Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mommy Resolutions...

The holiday decorations are packed in the attic and we've eaten the last of the leftovers, it's time to ring in 2010. Here are a few Mommy Resolutions for 2010:

1. Find calm in the chaos (I resolved this last year and will probably resolve this every year until retirement)
2. Bribe less, show praise with words more
3. Be more patient with my VERY independent toddlers
4. Bring back date night
5. Stop eating Addy & Lilly's snacks
6. Play in the snow more...

The video is about 4 minutes, so pop some popcorn if you must, and enjoy!

Leave me a comment and share your New Years resolutions! Cheers to you and yours this NYE!


video

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Guest Blogger - Aunt Cat visits for the holiday

Three generations of red-heads on Christmas Eve
Addy & Lilly have said "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!" approximately 400 times since I arrived last Wednesday. On Christmas Eve we went to church and they walked up to the nativity and wished Baby Jesus a happy birthday and then proceeded to have a little wrestling match over who got to hold Baby Jesus. They also enjoyed the electric candles at the service and kept turning them on and off. All in all I think they were very good at church; however, the irony of the two of them singing Silent Night was not lost on anyone in the congregation.

We left some cookies for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer and an Addy & Lilly dictated note that said (verbatim):

Writing our letter to Santa...


Dear Santa, Will you please bring me & sissy some gummis and some toys and some wine for Grandma and some french fries? Give Rudolph some carrots and enjoy the cookies and milk!

We had a little bit of a discussion about what Santa would like to drink, Lilly thought Santa would like a "cold beer." I think maybe someone needs to have an intervention with Addy & Lilly's mom & dad and grandparents.

On Christmas morning they were really excited to see if Santa ate the cookies and they got a note from Santa that thanked them for being such good girls and told them to have fun on their new bikes! So they ran into the family room and saw their new bikes - no tricycles here! They figured out that a much more fun way to ride a bike is to be pushed on the bike by an adult and have a race with sissy all over the house:)

The loot...Santa was good to everyone!

Lilly loved opening all her new books and gave them a quick flip through to make sure the books were to her liking. Addy loved opening up all her dolls for her dollhouse. They quickly zeroed in on their interests. They loved their magic fingerpaints from Uncle Jon - the fingerpaints only work on the magic paper - otherwise I think Mommy would have put Uncle Jon in a timeout. We made cupcakes together which was a little bit like the blind leading the blind - I told them I would have been better off making toast. A Christmas miracle happened and the cupcakes actually turned out pretty good!


Addy with a few of her new dolls



Baking Christmas cupcakes with Aunt Cat

Lilly with her new blanket from Jeremy's Aunt Cindy


Sadly they refused a nap on Christmas Day - but they were troopers through our 20 person dinner! They had a wonderful time at the party and seeing their family and "helping" to open up more presents.

My brillant, beautiful nieces are growing up though - they have opinions and god help you if you don't listen to them. They do operate on the whoever talks the loudest gets to speak rule. They each have a bit of a dictatorial streak in them and I think there is general consensus that they get that from their mom! They are so kind and loving - always giving hugs and kisses. I think we need to get Addy & Lilly run & hug on tv! They actually run at each other (olympic speed) and crash into a hug - all the while screaming at the top of their lungs "RUN AND HUG - RUN AND HUG!"

Addy & Lilly - I love you two! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - Happy Birthday Baby Jesus! I cannot wait until I see you again - don't grow up too fast and try for the sake of your mommy and daddy to get some sleep - I think if you slept a little bit more mommy might need a little less wine and daddy might need a little less cold beer:)


Grandpa Ian with Lilly, Aunt Cat with Addy, checking out Baby Jesus in the church nativity

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Preparations

After leaving the girls for almost a week at the beginning of the month, it has felt like I've never been able to fully catch-up on the holiday preparations. It has been a whirlwind to get ready to host guests on Christmas, shop, wrap, bake etc. all with 2 tiny helpers who seem to be anything but help! But we've managed and I'm happy to report that the gifts are all wrapped, the interior of the house got a fresh coat of paint and we are ready for the festivities. We managed to squeeze in some fun along the way. Here are some activities we did over the last couple weeks.
Running off some energy at a twins club play date at a local gymnastics studio.
A little cookie baking with Mom and sharing the spoon!
The girls certainly did their fair of holiday destruction (you can see the most recent count HERE), but they loved decorating the tree!
The girls got little mugs from their Moms-Day-Out teachers , so we decided to have a hot-cocoa tea party with some of their furry friends
Grandma Jody & Grandma Mickey came over to make gingerbread houses (attempt failed) and settled for birdfeeders--the girls loved it!
Great-Grandma Mickey & Lilly (notice the "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" look Lilly is giving)
We spent some time with a few of our favorite playgroup friends.
We did holiday crafts at playgroup!
We spent some time "primping" for the holidays, getting haircuts and painting nails!

