Why my husband is a great father

Toy Truck

When I was dating Eloy I had quite a few opportunities to see him with little kids.  But nothing could prepare me for how great of a father he would be for our three little girls.  (We have twins who turn three next month, and a seven month old baby.)

Every night before my husband heads to bed, he always checks on the girls.  For the baby it means turning off her lamp and tucking the blanket around her nice and snug.  If she fell asleep with her lovie on top of her face he gently removes it and puts it within reach.  Can’t forget the kiss!  For the older girls he usually has to carry them back to bed.  For some reason, they fall asleep on the floor.  Before he can tuck them into bed he has to remove the pile of books they have fallen asleep in bed with (or on top of!).  Then he tucks them into bed and gives them a kiss.  I love to stand at the doorway and watch this simple act of love from father to daughters.  It always brings a smile to my face and peace to my heart.  This man loves his little girls and would do anything for them.

The feeling is reciprocated too.  His little girls love him!  Most mornings, Eloy leaves for work before the girls and I wake up.   And every morning the girls ask, “Mom, where’s Daddy?”  Me: “Daddy’s at work.”   And some other time throughout the day, they ask again just to make sure that the answer hasn’t changed.  Sometimes, when I feel that little tinge of annoyance at getting asked the same question again I start acting goofy and say, “Daddy flew to the moon,” which always gets a little giggle from the girls.  They just want to make sure he isn’t going to get away from them, and that he is coming back!

Sometimes when Josephine (our baby) is crying I’ll say out loud to the older girls, “I don’t know why she is so cranky!”  My girls usually respond with, “It’s because she misses her Daddy.”

When Eloy does make it back after work, the girls are so excited to see him.  Tonight, he watched them while I taught a piano lesson and I kept hearing my girls giggle.  I asked him later what was going on and found out he had been doing a puppet show, and making their dolls talk to them.  Other nights it’s truck and car noises.  Every time he does things like that he is making memories for these girls that they are going to cherish for the rest of their lives.

Eloy walks through the door and walks past Josephine, she gets so mad and starts crying until he picks her up.  It is pretty stinking adorable.  When she hears his voice she always perks up.  There have been many times when I swore she was asleep and she hears Eloy’s voice.  What does she do?  Her eyes pop open and she twists her body around trying to find her Daddy.  She loves her Daddy!

Things can get a little crazy with several little kiddos, but I am lucky to have such a great partner to raise these kids with.  I know that work can be stressful for him, and sometimes coming home to crying kids, blowouts, and a cranky wife isn’t easy either.  I just want him to know that his greatness as a father isn’t being overlooked, and I love him more for it.  

I love you Eloy, and thanks for being an amazing father to our three little blessings.

Zebra did it.

Zebra

Zebra did it!

My girls are always surprising me with how much they know, understand, and new concepts they are learning.  For example, we have been working on animal sounds and names and I didn’t think the girls were getting it until a few weeks ago when I was driving home from a nearby city, and the girls were tired of being cooped up in the car.  To try and keep them semi-entertained I started asking them what certain animals said, and they could do about half a dozen sounds all on their own.  It was so exciting to see that they had been listening and learning and it had finally clicked

That was one example of something we have been working with the girls on, but this next story was something that was completely unprompted by my husband or I.  It was completely from the brilliant (and slightly mischievousness little mind of of our little Layla (and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂 ).

We have a subscription to Netflix and let the girls watch Sesame Street on our laptop upstairs in the living room.  When we do this, they are not allowed to touch the computer.  This past Sunday my husband and I were eating our supper in the dining room while the girls finished their show.  We were talking, and in the background we heard Elmo stop and then Layla say loudly, “UH-OH.”  (I love how she tells on herself!)

I get my game face on, walked into the living room and sternly asked Layla, “Layla, did you touch the computer?”  Layla, who was standing close to the computer, shook her head then held up her stuffed zebra and said proudly “CESS-A!” (Cessa is how she said zebra right now.)  I asked her, “Zebra touched the computer and paused Elmo?”  She nodded her little head and said, “CESSA!”

I lost it.  I cracked up and had to leave the room because I couldn’t keep a straight face.  Pretty soon I heard the computer start up again only to pause a short while later so Eloy went into the room and told her, “No, Layla.  Don’t touch the computer.”  Layla again indicated that it was her zebra who did it, so Eloy looked at the zebra and said, “No, no zebra.  We don’t touch the computer.  Do you need to go to your crib?”  Layla then said, “No, no cessa.”  She had a little grin that said, “Haha!  I fooled you mom and dad!”

