Monday, August 30, 2010

Substitue Blog Post

In lieu of a regular blog post, I created a photo book today because I received a code for a free one from Shutterfly!  Of course I had to pay shipping and handling, but I did it, anyway.  I wanted to write a "book" for the boys filled with pictures of our families.  Because we live out of state and don't get to see them as often as we'd like, I plan to read this book regularly to the boys so they will recognize their faces and give us lots of opportunity to talk about them.

Here's the link to our Shutterfly website:
  It's slightly redundant for you, my loyal reader, but I keep it because I get free photos every month I update it.  (I know, I'm a sucker.  They're still making money off me.)  But I do like Shutterfly and the website's nice.  You'll see our summer photos scrolling at the top, then a month by month journal entry, then at the bottom, the two photo books I've created of the boys.  If you've been reading since the beginning of my blogging (one year ago!), you'll have seen most of these pics, but have fun nonetheless.  And please don't stalk me because there I use (gasp!) real names!  Except for my grandmother.  Her real name is not GiGi.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

No Pics?!

Because I remembered  to take the USB port with me to MI so I could post photos of our little trip, but forgot  to bring it home with me.  I'm bummed, too, because we took some action shots of the boys playing around in the almost-empty airport before we took off!  You'll have to stay tuned to see how cute they were pushing with the SmartCart and water fountain until my wonderful mother mails it back to me.  In the meantime...

I also forgot my wallet again  at the grocery store tonight.  But I remembered my coupons (that I almost forgot in MI).  When will my brain come back?  I used to be able to blame it on sleep-deprivation or nursing twins, but that's over.  So who's to blame now for my forgetfulness?  Will my memory ever come back?

I thought people were joking when they said kids made you forgetful, but now I know they were serious.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Zoo Fun

Aunt L, M, N and Mommy at the Saginaw Children's Zoo
M and N pet a goat because the llama would not oblige.
Aunt L and M with the crazy-toothed llama
Chicken nuggets come from where?

Today was our last opportunity to spend with Aunt L before she goes back to college.  We've had so much fun with her this summer!  On our way back, she "accidentally" let Mommy miss our turn, so we "had" to go to Taco Bell for lunch!  Aunt L was so convincing that Mommy got us each our own mini quesadilla - yummy!  We're napping now - down to just one a day, much to Mommy's chagrin - and recharging for another evening of fun in Michigan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

M gives the cone a one finger lick..
and gives it a full fist smash!
N gives the cone a little taste...
and devours it whole!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cabbage Patch Kids

I wanted one so badly as a kid (and my fab parents did get me one) but now I have TWO!
N and E in Great Grandpa's cabbage patch

Okay, the one on the right is actually my nephew.  M was too busy playing in the cozy coupe to come over and check out the vegetables.

M and E getting cozy

Meanwhile, back in Great Grandpa's garden, N helps himself to a tomato.

N picks himself a tomato

Let's have BLT's, mom!

The boys are totally diggin' country life this week.  They spent almost every waking minute outside yesterday, running in the yard, picking dandelions, and trying to eat various parts of nature: twigs, leaves, tomatoes, you name it.  Their cousins, of course, showed them the way kept them safe.  Today they fed the critters most of their lunch because we dined al made clean-up so easy!  Someday (I don't know when), we'll have a "real" yard for the fellas where they can just go pee on a tree, like they watched E do yesterday, fascinated!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Twins on a Plane

We once again did not get a photo of L and I as sherpas, weighted down with a carseat-as-backpack, backpack-as-frontpack, pushing a stroller containing a squiggly almost 15-month-old each. 
But I know that image made both my mother and mother-in-law laugh when they saw it at the airport at 10:30 last night!
M enjoyed his sunset view beside pretty Aunt L

I know that they could fly as lap babies, both legally AND theoretically.  However, I can't even get them to stay on my lap on the couch while we read a book!  So I nearly jumped over the ticket counter to hug the agent when he said there were seats for all four of us!  To borrow from Forrest Gump, flying standby is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.

They were angelic at the ticket counter, through security, in the tram, down the elevator, on the moving walkway, up the elevator to the gate that's just about in Wisconsin (B, in case you were following).  But they were getting wiggly, so we caved and gave them their snack in the gate area.  This seemed like a good idea until I was running out of activites while we were delayed on the tarmac.  

Phone toy?  It lasted about a minute until it was chucked.
Skymall magazine?  About 5 mintues because it was fun ripping pages.
Pacifier?  Ten seconds till the leash was ripped off and tossed.  (They're so strong!  Our ped said last week.  Yeah, I know.)
Stuffed lion?  Another minute.
The Wheels on The Bus?  About two rounds.  How many times can you SING that?
Me and N maxin' and NOT relaxin' in the back row

Yeah!  We all (me and N) clapped when we felt the plane push back.
And taxi.
And taxi.
And taxi.
Maybe we're just going to taxi all the way to Michigan?

