Meet Gracie and Luke, our six-year-old twins!
We waited for them forever and can't remember life without them.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

A Public Thank You to Daddy

Today, I woke up to the sound of pounding on a door and "Momma! Mommmmmmy!" Well, that isn't entirely true. Daddy shoved me first and said, "The babies are awake." Then, I heard the pounding of the door and my name being called. So, I dragged myself out of bed and opened their door. They almost tackled me in their excitement about escaping.

The first five minutes with Gracie and Luke are among my favorite moments all day. They are blissfully happy to see us, as if the time they were sleeping was a million years and they couldn't stand the time apart. Smiles, hugs, laughter. It's a wonderful five minutes.

And then someone hits the other one and our day truly begins.

As evidenced by yesterday's post, I am very close to the edge emotionally. I've never been good at accepting my faults and since I am my own worst critic, my faults have been many lately. This morning, after milk was thrown at the floor one too many times and Lucas managed to find my bottle of antibacterial lotion, open it, and dump it all over himself, the living room floor and the kitchen (somehow missing the carpet between the two rooms), I told Daddy I needed him to get out of bed and help me or I was going to lose it.

Now, I don't think I really would have lost it, but he's seen me getting closer and closer to a marathon cry over the past few days. I have been feeling more and more anxious, depressed and, generally, unhappy. It's just sad that I feel like this when I am so BLESSED to have my beautiful Twinsies.

When Daddy realized that I was at a critical point, he arranged for Lukie to hang out at Grandma and Grandpa's house and he took Gracie with him to his doctor's appointment. He did not say when he would be back. I figured they would be gone for only a few hours. So, I rushed to put Gracie and Luke's new table together, wash some clothes, do some dishes, and fix the front yard a bit. Before I knew it, it was noon and there was no sign of Daddy and the Twinsies. I actually watched All My Children and called Nana because I could not believe they were doing a story line where a baby boy is being dressed as a girl to keep him hidden from his real dad. I can only imagine the story lines to come for Baby Trevor!

Hours continued to pass and no call from Daddy, no sign of the van. So, I cleaned out my purse, paid some bills, and did a few other things around the house. I have to admit that while I was keeping an eye out for my family, I was enjoying my time puttering around the house. Who knew housework could make you so happy!

Finally, around 3 pm, Daddy pulled into the driveway. Gracie was awake, minus a shoe, and Lukie was passed out with his mouth hanging open. Gracie and I went inside and Daddy offered to go get me some lunch so that Lukie would sleep longer. When they got back, I attempted to put Lukie in his room so that he could sleep more, but it didn't work. As soon as he realized I was holding him, he would not let me go.

I'm not going to write about the hours since Daddy left to go to dialysis. They were hard and there were a few moments that I had to do some deep breathing exercises. But, there were also some lovely and fun moments involving spray bottles, the new Twinsie Table and a warm afternoon.

So, Thank You, Daddy! Thank you for my few hours to recharge my batteries and have a breather. It was a lovely gift and I really needed it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stay at home moms RULE (or why I can't hang)

When I was little, I always imagined that when I had children, I would stay at home with them while my husband went to work. Our days would be idyllic and when my husband came home, he would strip off his tie and say, "What's for dinner, honey?" I'd have something amazing ready for him, something with beef. Maybe a pot roast. Or lamb chops. I'm not really sure. It had meat, though. And potatoes. There may have been cake. I'm not certain. That was a long time ago.

Back then, I had Caroline Ingalls as my role model. She always had dinner ready for Pa, so I figured I'd be like her. Imagine my surprise when I realized that was Hollywood and, in many cases, the mommies are the ones who work while the daddies stay at home! I never thought I would be the working Mommy and even up until Gracie and Luke were born, I held out hope that Daddy would find some miraculous career so that I could be at home with them. I would take them places, read to them, fix them yummy and healthy foods. They would do what I said all of the time and it would be Bliss!

