Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looking at ...

on One Step Ahead Baby. I used to chuck this catalogue as soon as it arrived, but now I'm actually looking at every page and noting a few baby items that seem like some must haves.

These placemats are reusable and will stick to tables. Great for going out to eat or even at Grandma's house who may not like blueberries smushed into her kitchen table.


The snack traps. Good for the car, stroller, or even around the house so cheerios stay out of Zeus and Zoe's tummies. Love the strap feature.
Really cute Monkey Halloween costumes. I've often called them my little monkeys, especially when they are jumping in their cribs after naptime.


Stove Guard. They can't reach yet, but they sure do like to try and it worries me to no end.



Travel Bed. Not sure if I'm sold on this one ... what keeps them in this thing once they are mobile? Nothing like putting your babies to bed at Grandma's house to find them crawling down the hallway five minutes later. But, a pretty neat idea. Wonder if this might be good at the beach or if it would become a parasail for infants!

Alright, off to look for something a little more interesting ... like shoes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Something must be terribly wrong

I had to drive to Charlotte to set up for a trade show yesterday. On my return trip, I decided to stop at an outlet mall for "lunch." Oh, who am I kidding? I was going for the Sak's Off 5th store, but we can call it lunch.

I looked around Off 5th, Ann Taylor Loft, Gymboree, Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, TJ Maxx / Home Goods, and Brooks Brothers. Couldn't find Gap and Ann Taylor ... I'm wondering if they have closed.

Guess who got lucky? Hubby! I picked up 3 of Brooks Brothers dress shirts and two polo shirts for him.

Guess who didn't get lucky? Maddy, Libby, and me.

I couldn't find anything for me that I was just dying to have and just didn't have any luck at Gymboree for the girls even though it seemed to be full of cute clothes.

I have decided that I need to be nominated for What Not To Wear. Seriously. So many of the new blousier dresses and tops look so cute, but I'm not sure if they are cute on me. I think I just need someone to shop for me and make me look good. Sigh. Any takers? You nominate me & I'll nominate you. I could easily spend $5k on a new wardrobe so as not to look like a middle aged part time stay at home mom.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did I tell you ...

That I ran a half marathon? Well, I did. But, not really.

Our training plan this past Saturday was for 13 miles and my running partner and I ended up going 13.09. I might have gone the full 13.1, but someone accidentally turned off Garmin and forgot to hit "start", so I'm not 100% sure. Yep, that would have been me, so I was trying to do math while running to figure out our time and distance. And for anyone who runs, you probably feel the same way ... or at least I hope you do. Math+running just doesn't happen. No idea why my brain turns to mush when trying to do simple math while running. I just can't do it.

It was strange to essentially run the entire race, but without all the fanfare, cheering, porta potties, and crowds. No one passing out little cups of water and Gatorade, no pre race Expo, no iced towel afterward. I did get a few cheers from the rest of my running group, some lovely ice cold water, and good stretching when I got home.

But, I know I can do it and will be running it again in less than 2 weeks! We are tapering right now and suddenly 4 miles during the week sounds so short and easy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

If this ...

is what 14 months is like, I'm in trouble.
Happy 14-month-birthday, girls.

I love you more and more every day.

xoxo,
Mama

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wouldn't you?

So, we did it. Maddy and Libby will start a Mother's morning out program two days a week.


I'm excited.


For them to have different opportunities than what I can do at home (music every day, a neat outdoor playground with features that are the perfect size for them, more kids to meet and interact with, etc). For me to have nearly 4 hours twice a week to have uninterrupted time to work, run errands, work out, etc.


So, if you found the absolute cutest pink polka dot backpacks, don't you think they need them? You know, to hold their change of clothes, lunch, sippy cup, extra sweater, diapers, and lipgloss? Oh wait ... so maybe the lipgloss is a few years down the road.



Wouldn't you really need them especially since you found a PBK gift card literally burning a hole in your wallet? Plus, there's a free shipping offer going on now. Yes, I know the backpacks are probably bigger then they are, but still. Aren't they adorable?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Firsts

A week of firsts ...

  • We are going to look at "school" i.e., Mother's Morning Out for Maddy and Libby. They would go two days a week, it's at a church five minutes from our house, plus we personally know one of their teachers, and have heard nothing but wonderful things about their program. How can we not do it?
  • A mammogram for me on Friday. Whoopee! (By the way, it's routine.)
  • 13 miles on Saturday for my half marathon training. Wowee. For the other halfs that I've done, the most I've run during training is 10 miles so it's a little scary and exciting. It's kind of crazy when you look back at the entire mileage from the training. It's a lot. Or a lot to me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy

It's amazing how sunflowers can brighten your day. I brought home six on Saturday morning. I realized that six looked puny in the vase, so Hubby went out later that day for six more.

