Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Night Before Christmas

Judging from the excitement level in our home on Friday, Christmas had to be getting close.  Very, very close.  Hard upon our heels.  Drawing very near.  Nearly upon us.  (You get the picture.)

We were invited back to James and Tiffany's for a Christmas Eve dinner of homemade tamales, Spanish rice and beans.  There were enough relatives that they said our family of 6 would blend right in.  I counted about 30 people at their house for dinner. 
 All the kids ate at the table, and the adults found places on the floor in the dining and living rooms.  It was zoo-like (truly- the kids were playing zoo in one of the bedrooms at one point) and festive, and we were glad to be part of the happy group.
 After dinner, but before dessert, we had our Nativity play.  The kids were either animals, shepherds or angels.  Emma was a speaking cow, and Elizabeth was a speaking sheep.  (Very authentic, I'm sure.)  Ryan was the narrator, and I was the speaking angel.  Annie and Maddie had non-speaking, running-around-crazy angel parts.  (Again, I'm sure very authentic.)  But the message was there, and everyone was able to participate.

Then it was time to go home.  Annie and Maddie went to bed nicely, but the other two were too keyed up for us to think about trying to get them to stay in their beds.  I dimmed the lights, and plugged in White Christmas for us all to watch until those eyelids got droopy.
 Elizabeth made sure we put out cookies and milk for Santa, and Emma wanted carrots left for the reindeer too.   And the kids did not get out of their beds at all.  It was a Christmas miracle! :)
We must have been good this year- not a single lump of coal!  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Stories

I took the girls to a special Christmas-themed story time at the library Friday morning.  We sang some Christmas songs, read some Christmas stories and St. Nick even made a quick appearance.  The little ones are really anti-Santa at the moment.  Although, my twins weren't as scared as another child there.  She started shaking and crying the moment the bearded man in the fuzzy red suit arrived. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Joy To The World

It was Christmas dress Sunday.  My "inner pageant mom" becomes unleashed this time of year, and I dress my girls in their big, poofy dresses.
 Of course, I ask the girls to give me their nicest smiles, and they give me this:
Maddie says "Oh," Elizabeth kinks over, and Emma shows off her beaver teeth...  At least Annie cooperated.  This time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Perfect Date Movie

Last night Ryan and I watched "Letters To Juliet" after we put the kids to bed.  Ryan exercised great self-control and only snickered here and there.  And just groaned once or twice.  When it was over, he gave me "that" look-- you know the one a woman gets after making her husband sit through an insufferable chick flick.  He sat through that mumbo jumbo and deserves a little somethin' (wink, wink) for the effort. 

He was also storing up his "brilliance" in the form of witty one-liners and re-writes of how to make the movie more "date friendly" and really wanted to tell them to me.  I, on the other hand, had basked in the romance of the movie and didn't want to hear them.

"What?  How are my ideas not romantic?"

Yah, you are always romantic, Ryan.  Snickering during a chick flick is so romantic.

Then Ryan came up with his Best Idea Ever.  He has the sure-fire way to turn any chick flick into a movie to be enjoyed by both the male and female viewers.  Just two words.

These two word:  "....And Zombies."

Yep, those two words could make any girlie movie into something to be enjoyed by men.

Sense and Sensibility and Zombies

Jane Eyre and Zombies

Twilight and Zombies

The Little Mermaid and Zombies

Bleak House and Zombies

White Christmas and Zombies

And let's not forget Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Too bad someone already used that one.

But Ryan was on a roll.  There could even be:

Rambo and Zombies

Terminator and Zombies

The possibilities are endless.  Welcome to the new age of date movies.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A visit with Mrs. Claus

The first Saturday of December is an exciting time for us.  We have a whole big day of exciting activities in town.  So this morning we went down to decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus.  Annie and Maddie participated this year.  
 All the kids were given aprons to help protect their clothing.  The only problem is, those aprons do nothing to protect sleeves.... 
 Maddie eating her frosting.
 Elizabeth enjoying her creation.
 Mrs. Claus checking up on us.

