Dear Lila, You’re Five!

Dear Lila Kate,

You turned five years old on November 18! I wanted to write you a post on your actual birthday, but of course things got a bit hectic. You and your brothers sure do keep me on my toes!

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This year for your birthday we celebrated at Disney World by taking you and your cousin Reagan to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. You girls were in heaven getting your hair done, nails painted, glitter put everywhere etc. I love that you are still into princesses, dresses, jewelry and other girlie things. I have heard little girls can outgrown that shortly after five, so I wanted to soak it up with you while I can.

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Four was such a transformative year for you. You began to really think about the world, your place in it and how you want to experience life. Your big emotions from age three calmed down and you began to do things that show me you’ve matured a lot. Things like saying sorry unprompted and really meaning it, sacrificing what you want for your brothers, offering to carry my purse to the car when my hands are full, bringing your dishes over to the sink without being asked and having fun playing games even if you lose.

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Nothing has made me more proud of you than when your teacher told us at parent conferences recently that “Lila is one of the nicest kids in class.” More so than knowing your letters, numbers etc, I care most about you learning how to be a good friend, to be kind to others and to love yourself. You make me so proud in this sense every day!

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You love your family so fiercely that sometimes daddy and I joke that no five year old has been more obsessed with their parents than you are. You would honestly rather be with us over any one else in the world. When I leave even to run to the store, you follow me out the door asking for at least five rounds of hugs and kisses.

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You often say “I’m never going to college! I’m going to live with mommy and daddy forever!” Secretly, I would be happy if that actually happened. I want you to experience all the world has to offer, but I hope you are forever close to us (even if it’s just in heart). You are my best little buddy and I love having you always by my side.

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Since the arrival of your brothers, your life has changed a lot. It would be very normal for you to feel resentful of them, but you have never once acted harshly towards them. At most you will tell me you feel jealous if I’m spending time with one of them or try to also sit on my lap if I’m holding one. I try to give you lots of one on one time to let you know that you’re very very special to my heart. You are such a fun big sister – always chasing the brothers until they fall in a heap giggling. They adore you so much.

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We’ve tried to keep your life unscheduled so far. You mainly go to school in the mornings and then are home with us the rest of the time. We do little outings to the library, coffee shop or park. I figure you have a lot of time to explore hobbies & sports and I like our calm, quiet life! You already show a lot of aptitude and interest in a few things like singing, art, music, golf, running, swimming and acting. I’m looking forward to when you really start finding your passions.

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I am told often that you are a carbon copy of me. Right now you love “looking like mommy.”  I hope as you get older that continues! You are very tall (just like I was) and are off the charts for height. You’ve already lost two teeth and have your “7 year molars” coming in. Being so tall so young wasn’t always easy for me, but so far you think its so cool that you’re “the tallest in class!” I am going to do my best to help you to always love yourself and to think being tall is a great thing (because now that I’m an adult, I see that it so is!).

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Leading up to your birthday I told you that I thought you should just stay four, since mommy didn’t want you to get older. You said “No mommy I have to turn five! But I’ll always be your baby, remember?!” The truth is I love watching you grow up. I know what a special honor it is to be with you every day as you experience life.

I still can’t believe you are five! It seems like not long ago I was dreaming about what being a mom would be like. Whenever I would think about it, I always dreamt I had a daughter. You are everything and more that I dreamed of and I feel so lucky that you are mine.

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Happy birthday sweet girl!

Love always,

Mommy

 

 

Filled to the Brim

Life is so full right now. It’s amazing, joyful and exhausting all at once. Every moment of my day seems filled with childcare, home care or work. The precious moments I get to relax are usually spent vegging out on the couch with Luke over some ice cream. So, I’m sorry if I haven’t been by here as much to keep you all updated!

The boys recently turned 15 months old, and they are IN. TO. EVERYTHING. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with them. They certainly keep me on my toes. Their current obsession is climbing everything in sight and giving their mom a heart attack. Our house is in full on baby-proofed mode, with gates in nearly every room, outlet plugs galore and the bottom shelves emptied all around the house. We are seriously contemplating moving all our kitchen chairs to the basement because the boys LOVE climbing on top of them and onto the table! Basically our house will be empty soon. :)

When the house can’t take any more abuse from them, I plop them in the back yard. They LOVE playing outside and think our back yard is their own personal safari. They climb up the slide and then go down on their bellies, giggling as they bump into each other. They play in the sand box and end up eating most of it, and when it’s hot out, we put on the sprinkler or slip n slide for them and Lila to cool down in.