I am dumbfounded to report that staying at home with Gracie and Luke is far from bliss. Instead, I've discovered that about once every five minutes, I'm ready to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. We don't go anywhere because neither Gracie nor Luke listen to me when we are out and about. They like to take off and keep going when I am screaming at them to stop. They are terrible listeners unless they are locked in a shopping cart and shopping is no fun (Seriously, Aunt Bec. It isn't.). I read to them sometimes, but they usually end up saying, "All done!" and start throwing toys or having a pillow fight. That, of course, is fun until someone gets hurt. The yummy and healthy foods? Well, they get milk, yogurt, bread, fruits, and green beans. But they get equal doses of crackers, Yogos, fruit snacks, and juice. They simply won't eat the food I put in front of them. More often than not, my offerings are flung at me, at the wall, at each other, or used as paint for their tables.

All of this is wearing me down. It has only been a week since day care ended for them and I'm in a constant state of wanting to run away. How do you stay at home moms do this? Some of my friends have twins the same age as Gracie and Luke and they manage to do fun field trips with fun themed weeks and fun art projects. My son ate the crayons today when I took them outside to color and when I told him that crayons were not for eating, he chucked the crayons out into the street! If I tried to do themed weeks, they would revolt! All they care about right now is cows, elephants and "Bahney." These are three words I hear no less than 100 million times a day.

So, what to do? My blissful existence is turning out to be totally less than blissful. My Twinsies refuse to do anything I tell them to and gleefully do everything I tell them not to. If I have to say "No throwing food!" one more time, I think I'll cry!

I realize I am in a critical time right now and my Making the Terrible Twos Terrific book is only making me crazier. The author is brilliant and wise. He also made me see how I am failing at this. I don't want the evil children who hit and whine and cry and throw things and run into the street. I don't! I also don't want to be the mom who only has the word "No!" as her entire vocabulary.

So, if you are a brilliant mom, one who can give me some insight and ways to keep myself from going batty, bring it on! I sense I only have a few more days left in me.

Have I mentioned we are going on a trip? In the car? Driving hundreds of miles? With almost two year olds?

I think it is time to hide in the bathroom again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I <3 Schedules!

Schedules have always been my friend. I forget lots of things, but if it is on the schedule, I stick to it like glue.

As much as I hated the fact that Gracie and Luke had to go to day care, it gave them continuity and a SCHEDULE! Now that they are home with me, we are following the same schedule they had at day care (with early morning added for good measure):

6:30 - 7:30: Wake up and have Mommy rescue Twinsies from their room, get ready for the day and watch Barney (only the the Old MacDonald episode will do)

7:45 - 8:15ish: Breakfast

8:30: Play in room with Mommy (bug Mommy about crackers)

10:00: Morning snack and more play

11:30 or noon: Lunch

12:30 or 1:00: nap time (try to get away with asking for crackers)

2:00 - 2:30: Wake up and rock with Mommy for a while until they get bored and decide to hit brother for carrying your babydoll across the room.

2:45: water play outside

3:30: come inside because our outside is no where near as fun as the outside of day care, get out of wet clothes

3:45: chase each other through the house, pull boxes down from where they are carefully stacked, beat each other over the head with the spoons Daddy wants to sell at the yard sale, but hasn't put in a secure location

4:15: start crying for dinner because Mommy can make it and hold you at the same time

4:30: get into household products so that Mommy starts to cry from crazy Twinsies

5:00: Dinner!

5:15: Throw dinner at Mommy because it isn't what you want (Gracie) or gobble your food down so fast that Mommy doesn't have a chance to take one bite before you ask for "Mas!" (Lukie)

5:30: Get cleaned up from dinner/play a bit

6:30 - 7:00ish: Bath time and books with Daddy

7:30: Bed time

See? Schedules are fun!

Oh, there's my morning wake up call! Got to go!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bliss

You know when everything seems so wonderful and you are worried about the other shoe dropping? You spend every minute waiting for something awful to happen and in the meantime, you miss all the good stuff.

I've been living that way for 8 months now. Always waiting for cereal to be flung at me or the contractor to call and tell me something awful happened to the house or for Daddy's doctor to call me and tell me that he's had a turn for the worse. I've lived every day waiting for the next bad thing to occur. I mean, come on! That's the way it has been over the past 8 months, right?

Lately, though, the bad things seem pretty inconsequential. I can handle the second Poopy Diaper Incident. No problem. Thrown milk glass and liquid spilled all over the new floor? No sweat! A Twinsie figuring out how to open the back door and making her way down the back steps and out to wait for someone to put her in the car when no one knows that she is no longer in the house? Ha! (Well, only after my heart started beating at a normal rate again.)