And lastly, we visited the man in the red suit. It's been a year since THIS and we thought Santa would be a hit. They'd "practiced" what they were going to ask for and we decided we'd dress up for the event, wearing dresses from their Aunt Cat and they were still TERRIFIED. The only way they would get close to him was on our laps, with Santa hovering behind, not exactly the picture we had envisioned.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Caroling....

video

With still 6 days until Christmas, my girls have broken: 5 ornaments, a stocking hanger, a Santa figurine, a wooden reindeer, 2 snow globes and wripped pages out of 3 holiday books....

And today in Indiana--SNOW! Hope you are enjoying the holiday countdown!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Guest Blogger: Daddy Duty

Not sure how and why I agreed to "lone" parenting for 5 days....but it sure did happen from last Saturday until Wednesday night. Aimee flew to Jacksonville, Florida for her annual work conference called AFA. She presented an educational seminar, facilitated the Gamma Sigma Alpha semi-annual board meeting/dinner, and "hob knobbed" with fellow higher-ed junkies from all over the country. Aimee also spent some time with one of her (and Jeremy's) favorite people in the world, Jenny Levering. I might add that although this was a heavy dose of work, it was a good change of pace for her. You might have to twist her arm for her to admit that though! :)


All this was going on in sunny Jacksonville and the "reliever" was brought in for 5 days of playing "zone" defense, changing dumpy diapers, and entertaining 2 rowdy toddlers. I was not alone during this 5 day period, as we shifted to "man to man" and a "full court press" defense with the help from Gaga Ian, Gaga Linda, Gaga Jody, Uncle Joe, and of course one of Addy and Lilly's favorite friends Jordan Underwood (Uncle Joe's lady friend). My mom and Gaga Linda helped me on Monday and Tuesday as I ventured to work, but Wednesday I was on my own.

All in all, I absolutely loved every second I spent with my girls over the course of that 5 day stretch. We made pancakes, french toast, sugar cookies, went to the YMCA, went to BW3's, played with poker chips (a new game I invented, where I hide poker chips all over the house), colored with crayons, paints, and magic markers, made paper snowflakes and put them on the tree, went to Jared and Ashley's open house, built a two-room fort in the basement with a secret entrance and a secret hiding spot that Lilly loved, and of course went to the Children's museum (see pics).

I was enlightened during this past Wednesday, as I realized that I am going to take off at least one day a month for "daddy" day. Be it spent at the zoo, children's museum, or just in the basement in the fort, it's going to be a day that I spend solely with my precious daughters. Mom, you're invited for lunch.

As usual, I did find myself being reminded as to why Aimee is sometimes a little tired when I walk in the door at 6:00 from work. It's hard work helping these young ladies advance through life.....not to mention how many times a day we still change diapers. Can potty-training be a new year's resolution?

Addy and Lilly laughing in a babies cradle in the Children's Museum "Playscape".

Uncle Joe and Lilly coloring


Jordan and Addy going down the one-story slide. Think Christmas Story slide. [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] "No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"

"GERMS will drown if the lid is down" - Daddy putting anti bacterial gel on Addy's hands. (I had Jordan take a pic to prove to mommy that we were protecting ourselves from H1N1) .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Wanna Be a Supermodel