I repeated the above list while we waited to reach cruising altitude so I could turn on the magic bullet: Peekaboo Barn!

I know, Hubby, I rolled my eyes when you first downloaded Peekaboo Barn onto your phone, but it saved my life last night. At least, until M and L reached critical mass in the row ahead and we had to give it up for them.

That's when I tried ignoring him so he'd close his eyes and snooze.  He DID skip his afternoon nap was going on 8 hours of awake time by then.

Yeah, right. You and I both knew THAT wouldn't work!

So what do we do next?  We practice drinking water out of a cup when we were served our snack.  My snack.  He got a few Cheerios, but chucked those, too.  The water worked wonders and he got some in his mouth, so he was happy. 

We began to descend shortly thereafter (I'm making this sound like a short flight because technically, it was, but realistically, it wasn't), so we had to resort to the phone toy/Skymall/lion/pacifier/empty plastic cup routine we were perfecting.

We made it!

That flight was *only* about one hour long.

Just 4 years, 9 months, and two days until I can fly first class again.

When they're 6.

Goodbye, Michelle

It was a tough weekend.  I've experienced very little death in my life, and those I have greived do not compare to the shocking loss of a beautiful young friend. 

Michelle's funeral was a beautiful memorial service filled with hundreds of photos and memories.  I'll think of her whenever I hear one of my favorite songs, "I Can Only Imagine," by Mercy Me.  Her young neice sang it in front of a full auditorium wearing a sparkly black party dress and flip flops.  So brave and sweet.

We were the last in Brent's receiving line, and when he saw us, he embraced us in a huge bear hug and wouldn't. let. go.  He'd been smiling and shaking the hands of those before us, so I was not prepared.  Oh...I cried.  I tried not to, for his sake, because it was just moments before the funeral was to begin.  I've cried buckets since Tuesday.

We signed a memory book for Brent and his son.  I filled an entire page with all the places we went and double dates we did together right off the top of my head.  For the rest of the weekend, we would say things to each other like, "Didn't we go to.....with them, too?" right in the middle of a different conversation.

Michelle's wish was to be cremated.  Her sister said that she'd seen the body, so I presume the family was able to say their goodbyes.  I didn't realize how important it is for people to be able to actually see the body, feel the cool hand, and say goodbye.  It is for me, anyhow.  My dear, sweet, husband reassured me I had, that the last time I saw her, I hugged her in our garage.  Thank God he told me that, because I couldn't remember. 

I still wanted to do something special to say goodbye, so we took a walk to a nearby cemetery yesterday afternoon.  We found a gravestone for her and left her flowers. I chose one belonging to a woman who'd lived to age 79, because Michelle should have died an old woman.  Her last name was Holmen, one letter off from Holmes, so I'll be able to find it again and leave a little love at that seemingly forgotten stone.

I can hardly write this.  The letters are blurry and swimming.  I've been typing, deleting, and crying for a half hour now.  But before the boys get up, I have to get this out and tell you all that I love you and care for you so very much. 

Please get right with God. 
Please wear your seat belt at all times.
Don't ever touch that darn cell phone in the car again.  

Because I can't lose any more friends this way.

*Big sigh* 

Okay, now I have to get back to my real-life duties of cutting up food into little tiny pieces and chasing the munchkins every which way.  My plan is to take this blog back into the cuteness of our little fellas who turn 15 months! this week.  Thank you for allowing me to share little bits of my not-mommy life with you the last few days.  Thank you for caring.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Michelle's Obituary

For those of you following the story.

Absolutely Blogworthy

That's what L said last night when we tasted our little baking experiment.  You see, not only do we watch too much HGTV (we put another coat on the bathroom.  I still don't like the color, but at least it's not splotchy anymore), we watch too much Food Network, as well.  Here's how the dessert came about:

  • L and I were chatting on Facebook last month.  She had no cable access for awhile this summer, so I was writing the highlights of that night's episode of Cake Boss - which is a TLC show, now that I think about it.  Either way, it's a crazy cable network show and I love that one, too.  That's the kind of dumb stuff I do when Hubby is working out of town. 
  • "Buddy"  was making tiramisu and it was gorgeous!  They usually decorate bizarre cakes, but this one stood out because it was beautiful.
  • "We should make some when I come out in August."
  • "Yeah, I think I have a recipe in my cookbook bible" (shuffle, flip through Good Housekeeping)
  • "Yum...oh my gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it"
  • "Here it is...espresso, brandy, sugar, ladyfingers, milk, mascarpone, whipping cream, cocoa, chocolate curls"
  • That's all it took

So we planned all week to make it on Thursday.  Yesterday.  But we also procrastinated the bathroom painting.  And the trip to the MOA she had to fit in before her trip ended.  So, we did it all!  (No babies were harmed in the making of this crazy day!   Except for the MOA, all insanity ensued during naps and after bedtimes.)

