Monday, June 30, 2008

party time

last night we took the girls to a birthday party at a swimming pool. the girls had a blast, and i just tried not to think about how many kids had already peed in the pool. catherine loved to go down the kiddie slide, but grace was more content to have both feet firmly touching the bottom of the pool. there was a little frog slide that they both loved, and played on for the majority of the time. catherine liked to "swim like a mermaid" with mommy and float on her back. after swimming, there was, of course, cAkE! at 7:45 at night. we headed home around 8:30, took a quick bath, and got into bed around 10:00! the good news? they didn't get out of bed until almost 8:15 this morning!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

kids say the darndest things

last night, the girls were playing with a bowl of mints. individually wrapped lifesavers mints. i don't know why, but they love to play with them and smell them. anyway, while they were playing, catherine asked me if she could have one. i told her no, because they were just for grown-ups. she of course wanted to know why, so i just told her that they were for adults who wanted their breath to smell nice and fresh. then i asked her what she thought little girls did when they wanted good breath. (since it was bedtime, i thought she would know that the answer i was looking for was "brush their teeth") know what she said? she very seriously and confidently replied, "they eat chicken." where does she come up with this stuff?

Friday, June 20, 2008

alike, but different

funny how a little change can make a big difference. grace wanted her hair in pigtails, catherine wanted a braid. all of the sudden, they looked nothing alike to me!

things i'm thankful for:
1. a husband who doesn't mind that i occasionally burn dinner
2. kids who think it's funny that i burn dinner
3. a husband who cleans the dishes even after i burn the dinner!
4. sliding minivan doors - i can't tell you how much easier it has been getting the girls buckled into their seats in the minivan than it was in our accord!
5. the weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

top ten ways you can tell i'm a mom

10. i make references to "dora the explorer" in daily conversations

9. i call my peasant skirt and tank top my fancy outfit

8. my purse is often mistaken for a diaper bag

7. i never leave the house without hand sanitizer, snacks, crayons, and stickers

6. i think steve from "blues clues" is kinda cute

5. i consider getting home past 9:00 staying out late

4. i no longer subscribe to glamour, cosmo, or marie claire. i now read parents, family fun, and good housekeeping

3. i have the number for poison control programmed on my cell phone

2. i can recite the entire "doodlebops" pledge

and finally.......

1. i am now the proud owner of.....

....a minivan! hUrRay!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


the girls had to leave church today right before their class was going out to play. i was finished working and was ready to go home. they were not. and believe me, they let me know it. i lured them out of the church with the promise of a fabulous surprise. i had no idea what that surprise would be, but surely i could think of something by the time we got home, right? then i saw the sign on main street that knew. doughnut holes! worked like a charm.

things i'm thankful for:

1. the girls have been sleeping in a little this week
2. friends to teach vbs with next week
3. a church that makes kids a priority
4. kids who adore their grandparents (and vice-versa!)
5. doughnut holes, of course!

Monday, June 16, 2008

eating out

since yesterday was father's day, toby got to pick what we did for lunch. he chose to eat out at a "resternaut," as the girls would say. i'm usually not a huge fan of eating out with the girls. i know that sounds mean, but it's just not relaxing. yesterday, though, things were better. during lunch, i noticed how much things are changing for us. there are no more highchairs, we don't have to bring sippy cups and kiddie utensils along, cheerios aren't spread out on the table as an appetizer, and the table usually doesn't look like a tornado came through. i actually think there was only one crayon left under the table! we ended up having a really nice lunch. it reminded me, once again, that even though there are tough stages that we go through, they are just stages. they don't last forever. before we know it, toby and i will be eating out all alone, wishing we had someone's pancakes to cut!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

father's day

like i said on mother's day, things changed when we had kids. i started to see the world through the eyes of a mom. i also started to see myself as a mom, and my husband as a dad. and what a great dad he is. he has been in love with our two little girls from the moment they were born. even before that. having twins made our early experience as parents a little different than most. there was no trading off, taking turns, or sleeping through a feeding. we were in it together. all the time. we fed the babies together, day or night. we both lugged around a baby carrier wherever we went. we both paced the living room with a crying baby night after night. we both wore spit-up stained clothes for a year. through it all, though, toby has been the best dad i can imagine. he is kind, loving, patient, and compassionate. he is proud of them, encourages them, and teaches them. he works hard everyday so that i can be home with our kids. when he gets home, he is always excited to see them. no matter what his day has been like, he comes through the door with a smile on his face. he loves to get on the floor and play with the girls. he makes them laugh, giggle, and squeal like no one else can. he is the first person they want to see in the morning, and the last person they want to see before going to bed. they look out the window every morning to see if daddy's car is still in the driveway. if he is still at work when they go to sleep, they make me promise that he will come in to check on them when he gets home. the other day, i asked them what their favorite things were. after thinking about it for only a second, catherine smiled and answered, "when my daddy comes home." the girls have a bond with their daddy that is so special. a bond that i see getting stronger each day. they are so lucky to have a daddy like him.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

