Thursday, August 29, 2013


With two doctors' appointments in two days, we have new stats on all three kids.  At his two year appointment, Barnes checked in at 27 pounds and 33.75 inches tall.  Frances is a whopping 24 pounds and 33 inches tall.  Each had two shots, which Barnes took like a champ.  No tears from sweet B...just smiles and amazement at his awesome bandaids.  Frances, on the other hand, went into a 4 hour fit that required her dad to come home from work.

This morning we got to check in on sweet baby boy, and he looks fabulous!  He is scheduled to appear in 18 days, but things have started moving along, so there is a chance we won't make it that far.  We did an ultrasound to estimate his weight, and the formula told us he already weighs 7 pounds!!!  We could have a big baby on our hands!  His head is exceptionally large, though, and the doctor thinks that is probably throwing the calculation off, so he may not be quite that large.  No matter what size he is, he appears to be healthy enough to thrive in the outside world at this point, and mommy could not be more thrilled.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

safari party!

The twins love animals right now, so for their second birthday we had a safari party.  They loved it, their friends loved the animal cups and hats, and everyone loved the beautiful weather.  We were so blessed that many of our Indiana friends as well as my entire family came to celebrate with us!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Barnes & Frances,

It's hard to believe, but today you turned two.  Two whole years old.  Two years ago I saw your faces for the very first time, and life was forever changed for the better.

Over the past year, you have transformed before our eyes.  You grew from babies who could barely take a few steps to toddlers who run and jump and slide and climb.  Even more so, though, your personalities have grown in ways impossible to measure.  I can see each of you becoming more "you," and I adore watching your spirits bloom.  Watching you figure out your world, decide how you want to relate to the people and things around you, is such a treat.  I love both the similarities and differences I can already see shaping your personalities.

Barnes, you are the most precious boy.  You are absolutely adorable and oh so animated.  You make more faces in a span of five minutes than most people do in an entire day.  You like to be a little rough sometimes, especially with your dogs and your sister, but you are also extremely loving towards them.  You give the very best hugs.  Lately you've been quite attached to mom, and I'm not complaining one bit.  I cherish your cuddles.  I tell you everyday that you're the best boyfriend I've ever had.  I love your hilarious spirit.  You want to make people laugh and smile, and you have a true nurturer's heart.  You love your trains and cars and kitchen.  You come up with the funniest standing on your head naked after bathtime.  You love to give big smiles that show all of your teeth.

Frances, you are the sweetest girl.  You grow more beautiful everyday, and I can tell already that your heart is just as pretty as your face.  You are usually a bit more reserved than your brother, but once you warm up you win everyone over.  You have no fear.  You are constantly trying things you shouldn't or sneaking away to get into trouble.  You love your puppies, and worry especially about Cooper.  You are always checking to make sure he's nearby.  When dad gets home from work each day, you are ecstatic.  You run to open the door with a gigantic smile.  You adore your daddy, and he adores you right back.  You love to play with your babies, but also love trains and cars.  You love to sing and dance with mom.  You can be so tender, yet so tough.  You are the perfect mix of spunky and sweet.

The two of you have brought such immense joy to our lives, both individually and together.  Though it's hard to believe you are already two, it's equally hard to remember life without you.  It feels like you were always supposed to be here...we all just fit.  I am eternally grateful for the gift of being your mom.

I pray that over the coming years, you will continue to develop and grow into yourselves.  I pray that you will grow to be kind, compassionate, considerate, generous souls.  I pray that you will grow in knowledge and love of our Lord, that He will be the anchor of your lives.  And I pray that I will be here to watch the beautiful journey your lives take.

I am blessed and humbled by you each day.

I love you so dearly,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

bb and sissy

I hope they are always like this with each other.  As we close in on the twins' second birthday (just 3 more days), Barnes and Frances are more in love with each other than ever.  Without even knowing what the term means, they are the epitome of best friends.  They are truly lost without each other.

Barnes calls Frances sissy.  It started as sis, the second syllable of her name, but over the past 3 weeks has morphed into sissy.  He worries about her.  He reminds me which car seat is hers, which high chair is hers, which cup is hers.  He makes sure she is never forgotten.  Barnes often leads the charge at play time, but he keeps a vigilant eye on his sissy.  He is her interpreter.  When we aren't sure what she is asking for, he goes to find it for us.  Though he can be too rough, he loves his sissy and never wants to be far from her.

