Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays!

A late Merry Christmas and early Happy New Year to you all!  I hope everyone is feeling the stress of the holidays lifting off their shoulders, and preparing for the new year!

I love Christmas, it is absolutely the best holiday.  For me, the thrill of buying gifts and then watching people open them has always been my favorite part.  Add to that the decorations and lights and parties, and what is there that you could possibly not like? 

The last couple of years our families have started drawing names to make home-made gifts for each other.  This is a really cool thing to do - you may want to think of doing it with your family.  It really takes away from the "greediness" of the season and really takes kids and adults back to basics. 

This year, I went completely outside my comfort level and painted my 2 gifts.  My sister is the painter in the family, not me, so this was a really big deal. 



Here is the stool I made for my step-mom who has a Coke themed kitchen (it says Coca-cola - made to look like an old advertising button - if you can't tell).



Here is the little cubbard I painted for my sister-in-law, whose favorite flower is yellow roses - if you can't tell (I was really hoping her favorite flower was sunflowers, because I can trace a circle!)

Because of our little confidence boost in our home-made gift making abilities, the hubs and I have decided to start making our kids home-made gifts too.  This year we scrolled out the first letter of each of their names in redwood, then stained them with redwood stain too.

Hopefully they will be something each one of them will keep through the years.  In a couple of years we will draw names in our family and continue the home-made gifts in house.  For right now, we make really cool ornaments for the tree.  ;-)

What is your favorite family tradition during Christmas time? 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Your Face!

Ever had that "what the hell is wrong with you" feeling about your own child?  Lately the hubs and I have been dealing with that with the noodle.  I don't know what is going on in that little brain of hers, but she will not get it through her head to stop screaming, spitting, spraying water, hitting, poking, etc. in the babies' faces!

Take for example this weekend...we're playing blocks inside and everyone is happy.  Ella decides that she really wants that tower Karlie just built and tries to take it from her.  Karlie snatches it back, holds Ella by the shoulders, gets as close to her face as possible, and screams "NO, NO ELLA, IT'S MY TOWER!!!."  To which much crying ensues from both parties, because now no one is playing blocks (Mommy's solution because this is the second time it has happened).

Fast forward an hour.  We're outside playing/hanging lights.  Karlie has the hose and she is cleaning off her turtle that was muddy.  I say, "Make sure that none of that water gets close to the babies.  Just clean off your turtle and then turn off the water."  To which Karlie replies, "OK Mommy" in that super sweet 3-year old voice.  Two seconds later, the hose is aimed directly in Maggies face drenching her completely.  More crying from both parties, because water is done, Maggie is soaked, and Karlie is in time out (Mommy again).

Bath time.  Everyone playing and having a great time.  They're splashing, they're acting like fish, it's all good.  Until...Karlie dips down, puts water in her mouth (tasty right?) and spits it DIRECTLY in Maggie's face.  More crying, this time only from Karlie because she is done playing in the bath (Yes, Mommy again).

20 minutes later.  I'm finished mopping up the bathroom and walk through the living room.  Here are Karlie and Mags playing on the floor.  Karlie has a straw and is poking it repeatedly in Maggie's eye!  In her eye with a straw!!!!  And Mags is taking it like a champ!  Can you guess what happens next?  Yep, more crying for the noodle.  Spanking and bed time.  (Yep, Mommy - can you see a pattern here?)

OMG!  All in the same day!  What am I going to do with that one?

Friday, November 5, 2010

A REALLY Big One

"That was a really big one!"
"It won't come out!"
"Silly poop, it's in my pee!"

Just some of the gems the noodle has come up with lately.  BUT....it's official!  We are potty-trained!  All the way, I'm talking about.  Daytime, night-time, going out in public - ALL OF IT.  FINALLY!!!!!!!!!

So lots of people had been pressuring us for a while to get her trained.  Well, I have my own way of doing things.  I read all of the books, and lets not forget that little psych degree I have, but regardless, I know my kid.  She wasn't ready.  She regressed so much when we brought the twins home that every time we tried to train her, she just wasn't interested.  But now that the twins are older it was a breeze.  They don't get babied so much and so she doesn't think she needs to be either.  It took a solid month, but wow, we don't even do pull-ups anymore.  Woo-hoo!!!!!

I think it was the old-school training pants that did it.  My sister-in-law gave us some cloth ones, and they really seemed to do the trick.  Pull-ups are just too much like diapers - the cool alert and learning designs just don't do the same trick as being soaking wet.

ANYWAY, we are one down, and two to go.  Diaper free is the way to be!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

378lbs and Counting

Despite the blight on my tomatoes, bugs on my squash and bean plants, and of course my ever so helpful babies; we have grown 378 pounds of food so far in my little gardens.  Can you believe that?  This is my chart - which may seem a bit ridiculous to some (super high tech I know), but I wanted to see how "worth" the effort gardening was going to be.  So, every morning after picking I would log what was what - for example 2 large cucumbers equaled a pound, 10-12 okra equaled a pound, 2 large tomatoes equaled a pound, etc.  Definitely not a fail proof method, especially since my girls tend to pick and eat- completely ignoring mommy's logging method, and obviously I guesstimated quite a bit, but I don't think it's a gross over-estimation by any means.

So, just in case you are wondering, my garden is still kicking.  We are picking tomatoes (which have jumped back now that it's not 120 degrees out), okra, cucumbers, wax beans, green beans, peas, bell peppers, basil, Swiss chard, collards, lettuce, radishes, carrots, and hopefully soon winter squash (that was just planted so it'll be a while).  I fully anticipate the collards and Swiss chard to go all winter long too.  Isn't gardening in Bama crazy?  Actually, I think the reason that everything has done so well is because it had to have an extreme will to live - babies and their feet are not so attentive or forgiving to tender little plants.  Add in a couple cats and dogs and I'm surprised everything wasn't trampled to death back in May. 