At the end of the day, we celebrated our adventures with this:
Sinfully delicious tiramisu
"I kind of want the whole world to try this," she said.  "It's absolutely blogworthy."

P.S.There's still some left for you, Hubby, so hurry home!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cute Boys of the Week

Our bouncing baby boys!

Beach baby, beach baby....

Mmm..the swing tastes better than it looks!

Beep, beep!  Get outta the way!

Buying neighbor K some flowers at the farmer's market...munching our cukes

Aunt L and M on The Big Slide

N reaches for the butterflies at the MN Zoo butterfly garden
Aunt L and M reach for the butterflies
N climbs on the jungle gym at the park


Thank you to those who have called and written your condolences.  Please forgive me for frightening you with my previous post.  Michelle's death really shook me up.  After two days and one full night of sleep, I'm back.    She was one of those bubbly, bright, smiling, happy and energetic women that you just love to be around.  She and Brent were our next-door neighbors when we moved into our townhouse 6 years ago.  We kept in touch and saw each other frequently for 5 years, but once we had the boys, I'll confess...I fell off the face of the earth for awhile.  Suffice it to say, I'm feeling pretty lousy for not having called her in recent months.

Her sister is now our neighbor, in Brent and Michelle's townhouse.  I took her flowers last night and chatted a few minutes this morning.  The family is doing as well as can be expected.  She told me that Michele did not suffer - she broke her neck.  And the missing dog, T, has been found and is recovering from his time in the wild at the vet.  So if there is a silver lining, that's it: she didn't suffer, and Brent will have one of their beloved border collies back.

Thank you to my friends to have volunteered to sit with the boys.  It's comforting to know that I have friends who care so much.  The funeral is planned for 1:00 Saturday afternoon.  I'm sure it's going to be packed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No Words

I can't sleep tonight. 
I can't post cute pictures of the boys having fun with their aunt.  

My friend died today. 

She leaves behind a husband and a young son.
I'm going to need a babysitter this week to attend her funeral. 
There are no words right now.
Michelle Holmes and I at Punch Pizza, '06.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Minnesota Fun

Adventure no. 1: Dakota County Fair
N attacks a footlong hot dog
Daddy guzzles rootbeer
Aunt L is afraid of the chicken
N isn't too fond, either.
M pats the bunny in the kiddie barn
playing with the telegraph in the historic train depot

Adventure no. 2: Mississippi Riverboat tour
M, checking out the river as we depart
Ready to go!
Aunt L walked the plank deck with the busy boys
Daddy and M riding down the Upper St. Anthony Lock, the first and deepest lock of 29 from Minneapolis to St. Louis.
A beautiful shot of St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge
Aunt L's only request was to visit Punch Pizza, the place that has "ruined" pizza for all of us. If you're near the Twin Cities, be sure to stop for one!  And yes, the boys had some, too.
M and N, tuckered out on the way home from our adventures. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

What a Week!

Tuesday: Zoo trip with A and G.  
This is not an awesome shot of the boys, but it is of the bear!  This little boy was walking back and forth in front of the glass and the bear swam after him, over and over!  Today begins The Week of Rain...we only got to see the bear outside this day, otherwise we were at the indoor exhibits because of a thunderstorm.
Wednesday: Aunt L is here!
N is thrilled, obviously.
 M feeds himself applesauce for the first time during our lunch out to Teresa's.
Keeping cool with a Target trip!
Thursday: One Year Pics and Pool Party at Home
 Friday: To Be Determined!
Have a great day and keep cool - and dry!  More storms are in today's forecast!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Voted!

Yesterday was Minnesota's first-ever August primary, my first-ever primary, and the boys' first-ever voting experience.  We walked to a church in the neighborhood (dodging those nasty geese on the way in) and voted!
M thought it was great fun!
N was very serious about voting.
We all vote that the geese start flying south early!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday Funday

Whew, we're having a heat wave!  Yesterday we celebrated a friend's birthday at a local park, and after lunch, the guys explored.  They were particularly interested in this golf-ball-tossing game:
It was still blazing hot in the evening, when we would have taken a walk together as a family.  Instead, we filled the baby pool and water table, stripped the boys, and ate watermelon on the deck.  This was the reddest, sweetest watermelon we've had all summer, and the boys knew it.  They were absolutely SOAKING in watermelon juice! 
All gone!