Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Tis the Season

For fevers and snot. 

I'm having this recurring dream where every Christmas, when we fly back to Michigan to spend the holidays with our families, the boys get sick with something, be it ear infections or nasty butt colds.  Wait a minute, that's not a dream - it's reality! 

What is it with Christmas, families, flying and kids?  Am I doomed to repeat this every year?  (Sigh)

The good news is, it's just a nasty butt cold this year, so far.  Last year we wound up in the urgent care with the first of two ear infections!  I think we've beat it as N has been fever free since he woke up this morning.  I think we're through the worst of it.

I'm halfway through my second day of self-imposed solitary confinement with the kids and I'm about to declare them healthy jus to get it over with.  Well, I'm about the declare M healthy so he can go have fun with his Aunty tonight.  N is still not 100%, poor buddy.

I'm sure he'll be better just in time to go back home.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Grandma and Papa K. watched all 4 grandsons last night so that we could go out with my sister and her husband.  We told the kids we were going out on a date and my precocious 4 year old nephew asked, "A double date?!  You're gonna be kissing, aren't you?!" He cried, making a face.  We laughed and laughed, first at the fact that he knows what a double date is, second at the idea of two sets of old married folks kissing in my sister's tiny Prius!

The four of us had a good time noshing on sushi and then yukking it up at my old stompin' grounds, the Bennigan's where I served my way through college and marriage.  Eight years later, my favorite manager and even a couple of former co-workers were still there to greet me with warm smiles.  It's like going home.  And it makes me realize how easy life was in college when I thought it was SO HARD. :)  I mean, wouldn't it be wonderful to put my kids through that giant dishwasher instead of bathing them?  And wouldn't it be great to have the food magically appear in the "window," ready for consumption, rather than figuring out what to prepare, making it and a mess, only to be instantaneouly and simultaneouly rejected by both of my sons? 

While our server was not one of my former co-workers - there's a lot of turn over in 8 years- he was a friend of my sister and brother in law, so when I ordered a brownie bottom pie for dessert (a totally legit thing for pregnant women in my family to order) he brought me this:
A double!  Because he thought I was having twins again?!  Sheesh.  I'm not that big!
Me, sis, and Hubs hangin' out.  Brother in law snaps the pic
We did some other things, but I won't bore you with the details....I'd incriminate someone.  (She knows who she is.)  A good time was had by all, and the big pregnant lady ended the fun at midnight because she was about to turn into a pumpkin.   

What I'm really writing to tell you is the story I heard this morning from my mom.  The boys were giving her a hard time going to bed.  What?  Your kids?  They're so well behaved.  Yeah, that's because anyone can behave for an hour, as long as it takes to go out in public!  I'm relieved to have learned that they're not treating me or hubs with any special malice, however, and that they spread the wealth to all. 

She finally separated them because of all of the screwing around and stood sentry between both bedrooms.  Exasperated, fianlly, she told them, "No more talking!"

From one of the rooms, she immediately heard a loud, fake snore:


Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, my friends, from the great green state of Michigan.  We did not have a white Christmas this year, but that's okay.  It's actually in the 40's and quite nice! 

We are having a grand old time with our families and the boys are in love with all of their presents.  In fact, M has a favorite and insists on schlepping it back and forth between the grandparents' homes.  We could barely pry the die cast metal Charger out of his hands for bedtime last night!  They hardly quit playing to eat, sleep, or allow us to change their diapers. It's fun to see them so "into" Christmas for the first time.

Because Hubs' family and my family live just 11 miles apart, we have multiple celebrations to attend on Christmas Eve and Day.  At the first party (below), the boys were digging into the gifts while we were all still eating, despite being allowed to open one of their own to keep them busy.   They had a blast helping pass out the presents, then as we all opened our exchange gifts one at a time, they moved from person to person "helping" them open it up! 
Grandpa and Grandma S. with the grandkids and the greats who are LOOKING at the CAMERA and SMILING!!
I supposed we inadvertently trained them that that's just what you do at Christmas - because they decided to continue passing out gifts and opening them for everyone at the remaining 3 parties!  Fortunately, no one seemed to mind, probably because the boys didn't care what the gift was once it was was time to move onto the next!

