Monday, August 31, 2009

10 Reasons......

10 reasons that I feel refreshed on this Monday morning
by: former psycho stressed-out Mom.

1) Jared did not have to work (outside the home) all weekend! Praise God.
2) We didn't run around like crazy because he was off.
3) We did run errands that needed to be done and now I don't have to worry about trying to do them by myself with my insanely rambunctious active boys.
4) We ate out 3 times which = next to no cooking.
5) Jared accomplished a bunch of small but nagging household tasks.
6) We cleaned out the basement and he still loves me. (I tend to use our storage in the basement as my messy, cluttered, hold all. I compare it to Monica's "secret closet" on "Friends" ** cue "Sanford and Son" music.) Anyways, this was a HUGE accomplishment.
7) I slept for 8 hours each night of the weekend. I am realizing that I cope with life and the trantrums much better when I am well rested.
8) I read this line in the book "Your Two Year Old: Terrible or Tender" "Do not be surprised if you are unduly fatigued at the end of the day". I was so excited I ran to tell Jared and his response was "I could have told you that it's normal". It was still just nice to know that a) my husband thinks I am somewhat normal and b) so does the author of the book. I am also happy to not be the only one who puts my twins two year olds to bed and feels like doing absolutely nothing "unduly fatigued".
9) I had time to work on some of the projects that I want to do with the boys.
10) I had time to bake muffins on Sunday morning. Alex and Eli's favorite breakfast.
Below are the pictures of the activity that I worked on for the boys this wknd. I got the idea from "The Activity Mom". I love her site and found a lot of great projects and activities that I plan to do soon. She links you to another site that gives other ideas for what to do with these race car letters. I printed them out on printer paper, matted them on construction paper and laminated them with the upper-case letter on one side and the lower case on the other. I chose to do each of their names.


By the way thanks for all the kind words regarding this fun age of two that we are dealing with :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

So Happy It's Friday!

One thing that blogging does for me is that it helps me focus on the cuteness. It is hard not to look at a picture of your children and feel unbelievably blessed. I think that blogging also helps me focus on the positive. Even when I have had the worst day when I write about it or re-tell the story it usually seems kind of funny.

Today has been another one of those days. My sons broke a lamp at my sister's beautiful new house and then when I stopped at Taco Bell because I didnt' want to make lunch I got rear ended. (No damage to us or the car.) So in order to focus my attentions on all that is right with our life and to celebrate the fact that they boys are napping. I am going to edit pictures (my new fun hobby) and post them.






Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

Don't let these sweet faces fool ya!

Wow, I have to say being a mom to twin two year olds (almost 2 1/2) is currently KICKING MY BUTT (I just typed BUSS on accident, I refuse to read into the whole butt/bus thing) ANYWAYS, the boys are basically running the roost lately. I am at a complete loss. Jared and I are being consistent in our discipline and it still feels like it is not working. We are admittedly discouraged. I have moments of triumph with them that make me feel like a good Mama and then the tables quickly turn. We enjoy hugs, kisses and "I love you's" followed by walking into their room and finding that they have completely emptied their dresser drawers (while we have company). We laugh at the hysterical things that they say followed by checking on them during "nap"and finding that they are on top of the dresser playing. Their naps are "successful" if it only take me an hour to calm them down and then they sleep for an hour. It is exhausting, draining, depleting. I think that describes how I feel this instant.

I've always thought that if you do everything you can to parent well that your children would behave well however I now know that kids are kids. I have two year olds not mini-adults. They are going to act like two year olds. We will get through this stage and then we will be on to another challenge but as this is my scrapbook to my children I wanted to note that this is HARD. I know that doesn't surprise any parents out there but when I am a grandparent I want to look back at this and remember that it wasn't all a breeze. So that is it. No words of wisdom just reality staring out at me and snickering ;)

Ha, I bet you NEVER thought that I would get to the thankful part. Fooled ya! In all this I am thankful for my boys. I am thankful that they are physically able to climb on dressers and yell "MINE" at one another. I am thankful that they have curious and creative little minds. I am thankful for my husband who is at the forefront of this battle with me, leading us every step of the way. Thank you Lord! I know that it will only strengthen us as we grow as a couple and as parents. BUT most of all today I am thankful that "This Too Shall Pass". Can I get an AMEN?!?! (It will pass, won't it???) :)

I wrote this post yesterday and last night I had a reality check and told Jared that I wish I could rewind to the first 6 months with twin preemies and spend a few days there. It could then remind me how difficult THAT was and I would be more than happy to come back and endure the challenge of this age of 2. The other upside would be to squeeze those sweet babies! I forgot how humongous and sweet Alex's cheeks were.




