Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Concert in the Park

Doesn't that title just sound picturesque? It actually was. Last night my talented brother in law Jack along with our band at church put on a concert in a local park and it was a lot of fun. He sang a little bit of everything from James Taylor to Rascal Flatts, Third Day to Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was eclectic and entertaining. The weather was gorgeous and all my sisters were there along with some friends although I mainly socialized with Jared and the boys which is a nice treat. I love going out with my boys ;)

My sis Molly is on the far right (she is quite talented, if I do say so myself and this is my blog so I do, indeed) and her husband Jack is on her right.

The boys yelled "farm" when we pulled up and we had to explain "No, we are just here to hear Uncle Jack sing!" ;) They were not disappointed and had a blast listening to the music, climbing rocks and running around.

FYI: You may notice that this was written at 3am and in case you think I am nocturnal you should know that I'm only up due to Eli crying. My children have this ability to wake me and then they fall peacefully back to sleep while I stay awake wondering whether or not they have an ear infection or a virus or need tylenol or a breathing treatment. Ah, motherhood. Anyways, I think we are headed to the Dr.'s again tomorrow. I am getting used to living on no sleep and lots of coffee lately. I am so glad it is Friday and that I will have Jared home for the weekend. Have a good one everyone (I like to pretend there are lots of you, it boosts the old ego, so humor me). ;) Added: apparenlty Eli had a good reason for crying, according to the Dr. he has an ear infection, sore throat and chest congestion. Poor guy, here hoping that the antibiotics kick in soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Ah that word. When the boys, particularly Eli, is thirsty his sweet request starts out with the word milky. It then continues as follows "milky, milky, milky!!!!" I respond with "excuse me, what do you say????" and he follows with a "please, milky" in a much more bearable tone. Which leads me to quickly put together the 45 piece straw deal (seriously, what is up with those cups?) so that he can have a drink. I do not go through this anymore, which, leads me to what "works for me" on this fine day. I am enjoying being part of this whole "Works for me Wednesday" thing so continue to bear with me. Oh and please keep in mind that mine are el lame-o compared to some of these other creative ladies so don't forget to go check out all of the other ones at "We are THAT family".

This week's tip is one that I gleaned from a book I am reading by Lisa Whelchel (yep, Blaire from "The Facts of Life", oh and in case you are tempted to comment and ask who Blaire is, don't bother you must be "too young" and I am in no mood to hear about how old I am ;) Anyways, I just started doing this and it is a real time saver for me. She suggests filling up all of the sippy cups needed for the next day at night (regular cups with lids if your children are older). She suggested 2 milk cups, 2 juice, and 2 water, I believe. Obviously you will fill up what you know your kids will drink. Her formula is not mine and mine will not be yours but it is nice to just grab the ready to go cup out of the frig and be on my way, especially if I have errands or appointments. She also suggests putting them low enough for your children to grab them when they please, however, this Mama doesn't allow the boys open access to the refrigerator. Me telling them to grab sippy cups would translate to "grab you cups and then throw some of those eggs around and don't forget to open a few yogurts and make a mess trying to eat them......" (you get the picture). As I said you can tailor this little tip to fit your needs. I only fill up 4 cups for each of them and then my handy little water bottle that helps me drink the water that I should. I also thought that for those of you with older children that they could fill them themselves at night and it might encourage them to hydrate as needed. So that is "my" tip this week. Here is a pic just because.

Monday, July 27, 2009

These are a few of our favorite things!

running around in our bath towels after a "tubby"

ravioli (we like this b/c it means mom has to put us in the tubby) ;)

table time: acting silly with my brother and creating things

playing with the old fashioned toys at the village and hanging out with other boys and a girl (Don't want to leave Emma out. Poor thing she was outnumbered 5 to 1) Stacey's oldest son was quite patient with Eli who threw his toy trains in the fountain twice (guess who got to fish those out). Although he did tell his Dad of Eli's offense when he got home.....busted!

our chairs from great-grandma that are for outside but we love them so much they have become our TV chairs.

celebrating Miss Olivia's birthday with her and all the cousins and enjoying birthday cake (the best kind, don't ya think?)

wearing our "silly hats" and marching around singing either "ta ra ra boom dee ayy" or "silly hat, a silly hat, you wear it on your head because that's where it's at"

hanging out with the Phelan boys who let us climb all over them and they throw us around

hooray, I think Mommy is finally done with this really long post (Mr. Phelan always entertaining my boys. He and his wife have their own set of twins who are all grown up now. They definitely know how to handle the boys. I mean look at the pure joy on Alex's face.