That's what I call a good Hubby and a neurotic Wife.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Real Tears

It's not often that we have "real tears" from Maddy and Libby. There's the normal whining and fussing, but when we have "real tears", it generally means something big. Someone is hurt or scared.

Well, today Libby has been stealing Maddy's pacifier. All. Day.Long. Libby would have one in her mouth and still pull Maddy's out of her mouth and it usually ended up on the floor.

I had told Libby no, replaced Maddy's paci, and she would do it again. I repeated this version a few times, then finally moved them to separate areas of the room with some individual toys.

Sure enough ... they found each other and it just kept happening.

And then Maddy had the real tears. Her paci sat on the floor within her reach, but she just sat there and cried.

I know there are probably some twin Moms out there shaking their heads, saying "Just wait. That ain't nothin'. ", but it just broke my heart for Maddy, made me want to show her how to stand up for herself, and also made me a bit frustrated with Libby for being mean to her sister.

I'm not quite ready to take away the pacis just yet. I may be tempted to make them a bedtime/naptime only treat, so this doesn't become a constant struggle.

And tonight, my heart broke a little again. I had given the girls a bath and Libby was already in her PJ's in her crib. I was drying off Maddy's hair while she sat on the changing table. Libby started to fuss a little and Maddy pulled her paci out of her mouth and extended it in her hand to her sister. After all the "fighting" today, Maddy still wanted to be sweet to her sister.

I guess that's what being a good sister is all about.

Child labor laws

Now we're talking. This Productive Parenting activity was in my email inbox this morning. Think it would hurt to add a few squirts of Scrubbing Bubbles while we're at it?

I think I'll also teach them how to vacuum and mop, fold laundry, clean toilets, and unload the dishwasher.

Too much for one-year-old?

I could just sit back, delegate, and eat bon-bons. Ahhhh.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Perspective

Hubby and I met to look at a Mother's Morning Out program earlier today. Unfortunately, I had confused my dates and the school was closed. Since it's rare that we have much time that it's just the two of us, he asked if I wanted to go grab a cup of coffee. Since I can rarely turn down Starbucks, I said yes. Maddy and Libby were already with a sitter so I had some time.

We were just chatting about general stuff, drinking our coffee, and people watching. We had both noticed an older gentleman with a walker, US Navy hat, and his own coffee mug.

He was one of those guys that I thought to myself is some old codger, yelling at kids, shaking his cane, barking orders, etc.

He was sitting in the corner and I didn't really think twice about him. He walked over to get napkins and said hello when he passed our table. Of course, Hubby who has never met a stranger immediately engaged him in conversation and asked him a question about his hat.

We ended up chatting with this man to find out he had served in the US Navy during WWII, met his bride in NYC at a dance while he was also in training classes, but opted not to get married until he returned from overseas, heard the story how his boat was almost attacked by a kamikaze plane, but narrowly escaped. He was a little hard-of-hearing, but charming and funny. He even showed us photos of he and his wife on their wedding day, some when he was stationed in Hawaii, and it truly was a pleasure to see the excitement that he had to talk about his family and what the Navy had meant to him.

We stayed a little longer than we probably "should" have, but it was so worth it to have met him. Plus, he told us a funny joke and if I can remember it correctly, here goes.

God made Adam and had to get Adam acclimated to his surroundings. God told Adam that he would need to walk down the Valley. Adam didn't understand what a "valley" was, so God explained. Next, he would need to cross the river. Again, Adam didn't understand what a "river" was, so God explained. God also explained how he would walk up a hill, find a cave, and meet Eve. He also explained to Adam how once he met Eve, they would need to reproduce.


Adam set off on his journey down the valley, through the river, up the hill, and into the cave. A few minutes went by and Adam walked down the hill, waded through the river, scrambled up the valley and went back to ask God a question.


Adam asked, "God, what's a headache?"

This gentleman also reminded us that husbands are to obey their wives, that if Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy, and to complete one act of senseless kindness every day.

Not what I was expecting out of my trip to Starbucks, but encouraging and rewarding nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Better late than never

I had forgotten about these shorts that I pulled out of the closet today.
At least I can wear them before Labor Day and then I feel like I need to pack them away for another season.

Oh, and a few side notes ...
* Mine aren't the pink & green pattern, but I wish they were.
* I think the price has gone up considerably since I bought mine.
* Or I must have found them on sale.
* Or I had a very weak moment.

Damn, I just looked and the pink & green ARE on sale. Still $44. Damn.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Who knew?