You can join in on Thanksgiving Thursday here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Blog Reading

Works for Me Wednesday is here again so go and check out these other fabulous ideas at "We are THAT Family".

Blog reading is what works for me. I tend to find a lot of useful ideas for activities from other moms. I will display it in pictures because that "works for me", ha!

My #1 spot for craft/education ideas for the boys is at "No Time For Flashcards". I have a button on the right bottom side of my blog. All of the following crafts are from that blog. I cannot say enough about the wealth of ideas this former pre-school teacher and current SAHM provides.

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Here is a link to an alligator craft and a dinosaur craft that we did also.

Another twin mom blogger @ "Two are Better Than One" gave me the idea for fun at the sink. This is really basic but it was not something that I had thought of. To give you an idea of how much the boys love it. I asked them if they were ready to go outside and they BOTH shouted "NO!!"


I also picked up the idea of playing with beans at a blog although I am not sure which one AND realized here that I needed to start baking with my boys despite the mess.

All of these things come in handy while looking for ways to entertain twin two year old boys. I especially appreciate them in the dead of a Michigan Winter!

Monday, August 24, 2009

6 things that make me happy :)

I was tagged by Emily to post about 6 things that make me happy. It is my first tag, believe it or not so I thought I'd give it a go.

1. My boys: Jared, Alex and Eli


2. Fall! I cannot wait. I posted all that I love about fall HERE last year.


3. Coffee! French roast, strong, FF 1/2 & 1/2 and sugar. Not that I am picky about it or anything. ;)

4. Peanut butter and chocolate. What a combo!

5. Editing my pics at flickr and then blogging them. It is a great tool although it makes the pics much larger. Thanks for that tip Laura!

6. Napping children. Ahhhh, the silence, the sweet, sweet, silence!


I am supposed to tag 6 people to play along but I REALLY need to go do a workout of some sort so if anyone wants to play along please feel free and don't forget to let me know in the comments so that I can come and see what makes you happy. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Simply Saturday

Alex and Eli discovering how refreshing a drink from a hose can be on a warm August day

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life doesn't get much more simple than that

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Keepin' it Real!

WHAT A DAY I HAVE HAD! It all started when my inner alarm (that I HATE LATELY) woke me up at 4:45 A stinkin' M. I made the best of it and after being up for an hour or so I felt drowsy enough to fall back to sleep for a while. I woke with a start at 8am on a morning that I had an appointment at 9:15. No big deal we all get out the door pretty quickly so I am not stressed. We get ready and I go to find my keys and realize that they are locked in the car because Jared drove us to the store on Tuesday but I locked the front door meaning that I threw my keys in the car and they got locked in. GREAT!!!

Jared started meetings today at school and after a couple of tries I was unable to reach him. THANKFULLY I have AAA and I called and took advantage of the free unlocking the keys from the car service (contrary to the sound that is not the official term). I called the office where my appointment was and left a message that we would be late because it was 8:40 and my keys were locked safely in my car. The toe truck pulls up not 5 minutes later, yay and we make it to our appointment 5 minutes early. Wooohoooo!

From there we hit the bank, said "Hi!" to Jared at school in between his meetings and headed to the library and THEN the grocery store. The library went well although they struggled a bit during check-out because they had to stay on the rug. They did, however, do MUCH better than in the past. I actually felt like we were getting somewhere in that department. Feeling cocky we headed to the grocery store where I needed a couple of things.

I had noticed last time I was there that they had small shopping carts for children to push and I thought then that next time I had 1 child I would give it a whirl BUT today I threw caution to the wind and let them both do it. IT WAS ADORABLE! They did great and the store wasn't crowded so I let them walk all around the place for an extra 20 minutes or so. I didn't anticipate check-out until about 1/2 through the euphoric experience. I then sort of dreaded it. Especially when I tried to get them to head in the direction of the front of the store and they immediately became defiant. I handled it calmly and we slowly headed up to the front of the store.