So that was my way of recapping a bazillion things that I wanted to post about. Off to bed, unless the boys wake me again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Giveaway Bandwagon

I am hopping on the giveaway bandwagon once more. I am hoping that 2nd time is a charm ;) John Deere Mom is having a giveaway here . So be sure to go check that out. She always has cute toys that the boys would love so I am crossing my fingers ;) The boys have been fighting over a tractor like the one pictured in her giveaway and I'd love to win that bad boy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

simply saturday

In this rockin' economy (*insert: eye roll*) I thought I would post about my simple day today that was totally free could have been totally free. Once Jared and I decided that I would stay-at-home with the boys I started thinking of ways to save money. After the whirlwind that was infancy, when it was all about survival, they got older and I wanted to start getting out of the house more. This required finding FREE activities. Today was a perfect example of a free day that is simple and lots of fun for all.

The boys and I headed to Target which like I said could have been free but I needed wipes (which don't count b/c I was under budget for groceries but forgot to get these), a birthday gift for Miss Olivia and I found a stuffed animal holder for the boys that is shaped like a rocket and was $4 (ish) on clearance. Other than these measly things I didn't spend (don't you love my logic? So does my dear husband). My point is, Target or any other similar store is a great place to take the kids and get the things you need but also peruse for things that you will never buy but are fun to look at, while they eat a snack in the stroller or if they are younger take a nap. When the boys were babies I did this a lot. Not to mention they open early so when you get up at 6a.m. and need out of the house by 8 you can always head to good ole Target. I am slightly obsessed with this store and when they added a Starbucks well, my obsession grew. Speaking of coffee, my dear friends know that I love me a good latte and therefore buy me gift cards for "the bucks" on my b-day or whatever occassion they see fit. This also allows me to snag a "treat" for Mommy and one for the boys (rice krispy treats there are delish). I truly do not spend money each time I go, I promise. This would obviously defeat the purpose of it being a simple, free outing.

Right before the boys started walking I discovered Barnes and Nobles train table. Oh yes, my friends, it is awesome and it is right next door to my store. Let me paint a picture for you ladies, and Jared, who I believe is my only male reader (love ya honey), you stroll into the lovely bookstore and grab a magazine that you'd like to read or a book, whatever suits your fancy and head over to the train table in the children's section. Here, there is a comfy chair hard wooden excuse for a chair (didn't comfy sound better, I'm just sayin') sitting near the trains and made just for you. It is as if it is saying "sit down, relax, we will entertain the kids" (at least that is what it says to me). Now your children will play for 15 minutes at first but as they grow older they will play much longer, in fact I think it was at least 30 minutes for us today.

While there I found this quote in my magazine "It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most, it's making a great deal out of the little ones". Jean Webster I love this quote!

This goes SO well with simply saturday. I mean for goodness sake I just went to buy wipes and to the bookstore and in turn had a wonderful day with my boys. They literally made me laugh out loud at the things they did and said. I will treasure each moment. Let me be honest with you....I will treasure all the moments leading up to the one where it was time to leave (due to a messy diaper) and Alex went limp on the floor while Mommy tried to hold both of the boy's hands, my purse, the Target bags and her dignity which was dangling by a thread. :) I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is possible, in the midst of a crazy life, trying to raise children, to take a deep breath and live simply. So go ahead and give it a whirl ;)
I intend to enjoy all of these simple moments God has given me as I raise these crazy kids.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Napping woes continue for mom of twins...

Is it bad to laugh in your child's face when you are trying to discipline him? I just went into check on the boys and place them back into bed for the 5th time and Alex dove into bed quickly as to avoid punishment. I picked him up and looked into his face to get the point across and his entire face lit up. I started cracking up b/c I know what he was thinking. Yessssss!!!! I am out of bed. All of my hard work to break her down has paid off. SCORE!! I kept laughing and couldn't stop because he started laughing and then Eli joined in on the fun. I am guessing this is not the most effective way to discipline :)

I then realized that Eli needed a diaper change for the 2nd time in the last 45 minutes. I said "Eli, you are a pooping machine" to which he responded "I a poopy sheen". I should also mention that Eli has begun to fake sleep. He has smartened up and doesn't leave his bed he just play like a wild man IN it. This gives him the ability to fall down into "sleeping pose" and quickly close his eyes. I finally figured it out last week when I popped my head right back in and saw him quickly shut his eyes. So funny, these two!!