Life, it seems, has entered a rather blissful stage and I'm soaking up every minute of it! It seems all our life wanted was for the four of us to be back together again and in our house. Gracie and Luke are so very happy and LOVING playing with their Daddy. As soon as I can find the darn cord for my camera, I'm going to show you just how much fun they are having.

It's bliss.

And the best part is I don't care if the other shoe is about to drop. I'm too busy enjoying the here and now.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Play

In spite of another diaper incident this morning, I'm going to have to vote today one of my favorites this summer. It wasn't that Gracie and Luke woke up at 6:45 (as opposed to 6:00 am or 5:15 am), or that we had fun eating more mini bagels than any one should eat, ever. It wasn't even that they napped for a full hour in the car on the way to Aunt Bec's house.

What made it one of my favorite days so far this summer was the number of smiles, the number of belly laughs, and the number of times I saw my babies do big kid things. If they could tell you, I'd bet they'd vote today one of their favorites too.

Gracie and Luke spent the better part of the morning, running from Mommy and Daddy's bedroom down the hall, through the office and into the living room. Then, they would turn around and race right back, all the while carrying blueberry mini bagels in their hands. After a while, this got boring, so they decided to walk in circles around me. They laughed, giggled, smiled, stopped to kiss me, and kept walking around me for quite some time. I can't believe it kept their attention so long.

Eventually, we packed ourselves up into my car and Gracie, Luke, and I went to Aunt Bec's house. I've decided that both Aunt Bec and Auntie Ten-Ten are saints in disguise. They are incredibly patient with Gracie and Luke, even when they are dropping water all over the floor, throwing rocks in the pool, or releasing the crickets from their secret hiding places. It is as I watch Aunt Bec and Auntie Ten-Ten that I am reminded to slow myself down. Sometimes, I get to focused on my goal (getting out of the house or getting dinner made), that I forget Gracie and Luke are only 22 months old. They don't understand my goals, only that I am at times impatient and not focused on them. While the latter is not the end of the world, my impatience makes us all cranky. So, it is something I am working furiously on.

The other day I bought Gracie and Luke floaty swimsuits. Today was their test drive and they were a huge hit. Gracie's new middle name is "The Fish." You should have seen her! She got into the pool with Aunt Bec and was swimming off by herself, kicking her feet and smiling the entire time. No swim lessons, just an innate love of the water and a need for independence. I could not believe it. She was so proud of herself and she would swim aways and then back when she started to doubt herself. It was truly astounding! I'm so glad I bought that suit for her. It gave her a whole new way to explore her world.

Lukie also had a new floaty suit, but he just isn't sure about the water. It might be the "Nu-Nu" (a.k.a. the underwater vaccuumy thing that travels around the pool and three times tried to eat my toes today) or it just might be that he doesn't like how easy it is for him to lose control of his place in the water. I managed to get him to jump in a few times and the float around with me, but he spent most of the day hanging out by the side of the pool. He picked up the balls around the pool and threw them in. When he ran out of balls, he climbed in Aunt Bec's planters and chucked rocks at the pool. There was no amount of convincing him that rocks do not belong in the pool. Luckily, Bianca showed up and was able to swim to the bottom of the deep end to rescue the rocks.

We spent the late afternoon hours eating french fries and chicken, dipping fingers in Ranch dressing (they don't understand that the dressing is for the chicken, not their fingers), and running like crazy people in and out of Aunt Bec's house, hitting balls into the street in the front yard so that Aunt Bec would have to walk us into the street to retrieve them, and racing from the bedrooms to fall crazily onto the carpet in the living room.

It was such a laid back day, but filled with love and kid things. The kind of kid things that build memories you don't forget. I want to make sure that Gracie and Luke have a lot of those experiences. I want them to remember these fun, amazing days with their cousins when they got to just be kids. I want them to sit around on Christmas one day and talk about the day they chased one another through the house and used the carpet in the living room as a landing pad.

I have memories like that, but most of them are of riding my bike off of curbs and no hands on the handle bars. Luckily, those days are coming soon.

But hopefully, not too fast.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Um, Where's Lukie's diaper?!