This is when things got a little dicey. An elderly lady approached the check out at about the same time and although she motioned for me to go ahead I assured her that she should go first. In my mind I was thinking: "Run for you life lady, get out while you can!!!" While she checked out I had the boys get in line and already they were ticked. TICKED! Eli whined a bit but relented when he realized he could play with candy packages in the aisle and Mommy wasn't objecting. Alex on the other hand was POSTAL! I told him to settle down and eventually after a scene he relented. An old couple behind me started eyeballing me and my children and I was sweating at this point. The sweet check out lady was sympathising with the boys and gave them stickers. I am guessing she has grandbabies because she understood that a 2 year old having to give up something as cool as a cart with groceries in it was a BIG deal. I was feeling a bit of stress relief as she was being so kind. AND THEN it was time to switch cashiers. OY!

The new cashier was a 20 something year old man and he seemed a bit annoyed with my crying (although now calmly, due to the sticker) Alex. The little carts had signs on them that said you had to leave them in the store so I began the prying from fingers while my things were being scanned and bagged. It was at this point that the couple behind me and the cashier began discussing how when they were kids you NEVER acted like that because you knew what you had coming at home. UMMMM EXCUSE me but they are TWO they aren't 10 and having a meltdown because I won't buy them a video game. Come on people. Welcome to 2009. I was agitated that they felt free to have this discussion while standing 12 inches from me rather than gossip about me after I had gone but at the same time I was determined not to react. Whatever. I know it is difficult to understand two year olds unless you currently have them, and even then, I will be honest I am at a loss 1/2 he time. ;)

On the way out I asked the boys to be BIG HELPERS ,(one of their favorite things right now) and hold my flowers for me and carry them to the car. This was the perfect distraction and we got to the car unscathed. Can you anticipate what is coming next???? I had to take back the flowers unless I wanted to have headless, crushed flowers. Battle number 38 for the day began and we headed home.

I know what I did. I oversheduled our morning. I let them push carts around instead of getting them home for lunch. It happens. I am human. They are two years old. It was just one of those days.

We came home and I gave them lunch (which they didn't touch) and began to make my cupcakes for girl's-night-in tonight. They put the baking cups in the pan and had a blast doing it. Eli was making Alex and I laugh out loud each time Alex tried to take one of "his" baking cups by saying "MY cup of cake, MY cup of cake, MY cup of cake". So funny. While putting in the 2nd batch they got a hold of my vase of flowers and I decided "helping time" was over. It was a LONG day. They weren't happy about nap even after two books but as I closed their bedroom door I heard their version of supercalifragilisticexbealidocious (have fun on that one spell checker ;D) and well, I am pretty sure you can't be irritated with a child singing that song. :) At least I can't!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Works for me Wednesday: Room Time

Room Time, my sanity saver! My sister in law talked to me about this. Her kids are in elementary and middle school now and they still enjoy time to themselves playing independently. She feels as if it has helped to build their imaginations and fostered independence. I also read about room time in a parenting book and knowing older children who benefited from it definitely convinced me. The book indicated that is also helps to improve your child's attention span because they are not always watching Mommy to see what she is doing and thereby getting distracted. It all starts with the play pen when your children cannot play safely in their room independently and lasts for as little as a few minutes and now for us it has moved to their room with a gate up. Ideally it is independent but I still have not come up with a solution for the boys to have separate areas.

I don't do this daily but on a regular basis I put the boys in their room to play for about 20-30 minutes. I get down all of their favorite toys and let them have at it. On a normal day they have no objections. Every once in a while Alex will have a clingy day and not want to do it but typically I sit with him for a few minutes in the room and play and then he is content. I can then use the time to do whatever I need to get done and I know they are safely playing. I also look forward to this time as a breather for me. Anyone who has a two year old (or two ;D) can probably sympathize and understand why even 2 minutes of having no one under your feet would be heavenly. On Saturday mornings this gives Jared and I enough time to conquer cleaning and organizing the house together and then we have a clutter free weekend.

All I can say is it "Works for Me". Head over to "We are THAT Family" and hear what works for other Mommy bloggers.

Below is and example of a time it didn't "work" quite as well. It also reminds me to caution you that you have to make sure you check on them regularly (especially when it gets quiet like it did on this particular day) and make sure all "fun" things that toddlers like to explore but shouldn't is out of reach. Thankfully these were the safety Q-tips.



Monday, August 17, 2009

My kids make me laugh!

I was looking for a cute anecdote for posting these pics and then I realized that is the beauty of having a blog, you can post whatever pictures you want with or without reason. ;) Love that, don't you?

So here are a few of my recent favorites:


I don't think I will ever get tired of these moments. I left the room while they were watching a video and returned to Eli watching TV wearing my glasses. He is such a character.


