Monday, February 28, 2011


Cousin S, Aunt M, our little M, Grandma and Grandpa K with N, and cousin E on the floor at the Grace A Dow Memorial Library in Midland this weekend.  What a FANTASTIC kid's section they have!  Midland Mommy friends, you should know that you are blessed with a state-of-the-art children's library.  I haven't seen anything like it around here!  I remember studying there from time to time in college, but I never spent much time perusing the kids' section - wow.  The boy cousins had a lot of fun reading, playing puppets, trains, toys, and roaming the aisles.  I even taught my nephew how to use the "card catalog" (it's the little sign taped to the screen of the computer!) to find his Scaredy Squirrel books.  Project Bookworm appears to be working. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gymnastic Geniuses!

That someday has come.  Auntie L won lots of gymnastics awards - all-state-all-around-champion 2001 & 2003- in her golden years and was ecstatic upon reading our previous post.  She immediately discovered that her local gymnastics center has a preschool open gym time, too, and it just so happened to be TODAY! 

We packed up the boys and took cousin E along for another workout.  The fellas "got" it a little better this time and LOVED running down on the tumble track (apparently, it is NOT called a sproingy thingy - who knew?).

Effervescent N plays peek a boo!

Mmmmph!  M works on pull ups

A spirited game of Crush Your Brother By Octagon

"Whoa, cuz!"  E liked being a "big brother" to his cousins today

M got "shir-shee" so took a drink of "wawa"

Tumble Track Racers: N wins!

Auntie L jumps into the "pit" to show them how it's done!
My boys have had so much fun "doing" gymnastics this week!  I see now how it's the perfect preschool winter activity - not only do the boys enjoy themselves, but I get quite the workout as well.  Lessons may well be in their future. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tumbly Toddler Twins

Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew...taking my twin toddlers to a gymnastics center for open gym time, for example...with a bunch of other twin parents!
Then, my tumbly toddlers won't smile for the camera, even though I'm pretty sure they're having fun.  You'll notice my friends' kids love to smile for my camera! 
Fortunately, my Knight in Shining Armor comes to my rescue.  Can you "spot" him?
A fun, crazy time was had by all (I think) and I got my workout in!  We might even do it again someday.
Twin friends O and W sharing a tramp...M crawling across it!
M ignores his mama, but buddy A smiles for me

Mr. A is having a grand time...M again, crawling away!

Here are N and M bouncing across the 4 tramps...we'll work on turn-taking in the future.

N ignores mama again, but his friends smile for me!

Daddy to the rescue!

and into the foam cubes! 

N LOVED sproinging down the bouncy thing... 
Come on G, this is fun!

Four Bouncing Baby Boys
N looking like a real gymnast - full of chalk!

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

Tonight's the first flight we're taking the boys on since THANKSGIVING!  That's probably some kind of record for us.  I'd like to say I'm totally prepared, but the truth is, we have a gymnastics playdate this morning, so I've got to wake, dress, feed, and pack them for that before I even get started on our Michigan packing.  I used to be so...organized.

Ah, well.  Just wanted to say hi and let you know that I should have some good photos for you of tumbling, flying, and playing with the families - next week. 

I've spent several naps working on what we're calling New House Adventure and we've got a couple leads so I'll call that progress.  It's slower-going than I'd like, but I do know that patience is not my strong suit.  That must be why God gave me twins.  Hm...I think I just figured something out. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


That's what we've been!  We just heard on the news that this weekend's snowstorm is a Minnesota February record - so we've been creative with indoors activities the last couple of days.  N, especially, loves being a caveman.  He dumps out all the toys in the 30 gallon tote, lines himself up, and tips it back over onto himself.  This game became especially  fun when I gave him a flashlight!

Last night we were snowed in, so Daddy taught the guys how to make forts.  They thought this was totally hilarious and spent an hour crawling in and out, lining their vehicles up on the chairs.

That's M giving us his big boy face.  I think he was saying "ham!"  He learned it when I fed him a ham and cheese sandwich the other day. "Ham-ham-ham-ham-ham-cheee-"

I definitely have some ham and cheese on my hands with these little cavemen! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grocery Getters

Had I known our trip to Cub would result in a blog post, I'd have taken my camera, too, but this is from October, when N's hair was just beginning to come in!  I had to show you the adorable cart that we use at the store - the guys love it!

So we started in the produce section, where Mr. Apple, as we called him, informed us that kids get a free apple every time they come in.  I knew about the cookies, but the apple...maybe they would eat them here?  They're not always crazy about them at home, even though they ask all the time.  I could always fall back on the cookie.  I took a bite out of each one to get them started.