A Fun Day at the Zoo

Jared and I decided to take the boys to the zoo last weekend and had such a great time. There was a slight chance of thunderstorms but we have an annual pass and decided to try it. Note to readers (both of you): Go to the zoo when they call for rain! I mean I guess it could backfire but there were no crowds and it wasn't too hot. There was only a 10% chance of rain and it never came. It was perfect. Here are the pics!

This was on the train ride. If you ask the boys what they saw at the zoo they would answer "choo choo train". Apparently the monkeys, lions, tigers, penguins and various other animals weren't quite as impressive. By the way, I chopped my hair off although you can't really tell here. The bummer is it won't go into a mess on top of my head (aka ponytail) anymore which is a staple in this mom's life.

I however was impressed by this thing. Seriously, it is so ugly it's cute! The other monkeys gave the boys a lesson that they were a bit young for, if you know what I mean....but it gave Jared and I a good laugh along with the other parents standing around.

The best part was that the long day produced this result! Yay!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why I love stickers!

1. They motivate the boys to stay in bed during nap.

2. The boys get crazy excited about something that costs $1 and last me for a couple of weeks.

3. They helped Alex survive not having a binky. Oh yes, my friends we are BINKY-LESS! :)

4. They motivate the boys to cooperate with the Dr. Although now my ped's office does stamps and Alex is scared of having his hand stamped. It still works though because I just tell him that if he is not good the evil stamp lady will get him after the appointment. ;) (Please "hear" my sarcasm here because I am totally KIDDING!)

Why I hate stickers (not kidding about this part):

Exhibit A

Case and point!

Oh well, I guess everything has a "downside" I just wish it wasn't stuck to my hardwood floor. Other than this incident bribery with stickers :) is what "works for me", on this fine Wednesday. Go and check out more ideas.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ode to the Binky


Today marks one.entire.week. without a binky. We survived, he survived, the sun continues to rise! I waited to post about it in case we turned back. I was determined not to but then they got colds, of course and I doubted my determination. So here's the scoop: Alex was what some might call completely addicted to his binky. He didn't only like to have one in his mouth but his preference was to have one in each hand. They got him through the troubled times of his youth. ;) They comforted him on rainy days. They nursed him back to health if needed, etc. etc. etc. Truly they were his first love.

The Pediatrician told us at his two year well visit that we needed to get him off the pacifier. As you can see in the pics he was still addicted to his newborn binky which is not orthodontically correct and was causing crowding due to the roof of his mouth conforming to the binky. Anyhoo, we agreed and then decided a few more months (approximately 6 or 9 more if I had anything to do with it) wouldn't change the future of his mouth too much. Fast forward to now and he (after weeks of staying in bed) has been hopping out of bed during nap and at night which leads to us putting him back approximately 3 million times AND then having to grope around for his binky in the dark. Well, Monday night I was exhausted due to the fun day we'd had with Stacey and her boys and the fact that they skipped nap, and we couldn't find the blasted thing. We searched and searched and searched. Mind you we have 3 and not a single one could be found. I decided he was going to go it alone. We'd gotten him down to just using it to sleep MONTHS ago and just dreaded the next step.

So long story slightly shorter, he is binky-less. He isn't napping as well at all (total bummer) and it takes him a while to fall asleep at night because he has nothing with which to "pacify" himself, but he hasn't even asked for it since the 2nd day. He is a trooper and I am a proud Mama! I get a little sad when I think of him being completely done with the thing. I am always reminded of the excitement we felt when he first started using it in the NICU. This meant that he was learning to suck and that he was even closer to leaving there and joining us at home. Oh well I guess they need to grow up sometime. I was beginning to think he'd take it to kindergarten with him. Now they are out of cribs, off binkies and you know what that means...dum, da, da, dum, dum potty training is about 6 or 9 months from now, that is! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Simply Saturday

What is more simple than a prayer? Yet as a Christian of over 25 years I have learned to say certain phrases and speak in a way that I thought/think might please God or others. It has taken me a while, I will admit that, but I think I am finally figuring out prayer. It is supposed to be a conversation between you and God. A time for you to fellowship with him . Whether that be a chat, a request, a cry for help, an admittance of defeat, a moment of awe and praise for what He does and who He is, whatever is on your mind. I logically know that whatever it is He wants to hear about it. I long for the simplicity of prayer but at times I still struggle with all my preconceived notions and I manage to muck it up.

