The weekend didn't have the greatest start - mainly highlighted by a meal of Thai food on Saturday that didn't agree with me and ended with me awkwardly hunched over the toilet violently throwing up in the middle of the night. I tried to use the toilet paper roll dispenser to steady myself and ended up breaking it and cutting my wrist in the process, which I didn't realize until after the heaving was over and I was brushing my teeth. Yeah, 34 weeks pregnant and throwing up turns out is not very fun, or easy.
I tried to take it easy on Sunday and then today arrived and with it some unexpected motivation to invite guests for dinner and spend a good part of the day preparing a fun Memorial Day spread. The boys had a blast with me in the kitchen, though, which made it so much more fun. They pulled chairs up to the counter and each took turns helping me stir the strawberry jello, mixing up a batch of whole wheat bread, cutting up the hard-boiled eggs for the potato salad and the best part - taste-testing everything! After tasting the potato salad I asked Hugh if he liked it, which made him say over and over "liked it."
Then, later after naps were over we gathered around the same counter and did the prep work for homemade ice cream. Once we were to the point of putting the ice and rock salt in the bucket, we sat on the kitchen floor and the boys put ice cubes in one-by-one. They were so happy to be helping and it was fun to watch them get so excited. The excitement got even more palpable as we moved the ice cream maker out to the back porch and the churning began. It was nearly impossible to pry them away with any other distractions.
Even when I was able to get them playing in the backyard, that ice cream maker kept calling for attention and we'd end up huddled around it, watching it churn away. After about 20 minutes, I decided to check it. The boys were so thrilled to get the first taste and weren't too happy when that was all they got. After another 20 minutes we brought it inside and they both ran to the kitchen table, calling out "bowl" and "spoon", making it very clear they were ready for more than a taste. And, even though I wasn't planning on giving them any until after dinner, I just couldn't resist.
We had delicious hamburgers to go with the salads that had all day to chill in the fridge and some good company to make it a fun night. The boys are starting to get more social with people they don't know and it was so cute to watch them bring their race cars and fire trucks and hot wheels to share with our guests, with big smiles and pleased with their willingness to share. I know how hard it is for them to share at their age, so I make sure they know in those moments how happy I am with them.
As we were cleaning up from dinner, I realized it had been such a busy day that we hadn't even talked about plans to visit the cemetery. Since Marc had just been there a couple of days ago while out on a bike ride, he offered to stay home with the boys while I went alone. But, I thought it'd be more fun to all go together, so we hurried through the dishes and then piled into the car with flowers in hand to take with us to visit the twins' site.
I don't know exactly how we'll talk about the twins with our children and what exactly we'll share with them, but I really want moments like this to just be a normal part of our life. Not in an overly-emotional way or like we're making a big production about anything... just that they'll know our family started with two girls who we loved and still love dearly and who still have their place in our family. And, I hope that in doing so they will find those moments to be just as special as they are to us. Of course, for now (and maybe for a few years more), the part the boys love most is seeing the deer gathered in little groups throughout the grounds, which I have to admit is a pretty cool thing to witness!
Visiting the cemetery continues to be a place of clarity and puts life back into its proper perspective and I feel so grateful for that gift. It was the perfect way to bring the day to a close. And, it was such a fun, memorable day spent with my two big helpers who, even with all their terrible-two moments, bring me so much joy!
And, if all goes as planned for tomorrow, we will hopefully finally finalize the purchase of our first big family vehicle. Fingers crossed!!