I got the girls and loaded their gifts in the car and smiled good-bye to Chance. When I got home my dad helped me unload their gifts. I placed their gift from Luke in my room. “What all did they get the girls?” My mom asked “Some clothes, a push toy that they ride on.” I said and my mom smiled “That’s a lot of gifts.” She said “I know momma, they are going to be spoil this year.” I said and my mom laughed “They have been spoiled for a while.” My mom said and I smiled at here.
Around eight, after the Christmas movie we watched I took the girls upstairs and sat on my bed with them. I had the video camera on my laptop on “Okay babies let’s open the gifts from Luke.” I said, I had Caylee on my lap first with her box. I placed her hands on the box and she giggled. I tore the wrapping paper and showed her the gift. A necklace with Caylee’s name on it. “From Luke.” I said “When you’re a little bit older.” I said and she clapped her hands at me. Caitlin did the same when she opened her gifts.
It’s now January 15th and the first day of a new school semester. I have Chemistry first period, Creative Photography second period, Yoga third period. It was a Monday, and I wasn’t excited about it. I have one more semester in school left! I got the girls up and put them in their high chairs, I fed them their bottles, and then some oatmeal. They actually fed themselves with the oatmeal by their hands, made a mess but they did it. “Mommy is off of work today, so Mommy will pick you up.” I said and the girls giggled at me.
After school only having Yoga homework which was doing the actual Yoga I had the girls on a blanket in the living room and the girls started crawling on their stomach at a steady speed. I smiled at them “You two need to stop this.” I said and Caylee stares at me “You are eight months old. Growing up too fast for me.” I said and the girls giggled at me. Luke was at the door and I let him in “Can we talk Kels?” Luke asked me “Yeah.” I said “I think we should see other people.” Luke said I had the girls in their playpen and they were playing with a toy. “Okay, but why?” I asked “I’m not ready for this. We are getting serious. You have two little girls. I thought I could handle it but honestly I can’t. You barely have any time for me.” Luke said “Okay, I understand.” I said and he kissed me good-bye.
I walked in and the girls were crying. I picked up Caylee and bounced her, she was content and Caitlin was when I held her. I could feel the tears coming and before I could blink them away they came pouring down my face. Caylee touched my cheek as a tear slid down “Mommy is okay.” I said and she kissed me. I set them down and begin crying so hard I was shaking. Caylee pulls herself up and stands on her feet and smiled at me. She was holding onto the couch and I smiled “Mommy is okay now.” I said picking her up and lifting her up in the air.
It’s February 15th, and the girls are ten months old now. For the past month I have focused on school and the girls only. I’m outside since I’m off today and it’s a Saturday. I have the girls with me on their blanket outside. Lyndsey was outside with me, we don’t bring up Luke, Jared, Chance, or Jamie since we have bad luck with guys. Caitlin was with Lyndsey and I had Caylee and she smiled at me. They can now grasp object between thumb and their forefinger, will search for an object when I take it away, and know that it exists even though they can’t see it. They us single syllable words like “ma” and “Dad”, they understand no, and they babbles nonstop. They sit up alone and all the time they want to, they crawls on hands and knees now, crawls up the stairs, walks while holding onto furniture, walks with 2 hands held. Understand simple phrases, follows simple directions, they wave, plays peek-a-boo, tests my reaction when they crawl away and haven’t said any first real words yet.
We’re walking with the girls holding both of their hands so they can walk. “Mama!” Caylee said and I squealed “Her first words, Lynds!” I said and she smiled at me “Mama!” Caitlin said looking at me. “Oh my god! Today is my lucky day!” I said and Lyndsey smiled at me. We were at the park so I have strangers glancing at me weird. We went back to the stroller and I put the girls back in their stroller. We did peek-a-boo with them and they had fun at that. Now they are babbling away to each other and I smile at that.
As the rest of the month went by and went into March they were progressing more rapidly for me, growing up right before my eyes. Chance spends more time with them at my place; I don’t go over there much. It’s March 5th and the girls are eleven months old as of yesterday, they are crawling around my room and Chance is over to help plan for their birthday party next month. It’s spring break until the 10th. “We should have it in your back yard.” Chance said so I wrote that down on my list. “One cake or two?” I asked “One, but two single cupcakes for them.” Chance said “Strawberry cupcakes, but cake?” I asked “Vanilla with their names on top.” Chance said “balloons are a must. A lot of balloons.” Chance said “Napkin, plates, cups, and a camera person.” Chance said. “My family, your family, Lyndsey’s family, my Aunt Colleen.” I said “Your friends, they are a huge part.” Chance said. “What about birthday gifts?” I asked “I have two for them, you?” He asked “I have theirs. But as their parents?” I asked “Baby dolls?” Chance asked “Yeah.” I said and he smiled.