If you want your entire family (yourself included) to take a nice afternoon nap ... have them all go work at your church nursery for a 3-hour shift. Well, I guess Hubby and I worked while Maddy and Libby checked out all the other kiddos, ate their weight in cheerios, and enjoyed new toys, puzzles, and books.

Once we got home, Maddy and Libby slept for over 3 hours and Hubby and I both napped for well over 1.5 hours.

Pure lazy Sunday bliss.

Hubby and I also had a nice, real live date yesterday afternoon. First movie we have seen in well over a year. His parents came to visit, kicked us out of the house, so we went to see Julie / Julia and it was wonderful. The theater was packed with young and old alike and there were a ton of laugh out loud moments. We topped that off with yummy burgers and beers at a downtown Brew Pub. The weather was nice enough to sit outside, which is always a plus in my book. It felt wrong to go out to eat after watching that movie, but there was no way I was going home to fix up a little french cuisine! I do have a bit of a craving for Beef Bourguignon. Maybe I'll get brave and try it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Playing along

Kelly's Korner is hosting "Show us your life ... wedding reception & honeymoons." I can't find some of our honeymoon photos ... they may be on the old desktop computer. So, here is a glimpse at what I could find.

Our reception was held at a great downtown place in our city. It wasn't our original location, but it turned out to be perfect. Nothing like stressing a bride out to hear that the City Club where you booked your wedding reception was closing!

Here is a photo of our cake. I've blogged a million times about Maxie B's who made our cake and they are still one of our favorite bakeries. We had different flavors for each layer: raspberry lady (white cake with raspberry jam), chocolate with raspberry, red velvet and peanut butter. All with cream cheese frosting. Yum. We displayed my Great Aunt Lucy and Great Uncle Horace's wedding toppers that they had used at their 1927 wedding. I found a similar cake in a magazine ... it was square (our invitations were also square) and just had simple piping and our monogram.

Here is our first dance to "It Had to Be You."
Here is a photo of our "guest book." We had everyone sign it at the wedding and reception. It now hangs in our dining room and I absolutely love it. I had a calligrapher write our names, wedding date and information, along with part of 1st Corinthians that was also read at our wedding.

We also served ice-cold milk (regular or chocolate) along with our cake. Here are the martini glasses lined up and ready. Not sure if anyone drank milk since they had the choice to opt for the open bar. Who knows?
I love this shot that our photographer captured towards the end. We truly had an evening surrounded by our family and close friends ... exactly what we wanted.
We didn't leave for our honeymoon until Monday morning and I never regretted that decision. I was wiped out on Sunday, so we had the day to spend with family, open presents, finish packing, and rest.

We honeymooned in Antigua in the British West Indes and stayed at the Blue Waters Resort. It was wonderful. They are a relatively small resort (80 rooms, I think) and were so attentive and great. The grounds were gorgeous and we enjoyed a lot of pool, beach, and relaxing time while we were there.

Antigua was a perfect mix of relaxing and exciting. We did some great tours (the 360 degree speed boat tour, snorkeling, swam with sting rays) and we also did a lot of vegging, reading, and relaxing at the resort.

One of the little umbrellas on the beach at our resort. Beaches are small in Antigua (compared to other areas), but there 365 beaches across Antigua. There are definitely no long strolls on beaches here.

One of the sunsets at the resort.
We met another couple who shared our wedding date (Nov. 12, 2005) and we ended up enjoying some meals together and also doing a few outings. If you knew my husband, you would understand that he's never met a stranger. It was actually really fun and we still stay in touch with this couple and were excited to hear that they just had their first baby a few months ago.

This is after a great meal at Viveyn's.

Enjoying a Wadadli on the 2nd evening there.


Like Kelly said, I look back at these pictures and had forgotten the tan and skinny part. I think this is before we ventured out into town for shopping one day.


This last photo is at an amazing bed and breakfast called Harmony Hall. If you are ever in Antigua, you must go here. No, I'm not kidding. It may still be one of the best meals of my life and amazing views.

T. and I enjoying our lunch.



When you arrive, you are asked if you want to take a little boat cruise. They take you out to this little island where you are free to walk around and enjoy the private island before your meal. We had fun exploring and I wish I had my photos of this!

When we returned, we noticed employees carrying up burlap bags. With fish that is about to be cooked for you. It is really that fresh. Bread and butter - beyond amazing. Wonderful desserts. Seriously ... everything here was amazing. They had a great art gallery and shop with art, pottery, jewelry, clothing, soaps, etc.

Sigh. Would love to go back ... Blue Waters has a great house called the Rock Cottage that we have always talked about getting a group of friends together and renting it. Can you tell I've enjoyed my stroll down memory lane? Wish I was sitting under one of those little thatched umbrellas right now!