In all seriousness, the only things original in the big garden now are the pepper plants, the okra, basil and my big, beautiful German heirloom tomato plant.  Everything else has done it's thing, been yanked out, then re-planted with something else. 

I've decided that you must have a tenacious personality to garden; unless of course you are my sister who grew an entire crop of tomato plants without planting anything (Trac, are you kidding me?)  Regardless, I'm feeling a little proud - not too bad for a city chick on a 1/4 acre lot, and very blessed.

"Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness." 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

94 Cents and a Parking Token

Alright, alright.  Been slacking, I know.  Computer issues, camera issues, and baby issues.  Blah, blah, blah.

After the Falls, we were headed to Raleigh.  More family time, and supposedly the beach and the Hall of Fame.  OK, what were we thinking???  Who goes on their first vacation with 3 little bitty children and decides to drive 3100 miles in 8 days?  Well, the hubs and I do of course!!!  The same people who decide to drive on a toll road with absolutely NO CASH.  The only toll road along our entire trip that ONLY takes cash.  This of course led to a frantic search along the floor boards of the car, and dumping out my purse in order to find EXACTLY 94 cents and a parking token, to which the toll money "taker" thought we were nuts, but after much pleading, let us pass on through anyway.

So we head to Raleigh and arrived about 5am after driving the 56 miles of construction through D.C.  Why would we find out if there is construction first?  That would be just silly.  We got to see Aunt Suzy again, and 2 of my cousins.  They took us to the absolute coolest museum for kids ever - Marbles Kids Museum (http://www.marbleskidsmuseum.org/galleriesandexhibits).  In which, they had the biggest Legos I have ever seen, so my cousin Andrew and I absolutely had to build a fort, complete with windows, doors and roof (after which the kids didn't even really play in, but we had a good time).

So we left Raleigh, and decided that there was no way in hell we were driving out of our way.  I mean AT ALL.  The kids were really not having a great time in the car at this point, so we decide to just pick an attraction on the way home.  So, we decide to go mining for gemstones. 

Yep, we went to the backwoods of who knows where with our 3 small children and bought a bucket of rocks to mine for gemstones.  Now, don't get me wrong, the people seemed fairly nice, but people make entirely too much fun of Alabama when everyone we met had like 2 teeth.  I digress....We bought a bucket of rocks.  We do have a whole slew of uncut gemstones now, and one of the smoky quartz that I found was made into a necklace, but I'm still having a hard time with buying of a bucket of rocks from a man that only had 2 teeth.  As usual though, the hubs and I had a good time, sifting through rocks and letting the kids play.

After that, it was beyond time to go home. 

All in all, we had a great vacation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Want to Slide Down on My Butt


Niagra Falls.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Everyone should go - at least once.  Correction - everyone should go at least once and ride the Maid of the Mist.  I knew when we rode the boat it would take us close to the base of the falls, but I had no idea HOW close we would be. 

Incredible. 

Awesome. 

Breathtaking.



Even the baby falls were amazing.             

We took all the babies on the Maid of the Mist.  Ella LOVED it.  If you've never ridden, you have no idea that you get soaked and it's a little scary - this of course is why my little thrill-seeker was having such a great time.  She was laughing and screaming and waving her arms around - meanwhile, Maggie and Karlie are not really enjoying themselves at all. 

When we got off the boat, the hubs (who took Karlie) and I took turns going up the stairs on the side of the falls.  Ok, that was crazy.  You could barely make it up to the top with all the wind and waves coming at you!  Karlie was petrified, and still, all she has to say about the biggest waterfall ever is..."I want to slide down on my butt."

Still.  That's it.  It was the biggest waterfall ever, and she wants to slide down on her butt. 

Crazy kids.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Farm Girls

We are in New York, first leg of our trip.  It is one of the most beautiful parts of the country that I have ever seen.  The people are unbelievable - extremely nice and REAL.  We're staying on Stephen's (the hubs) Aunt's dairy farm - I have never seen so many cows in one place at a time.  Every morning we have to take a trip around the farm and see all the cows, and every night we have to say goodnight to them.  The very first of one of these trips, all of our girls ended up covered in poop running and falling through the barn and had to be hosed off-it felt a lot like home, except at our house it's usually some mud puddle they made.  Because of our excursion, every time Karlie sees a cow, real or not, she exclaims, "they have really big poops and pees."  It's still funny now, a hundred of such exclamations ago.

Yesterday we went to ride horses and then to a Cider Mill.  The girls were unbelievable.  We could barely keep Karlie off of the horse long enough to let the babies ride!  She was a natural! 

Maggie loved it too.  She was all smiles the entire time.  When we took her off, she would follow the horse around the arena yelling.


Ella on the other hand wasn't too sure she was into it.  She was a little peeved that we kept picking her up out of the sand she was eating.






She perked right up when we put Mags on the horse with her though.





And here is all three - what a picture!  They all had a blast! 
Afterwards we went to the Cider Mill and got to pick out the tastiest apples we've ever had, then feed the ducks.  How bored are my kids going to be when we get home?