I warned you that my blogging was only going be as good as my technology this week, so I must tell you that my Nikon's memory card doesn't fit into my mom's laptop, so all of my beautiful pictures (once Hubs changed the shutter speed for me) will remain there until we get home, so you'll have to make do with what I can pilfer from Aunt L's facebook page! 

On a side note, I have to tell you a funny story.  I spent an hour or so on Thursday cleaning out and meticulously repacking the boys' Thomas the Train backpacks, each with diapers, wipes, snacks, DVDs and a player and its charger.  There was going to be a chance that Hubs and I would have to separate and each take a boy on a flight alone.  We fly standby and every now and then, especially at the holidays, the flights inexplicably fill up and we have to change plans at the last second.  As we unloaded at the airport, I disconneced a DVD player from the van, and asked, "Where's the Thomas the Train bag?" (to put it in). 

A look of horror of recognition flashed between us as we both instantaneously realized


The fellas know now that the train bags are for flying and that there are special treats and toys in them.  They were half packed and sitting on the kitchen counter charging the DVDs most of the day, but the boys have learned since our last flight that it's possible to drag the dining room chairs across the floor (eek!), so after hollering at them to get out of there several times, one of us who shall remain nameless, removed the bags and put them up high on a shelf.  Where they remain, perfectly packed, for our next flight. 

Those snacks are gonna be stale.

The good news is that our iphones were fully charged with "Lunchbox" aka Monkey Dance and we had one DVD player with one video and most of a charge, and we all made it on the same flight just fine.  Whew!

Merry Christmas, my friend.  May you find much love and peace enjoying Christmas with the ones you love.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lost Boys, Er, Photos

Just kidding about the Lost Boys.  It's more like Lost Photos.  Through the gracious gifts of both goods and services, in a year's time I've acquired both a beautiful new Nikon camera (you've heard me speak of it before) and the installation of Picasa 3 on my desktop, which is the best photo thingy that ever was invented, according to our wonderful techo savvy installer friend - and he would know - no, for real, he would!  He's really really smart when it comes to both photography and technology.  The problem is, my BRAIN is not the best it ever was, so I'm STILL having problems with my "new" technology.  I keep trying to take photos with the Nikon, which does take MUCH nicer pics than our old Sony Handycam, but the problem comes when I need to upload, oh, about 900 PHOTOS at a time because I've been procrastinating.  What?  You?  But you always have such cute up to date photos on the blog!   Yeah, because I use my old Handycam, the piece of...uh, equipment...that I know how to operate.

So my new year's resolution this year is to learn how to use BOTH the Nikon AND the Picasa 3 AND figure out where the pictures go when I actually DO accomplish the upload AND how to get the photos from that mystery location onto Blogger. 

Before Three is born.  So I know how to get you good pictures of him. 

I think that's a much better resolution than a clean house or losing the baby weight, because you and me both know that's not gonna happen!

So here are just a few of the efforts of nearly a day's worth of from the Nikon.  Make that recent pictures.  Enjoy!  We are just hours away from our annual Christmas vacation, so Merry Christmas!  Enjoy time with your loved ones and I'll be back soon, depending on how my technology works for the next week or so. 

Last Saturday Hubs and I had Christmas with the boys, just the four of us, complete with homemade cinnamon rolls, a fire, and pj's all morning (yes, we all changed by afternoon).  There was even snow on the ground...just wonderful.
M gobbles up cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast

N with his first hot chocolate the night of being a snowplow with Daddy

M helps decorate Christmas cookies

N decorates cookies, too

One for me, one for me, one for me, NONE for you!

Christmas "Eve" night they only left Santa one cookie!

N loves those cinnamon rolls!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Clothing Battles No More

We've been having clothing battles in our house for quite some time.  What?  You?  Your kids are dressed every day, though!  Yeah, and I have the scars to prove it.  Some time ago, oh, around a few months of age, I decided that we should all get dressed every day to learn the difference between night and day, regardless of whether we leave the house.  (Translation: I needed to snap out of my postpartum slobbiness!)

