Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's a Festivus Miracle!

We're Seinfeld fans, so for those of you who aren't, according to Wikipedia, Festivus is a made-up holiday described as "a Festivus for the rest of us."  Easily explained "Festivus Miracles" can happen during that time.  We've had 2 Festivus miracles happen since 7:00pm last night. (I say 7pm because the rest yesterday was wholeheartedly UNmiraculous, as is a sick momma, two naughty not napping toddlers, and a combo of lefterovers and burnt experiments for dinner, therefore unmiraculous AND unbloggable.)  Until something magical happened:


You heard me right.  Actual pee pee in an actual potty!  A FESTIVUS MIRACLE!

Not that we're potty training.  Not officially.  I mean, we let them watch us go pee pee.  And we let them sit on the potties before and after baths, when they're already naked so it's not actually work.  And it happened!  We made a big deal, jumped up and down, stopped short of taking a picture (although I did announce it on Facebook and entered it in his baby book) and all four of us celebrated in the bathroom.  Then I wiped it up.  

Now what?  I've been thinking about it all day.  He hasn't even looked at the potty today and I don't care to make it official.  We'll see how it goes. 

Last night I bought fish nuggets in an attempt to broaden my sons' menu.  Bear with me.  They will eat most standard toddler fare, but very little grown up food.  We've offered them fish from our plates several times, to no avail.  It occurred to me that fish that LOOKS like chicken nuggets might work as an entry gate.  Also, they will at least taste something I let them help me cook.  So they helped me make tartar sauce, including chopping the pickles they refuse to eat.


Another Festivus Miracle!  We're on a roll today, because they were rubbing their eyes and didn't make a peep when I put them down for a nap. 

So far, it's a good day.  No freak outs or meltdowns - just a couple of Festivus Miracles!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Al Fresco, Auto Care and a Freak Out

I define a good day as having one or fewer freak-outs or meltdowns between the three of us - Mommy and two year old twin boys.  Today is good as there has only been one.  Here's today in pictures:

Tired of wiping the boosters and the table and sweeping the floor three times a day, we have been dining al fresco quite often.  It occurred to me to take breakfast on the deck this morning since it's the only time of the day it's cool enough up there, so here we are having a continental breakfast of bananas, farmer's market cinnamon bread and milk (et cafe, bien sur).  The fellas then raced their cars in the backyard while I finished the coffee and contemplated today's lesson: auto care.
Since I've kind of got a 'theme' this week - high school - and they like cars so much, I thought I'd teach them what I know.  Which is, take your car to get an oil change.  I had to learn this lesson not once, but twice, to my parents' chagrin.  After I blew up/froze/killed the second engine due to not EVER changing the oil, they marched me onto the car lot at age 22, co-signed the loan, and said, "Now you'll take care of it."  And I did.  Lou ran for 9 years until I had to trade him in for my current ride, Vanna.
March '09, 25 or so weeks prego, saying goodbye to Lou
So off we went.  I wish I could say Hubs or I could hoist the van up in the driveway and teach them how to actually do it ourselves and therefore save a bunch of money, but we can't.  I did tell them to pay attention in high school, that maybe they'll have a great auto shop teacher who can!  We got there, got in, got out, paid a lot, but I'm not sure how much they learned.
Since they were watching a DVD and eating gummies the whole time.  

So much for today's lesson.  On to real life.  However, I still count that outing as a success, because the freak out hadn't happened yet.  Here's how it happened.

Me: Good job, boys, now we're going to go to Target to ride in the double cart.  We need diapers and milk. (These are the only things I deem necessary enough to take them out for.  All other home goods and groceries can wait until I get a solo trip.)
M: Dubbo cart?  Dubbo cart?
N: Tweet? Tweet?
Me: Yes, the double cart.  Maybe a treat.  You just ate gummies.
I cruise the parking lot for a double cart in the stall, spot one, pull in next to it.  I stalled for a moment stuffing items into my purse, so when I opened the door, a woman was making a beeline for it!  Oh no!  I jumped out.
Me; You weren't headed for this cart were you?  (I slide open the door to reveal my kids)  I've got twins.
Cart stealer: Uh, no.  I've just got one.  (Slinks back to her minivan for her one measly kid)

Heh, heh, heh.  Serves you right, lady.  Maybe next time you'll think twice before putting your one measly kid in the double cart, making life miserable for any toddler twin mom trying to buy diapers with her kids in tow, searching for the elusive double cart.  