I can admit

I think y'all know that I've been on a kick trying out new fruits and veggies with Maddy and Libby.  Kiwi?  Love it.  Mango?  Ditto.  Avocado?  Yep.  I saw a recipe in one of my baby books for brussel sprouts and I thought I would give it a try.

I will admit as a thirty-something-year old, I have never eaten a brussel sprout until today.  Growing up we ate a variety of fruits and vegetables, but they were all what I will call the "normal" variety - corn, lima beans, bananas, strawberries, green beans, etc.  Honestly, I ate a lot of grilled cheese up until high school, so I probably didn't eat many veggies until then either.  Not that my Mom still didn't put those 5 damn green beans on my plate every night.

The recipe I used said to trim the bottoms of the sprouts, but to keep the leaves intact. Next I washed and dried them.  I put a little EVOO in a container and threw my sprouts in.  Coated them and put them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  I added a little salt and pepper and popped them in a 425 degree oven.

The original cooking time was 15 minutes and flipping them at the halfway point.  I didn't cook nearly as many as the recipe called for, so I cut my time in half.

When I pulled them out, they were crispy on the outside and still tender inside.  They had a good cabbage-ish flavor, but I loved that crispiness to them.  

I added them to M&L's lunch today, so they enjoyed baked chicken, rotini pasta with cheddar cheese grated on top, tomatoes, the brussel sprouts, kiwi, and plums.  Oh and a little milk.  And a few Annie's graham bunnies for dessert.  Thanks, ET!  

I was a little nervous that they may throw them on the floor.  There were a few funny faces, but they seemed to enjoy them and maybe left one on their tray.  

If you're like me and had never eaten a brussel sprout, try them out.  I think they would be yummy to roast some with new potatoes.  

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Back in the day

Back in college, I took several photography classes. I used my Mom's manual Pentax camera, developed my own film, and had a blast. Film ... what's that? Sigh. I still remember fumbling around in the pitch-black closet to get the film out of my camera and the way the developer smells. I was never the star pupil, but it was always fun and I enjoyed the classes so much. Maybe one day, I can take another class and while I would stick to digital this time around, I'm sure it would still be a great experience.

It was always such a surprise when using traditional 35mm film to see what you would get at the end of your 24 exposures. Now, it's such instant gratification to see your results.

I took a few photos of Maddy and Libby the other day and got a few that I was very happy with ... and a whole slew of bad ones. I was playing around with a few different settings other than "manual" and I think I may start testing them out more.

Here are a few that I lovedThis is Maddy in her "look, Ma ... no hands" pose.


Libby - showing off those 2 bottom teeth.
I know she wishes those others would finally pop through.


Maddy looking very much like my Great Aunt Hazel and Great Aunt Lucy.
We've seen it in a few photos.
Maybe one day we'll figure out who they really look like beside each other!

This photo totally captures Maddy's spirit.


Sweet Lib. Curious and wrinkling her brow just like me & my Dad.


And then a couple of the "whoops" ones.
After all, it is kind of hard when you have moving targets!
Maddy bbbbblurrry.


Libby - Snapped it too late and blurry.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

If you ...

pull out a white EYELASH will 13 more grow in it's place?  Or does that only happen with the hair on your head?  What about eyebrow hairs?

How old does this mean I am?

Thank goodness Thursday will bring highlights and a cut.

Come on, a white eyelash?  Does that really happen?

Maybe Libby will lend me some of hers if mine all go white.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Nap, no nap, nap, no nap.

If you had twin thirteen-month-old daughters who for the past two days have only taken one nap a day, would this mean they are trying to drop one of their naps?

Please, please, please tell me it's not so.

Yesterday, I ran with my running group and when I got home it was during their morning nap time.  Hubby said that they had been chattering for over an hour and he had tried several times to get them to go to sleep.  We finally went ahead and got them up, so we didn't mess up any other naps or sleeping for the rest of the day.  In the afternoon, we put them down at 1PM (their normal nap time), and they slept for almost 3.5 hours! WOW!  They normally will sleep for about 2, but I assume they were trying to make up for the hour or so that they didn't get that morning.

Today, they went down great for their morning nap and slept for about 1.5 hours.  Today, they went down around 1:30 and it was uggggly.  Lots of crying.  Lots of listening to the monitor and trying to wait it out to see if they'd fall asleep.  Two doses of Tylenol because there was a lot of hand gnawing, but no sleep.

When I got them out of their cribs for a snack, they happily ate and drank.  Now they are playing and life seems good.

I thought they would transition to one nap around 18 months.  Is this just a fluke?