happy father's day, dad

i know today isn't exactly father's day, but today is the day that we are celebrating with my dad. and since today is his day, i thought it was fitting that i told you about him today. my dad has always been there for me. when i was little and i fell and scraped my knee (really bad! to me, at least), he held me on the stairs while i cried. he stuck up for me when the little boy on the bus was mean to me, and again in middle school with the kid in art. he made sure that i was treated right, but instead of just swooping in and always fixing things, he taught me to stand up for myself. this wasn't an easy task! i was always the shy, quiet little girl who was easy to pick on and take advantage of. my dad taught me how to speak up for myself without being rude. he taught me to always make good choices, and not just go along with the crowd. when i broke my arm on the monkey bars in elementary school, he held my hand while the doctor fixed it. having kids of my own now, i know that wasn't easy. seeing your own kids in pain is the worst. after my arm healed, it was my dad who took me back to those monkey bars and made me try again. over and over, so i wouldn't be scared. once when we moved, he listened to me cry over the phone on my first day of school. he helped me adjust to all of our moves, and he told me it was for the best. i didn't believe him, but it was. moving helped me become who i am today. as a teacher, it made me more sensitive to "the new kid." as an adult, it has helped me make friends more easily. my dad put up with my teenage drama. and there was a lot! seriously, there was a ton. he taught me to drive, took me to a "new kids on the block concert," and taught me correct grammar (sorry, dad, if i still don't use me and i correctly all the time!) when i had the girls, my dad came up to the hospital to keep me company and help out. after the girls came home, he took time off work to come over and help. he would come over at night, when we couldn't get them to sleep, and rock one of the girls in the corner to give toby and me a break. no matter what stage of my life, there is one thing i've always known. there is nothing my dad wouldn't do for me. i hope my children can always say the same about me. thanks, dad, for everything. i love you! happy father's day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

so simple

what makes for a fun afternoon to a couple of 3-year-olds? nothing elaborate. nothing spectacular. just some sidewalk chalk. and their best friend.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

sleepy, stubborn girls

it is after 10:30, and my children are just now going to sleep. they first went to bed at 8:20, but they didn't go to sleep. they weren't mad, crying, fussing, or fighting. they were just awake. i knew they were tired. they knew they were tired. they just wouldn't give in. so i did. i don't usually do this, but tonight i let them out of bed. i let them bring their blankets and pillows into the living room to watch tv. i turned off all the lights, got them all snug and cozy, turned on the tv, and we all watched the care bears. they said our living room looked like nanny and pop's "movie room." i'm sure supernanny would disapprove of this, but i thought it was kinda fun. will they be tired tomorrow? probably. will they be a little grumpy in the morning? maybe. was this the best parenting decision ever? i doubt it. or maybe it was. sometimes you've gotta bend the rules. sometimes you have to stay up late and snuggle with your kids. will they remember all of the rules they followed today? no way. will they remember the one that i let them break? i hope so. i know i will.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

sour cream coffee cake

here is the recipe that i've been promising many of you for months. okay, maybe years. it is one of the few recipes that i don't already have saved on my computer, so i'm finally taking the time to sit down and type it out. this recipe comes from the nordic ware bundt classics cookbook that i bought years ago at williams sonoma when i bought this bundt pan. there are lots of yummy recipes in it! it is well worth the $15 i spent on it. here is the recipe as it is in the book. at the bottom are some changes that i make when i bake it.

1 c finely chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 c sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

coffee cake:
1 (18.25 oz.) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 c sour cream
3/4 c water
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

heat over to 325 degrees. grease a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan.

stir together filling ingredients and set aside. in a large mixing bowl, mix all other ingredients. mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. sprinkle bottom and sides of prepared pan with 3/4 c of the filling mixture. gently spoon half of the batter into pan. top with remaining filling mixture. spoon remaining batter over mixture.

bake at 325 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. cool 10 minutes. remove from pan and cool completely on rack. to store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. flavor increases overnight.

