Thursday, June 27, 2013

Whiting Forest

Since our Dow Gardens annual pass gets us into Whiting Forest as well...
And since my nephews convinced me it was totally awesome...
But since they couldn't go with us earlier this week...
I convinced Aunt L to go with us because it was "totally awesome."..

We went.

And the twins thought it was totally awesome...

So, it was.

Aunt L demonstrates the kiddie chairs to entice them inside for a great photo!

M and I find a baby frog, one of two creatures on our walk.
 The other was a butterfly who "showed us the way back" M said.  There was also a strange sound that I suspect was a squirrel, but the kids said was a bear!  Winnie the Pooh, I hope, because I am not down with walking with bears.  
This was an interesting feature positioned directly over a swamp.

C was hot, sweaty, and happy to get into the AC and remove his shoes!

Peek a Boo!

"I'm King of the Castle!"
 N insisted on wearing his 2 day old BK crown through our Whiting Forest hike, despite his head sweating and wilting its points.  Perhaps he knew there was going to be a castle-shaped fort over which he would reign?

I told L that I plan to make a 2013 Summer Bucket List just so I could put this at the top and cross it off.  So that, as my FIL would say, "You can say you've done it!"

I've done it!

Of course, the kids LOVED it, so they will likely be begging to go back!  At least it's free now that we all have the pass...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fun June Pics

 June is a month of celebrations for us and I've finally uploaded the photos from the month!  Hubs and I had a two night getaway to Traverse City, MI, where we toured a few wineries and just relaxed.  I wish the shot above were more clear because it's my favorite.  And we only took about 8 pics because I was in charge of photos! 
 Awwe, S + K...isn't that sweet?  At the tip of Lelenau Peninsula, we found someone's heart and changed the first letter to S because K was already there.  Why re-invent the wheel? I also gawked at what would be the first of two bridal party photo sessions for the night.  Bride gawking, so fun!
 Handsome Hubs and his two little brothers at his B'day party June 3.
 Handsome Hubs and his two four year olds after they blew out his candles.
 Two funny photos of me and C. Above, just relaxing at Dad's B'day party.  Below, headed to the bath after a delicious spaghetti dinner.

 June 15, our 11th anniversary, Sweet Aunt L and Grandma A babysat the boys so we could have a romantic dinner (at Shari at the Willard Hilton and it was delicious!) and enjoy an evening out.  This man I fall more in love with every day.  I couldn't have it any better.
 Aunt L and M getting ready for a fun time while Mom and Dad are gone!
Cousin A blow's out the candles for his mom
 June 20 was Grandma A's B'day and Aunt J's is this week, so we threw ANOTHER backyard birthday party! 
"Grandma, we have a surprise!  Your cake is chocolate!"
We are finished with the spring birthdays...I've made 7 cakes since April 29 and I'm pooped!  We are in full on summer mode now and loving every minute of it!  I'm glad it finally arrived! 


Our first swimming lesson this morning was a splashing success! I'll post pics when I can upload, but for now, you will just have to believe me.

The boys were asking endless questions and completely unfocused at first, but their instructor had lots of experience, having fraternal twins herself! 

With only 3 students in the class, it was just like the boys had their own private lesson...because the little girl was as quiet as a mouse! 

N was a little nervous at first, but warmed up quickly and had big smiles by the time the 30 minutes of instruction were over.  Then the best part, playing in the "park!" There are some fountains and water toys in the zero depth entry area that they get to play with for 15 minutes after the lesson. They loved it so much that N cried when the lifeguard watching them turned the fountains off when it was time to get out! It took some effort to convince him there will be another lesson on Weds, and again on Friday. 

Thank you Grandma for the birthday gift of our first swimming lesson. I will be purchasing Starfish class for July when we return in two days! Thank you, Delta College, for having an awesome facility just minutes away, with an experienced instructor and teeny tiny classes. You have both saved my sanity this summer!
Waiting for class to start

N loved the "park!"

C in baby jail this afternoon, airing out his diaper rash!

M loves driving his trucks through the car wash!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Terrific Tuesday

1. Saturday was our 11th wedding anniversary...we celebrated with a romantic dinner date and conversation about things unrelated to kids or work schedules. It was lovely. Here is to many more fantastic anniversaries, love!