Santa said he remembered us from last year.  I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad one...?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Unroll the Fun

Monday morning rolls around once again, and it finds me making the attempt to leave the house.  This leaves the house very vulnerable with Mommy's attention focused on surperfluous things like showering or blow drying hair.  I was hoping that decorating the living room with all the wet wipes while I was in the shower would be sufficient entertainment for one morning.

Alas.

Annie comes down the hall saying, "Bum bum" and finds me in my bathroom.  Her diaper is MIA.  Then she pointed to the toilet and said, "Potty."  She only does this when I am trying to leave the house.  Honestly.  So I set her up in the hall bathroom with the toddler potty seat, and hung out for a few minutes waiting for the sounds of success.  They were not forthcoming.  So I went back to my bathroom to finish up my morning routine.

I came back 3 minutes later to find Maddie keeping Annie company in the bathroom, and the roll of toilet paper massacred and left in several piles.

So I am faced with a dilemma- do I "do away with" the roll that has been left for dead on the floor, or try to salvage what I can of the remaining pieces? 

My family rarely uses those half-hearted re-rolled blobs of toilet paper.

But it was almost a full roll.....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been pretty good this year.  But I could be even better in the future if I had an Electrolux washer and dryer.  I saw a set at Sears the other day, and fell in love.  Do you know what these babies can do?  They hold a ton of laundry (washers being 5.1 cu. ft., and dyers are 8.0), and if you only do small loads, you can be done in 30 minutes.  Yes, that's thirty minutes to wash and dry.  Can you imagine?  Do you know how much faster I could be done with the stupid, never-ending laundry battle?  And the model in the store had a rack in the dryer for drying sweaters.  Yes, drying sweaters flat.  Without towels spread on my bed to hold them.  Or without hanger marks in the shoulders.  (insert lovelorn sigh here)

I'd buy these myself, except they run 3+ grand.  It's a wee bit beyond my budget.  But if I get them, I won't ask for anything else.  I'd be one happy mommy.  :o)

Yours, very sincerely,

Danae

(Mother of a set of twin girls, and two older girls who change outfits just as fast as they can.  A mere one outfit a day is just so gauche.  Also, wife to a husband with an occasionally very dirty job.)

PS If you could find a model that would match and fold socks, I'd be eternally grateful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving

I know those aren't the original words to the Bing Crosby song, but it suited us this year.  Snow before Thanksgiving?  Has anyone ever heard of such a thing in the Seattle area? 

Thanksgiving morning brought cold temperatures and more snow.  As we were spending the holiday with my in-laws, we hustled out of the house and down to the Christmas tree farm for a great big family picture in the morning.  Thanksgiving day is not the usual day for picking out a Christmas tree with my in-laws, but it was the only day we'd all be together for that annual picture tradition.  So 4 vehicles full of people ambled down to the tree farm, where we were stopped and informed that they were not open on Thanksgiving.  Well, duh.  But we were not going to let a little thing like that get in the way of a family tradition.  Or our lack of photographer.  Or lack of a tripod.

Here's this year's picture, courtesy of an obliging tree branch:
 We had plenty of time after lunch (but before the big meal) to go over to the movie theatre and treat ourselves to a movie.  We left Annie and Maddie with Grandma and Grandpa (as it was nap time), and took the girls to their very first 3D movie.  (Ok, mine and Ryan's first too.)
 Great movie, by the way.  We loved Tangled.  I also loved watching Emma and Elizabeth reach out at various parts of the movie to try to touch the images.  3D glasses are a bit of a challenge if you already wear glasses, as Elizabeth came to find out.
 Amy and Annie, waiting for dinner.
We brought our little picnic table for the kids.

Dinner time came, and we stuffed ourselves with turkey, potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green jello salad, rolls, green beans, olives and pie.  Yum.  And then we lolled about the house in a turkey-induced stupor.  Or tried to, since the tryptophan doesn't seem to effect the kids as much as the adults.  Gotta love Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

I woke up this morning thinking, "Hooray!  It's a short week.  We have friends to visit this morning.  Ryan doesn't have any evening meetings.  It should be a fairly easy two days!" 