Lately, I have been stopping throughout the day when I feel led and praying with the boys. We pray for those who are sick or hurting and we mention the names of their friends and family. I don't know what they "get" yet but I hope to show them how simple it is. When something comes to mind it is like breathing you just talk to God about it. It's that easy. You can't do it "wrong" He just wants to talk with you.

So today, when I think of simplicity I think of Alex and Eli and their prayers. They are simple. They are perfect. They aren't mucky they are clear, crystal clear. Mommy could learn a lot about just relaxing and talking with my Father like they have begun doing with theirs.

Alex tends to mumble a lot but we get the idea that he is thanking God for us. It goes like this ...... mumble, mumble, more mumbling Mommy, mumble Daddy, mumble Eye-Eye, we love you Jesus, AAAA(because this is their favorite part and must be done with gusto)MEN! They are not as short as I exhibited here but if you add in a lot more mumbling, which to him is speech, you get the picture.

Eli on the other hand, clearly, for the most part, says "thank you sunshine, thank you mouth, thank you hair, thank you eyes, thank you doggies, thank you Mommy, thank you Papa, thank you moon, thank you books, thank you Daddy, thank you Ahex, AAAAAAMEN! This is every prayer you can pretty much add any noun that you like because it varies. It also varies from a couple of things to about 5 thousand! Tonight it was "thank you, thank you, AAAAAMEN!"

It blesses my heart. every. single. time. I hear them pray. It also makes me laugh on a pretty regular basis. But what I love is the fact that there are no flowery words, no phrases that are repeated because they "should" be, we don't even close our eyes half the time. It is just them being thankful and saying what's on their mind. It really is THAT simple. I am sure that when God hears His children pray, his heart is blessed just like mine is when I hear the boys AND sometimes I bet we even make Him laugh :)

****As always, you are welcome to join me Sat. or Sun. Just link below by clicking on the things that says "you are next" and put your blog name in the title box and in the link url you copy and paste your blog address. That is all. Here are my other "Simply Saturday" posts if you need ideas. It can just be a picture, whatever, it is meant to be simple! KJ and Kids, thanks for joining in last week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Changing Roles!

Yep, I've changed roles I am no longer Mommy, I am instead:

  1. The nap police. I put the boys back in their beds at least once and then police whether or not they stay laying down, stay quiet enough for the other to fall asleep and stay dry so that their squishy, stinky diaper is not keeping them awake.
  2. The detective (aka) pacifier finder. I am the one who lays flat on her belly on the ground, squeeze behind the cribs or in between them to see where it may have rolled to.
  3. The housekeeper. Nuff said!
  4. The librarian. Ex. Alex wanted "book" book" just now. I go to the shelf and hand him one. Nope not the right one. Nor was the 2nd, 3rd, 4th. I really just wanted him to be quiet so that Eli who had ACTUALLY fallen asleep for the first time in days would remain that way. It FINALLY hit me that I could let him get out of bed let him grab the book he wanted and call it a day. I did and now my house is quiet.
  5. The pediatrician. Yeah, I am SUPER excited about this one. This morning the nurse practitioner told me that Eli's spleen felt enlarged. She did blood work which was fine but the results of course didn't come in time for me not to COMPLETELY freak out. She said since the blood work is fine they will just monitor it but she didn't need for me to reschedule. Hmmm??? Smart "Mommy" asks, "How do you 'monitor' it if I don't come back?" "Oh", says trained professional, "you will just keep an eye on it and if he is irritable, not eating well, etc. you will want to bring him in". Scared "Mommy" retorts "He is 2, he is all of those things on a daily basis". Great!
  6. The cook. Stop snickering, I do prepare meals!
  7. The child of God! Thank goodness for this one because when all of my roles overwhelm me this is where I turn.

I obviously along with all mothers and fathers fill a lot of roles and this was just to poke fun at that on a day when I am feeling the need to either laugh about it or cry. I read this post by Kristin today and thought it was really good. She mentions that in "the church" we often feel the need for perfection which made me thankful for the group of girls (women, I should say) that I have the privilege of knowing at my church. We are getting together tonight and I PROMISE we will all have a harried story about parenting, marriage, this or that, but I feel "normal" with these women. We are all willing to be honest about the struggles we have and have some fun. Today I am thankful for these women and also the God who directed me to them.