2. Sunday was Father's Day, which we celebrated by hanging out with Hubs' family. Hubs also won a 4 way tie at church for having the most kids under age six! (Had Pastor lowered the age a bit I'm sure we would have won first place!) Congratulations...I think. Parenting with you is a joy and an adventure for sure!

3. The street sweeper just came by!!! This is the kind of stuff we anticipate all day...he's been going up and down the other streets in our neighborhood and the kids have been asking incessantly when it's coming to our house.( I'm glad it's finally over.)

4. We also consume large amounts if chalk and pink lemonade so I'm glad I bought them in bulk.  Sometimes we practice letters, or trace bodies to make the drive look like a crime scene, but now we draw race tracks. One big one for the kids' bikes, and two small ones for their toy cars. They think the center of the 8 is FOR crashing, not for near misses. Maybe I'll take them to the track this summer....yeah, right. Who am I kidding?
5. Vacation Bible School is like a little slice of heaven! The boys love it and I do, too. For the first time in almost a month since school let out I tackled a project outside of standard kitchen/bathroom/laundry maintenance. I organized the pantry! It doesn't take much to make me happy. Just a quiet morning with a cup of coffee and a pantry to clean. The boys are going to be covered in temporary tattoos by the end of VBS if the applications continue at their present rate, but I do NOT care. They are learning verses, eating snacks, and amassing an arsenal of OrientalTrading  Company trinkets. It's wonderful. 

5. I think C is cutting teeth again. He's been pretty ornery. He's also about to walk, so he's clumsy, too. I think 13 months is when called the boys destructo-babies. C is on the same track! 

Try Again

I wrote a really cute post yesterday but it wouldn't publish. I'm not sure if its a problem with my phone or Blogger, but I've tried a dozen times. 

I even updated the Blogger app which my app app told me needed updated. 

This time it told me error 400, try again. 

So I did, with the same results. 

At least today it is telling me an error occurred. Yesterday was the spinning wheel of death. 

So lets see if this will publish,eh?

Friday, June 14, 2013


St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church...WHY have I never been? 

This is their 35th annual festival of Greekness, and Hubs suggested we go. I thought it was a good idea (and he was surprised...geez, am I really such a party pooper? Okay, I totally was last night, but besides that? Anyhow, so we went with Grandma A and Aunt L...)

And I'm 35 so technically I could (and should) have been eating all that awesome Greek food every summer of my entire life! 

We filled our faces with all kinds of yummies that I can't spell and danced with the band that made N cry because it was too loud, and went to the porta John a half dozen times and temporarily lost N in one because he found them so irresistible- I think it was the twins' favorite part of the fest until we found the pastry tent. Yeah, like there was a food tent, a beer tent, and entire tent JUST for pastries!!! I'm savoring a bite of balklava right now, just a bite because I have to make this piece last a whole year...or at least a while longer tonight. C ate rice pudding for dinner which was his favorite by far! 

My favorite? Enjoying a picture perfect Summer evening with my family eating really delicious food. Seriously, it was a rough week but it ended well today. 

Because before that I met a friend at a park for a play date and hung out with my fab sis and nephews this afternoon and the kids had a blast all day. So the over scheduling worked;)

And Hubs is home to celebrate our anniversary tomorrow.

All's well that ends well...M was smiling on the way out! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Keeping It Real

Sometimes, when your kid makes you feel like the worst parent in the world and you're receiving text messages from your husband on the West Coast about the crazy ped you already despise who apparently charged us $900 for C's one year well child appointment - yeah, just his, and the baby is crying because you put him to bed too early because you were dealing with two fighting four year olds, one who injured the other- as in a real injury, and of course now it's raining since you spent all morning watering the flowers, and the one who had to go bed early because he hurt his brother howled for an hour, yes HOWELED for and HOUR-and your dishes are piled high because you we're actually NICE to your kids before all that went down and made them pancakes like they asked for dinner....

Sometimes, you just need to sit down with a beverage,

Read Facebook like an idiot,

Play that stupid bejeweled game that is like crack somehow,

Write a ridiculous blog that will be embarrassing tomorrow,

And remember that 

This too shall pass. 