Everything went well until sometime around age 2, when N (specifically) decided that he did not want to wear clothes.  He wanted to wear pj's every day, all day, and never take them off.  Some people are okay with this.  I, however, am not.  The blinds are busted, the bathroom is a mess, and my plants are always on the verge of death, but pj's all day is where I draw the line.  "Cozy pants" and sweatshirts, yoga pants and tees, whatever, I don't care - as long as it's never been sold as "pajamas." 

Neither punishments nor rewards worked well or consistently.  Many days, the only way I could get N dressed was to change his clothes in the living room while he was riveted to PBS shows.  Even then it was a hassle.  Most of the time, M is compliant, although he does like to copycat his brother, so some days it's a real chore.

Then a dear friend, a mom of four, gave me two giant bags of boys' clothes.  She said I could have them or they were destined for the Goodwill.  I took them but didn't open them right away because most were size 3T, still too big for the boys.

About a month ago, they must have had a growth spurt because suddenly their bellies were hanging out the bottom of their shirts, their sleeves were no longer ketchupy, and their knees were peeking out from their pants when I buckled them into their car seats.  I finally got around to stashing away all the 2T stuff and organizing their "new" 3T wardrobe.

A wouldn't you know it?  Our clothing battles are almost gone.  Since almost nothing matches anymore (my mom and MIL love to buy them matching and coordinating stuff because it's so darn adorable and I love it too) I allow them to choose their shirt almost every day.  And most of the pants are just some version of what we call "cozy pants" and they are all boy or neutral colors, so who cares? 

They LOVE to choose their outfits!  They have some favorites already, and most everything looks okay (but you must know I'm no fashionista by now) enough for our everyday adventures.  But every now and then they strike a combo that is just''s what N is wearing today:

"Keep your eyes open this time," "Aaaaahhhh!" he said!

That's a pea-green choo choo train shirt and kelley green sweatpants with a stripe down the sides.  It reminds me of an outfit that he once wore, a fleece top and bottom combo, what M called, "green bean" when he first started talking.  So he's green bean again today.

Here's what M chose.  For the first time, he wanted to wear his cousin's "Michigan" sweatshirt.  Maybe it's the first time I told him what it said, I don't know, but he's so ecstatic about flying to MI that he's been talking about it and making the "shooooo" airplane sound all morning.  And those are dragon jeans, and he's taking a picture of me with my beloved Razor phone, (may it rest in peace) the way we take pics of them with our iphones.

I also wanted you to see what a number they're doing to my tree.  It's really lovely with next to no ornaments on the bottom 2/3rds!  And to see how well N cooperated with the "let's take a picture of the brothers by the tree" idea I had in mind for you this morning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For the Record

For the record, I do not have it all together.  In case there is anyone out there under that impression.  (Like I heard recently from a very sweet person.) 

Sunday went great - it was the kind of day that made me think I could have a dozen kids if every day was like that.  But it's only the second day in my two and half years of parenting that I've said that, so I'm pretty sure that falls under the "once in a blue moon" category.

Monday went fairly well- fun playdate with twin buddies, but no nap, so everything went downhill around 5pm.  And when I say downhill, I mean, like this:
What you don't see is that the curtain and its pole were long ago removed by my sons.  One firm tug and down it all came.  You also can't tell that the beautiful wooden blinds are lowered because the pulley is broken and can no longer be lifted.  What you DO see is the handiwork my sons did around 7:30 last night when I heard some awful racket coming from the vicinity of their window.  Yeah, two 33" kids weilding three 40" blind panels in the semi-dark, playing Star Wars, if they only knew what that was. 

I'll spare you the details, but they got a pretty decent reminder to never touch the blinds again, and I listened to their howling feeling like worst mom in the world.  However, need I remind you we don't actually own this house or these blinds?  (Because never in a million years would I have chosen such beautiful and lovely window treatments for my sons' room.) Need I remind you that I have so many of these wooden blinds in the house I can't even tell you how many there are?.....(Minutes later)......11.  I don't know what they cost, but I know they are not cheap.  Someday I'll learn because someday I'll have to replace one...or more.