And then the twins got up. 

Reality set in.

I didn't think that there was a wrong side of a crib to wake up on, but they found it.  Or someone switched out my Sometimes Moderately Evil Twins for Truly Evil Twins.  Or the Terrible Twos officially started today. 

Any one of those scenarios doesn't quite do justice to my morning.

8:10 Crying because Emma is gone.
8:16 Twins reached the left-over cereal still in bowls on the counter and dumped it on the floor.
8:17 Note to self- remind Emma and Elizabeth to put their bowls farther back on the counter when they clear their dishes.
8:18 Clean floor.
8:20 Hear toys being dumped from their containers onto the living room floor.  All of them.
8:25 Sit down to read a chapter of my book with breakfast.
8:27 Annie climbs on the chair next to me to try to eat some of my breakfast.
8:31 Twins empty their dresser drawers.
8:34 Clean up the clothes.
8:42 Twins dump all the books off the shelves.
8:45 Find the book that is missing a page.
8:46 Pick up books.
8:48 Show twins the snow outside through the window.  Twins keep saying, "Uh oh.  Yucky."
8:50 Put music in the dvd player to listen to.  Since the cd player has been added to the list of appliances broken by the twins.
8:51 Twins turn off the tv, which turns off the dvd player.
8:52 Try to turn music back on.
8:53 Twins turn off the tv.  Mommy gives very stern "no."
8:54 Try to turn music back on.
8:55 Twins turn off the tv again.  Mommy gives up.
9:03 Get twins dressed.
9:11 Annie has taken off her pants.
9:17 Maddie has taken off her pants as well.
9:18 Contemplates duct tape as a viable clothing option.
9:26 Get myself dressed.
9:27 Hear chair being dragged across the kitchen floor.
9:31 Apply deodorant.  Plug in hair straightener.
9:33 Find Annie pulling off all the magnets and papers off the fridge.
9:34 Return to the bathroom to discover Maddie has turned the faucet on and there is standing water in the sink.  With the straightener in the sink.  (!!!!!!)
9:34 1/2 Unplug straightener, which is making odd noises.
9:35 Contemplate duct tape as a restraining device.
9:36 Text Ryan, telling him I'm having a rough morning.  Just needing to vent a little.
9:40 Hear phone.... dialing?
9:40 1/2 Find chair once again against the counter, Maddie sitting on our laptop, dialing our land-line phone.
9:41 Annie found a bottle of non-smelly lotion (coughRYAN'Scough) and is squirting it on the floor.
9:52 Back in the bathroom to brush my hair and put on some make-up.
9:55 "Crash" from the living room.  TV now on the floor.
9:56 Both twins crying in their cribs.
9:57 Text Ryan a picture of the TV on the floor. 
9:59 "Wow" from Ryan.
10:06 Find Annie with leg over the railing of her crib. 
10:09 Can't find the twins' gosh-darn pants again.
10:12 Annie gets her sandals to wear.  Mommy says no.  Annie cries.
10:16 Both twins wearing pants and socks again.
10:21 Shoes and coats on.
10:24 Turn on the car, with heaters full blast.  Put Annie in her seat.
10:25 Maddie touches the snow and cries. 
10:26 Annie screaming for her binky.
10:31 Grab friend's pie plate to return and get into the car myself.  Already late. 

Annie and Maddie's mood improved about 15 minutes later, and mine followed shortly thereafter.  A sympathetic ear is very helpful.

Friday, November 12, 2010

All Wet

This is why we still use sippy cups.

I forgot about how wet the rocking chair cushion was about an hour later.  I was holding a crying Annie, and out of habit, sat down on the rocking chair to "rock, rock."  After a little while, my seat was feeling a bit strange.  It took me too long to figure out the problem, and I walked around with wet jeans for a couple hours afterwards. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Facebook (again)

These are just some of my "status updates" I want saved for posterity. :o) 

...Someone needs to invent disposable socks.