Joke's on me, apparently.  M screamed as I strapped him in the cart!
Me: Drive it?  You can't push the cart.  You're two little.
M continues to scream as I buckle in N and head toward the store.  I know I should really abandon the trip, but I can't for two reasons: 1) Cart Stealer is watching me and I am not leaving this cart for her one measly kid and 2) I totally need diapers in a terrible way.

M lets out a blood-curdling, face-reddening, full-body scream as the entrance doors slide open.  I ignore it and push the cart as fast as I can toward the diapers. Diapers and milk.  Nothing else.  Hurry!  I remembered I'd stuffed stale Teddy Grahams in my purse - the reason I encountered Cart Stealer - so I dug them out and offered them up. N gobbled like this was totally normal, M threw the first one.  I swiped the diapers off the shelf and headed toward the milk.  I ignored the throw. I knew if I punished him for that it would not help the situation.  Instead I offered him the whole bag, which could have backfired.  But there was a quarter of a Gerber fruit cookie bar in there from a week ago.  "Big one," he hicupped, and dug out the piece.  Thank you, God.

I was able to round up a couple more necessary-but-not-urgent items and exit the store in less than 10 minutes.  It was somewhere in the sunblock/bugspray aisle it occurred to me that M wanted to 'drive it' - the double carts at our grocery store have two steering wheels!  Next time I'll differentiate - Target "big red" double cart or Cub "driving" double cart.  I guess there's MY lesson for the day!
The cart in question
The rest of the morning passed peacefully - some 'train' time in the basement while I grilled cheese, an episode of "Chuggington," and another al fresco meal on the patio.  So long as the weather holds for evening, I think today will be a great day!

Bonus pic: what they managed to do while I applied deoderant and pulled my hair into a pony (my getting ready for Target routine).


Monday, July 25, 2011

Circular Thoughts

I've yet to receive any letters to the editor correcting my error, but I cannot sleep until I do it myself. It ocurred to me while polishing the ivories that the distance around the outside of a circle, while it could be argued is perimeter, is actually circumference.

That, my friends, is why I'll not be homeschooling children!

And please no letters to the editor on this post: it was typed with one digit on my gen 1 iPhone. You and I know I graduated cum laude with an English major, but iPhone does not concur.

Geometry and Biblical Studies

The fellas know their ABC's now, so it's time to move on to the tough stuff: Geometry and Biblical Studies!
There's N running around the "perimeter" and M standing on a "concentric circle."  Can you see the "diameter" "radius" and "center"?  We'll learn equations tomorrow.

And do you see the fish in the upper L corner?  That's last night's Sunday School lesson from Miss D.  She taught the kiddos about Peter and the fish - you know, when Jesus filled his net?  Then they ate chocolate ice cream.  I wonder if she put Swedish fish on top? 

They're getting a well-rounded education here this week. Yuk! Yuk!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Had it Coming

Probably because when it happened to my sister, I thought (but didn't say), that will never happen to me. I'll be smart enough to keep Sharpies out of my child's reach! (I wasn't prego yet, so that alone explains a lot!)


You guessed it.

I was SO P-O'd that I didn't even take a picture of it.  I was doing something really important, like helping a friend who was lost on her way here, trying to figure out where she was and how to get from there to here so she wasn't driving around a million acres of farmland for hours with her two year old twin boys in the back seat, one of whom has a broken leg, when I heard a sound like shrieking baboons and stomping elephants overhead.  Maybe I can find a picture of a monkey with a sharpie?

Anyhow, we figured out where she kind of was right when the racket reached its peak and I reached the top of the stairs to find N with a BLACK SHARPIE in his hand!


I snatched it, hung up on my friend (who is still my friend), and discovered SHARPIE

on the kitchen cabinets

on the refrigerator

on the sliding glass door

on his shirt

on his hands

Oh. My. Gosh.

I had enough wits about me to NOT touch my child, but not enough to keep me from hollering at the top of my lungs to GET YOUR BUTTS DOWNSTAIRS and GO PLAY TOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I know a wiser, calmer, gentler person would have hugged her kid, told him it was alright, the he just needs to help me clean it up.  Thank goodness they are smart enough to know when I really mean it, because they scurried downstairs like whipped puppies.  It's a good thing they did, too.

Because I had no idea if would come off the kitchen cabinets, which I must admit are NOT OURS.  I was already wondering how much it would cost to refinish our landlord's cupboards whilst rummaging for the Magic Eraser.