I took that photo this morning in order to show you how NOT together I have it.  Then I took these just in case you were still doubting:
This is the second peace lily I've received from my wonderful in-laws as an anniversary gift.  Second because the first is no longer with us.  She knows I'm no green thumb, so I receive plants that require very little care, as in, it will still live even if you don't water it.  Wouldn't you know, it was drooping on Monday night.  It's in my dining room, so I watered it while the boys and were dining on mac n cheese and turkey sandwiches.  I told them it would be feeling better in the morning.  The first thing M said today at breakfast was, "It's awake!  The plant is awake!"  It was as if I'd raised Lazarus from the dead!  Can't wait to show him that trick month.

If you know me, you know I HATE cleaning bathrooms.  I LOVE my new house, but having as many bathrooms as I do is...uh...well...a challenge.  So let's just say it's a good thing I have guests as often as I do so that the bathrooms get a swipe every once in awhile.  This one's in need today.  I just can't get those kids to clean up their bathroom.

So now that my house is all put in order (snort, snort!) it's time for me to finish the laundry so I can start packing for our annual Christmas trek to Michigan!  Christmas!  AAAGGGHHH!  I can't believe it's already here! 

It's a good thing I have it all together (snort, snort!)!

Friday, December 16, 2011


My boys are not only active little fellas, they are talkative, too!  M started first, but N is never far behind and this fall, he's really ramped it up.  They've been saying so many funny things I thought I would compile them into a post.  Here's what comes to mind right now:

Banana: "Um-BLA-na" M says.  When he doesn't want whatever we are eating for dinner, he sees the fruit on the counter and asks for an um-BLA-na.

Helicopter: "OWIE-clop-ter" We have these tinkertoy type building pieces and their favorite thing to build is a simply a circle with sticks stuck out of each hole.  They call it an "OWIE-clop-ter," despite it looking more like a sunshine on a stick.

Grape Juice: It's a recent introduction to their diet and they love it, but they just don't connect that it's from grapes, so it's "Black Juice" no matter what we tell them.

When we are really desperate, like we are on airplanes, we allow them to play games on our iphones (did I ever mention that I got a new phone this fall?  It's amazing how well things work when they work well!)  One game is called Lunchbox, and there is a monkey that dances when the child gets the question right (i.e, which fruit starts with Q?  That's qumquat, however, spell check is telling me that's wrong.  Ironic?)  However, since they see us using our phones daily, they now think whenever we use them, we are playing their favorite game, "Monkey Dance."  So they dance around whining, "Monkey Dance!  Monkey Dance!  I wanna Monkey Dance!"

Update: Hubby says Q is for quince.  He knows this game VERY VERY well, better than me, clearly.

Talk to me!  Yesterday, M asked his Daddy a question but Daddy apparently didn't answer in the appropriate amount of time (like 2 seconds) so M grabbed his face and said, "Talk to me!"

What are you eating in the mouth?  M's favorite question to determine whether it's worth asking for or not.

We used to read "The Going to Bed Book" everynight, but it disappeared for awhile.  Now that it's back from the dead, they like to not only read it, but randomly recite it throughout the day.  I'll be in the van and hear behind me, "They hang their towels on the wall/and find pajamas big and small" when the other brother chimes in "With some on top and some beneath/they brush and brush and brush their teeth!" 

This morning M was upset because he couldn't find his lovie (at 6:30 am!) so N jumped into his brother's bed and rooted under the covers like a truffle pig, triumphantly jumping up and shouting "I found the lovie!"

When they are upset about something - which could be anything, like returning the correct nightlight to the correct bedroom, where it belongs - both boys put the offender in time out.  They shout to me, their Aunt, their Daddy, their brother, their toys, their bears, their chairs, you name it, "You go time out!"  Now we are working on a different tactic, reminding them Mommy and Daddy are in charge.  So far, no good.

