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The cuteness is killing me...or maybe it's the sleep deprivation.

The kids were up by 5:40 this morning. Both of them. But for once, people, I'm not going to write about how taxing and desperately frustrating it is to feel like all you can physically do is roll over in bed when your kids are forcing you to be responsible and accept the fact that they're awake and there's nothing you can do about it. Weeee! Is it the fatigue weighing down my brain? Or is the following list of morning events overshadowing my instinctual desire to feel frustrated about it?

1.) I woke up to Quinn's voice over the monitor reciting lines from a movie where a huge, deep-voiced monster says in that slow motion, old fashioned damaged record kind of way, "Hhheeeyyy jjuunniioorr, aa lliittlle ffibb never hurt annnyyybboddy, rrrriiiggghhhttt?" followed by his attempt at a scary laugh: "Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah!"

2.) When I went to get him up (while chuckling), to keep him from waking Bryce, I had to sneak through Bryce's room, but when my socked, tip-toeing feet touched Bryce's thickly carpeted non-creaking floor, his super-sonic hearing woke him up. He followed me to Quinn's door: "Mom??" I steeled myself for the onslaught of demands and frustration that he usually throws at me when he wakes up too early, but instead, he gently hugged my leg and said, "I'm so sorry that I woke up crying last night. It's just that it was dark and I was scared." I remembered the 1:30 a.m. meltdown and my multiple trips to his room to convince him to stay in his bed, and my overt irritation with that. I pulled him to me and thanked him for his apology, told him I understood, and then headed to Quinn's room, hoping Bryce would go back to sleep.

3.) When I walked up to Quinn's crib to get him out, I whispered, "you have to be quiet becuase Bryce is sleeping, okay?" He was sitting in the middle of his crib, and he looked up at me with so much maturity and understanding oozing out of his little baby face and nodded his head at my request. The cuteness! Then I took him to the changing table to change his diaper, with him whispering at me the whole way across the room, "I have to be quiet? Bryce is sleeping? That's my tent on the floor?" When I placed him on the table, he did this hilarious thing he's been doing every time we change him, every time he watches TV, basically every time he's lying on his back: he crossed his hands behind his head, elbows out, like he was kicking back in a hammock with a beer! I can't adequately describe how cute it is to see his stubby, chubby toddler arms folded behind his head as he looks around with this, "so...got any chips?" expression.

4.) Bryce didn't go back to sleep, so I turned on all the lights and asked the kids if they wanted to stay upstairs and play for a while, thinking they would do what they normally do, and insist on following us around all morning shouting demands for trips to the fair and a million dollars, but no! They wanted to play in their rooms! More specifically, Quinn wanted to read all of his books, and Bryce wanted to play with one of the hundreds of rainbow-colored plastic toy sets stashed in his closet.

Sometimes even the ingredients for the worst case scenarios can't kill the cuteness.

Against all odds, they played quietly for 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES! Long enough for me to upload pictures and start writing this post. The utopian feel has left the house now (something to do with Bryce demanding that Quinn let him have more marbles, and Quinn screaming "GO AWAY!" and also a recent meltdown about not wanting to eat breakfast after demanding breakast, but who's keeping track?), but I made sure to document it as it was happening, you know, to prove to the world that I do more than yell at my kids -- at least when I'm sleep-deprived and drowning in cuteness, anyway. When I have energy and they're just doing normal, boring old kid stuff, then I'm a real slave-driver.

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