All hail Mr. Clean!  He saved my kids' lives yesterday!  It wiped off the wood in a second, like it really was magic! 

The refrigerator, which I was less concerned about initially, proved to be a greater challenge and needed MUCH elbow grease and kitchen cleaner with bleach, but it did come off.  While scrubbing, I called my sister to let her in on the stunt. 

The shirt, I'm afraid, is a loss.  It was a hand me down from who else?  My sister. 

Today is a new day, the sharpies are stored elsewhere, the mess is cleaned up, and the boys have lived to tell.

I'm beginning to reap what I have sown.  I know I can't change the past, but I can pray that God will help me survive it when I have more coming.  I guess I'll find out if I was a nice childless person or not.  Yipes!

Parent-Free Vaca

It seems appropriate that the boys' vacation should be called Parent Free if ours was Adults Only, right?  We left them in the competent hands of my parents and sister-in-law, as well as my parents and sister.  They traded back and forth!

The first day, I called right away to check on them.  Aunt L told me that N cuddled with her in the morning, asking "Daddy ok?"  Yes, she told him, Daddy's ok.  "Mommy ok?"  Yes, Mommy's ok, too. "Ok."  He was satisfied with that.
A dream come true for N!  He got to open and close the door 100 times - AND sing "wheels on the bus!"

I guess they didn't miss us too much after that.  M waved to the photo my mother-in-law keeps on an endtable in the living room "Hi Mommy!  Hi Daddy!"  He also told them that "Daddy at work at the airport," and "Mommy in the other room."  I was in the other room for 5 days, but he didn't seem to mind!
M ate the WHOLE thing!  Free popsicle day at Junction Valley Railroad
The fellas went on more excursions than we did!  They played at a neighborhood playground, rode the quarter sized trains at Junction Valley Railroad, ate at Zehnder's and took a carriage ride in Frankenmuth, swam at Sanford Beach, AND visited the Saginaw Children's Museum!  Whew, I get exhausted just thinking about it!  The boys are sleeping like rocks this week, so I guess they're recovering from the vacation as well. :)
tractors and busses and grandpa, oh my!
a little unsure of that tunnel coming up...

all smiles on the carriage ride with a horse named Ernie

we love chicken, yes we do, we love chicken, how about you?
I'm having difficulty recovering the pics of the boys at Sanford Lake with my folks and my sister, but Aunt M told me this: that they played at the splash park then had lunch.  A fence separated the picnic area from the beach. M said, "going to the beach!" and slipped between the posts, running toward the water.  My sister said her great big skinny little behind couldn't fit through the rails, but she pushed her way through because she wouldn't make it to the end of the fence to go through the gate before he hit the water!  She told him they had to finish lunch first and dragged him back.  My brilliant son told her upon returning to the picnic, "Going to the beach!" and did it again!  This time, lunch was finished and they schlepped the beach chairs and whatnot to the sand.

"Why did you bring those?" my mom asked her, indicating the chairs.

Aunt M told her she always brings them, that HER sons play in the sand and splash in the water while she reads a trashy novel  magazine.

Needless to say, Aunt M didn't get any reading done.  In fact, she never unfolded a chair.

Heh, heh.

We'll see if they're up for it again next summer because we've already made reservations for two in Kona because the boys had so much fun they're already asking for vacation again!

Update: Here are the Sanford Lake pics - it was near 100 degrees that day, extremely hot for MI!  What a great way to stay cool!

M likes to give his trucks a bath

N on two feet, though I'm told he liked crawling like a dog in the water.  Go figure.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Adults-only Vaca

We actually made it happen.  As in, here's a crazy idea: let's take the kids to their grandparents, drop them off for a few days and take a "real" vacation - after one of his business trips.  Hubs and I traveled a lot before kids and we've traveled a fair amount with the kids, but now that they're two years old it's a WHOLE NEW BALLGAME.  We were Ready with a capital R for break.  I know that not everyone can do it - I know what an incredible amount of work it is to make it even happen - but it's worth it.  I felt like myself again for a few days, and I feel like the boys I might survive the next year.  So here are just a few shots of our adults-only vacation in Kona, Hawaii, our favorite place on earth.

tiki torches at the Sheraton where we walked to see the sunset

Wa'ipo Valley

trumpet flower, fragrant and poisonous at night.  So eat them during the day I guess.

Hubs and some passion fruit. 

Me and the sunset on Alii Drive. 

