Saturday, November 12, 2011

Countdown to Christmas, 11-17-11

Devon is in his Reindeerjamms already.

I guess he takes after his Daddy, who listens to Christmas music from November to March. Either that or his practical Mommy puts him in whatever jamms are clean if the laundry is late. You decide.

Either way, these two pictures are so precious to me because we came to the end of this era only days later. Frustrated and tired after another three-feeding-night, I made the difficult decision to split the twins up in hopes that their sleeping in separate rooms would keep them from waking each other up. It's working so far. The twins turn into pumpkins every night around 10 and are sleeping in 'till 6 or 7. This could be "just a phase" where they need to be apart to stay asleep longer, and future attempts to let them co-sleep could be more successful.

I hope so. Grandpa is coming in a few short weeks. The twins' crib arrived from Amazon two weeks ago, and is still in its box in the girls' room. I'm hoping that Grandpa and Devon will put it together...

...seeing that they did a pretty good job on our other crib.

But, wait! Doesn't each twin merit her own crib? Of course they do, but one of the cribs is still occupied!

Again, practical Mommy was reluctant to buy three cribs (THREE CRIBS!) if she could get by with two. So, when the twins move into their room and their crib sometime in December, they can hopefully co-sleep for a few more months until Devon is ready for his Big Boy Bed. Then we'll have one toddler in a twin, two babies in matching convertible cribs, and no more beds to buy until the girls are out of toddler beds.

Thanks to a visit from the kids' Auntie Amy, the twins' room is the only oasis of chaos in the house. We also enjoyed visits to McKee Botanical Gardens here in Vero, the beach, and the uber-upscale outdoor mall City Place in West Palm Beach.

We didn't always go out, though. Sometimes we'd just hang out.

Devon enjoyed having someone to play with him while the girls are eating, which would otherwise be "pen time" for him.

Melina had a very photogenic week. Here she is in her "pinup girl pose". Somebody watch out for this kid in sixteen years!

So, to start the season off, I'm thankful for visits from family and friends, Christmas music playing on Pandora (yes, already), and Bumbos...

...or whatever the plural is. Bumboes?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

First Halloween, 11-10-11

My friend Karen has a great sense of humor. When I was in high school, I wondered where she got it from.

Evidently from her mom, who sent the novelty paci's for the girls to enjoy this Halloween. This shot was hard to get, because the girls are in a phase where any eye contact results in a face-cracking smile that makes a paci drop right out.

And yes, we will celebrate Halloween. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that being a Christian exempts you from celebrating everything, especially a fun holiday where you dress up as something imaginative, eat yummy candy, and spend time with friends. In childhood I occasionally marked the holiday with squeaky clean events like a church "Harvest Party" where we all got down dressed as Bible characters. Believe me, no matter if you're Ruth, David, or King Ahab, everybody came in a bathrobe with towels on their heads. All the adults walked around with goofy smiles pasted on their faces, saying "Isn't this just as fun as trick-or-treating?"

Ummm... Nope, it wasn't.

Yes, the origins of Halloween aren't anything to laugh at. People used to dress up to "fool the evil spirits" and be defiant in the face of evil on All Hallow's Eve.
Obviously, it would be silly to believe that fake blood and bandages are real insurance against bad the things that happen to good people.

Let's face it, evil exists in this world, and it has nothing to do with mummies, slasher movies, or Team Edward and Team Jacob. If you have kids, the things that truly scare you can't be found in the holiday section of Target.




The night before I had the twins, I was flush with pregnancy hormones and suddenly totally overcome with the gravity of the dangerous birth I was to go through the next morning. Odds were everything was going to be fine, but when I came face-to-face with the very real possibility that one or both of the twins could die, odds didn't matter. I couldn't keep it together. So, I locked myself in my bedroom and begged God on my face to spare the lives of my children.

He did.

Don't I love my God who overcomes evil? I think the worst way to honor him would be to stay inside with the porch light off and listen to choir music all night. I want to dress my kids up, give out the good candy, meet my neighbors, go to the party, and be happy and grateful because I'm on the side of good (and good wins).

For Devon, his definition of good meant being a ball. We recently figured out that he says "ball" to mean "good." It must be easier on his language skills. If I go get him up in the morning and ask how his night was and he says "A BALL," that means he had a really good night. It's how he asks for blueberries, his favorite food, in his Big Boy Booster we got for him this week. In the car on trips, he amuses himself by singing "Ballll-eeeee-alllll-eeeee-alllll..."

Unfortunately, they don't make ball costumes for toddlers. All the costumes at the store were ultra-commercial, which is one of my complaints about modern Halloween. If my son has never watched television, he doesn't want to be Elmo, Lightning McQueen, Spiderman, or any of the other characters that he will easily recognize when he's, like, 10. Type in "baseball costume" on Amazon and you'll find a uniform from whatever team you want with everything from the cap to the stirrups, but it wasn't what we wanted.

"Grrrr," I growled at the computer. "What if you don't want to be a ball PLAYER? Isn't there a costume you can buy to just be the BALL?" There wasn't, so my first Halloween with three children was marked by a time-honored rite of passage for crafty moms: locking myself in a room and frantically sewing on a costume three hours before the party started.

Devon's ball costume turned out pretty cute, though. He enjoyed running around and then flopping down hard on the soft tummy. I was afraid that, like many toddlers, he wouldn't enjoy dressing up, but he loved it. It turned him into a perpetual motion machine.

Here he is trying to put a paci in the twins' mouths. He did this once about six weeks ago and has been trying to repeat it despite the lack of the necessary fine motor skills. Sometimes he misses the point and tries for a paci in the eye.

I wanted to get all three kids in a cute First Halloween pose.

We got this close. Not very. Next year, I suppose.

Here's Little-Melina-Bumble-Bee! When they are old enough, the girls can be Disney-cat-fairy-pink-and-purple-ballet-princesses like I was in third grade, but until they're old enough to have opinions I can make them be whatever I want. Goody!

Here's Little-Carrie-Pretty-Flower in her costume. Before I had kids, I thought that parents who dressed their babies up for Halloween were foolish. If this was you and I made a comment about it, I apologize now. I was misguided.

Here's why we dress the babies up: it's ADORABLE! It doesn't matter if they will never remember their first Halloween, or even two or three more. Someday we can show them a picture and smile and say "Look how cute you were!"

We went to a Halloween party at the church we've just started attending. Nobody had to come dressed as Bible characters. They asked that nobody come as a Warrior of the Coming Zombie Apocalypse either, but that was okay. It was fun, and we lasted an hour and fifteen minutes. In terms of an outing with three small children, it's long enough. At home, we gave out candy and showed off our cute kids in their costumes as trick-or-treaters continued to trickle by much later than we thought they would.

It was a good day.