park day

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we visited a petting zoo last week with all our cousins. Luke got to practice milking a cow and pet some goats and pigs and even Elsie got brave and pet a sheep and didn't cry. Took a train ride (twice, luke's dream come true...he had fun telling the conductor "that's the whistle, and that's the bell. And there's the tender!") and had a picnic lunch and then the big kids got to wade in a river while elsie stayed happily in her stroller (or Mimi's arms).

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on motherhood

I'd heard her say it many times throughout my childhood, but as my firstborn son nestled in my arms, my ears heard my mother with new clarity.

"A mother's job is to advocate for her child"

I knew it then, that I would, as my mother before me and hers before that, that I would fight for my babies. That I'd be their voice when they couldn't speak. I've blogged about this before, but what I didn't realize is that it doesn't get easier.

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A few weeks ago, I took Elsie in for her regular 15 month appointment at the office we've been visiting for the past eight months. I won't get too much into the details of what happened, but something I feel very strongly about as my children's mother was absolutely violated in an extremely harsh and unprofessional way. A nurse yanked on my daughter's legs to try to remove her from my arms. She pulled hard. I felt like those two women in the Judgement of Solomon, fighting over a baby, because clearly there was no kindness or love coming from this woman.
 Timid Elsie is frightened of almost everything (the garage door opening unexpectedly, brother growling in her face, and oh! strangers!), so take a moment to imagine her absolute terror in an unfamiliar environment while a strange woman harshly tries to remove her from her mother's arms. over protocol.
I don't think I have been filled with that much fury, um, ever. I left shaking and sobbing with anger over the treatment of my baby, and after I'd cried to my mother and my husband and my sister in law (and calmed down an appropriate amount), I called the doctor and told him what I needed remedied or we'd be leaving his practice. I was emotionally drained for the better part of a week after this incident.

 But my point is this:
That's my job. It is a hard one and it goes against every bit of my natural disposition but it is absolutely my job to argue and defend what I know is best for my children. It is what I signed up for. I know them intimately. I know their needs, their fears, and how to best comfort them. They have no voice but mine, and I will never fail to raise it in their honor.

Because I am their advocate.
And I know that Christ suffered, and bled and died so that He could Advocate my cause to the Father. And whether you believe in that or not, the only thing I know that emulates that on a smaller scale is motherhood. Mothers suffer and bleed and skirt by death during childbirth and what a powerful, incredible thing that is. We suffer and bleed and a fierce protectiveness is born in our hearts as our children exit our wombs. It becomes our sacred duty to raise and nurture, to clothe and feed, and to be their advocate because who else will? No earthly being knows my children as I do and the responsibility of that rests squarely on my shoulders. I am their mother and I am their advocate, forever and ever.


on potty training

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it took a full seven weeks for me to get Luke to do #2 on the potty instead of in his underwear. seven weeks.
it was awful and frustrating and I knew that if I could just get him to do it once we'd be golden. I seriously tried everything. Books and movies and rubbing his back. Bribing and crying and cajoling. He just...wouldn't. He'd sit on the potty and cry that it was coming and he didn't want to go on the potty and he'd hold it in and it was awful for everyone.

But then! Here is what finally worked*:


I'd been sitting by him in the bathroom every day before. One day I caught him in his closet ("no, mama! I'm not poopy! I'm just so hiding!") before he'd gone and I plunked him on the potty and ignored him, annnnnnnnd. success. and every day thereafter. Once he did it once, he was so proud and he marches his little body in every day and appears a few minutes later declaring his achievement. "Mom! I'm so proud of you!"

*also what maybe also worked was offering him a lollipop if he'd poop in the potty. If he didn't I ate it in front of him. Which sounds just awful, but when he finally used the potty, he was SO excited to have that lollipop. "Not in you tummy mama! Just in Luke's tummy!"


camp frakes

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Luke's Mimi and Papa took him and the Ohio cousins on a fun campout weekend and it was probably heaven on earth for our boy. They went fishing and hiking and rode horses and ate lots of candy. I missed him awfully (but super loved my quiet clean house) and lived for my picture updates. I loved listening to him chatter about his fun time when he came home. He renamed his pony Jimbo (it was actually Oreo). And he dumped all the fish bait into the lake. Twice.
he's a lucky and loved little boy.



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we took off on a family campout this month. elsie's first one! She kind of hated it, but I'm not sure if it's because she had a teething fever or because she was sequestered to the pack n play instead of her beloved crib. Lukie boy was in heaven. He helped me build a fire (he carefully selected each piece of kindling) while his daddy set up the tent. We roasted hot dogs and 'mallows, and the next morning we feasted on pancakes (which Luke fed to the "chicks-kis-monks"to lure them from their hiding places). We hiked and fed fish and saw a lady walking her llama through the woods. I love watching Luke live and explore. It's like having a second childhood.


tiny town adventures

look! it's a new post! we've been so busy living life and I've not been diligent about blogging our days.

our ohio cousins are in town this month, hooray! it's always so fun having so many cousins around, even if eight little frakes bodies scampering everywhere does give you a serious case of exhaustion at the end of each day. we took a day trip out to Tiny Town where they had a train (!) and lots of small scale houses. Some the kiddies could climb inside, and others just had windows to peep in. Luke thought it was pretty neat to see all the little scenes inside each house. "Mama! Look at all these wittle houses! Thems so funny."

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five fact friday

1. It's watermelon season and we're in love. Luke won't touch the stuff with a 49.5 ft pole, but Elsie? Give her a slice and she'll eat it clear to the rind.

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2. we've had pretty good kite flying weather. We went with all the Colorado Frakes cousins to the park last week- before three of them took off for Georgia.

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3. This week, Luke proudly handed me a scab he picked off his elbow. I love how much a of a boy he is, even if it grosses me out. He is obsessed with pockets, and I am always finding rocks and leaves and crusty bugs in them.

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4. Luke has finally figured out how to pedal his bike. verrrrry slowly.

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5. Travis and I applied for our CO licenses this week. I guess that means we're officially Coloradans.