I guess my role hasn't changed it just morphs into something else on a moment to moment basis!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life is a highway (or a sidewalk)

I wanna ride it ALL night long (or at least 'til nap)!

Eli vs. The Tonka Truck

The boys are thoroughly enjoying their trikes this year! We have a lot of fun in the driveway at our house :) We have had a fun filled week already and I hope to post about it soon but for now I have to go make sure the boys are staying in their beds. Oh how I miss cribs!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sorry, sometimes I ramble!

It's been one of those days. Actually it was picturesque to start with. The boys slept in and Jared and I sat on the couch this morning and felt like we didn't have children at all for a minute. It was relaxing. We watched a thunderstorm pass by and talked about what in the HECK we used to do before kids??? Jared went and picked up breakfast and more importantly coffee. We all watched "Over the Hedge" and laughed, played with megablocks, played outside on their tricycles. Lovely!

ENTER: Nap time. It is DAY THREE without a nap. DAY THREE!!! This does not sit well with me. It becomes a bit exhausting. It put me in a bit of a funk. Well, that coupled with the fact that I just read "Sarah's Key" AND Jared rented the Changeling all in one weekend. NOT RECOMMENDED, both are powerful and good but a bit heavy. On top of that, Jared church softball games are on Saturday nights and therefore bedtime, bath and dinner were all mine. Jared knew that I had had it and suggested that I go out and do something with the boys. He had also mentioned yesterday that the Shark sweeper that I wanted was on sale AND we had a coupon. A light bulb appeared over my head.....RETAIL THERAPY! It works almost every time. Right or wrong, :) I hemmed and hawed about whether it was worth the effort of getting the boys ready, getting me ready, etc. but Jared said GO FOR IT! He knows me well. I packed up the hooligans (their new names until they start to nap again) and headed to Bed, Bath and BEYOND!!

We arrived and I couldn't find the right model, asked for help and was told "NO, I am helping someone else!" Swallowing my annoyance, because it seems he could have said something like "Hold on and I will be right with you", I found someone else and she was able to help me. Armed with my new cleaning tool I grabbed my plink's (love these) and got in the check out line which was SO LONG. The boys wanted "the balls, PEEEEEEEEES" so I gave in, handed them the dryer balls and decided I actually wanted to purchase them. Already, I am feeling less stressed, ahhhhh. I chat with the check out guy who tried to sell me "all things green". He was on quite a tangent but he meant well and it was a pleasant enough conversation. At this point my "funk" was losing steam.

Those who are not yet married with children may find it sad that cleaning products brought me such joy but you will get it someday. Trust me anything that makes day to day life simpler is a good find! I failed to mention that my plinks now come in lavendar which matches the smell of my Method spray. I mean, come on! (Ok I may have a slight problem.) :)

Now it was off to see the trains which coincidentally is also where I can snag more coffee. I met a nice couple with their ADORABLE son, again we had a nice conversation and it was time to head home. I pried the boys away from the trains and then "made" dinner (popped a whole grain pizza in the oven and steam some veggies), gave baths and put the boys to bed.

On the way home from the store I had called Jared and thanked him for knowing what I needed. After hanging up I was looking for some music and you will not BELIEVE what I heard. PRINCE (formerly known as) was on the oldies station!! Are you kidding me?? I was in shock and kept checking the tuner to be sure I was right. Wow, why am I afraid that I am going to blink and all of a sudden Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift will be on the "oldies" station singing about their latest heartbreak? YIKES! I quickly changed that station not ready to deal with THAT particular reality and heard Whitney Houston's version of "I will always love you". Blast.from.the.past. You cannot tell me you didn't love that song when "Bodyguard" came out. :) I feel sorry for my dear sons who had to endure Mommy singing the most powerful part of the song "AND IIIIII eeeeIIIIeeeeeIIII will always love YOU OOOO OOOO OOO OOOO" but let's face it only Whitney (pre-craziness) can hit those notes well. So I am ready for a new day and I am even more ready for Girl's Night on Thursday! YAY!

Parenthood has it's ups and downs but neither Jared or I would trade it. Nope, no way!