Oh well, can't wait to see what they'll think of "the biggest waterfall ever"!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On the Road Again


Actually it's literal.  We are on the road to upstate New York as I am typing this.  Vacation Time!!!!!!!  It was mandatory - the hubs' boss told him to go on vacation and he'd throw some cash our way.  He told us to get all the way away.  Sooooo, after thinking and thinking on it.....we decided to go!  Ha, ha, can you imagine the excitement in our house the night we found out?  We haven't been on vacation in 5 years - and that was our honeymoon.  The difference is that now we have these babies and all of their stuff. 
Here's the jeep loaded to the max.  We actually had people at the gas station ask us exactly how many babies did we have because of all the strollers. 
Here's my girls - packed in like sardines around their stuff.  Karlie Bea is beyond excited - she gets to see a huge farm with tons of cows and ride horses (the hubs' Aunt's farm), see the biggest waterfall ever (Niagara Falls), go to the beach for the first time, and see lots of race cars (Nascar Hall of Fame).  But really, could you ask for a better vacation for a 3-year old?  Honestly, you can't ask for any better at 30 something either - especially when it's mandatory!
Well, it's midnight.  The babies are asleep and the hubs is beginning to nod at the wheel, so it's my turn to take over.  Hopefully we will be greeted with lots of moos by 9 in the a.m.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

I'm having a morning.  One of those mornings.  I woke up at 5am this morning ecstatic about being awake all by myself - I was going to get stuff done I'm talking about.  And I have - I picked okra, already flashed it and have it in the freezer, watered all the gardens, cleaned the garage from the 18year old cocker that decided it was her potty last night, did 2 loads of laundry and made bread.

Rocking this morning.  At 7am, when everyone started to wake up, I made breakfast got everyone fed, changed all the sheets and began my grocery list.  Then walked back into the garage, had to re-clean it from the cocker.  Came back inside and got smacked in the face with the broom from Mags (didn't hurt but screwed up my contact).  Picked up Ella after breakfast and she took a huge bite out of my shoulder.  Fell all the way down in the kitchen because everyone was under foot as I was putting dishes away.  Had my foot smashed by Karlie who decided that it would be cute to jump on top of my foot with her dress up shoes.  And now, as I was playing on the floor with the girls, Mags just threw up all over my face and shirt.

It's only 9:30 now and I'm thinking it's going to be a miracle if I make it through lunch.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Knip Knop

The hubs and I bought a ping pong table this weekend - from Craigslist of course.  We've been wanting one for quite some time, but frankly we didn't really have time to even play.  But, now all the birthday parties and such are done, the gardens are basically maintaining themselves, and the babies are actually all going to sleep at the same time at night, FINALLY we can sneak out to the garage and have a little one on one time.

Soooo, after weeks and weeks of smack talk from both sides, we were finally able to face each other down from across the table.  The hubs has a very long wing span to his advantage - and has some skills no doubt.  But lets just face it - I can more than hold my own on any game where volleying is involved. 

First game - I won.  Second game - Joseph, our house guest lost to me.  Third game - the hubs beat Joseph.  Fourth game - the hubs beat me.  Now we're at a tie.  I cannot wait to play again!  What is it about playing sports with your significant other that is so fun? 

That was seriously the best $40 we have EVER spent.

Note to the hubs - I'm going to beat you down tonight son - please don't cry afterwards!!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Response to Anonymous.....

So this is strictly dedicated to "anonymous" who said that they didn't believe my couponing.  See the pic here?  This is what I bought yesterday for $14.  Since the Charmin and Diapers alone are well over $14 there's your proof.  Here is the receipt if you need more proof.  And since this is really a boring subject, why would I lie?????? 
On a much happier note - how cute is the noodle??

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bragging Rights

I don't usually do this, but I am feeling really confident that I'm saving as much money as possible at the stores lately and wanted to share how: 

First of all, CVS this weekend.  This is what I bought:

1 Box of 96 Pampers - $21.99
1 Bag Pullups - $11.99
1 Pampers Wipes Refill - $7.99
1 Gillette Fusion Razor w/ blades for hubs - $9.79
Razors for me - $1.00
2 Gallons of Milk - 5.00+

Guess how much I paid for all of that?  $34 out of pocket...seriously!  For $57+ worth of stuff.  Doesn't sound like such a great savings when you're bragging on it, but when you do that every time you go to the store, whether it's CVS or the grocery store it really adds up quick!

This is how it went down if you'd like to know:  Pampers and Pullups in first transaction.  Used coupons for both with a $5 off $30 coupon.  Received $10 in ECB, spent $27.  Second transaction was wipes and razors, coupons for all and used ECB, spent $7.  Third transaction (I didn't realize I was going to get 5ECB, otherwise it would have went down differently), so I bought 2 gallons of milk for a buck. 

Second, I've been walking out of Kroger once a week with at least 2-3 things completely free, and quite a few items for .25 or less.  Why?  Well, they double coupons and if you wait until they go on sale for 10/10, then those .50 coupons double and the items are free.  BUT here is the really super awesome thing I just discovered - Kroger is not only taking electronic coupons loaded to your shopper card, but they will also take their own printed coupons from checkout (the cashier hands you), and a manufacturer coupon - ALL for the same 1 item.  That equals really, really cheap!

HOWEVER, that's not where it ends.  I signed up for a Upromise account (upromise.com) and I actually have money deposited into a college fund for the girls when I buy certain items.  SOOOO, say I buy Cottonell toilet paper 12pack at Kroger - I normally have $2.00 off loaded on my shopper card, a $2.00 Kroger coupon, and a .50 manufacturer coupon that doubles.  So that is $5.00 off the toilet paper that was on sale for $5.99.  Then, Upromise will give me $1.50 in my college fund account and so I just made .50.  Essentially I am getting paid to shop for the things we needed (which I bought super cheap) - all I had to do was clip some coupons and then check out the ads that week and make a list!!!

To the hubs it's almost more work than it's worth.  To me, it's something to keep my mind busy on (in between eating bon bons) and to feel like I am really contributing money-wise as best as I can.

