Monday, February 28, 2011


Just messing around with the camera.  This post is in honor of my sister-in-law Blair, who is always taking pictures of her and her hubby Michael jumping.

Big Girls

The cribs no longer are a source of containment as of yesterday morning. 

Oh dear.

So Ryan put together the toddler beds.  Maddie was really disturbed and kept saying, "Oh no!  Broke!" as Ryan took down the cribs.  But then her mood improved remarkably once the toddler beds were up.
Annie and Maddie had a good time playing in them before church.  After church as well, when they were supposed to be napping.  But they went to bed last night pretty easily, due to nap-less-ness-induced exhaustion.

It's another sign they are no longer babies.  Sometimes I have a hard time with that.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mess Gang Strike Again

After nearly two weeks of sickness and being house-bound, today Emma and Elizabeth both went to school and I took the twins to story time at the library.  Or, wrestling match between Mommy and the twins, as I like to call it.  I say some variation of the following the whole time: "Sit down.  Don't pull all the books off the shelves.  Maddie is sitting on that chair- you can't have it now.  Shhh.  Come back here." 

Love outings with twin toddlers.

As we were leaving, a friend of mine told me that her kids had a first- making a giant mess while she was in the shower this morning.  They somehow got a hold of the tube of diaper ointment and spread it everywhere.  Now, she has two 22-month-olds and a nearly 5-year-old.  Holy cow, how on earth has she made it THIS LONG without a giant mess while she was in the shower?  I mean, that's par for the course at our house.  I showed some sympathy, but perhaps not as much as I should have.  (Maybe if I hadn't been elbowing Annie into her carseat, watching Maddie press all the buttons while sitting in the driver's seat, I could have had more sympathy.)  I mean, this was the worst of the mess this morning at my house:

A little Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and we were good.  Nothing like trying to clean nasty, goopy, slimy ointment off of carpet, bedding, etc. 

And I would know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yesterday morning Annie and Maddie were wandering the house in nothing but their diapers when they decided they needed to go outside.  I told them we don't go outside without shirts and pants, so they ran to their room and picked out these outfits:
T-shirts, pj pants (not the ones they wore the night before) and church shoes. 

They can put their own pants and shoes on, but still struggle with shirts.  So I helped them get their lovely shirts on, and then I helped them put on coats, and away we went to the backyard- just me and the fashionistas.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Muggle Born

Something happened to Emma.  It dates back to a couple months ago, about the time she finished the first Harry Potter book and was able to see the movie.  She has read and seen the first 3 stories, and she is currently reading book #4.  Ever since seeing the first movie, I've been hearing various charms/spells being cast around the house. 

"Wingardium leviosa."




I come around the corner to find Emma with her "cloak" (aka a blanket tied around her neck- this is a change from the "cape" she once wore) and waving un-sharpened pencils.

The good news is none of our pencils seem to have any magic in them.  At least while they are pointed at little sisters.

I think Emma is secretly hoping that when she turns 11, she will get an invitation to Hogwarts via owl.  I'm just not sure how I would feel about her going away to school in England.  I suppose I might be more open to the idea if there were a school state-side, and close.

Or perhaps I will just keep my fingers crossed that she is non-magical, and I will be able to keep her around.

Although, I wouldn't mind if someone learned spells for cleaning the house.

President's Day at the Park

Yesterday we did the BIG shopping trip to WinCo.  For those of you who aren't familiar with WinCo- I'm sorry.  We find it is worth the 45-50 minute drive for the prices once a month or so.

Afterwards it was lunch time, so we decided to hit the Wendy's dollar menu and go to a park to eat and play.  
 We first went and played on the swings.

 Then we went down to the river to throw rocks.  We like throwing rocks a LOT.  Ryan and the girls happily spent most of our time at the park by the river.  I had fun taking pictures. 
 Annie cleaning her hands on MY jeans.  As usual.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday Walk

Yesterday after church, we decided we needed to get outside and go for a walk.  It was a gorgeous day, so we brought along the camera.


