Sunday, July 25, 2010

Divide & Conquer

Divide & Conquer is a term we use a lot around our house. We typically do this once a weekend or so, where one of the girls will run around town with me and the other will stay home with daddy to "help" with chores around the house. We flip-flop who goes with who and we all agree it's a lot easier with one than both. A & L have been fighting A LOT recently. It seems whatever toy one has, the other one wants it. We can be at the playground, splash park, swimming pool, wherever, and they seem to be on each others nerves! So, the weekend rolled around and Jeremy wanted to haul our old patio furniture up to his parents lakehouse and I had my own agenda of things I needed to do here, so we planned for our first overnight D & C.

Addy stayed home with me and we had a lot of fun! She was a bit uneasy watching Jeremy and Lilly pull out of the driveway, but as soon as I asked her what she wanted to do, she was good to go! She said she wanted to "Play with babies and do puzzles." So, we played with baby dolls and did A LOT of puzzles (her new favorite thing to do right now). We had great uninterrupted conversations, we shopped one-on-one, we got pedicures, hung with Grandma & Grandpa Sadler and made breakfast together.

This might have been taking 'girl time' a bit too far!

Ms. Lilly went north with Jeremy and Uncle Joe. She got to ride in Uncle Jon's "BIG BLACK TRUCK", ride on Grandpa Dave's boat, hang with some members of the extended Ash family and got a lot of one-on-one attention. What was her favorite part of the night when asked?? "I had bacon at breakfast." She is most definitely an Ash!

Daddy-Daughter Bonding!

When all was said and done, it is something we'll do again! It isn't easy to make that extra effort to get to know twins as individuals, but it's important not only for us to do but for our families to do as well! We are looking forward to the next swap!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest Blogger-Aunt Cat Visits

Mommy Dearest--Growing up I always felt that, between my sister and me, I was the melodramatic one. My thinking changed during this visit when my sister stopped the car on the side of the road, got out and proceeded to unleash the mommy dearest fury on Addy for taking her seat belt off. This was a Mommy Dearest moment. It wasn't the first or the last I witnessed, a few more occurred during this visit. I adore my nieces, but they do know how to bring out the crazy in people. It's because of the crazy that I started to understand having the Mommy Dearest moments, because, I admit, I had one too.

A & L were fighting non-stop over this awfully loud karaoke-type-toy, accusing each other of taking their turn on the machine. I took the karaoke machine and yelled that I was going to throw it in the trash if they couldn't share. Not my finest "fun aunt" moment, for a minute, I turned into Mommy Dearest. Later in the week, Aimee's friend Jenny visited from North Carolina and shared in the Mommy Dearest moments, threatening to take the car through the car-wash (something the girls hate) if they couldn't behave in the car. Perhaps we all have a little Mommy Dearest inside? Living with 2-year-olds can't be all parks and playgrounds.

All-in-all Aimee & Jeremy have the patience of saints, I'm so impressed for their tolerance for how LOUD this house can get. I love visiting my nieces, but there were certain points during this last visit, I felt like I was on SURVIVOR--more accurately, I felt like I was losing SURVIVOR.

I am a really proud Aunt...the girls are completely potty-trained (accident free during my visit). They are smart, inquisitive, so bright, and, of course, loud. They are amazing swimmers, showing no fear in the water. Lilly is a force to be reckoned with and is so stubborn. I am not sure I'll be visiting during the teenage years--it terrifies me to think about! There is no way Lilly is ever not going to do exactly what she wants when she wants to do it. Anyone who gets in her way--good luck.

Addy is fiercely independent and adventurous. I envy her zest for life! She is the girl who will follow her own path. I'm certain the path will involve a lot of running, dancing and loud music. I "Looooooovvvvveeeee" you both Addy & Lilly and I hope for the sake of your parents' sanity, your terrible twos come to an end soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Fun Continues

I'm not sure where they get their energy from, but the days are long and exhausting and naps keep getting shorter & shorter! The laughter and giggles keep me going. Here are some outdoor shots taken a few weeks ago but found when I cleaned off my camera!

Starting line...

Finish line...

Our favorite triplets and the girls--poor Harry!

Lilly, looking for attention

Addy cruisin'around in the hand-me-down jeep from our neighbors!

Friday, July 9, 2010

4th of July at the Lakes

Ten days post-potty-boot-camp and I couldn't be happier. The girls are doing well and we feel the toughest part is long behind us (pardon the pun). Third birthday party planning is well underway and we've been blessed with visits with my best-friend Jenny, our friends Jillian & Teague and Aunt-Cat, who Addy has dubbed her "favorite friend". Life is good. Here are some pictures from 4th of July that I couldn't let pass and not share.