Friday, July 30, 2010

All Grown Up

We had Karlie's party last weekend.  Thanks to parenting.com she got the chocolate butterfly cake that she wanted.  In fact, that was the ONLY thing she wanted for her birthday....until she began opening presents of course.

I think it turned out pretty cute - it was a lot easier to make than the babies' cakes were, that's for sure.

It was really hot that day, lots of swimming and playing.   Thanks to Grandma Nancy who provided the best venue ever on a 100 degree day.

Here are some more pics of Karlie - she got some really cool gifts - dress up clothes, a kitchen, blocks, and a ton of other stuff.  Between all her "big girl toys" and the trikes that the hubs and I bought her, we came home to a whole different world for her to play in. 

So I'm not sure if it's been the big girl toys, playing with all of her cousins, or even the fact that it was finally her birthday party (she got a little jealous the twins party was before hers), but she grew up light years last weekend.  For example, she's always been little mama to the girls, but now she sits and just talks to them, hugs and loves on them, explains why she says no no to them, brings them toys - it's just amazing.  There is a lot less of the tri-cry going on now too which has done wonders for my patience as well.

And now at least once a day she comes up to me and as always, grabs my face with her little hands and says, "Look at me Mommy, I have to tell yous somting...I loves you Mommy.  I really, really, loves you."

What a sweet girl we have.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Karlie Bea is Three!

The noodle is three today, or "tree" as she says, holding up anywhere from 2 to 5 fingers.  This is an amazing age.  Who knew parenting got to be so fun?  Karlie is a very well-spoken, determined, smart, sweet, thoughtful, stubborn, thrill-seeking, spitfire of a little girl.  One minute she says, "Oh, I'll be happy to do that for you Mommy."  Then in the next breathe she says, "Oh, I don't think so.  Look, at me Mommy."  And she takes my chin in her little hand and turns my head to look at her and she says, "I just don't think I can do that now, Mommy.  It will be ok."  She makes me laugh every day - outloud, rolling on the floor laugh, and I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I love how stubborn and outspoken she is. 

Lately, we are very much into pretend and play-acting, tea-parties and such.  Here we are last night - she, Ba (More about Ba)and Bunny are having a snack before bed.  We had to pull carrots for Ba and Bunny, then pick a pepper for Karlie. 
Then He-Whore had to eat.  Yes, yes, that's right.  It may look like Eyore, but his name is He-Whore.  Not only is his name He-Whore, but I was told that I "needed" a He-Whore too.  My response?  "Yes, yes, baby girl, I do, don't I?"

That one still makes me laugh.  Three is such a great age.

Happy Birthday Karlie Bea.

Update to Calamity Jenn

Just wanted to let the world know that I am now covered in poison sumac from head to foot - exactly 7 days after I wrote that post.  AGAIN.

Ironic isn't it?  Maybe pregnant would be better.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Calamity Jenn

This is the first spring/summer in 4 years that I have not been pregnant.  Four years!!!  It's funny because all the time the hubs and I will be doing something and we realize that I'm actually not pregnant and things are different.  For example, we ordered our monthly pizza the other night and he said, "oh, I forgot to tell them no sausage, I'll call them back."  Well...I can have sausage now, and for about a year we still have been ordering without. 

Anyway, in what feels like my newfound body (at least it's solely mine!), I've apparently done just about everything I could do to my body without having to go to the hospital in the past 3 months.  Thus far this summer I have:

1.  Torn a tendon in my foot walking the girls back and forth to the park and had to wear a boot to fix it (that was really fun with my 3 by the way).
2.  Contracted poison sumac because I was hopping the fence to cut down bamboo (I am selling it on Craigslist and it is nasty overgrow back there.)
3.  Had a near death experience in finding out that I am allergic to hollyhocks (which of course I decorated with all through my house for the babies' party) in which my throat closed up so much I thought I would suffocate, and I literally wanted to scratch my skin off.
4.  Stepped on a wasp and been covered in ticks - that was the bamboo again (both of which aren't really that big a deal, but I HATE TICKS and will never forget that. 
5.  And finally, I now have a very swollen ankle - probably just sprained because I was able to walk it off for the most part - from a stupid hole in my yard beside the garden. 

Literally, all of this in just 3 months.  My sister always says "if it's gonna happen to anyone, it will happen to you."

I think she's right - it's a hell of a lot better than being pregnant though.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mommy's Arsenal

Sleeping.  Finally.  For the first time today.  All of my children.  Finally sleeping.

I don't know what it is about having a house guest for the weekend that makes my children so crazy on a Tuesday.  You other Mom's know what I'm talking about - just having your husband go back to work on a Monday can make the kids crazy, but throw in a houseguest for the past 3 nights and days, and a long holiday weekend - and it's over.  The war began the minute my little ones started babbling to each other over their cribs.

Breakfast wasn't the same or wasn't right.  Ok, I didn't think I could miss with homemade cinnamon rolls and bacon, but CLEARLY it was not a good choice.

Playtime after breakfast usually consists of playing outside in the pool and chase in the backyard before it gets too hot.  HA!  They didn't even want to go down the porch to get to the backyard.  Both Ella and Maggie thought it was way too hot and that was after the struggle to get Karlie out there.  Alright, no problem, I'll change gears.  Let's dance.  Dancing is failproof - everyone dances in our house and loves it.  HA, HA!  What the hell?  Why the tears?  Not so fun today?  How about blocks, books, dress-up, hide-and-seek?  We played all of those for approximately 5 minutes each.  How about a movie?  We don't normally do movies unless it's raining, but we can try it.  Nope.  At this point I'm starting to get the tri-cry.  You do NOT want to get the tri-cry before lunch - that makes for a really bad afternoon.