Annie didn't want to get back into the stroller. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Desperate Measures

There must be something about being two years old.  Everything becomes a wrestling match between the toddler and the parent.  Getting clothes on, getting buckled into the car seat, and sitting down to eat are all causes of contention between the twins and myself.  No sooner do I get one of them into her pjs, then she runs down the hall and pulls off her pjs AND diaper while I wrestle the other into her pjs.  We've started safety pinning the zippers up on their sleepers at night. 

Annie is quite talented at getting clothes off and on.  The favorite being, of course, taking the clothes off.  But, like Emma, she is fond of several changes of clothes during the course of a single day.  And shoes.  And hair things.  Ad nauseum.

All of that is livable, so long as it isn't the diaper that she's always taking off.  Lately, the diaper has been.  I tried putting the darn thing on backwards (so the tabs are less easy to access), putting big girl underwear on top of the diaper and finally- duct tape.
I feel like laughing an evil laugh and quoting Prince John (after tying Sir Hiss into a rather large, messy knot), "Get out of THAT if you can."*  But I think the humor would be lost on them.

Someone may argue that perhaps Annie and Maddie are trying to tell me they ready to be potty trained.  And my reply would be- not when my household is still recovering from the stomach flu.  Nuh uh.  Not going to happen right now.  I am dealing with enough messes at the moment.

*From Disney's Robin Hood

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I wasn't getting my date and it had been a long day, so I didn't feel like making a big, fancy Valentine's dinner.  So, once again I made breakfast-type  food for dinner.  
You can't really tell, but these are pink pancakes.  The first half I made plain, and the 2nd half with blueberries.

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Come To This

So, Saturday morning, while everything else was going on, Ryan was off helping someone move something big.  For. Two. Hours.  And then went out for some "man time" in the afternoon.  (It's way past time, but still....)  Since I was in the bathroom with Elizabeth, there was some unsupervised time for the rest of the bunch.  The brown sugar didn't get put away, and Maddie and Annie pushed a chair up to the counter, got ON the counter and helped themselves.

What a sticky, sticky mess!  It required a bath to get clean.

Then this morning, while I was cleaning up the couch and carpet I heard the sounds of a chair being pushed across the floor once again.  This time I found the twins with a box of Cheese-Its on the counter.  I decided this wasn't a big deal, and left them there for the time being.

After a weekend like mine, yes, it's come to this.

The Way It Often Goes

When Friday rolls around, I find myself excited for the weekend.  No alarms, Ryan to help with the kids so I can shower without wondering what is being destroyed, maybe get Emma and Elizabeth's room cleaned....  You know, typical weekend stuff. 

So 3 am Saturday morning arrives, and I am sound asleep when I hear a bed creaking, and the pitter patter of little feet.  "Mom?  Dad?  I feel sick!"  Ryan hops out of bed (he's closest to the door) and helps Elizabeth to the toilet.

This is repeated a couple times when we grabbed a bowl for her, so she could sit on the toilet. 

Clearly, there will be no more sleep that night.

Honestly, this was the worst bug we've ever had.  Usually the worst of the symptoms subside after 4-6 hours and then we are on the mend.  This went on for 15+ hours.  I spent the entirety of Saturday in the bathroom with Elizabeth.  It got so bad, Elizabeth was too weak and had to ask for help to get to the toilet.  At about 8 pm we decided we'd better take her to the ER for dehydration.  She had two bags of fluid administered via IV.  I got a call from Ryan at 12:30 am Sunday morning saying Elizabeth was finally being released.

Sunday morning came along, and although Elizabeth was no longer throwing up, she was by no means better.  She had a fever (which was new since the day before) and we were administering generic Immodium.  Oh, and we were really, very tired.  Ryan took a shower after lunch and fell asleep in there.  So we didn't go to church. 

At about 3 o'clock, not knowing what Valentine's day would bring (as in more kids getting the flu), I started Valentine's day dinner.  I made stuffed manicotti and salad.