Hubs waiting for the right wave to boogie board

Coffee and a newspaper on the lanai every morning

using the 'smile' feature on the Nikon.  You can see the camera and the beach in the reflection!

Saw this on the Food Network show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and found it! We'll be back again, Super J!

White peacocks on the side of the road.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?
We used the wonder why people go back to the same vacation spot, same cabin, same hotel, same campground.  Why go if you've seen it before? We understand now.  When we actually had a chance to go somewhere new, see something new, we chose Kona, a place we've been several times before.  Because we love it there.  Because it's beautiful.  Because it's paradise. Why go if you've seen it before?  Because we love it there.  Because it's beautiful. Because we're the people we want to be when we're there.  And we can't wait to go back.

P.S. Stay tuned to find out what the fellas were doing while we were gone.  I think it's safe to say that their vacation was a lot busier than ours was!  

Darn it!

I don't swear.  Not really.  Well, okay, once when I thought I broke my toe I *might* have said something I shouldn't have.  But 99% of the time, I don't.  I DO, however, say things like:
"Oh, my gosh!"and
"Darn it!"
 Which I said, once, since we returned from our adults-only vacation (here's where I say, "Hallelujah!").

What has N said not once, not twice, but THREE times the last two days?


And we can't help but laugh because it's used appropriately, as in, when he drops his fork, or trips, or can't make it to the second rung on the playground climber!

I have a sneaking suspicion it was those darn babysitters we left them with.

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Wedding Fun

For the second time in two weeks, I celebrated a friend's wedding.  For the first time in years, Hubs and I dressed up, danced and were childless for 8 HOURS!  The ceremony was both joyous and solemn, we all cried at the vows, the bride was spectacular and the whole thing reminded me of my own fantastic wedding day 9 years ago,when I married my knight in shining armor. 

Then we all partied at Apple Mountain where we snapped funny photos all night long.  So if you're looking for adorable pics of the boys, read yesterday's post.  Today's post is all about me and hubs having fun with his family!
3 Handsome fellas - I like the one in the center the best!

My "Elaine Bennis" pose with the guys.  I dance like her, so why not?

I had a little accident.  Like, lighting the centerpiece on fire.  Oops.

Me and my handsome hubs.  He just gets better looking every year!

L and I strike a Charlie's Angels pose.  We'd already dumped a water glass, lit the centerpiece on fire, and our table STILL wasn't excused for dinner!  We had to do something!

Finally they opened the dancer floor!  Party!

Uncle D caught the garter! 

I could've danced all night with him!

But he couldn't, so I danced with his brother to "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond.  Some of you know how much I LOVE Neil Diamond. :)

S the bride, A and Hubs lead the pack

L and S the beautiful bride
 After we left, I said to hubs, "We need to have more fun like that!"  I'm praying for more weddings for all those good looking people in our photos! And they're all single, so I've got a lot of matchmaking to do!  Actually, I stink at matchmaking.  Remember the bride from two weeks ago, K?  I tried to set Hubs up with her before I knew he liked ME!  Bwahaha! 

But we DO need to have more fun like that.  And they all ARE still single.  :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cornfest Parade and Trolls

We are visiting Michigan just in time for viewing the Auburn Cornfest Parade and Downtown Midland Trolls with the grandparents and great-grandparents!  What fun we had today!
Ready and wating!  M points out the fire engines as they make their way toward us.
N jumped into my lap the second the first engine blasted its horn!  A dum-dum made it all better quickly.
M was GLUED to Aunt M's lap for most of the parade, a bit leery of the fire engines as well.
Cousin E and Grandma collected enough candy to fill the entire Happy Meal box!
Floppy hats and free popsicles help beat the heat
For dinner we met our other great-grandma in downtown Midland to share some pizza and check out the new troll sculptures on display. 
E gets to make his own pizza: pepperoni and "a couple of black olives"
"I love pizza - crust, that is!"
I'm so hungry I'm gonna eat this plate! It sure beats that salad.

M got a little push from Cousin E
My dad and his long lost twin - he's wearing brown in case you couldn't tell!
Cutie Patootie N loves his Papa!
"Smile!" E tells his little cousins. 
Great Grandma K, Grandma K, and the cutest troll we found!
Gimme a kiss!  N tried kissing almost every troll!

We always have fun when we travel to Michigan to visit our families, but it's extra special when we're in town for some of our favorite old "local" events like the Cornfest Parade (I once marched in it!) and the yearly art displays on Main Street.