Ok, ok, everyone hold on just a sec and we'll do early lunch (since no one ate their damn breakfast!)  Hot dogs, cukes and peaches have got to work.  I open up the lunch line and take a sigh of relief for a few minutes of peace.  Blissful, quiet pea....WHAT???  Why are you crying now Mags?  You're so sleepy, how about a bath to help calm you down?  So I give Mags a cuddle until lunch for the other two is over and get everyone in the bath.  The whole time I'm thinking that this is yet another failproof, and I can get everyone back to normal.  HA, HA, HA!  They did NOT want to be in the bath together.  Ok, Ok, Ok!!!!  I'll get everyone dressed and settled down for a nap.  HA, HA, HA, HA!

I'm running out of tricks.  The only things I have left are the park (I really don't want to strap a cranky baby on my back, pushing the other two and walk in the hottest part of the day because the hubs has the car), the vaccuum and Mommy and Daddy's bed.  So, I yank out the vaccuum.  This has got to calm everyone down.  Normally everyone follows me around and dances and shakes their head to the vaccuum - they love it.  HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!  Tri-cry.  And not just tri-cry, but pissed off and disgusted tri-cry.

So, Mommy and Daddy's bed it is.  HA, HA to you, you cranky babies!!!!  Yep, that is where we spent the last hour and a half.  Everyone jumping and being tickled.  The last line of defense worked.  Everyone got happy and decided that since it was late afternoon they would grace Mommy with a nap. 

I've got to get better arsenal.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Garden Update

This is what we picked this morning.  Yea, yea, yea!!!!  It's actually close to what I've been picking for a week now.

The tomatoes are on the brink of taking off.  The cucumbers are ridiculous.  I ended up using more wire and electric fence posts to make them grow up.  It is working really well. 

I am in heaven.  Yummy, yummy, yummy food. 

Actually, we are logging what we pick every day.  So far we have gotten about 60 pounds of food.  We've already paid for the tiller and all the seed we bought.

My homemade fertilizer is apparently doing the trick, and my grocery budget is REALLY digging it. 

Contentment and satisfaction in my world.

Friday, July 2, 2010

1st Birthday Party for ME!!!

ME=Maggie and Ella.....of course!

Unfortunately we were unable to get a pic of Maggie covered in cake - she was very tired with all the commotion that day!

Aren't their hats cute?  Grandma Juannelle made those for them...each one slightly different.
Here is Maggie.  AKA Mags, Magpie, and Maggie May. 

She said, "It looks good, but it's too hot and why are people staring at me?"





Here is Ella.  AKA Ella Bella, Ella Lou, and as Karlie says constantly...Ellwa!!!!  Usually followed by "stop it."

Yep, that's a big shiner...her 2nd to be exact.  That one is fearless. 

She never has a problem eating cake...or anything else you put in front of her.



So, it was extremely hot that day, and yet we did most of the partying outside.  Lots of baby pool action, and of course, the redneck slip and slide.  Not sure who had more fun on that one - the kids or the hubs.  Yes, those are vinyls from bill boards, and yes the posts are part of our old electric fencing.  The best part was that it was crazy slippery b/c of the dish soap!  Can you say REDNECK!

All in all, I am still in shock that the babies are a year old.  I am SOOOOO glad we are at this point though.  Can't wait to see what this next year will bring!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Venting

I just got off the phone with a woman at the doctor's office, and she made THE comment.  THE comment that I hear every time I go anywhere with all the babies from total strangers.  THE comment that everyone loves to laugh and joke about at family gatherings.  THE comment that makes me want to scream in my head - "Shut the hell up, and just think for 2 seconds!!!" 

What is THE comment?  WOW, all girls.  Don't you know how to get a boy?.......or some variation of the same.

We had a boy.  Our second child was a boy.  He didn't make it.  Liam.  Liam Friedrick was 100% boy and didn't live long enough to even know what it was to take a breath in this world.  He didn't live long enough to know pain, loss, humiliation, frustration, etc. 

He knew he was loved, and that is how you deal with that loss. 

I don't blame strangers, but for those who do know, it tends to bother me.  I understand that people forget things, but for goodness sake....do we have to have the same conversation every single time?

I'm not "hung up" on our loss - for lack of better words.  God blessed us multiple times with our children.  They are happy and healthy, and perhaps they wouldn't all be so if I had 4 children aged 3 and under.  Maybe they would.  We will never know. 

I'm just tired of THE comment.  I don't need to be reminded, I think about Liam all the time.  Maybe I should remind other people. 

I don't know how to handle it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

The twins had their first birthday party this weekend.  No, this is not a post about their birthday (that will come in a day or two when I have all of the pictures), but about their cakes!  I wanted both girls to have a birthday cake of their own, but REALLY didn't want to pay for two cakes.  So, I searched and searched and found what was supposed to be super easy birthday cakes at Parenting.com.  Maggie, my Curious George lover was to get a monkey cake; Ella, my Clifford lover was to get a red dog cake.  We are talking about miles beyond my normal "open the cake mix" element here.

Saturday was cake making day - Sunday was the party.  I have never in my life felt so uncomfortable in my kitchen than I did on Saturday.  I was petrified that I was going to mess them up and ruin the whole point of having two different cakes in the first place!  Yes, I know this sounds a little extreme for some, but you other Moms out there know exactly what I am talking about.

All this stress and worry, and I get halfway through the monkey cake and it is a breeze!  It was unbelievable!!  AND, both cakes turned out EXACTLY the way I wanted them to! 