About 15 mintues into the trip, both boys are behaving well and N is going to town on his apple.  What brand is that garlic bread coupon? I wonder....and reach for my coupons.  EGADS!  The coupon file is in the van!  This is not 55 cents here, people.  No, my coupons today were going to total $20.69, so I had to go back out and get them.

The Customer Service lady volunteered to babysit, but I declined, even though I've been shopping there for years and really like the people.  So I left my groceries with her, loaded the guys into their coats and an empty cart, which M loved because he tried to surf in the back while I repeated, "Sit down on your bottom," the whole time I was trying to hurry - because it's cold and windy again here - but not run - because M is squatting in the back of the cart while N struggles to keep holding on to his apple during the entire exchange.  I'm guessing this is where M lost his because it was never seen again.

Back in, back to shopping.  N is still mowing the apple, M is repeating, "Ap-po? Ap-po?" like, Where's my apple?  or Is that an apple?  Why are we buying so many apples?  Because everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING is either an apple or a cookie to him.  But I did get him to say "avacado" when I put one in the cart.

The rest of the trip went without a hitch.  I've been avoiding grocery shopping with them at all costs just because...well, it's a hassle.  But once you're actually in the store,strapped into the cart, apples in hands, it's not so bad.  And I like it when people say, "Twins?  They're so cute!" I reply, "Yes, they're good boys, " because I want them to hear me say it over and over again. 

As I identify each item for them AGAIN while I'm unloading the cart, I noticed N push the last chunk of apple in his mouth.  His sweatshirt is soaked with apple juice and he's giving me his humongous smile.

He just ate the ENTIRE apple...core and all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pictures for Daddy

Here are a few snapshots for Daddy, who's working in Atlanta this week.  What we've been up to:
Wearing Dada's hats

Eating ants on a log, hold the ants and log, please

Sharing a chair and a snack

Posing with our twin friends

All done!
My handsome hubs also sent a dozen roses, and my best boys sent me a half dozen Sherri's Berries!  Thank you, loves!  It turned out to be a nice Valentine's Day!

Gettin' silly with our best buds!
And thank you, too, for the leads on a possible renter for our place and two possible places for us!  In the event none of these work out, keep them coming!  And for the pants tip - now, to actually get to Kohl's....that is the question!  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Too Big For Our Britches

Both literally and figuratively!

Two weeks ago, as I buckled the boys into their carseats - and it was 20 below zero outside - I saw four lily white legs sticking out from underneath the coats, hats, and mittens.  Their pants were too short!  Wayyyyy too short once the 5 point harness was buckled between their legs!  Those pants were retired immediately after our outing that day.  It's not that we don't have pants or can't afford's that nothing fits!

I know N has grown 1.5 inches in two months because he was measured for his pre-op physical last week.  I'm positive his brother has grown about two because he's a smidge taller when they're standing still.  (Snort, snort...standing still!!!)  Suddenly, everything that fit - doesn't!

So we went out and bought some brand-spankin' new 24 months size pants for the boys.  And guess what?  They were too big!  The waist is too big, so they slide down, the legs are a bit too long, so they need to be cuffed.  But their old pants, which fit in the waist, are highwaters on them!  What to do?

Break out the sweats.  My boys will be wearing they either fit into their 24 mo sized pants or shorts!  Here they are sporting their fancy new fleece pants at ECFE last week.  Funny how I categorize sweats - these are the "fancy" ones for going out, the plain grey everyday ones are for wearing in!
N learns how to fill it up!

M is unsure about those pedals
Too bad our family can't just move into a pair of sweats because we're too big for our house, too.  I'm not complaining - I'm just stating a fact.  We are too big for our britches.

Kind of like the way I discovered the boys' pants were too small - in that I knew it would happen someday- we have finally admitted that this house, our beloved two-bedroom, first-place-we-bought-together,  where-we-brought-our-babies-home townhouse no longer fits us.

Like little legs growing, it's happened slowly and inevitably.  Suddenly, you notice that you've been trapped inside for three months, the kids are sick of their Christmas toys and they are racing their shopping cart and lawnmower around in circles - literally- CIRCLES! in your kitchen/dining/living area, once believed to be a "great room" or "open concept" and it hits you - WE. NEED. SPACE. 