And what was I doing?  Laughing hysterically in the kitchen.  I’m so glad that Eloy took this one, though I’m sure my cackles of laughter weren’t really helping.

How we survived newborn twins: Part 2

Besides having lots help those first few months, my husband and I had a few other things that helped us survive our newborn twins.

Here’s a short list:

Survival Tip #1: Find the humor in any situation.  Haven’t showered in half a week?  Crack a joke about how the girls’ diapers smell better than you.  Covered in puke for the third time today?  Just laugh and be glad you didn’t have time to take a shower after the first two times.  Girls are taking turns waking up to eat and you haven’t slept in forever? Umm…..well, maybe go to  survival tip #2 for the answer to that …

Survival Tip #2: When humor is nowhere to be found, cry.  When exhaustion set in, and I can’t tell you how many times I just let myself cry.  I used to feel bad, or embarrassed about crying.  But after having the twins, I have no problem crying.  It’s refreshing and releases all sorts of pent up feelings.

Survival Tip #3: Teamwork. I would not have survived without my husband, of that I am sure.  There were so many times when we both had our hands full.  Poor man didn’t have a break – he would work all day and then come home to screaming babies and a horrible supper.  But he never complained.  Just jumped in to help with the diaper changes, the dishes, sweeping the floor, or whatever needed to be done.

Survival Tip #4: Sleep when the babies sleep. And don’t feel guilty about it.  I still do this one.  When the girls go down for a nap, especially if it was a rough night, I still take naps with the girls.  It took me a LONG time to not feel guilty about this.  But, it made for easier days when I was rested.  Rest helped me feel more patient and a lot more resilient against the blowout diapers, the crying and whatever else happened.

Survival Tip #5: When frustration and irritation set in, just set the baby down in a safe place like the crib, and walk away for a few minutes.  This is where I admit something scary.

When my girls were really little (five months or younger), I was lucky to get two hours of sleep at a time.  This makes for a rather frustrated and exhausted mother.  One night during the week, I had been up most of the night with one girl or the other.  My husband couldn’t really help, because he had to work the next day and the babies wouldn’t take bottles.  This left it up to me to nurse the girls and put them back down.

Right around four or five o’clock (this was the worst time, because I hadn’t slept all night and was feeling rather horrible by now), one of the girls had been awake for awhile and would not go to sleep.  She didn’t want to nurse, and she didn’t want to sleep.  She just wanted to cry.  I remember holding onto her firmly, looking her in the eye and saying rather loudly, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO TO SLEEP.”  It was at this moment I realized I needed a break.  I realized how easy it would be just to shake this precious little baby, and I knew I never ever wanted to. I scared myself, a LOT.  And so, with tears running down my face, I went and woke up my husband and said, “I need a break.  I just need a little bit of a break.”

He took over and had her asleep in fifteen minutes.  (grrrrr…..)

After this, if I ever felt myself getting really frustrated, I would set the baby in a bouncer or crib and walk away for just a few minutes.

Get out of the house.  We went on so many walks!  As often as we could, we would get out of the house.  It was refreshing for all of us.  Out of all our walks, the girls only gave us problems once or twice.  They loved it as much as we did.  It also gave Eloy and I much needed time to talk.

Eloy and the girls on one of our many walks. Walks were always refreshing, and gave Eloy and I time to talk.

Click here to read Part 1 of “How we survived newborn twins.”

Thank God for good fathers

CRY BABY

Photo by ADDROX

Today started out great.  Girls were happy this morning and super cute.  We were rocking out to toddler jams, like “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  Katherine actually stamped her feet for the first time ever.

And then, partway through lunch, it all switched from 🙂 to WAH!  Got the girls down for a nap (after much crying) and thought we were all clear for a couple hours.

30 minutes after they fell asleep, Layla woke up, crying.  She woke up Katherine and everyone under this roof was crabby.  I remember looking at the clock, which said 2:00PM and all I could think of was, “There are still four more hours until Eloy gets home.”  I got to get out of here!

So, we loaded up and left the house.  Life got better.  🙂 We visited the Panera Bread and shared an orange scone.

We came back home and I had just started fixing supper when Eloy (thankfully) got home.  He took them downstairs and I got a break for over an hour.  I’ll tell you what, that break was a breath of fresh air.  It was exactly what I needed.  I am so grateful that I have a great husband who is such an involved father.  I could hear them giggling  as their Dad chased them up and down the hallway and played cars.

So not only do Moms need their husbands to give them a break, I think the children need a break from their Mommas, and I am thankful that God gave me such a wonderful father for my baby girls.