, because I’m still not working.  But this morning, before the girls’ nap and after a banana breakfast, they were laying on the living room floor, and I was practicing our signs by signing to them (which they absolutely love)…  And I was looking at them, and I realized how much better they make me feel about everything.  No problem I could have now matters half as much as having these girls matters.  They’re more important to me than everything else in my life combined.  If I lost everything in the world except them, I would still be so much more happy than I ever thought I could be.  As long as (we) are together, any problems I might have now seem totally insignificant.  I can’t even believe how lucky I am to have these girls.”

-Kate, April 3, 2004

Nine years later, I still feel the same way.  (Of course, as our family has grown, that feeling has grown to encompass my wonderful husband and newest baby.)  When I first met Shaelyn and Davia and held them in my arms, they were more beautiful and amazing and perfect than I ever could have hoped for.  And every day, as I watch them grow into the amazing people they are becoming, I am blown away by their spirit, their insights and curiosity, their courage and strength, their beauty and grace, their spunk and their wit, and their huge, glowing hearts.  I couldn’t have dreamed they’d turn out like this.  I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us, and for the world, next.  And I am so very grateful to have them in my life.

Happy Birthday, big girls!  We love you!!

Another Busy Morning, In a Busy Month

Mornings – especially school mornings – are every mother’s favorite time of day.  Ha ha!  See what I did there?  That was a joke.  In that it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  School mornings were sent by the devil to punish mothers for having children, populating the world with little angels.  Devils hate angels.  Is that right?  Something like that.

Anyway, my point is that a school morning is a very painful thing for a mom.  Or at least for many moms.  Lunches have to be made.  Shoes have to be located.  Papers have to be signed.  Jackets, toothbrushes, backpacks, “she took my blah blah blah!”, “I can’t find my blah blah blah!”, “Where did you hide my blah blah blah?!”, etc.  You get the picture.  And mom’s trying to deal with all this while still only half awake.  And have I mentioned that my kids’ school starts at 7:45am?

This morning actually went relatively smoothly, especially considering that I was up part of the night last night with a sick baby.  (Don’t worry, she’s made a full recovery.)  But it was still a morning.  I caught a little of it on video to show you here.  But keep in mind, this was one of the more mild segments of the morning.  And this morning was one of the more mild mornings.  There’s often screaming and tears.  This isn’t that bad…

(If anyone’s wondering, when I said “Quick, before Memory leaves,” I wasn’t threatening them with amnesia or anything.   I was referring to our wonderful neighbor who drives them to school in the mornings, who happens to be named Memory.)
In other news, October is a very busy month for us!  All three girls have birthdays, and our favorite holiday wraps it all up.  Kane’s coming home for a visit, and Grandpa Jim (Kate’s dad) is coming to visit as well.  The following display is on our entryway closet and is maintained mostly by S and D, with a little input from adults:

Busy Month


Wait, what?!  Does that say “TWO DAYS LEFT” at the bottom?  Uh oh, I’ve got stuff to do.  (That’s the big girls’ countdown to their birthday.)  Eek!


Love to all, and Happy October!