 (And no, I don't think I brushed anyone's hair yesterday.  Judge me if you dare.)  Elizabeth didn't eat, but we pulled up the rocking chair so she could blob comfortably by the rest of us.
And I made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I almost had an emergency- couldn't find any chocolate cake mix!  I did find one last box hiding in the back of the cupboard.  Whew.  (By the way, I love the Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.  It is divine!  You can turn a cake mix into something that tastes delicious and homemade.)

Elizabeth slept in this morning until 8 am.  When she did wake up, she said she was so thirsty.  I felt like this was a good sign, after forcing her last night to get any small amounts of liquids down her throat.  I let Elizabeth have a 1/4 cup of 7-Up and waited 15 minutes.  She begged for more, so I let her have some.  And it all came back, all over the couch and floor.  Oh brother.  So Elizabeth has been to see the doctor this morning, and we have some anti-nausea meds now.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed it works!

Elizabeth is so disappointed she is missing her Valentines Day party.  I signed her name for her on her Valentine cards (since we never got around to doing it this weekend, for some odd reason) and we dropped them off in the front office in hopes they will make it to her classroom and someone will hand them out.

In any case, my Valentine's Day date is indefinitely postponed.  I'm trying to come up with a fun activity to do for Family Home Evening this evening instead.  Wish me luck!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can I have "Get a clue" for $400, Alex?

Last evening as I was doing dinner dishes and putting dinner away, Ryan came over and asked me a question, "Would you like to go on a date on Valentines?"

I could have sworn we had a similar conversation a couple days ago.  Ryan asked me if I needed flowers, chocolates or some other big display of Valentine-inspired affection, after I picked him up from work earlier this week.  I said no, it is ok.  (But I was secretly hoping he'd do a little something after all.  Just something to say I love you.)

So I launched into reasons why we didn't need to go on a date.  Chances were we couldn't get a babysitter.  The kids will be sad we won't do a nice dinner with them.  There will be large crowds at the restaurants in town, as it will be a big night for dates.  (This being based on the last time I went on a date ON Valentines, which was something like 11 years ago.  AKA before I met Ryan....) 

I was kindly trying to let him off the hook.

But I could tell I'd offended him somehow.  And no, I didn't mention my last Valentine's out-of-the-house date.

"Oh.  Ok."

So then I started trying to back track.  "But we could go somewhere if you really wanted to."

"Well, if you don't want to, you don't have to go anywhere with me."

Great.  I've hurt his feelings.  "I always love going on dates with you. "  Then I tried to explain that I thought this was a continuation of that earlier conversation in the car.

This was apparently not a extension of the other conversation.  Ryan had a co-worker offer to watch the kids so we could go out.  (She's watched our kids before.)  And if I thought our restaurants in town would be too busy, we could go check out the Arco or Maverick mini-marts.

You know, I don't mind going to Subway on a date.  But I draw the line at gas station food.  I'd rather go to McDonalds, thank you very much.

So, ladies- be jealous.  I have a date for Valentines!  No plans just yet, though.  :) 

But next time Ryan offers to take me on a date, I will just say yes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Coming up with something healthy and appealing to my family for dinner every night is hard.  I think I've been stuck in a bit of a rut, fixing the same thing over and over.  We've been eating a lot of "breakfast for dinner"-type meals since I gave Ryan a griddle for Christmas.  (Can't believe we were married 9 1/2 years and only finally got one!)  But even that was getting old. 

Wandering around the grocery store on Monday, I remembered it's been a long time since I've fixed Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner.  Hawaiian Haystacks can even be customized for the picky eaters.  It was perfect!  So I picked up chow mein noodles and green onions (since I had everything else) and came home.

Once the cooking and chopping was done, I went through my cupboards for pineapple, coconut and sliced almonds.  That's when I remembered that all of my coconut was blue:
Back in November I threw a Dr. Seuss birthday party for the twins' 2nd birthday.  I made Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes, and used blue coconut for the "hair" which can be seen in this post.  In my over-zealous-ness, I dyed the whole bag of coconut.  It definitely makes the Hawaiian Haystacks very colorful.