Their personalities are becoming more and more apparent. Davis is our adventurer. He’s always on some mission to explore a new area of the yard, get into some trouble he knows he’s not supposed to, or try to make a break for it up the stairs when the gate is left open. While he’s got a curious spirit, he is still my easy-going snuggler. It takes a lot to get Davis upset. My favorite time is right before bed when he lays his head on my shoulder and sucks his thumb, completely content.

 

Davis discovered the slide! #davisray #13monthsold #babyboy #slide

 

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Someone didn’t want to let me cook dinner. #davisray #babyboy #mommyshelper   A post shared by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

Whitaker is technically the “baby” in our family, and boy does he milk that role. He is our little koala, and loves nothing more than to be toted around wherever we go. He reaches his arms up whenever someone walks by begging to be carried and loved on. He has no stranger danger and will literally let anyone hold him. He’s been doing this awesome knee-shuffle to get where he wants to go. He tends to be more slow and deliberate, where his brother is off in a flash.

 

Famous Whitaker knee shuffle #babyboy #crawlingbabyprobs #whitakerJohn #sweetboy

 

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 When Whit wants something, you better believe he will let you know it! This boy is LOUD and likes to be heard. He is most obsessed with my mom. Whenever she is nearby, he starts grunting and reaching out for her to hold him. He also has started getting jealous of his siblings. If I have Lila in my lap, Whit will crawl over and start trying to push her off, like “that’s MY mommy!” I have a feeling Whit is going to want to stay close to mommy and daddy for awhile, and that’s just fine with me.

Daddy & mini daddy. #whitakerJohn #babyboy #likefatherlikeson A post shared by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

Lila is 4 and a half, and really maturing. I love this age. She is full of imagination, enthusiasm for life and generally is a joy to be around. She spends her days lost in her world of play. She enjoys making art projects using the various materials I put into her art cart. She loves building “towns” with her Legos and then acting out little scenes with the people. When she’s not lost in her imagination, she is doing something physical like dancing, climbing on her playground or building one of her daily forts.

  Saturday’s with Lila #lilakate #sillygirl #4yearsold #dressup   A post shared by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

This girl is going to be athletic like her mama! She participated in jr. golf this summer with her daddy, which was a great bonding experience for them both. Although it took her awhile to understand that the winner isn’t the person who gets the ball in the hole the fastest vs the least amount of strokes! Her swimming has really taken off this summer as well. She is almost to the point where she can swim the length of an olympic sized pool without stopping. This girl has no fear!

How Lila and I spent our Fourth of July! @toledocountryclub photo credit. #mommysfish #lilakate #ohiosummer A post shared by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

I’ve been working more with my marketing consulting business. I’m booked about 20 hours a week, and I find the balance is perfect for me. I have realized I’m happiest when I get a mix of time with the kids and time away working. Right now I am usually with the kids from 8-1pm and then a sitter comes 1-5 pm three to four days a week. Luke and I share a home office space upstairs since he works from home as well. Some people think it’s crazy that we work by each other all day, but I absolutely love it! There’s no one I’d rather have for my “coworker.”

Anniversary dinner! #aventuras #annarbor #7years #anniversary

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Luke’s been enjoying golfing a lot this summer. He’s been a life-long golfer, but this is the first summer in his adult life that he’s really gotten to devote more time to the game. I love that he gets that outlet, because he works extremely hard and then also is very involved with the day to day care of the kids. Plus he also makes sure I get time to do things I enjoy too, like my new workout obsession Pure Barre. It works for us to both get time away to do things we enjoy separate from our roles as parents.

For real tho

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We are all trying to soak up the last few days of summer. We’ve really tried to make this summer low key by staying home most days, with occasional trips to the pool. But Lila starts school next week, the boys are both close to walking and I have a feeling our already busy life is about to get even more hectic.

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful summer with your friends and family!

Giveaway! Win Four Free Tickets to Cirque du Soleil in Toledo

One of the things I love doing with Lila is taking her to see shows. Whether its a big professional performance, or a small jr. high production of Annie Jr., I love sharing my love of theater with her. She already is quite the little actress too! It seems like she’s constantly singing to herself or acting out some skit.

One show coming up that I’m excited to take her to is Cirque du Soleil’s new show OVO, coming to the Huntington Center in Toledo May 31 – June 4. This show is family-friendly and combines three things Lila loves: dancing, music and nature.