FOR-et: In an attempt to entertain them, I've been trying to build them forts in their play room.  It's not going too well because they just want to rip the blankets off, but every now and then, they will ask me to build them a FOR-et.

BLOC-li  the flowery green which went down the hatch so well for so long is no longer acceptable.  Last night neither of the boys would eat their BLOC-li.

Cookie Dough: They boys used to be TERRIFIED of my hand mixer, then my ancient Kitchenaid, but less so of the new red Kitchenaid that Santa delivered early to me this year. Thank you Santa!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!   I managed to keep them in the kitchen once by convincing them that what I was making in the mixer was cookie dough.  They stood with their backs glued to the refigerator while I added ingredients - much better than when they would run crying from the kitchen.  When the dough was finished, I allowed them to eat a bite off the spoon.   While I solved one problem, I created two more: they both think anytime I touch the Kitchenaid, I'm making cookie dough!  Does N look one bit afraid the mixer this morning?  I think not!

N can't resist taking a peek at the cinnamon roll dough!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Remember that song?  It reminds me of high school because that was the theme song for our end of the year...thing.  Talent show?  Is that what it was?  I wonder if they still do "Celebration"?  My sister graduated to that tune this week, but before I tell you about that, the boys have been very busy...and it's not Christmas yet!!

This weekend, we took the boys to see Santa at the Mall of America.  It didn't turn out exactly how we expected, but what does?  We got to eat free Cinnabon rolls and hear an elf read a story and stick stickers all over a coloring page, which was probably better than actually sitting on Santa's lap!

Yum!  N gobbles up the Cinnabon.

With our friends coloring and listening to the story.

M's blond head running by close as we got!

Listening to the elf story on Daddy's lap is more like it!

Woah!  Roller coasters!  Can we go, Daddy?  Please?

M and Aunt L waiting while Daddy bought the ride tokens.

"Big Rigs," their favorite ride!  Daddy and M in red, Aunt L and N in blue.
Even though we generally avoid the MOA in December, it was a fun outing because we started early in the day and didn't actually shop.  It was so fun to hang out with our friends and cruise the mall - the boys gawk and gawk, taking it all in!  They even behaved well at the restaurant for lunch despite it not being fast food! 

Daddy and Aunt L took the boys to Macy's holdiay display in Downtown Minneapolis when I went to watch my sister graduate nursing school on Tuesday night.  While they enjoyed the display, they again elected to NOT see Santa, despite hearing that he's the best Santa in all the world.  Maybe next year.

Daddy said they were "mesmerized" by the singing trees!

N was so enamored with his fun day with Daddy and Aunt L on Tuesday, he refused to nap, then passed out in Daddy's arms right after dinner.  So sweet. 

Then I'm told he gave them trouble at bedtime!  Haha, they were well taken care of and I got to see my baby sister accomplish her dream of finishing nursing school!  Congratulations!  Love you and see you again next week, when you'll be employed!  I'm believing she'll make you and offer you can't refuse - way to rock that interview! 

Me and my baby sis M at her "pinning ceremony" Tuesday night, right before she danced down the aisle!
Come on and Celebrate!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby Bump!

Mommy and Three at 20 weeks
Friday was the big day - we found out what we're having!  First, though, I have to tell you that Baby is healthy and active, measuring in the 63rd percentile and all is well.  And there is still only one in there, praise God!  Baby is kicking me all day and all night and he did not AT ALL like the ultrasound.

Oops...I let the cat out of the bag.  You got it, we're having ANOTHER BOY!  It's unbelievable!  But I had a feeling all along that it was a boy.  In fact, when the tech found 'it' I laughed aloud!  She said a couple of times that she thought she saw 'it,' and we knew 'it' could only be one thing - his little man parts.

I know we kept the boys' names a secret, but that was mostly because we had no idea what to name them.  We could only agree on girls' names until the very end.  So we'll probably keep Three's real name a secret as well....because we are totally stumped again! 

Here he is...Three!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let it Snow!

I have a to-do list that doesn't end this week.  It's so long that I'd rather do nothing than attempt anything on it.  So, darn the torpedoes, I'm going to blog tonight! 