Here is baby Clifford:

And here is the Monkey:
 

How cute are they?  So, for anyone that needs a cake any time soon, check out http://www.parenting.com/birthday-cakes.  I'm talking about step-by-step directions and at a fraction of the cost of a store bought cake!  And for goodness sake, if I can do it, then ANYONE can!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Dinner Garden

So it's finally begun.  Last night I took a basket out to the back garden to cut enough for salads for the hubs and I.  I even snuck over to Karlie's garden and picked a few pea pods to throw in there.  By the weekend, I know I'll be planning meals around what is ripe. 

Satisfaction is setting in. 

See the okra coming up on the left?  See my big beautiful tomatos?  There's also cabbage, peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, acorn squash, cucumbers (they are trying to take over!), lettuce, salad mix, spinach, and green beans.  Yum, yum, yum. 

See the big flowers in the back?  Yep, that is my sunflower patch that stretches about 150 feet - mixed with okra of course.  Who needs a privacy fence?


This is Karlie's garden.  It stretches the length of our back porch, maybe 3ft deep by 10ft.  We've already done 3 rounds of radishes for her, and here you can kind of see her pea plants and carrots coming up.  Nope, we don't really get peas - she picks them too fast for them to actually grow peas in the pod.  Such a hardship when your child wants to go outside and pick her own healthy snack, isn't it?

Tomato patch on the side of the house.  I've only got about 6 big plants now, but there are 12 more that are struggling to catch up.  Last year from this little patch alone we had tomatos until the end of October.  My fingers are crossed that they keep going!


My pitiful attempt at an edible landscape.  It just doesn't get enough light here!!!  Actually, parsley, peppers, squash and cucumbers are doing great.  Too bad that is only half of what I put in there!  I think that I'm going to go ahead and start more lettuce here, and see how it does.  No use not trying, is there?
So, now that I've shared what I've been woking on, I'd like to share what I've learned this year.  First, never plant cabbage seeds directly in the ground (well, it doesn't work well here), start them in something first.  Second, and most importantly, keep and boil egg shells with water to make your own fertilizer.  It is just as good, if not better than MiracleGro.  I know the hubs and I have never had results like we do in the back garden before!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mommy's New Song

All my girls have a song.  Of course this started with Karlie, and in the pursuit of distraction, Maggie and Ella's songs developed as well.  The best part about everyone having their own "song" is that eveyone knows their own and feels super special when we sing them.  Here they are:

Karlie Bea, Karlie Bea, Karlie Bea's ......a......bumble.......bee......BZZZ(of course at this point she gets pinched).

Maggie May, Maggie May, you woke up bright eyed today...

Ella, Ella, you've got something to tell us.  Ella, Ella, you're going to wup all the fellas...

So, Karlie, being the musical little thing that she is, made up a song for me:

Mommy, Mom.  Mommy Mom.  Mommy Mom sings us songs.

How great is that????

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where's Aunt Suzie??

My Aunt Susan on my Dad's side came to visit recently.  She is one of those fearless people who travels all over the world, with no permanent address, following her hearts desire.  Luckily for me (and my wonderful husband) her heart's desire was to come to my house for a week and help with the baby train since she was not able to do so when they were born.  Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky ME!!!!!!!!!!  So, I make a list of things I'd like to get done while she is here and anxiously waited her arrival.


Here she is with the twins.  As you can see, or may know, 2 active babies can be quite a harrowing experience.  Throw in the almost 3-year old and it can be down-right impossible to get anything done.  Karlie, who was introduced (again) to her Aunt as Aunt Susan, right away decided her name was Suzie and she was Karlie's friend.  Now of course, after hearing "Suzie, Suzie, where's Aunt Suzie" for a week, she will be forever coined Aunt Suzie at our house.  I may be wrong, but I think we were a little overwhelming those first couple of hours, but by the end of the day Aunt Suzie was the one all my girls wanted to impress, not Mommy (you other SAHMs know what a relief that is!)

ANYWAY, the point of all this story-telling is Aunt Suzie gave me a new found energy I realized I had been sorely lacking.  She re-newed my energy, my patience, and most of all, made me feel like a grown-up again.  Just having her here for those couple of days not only allowed me to finish putting in the gardens and the numerous other things I wanted to do for spring, but showed me to slow down and really take the time to enjoy our time now.  On top of all of that, it made me realize how very alike we are - strange how that can be when you only see someone a few times a year (if you're lucky). 

So, Aunt Suzie, I just want you to know that laundry and dusting were on my list today, and since I vacuumed too, I put that on my list and crossed it off and thought of you.

We miss you so much!!!



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Updates

So, I finally have a computer that works.  Been some trouble in that department.  I have to say that it was incredibly frustrating to keep paying that internet bill too, when it was absolutely not being utilized.  It did make me realize that I am overwhelmingly happy when I do not have to do some spreadsheet for my husband or any of the other ten million things that we all use a computer for on a daily basis.  I think that technology is great, but wow it adds an un-needed stress to life at times.

The girls are all doing wonderful.  Maggie and Ella are BUSY!  They clap and blow kisses, play peek-a-boo, try to take that first step and get way too excited and fall.  Maggie loves music, dancing, singing and playing on her piano.  Ella is my athlete - she will chase a ball for hours, and she pushes herself to the limit physically as much as possible just to see what will happen.

Karlie is in the "Why" stage.  I have to say that this is the best stage yet.  I know people get annoyed with this one, but it is absolutely my favorite.  You can control the direction of the conversation, the baby is learning, and you don't have to hear "no, I don't want to!" all day long.