I read the news online tonight while I was sitting on their beds waiting for sleep, blessed sleep, to overcome and bring the evening's peace...

And while the world seems to be going crazy this week (I say that more and more)

And my day was a wee bit hairy there at the end (though there was a nice sunny hour between 3-4 when the baby napped, the kids played well and I did some meal planning and grocery list making) 

Life is still good. Very, very good, and I would never in a million years change it. (Maybe the twins fighting non-stop, I would change that...) 

My kids are healthy 
My husband is wonderful
We celebrate 11 years on Saturday (with a date, too!)
Grandma comes home on Sunday (praise God!)
Vacation Bible School starts Monday

Next week will be better folks. We regressed a bit into craziness during our third week sans preschool. Those six glorious hours a week are gold for me. 

Pure gold.

Fortunately I have overscheduled us tomorrow so we should be too busy to argue.  Which reminds me, I need to pack a bag and their clothes are in the dryer....of course.

Garden Schmarden

It only took an hour and a half to water flowers at our house and my mom's. 

Four years later, everything still takes three times longer than I think it should with twins. I used to think it was because they were infants, then babies, then that they are preschoolers, I've decided it must be a twin thing. 

Because if you read any mommy blog, you read all the merits of planting a garden with your kids! It's totally awesome! And fun! And rewarding! And relaxing! And life-giving and all that cultivating-relationship baloney. 

Bet those moms don't have twins. I can barely get flowers watered with my kids helping. 

•the baby wants a snack
•N wants a snack
•M wants N's snack despite his refusal to eat breakfast and therefore not get a snack for this morning. 
• N wants to water, M wants to water, fight over hose while I try to unravel it. 
•N turns on water while M sprays flowers and I'm catching the runaway baby. 
• N tries to wrestle hose out of M's hand who screams bloody murder while I try to take control of the water without getting drenched. 

And that's just Mom's front yard...still have the back yard and all of ours to go. 

I cannot imagine what a disaster a garden would be. I should be weeding my little flower bed, but after the last hour of breaking up bicycle fights and encouraging chalk road drawing cooperation, I'm beat and using the 10 peaceful minutes I hope for while they play in their new sandbox together to write to you. 

And tell you I have no hope for a garden, ever. 

My best hope is to keep the flowers watered this summer and not kill them before the end of July. 

Garden Schmarden. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Today's Headlines

About six o'clock, for some reason, it occurred to me that I haven't watched the evening news here in weeks, probably months. Occasionally I'll catch the 11:00pm news, but rarely because I'm already almost sleeping. One thing I liked about Central Standard time: nightly news is 10:00pm! 

I wondered what the top stories are, what the weather forecast is, what national and global news is today. I do read news and weather online, so I'm aware of some current events...but I wonder if our local news is covering the same stuff I read? 

I wondered what they would report if a news channel followed us for a day? Riveting headlines follow: 

Twins Sleep Until 7:15, Eat Cereal For Breakfast

Mom Misremembers Library Story Time Summer Start Date; Will Try Again Next Week

Call to Friend Confirms Mom's Suspicion: MN Healthcare Was Superior

Family Runs Trivial Errand To Fill Time, Eats McD Lunch with Aunt L

Afternoon Baths For Kids, Baby Takes Late Nap

Kids' Intense Desire For Library Books Fuels Bike Ride

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches for Dinner; Dishes Still in Sink

Kids Earn a Million Reading Points Today, Mom Skips Bible Reading Against Protest

Mom Writes Ridiculous Blog; Refuses to Answer Questions About Ice Water Drinks 

National News: Most Handsome Man on Earth Arrives at Seattle Airport

Global News: Something Bad is Going On In Turkey and I'm Worried For a Friend Who Plans to Move There.

Weather: Overcast, Humid, Cottonwood Flurries all day

Tomorrow's Forecast: Second Verse, Same As The First, A Little Bit Louder and A Little Bit Worse! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mattack Chicken

Because someday I will likely forget this hilarious game:

C desperately wants to play with the twins at all times, but especially when Hubs rough houses with them. So he invented "m'attack chicken!" 

It's played like this: Hubs holds C in front of him with his toes grazing the floor, like he's going to help him walk. Then they cry, "Balk! Balk! Balk!" And chase the screaming, balking twins all over the house. 