So, we're beginning the house hunt and we need your help, friends.  If you know someone who would like to rent our fantastic townhouse- and it really IS fantastic - let me know!  It's perfect for someone who needs small-to-medium sized britches, like a really sweet newlywed couple.  Who would like a baby-bumblebee yellow second bedroom. And a two car garage.  And a great balcony on which to sit in the summer and watch the dragonflies migrate overhead.  With a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the church.

I'm praying for a nice big pair of britches for us this spring/summer.  The boys need space for being boys, hubs needs space to work from home, and we need space for family to stay.  Please let me know if you know where we can rent a place like that in the South of the River area.

I'll let you know how it goes.  And thanks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Card

Here are the guys opening up their musical Valentine's Day Cards from Grandma last night.  They were a HUGE hit with the boys!  I, on the other hand, hope that the teeny tiny batteries die very soon. But they are having a blast with them, so I'll let them live another day.

Isn't that smile great?!  Sorry they're sideways - hubs' iphone pics do this every time if they're not "landscape" and I don't know how to fix it. 

Here's another one he sent me today - some "car wash therapy" we did over the weekend.  N only cried a little - maybe he was okay since Daddy was there?  I don't know, but the concern on his face is very, very real.
Hubs accidentally said "car wash" last night and they both gave him that face!  He had to quickly reassure them that we were not going to the carwash - tonight, anyway.

Medicine Man

Having grown up with three siblings, I know how kids are about things being FAIR.  That is, nothing ever is fair, but that's not how it should be, gosh darn it!  I noticed that I did two blogs all about N, which isn't fair to M, who loves everything to be fair, in his favor, bien sur.

Today is N's last day of amoxicillin for his ear infection, which means it's M's last day of medicine, too.  Yep, for 10 days, when M is the room, I've had to give him a shot of OJ in his brother's amox syringe.  Or else.  Then I feel bad for giving N a shot of amox and have to give him an OJ chaser, too!

If he can get his hands on it, he tries to give himself eye drops that N gets post-surgery, too!  He hasn't figured out how to open up the dropper - yet- so he just pretends to put drops in his eyes. 

On another note, Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  And a special thank you to the Grandmas who sent treats to the boys.  We are going to have a nice, plain Monday with perhaps a heart-shaped PBJ.  M can say peanut butter, by the way.  It comes out


Friday, February 11, 2011

Dacryoplasty Day

Following any general or intravenous anesthesia, or if you are on any pain medication, avoid alcoholic beverages, driving motor vehicles, or operating hazardous equipment for 24 hours.

We had a really hard time keeping N from operating his garbage trucks, tow truck, helicopter and bus this afternoon, since he wasn't allowed to operate them according to his post-surgery instructions.

The dacryoplasty was a breeze and N was an absolute gem.  Even though he wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight last night, he never once complained or even asked for a drink.  I felt justified in not breaking him from the pacifier (or eebie, as he calls it) today!  However, because everything has to be fair here, that meant M wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything either!  We whisked them from their cribs straight to a waiting DVD in the van, never mentioning food.  Whew.

Checking his 02 level before surgery
Waiting for the anesthesiologist

Little tiger cute!

Our little boy was so brave - he never cried once!  He really seemed to enjoy all the attention he was getting from both of us, once he got over the fact that his brother was staying with a friend while he was not.  The nurse gave him little tiger pants, too, but they were so humongous that she decided his sweats were better! 

I got to go in with the surgery team and hold him while they put him to sleep.  He only wiggled a little in my arms and we sang "Jesus Loves Me," while he fell asleep.  I think the anesthesiologist was a little fuzzy on the words, though.  For my busy little boy to suddenly go limp in my arms was the most bizarre feeling - because he NEVER does that - it's more like wrestling him to sleep if we try holding him!  I only had a second to lay him on the surgery table and slide his lovie blanket into his hand when they whisked me out of the room.  Of course I cried a little. 

Hubs was surprised to see me so soon - by the time I used the restroom and tried to crochet a piece - unsuccessfully I might add - maybe 10 minutes, the procedure was over!  N's doctor had threaded a wire into the left eye's tear duct to stretch it out - that's all it was.  The doctor reported that the surgery went well, gave us some instructions and his phone number in case of a problem, then it was over.  All we had to do was wait for him to wake up, which only took another 15 minutes or so.

He was very cuddly, tremendously thirsty, and a little confused, I think.  I certainly remember the outrageous thirst I felt after my c-section and was prepared with a big cup of apple juice for him.