I'm starting to love the mornings in our house. Gracie and Luke have their own bedroom and when they wake up in the morning, one of them tends to climb into bed with the other. They play, tear the room apart and giggle. A Lot.

This morning, I heard a lot of giggling, so I took it as a sign that I could jump in the shower quickly. About halfway through, I started hearing pounding on the bathroom door. Daddy decided to let the animals Twinsies out of their room. They decided they wanted my attention and were pounding on the door and calling my name. I cut my shower short and headed out for our morning diaper changes.

As I put Lukie on our bed, he pointed to his leg and said, "boo boo!" I looked down at his leg and found POOP all down his leg. It was dry, so I thought perhaps his diaper had leaked. I stood him up and pulled the back of his jammie shorts out and discovered:

NO DIAPER!

Huh?! I know I put a diaper on that kid the night before. We had a whole conversation about how he needed to where one. So where the heck was it? I couldn't have left him naked. Could I?

I walked into his bedroom and, lo and behold, there it was. His diaper sitting on Gracie's favorite blanket. One side was clearly still attached, while the other had been ripped open. Given its contents, I would not have wanted to wear that thing either. From the evidence on Lukie and the diaper on the floor, I've deduced that he pulled one side until it broke and then let the diaper slide down his leg, through the jammies, onto the floor. Thus, one attached side and the skidmarks down his leg.

Ew.

I went back to our room, grabbed him up and stuck him in our bathtub. I stripped him and discovered that all of the poop was dried. I actually had to scrub it off of his skin.

I'm really hoping this is not a sign of things to come. I know that the hot weather has made Gracie and Luke antidiapers. They love running around in their bathing suits. Maybe we will just live that way. We'll hang out in the backyard wearing bathing suits and getting tanned.

What a life!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Independence Day - No not that one!

One week ago today, it was official.

We said good-bye to the temporary abode after Daddy and I dragged ourselves over there to clean the place before our walk-through. We were both sick, but all we could think of was getting it done so that we could officially be done with the temporary abode and be officially home.

And now, we are!

241 days after the Sayre fire, we are officially back in our home. We are surrounded by boxes and lots of Twinsie Traps, but we are home and loving it!

I'm calling July 14th our Independence Day. We are back on our own, in our own home.

I promise to post pictures soon. As soon as I find the box with my cord for my digital camera or my SD card drive.

Some day....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So Much to Say!

A week ago, I asked Gracie and Luke if they wanted chicken for dinner. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Gracie, Lukie! Do you want chicken for dinner?"

Luke: "Yesssss!

Gracie: "Chick-ken."

Me: "What was that?! Gracie, what did you say?!"

Gracie: "Chick-ken."

Me: "Gracie, do you want chicken?"

Gracie: "Yeah!"

Me: "Holy moly!"

Then, yesterday, we were rolling around in bed after the Twinsies woke up and I was asking them about their animal sounds. When I asked what an elephant said, Gracie replied, "Elphant. Elphant. Elphant!" She rolled around the bed saying "elphant" over and over again.

Last night, Lukie joined the chicken club.

Lukie: "Momma! Ucken! Ucken! Pan! Pan!"

Me: "You'd like some chicken and bread?"

Lukie: "Yessssss!"

This morning, it we were looking at one of their alphabet books and Lukie pointed at the picture of the owl.

Lukie: "Owl."

Me: "Huh?"

Lukie: "Owl."

Gracie: "Who. Who!" (Imitating Baby Bop and B.J.)

Apparently, we've been watching too much Barney Goes to the Zoo.

These kids kill me!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taking advantage of the last few days

As I work hard (or not) to pack the temporary abode, Gracie and Luke have been having a splashing good time. On Monday, it was so hot that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Well, at least it felt that way!

Since it was Grandma and Grandpa day, I called them and suggested that they bring Gracie and Luke over to the pool at the temporary abode. We've been eyeing it for the past 7 months and now that it has finally gotten warmed enough by the sun, we will be moving. The irony!

Grandma and Grandpa thought that was a great idea, so they came over and spent a couple of hours swimming with Gracie and Luke.

Jeez, kid. Look like you are having fun already!

What? Another sourpuss?

Ah! That looks like fun!

Um, Grandpa looks a little far away here.

