Thursday, July 31, 2008


Common knowledge by now, Drew loves music. He hasn't always been a singer though, more into instruments and dancing. Lately as he plays by himself I hear him singing the words to songs I had no idea he knew.
"Sunny days, chasing the clouds away. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame St?"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Likes & Dislikes

Ella may be little but she has big personality! Her new favorite topic of discussion usually begins with "You like that, Momma?" and then after I answer she follows with whether or not she likes it. Cute, yes. However, sometimes it isn't so cute, as in:
Me: Ella, I don't like when you hit Drew.
Ella: No, no, I LIKE to hit Drew!!
Usually it is accompanied by a wagging finger!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lake 2008

It was an awesome vacation!! Ok, so it rained almost everyday, but we still got a lot of beach time in. Sure, my brother split his lip open requiring 8 stitches while water skiing, but hey, he was doing great before the fall! And yes, the dock did collapse while the entire family was posing for a picture, but it makes for a great story! (Notice everyone wet in the above after shot!)There were plenty of Kayak excursions, boat rides, floating, and sand castle building to keep us busy on the sunny days, while the rain provided time for crafts, baking, reading and napping. My parents, grandmother, uncles, aunts, brothers, sister-in-laws, niece, nephew, and cousins were all there - thrilling for me because I only see them a handful of times a year. Of course, there are plenty of pictures to come, but some of the best memories don't need a camera. I loved watching my dad dance and march with the kids after dinner, hearing little voices call "Nonnie?!" listening to Johnny's Navy stories around the campfire, seeing Nana's smile first thing in the morning, chatting with Drew and Ella while we kayaked little nooks in the cove. It was a perfect vacation.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation Time!!

We are off to Lake Winnie for a week for the 2nd Annual Virta "Break at the Lake."
See you when we get back...

Chat Stew with Drew

Some recent conversations with Drew...

D: What's that?
Me: It is a church. (FYI, we never go to church)
D: Oh. I like church, mommy.
Me: You do, bud?
D: Yeah. Sing songs.
Me: Yup, there are songs in church.
D: I wanna go.
Me: Ok, maybe this weekend. (Im totally in shock at this point)
D: Nonnie and Caca come?
Me: I don't think so bud. They are in Boston. We can go without them.
D. Ok. Eat cake at church.
Me: Oh, Drew you are thinking about a wedding! That was a wedding we went to, they don't have cake at church. They do sing songs though.

Me: Good morning buddy!
D: &^$%$^ drive ^&*#* it.
Me: What?
D: mblahend drive it.
Me: You want to drive something?
D: Mommy, UNC drive it. Boat. Biiiiiigggg Lake!
Me: Oh, yup we are going to the Lake next week.
D: Boat ride with Unc?
Me: Sure, you can ride the boat with Unc.
D: No move, mommy. No move!

Silence over the monitor at nap time.

D: You happy, Ella?
E: Yes, I happy Drew.
D: Ok, Ella.

No noise for a few hours.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Breaking the Rules

"Don't do something once if you are not willing to do it all the time." This was my rule from the beginning of Ella and Drew. This is exactly what I was thinking as I lay on the floor with Tyler last night at 3 AM. I have broken every rule with this kid! But, I lay there next to him in a quiet, peaceful house, happy that he stopped screaming. He was touching my face and I was actually enjoying the moment. One day soon he will be too big and too busy to look at my face and enjoy being with me.

By 4 AM all those happy thoughts were out the window as I silently cursed in my head! I had tried everything!! Go to sleep!!

This morning I noticed a new tooth. At least I can blame his crazy behavior and my exhaustion on something.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dancing Queen

It is shaky and blurry, but the best attempt so far to catch Ella's dance moves. She has been dancing all the time, at the grocery store, in restaurants, and at friends houses. She is so proud of her moves...and we just can't stop laughing. I think she gets it from Mike's side...

Star Struck

Six months ago we took a music class with a fun kids-rocker guy named Adam. He played the Bass and the guitar in class and Drew loved him. Last week we saw him at a park in H-town while visiting friends. He told us that he would be back at the park this week for a little free performance. Drew has not stopped talking about him since.
"Today Adams Class?" he asked each morning when he woke up. This AM when I said we would see Adam, Drew said, "Adam class make ma happy!" He was rushing Ella out of the house saying, "Come on, Ella, Adams class!" As we drove by the park he was banging on the windows yelling, "Adam class! I see it Mommy!" So it was to my surprise that when Adam approached Drew, he grabbed my legs and buried his face. He stared stone faced during the entire performance while Ella and their friends danced. Then on the way home he said, "More Adams class, mommy? I like it!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Odds are...