My gardens are all planted.  For those of you that don't know, I have a horrible aversion to staying inside all day long, and now that the weather is beautiful I am in heaven.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get them in.  I have an edible garden in front, my tomato patch on the side of the house, a large garden out back, and another small one beside the porch for radishes, carrots, peas, etc.  Actually, we are already on the second batch of radishes which I continue planting all summer because Karlie eats them so fast.  And I think that I've decided to do another sunflower patch along our back fence just because.  But finally, I can come inside with dirt on my hands and sore muscles and know that I've actually accomplished something.  Plus, what it is about making things grow, and more importantly growing your own food, that is so satisfying? 

All the babies are so happy too.  They eat grass and dirt and love exploring eveything they see.  Karlie has always been an outside girl, so she jumps out of bed ready to go outside every day.

Life is good at our house.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mommy's Bandaids

The babies and Karlie play all the time now.  It is heart-warming and nerve-racking at the same time.  The babies follow her all over the house, and she herds them together when the mood suits her. 

Sunday the babies are creeping all over the house and end up in the bathroom.  So Karlie runs in and shuts the door, trapping them all in.  The hubs and I decide that until someone starts crying it should be fine because there are child locks on everything.  Well, so we thought.

So Karlie, being the super tall, inquisitive thing she is, decided she could climb up on the toilet and grab things out of the cupboard above the toilet.  Well, she found "Mommy's bandaids."  Yes, that it how I've been explaining away my little gift each month, and up until now it has worked great.

Well, Karlie decided that Maggie and Ella needed bandaids.  Lots and lots of bandaids.  Bandaids on their heads, Bandaids on their legs and arms.  Karlie herself had bandaids on as well. 

So we opened the bathroom door to discover 3 babies, all covered in "bandaids" sitting talking to each other, having a great time.  Karlie looks up and says, "I fixed our owies Mommy, look!"

The hubs did not think that it was as funny as I did.  It reminded me of that email of the little boy naked covered in pads that went around years ago.  I was on the floor laughing it was so funny.  Personally, I think that it was just one small glimpse into having a house full of girls.

So, we let the babies out of the bathroom, also known as bandaid hell, seemingly unharmed by their sister's doctoring, and of course Mommy's bandaids have now been moved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Creepers

It's official...We've got creepers.  Not slow, make your way towards an object like a baby just learning to crawl; but go all out, screaming for joy at our new found talent creepers. 

Maggie's been crawling for month's now.  She did the rock back and forth, scoot, normal learn to crawl thing.  Then once she learned, she would go, go, go...then lose her balance and end up on her back.  This was a serious problem for her as she was so intent on crawling, she didn't think to just roll over to get going again.  Instead she laid floundering on the floor until she got help.

Ella just started crawling last week.  It was a Friday night, and after weeks of watching her big sister and somehow doing some strange acrobatic roll, twist, and scoot to get where she was going, she finally decided she would crawl.  We rolled a ball past her, and she took off like she's been crawling for weeks. 

Now both girls are pulling up, taking steps, and generally into everything.  Maggie still takes the time to take a step, do something new and see what will happen; and Ella just decides she can do something and does it. 

Strange how different babies learn, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Big Thank You

So, I've been out of the loop for a bit - been sick, crazy busy, blah, blah, blah.  Trying to get back on schedule, deal with a whole new world of creeping babies, get our old house rented, etc, etc. 

But I need to take a moment to say thank you to all the fam in the 'ham. 

This past weekend the hubs and I were so very overwhelmed with all of the family coming together, dropping what they were doing, and helping us out.  We ended up packing up the baby train to basically clean up, paint, replace and fix everything our old renters tore up in our house in order to get it rented again in as little time possible.  In doing that, we needed HELP - help with babies, help with the house, a place to stay, blah, blah, blah.  You get the picture. 

ANYWAY, everyone came together to help, we got most of it done, and hopefully the house will be filled with "good" renters this time. 

So, Angela, Kelly, Nancy, Alan, Dad, Aunt Susan and Joephus - Thank you so much for all of your help.  You have no idea how much we appreciate it.

It is times like these that make you feel truly blessed. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Things They Say and Do...

So we bought Karlie a fish.  We bring it home and get the bowl all ready to go - after an exceedingly long time of each tiny rock being strategically placed, and then re-placed.  We FINALLY get the fish in the bowl and it is time to feed him.  The fish in question has been named Petie, Petie the Goldfish by the way.  So I show Karlie how to take out 1-2 flakes and put them in the bowl.  She then proceeds - in the lightning fast way that 2 and 1/2 years have - to pinch out about 1/4 of the bottle of food and dump it into the bowl, of course with a big "Ta Da".  Almost before I could blink!  So, I'm looking at the bowl, entirely covered up with fish food, some of it swirling around the bowl like a pink blizzard, and decide Petie is probably not going to make it - he is going to explode.  Well, after all this food, of course he starts pooping....and pooping.  Since we've not had a fish before of course we discuss this and everything seems to be fine.  At this point, I think I am getting a baby ready to eat, I see Karlie with a diaper and wipe laid out on the table beside the bowl and her hand in the water trying to get Petie out.  After a few moments, she realizes she can't fish Petie with her hands, so she goes to get a cup!  She takes the cup and is trying to fish him out of the water, just like the guy at the aquarium!  After I stop laughing, because I now know what it is she trying to do, I ask her and she says, "I have to get Petie out Mommy, he needs clean butts." 

I think my stomach muscles are still sore from laughing so hard.  

And in case you were wondering - Karlie is still not happy that Petie doesn't get clean butts.  She thinks that his poop is "really yucky."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Time Keeps on Slippin, Slippin, Slippin....