And for your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

America's Birthday

Our Independence Day was filled with food, Michael Jackson, trucks, busses, cows, flags, more cows horses, donuts, Jeeps driving up on other Jeeps' tires, pools, tacos, chips, salsa, fireworks and exhaustion. If even five of those words fit your Fourth of July, then you must have been in Ontario, California, a.k.a. small town America. Ontario is the town I grew up in and it sports one of the most entertaining parades of all time!

Gracie, Lukie, and I spent the night at Nana's house and were up at the crack of dawn ready to head up to Euclid for the parade. Luckily, Uncle Jerry, Auntie Ten-Ten, and Aunt Bec had secured a prime spot in the shade and put up an EZ-Up to protect us from the sun. It was byfar the best set up ever! We had a ton of snacks, water, and a great spot for watching the parade. We were set.

Lukie loved seeing all of his favorite words.

A bus from my kindergarten school district.

Every year, the Shriners drive their tiny cars in crazy circles down Euclid. Lukie loved saying "car."



Every year, Veterans reinact the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.


Lukie played with a flag someone did not keep an eye on.
He loved sweeping it back and forth in front of him.


Nana is trying to start my children's Starbucks addiction early.
Gracie rode in the car with her and Nana bought her a chocolate milk.
As all things go, Lukie commandeered the chocolate "miwk" (as Gracie calls it).



I clearly starve my daughter. She ate anything that wasn't nailed down.


See? She even found the box of chocolate donuts.
You don't want to know how long it took to clean her up.


Auntie Ten-Ten giving Baby Emerson love. She's easy to love, that one.


"Look! It's the cows, Lukie! What do the cows say?"
"Cow!"


"Cow!"
"No, Lukie, those are horses."
"Cow! Cow!"


Baby Em hanging with Nana after her, ehem, accident.
(a.k.a. the only reason I don't have a picture of her in her totally adorable 4th of July outfit)


And, from the files of "Only in Small Town America," I give you Michael Jackson in the 4th of July Parade.

Followed by the Little Michael Jacksons...


I thought Lukie was going to jump out of his skin when he saw this!

Lukie loved the parade like it was Disneyland or something.
Gracie just had fun eating and playing musical laps.
Lukie spent most of his time sitting on my lap and clapping and cheering as the parade went by.

After the parade was over, we headed home for a nap and then went to Auntie Ten-Ten's house. There, Gracie ate a bag of chips by herself (and multiple brownies), we swam bunches, and ate tacos.


Gracie and Luke swimming with Aunt Bec in the Jaccuzi.
She refuses to swim in the pool because she says it is too cold.

Gracie and Luke wore their new floaty swimsuits.
Gracie hated hers. I think it is still too big for her.


Daddy arrived after his dialysis and had to rest a bit. Since Lukie refused to nap earlier in the day, he was asleep with Daddy by 6:30 pm after Auntie Ten-Ten and I took the Twinsies and Baby Em for a walk. He slept straight through the fireworks and stayed asleep when I carried him to the car, drove home, and took him into bed. He slept 12 full hours!

Gracie, the die hard, stayed up with me watching fireworks and attempted to set Uncle Jerry and Auntie Ten-Ten's lawn on fire when I made the fateful decision to let her hold the end of the sparkler for a moment. I won't be making that mistake again!

All in all, we had a fantastic day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

This parenting thing

I started this blog as a memory book for Gracie and Luke. I knew I would not be one of those mommies who keep meticulous baby books and have locks of hair taped into albums. I couldn't even keep up with my pregnancy journal past the 18th week! I try to make sure that the posts I include here are about them and about things in their lives.

Occasionally, though, I need to take a moment to share my thoughts on being a parent. In 30 or so years, Gracie or Luke will come to me with questions about dealing with a toddler who won't eat their peas or bites her brother or who splashes water all over the bathroom. By that time, I will be a grandmother with the rosy-colored glasses that all grandparents have when they look at their grandkids. Looking at my grandchild or grandchildren, I may not be able to recall the trauma of my own children's early days. I may not be able to give them words of wisdom past, "Love, this will pass. All toddlers do this."

Hopefully, when they come to me, this blog will still be in existence and they can come here to read my "in the moment" thoughts on dealing with the day to day challenges of almost 22 month olds. Maybe the blog will help them where time and my rose-colored glasses will not.