...and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

...is watching a Veggie Tales movie we won at bingo last night.

...I felt like I needed to send an apology with the snack Elizabeth took to school this morning.  Ryan took Elizabeth to pick out the snack yesterday and they came back with Little Debbie frosted brownies.  Bring on the sugar high...

...hates how the whole house smells badly when one of the kids gets... sick.

...After playing in the leaves outside yesterday (throwing them up in the air and yelling "Whee!" as we watched them fall) Annie and Maddie found an indoor substitute: they threw their saltine crackers up and yelled "Whee!" as they fell down into a crumbly mess on the floor.

...Ryan: You know, if we ever move to a new town, we will have to do a parade down main street.  Just to let everyone know the circus is in town.

...It's really sweet when your child snuggles with you for two hours.  Right up until she pukes all over your hair and shoulder.

...I was just told to buy more "animal crapkers" at the store.

...Why does it take so long to pack up the summer clothes and get out the cold weather ones?

...Is it too early to start threatening no presents from Santa?  (From September)

...Someone had better tell me why toilets are so fascinating to toddlers.  Excuse me while I go clean the wet wipes, paper napkins, toilet paper and hair "pretties" out of the toilet.  Yuck.

...is filling up on chocolate chips before dinner.  Good thing the kids are outside and can't see me.

...note to self- it might be a bad idea to can peaches when we are expecting company.  Hopefully they won't notice the sticky floor.

...heard "That Thing You Do" on the radio at Safeway this evening.  I had to laugh.  And sing along.

...it took Elizabeth 2 HOURS to get home from school today.  I have very angry thoughts towards the bus system.  (This was from Elizabeth's first day of school.)

...wishes it were nap time already.  I got a book in the mail yesterday that I want to read.  (Sorry housework, you will just have to wait your turn.)

...I was chopping an onion for spaghetti sauce and crying my eyes out.  Elizabeth pulled a chair over, stood up and asked why I was crying.  Onion fumes don't seem to bother her.  Too bad I can't let my 5-year-old chop onions for me.

...To the kleptomaniac at the pool today- There's a reason we only take our old, crappy towels to the pool.  Hope you enjoy our ratty brown towel.

...watched one twin pick the other's nose.  Ew.

...Today's funny: Emma-Mom it tickles!  Me- What tickles?  Emma-When I "toot" in the water!  (Can you tell we were at the pool tonight?)

...Sometimes I love the valley.  15.5 lbs of blueberries for just under $20!  (Now the question is- what to do with all those berries?)

...Gee, it's great being the mom of a 7-year-old with a sense of humor.  Emma hooked a small-ish necklace to a back loop on my backside.  I forgot about it, LEFT THE HOUSE like that, and realized it was still attached after I got home from doing an errand.  Just awesome.

...Emma just told me my legs are scratchy like Daddy's face.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hide and Seek

There are very few people I feel the compulsion to hide from.  I happened to see one of them at the grocery store the other day.  Dr. M (my ob/gyn) was in the frozen food section and I walked ran with my cart the other way.

I just can't face the guy, who has checked my cervix, in the grocery store.  He should know better than to exist outside the office.  If he absolutely has to leave his office, he should go straight home and not be anywhere he might see/be seen by any past/current/future patients. 

I should not have to be reminded of being 30-some odd weeks pregnant with twins, as big as a house and unable to get up off that stupid exam table.  It's humiliating.

Where to hide?  I couldn't be in the paper products aisle.  Too many napkins.

I couldn't be anywhere near latex gloves either.  *shudder*

Baking aisle (by the chocolate) it was.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dr. Seuss Party

We celebrated the twins' birthdays again today.  This time we did it right- with Daddy.  Oh, and a whole lot of our extended family. 

With 4 girls, we've had a lot of princess/girly/pink parties.  The twins, as of yet, cannot voice their opinion on their choice of birthday party theme.  So I decided it could be fun to do a Dr. Seuss party.

The invitations were sent via email, and they went like this:

24 months have passed,
And my, have they flown.
You won't believe your eyes
At how the twins have grown.