We got the hook-up on a fun local event, partnering Gap Kids with a local photographer (http://www.footprintsofgrace.com/). They helped pick outfits for the girls and Addy & Lilly got their shot on the "runway". It was hilarious and Jeremy and I are still laughing at Lilly's behavior during the shoot (imagine a 2 year-old crawling toward the camera while posing, with NO instruction to do so). Addy took a bit longer to warm up, but the pictures are priceless. Enjoy!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We have so much to be thankful for, but this Thanksgiving we celebrated the fact that MY parents finally made the decision to have a home in Indy. My dad plans to continue working in Pennsylvania and there are exciting business opportunities on the horizon for them locally (more on that in the future), but for now, they needed a place here to call home, as this is where they plan to retire (eventually) and spend time with the two ladies that bring such joy to their lives (yes, I've realized I am no longer one of those people)...They closed on a condo a week ago and my mom quickly set out to create a space for Addy & Lilly, complete with big-girl-beds and safari print sheets! They had their first sleepover and Addy was WONDERFUL while Lilly wanted Daddy to come pick her up, but they made it through the night and did well considering it was their first attempt out of cribs and pack n plays...(DON'T THEY LOOK LIKE BIG KIDS?).

Growing up with relatives who were an ocean away, I am ecstatic that my girls get to see their grandparents so frequently. We are spoiled with Jeremy's parents and grandparents right down the road, not to mention extended family all within driving distance and now my parents so close. I would regret later if I forgot to mention that my kids LOVED the beds and bedding and toys, but the icing on the cake is Ga-Ga Linda and Ga-Ga Ian's neighbors:

Because at age 2 it is so much more about wildlife than interior design!

To celebrate, we gathered 4 generations for a Thanksgiving meal at the new place and christened with good food & drinks. We were missing some pieces of our family puzzles as they spent time with significant others and my sister traveled the world to catch-up with my relatives in England. We gave thanks to be right here in the heartland!

R-L in relation to Addy & Lilly: Lilly, Grandma Jody, Addy, Grandma Linda, Great-Grandpa Bill, Uncle Jon, Grandpa Dave, Daddy, Great-Grandma Mickey & Grandpa Ian

So, to summarize, when asked today, Addy & Lilly are MOST thankful for: moo-cows, play-dough, new toys, cookies, Teague's tiny Tina dog, books, blankies and french fries.

We are off for round 2 tomorrow up at the lakes with Jeremy's extended family and can't be more excited. On a different note, we began to decorate the house for the holidays today and already have a broken ornament, stocking hanger, Santa figurine and wooden reindeer. This will be an ongoing tally through the month of December--so, stay tuned.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Duck, Duck....Goose?

With all this turkey talk, Jeremy and I decided we'd teach the girls this silly little game the other night. When I stepped away to get the camera, it looked a little like this:

video

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interview with Lilly (27 months)


"Hey Lilly, what's your favorite color?" "Purple"

"What's your favorite song?" "Tickle-song" (I'm not sure if this is a song she sings at school or a song she sings in her head, this is not a song either of her parents sing to her!)

"What's your favorite book?" "Corduroy book"
"What's your favorite food?" "Cookies"
"What do you like to do at school" "Paint with colors"

"What else?" "Read books"

"What do you want for dinner?" "Mac n' cheese"

"What else?" "Chicken nuggets"
"Wanna sit on the potty?" "Nope"
"What do you want to do?" "Play with Addy"
"Well, Addy is still napping, what else do you want to do?" "Walk the dog"
"Well, we don't have a dog, so what else do you want to do?" "Wake up Addy"
"Sounds like a plan..."
Another interview, done completely separate of her sister and it's fun to compare their answers! They are so funny. Lilly has an amazing way of going from a spoiled brat to a total charmer in no time flat, a trait that has her spending her fair share of time in the time-out chair recently, but when that charm comes out, there's nothing stopping her!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Interview with Addy (27 months)

"Hey Addy, what's your favorite color?"

"Pink"

"What's your favorite song?"

"ABC's"

"What's your favorite book?"

"Noah" (Noah's Ark, and she more specifically likes the animals pictured in the book, than the actual story)

"What's your favorite food?"

"Tomatoes"

"What do you like to do at school"

"Color with crayons"

"What else"

"Play with big kids"

"What do you want for dinner?"

"Chicken Nuggets"

"What else?"

"Cheese and crackers"

"Are you ready to take a nap?"

"No way, mom"

"Wanna sit on the potty?"

"No way, mom"

"What do you want to do?"

"Go shopping"

"Really, what do you want to go shopping for?"