C & C first birthday:
· My back yard
· One cake, Vanilla with butter crème icing: Their names and Happy First Birthday in colored icing
· Two single Strawberry cupcakes
· Camera person
· My family
· Chance’s family
· Lyndsey’s family
· Molly and Aubrey
· Baby doll
Chance picks up Caitlin and kisses her cheek “Hard to believe in a month they will be one.” Chance said “I know I can’t believe that, I already asked for the day off.” I said “My dad is trusting his partner for the first time in years.” Chance said “It’s something special.” I said and he smiled at me. “Are you looking forward to hearing back from colleges?” Chance asked “Yeah, are you?” I asked “Yes I am.” He said “Will it be okay that I take them with me?” I asked Chance “Of course. You have full custody.” He said “Will you ever question me of that?” I asked “You are their best interest, you do the best for them, you love them so much.” He said “Yeah, I would do anything for them.” I said and he smiled at me.
The girls are now capable of standing up alone and unsupported, instead of two hands they walk with one hand being held, they now drink from a sippy cup, they play with each other now. They use some very few words. But they are adorable, I love them more than anything.
It’s now April 3rd a Friday afternoon, I just got off of work and I check the mail and saw some big letters addressed to me. I get the girls out on the grass and holding both of their one hands we walk over to Lyndsey’s, she is on her porch holding the papers. “Aubrey and Molly are on their way.” Lyndsey said “Okay.” I said and I lift up Caitlin who crawls up to Lyndsey and she picks her up, I pick up Caylee and carry her and sit down. “Tomorrow will be a busy day.” Lyndsey said “I know, I can’t believe my girls will a year old. Bryce if he is able to will Skype with me tonight for them.
When the girls arrived Caitlin and Caylee got all excited and smiled. “Open which one first?” I asked “UF.” Lyndsey said “I got in!” We all said and we smiled. We spent a little while together then Aubrey and Molly had to go tell their parents. “Which one?” Lyndsey asked me when they left, she was playing with Caitlin. “University of Florida. My parents went there.” I said “Me too. Roommates?” Lyndsey asked “Can you handle these two?” I asked poking Caylee who giggled “Yeah.” She said picking Caitlin up and lifting her up into the air.
They will take their first steps soon, make simple conversation, help get dressed by adjusting their posture, points themselves out in the mirror, feeds themselves with a spoon. Pretty soon they will be potty trained. I place Caylee and Caitlin on my hip and I walk home, my mom pulled up and Caitlin held out her arms for my mom. “I’m going to UF!” I said “That’s wonderful!” My mom said and I smiled at her “Thanks mom. Are you ready for tomorrow?” I asked “Oh yeah. Party of the year!” She said and I smiled at her. We go in and she sets Caitlin down who crawls to Summer and Summer smiled.
I woke up the next morning at six, got changed into my old cheerleading shorts and my pink Army T-shirt because black and pink go together. I put my hair into a sloppy but neat ponytail and walked into the girls room to find that they were still sleeping. I walked downstairs and made a pot of coffee. I had to get started on getting things set up for their party at noon and now was a perfect time. By eight o’clock when the girls woke me up, I was already set up in the backyard so we all had plenty of time.
I picked up Caylee and changed her diaper and then changed Caitlin’s diaper and took them by the hand and they walked to the steps and I picked them up and carried them down and placed them back on the floor so they could walk into the kitchen. “Up.” Caylee said and I lifted her up into her high chair “Up.” Caitlin said and I smiled at her. “Mommy is going to make some scrambled eggs; you should be able to eat it.” I said and they smiled at me. I gave them their sippy cup full of orange juice and they gladly accepted it. Afterwards when the eggs cooled down I gave it to them so they could feed themselves. My mom came down “Breakfast is made.” I said “Happy birthday Caylee and Caitlin.” My mom said and they smiled at her because they adore her.
“We need to start on setting things up.” My mom said when she sat down “Done, I woke up at six. My body is so used to it.” I said “Okay, so what all is left?” My mom asked “Wait until it is time to get ready.” I said “I’m not used to that.” She said “I was thinking of taking the girls on a walk.” I said “We should all do a family walk.” My mom said and with that my dad came down and kissed Caitlin’s cheek and then my mom’s lip. “A family walk is nice. I hear Summer and Landon moving around.” My dad said and I nodded. Nobody has went into Autumn’s room since the night before she died.