If anyone else is stuck in a dinner rut- here's the recipe for our version of HH:

Chow mein noodles
Rice (the wild mix from Costco is really good here)
Chicken, diced
Cream of chicken soup (for the gravy)
Grated cheese
Diced tomatoes, celery, green onions, red peppers
Crushed pineapple
coconut (any color will do- hehehe)
sliced almonds

Stack away!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scrabble Snack

One of our new favorite snacks are the Scrabble Tile Cheese-It crackers.  The kids LOVE them.  Snack time turns into "What kind of words can we make?"
Sometimes we have to get creative if we can't find all the letters we need.

Joyful Noises

(Written by Annie)

Being a whole two years old now, Maddie and I have decided those green books at church have something to do with music.  Mom and Dad open those books a couple times during that hour of Sacrament Meeting and amazingly, the organ starts playing.  But for some reason, the organ doesn't start when we open the books.  This requires further study.

Maddie and I decided that today we would join our voices with all the others when it was time to sing.  It didn't matter that we don't know any of the words, and can't figure out what's so important about the one page Mom insists I don't change during the song.  I make noises all the time, and Mom always nods her head and pretends she knows what I'm saying.  Silly Mom. 

So during the opening hymn, I start making whatever sounds I felt like.  Loud. And. Clear.  It was much better than whatever they were singing.  Not long after, Maddie joined in.  We had quite the duet of, "Aaaaaay Ahhhhh Noooo Raaa Nuuuuu"s going.  It must have been amazing singing, because other families 4 and 5 rows away started turning their heads to look and us twins. 

I'm not sure what was wrong with Mom and Dad though.  Dad's face started turning red, and both he and mom started shaking like they were holding laughter in.  I know that couldn't be the case, because clearly we were the star singers of the congregation.  Everyone thought so.  After Sacrament Meeting was over, the people sitting behind us complemented us on our beautiful voices.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sticky Fingerprints

I have to admit, half of the time I don't even see the fingerprints that pervade every surface of my home under 4 feet.  I like to joke that if CSI ever came over, they wouldn't be able to tell important evidence from every other mess in the house.  There are snot smears, tear marks, milk and juice spills, accident remains, random hairs and those darn fingerprints everywhere.

I cleaned the house before we had company over for Family Home Evening on Monday night.  I swept, vacuumed, mopped (ok, more like spot cleaned the linoleum), put toys away, dusted, and got the stray socks out from inside/under the couch.  I was feeling pretty good about the house until they arrived and I remembered I forgot about getting out the window cleaner:
The tv, windows and piano all look like that.

I still haven't cleaned them.  And yes, it is Wednesday evening. 

It's one of those things- why bother cleaning?  With kids being kids, it will look like that again in 24 hours time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Daily Nothings

Elizabeth likes to sing.  Our house often sounds like what you might expect to hear a 5-year-old singing opera.  You know, not necessarily songs, but dialogue with music.

"Teeth deeee-caaaaay is baaaaaad.  Deeee-caaaaay is daaaaaanger-ouuuuuussss.  I must brush my teeth every daaaaaaaaaaaay and niiiiiiiiiiiight...."

(I would guess she learned about brushing teeth at school today.)

"Emmmmmmma is booooooooothering meeeeeeeee...."

"Raaaaapunzeeeelllll neeeeeeds heeeeeelp getting dreeeeeeeesssed...."

(That when mom's dexterous fingers can come in handy, I guess.  Those silly Polly Pocket-sized dolls are ridiculous to try and clothe when you are 5.)

Maddie's cry has become distinctive from her twin's.  It's just started in the last week or so.  When she is more annoyed than hurt, she gets this Tarzan-yell (aaaah AH ahhhh) quality to her cry.  I find it kind of funny.

Annie and Maddie are "social groomers."  (I knew there was a reason I lovingly call them my Monkeys.)  They wash each other in the bathtub.  They brush the other's hair.  And they must rub lotion on my legs as I put lotion on them.

Ever since the bout of intestinal uh.... unrest.... we had a few weeks ago, Annie has been leery of the bathtub.  As soon as she spots something that floats- a stray fuzzy or hair in the bathtub, she is OUT.  Because she doesn't think it's a fuzzy.