"Milk and toys"

How did this little person come to live at my house? Where did my baby go? This is all exactly what she said to me. I need to start getting some of this on video, we've been terrible about it. She's so smart and funny, you just want to squeeze her. And that smile, don't get me started on that smile--the girl is going to get anything she wants in life with that smile...well, atleast all the milk & toys she can handle!

I'll post my interview questions with Lilly later this week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mom: Off duty....

Nope, we don't get together much without our combined 3, two-year olds, but this weekend that's changing! See, my friend Michelle over there at Rhyme & Reason had a birthday this week and we are packed and ready to hit the highway! Where are we going you ask? Vegas? The beach? Nope, just an outlet mall in Ohio.....BUT THAT IS SOOOOOO NOT THE POINT! What is the point? Christmas shopping, selfish shopping, sleeping in, girl talk, drinks, food...did I mention adult conversation without yelling over our kids? Yea! So, take note Daddy Jeremy & Daddy Paul....don't call unless you see blood!







(We'll check in after bedtime :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Toddlers and falling leaves....

It's true my toddlers have spent much of the last couple weeks, testing my patience. We've been stripping off clothes during naps, taking off diapers at night, crawling out of cribs, figuring out how to unzip crib tents, going on hunger strikes and refusing to eat anything healthy, ripping pages out of books, throwing tantrums, making unruly demands and generally being misbehaving 2-year olds. But amidst the total pandemonium that is my house, I'm previewing glimmers of well-respecting young girls. Here are a few things that have made my heart hurt with pride recently.

  • When one of the girls sneezes, the other one says "God bless you, sissy."
  • I was told a long time ago, that consistent language is key when raising kiddos and I've come up with some mantras that come out of my mouth several times a day. Addy & Lilly have adopted some of these mantras and repeat whenever necessary. Addy reminds her sister "Don't forget peas and tank-ews" and Ms. Lilly has been caught telling the boy in her class, crying after drop-off, "Mommy's always come back."
  • When at the grocery the other day, the clerk coughed and Lilly told him to "cover his cough".
  • Addy asks for a lot of "one-mores". When daddy leaves in the morning for work, she'll get her hug and kiss and then follow him to the door for "one-more hug, peas, daddy" "one more kiss, peas, daddy".
  • They sing entire songs now, knowing most of the words to "Five Little Monkeys", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Old McDonald Had a Farm" and more.
  • We know our alphabet and can easily count to 10, they correctly count objects out and have surprised us recently memorizing the days of the week song and knowing that we have school Tuesday and school Thursday, they are learning shapes AND they know most colors but default frequently to "pink"...when all else fails, it's pink.

Thankfully we don't have a lot of leaves to rake, but I was loving some of the leaf pictures popping up on the blogosphere, so we headed out to a park close enough to us that we biked and took some festive fall pictures. Indiana is beautiful this time of year and I'm reminded why I LOVE living somewhere with four seasons. I'll look back to these pictures come February. Enjoy them!

Addy...."One, two, three....up"
Climbing the rock to get a view of ALL the leaves
Lilly....a bit scared at first, but diving in and playing peek-a-boo within minutes
Addy...charming the camera

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Rules....

We got our wear out of the costumes this year (check out the original occasion here) and between my Northside Twins & Multiples party, in-home playgroup playdate, a birthday party and trick-or-treating, we picked up some tips we thought we'd share. My "Angels" were adorable and we had fun, now it's time to put this holiday behind us and head into November! Enjoy the pictures.
1. Keep your friends close and enemies closer...
(Our monthly playgroup celebrating a bit early) 2. Refuel regularly
(hot dogs were the food of choice:
portable, no mess and avoid the bun all together...can't afford the carbs.)

3. Build up endurance early in the day

(exercising while attending a halloween birthday party for a friend!)

4. Pick your vehicle for streghth & durability

5. Keep that sweet smile on your face so no one questions how many times you've been to the cookie table

6. Stay hydrated

7. Motivate each other ("High-5 Sis")

8. Practice on home field before going to unknown territory

9. Stay warm

10. Reap your reward

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things I Thought/Said I'd Never Do....

They only look sweet and innocent...
Things I thought/said I'd never do....
1. Dress my kids alike

2. Put crib tents on their cribs

3. Spank a bum

4. Install a DVD player in my car

5. Lose my mind....
(Check, check, check, check, check)
Is it Friday yet?