We will have a good time
You will not want to miss
A 2nd birthday party
Quite like this.

Whether it rains
Or if it is sunny
We will have lots of good fun
That is funny.

So, come November 6th,
To see our Thing 2 and Thing 1
Celebrate their 2nd birthday
With plenty of cake and fun!

(Ok, so it's not quite Dr. Seuss, but I tried.)

Then I came up with the menu:





These were supposed to be red velvet cupcakes, but I guess I didn't use enough red food coloring.  At least they still tasted good.  I used dyed coconut as the blue "hair."  I made the Things 1 and 2 signs on the computer and taped them to toothpicks.

Not pictured: Grinch Toes (pickles), Star Belly Sneetch Juice (lemonade with kiwi stars), and Hearts Two Sizes Too Small (grapes).
 The spread on our table. 

 Annie and Maddie were glad to open more birthday presents.  :)
Maddie showing off her bling.
 My nephew Alex enjoying a cupcake.  He did a good job making a crumb-y mess.
I think the party was a success.  I had a good time, and it was good to see the family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Twins are 2!

It's funny how some days seem interminable, but at the same time it's crazy to think that my babies are 2 years old.  They are no longer babies.  They are smart, incredible little people who can strip themselves naked, rock their crib over to the light switch to be able to turn the light on, play "king of the mountain" on the piano, walk backwards and spin around in circles until they are too dizzy to stand.  They are cute, and fun, and are developing their sense of humor.  Annie does this wide-eyed, crazy stare to make me laugh. 

Today we celebrated two years of their life.  There were presents, pizza, cupcakes and friends over.  It was a party!  (Although we missed having Daddy there for part of it.)

We reached the age that opening presents is fun.  Christmas should be a blast!  (Provided we can actually wait until Christmas morning...  Otherwise, it could be a blast several times over....)

 Our friends gave Annie and Maddie baby dolls with strollers.  Oh my goodness, it was the Best. Gift. Ever.
 For about 45 minutes, they walked their babies all over the house.  Good thing they had other new toys for our friends to play with.
Elizabeth and best buddy Elijah. 
 Cupcake time!  Miss Maddie is lovin' her mint frosting.
There are no blowing out the candles pictures this year.  I was solo from dinner time on, and it just didn't work out.  They did make some great faces as they tried to blow out their candles.  It was more noise than air, so they had a little help.
Happy birthday Annie and Maddie!  We are so thankful you are a part of our family.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

Last Saturday night was our church's Halloween chili dog dinner, carnival and Trunk or Treat.  (For those of you who don't know what a "Trunk or Treat" is- this is where the kids go trick or treating around the church parking lot, and people hand out candy from their decorated car trunks.  Or in our case, the open back hatch of the minivan.  Who am I kidding?  I'm Mormon- most of the vehicles were minivans or Suburbans.  This way our kids can beg for candy mostly from people we know.  I realize this is also kinda creepy.  When else do I, as a semi-responsible parent, tell the kids it's ok to take candy from people in cars?)

The girls all posing in their Halloween costumes. 
This was Emma's first year not being a princess or fairy since she was 2 years old.  She had wanted to be a leopard, but I talked her into a black cat instead.  We are a little short on leopard print clothing. 
The "Things" are in birth order- Annie is #1 and Maddie is #2.
 This is the "donut dunking" at the carnival.  It's hysterical watching little kids try to eat things without using hands.  Needless to say, the chocolate frosting didn't stay on the donut.
Can you tell what Ryan and I dressed up as?  Ryan is Chuck Bartowski and I am Sarah Walker from the tv show "Chuck."  My costume would have been better with black spy pants, but I didn't have anything that fit the bill. 
Elizabeth and a friend from school.
(L-R) Maddie, Noah, Kennedy and Annie
It was rather amusing to compare notes with my friend Tiffany on our kids' Halloween costumes a couple weeks before the holiday and realize that we came up with the same thing.  However, her kids kept their yarn wigs on.  It was a little frustrating to have spent 5 hours on those silly things and just use them for pictures.