When they "catch" the twins, C "attacks" them by climbing on top of them. C laughs like crazy, Hubs balks like a mad chicken, the twins scream and holler with glee. 


Friday, June 7, 2013


1. The twins seem to like having a new playroom filled with old toys, as evidenced by some time spent in there.
2. They also seem to enjoy having the rest of the toys strewn about the house, as evidenced by their current attempt to use every wooden train track to encircle the downstairs. 
3. Whatever. They are quiet enough to let C sleep and working together well enough to let me lay on the couch and type this in order to recover from two insomniac nights. Ugh, I hope I sleep better tonight. 
4. Thanking God for the blessing of living in town. We haven't started the van since Tuesday (thank goodness; gas was $4.07 last time I drove by the station) but have walked to the park, City Hall twice to pay a bill and drop off their mail delivered to us-a $200 sewer cleaning bill!, the hair studio for cuts, the Library, and the Farmer's Market. There is still the 7-11 and the Dollar General I'm reserving for this afternoon if it becomes necessary to buy marshmallows to make rice Krispy treats from the Cocoa Krispies that were in the 3-cereals-in-1-box from Sam's Club. I know they won't like them because they are terrible at scooping the rice and get frustrated. But I really wanted the Corn Pops and Apple Jacks. Silly me.
5. Happy to have renewed my Sam's Club membership here. I was spending a fortune at Meijer. I'm spending a fortune at Sam's Club but I'm not running out of things anymore. Having 3 littles at home and a Hubby in Katmandu or Atlanta or China makes you always want a week's worth of everything on hand. I've baked homemade bread before rather than take 3 to the grocery store! 
6. I did manage to take 3 to the grocery store 2 weeks ago but only because it was my MIL's place of work and she "shopped" with us part of the time and allowed M to "help" cashier as well...because I needed cake mixes for the parties. There must not have been any at Sam's!
7. M just asked, "Can we go to Grandma's house to get our toothbrushes?" Hahaha, guess he's tired of using the disposable travel toothbrush I found in the drawer to replace the "real" ones they accidentally left at Grandma's last weekend. A perfect example of my NOT taking my 3 kids shopping. It's not like he's any good at tooth brushing so what does it matter?! 
8. Happy weekend, friend. It's our first weekend in over a month to be at home with no plans, which always sounds glorious, but by Sunday afternoon we are all like, HELP! Haha, that's why I just signed the kids up for the free Lowe's Build and Grow program tomorrow. They (meaning we) will build some cute but useless wooden thing, we will spend money on something we only think is useful, but in reality the most useful thing about it will be filling the morning time together. And earning a patch for their aprons, which are totally adorable. 
9. Me and N on the couch today watching a movie Adventure Buddies. It's the type of free movie the library and such places play this summer. Testing to see if we can handle it. 
10. C's first ride in the Cozy Coupe Weds. He liked it till I walked away to drag the garbage can up the drive. Then he freaked! 
11. C watching the movie, standing on the train toy. He's starting to climb EVERYTHING. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Marbles? Marbles?

Where are you?  I think I'm losing them.

We've been here 4 months and I'm rearranging the furniture.  Last night it sounded like a grand idea.  I hope that when it's done I will think that again.  Right now I think I lost my marbles and my sweet husband just nodded and smiled in agreement when I told him I think we need to switch the boys' bedrooms around.

So instead of doing actual cleaning, I'm making a huge mess and moving the toys out of the toy room into the living room so we can move the boys' twin beds downstairs into the toyroom therefore making it their bedroom then moving some of the toys upstairs to be a fall/winter/spring toy room and keeping some stuff downstairs for summer indoor play.  Got that?

Because their bedroom is hotter than blazes.

We discovered this because we've had 3 hot enough to say hot, but not quite hot enough to turn on the air.  But their room just baked and baked all day and when we put them to bed it was probably close to 90 degrees in their tiny bedroom where it's so small one of their beds is partially blocking the air vent but there's no way to move the beds any other way, other than to bunk them but wouldn't that be a bad idea because hot air rises and it was probably 100 up by the ceiling.  We had to run the air at 68 to get their room to a bearable temperature hours later and hubs and I froze downstairs all night.

