Saturday, June 30, 2012

it's official

Barnes at our first pit stop in Indiana
Indiana has a new king.  More details to come, but we wanted to let you all know that, with the help of Nana and Papa, we arrived safely in West Lafayette yesterday.  It should be an interesting week with two 10-month-olds, an empty house, and no idea where we are.  Let the adventure begin!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

fun in the sun

Is there anything better than a little time at the beach?  We just returned from vacation, and the sun and waves and water were as glorious as ever.  In fact, the ocean was the same.  Still salty, still majestic.  But the Shafer family vacation was quite different.

In the past, our routine has gone something like this: lounge in the sun all day, drag ourselves in around 5:00 for a shower, go out to some delicious restaurant for dinner.  This year, the days were more like this:  get up before God is awake, relax in the room while the babies take their morning nap, trek down with armloads of gear to spend just over an hour having fun on the beach, head back to the room for lunch and nap time, get in some last minute play on the sand before dinner and bedtime...then mommy and daddy make bottles, clean nipples, etc., just like at home.  Yes, this year vacation was a bit less glamorous--no real reason for cute dresses and make-up--but it was without a doubt our best vacation yet.

Barnes & Frances LOVED the ocean.  From the minute she could hear the waves, Frances never stopped chatting (except, of course, to eat sand).  She loved splashing in the waves as they crashed against her tiny legs, and she especially enjoyed dancing while her feet sank deeper in the sand.  Barnes, as always, was fearless.  He crawled straight toward the ocean over and over again, even catching a few waves right in the face.  I've never seen him more pleased with himself or more excited to explore.

Taking children to the beach is work.  Between the multiple sunscreen applications, the tents, and the tears over a bucket to the head, you can start to wonder if it's really worth the trouble.  But it is.  Oh, my friends, it is.

first time in the surf...and sand went straight to the mouths
explorer barnes
so excited to be covering his sweet swimsuit in sand
playing together in the tide pool


happy frances

Sunday, June 17, 2012


After one of the craziest weeks since the twins were born, we were thankful to get out of Tennessee and celebrate Andrew. Andrew is such a gift to these little ones...he is loving, patient, fun and unbelievably hands-on. I have no doubt that, throughout their lives, b and f will learn much about the beauty of God through their dad's love. It seems more than appropriate,then, that on this first father's day Andrew was able to introduce the twins to one of God's most beautiful creations. Happy Father's Day, Andrew.

Monday, June 11, 2012

when it rains...

It all started when Frances woke up on the wrong side of the crib this morning.  From the time Andrew picked her up, it was clear that it would be a long day.  Unless she was sleeping, she was grabbing her sweet little gums and fussing.

Barnes began spitting up before we had even gotten to our 9:00 nap.  He proceeded to spit up at least 7 times throughout the day.  He was fussy, clingy, and just not himself.  When changing his diaper around 11:00, I discovered a rash.  I took off his onesie and found the same rash under both of his arms and down one side.  A viral rash, the pediatrician thinks.  Awesome.

Needless to say, when the clouds broke and the sun began shining this afternoon, I strapped those babies in the stroller faster than you can imagine.  The babies, the dogs and I all needed a little outdoor time.  Since it had been raining all morning, I thought to myself, "I should stay really close to home just in case."  With the sun beaming down and the first bit of peace and quiet I had experienced all day, however, my brain went into auto-pilot and I began my usual route.  At the back of the neighborhood, something clicked.  "How did I end up a mile from my house?  I meant to just do loops....I should definitely turn around."  That's when I felt the first rain drop.  Within seconds, we were in a summer downpour.

Let me paint a picture for you.  All day, Barnes had been pulling at my v-neck t-shirt, stretching the neck to the point that it was falling off one shoulder a bit revealing a little not-so-sexy sports bra. I am in the process of weaning from nursing, so this is not the opportune time for a wet t-shirt contest (or maybe it is...).  As you can imagine, I looked a bit trash-tastic wading through the neighborhood with my double stroller and my two dogs, who now looked like tiny hamsters on leashes.

Finally in the safety of my own garage, I looked at my drenched babies and dogs and laughed.  Yes...there was nothing left to do but laugh.  That is, until in the process of trying to get the babies/dogs/mom dried, I stepped barefoot into a puddle of spit up.  That's where the laughing ended.

Maybe the billable hour wasn't so bad.........

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

belated birthday love


On May 29th, we celebrated Andrew's birthday...the first family birthday with the babies around!  Raising children is truly a team sport.  Happy belated birthday to the best teammate ever!

We love you!

toy wars

How do you teach 9-month-olds to share?  Is it even possible?  The twins are getting feistier every day, and their exploding personalities are most evident in their current desire to take each other's toys.  Frannie decides to go on a picnic with her sweet little basket...suddenly Barnes just has to have the sandwich, a favorite toy.  Barnes wants to bake a cake with his pan....Frances must use the pan as a drum immediately.  And even with the things we have two of--random bottles, rattles, balls, mirrors--they both want the same one, not the clearly inferior other one.

The battles are getting more violent.  Two days ago Frances bopped Barnes on the head with a measuring cup.  The day before that, she whacked him with a rattle so hard he actually cried.  Barnes may be stronger, but Frances is a schemer.  Although we plan to do everything we can to avoid competition between the twins, I can see it beginning already.