“Family walk after breakfast.” My dad said “Okay.” Landon and Summer said “I’m going to get the girls out of their night clothes.” I said “I will help.” My mom said picking up Caitlin and we walk into their room. I hand my mom a purple shirt and shorts outfit with purple shoes and Caylee wore the same outfit but in pink. When we walked down they were finished with eating and I got the girls in their stroller and we went walking around the block. “I cannot believe that they are a year old. This year has flew by.” My dad said “I can’t either. It seems like just yesterday they were born. Now they’re one.” I said “They grow up so fast. It seems like it was just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital. You’re eighteen, a mother, and graduating soon.” My mom said and I smiled.
When we got home it was around ten and I needed to go ahead and get the girls ready so I could get myself ready. “Bath time baby girls.” I said and they giggled “Up you go.” I said lifting up both of the girls and carrying them on my hips upstairs and they were giggling. They got ready by eleven and in my playpen in my room so they could take their nap, that way they wouldn’t be cranky. I wore my sky blue spring dress with white leggings and left my hair down and smiled at my girls.
“Guests are arriving.” My mom said “I’m coming down.” I said holding the baby monitor and walking down the steps. “Hey Kels.” Aunt Colie said “Hey Aunt Colie.” I said hugging her and she smiles at me, we have Uncle Jake & them, Uncle Connor & them, Aunt Colleen & them here already. Lyndsey smiled “Aubrey and Molly had to stop and get the last minute gift.” Lyndsey said “I figured that.” I said and she smiled at me “Are they pretty today?” Lyndsey asked “Yeah until lunch.” I said and she giggled. “I don’t need kids for a while your girls are plenty.” Lyndsey said “I know, they are already spoiled rotten.” I said and she smiled at me. Chance and his family arrived next and I smiled at them, the girls around Summer age went to a spot outside, Landon and his friends/cousins went to play touch football, the people that would be playing with Autumn was playing with each other instead.
“Mama?” Caylee said through the baby monitor “Well one of the girls at least is up.” I said and they all smiled at me, the men including Mr. Lynnwood was outside with the boys playing touch football. I went upstairs and saw both of them sitting up staring at me “mama” Caylee said “I’m right here.” I said picking her up and then picking Caitlin up and walking downstairs Caitlin held out her arms for Lyndsey, and Caylee held out her arms for Chance “Well that was easy.” I said “Let’s move the party outside so that way the men are being watched.” My mom said “True.” All of the women agreed so they went outside. The girls by the time lunch was ready has been passed around by everybody and they now back with me. “Okay, mommy is not letting you feed yourself until cake.” I said and they smiled at me.
I fed both of the girls and gave them their sippy cup while I ate my lunch and they were content. They had their pacifier beside them waiting to be put back in their mouths when they finished their drink. After lunch my mom looked at me “I say let’s open the gifts after the table is cleaned off.” My mom said so of course all of the women including myself helped to clean off the table. “Chance has to be by you guys, holding one of the girls.” My mom said “Who’s videotaping?” I asked “I am.” Uncle Jake said and I smiled, I promised Bryce I would videotape it.
After a lot of excitement from the girls and help from their mommy and daddy they had opened their very last present and were enjoying holding the toy in their hands. “Okay cake and cupcake time.” My mom said “I will get the cupcakes.” I said “I got the cake.” My dad said and we walked inside “Best party.” I said “I’m glad. They mean the world to all of us.” My dad said “I love you daddy.” I said and he smiled at me. I lit the candle on the cupcake and put one in front of each of them. “Blow it out like this.” I said doing it to a candle I lit hoping they would copy and they did. “Yay!” I said and they smiled. I took the candles out and the wrapper off of the bottom “Enjoy.” I said and they did getting it all over their face, hands, neck, and hair.
That night after their second bath for the day I had Caylee and Caitlin on my lap with my laptop in front of us and took a picture. “Let’s send a shot out to other people.” I said and turned on the video “So today was Caylee and Caitlin’s first birthday party. It was a hit. I would say their favorite part was the cupcake.” I said and the girls smiled “We miss you Bryce, we love you. We want you to come home safe.” I said “Say bye-bye.” I said “Bye!” Caylee and Caitlin said smiling at the camera waving. I posted it on Facebook and tagged Bryce in it.
A few minutes later I got a Skype call request. “Happy birthday Caylee and Caitlin! I love your video!” Bryce said to the girls who were giggling now. “I miss you girls. I love you.” Bryce said “I miss you Bryce.” I said “I miss you too Kels. I love you.” He said “I love you too.” I said and my mom came in “It’s Bryce.” I said and she talked to him for a few and then he had to log off. “Thanks for today.” I said and my mom smiled at me “Now it’s bedtime you ladies.” I said and they giggled.