** i use low-fat sour cream, egg beaters instead of eggs, and applesauce instead of oil. it cuts down on fat, but tastes just as good! when baking, i don't layer the cake. after mixing the cake batter, i gently fold in the filling. i don't mix it completely, i just swirl in it. i found that when i layered it, the top layer of the cake (the cinnamon sugar) would burn a little. it's just a lot easier to swirl it in instead of layering it. i don't use the nuts, either.

beer bread

here is the easiest bread recipe ever! it is quick to throw together, very simple, and delicious! sara, a friend of ours, brought it to a baby shower several months ago, and i've made it many times since then. all you need is:

3 c self-rising flour
1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer (i use shiner)
1/2 c sugar

mix ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 - 60 minutes. brush with melted butter during the last few minutes of baking if desired. that's it! it's really that easy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


yesterday at my in-laws, the girls did a little gardening. their garden consisted of rocks, sticks, dirt, grass, bumbleberry seeds, flowers, and an acorn. they "planted" all of this on the driveway. i'm pretty sure they are expecting to find a beautiful assortment of flowers growing on the concrete when they return. i wonder what they will do when they see a car there instead?

i'm thankful for:
1. a wonderful, relaxing weekend with friends

2. my husband, who took care of the girls while i was gone

3. getting a little color this weekend...i can't call it a tan, but it's an improvement!

4. coming home to a clean house and clean dishes

5. a power nap

Monday, June 9, 2008

weekend away

this weekend, i spent two days and two nights with five of my mgm (moms gone mild) friends. it was 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, 2 evenings, and 2 car rides of absolute bliss. we spent the weekend relaxing by the pool, talking, and giggling. lots of giggling. for just a few days, we got to be ourselves. we weren't mommies, we were just us. we remembered what it was like not to have responsibilities. it was so nice! there were no noses or bottoms to wipe, no food to cut, no teeth to brush, no sippy cups to assemble, and no sibling wrestling matches to break up. the only bad thing about all of that was that there were also no hands to hold, foreheads to kiss, sleepy kids to sing to, or funny faces to laugh at. don't worry, though, they were all waiting for us at home. we all came back refreshed, relaxed, renewed, and a little sunburned! some much more than others. it was without a doubt one of the best weekends in a very long time. there is nothing better than great girlfriends!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

what just happened?

last night for dinner, we had hot dogs (sliced length-wise to avoid choking, of course!). the girls were so excited to finally be eating hot dogs like big girls do...bun and all. two bites into dinner, and grace's hot dog was swiped! she was holding it out to the side, giving our dog, sam, the perfect opportunity to jump up and take it right out of her little hand. needless to say, she wasn't happy. sam, however, was extremely happy! so sad. don't worry, we made her another one!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


i did something today that i don't really recommend to anyone. i went shopping for a bathing suit. with both girls. like i've said before, they give a pretty detailed play-by-play analysis of what's going on in the dressing room. fortunately, they are very complimentary and generally make only positive comments. they just make those comments very loudly. i tried to keep them occupied today with tic tacs while i tried on clothes. it worked fairly long as i could change clothes faster than they could eat the tic tacs. we went to seven stores in two different malls. i felt bad for dragging them all over the place, so we stopped in the mall's play area to run off some energy. for the first time ever, my two were the biggest kids there. they were able to walk across the balance beam alone, climb in and out of the cars alone, and they knew not the leave the play area. i even got to sit on the bench and relax. i didn't have to intervene a single time. the first time we went there, i spent most of my time chasing each one back inside the play area. how times change!

today, i'm thankful for:

1. my new, black bathing suit

2. my husband, who stopped on his way home from work to pick up something from the mall that i wished i had bought while i was there

3. my kids' patience and cooperation today at the mall

4. a vacuum cleaner that works again

5. tic tacs!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

bucket of fun

yesterday, i bought a big red bucket to hold all of our outdoor toys. this morning, the girls found the new bucket while i was out of the room. apparently, it's more fun without the toys!

things i'm thankful for:

1. creative kids

2. target (cute, cheap stuff!)

3. sleeping in past 7:00 today

4. being able to stay home with the girls

5. a chance to get out of town with some girlfriends this weekend! i can't wait!!!