There's no way I'm running the air like that all summer.  Nope, I freeze my tail off most of the year and I'm not doing it all summer.  (Don't worry, though.  I do love my AC and will run it.  Just not at frostbite level.)

Therefore, operation losing my marbles as I clear all the toys out of the playroom.  Egads, why do we have so many toys?! Then move the beds downstairs.  Then possibly bunk them.  The figure out what to do with all these toys.

And pray that Caleb's larger room with better circulation will stay cool enough to keep him up there.  And that I find my marbles somewhere in all this mess.

8:10pm update
The boys are drifting off in their "new" room. N has. M, as always, will not stop talking. He knows he's supposed to stop, so at this point he says thing like, "I love you, Mommy," and other sweetness because he knows Ill be nice. 

The beds are not bunked. We just didn't have time for that, but the boys are okay with it...for now. Although we were careful not to promise bunks, they have somehow come to expect it. They've even got it all figured out; N will have the bottom and M will have the top bunk. Good thing, too, because N is the one still falling out of bed every couple of weeks. 

They were geeked all day but we had to quit at a certain point because I needed Hubs' help and just couldn't keep on with three littles underfoot. So the twins and I took off to the park while C napped and Hubs worked. Sometimes the best way to get something done is quit. At least when it comes to accomplishing housework here.

I've come to understand that If I ever feel my house is clean enough, then it means I have worked myself out of a job and will have to go find one that pays better. I find some solace in that thought, but the mess still drives me batty. 

That's why I'm typing in the dark on N's bed, listening to him snore, listening to M breathe because he finally stopped talking, listening to the fan, the tick rock of that old blue clock that I put in the playroom because I can't stand it's tick tocking but tonight it doesn't bother me. It seems to be counting out the peaceful seconds, reassuring me that I can just sit here in the quiet and enjoy the boys' peacefulness because I can.

And the mess will wait, like it always does. Job security I suppose. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Hubs!

My sweetie had a birthday yesterday, and you know how he wanted to spend it? Grilling with his family! What a love.

So I fixed up a batch of Bessy's Zesty Garlic Herb Marinade for him to grill (and I cut up the gross chicken myself...blechhh) and some other yummy goodies like sweet potato fries and skewered asparugus for the grill and what we are now calling Better Than Anything Cake and we had yet another party!

That didn't leave much time for presents, so the kids helped me decorate the newspaper/wrapping paper and our handmade cards are just priceless:/ (Mine says, "happy birthday love" "it's the thought (and the weekend)that counts"). It didn't really matter because Friday morning last week, M woke up and said, "Daddy, guess what we got you? A weed whacker! It's a surprise, shhh, don't tell!" And if Hubs hadn't told me, it would still be a my mind anyway!

Then Hubs' family came over and we hung out on our patio, celebrating again the blessings of God, eating, drinking, singing, unwrapping, and playing t-ball together. Yes, three grown men vs. three four year olds. It's a hoot!

His real present- and mine, too- was 48 glorious hours without the kids this weekend. It was the first time we've had two days off of parenting in 2 years. We got to do fun stuff like eat at restaurants, hold hands, sleep in, and drink an entire cup of coffee before it got cold. After a busy day on Saturday, we opted to get sandwiches and go back to the hotel (rather than wait an hour and 15 min to get a table at a recommended restaurant).  We took them to the beach, where we watched the sun set behind the cold front rolling toward us while a photographer tried to take wedding photos for a bride and groom. Hubs told me not to stare (because I totally was).

I told him I couldn't help it. I think every bride is beautiful, and even if I don't know her, I want her to feel as beautiful and as special as I did 11 years ago. I told him I wish I could re live that day, be his bride again. Because it was the best day of my life.

I said the kind of things your heart is always feeling but your mouth is never saying because it's saying things like, "Kid, take your tongue out of your nose!" And, "who tooted? Go use the potty right now!" And, "take your baby brother out of the fridge!" And, "stop! We only pee on trees at our own house!"

Parenting 3 kids under 4 doesn't leave much time for schmoopiness, no, no. But I will love you, honey, to the end of this crazy life of ours. Happy thirteenth birthday together!