When you have 3 kids under 2.5, someone is always going to be tired. Today it is Ella. She was awake in her bed last night until 11 PM and was up by 7:30 this AM. She put herself back to bed twice this morning, without actually sleeping, but finally faced the day. It has been rough going. What do we expect when we keep them up until after 10 PM all weekend? Sorry, Ella, the NJ State Fair was calling!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mr. Clean

Mike likes to be clean. He likes his shirts pressed just so. He washes his feet when he gets home. Once a bird pooped on him while on his way to work and he came home and showered. He cringes when the kids touch him with dirty hands at a restaurant. He immediately changes his clothes if Tyler spits up on him. So, you can imagine the laugh we all had on Saturday while hanging out at the in-laws pool.

"Oh, LAU!!!" (Why he yells my name when upset is a whole different post!)

I look over to see Mike holding Tyler, who was in his bathing suit sans diaper, and there was poop dripping down Mike's entire body! Im still chuckling...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Some new favorites...

Ella and Drew are adding new words, phrases, and emotions to their vocab it seems everyday. Here are a few we are hearing quite often:

"I just..." As in

Me: Ella don't touch that! (Glass object in a store)
Ella: Im just looking at it.

Ella: I want it.
Me: Not right now, maybe later.
Ella: I just need one.

"I like it." or "It makes ma happy."

Drew: Mommy, I like your skin.
Ella: There's raisins in there! (English muffin). This makes ma happy!
Drew: I like this song. It makes ma happy!
Ella: I like this seat. This is a nice seat.
Ella after I explain why she just got in trouble: You happy, mommy?
Drew running at the lake: I happy mommy! I HAPPY!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nonnie's House

It is always "Nonnie's house" but they always look for the way, I heard "Papa" a few times this weekend...No matter the name, they always have an unbelievable time!

No words...

Can you believe these faces?

What to do with Tyler...

Tyler doesn't sleep. Well, to be fair he takes an AM nap for an hour usually in the stroller or car. Then he takes an afternoon nap which I nurse him to sleep for and usually nurse him once after an hour or an hour and half to make him sleep longer. At night he eats every 3 hours and spends an awful lot of time in our bed. I have made every "mistake" possible, I know this, but now I can't figure out how to fix it! He sleeps great in our bed, but I can't sleep. I worry one of us will squish him and I am usually hanging off the side with one or two limbs falling asleep - afraid to move for fear of waking him. Important to know: he doesn't cry or fuss in the middle of the night - he screams as if someone is removing his toenails. It doesn't help to hold him or rock him, in fact he screams louder while trying to squirm out of my arms. As soon as I lay him in our bed he rolls over and sleeps. I usually wait 20 min and then transfer him back to the crib. He wakes up in 10-15 min screaming. As a result I am exhausted. I am functioning on half a brain. I am a big grump and not a great mom by mid-afternoon.
Cry it out you say? Did I mention the kid screams?! I can't do it. I tried for 10 min and caved. Also, the ped said to wait until 8 months, so now I feel too guilty to start at only 7.
Co-sleep: It just doesn't work for me. I want him in his own crib so that I can sleep in my own bed, rolling around and re-positioning as I please.

If you have any ideas, please let me know. I see no end to this and I am getting desperate.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Just Clicks

Today was a crazy crazy I mean Tyler falling off the bed and the cable guy hanging out in our living room for 6.5 hours, crazy. So, I have no idea why at 5 PM with thunder clanging in the distance, I decided to load up the crew and go grocery shopping. But you know what? Sometimes everything just clicks and we have a great time. Ella and Drew haven't been in a grocery store in a long, long time - possibly a year. In Hoboken we did shopping during nap time on the weekends and we could always scoot into little grocers on our daily walks to pick up necessities. It was a gamble, but I figured if it went bad I could at least grab some fruit before fleeing. Ella and Drew still like to ride in shopping carts, but with Tyler up front if I put them both in the big part there is no room for our purchases - resulting in fights and no shopping. Today there was no fighting and no taking turns. Ella happily chose to walk and Drew was in and out a few times. They had a ball in the produce department picking out fruit and asking what things were. Wow - a field trip, learning experience, and errand at the same time - Woo Hoo!! In the deli they noticed the music and put on an impromptu dance performance for the waiting crowd. I had to drag them out of there after "One more song!!" The rest of the time they chanted "Teamwork, Teamwork" as Ella handed items to Drew in the cart. I gave them each a box of animal crackers at the check out and everyone was happy. It just clicked! I know, I know, Im sure the novelty will end soon, but Im just going to enjoy it while it lasts.