Frances calls Barnes bb.  It's a name I've used for him since birth, and recently she has adopted it as her own.  She adores bb.  She watches him constantly, laughing at his antics and trying to copy whatever crazy idea he has hatched.  She hates being separated from him.  If he is still napping and she is downstairs, she tries to sneak up to wake him.  On her last daddy & Frannie date, she asked for bb the whole time.  She makes sure he has all of his lovies each night, that none of the them snuck into her crib.  She gets frustrated by his roughhousing and resistance to sharing, but she wants to be constantly by his side.

Sometimes I think I might be crazy...two 2-year-olds and a soon to be newborn?!?!  Double the terrible twos is hard.  Some days, it's just a matter of counting down the hours until dad arrives.  But the love I get to see between them makes it all worthwhile.  Watching them learn from each other about sharing and forgiveness and family and unbreakable bonds is such a gift.  This is the good stuff, the sacred stuff, that you get from being the mom of twins.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

picture perfect

Have you ever seen an ultrasound picture this adorable?  I just cannot wait to kiss those precious cheeks in just 4 weeks!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

learning from our littles

Yesterday morning was a parenting fail.  A mom's group in town was having me a very sweet baby "sprinkle," which meant I needed to get myself and my two 23-month-olds dressed and out the door at a specific time.  When we go to the park or to get muffins or anywhere for fun, the getting ready ordeal typically runs pretty smoothly.  When we actually need to be somewhere, though, chaos tends to ensue.

With about 20 minutes left before we needed to be in the car driving, I started getting the twins dressed.  Barnes, in typical Barnes fashion, absolutely refused to remove his dinosaur onesie, which he had slept in.  I got an arm out, he screamed like I had actually cut his arm off.  When I finally removed the entire onesie, the screams coming from our kitchen must have scared the neighbors.  I literally used my leg to hold him down and wrestle him into his clothes.  I try my very best to subscribe to peaceful parenting.  No yelling, lots of explanations.  Yesterday morning was not peaceful.  Trust me when I say that mom v. onesie got ugly.  Barnes rode to the sprinkle with his john john on and his onesie draped around his neck...he was not leaving that thing at home.

At the sprinkle, they of course behaved like angels.  Barnes was especially good, playing with other kids and showing some independence.  On the way home, having been told by multiple moms how sweet the twins are, I found some perspective.  Barnes is 23 months old...not even a full two year old.  He loves his pajamas.  Taking them off is sometimes traumatic for him.  Is that so bad?  Should I really expect anything different from my sweet little boy?

The point of this story is not that I'm a terrible mom (though I definitely have my moments).  The point is that, within seconds, Barnes was over the whole thing.  Even as I strapped him into his carseat with his dino onesie draped on his neck, he whispered "wuv u."  No grudges.  No resentment.  No silly disagreement hours later about something completely unrelated because he was still mad about his onesie.  Just love.  And forgiveness.  Without condition.  There's definitely a reason Jesus encouraged us to come to him like little children.

Monday, August 5, 2013

apples to apples

So here's the final comparison.  33 weeks is the last time we took a "belly shot" of the twins.  Hopefully we'll have many more of baby boy!

Baby boy is on top, and the twin shot is on the bottom.  Not sure that there is too much of a difference here...

Friday, August 2, 2013

23 months

It's subtle, but it's happening.  My sweet twins are growing up.  I feel like I am literally watching them change...watching them learn and grow and explore.  Watching them develop personalities of their own, both similar and contradictory.  As much as I hate to admit it, barnes & frances are transitioning out of the baby stage.  

When a human baby is born, it is helpless.  A baby can do nothing for himself and can do little to express his needs.  As a parent, it's frightening to think of how utterly another living creature depends on you, but it's also quite beautiful.  Now, as the parent of toddlers, it's alarming to realize all the things for which my babies don't need me.  Sure, they are still extremely dependent, but they are also emerging into a new stage of independence.  They can entertain themselves.  They can feed themselves, once I provide food (although they also like to open the pantry and help themselves at times).  They can take their clothes off.  They can make up games.  They can tell me what they need and when they need it.  

I want to foster this development.  It's healthy, after all, for them to need me just a little less.  But I also want to hold on to my babies.  I want to make sure I still have years of cuddles and silly kisses and fixing boo-boos ahead.  Oh, the never ending balance of being a parent.  

Here are some "big kid" moments captured on my phone.  It seems that everything these days has to be captured on my phone, if at all.

milkshake time with mom

snacks at the farmer's market.  we both have to get our own order of fries now.

getting a little too brave at the beach
loving dressing up in mom & dad's clothes
cartoon time in mom & dad's bed.  this sassy face is likely the result of "wiping off" one of mom's kisses, a game this little girl made up all on her own.

And we've figured out how to manipulate nap time to end up in mom's arms.  I guess they still need mom sometimes.