I love this picture because as usual Alex insisted on bringing some book or toy to the table with him for breakfast. This makes me smile because it looks like he is referencing something and doesn't want to lose his place while he takes a bite. *I just realized Eli is in the background wearing a sun hat :)


The boys love playing with their dried beans and even better the love cleaning up after.

Yay, boys!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

simply saturday

One of the simple things in life that I enjoy is a blank journal page. I see it as a blank slate for new life lessons. A blank page of promise. A moment to sit down with coffee and have a clear thought without the distractions of a computer screen, phone, TV and children. Just me, a pen and usually my Bible. Last week I purchased this little slice of heaven for $2.50 and it will bring me years of joy. I may sound like I am exaggerating and maybe I am a little but I really love a journal almost as much as I love tote bags (that is another whole post) and will look back at it for years to come and remember the lessons I've learned.

I have never been a consistent journaler (is that a word?) but I've always enjoy doing it. I tend to write more about personal things that are going on that I wouldn't share in my blog. I write about sermons that have really spoken to me, verses that inspire me, moments that I am at my whits end with my children and am searching for any answers I can find. This past week or so I have been writing mostly about James. My pastor is doing a series on it and it is kicking my butt. In a good "I needed my butt kicked" kind of way. It is quite powerful and we now have podcasts b/c we are cool like that at my church. ;) Here is the link for those.

Anyways a blank piece of paper and pen is about as simple as it gets so that is one of life's simple pleasures that I am currently thankful for. I would hate to not post some picture of my children so here are some from Bella-boo's party.

The birthday girl who greeted us at the door yelling "it's my birthday!" She was so excited. She was also excited as she opened her gifts and wanted to wear every last one. She was fresh from the pool and still insisted on putting on her t-shirt, scarf, necklace, ring combo. Jackson is in the pic next to her and this does NO justice to how covered in frosting he actually was.

Eli, always the life of the party. I heard laughter erupt and looked over to see my son donning a bag on his head. Oy. Alex was shushing the children having fun in this picture. Hmmm, not so "life of the party".

Fun was had by all!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let's do....random!

I feel the need for a random post. Here goes:

  • This morning I dreamt of doing the dishes. I am serious. Maybe it was a nightmare?

  • Molly watched the boys yesterday so that I could grocery shop alone. It was so nice and I returned to her house to find both of my boys doing their best Elton John impersonation. They had beads around their neck and were playing the piano and singing B-I-N-G-O with gusto.

  • When it was time to go Alex didn't want to leave. It wasn't a pretty scene. We were 1/2 way home when I glanced in the rear view mirror to see still mad Alex with a green face. For a moment I thought he was goin' all Incredible Hulk on me but then I remembered that getting him to leave involved prying a piece of sidewalk chalk out of his hand. I am still laughing about this one.


  • As I was leaving to go shopping I told Bella, whose birthday is today but her party is Friday, that I had to go and find her a gift. Immediately she was intrigued and asked "what are you going to get?" I responded, "I don't know, we will see" and then shut the door to head to my car. I began to hear banging on the window and headed back to the door opened it and Bella who was dressed in full princess attire (dress, crown, wand) pointed ever so slightly to the dress she had on. I laughed out loud. You've gotta love a 4 year old who knows what she wants. Adorable!

  • Alex has started requesting a kiss and hug at bed time and I love it. This morning he requested the same from Daddy as he left for work. Jared's response was "I love this new tradition". We usually request one but it is always nice for them to want a kiss and hug from us.
  • Is it weird that I sometimes wish we were independently wealthy just so that Jared could hang out with us all day long? Oh well.
  • Alex continues to be a walking contradiction. He is a total daredevil who want to swing faster and be thrown higher, yet he is fearful of so many small things lately.
  • Yesteday was the first day in forever that Jared came home early and I was in bed watching "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". Seriously? What are the odds? Too bad I didn't have some bon-bons in my hand. In my defense I had a headache. He always tells me to rest when the boys nap but I always feel so weird about when I actually do. Kinda funny.

  • Recently while in another room a fight ensued over headbands. Thankfully I had two.
  • As active as the boys are they can veg out with the best of 'em.
  • We had our first family movie night on Friday. This was our set up so that the boys could eat pizza while watching the movie. We rented Kung-Fu Panda which turned out to be a bit scary for the boys but we still had a good time.
  • I am off to declutter a few spots in our house that are driving me crazy.
    • And that concludes this really random post.