Cirque Du Soleil Toledo, OH

Here’s a bit more about the storyline:

OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.

When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives. It is love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual.

If you’ve never seen a Cirque Du Soleil show, I highly recommend it. This is the type of performance that will awe adults and children alike, with incredible acrobats, colorful sets and costumes and fun, upbeat music.

The team at Cirque Du Soleil has generously offered four free tickets for me to give away on my blog! To enter, comment below with why you’d like to win and who you’d take with you. I’ll choose one entry at random on May 19th. 

If you don’t end up winning, you can still get $10 off when you buy before May 14th. Just click here.

Good luck and I hope to see some of you at the show!

I was compensated with four free tickets for writing this post, but I only write about brands I really like. 

 

Happy First Birthday, Whitaker and Davis!!

Our sweet boys turn one year old today! It’s hard to believe just a year ago they came into the world as teeny preemies born six weeks early. I made this video looking back on their first year.

I’ll never forget their birth story. It was the most physically difficult day of my life, but the most joyous emotionally. After miscarriage, infertility and a hard pregnancy, my boys were here and healthy! The first time I held them it felt like after almost three years I could finally exhale.

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This year has been a lot of work, no doubt, but I loved it all. The hard moments caring for two infants plus a four year old paled in comparison to the dark moments we faced trying to conceive them and then carrying them for nine months. There’s definitely something to be said about the hard times making you appreciate the good even more.

It also helps that these boys are FANTASTIC babies. Seriously, we got so lucky with these two. They are two of the most laid back, happy, curious, content babies I’ve ever been around. We had their first birthday party this weekend and everyone was amazed at how chill they were (even when mommy dresses them up and there’s 40 people in their house!).

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Most of the time these boys pal around together, crawling side by side from one room to another getting into trouble. Some of their favorites are pulling down the curtain in our TV room, dumping the entire bucket of lego jrs onto the floor, pushing kitchen chairs around and standing at the gate trying to shake it open. I love that already they are inseparable.

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Let’s hold hands, brother #batmantwins #twins #twinboys #twinmom #meltsmyheart #babyboy #10monthsold

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On their own, they have very distinct personalities. Davis, despite being the smaller one, absolutely houses food at meal time. You can’t put food in front of this kid fast enough and usually he’s two handed shoveling it in. Meal time is definitely Davis’ favorite time!

How big is Davis?! #sobig #davisray #11monthsold #sweetboy A post shared by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

I think Davis enjoyed his cake! #davisray #firstbirthday #cakesmash #cincodemayoparty

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Davis is super smiley and saves his biggest smiles for his sister. He loves to cuddle (I finally got a cuddler!!) and will nuzzle into my neck before bed while sucking his thumb. He’s a curious little cat and loves to go off and investigate the toys, turning each one over in his hand, banging it on the ground or chewing on it (always chewing!). Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.25.01 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.23.53 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.26.05 PM Whitaker is a total boy in the sense that he is very physical, loud and silly. Wherever there is a loud BANG, you know Whitaker is nearby. He loves his bottle and is usually happy to let his brother steal food off his tray. While he’s not a cuddler, Whit is the most content when he’s being toted around on someone’s hip. He gets this hilariously smug look on his face like “heh heh I’m being carried and you’re not!” Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.26.52 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.27.41 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.28.31 PM

Whit has taken to grunting when he wants something, like our attention, his bottle or a toy. His laugh cracks me up. It’s this deep, cackle like you’d hear on an old man. The quickest way to get a smile or laugh out of him is to pretend to bite his belly. I absolutely love this kids personality.

This boy has the gruntiess laugh. I just love it! #whitakerJohn #babylaughs #myheart

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Being a twin mom is seriously so amazing. I’m glad I get to experience this unique version of motherhood. I’ve become a much more relaxed mother since having twins. When you have two infants, you just have to let go of little worries like schedules, routines, milestones etc. Since my time is filled to the brim caring for these children, I’ve learned to savor moments and to be more present when it matters. I like this version of myself as a mom very much.

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The first year with twins is absolutely insane, but also incredibly fulfilling. I thank God every day for blessing us with these two souls. I know how lucky I am to be their mother and I can’t wait to see who they become.

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Happy birthday boys! Mommy, Daddy and Lila love you so much. Thank you for bringing so much joy, laughter and peace to our family.