We are now officially 7 and a half months old with the twins.  Wow.  I mean WOW.  It's been a ride, let me tell you.  I cannot even describe how quickly the time goes.  I think that people with singletons (that's my hubs favorite term by the way) may sort of, possibly, OH OK, only a tiny bit grasp the time thing, but I have to say until you have gone literally months with little sleep, and just walking around with utter exhaustion, you have no idea.  Let's face it, with singletons the first baby is culture shock.  The second is easier, and by the third baby, you really shouldn't be feeling too much of a change past those first few months.  For some reason while I was pregnant I thought that by this age in the babies lives, we would be somewhere between having babies 2 and 3, and life would be calming down a bit.  HA, HA, HA.  And another HA......HA.  Here we are, and literally every Thursday I look at the calendar and say to myself, "Good lord, its Thursday again.  What happened to last week?"  And not because we are sitting around watching TV all day and becoming zombies, but because everything takes TIME.  I went to the grocery store the other day before Winter Storm II of 2010 (which didn't pan out just like Winter Storm I of 2010), and spent 3 hours in the store.  Just grocery shopping with the babies.  We left at 10-10:30 (after the feeding frenzy and baths), got home at almost 1:30, and I was not finished unpacking the babies and groceries until literally 3:00.  Just in time to start thinking about dinner and try to get some laundry done.  Bye-bye that day. 

On the flip side of all of this, I can get things DONE in a fraction of the time I used to.  Literally, I remember pre-baby the hubs and I would take half a day on the weekend to clean the house, and now by myself I could clean the house, do laundry, mow, grocery shop, basically do 15 more things I used to do in those beautiful, precious 4 hours of alone time.  Of course when we don't have all the kids we have no idea what to do with our time.  Isn't funny to look back at your life pre-baby and post-baby....no matter how many babies you have? 

My maternal Grandma had 7 kids.  God Bless her.  She said that when people used to ask her how she did it, she would reply, "You just get more efficient with the things you do."  I think she is absolutely correct, but she forgot to throw in the "you cater to the loudest at the time" clause.  I used to think that a good day would be to take Karlie to the libray for Toddler Time, then garden, clean a little, workout, cook, whatever it was that kept us busy and moving.  That was after a year - way after our culture shock singleton baby number one - and now I have three - still in twin shock - and I think that I'm having a GREAT day if I have the time to workout. And if by God I have the time to shower after that it's a freaking AWESOME day.

Time really is a precious thing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What I Have Learned

So, at this point in Mommy hood there are a few things I have learned and I'd like to share them:

1.  Always pick up and put away all the toys at night.  This may seem silly to some, but it gives the illusion that the children have not completely taken over your house.  It also seems to teach kids to appreciate their things a little more.

2.  Keep Clorox wipes or some type of disinfectant wipes in every bathroom.  I wipe down the sink and toilet every time I empty the trash in each bathroom.  This doesn't seem like such a big deal, but it really helps keep the bathrooms much tidier until it is clean the bathrooms day.  Also, if someone is coming over, you can run in there and wipe the bathroom down really quick so you have the illusion of a totally clean bathroom. 

3.  Keep another diaper station somewhere in the house other than the changing table.  With twins and a 2 year old, there are just times that you don't want to walk away to change a baby.  This way you can keep an eye on the others and still get the time to play with the baby you are changing.

4.  Clean something every day.  This takes about 15 minutes of your time, and you never have a totally dirty house.  For example, today I am vacuuming (this of course is all the bedrooms, hallway, etc., separate from the daily vacuuming of the living room).  Tomorrow I dust, and the next day is bathrooms.  If it doesn't happen one day, it doesn't matter, because it was just a week ago that I dusted anyway.

5.  Start dinner in the morning or during the day if you can.  Nighttime flies by when there are multiple babies to feed, and typically we end up eating very late if I have to start supper after the feeding frenzy.

6.  Patience is not only a virtue but a learned behavior taught most effectively by husbands and children.

So, that's just how I've been getting along.  I don't have an immaculate house and I don't ever stress over cleaning when people come over anymore because it's never really dirty, perhaps just a little messy from toys.  The important thing for me is that each one of my children feel like they get all the attention they need.  After all, the house and cooking is not my job, the babies are.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mommy Blues

Christmas - which was incredibly stressful this year - is over and I am still feeling the stress.  Maybe it's because it's January and I can't play outside, maybe it's because we are officially broke - no amount of coupons or bargain shopping can help.  Either way, I am feeling really down lately.

My husband went out of town last week.  That was a blast.  During which my two big dogs attacked our little dog.  She had a gapping wound in her side the size of my hand.  We got her all fixed up, back home and recovering, and as I let her outside Thursday morning, I turned around to grab the garbage bag, and witnessed my two big babies attacking her again.  I don't know what she did or what is wrong with them, but we can no longer keep them with Karlie and the babies around.  Sallie, that is the only dog I've ever had, is the primary instigator.  Our dogs have been part of our family for so long that I can't even imagine what it is going to be like without them.  That's part of it.

My sister is not coming over on Tuesday and Thursday to "let me shower" anymore.  It was usually only for about 30 minutes to an hour, but man that kept me grounded.  I know that's part of it. 

Our finances have really taken a hit lately.  I'm sure I speak for every SAHM out there because you all know the feeling of frustration because you want to contribute financially, but it's just silly to work to put the kids in day care, and personally I'm exhausted by 5pm every day, so I don't know how working nights would be.  I think it's even more frustrating when you used to be the bread winner.  The bread winner - good lord, that seems like a long time ago.  I think that is a big part of it.

So, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  I need to change my ATTITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

The babies are doing great, and starting to crawl.
I am looking into getting my masters online during my "spare" time.
Soon it will be spring.

Ok, I'm done with Mommy Blues.  I don't believe in being depressed and I don't have time for that crap anyway.