As I type ten hours afterward, it's like nothing happened at all today.  And that's just the way it should be.  Thank goodness he can go back to operating all his hazardous equipment tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thank You for Being a Friend

"A real friend 
is one who helps us to
think our best thoughts,
do our noblest deeds, and 
be our finest selves."
I see you, my friends.
When I try to thank a friend for being a friend, I inevitably get all goofy and think of The Golden Girls' theme song that goes, "Thank you for being a friend/Traveled down the road and back again/Your heart is true/You're a pal and a confidant,"  which is what has been happening in my brain for at least 10 minutes while I stare at this screen trying to figure out how to thank my friends for putting up with me and telling them that I'm going to try to be a better friend to them. 

With that, if you are my friend - and I'm pretty sure you are because fairly confident that only a friend of mine would continue to open up this blog and keep reading it -because in the grand scheme of blogging, mine is not all that witty or interesting - thank you. 

You do help me to be my finest self.  Knowing that you are opening this page up today keeps me writing, keeps me in contact those I love, keeps me taking pictures of the boys and our adventures, keeps me positive, and sometimes, even keeps my house clean.  Okay, that last part isn't true.  I just don't post pictures like the one I'm about to show you.  (See how I can't stay serious?  Sheesh.)
Anyhow, I heard a teaching of friendship today, which got me thinking about how many friends I really do have and how I owe each of them a big thank you.  So, thank you. 

This song's for you:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

We did it again.  We cooked something crazy - Beouf Bourguignon.  Inspired by Julie Powell's 2005 book "Julie and Julia," and the 2009 movie of the same name, L and I cooked up a batch of it today.  Likely, we are the only Americans who ate something so heavenly for our Super Bowl Sunday dinner. 

Imagine beef stew that died and went to heaven.  It tasted like beef stew's heavenly body - the perfect one that it will possess for all eternity. 

And it wasn't even Julia Child's recipe - it was from my "Food Bible."  L and were quite shocked that something WE cooked tasted so amazing, especially since none of the ingredients were unusual.  We're not quite sure how we did it, but it went like this.  It can also be found on page 99 of The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 2001.  (Insert thank you to the Michelson family for this bridal shower treasure - who knew?)

Boeuf Borguingnon
Another French Classic that has become an American Classic (that's really what it says, but neither L nor I have ever eaten it and we've been eating American food for a combined 56 years)
Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: 2 hours 45 min
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 lbs. lean boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large (12 oz) onion, chopped
2 carrots,peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs. all purpose flour
2 tsp. tomato paste
2 c. dry red wine
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp. plus pinch salt
1/4 tsp plus pinch ground black pepper
1 lb small white onions peeled
3 tbs. butter or margarine
1 c. water
1 lb mushrooms, trimmed and cut into quarters if large

1. In nonreactive 5 quart Dutch oven, cook bacon over med. heat until just beginning to brown.  With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to med. bowl.

2. Pat beef dry with paper towels.  Add 1 tsp. oil to Dutch oven and increase heat to med hi.  Add beef in batches, to bacon drippings and cook until well browned, using slotted spoon to transfer beef as it is browned to bowl with bacon.  Add remaining 1 tsp. oil if necessary.

3. Reduce heat to med. Add chopped onion, carrots, and garlic to Dutch oven; cook until onion and carrots are tender, about 8 min.  Stir in flour, cook 1 min.  Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 min.  Add wine, bay leaf, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, stirring until browned bits are loosened.  Return beef and bacon to Dutch oven; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer until beef is very tender, about 1 hr, 30 min.  Remove bay leaf.  Skim and discard fat.

4. Meanwhile, in 10 in skillet, combine small white onions, 1 Tbs. butter, sugar, and water.  Heat to boiling; cover and simmer until onions are just tender, about 10 min.  Remove comer and cook over med hi heat, swirling (swirling!  I love this!)  pan occasionally, until water has evaporated and onions are golden.  Transfer to bowl; keep warm.

5. In same skillet, melt remaining 2 Tbs. butter over med hi heat.  Add mushrooms and remaining pinch salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated.  Stir onions and mushrooms into stew.  Makes 6 main dish servings.

Because we have no French bakery nearby, we cheated by baking a Pillsbury canned loaf of French bread, which I'm sure the French think is an abomination to French breadmaking and probably is, but it sure was fantastic to have a hot loaf of French bread to sop up the heavenly mess of stew. 

And because no blog is complete without a photo of my sons, here they are eating the chocolate cupcakes that Auntie L made for them this weekend.  Because, sadly, they were NOT fans of the Beouf Borguignon. 

I love people who love food.