Wednesday, October 31, 2012

spooky little monkeys

trick-or-treating in downtown lafayette

happy sock monkey

"frances, get your act together"

so i get candy tonight???

pretty excited about her pumpkin

the sweetest sock monkey around

fun with mom

fun with dad

a little different from last year

but mom, they gave me the cheap candy!

miss independent doesn't need help trick-or-treating

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

mean girls

We had a major milestone yesterday--the twins voted in their first presidential election! Well, maybe mom and dad officially voted, but B&F were excited to be part of the experience. They even got an Election 2012 Barbie to commemorate the occasion. And while standing in line to vote, we had another first...Frances's first encounter with "mean girls." Here's what went down:

Lady: "How old are your boys?" 

 Me: "It's a boy and a girl, and they are 14 months." 

Lady: "You really need to dress her in more pink." (Note that Frances was wearing denim leggings, a shirt that said Frances, and pink shoes.) 

Me: "I think she's okay."

Lady: "No, she should wear more pink so she won't look like a boy." 

Approximately three minutes later, lady is talking loudly to the woman next to her while staring at Frances. 

Lady: "Well I guess she does have on pink shoes, but I can't believe she is dressed that way. Girls should only wear dresses. She looks like a boy. Etc., etc., etc." 

At this point, I may have made a rude comment about how a person wearing a t-shirt, frayed jeans, and a "windbreaker" tied around her waist should probably not be handing out fashion advice.

 I have never been more thankful that my children understand very few words. When did it become acceptable to berate a small child (or her mother) over what she was wearing? Anyone who watches the news knows that our country is in the throes of a bullying crisis. Countless teens have committed suicide due to the actions of their classmates. We wonder why things have gotten so bad, why kids believe it's okay to treat others so poorly. We should really be looking at ourselves. Children mirror the behavior they see. If they see adults making fun of others, they will surely follow suit.

While I know Frances had no idea what was going on as she shook her little booty in line, I couldn't keep myself from reminding her of how beautiful she was, both inside and out.  I hope that I, as a mom, can help keep her inner beauty bright by modeling kind behavior.  I pray that I can keep my tongue in check, teaching my little ones to always lift up and never tear down.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

like little children

A few weeks ago at church, the priest was discussing how Jesus continually exhorted his followers to be like little children.  He pointed out that children do so many things well--including loving themselves.  He noted that children don't find themselves too big or too little or too dull or too anything.  They suspend judgment, even judgment of themselves.  He said that from his vantage point, he saw families walk into church late each Sunday, and while the parents' faces bore traces of embarrassment, the children came in smiling.  At this point, he said, "Children are really incredible."  And right on cue, Barnes let out a loud, angry scream, causing the entire congregation to burst into laughter.

But really, since Barnes's homily I have been dwelling on the life lessons my twins have to impart.  We worry so much about educating our little ones, but if we sit still and observe, our children are true teachers.

Yes, they love themselves.  They think they are funny and special and talented.  The pride they feel when they do something new (or even something not so new) is incredible.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to feel that proud of yourself once in a while?

And they don't just love themselves, they love everyone.  They wave and smile at friends and strangers alike.  When we shop, Frances literally rolls through the store waving at everyone she can find.  They don't notice what someone is wearing or driving or which political bumper sticker they have on their car--they only notice a person's warmth.

They are persistent.  The twins received an awesome racer (thanks, Leah!) for their birthday, and for weeks now Barnes has been able to push himself backwards.  He couldn't, however, figure out the whole forward motion thing.  But he never stopped.  He got on his racer every day...he stared down at his feet...he touched the ground while I pushed him forward.  And this week he got it.  Couldn't we all use a dose of that spirit?

Children come into this world pure and whole.  They are a blank slate, free from the insecurities and prejudices that weigh us down.  I pray that in the hours I spend with my two children, a bit of this sweetness of spirit can rub off on me, and that I can learn to be more like my twins.

Monday, October 15, 2012


October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Today, Andrew and I honor and remember three tiny lives that left this world almost as soon as they began.  We will never know whether those babies were boys or girls, what they would have looked like, whether they would have been quiet or feisty.  But we will carry them in our hearts always, loving them fiercely.

When asked how many kids I have, I always say I have twins.  It's neater--less messy.  But I am the mother of 5 precious children.  My sweet twins, my firstborn(s), the loves of my life.  And my first three angel babies, so dearly wanted, whose conceptions were joyfully celebrated, whose endings were grievously mourned, and who led me down the precious path to b&f.

Monday, October 8, 2012

pumpkin time!

The weather is getting cool and leaves are bursting with color, which of course means one thing... time for the pumpkin patch!  We explored our local pumpkin farm yesterday, and Barnes and Frances were literally in heaven.  I have never seen them enjoy anything so much.  They waddled all around the pumpkins, stopping to bang on each one; they dug through the straw, making sure to taste every few pieces; they pushed a wagon around; they rode the see-saw together.  Frances was having so much fun, she actually cried when we left!

Here are a few pictures of our fun fall day:

this one looks about right!

so excited I lost a shoe!

trying to get Mom to eat some hay

occasionally we actually work together

this girl loves to teeter totter