Tuesday, February 23, 2010



I was going to crop myself out of this, but my husband threatened to crop himself out of our pictures if I did. He is Stunningly Handsome and greatly improves the value of our pictures, so I didn't want to risk it.

Besides, it will probably be good for my children to know that they did, indeed, have a mother who held them and loved them.

Since I may very well be Clinically Insane by the time they grow up.

I did, however, change the picture to grayscale. You don't need to know that I hastily threw on a red sweater over my green shirt, or that my husband failed to tell me I looked like a lumpy Christmas tree.

In my defense, notice the baggy eyes, poorly ponytailed hair, and drooping cheeks? We are functioning (HA! How loosely I use that term!) on very, very, very little sleep.

But our driveway is officially The Mud Bog. Which means the sun is shining and melting inches and inches of snow.

And we did (yes, we did!) get out in the sun and enjoy a short walk around the nearby brand new subdivision. Even the dog was happy.

And ... miracle of miracles ... during the entire walk, BOTH of the babies slept AT THE SAME TIME.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Because he makes us laugh ...

My mother-in-law introduced us to Brian Regan's humor. Now we're addicted. Even the kids get a kick out of his sketches. I was looking for a certain sketch of his for my friend Kendra yesterday, when I came across this one. I had seen it before, but in light of the recent board book reading I've been doing lately, it seemed especially pertinent. And why does this strike me as funny?

Brian Regan - Baby Books

Joke of the Day Stand-Up Comedy Free Online Games

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two Weeks

This post is officially overdue, as the newest twins are really two weeks and two days old. I am discovering that much of life takes me significantly longer than I think it should. Getting ready for church? A full two hours. Two hours? How could it take two hours?


But it does.


And I just figured out today that, apart from my own grooming, I am cutting 160 fingernails/toenails a week. No wonder I hate numbers!


The last two weeks have been full of sleepless nights. We finally seem to have gotten the babies to a quasi-regular schedule of "This is day, when we mostly sleep," and "This is night, when we mostly sleep." Of course, their having caught the vicious cold their siblings are so readily sharing has not helped matters. They cough and hack and look pitiful. And I go too quickly to pick them up in the middle of the night. And then spend the next hours trying to get them back in their bed.


I'm tired.


These pictures are poor. Our lighting is bad here, and I never think to take pictures while there is still daylight. But AT LEAST we are taking them!


Gideon, doing his impression of a flower blooming:



Gideon soaking in the "tub":





Salem and Papa:




This next one is just because it cracks me up. We set them in the nursing pillow, where Salem screamed in protest, and Gideon promptly fell asleep. He's asleep in this picture. It was taken less than a minute after we set them in there.




Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That's Life


Once again, I find myself here in front of the computer at a loss for words. Or, perhaps more accurately, at a loss for the right words. Impressions, frustrations, pressing needs, future needs, worries, excitement, doubt … a cacophony of wordless head noise plays endlessly, half-formed contemplations and deliberations bouncing off left-behind sentence parts and disjointed wordings.


No doubt a large part of this is due to the past week of glorious sleepless nights in which the lack of sleep has been due to the presence of two new lives in our household, in our bedroom, in our bed. As my post-pregnancy (what a wondrous prefix “post” is!) hormones battle to regulate themselves, my dazed brain tries to wrap itself around the fact that there are eight children who call (or will call) me “Mama” (or, honestly, seven children who will call me that and one who will call me only “Mommy,” but I love that about Jonathan). And there is one man who calls me “Beloved,” and figuring out how to best be loved and love in this ever-changing-yet-ever-the-same role keeps my thoughts churning even as I am comforted by his faithful, steady love when I am so unsteady.


And we can’t forget the snow. After preparing our children so carefully for the fact that “Virginia doesn’t get snow,” we have spent the last two months cursing the elusive tub of winter essentials (boots, hats, gloves) that sits somewhere at the bottom of upended boxes in our storage shed out back. There is a definite stir-craziness that surpasses the usual in this house. The house seems smaller and the children more restless. Oh, for some sunshine! For some thawing! For a chance to dig out the truck and take the probably 20 frozen trash bags off the back porch! For a third bench in the van!


And part of my internal gyrating is due to the death of my grandmother, my father’s mother. A sudden death this was not, as she was in a near-death state for many months. And yet doesn’t the moment of death always jar, always startle? And so while I am comforted that she rests in heaven, in the very near presence of her Lord and all the saints who have gone before her (including one of her daughters), the sadness of this side of heaven’s loss whirls in with the confusion of who I’ve diapered last and which one is nursing and “go ask Papa – for some reason I can’t remember what a flow chart is.”


There are specific things I want to remember about my grandmother so that I can pass her story – their history – on to my children. The way she meticulously wrapped her hair dryer cords in empty toilet paper rolls in the bathroom cabinet. The hundreds (thousands?) of meat trays she washed and dried and stored in her basement to be ready at a moment’s notice for any local school’s call for craft supplies. The way she gave hand-sewn nightgowns to my sister and me every Christmas for years. Her piano-playing. Her pickles. Her pies. Her carefully filed fingernails, short enough to can rhubarb but shapely enough to be feminine. The way she always held back tears and hugged us goodbye when we left her house at Thanksgiving. Her dedication to the faithful marriage she and my grandfather shared for 61 years. Her dedication to prayer. Her dedication to good grammar.


Not that she was perfect. She wasn’t, and I’m not. We disagreed on many things (my use of the word “darn” outside of socks, for one, and certain tenets of theology, for another). But we are held steady by the same God, the same “Beloved” Who loves us perfectly and holds us in the palm of His hand even when we are unlovely (and apart from Christ, when are we not?) and provides the sure foundation of our faith.


But enough. Enough of the words and lack of words and the thoughts that won’t sort themselves properly.


And on to the pictures.






Gideon Vos Allison

7 lbs., 4 oz.

Born February 2, 2010 at 6:35 PM.

When the kids asked what his nickname was, Ethan replied, "He doesn't have one. I didn't have one. Well, my uncle Steve called me E-bop or Eepers." Which, of course, leaves us with G-bop or G-eepers. You guessed it. We have a Jeepers.




Salem "Sally" Sadie Allison

9 lbs., 7 oz.

Born February 2, 2010 at 6:59 PM.


The entire labor – from its start with water breaking in the van after we picked the kids up from my parents (oops, let’s take them back) until its end with Salem finally screaming – was 2 hours and 12 minutes. It was intense, it was annoying (in the operating room with a billion doctors, nurses just in case), and it was everything for which I had prayed – VBAC, natural, and quick, with two healthy babies.


Our family story continues.


(Salem and Eden)


(Salem, Eden, and Jonathan)


(Salem and Miriam)


(Salem and Abraham)


(Benjamin and Gideon)


(Lily and Salem -- the Polka-dot Princesses -- we didn't realize this until I was taking this picture)


(Gideon at 1 week)


(Salem at 1 week)



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