All-decked out in red-white-and-blue with Baby Owen

Lilly, honestly thought she was Jeremy's skipper--letting him know when the ladder was left down or when he was going too fast or too slow--it was a riot, the girl will be a laker for life.

Who needs to swim when I can ride on daddy's back???

Grandpa Dave and his girls (after a long day on the water)...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Whole New Way to Look at FREEDOM!

We are 1 week past my babies giving up diapers (except they are still wearing pull-ups at night & naps). They are almost a month shy of their 3rd birthday. Everyone does this transition differently and I will honestly say I was TERRIFIED of it for a long time. As with all my transitions, I wanted to take a few minutes, pass along some pointers and document for history this milestone in their world!

A quick google search found me a diaper calculator and it estimates that since my kiddos were born, here are the numbers (astonishing)...
  • We have gone through 12000 diapers
  • Spent about 800 hours changing diapers
  • and almost 2600 bucks....

I swear my kids will pay back the environmental impact they've already had on the earth--but that's a lot of trees they are going to need to plant.

A few obstacles I had to overcome before even attempting...

1. There were two kids--a huge mental block for me--I mean I know lots have people have done it, but the thought of tearing through Target to get to the bathroom with not one, but two kids in tow left me at an anxiety level I couldn't handle for a while (and kept me diapering despite the fact that my kids almost look like they are nearing 4 and I'd get some judgemental looks from strangers when I tried to put their tall bodies on those silly changing stations). What got me past this? An amazing mom who I've bonded with via blogging, Jen M., has 4 and she did it recently and lived to tell the tale--if she could do that, I knew I'd survive as well!

2. I HATE public restrooms. Call me what you want, but the idea of taking them into a gas station bathroom and sitting for an extended period of time while one walked around the bathroom touching everything literally almost made me break out in hives. What got me past this? Potty-on-the-go (see below)

3. I knew I wouldn't be able to hibernate for a week, I don't have the personality or the patience for it, so timing was important.
4. I rarely have time to read, so the books & such weren't going to work for me, I was tailoring our attempt knowing that I know my kids best and I've paid a lot of attention to moms talking about it for a while!

Here are just a few tips I learned along the way...

1. We introduced early, but never pushed. The potty chairs were under the tree at Christmas when they were 18 months. They explored them, then put them away. Sometimes we'd bring them out to watch Elmo Potty Time or try, but kept it simple. About 3 months ago I bought "big girl panties" and let them start to wear them in small windows of time. Sometimes out in the backyard, other times just in the morning watching cartoons or after baths in the evening.

2. Everyone says do it when they are ready-I knew I had one totally ready and one really close-I had a bit of "free" time and took the plunge. We woke up a week ago and packed up all the diapers in the house to take over to our friend "Baby Henry". Baby Henry "needed" the diapers and they didn't anymore. We came home and pushed through.

3. I set the microwave alarm to remind me every 15 minutes or so to take them in to try. They got a single M & M for an attempt & two or four for you know what. After the first day and a half, I moved the reward from each success to long-term success. If they stayed dry a certain time frame, we had a popsicle, or a juice box or something. We did some serious positive reinforcements that meant calling people on the phone for a little praise or simply dancing/clapping around the house. They quickly got the hang of it and were SO proud.

4. On Thursday, we took our first road trip, packed up the potty, headed 2 hours north. They knew half-way, we'd stop to potty & get happy meals. That was enough of an incentive for them--they did great! A change of scenery at the lake house was good--it was still a familiar place for them and they got even more praise. We told everyone what big girls they were and they bathed in the attention. Since then, we've kept it familiar, but they've tackled public restaurant bathrooms, a morning at "school" & the YMCA child care with success!

5. The potty-on-the-go was HUGE...we had it in the back of the car for running errands and on the boat over the 4th of July. I didn't want us to ever be "stuck" somewhere and an accident result. Yes, I got some crazy looks, but it was worth it. It will be with traveling with us for a while.

6. They get excited to "pick their panties" in the morning--from Elmo to Mickey to polka-dots & butterflies, it's the little things! They also know there are some things they can do as big-kids that babies wearing diapers don't get to do, so I try and emphasize that.

All-in-all, I can't complain. I'm relieved and exhausted--but another milestone hurdled! Thanks to all who helped along the journey!

When you gotta gotta go...