Friday, June 6, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Alistair and Emerick!

Pop pop. Bang bang. The big day is here. My little guys turn one today! 

Ya know, I envisioned this celebratory event a lot a year ago when I was looking like this:

Oh wait, that's my sister, Andrea, showing up for the party we threw for Alistair & Emerick last Saturday. You know she's carrying identical twin boys now too, right? And I'm being the super annoying anxious big sister sending her hourly texts about the boys' impending arrival....which is any day now!

Now here's me a year and two weeks ago thinking that the 1st birthday of my twins seemed a far, far way away.

But now we're here with one year old littles!! And it's wonderful!

I'll be reading their birth story later and probably cry. 

Things that took me by surprise: 
* how easy the twins are (ridiculously easy!) 
* how difficult transition to 3 kids was (to be fair, even transition to 2 would have been difficult for me)
* that I'm still nursing
* that I've been converted on babies. I've always liked small people once they can talk. I was pretty convinced babies were boring. But two babies! Who are aren't my first go round! And who play with each other! Give me some more! 
* what it feels to love two souls completely and entirely their own and yet also have this collective love for identical twins who operate as one unit 75% of the time --- it's crazy y'all & not easy to describe 
* how family members can, with some accuracy, tell them apart but each with their own clues...
               Paul - temporary differences (pimples, scratches, a tooth that hasn't broken through yet)
               Andrea - claims Emerick has crazy eyebrows 
               Amanda - shape of heads & eyes
               Thomas - [interviewed yesterday] "Alistair is crabby & Emerick laughs at my jokes" which is not entirely true but is a little because Alistair probably wanted my attention at that second and Emerick is at ultimate joy when Thomas is doing boy things with him....or....just around. 
               Me - uh, everything! facial expressions! eyes! all the things! 
* that so many people still can't tell them apart
* the number of times I would ask "so they do look identical to you?" because the boys just look like brothers to me. Maybe .5% of the time, I will look over and catch a moment where they look pretty similar but that's weird. 
* how much I loved cloth diapers
* how much I hated cloth diapers theverysecond the babies started eating food
* how many diapers I've changed

The things that were tough:
* month 3 when all the lack of sleep caught up to me 
* transitioning & balancing the needs of 3 kids (after being a working mom with 1 kid for over 3 years)
* SENSORY OVERLOAD on the daily. still.
* realizing my fertility is trying to kill me & so far doing exceedingly well
* discovering that even if I exclusively nurse twins for 7 months it may or may not help my cycle to return later than it would have if I had laid steaks and water bowls at their feet since birth. clue: didn't help.

Names we give them:  (and the ones that sound really dumb are from me)
* the babies
* this one
* that one
* that baby over there
* the one by you
* the twins
* my little viddles 
* Oots Koots
* nuggets
* these guys
* bubs [singular]
* bubsies [plural] 

The differences [that I tentatively present because they change often]: 

Emerick - the most laid back in all the land, content to entertain himself but loves his brothers so much, very happy, laughs easily & just learned how to stand unsupported 
Alistair - leader, interested in all things digital or mechanic, loves interaction with others, easily excited and is such a cute little talker! oh, and just learned how to clap yesterday which means he's right on time to clap for cake & all of us surviving a year! 

 And to top it off, a little nod to the year ahead.  I think part of the reason I enjoyed this past year so very much was because I braced myself for the hard and made mental space (and physical space for those of you who know and have seen the glory that is "the cage") for enjoying ALL the boys. ;)

So here are some things I'm looking forward to this year: Woohoo!!
* Words
* Walking
*  More cousins & playing with those cousins!
* Seeing their personalities shine & unfold & forge ahead!
* That feeling you get when your family is not us + baby/ies but just "us". The Anderson 5! As weird as it sounds, this might be what I'm most looking forward to--that sense of 5.
* Even more sleep forever and ever amen!

And this year wouldn't have been what it was without the huge support of family, friends, and my online community of mommas. I can't thank all of you enough for showing up & being there with us! 

Studio photos done by Delores Albers Photography!


  1. Hooray!! Happy birthday baby boys :) and cheers to you for making it through the first year with a smile on your face.

    1. Thanks, Danielle! I take up any opportunity I can to celebrate! :)

  2. What a great day for me to discover your blog - on your twins' birthday! I have always been HUGELY fascinated by twins, always wanted to BE one, tried to pretend as a child that I had one but un-pretended fast because "she" wasn't real and that made me sad (...maybe I overthought things?).

    And your SISTER is caring identical twins?!? Oh, what great family times you will have.

    Love the list of names you give your twins :) ! Have a fun birthday, all.

    1. Hello, Nancy! I love your fascination with twins. I think I'm more and more fascinated by one now that I have a set. I think it's amazing that we think it's very special, but they don't know anything different. When they were newborns, I would lay them down next to each other and marvel at how it could have been just one!

  3. One already! How exciting!!! And I have to admit, I'm a little jealous of the whole twins-playing-together thing... Mine just want ME all the time! It's pretty frustrating :/

  4. No, wait. They CAN'T be one. Because if they are, then mine will be soon!!!!

    I must say, I disagree completely with your assessment that twins are easy. :P But I do wish we lived close to one another so we could get our four baby boys together and watch and laugh. Wouldn't that be a riot? :)

    I can't believe your sisters is pregnant with identical twin boys!!! That's crazy, because identical twins aren't genetic, right?

    Your boys are absolutely adorable, Ashley. Happy 1st birthday to your cuties!