Toddlers are crazy creatures. They are daredevils, organizers, joyous and playful. They are also shy, destructive, moody, and violent. They go from knowing exactly what they want one moment to inconsolable crying the next. They are impulsive and are the reason some mommies start to drink. I know. I have a glass of wine every other night. If you know me, you know this is a HUGE thing.

This time has become a series of challenges. The challenges never seem to end, simply keep piling on top of one another. Mostly it is because Gracie and Luke are testing their environment. For the better part of a year and a half, it's been all about them. During that time, they would cry, we would jump to get them food, change a diaper, or help them fall asleep. Now, we expect them to entertain themselves for 5 minutes and they fall apart. They jump on a bed because it is fun and we stop them, ending their fun. Again, they fall apart.

Every day, these little tests drive me to the brink. I suspect, although I will never know, that one toddler may be easier to deal with. Two is trying and difficult and exhausting. I've been in a constant battle of the wills since January. According to some experts, I have about 14 more months to go. Right.

The thing is, as challenging as this time is, as frustrated as I get, as painful as it has been, I know we are living this for a reason. Gracie and Luke are learning how to interact with the world and are learning what their boundaries are. This is a critical time for them and my response to everything that happens is very important. I'm teaching them what is acceptable and what is not.

Here's what I've learned:
  • There are some battles that aren't worth the fight. Gracie and Luke destroy the living room every day. The chaos makes my brain hurt. Instead of worrying about it and getting mad at them, I'm constantly making games out of cleaning up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but we're working on it.
  • Bedtime is a constant battle, but that's because I let it get that way. I've been so worried about leaving Gracie and Luke alone to go to sleep, that I've given them the distraction of ME to keep them awake. The last 3 weeks have been atrocious and it wasn't until I had had enough of the trauma that I remembered what my sleep books said. Gracie and Luke are old enough to go to sleep by themselves. Once I remembered that and let them do it, they finally learned that when you are tired it means go to sleep. They also learned a critical lesson: When Mommy says it is time to do something, she means business and she WILL follow through.
  • Just because they don't eat the food I make right now, doesn't mean they won't eat it in a few hours or tomorrow. I used to take it personally that they would not eat my food. Now I know to cover it up and put it away for the next meal.
  • Hitting is a constant thing in our home. My first instinct is to run and stop them, but I realized that hitting escalates when they are tired, so it is my job to anticipate tired babies. The hitting is also something they have to figure out for themselves in their relationship. I can help them with the aftermath (gentle hands, saying sorry, and hugs), but Gracie and Luke need to understand that they are hurting one another. It sounds so counter intuitive, but it isn't. If they hit me or use an object to hit the other one, I need to make sure to stop them, but the more I overreact, the more it will continue.
  • Consequences, while difficult to enforce, are critical right now. No matter how tired I am, I have to let Gracie and Luke know that negative behavior results in a consequence. As a result, we've had some 3 minute baths recently because they think they can splash water all over the bathroom just like when they are in the pool. They hate getting out early, but slowly, they are realizing that I mean business and that when they do something I tell them they cannot do, I will remove them from the situation. Some day, I won't have to do this any more. I think they'll be 36 years old by then.
Mixed in with all of these challenges have been so many funny and exciting moments. The words are coming fast and furious. The new skills they are demonstrating are fantastic. The new developments in their personalities are so much fun.

When things get bad (i.e. Lukie has just slammed a metal measuring cup into Gracie's forehead), I deal with the situation and then cuddle them close. Because, really, it's all about loving them in the end. No matter how frustrating they are, no matter how much I want to cry, everything I do for them is my love for them.

Everything.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Way Back When-esday - Independence Day

In a few short days, we will be celebrating Independence Day. Last year, Daddy and I took Gracie and Luke to their first Independence Day Parade in the town where I grew up. Gracie threw up all over Cousin Hailey within 30 minutes of arriving as her way of celebrating the 4th of July. I should have known she did not feel well. Look at this face.

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Lukie was too cool for us. He just posed.
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Gracie felt better after she left her breakfast all over Cousin Hailey and I put her in her backup 4th of July outfit.
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Hopefully, she won't do that again this year.

(By the way, Auntie Ten-Ten, see that red headband? It's coming Em's way!)