Grandma A was visiting this weekend and when she saw snow in Saturday night's forecast, she knew just what she wanted to do.  The two of us headed out to pick up a few things during naptime: Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Pizza and two mini snow shovels.

That was our Saturday evening: pizza and snow shoveling because we got 6 inches! 

FYI, I took 35 pictures of the snow shoveling extravaganza.  The boys were SO EXCITED to be "snowplows" that they would not even look in my direction for one single second.  So these really are the best pics of the lot.  You've been warned.  
N in green, M in blue, headed out the door

"This is my snowplow"

Daddy gives them a hand

"I'm cold"


Daddy slows M down for a snapshot

"It's cold!"

"Cheese!"  My little hams just about to go out and shovel.
They stayed shoveling with Daddy until the entire drive and walk were done, then kicked and screamed when it was time to come in (you'll notice a lack of re-entry photos) and have hot chocolate.  I thought they would love it, all lukewarm like they like all their food, but no.  They only wanted to go back outside and snowplow some more!  I suppose that bodes well for the future - I will always have a clean driveway! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gummy Bear Math

"Write what you think when I say we're going to be doing math all morning," the guest teacher, a mathematician, instructed the group of parents of two-year olds.

As long as we're doing preschool math, I'm okay with it.  Counting, sorting... I wrote on my notecard.  A guest teacher talking to us about math with our two year olds, I thought.  At least mine can count to ten.  That's pretty good for two and half, right?

We brainstormed together what "math" means when it comes to our kids, to learn her definition of math is very broad.  B-I-N-G-O is math?  Sure, it's a pattern of subtraction, she tell us.  Okay....

Then we are instructed to arranged gummy bears any way we wanted on our paper plates.  Well, it beats our previous weeks' discussions, I thought, and arranged my dozens of gummy bears into a rainbow on my plate.  Our guest teacher then taught us that however each of us arranged the candies, it was math.  Grouping, patterns (which is where my rainbow - the only rainbow, I might add - was classified), order, etc. were all considered math.  Okay, we're getting the point.  EVERYTHING is math.  We all use math EVERY DAY. 

Of course, we were encouraged to go home and do this activity with our kids.  She was kind enough to give me and the other twin mom yet another bag of gummy bears.  Thanks.  I had absolutely no intention of doing this activity because I knew exactly what would happen, but M saw me stuff the candy into the backpack (thanks for reminding me to take it home when I was going to conveniently "forget" them on the shelf!). 

He nagged me all morning to play the "game" I told him it was.  He's no dummy.  He knows what candy looks like, especially 2 big quart sized ziplocs full of gummy bears.  I promised him after nap, and wouldn't you know, he remembered?  (Speaking of memory, when I asked N what we were going to do yesterday morning, he suggested the fair!  That was 3 months ago!) 

Fast forward to this morning, 4 days later.  We haven't touched the game since Monday afternoon, the kids haven't seen Hubs since Monday at breakfast.  The first thing M wants to do?  Play the game!  Play the game!  Play the game!  He's nagging my husband all morning, and the poor guy doesn't have a clue what that means because I haven't had the chance to share this nugget (he came home at midnight).  So I tell him the game is in the cupboard and hand him two cutting boards.  It's a math game we got at school on Monday, I say. 

"Oh." He says when he sees the bears.  "You're supposed to count and sort them but all they do is eat them." Handsome AND smart!  I picked a winner. 

"Have fun!" I say, because now the munchkins are dancing and jumping around his knees at the sight of the gummy bears, screeching in delight at 9:30 in the morning, at the thought of inhaling dozens of gummies.

"Ugh!  These are as hard as a rock!" he cried.  They were on Monday, too, I said.  

Let me tell you, I've never enjoyed washing the breakfast dishes and cleaning the kitchen as much as I did this morning, listening to my husband try to teach the kids how to count and sort gummy bears, how to create a pattern, then eventually, subtraction.

I love math!

Daddy, this morning's math teacher

Look, N actually paid attention for a minute!  He made a row of yellow bears!