I just re-read it pathetic that a trip to the grocery store is a noteworthy event? I need a hobby.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

That's Chalk

I don't want to be one of "those moms" but maybe I am. Let me preface this by saying that both Mike and I have pretty bad teeth, as in we have a filling in just about every tooth. Ella and Drew have never had candy. It wasn't such a big deal until recently, especially since most of my friends follow the same idea. But in the last couple of weeks it has come up a few times. First a nice manager at our favorite restaurant gave them each a lollipop. This was moments after they ate ice cream, mind you. When Ella looked up at me clutching this new prize possession and said, "Mommy, what's that?" I lied. I admit it. I told her it was a toy for big kids. Because she is my daughter and probably inherited my abilities to detect something sweet in a 5 mile radius, she looked at me doubtfully and continued to hold tight and examine it for herself. Drew handed it over and busied himself with something else. A week later we went to a birthday party. I finally caved at the party and let them try a juice box. I know it sounds terrible, but what is the point of juice? They love fruit and eat plenty of it - why give them a sugary liquid? Anyway a few minutes after the juice, pizza, and cupcakes, they handed out the goody bags. They were loaded with smarties and lollipops. I waved away the mom approaching with candy necklaces, they don't even taste good. I could feel the strange looks and "tsk, tsking" from around the room. I wanted to say, "Come on, did you see I just let them have a juice box?!" Anyway by the time we got to the car they were already searching through their loot. Mike preoccupied Drew with a blow-up beach ball while simultaneously removing all candy from the bag. (Yes, he is so with me on this!) I tried to do the same with Ella, but she is too quick. "What's this?" she asked waving a smartee around. "It is chalk for the park." I lied again. This time it felt horrible because it wasn't even close to being true. I tried to tell myself that we could try to use it as chalk if she remembered. It didn't matter, she didn't believe me, I could see it in her eyes. Sure enough a few moments later she started whining for us to open it. "I want to eat it." I couldn't lie again. I just said no and tried to distract her until we got to our destination. I always said that once they started asking for it, I would let them have some, in moderation. But I just don't think Im ready. Ice cream, milk shakes, cookies, cake, no problem. Im just not ready for candy. I guess I am one of "those moms."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Daddy's Genes Run Strong

The resemblance is there...don't you think? Do you know which is Drew and which is Tyler?


The first night Drew came home we couldn't put together our cool co-sleeper. Mike ended up dragging our mattress onto the floor so we could sleep next to Drew, who was swaddled on a changing pad. I couldn't bear to not be able to see his face. I set the alarm every three hours, although I was always awake when it went off. Ella was miles away in an incubator. All night I could picture her there with her IVs and monitors beeping wondering if the nurses were holding her or if she was lonely. By the time Ella came home we had a new co-sleeper and it was pure relief, joy, and overwhelming love to see them lying side by side. From the first night it didn't matter how far apart I put them, by the time I went to feed them they were always touching. The next step was moving them to their own room in the same crib. I hated them not being next to me, but I felt a sense of comfort since they had each other. They always ended up touching and it was the cutest thing. When I finally had to move them at 5 1/2 months, I was tortured. I felt horrible splitting them up and I agonized over it for weeks. But, I had to, they were all over each other and disturbing their sleep. After all my anguish, they didn't seem to mind the split.
Now they are in the same room in "big kid beds." It is so crazy to see them in these big beds with blankets. They look so tiny in their little pj's as we turn off the light. My favorite part about them being in beds is being able to snuggle with them as we say goodnight. As we bend down to kiss Ella she wraps those tiny arms around our necks and says "hug." I think in their own way they support each other through these transitions. They have never asked to go back to a crib, been frightened, or tried to get out of their beds. It is truly awesome to watch their little twin bond.