Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions


I think we all made pretty good progress on last years resolutions. Even Tyler learned to love the pacifier!! Here are a few for this year...

Tyler: To get as fast as the big kids. To stop that last pesky AM nursing AND sleep until 7 AM. To grow hair. To smash every block tower and demolish every train track.

Drew: Learn to ride his bike. Figure out a way to keep Tyler from wrecking the train tracks. Watch every Disney movie without the lower lip trembling during the sad parts. Learn to let Ella bother me less. Go to a class without mommy.

Ella: Learn to ride her bike. Take care of every stuffed animal. Go to sleep before 10 PM. Wear underwear to bed. Wrap daddy even tighter around my finger. Go to a class without mommy.

Me: Figure out what to do about pre-school. Help the kids be more independent, leave them at that class! Read 12 books. Take a class in something. Make some money, somehow. Keep the house cleaner and neater. Figure out a plan to move to Mass. Share more laughs and more hugs everyday. Slow down.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tyler vs Lobster

Having a lobster dinner is a Christmas Eve tradition that Grandpa Sid introduced to our family. Although I no longer eat lobster and generally hate everything about lobsters, I love the tradition. I love watching my family enjoy it and I am so excited to introduce my kids to it. Thanks to Uncle Johnny we had these enormous lobsters this year.




Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Past

Ella and Drew's first Christmas was something of a blur. Ella had come home only days earlier. I was in a nursing all night and all day haze. We were still reeling from the fact that we had twins, and now they were home! I remember waking up and seeing some strange lights from the living room. I walked out to find a silver tree with blinking iridescent lights. It was the ugliest thing ever to happen to Christmas and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. My mother had left it for us before she snuck out to catch a train home for Christmas. She couldn't bear the thought that we didn't have a tree. There are not words to describe how indispensable she was during those first days after they were born when I couldn't say a sentence without crying and the thought of making food was repulsive. She stayed with Drew while Mike and I visited Ella in the NICU everyday. She bought gifts for my in-laws and wrapped them with love. So, Ellla and Drew will never remember their first Christmas, but I will be sure to tell them the story of the ugliest tree and a nonnie full of love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Little Moments


I love moments like these when I walk through the room and catch them being so sweet with each other. I love that they are twins and have always had each other and always will. I am so lucky that I get a front row seat to one of the most special shows on earth.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Music Mania




It is no secret that my kids, especially Ella and Drew, are crazy music freaks. They love all things musical and after a trip to the NJ State Marching Band competition, they have been asking for a trumpet. Then a saxophone, then a violin, then a clarinet...I drew the line at a tuba! Im so thankful for the internet because I was able to find all these instruments for a very reasonable price. They were so excited to open their gifts and their concerts are better than ever.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Days



It has been years since snow was this exciting for me! We grew up with a perfect sledding hill and frozen cranberry bogs for skating right in our neighborhood. After playing outside we would be welcomed in the house with hot cocoa. Loved it.

Now I am feeling the excitement all over again. I need not worry about messy commutes or my pants getting wet and muddy. Instead I get to see the wonder on my kids faces as they peek out the window. They love to stick their tongues out to taste the snowflakes and are amazed at the tracks they leave behind with their feet. This age is awesome, as so many common things for us adults are met with sheer amazement by the kids.

Yeah for snow!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mission Accomplished


"Hey, Hey...what kind of cookies do you like?"

"Hey, Hey, Hey....where's Rudolph?"

"Hey, Hey, Hey, I want Thomas the Train."

"Hey, Hey, don't come to my house, come to Nonnie's house!"

After much dramatic buildup it turns out that Ella and Drew love Santa. I felt bad for the poor man being peppered with a continuous stream of twin talk. He didn't know what hit him.

Too bad Tyler couldn't stand the guy! We did get a shot of all 3 with Tyler (in tears), but I don't have a scanner, so you'll have to settle for this one.

ps. thanks to the NH Virta's for the sweaters and hats. Drew refuses to take this hat off. He is napping with it on as we speak!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's Wrong with this Picture?


Well, there are 2 things wrong.
1. There is no Santa in this photo. We dressed the kids and drove to a mall in another county because it was Sunday (yes, we live in the last place on earth that enforces blue laws!). We braved the busy mall parking lot and organized the kids into the 2 strollers. We broke the news that they would be sitting with Santa, dried their tears and waved the lollipop bribes in their faces. Then we went to get in line and saw the sign: "Santa is taking a break." No big deal, when will he be back? 2.5 hours later!! Come on now!! What does this guy do on his break?! So, no picture with Santa and Ill need to try again another day.

2. Less entertaining - my camera was all messed up again. I have a few weeks worth of photos that are all blurry. I did manage to fix it though, because, I am a genius, and I don't require 2.5 hour breaks!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Parties




We finished off the "Birthday Week" with a Dargan family party at our house. With 8 kids under 4 and another on the way, it is always a party when we get together! We did gingerbread houses again, panda bear cupcakes, and a guitar cake. Although I loved all the celebrations, I am happy that it will be a year before I do another birthday party!! 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Buddy!



Dear Drew,
We joke that you waited a whopping 13 minutes after Ella was born so that you could stretch in the newfound space and enjoy some much needed quiet! If only we knew then how fitting that would be of your personality.

You are awesome and amazing. You are brave and kind. It is amazing that after 3 years of being teased and tortured by your sister, you have never retaliated. I absolutely love how gentle and sensitive you are. You have looked after Tyler and loved him in an amazing, sweet way since the day he was born. You two share a special bond that I hope will continue forever. 


Although many new experiences initially cause you to worry, you approach everything from a new class to the dentist with a quiet bravery. I am so proud of you in these moments. I love it when you retell the story and I can see your pride on your face. I especially love your face when you try to hide a smile - the twinkle in your eyes gives it away every time! 


You love to entertain us with music, dancing, and a daily assortment of tricks that are announced with a "Hey Mom!! Look at this!"  You will work on something over and over until you get it right.  I love to watch you playing away with two random objects, like a flashlight and a vacuum hose - you are so creative. 


You have so many fooled, as family and strangers alike call you "the quiet one." If only they could see you rocking it out on your guitar or asking me a million questions. It delights me that you save this side of you for those that you love the most. 

Drew, you are a super special guy and I am so happy that you chose us. 
I love you, Mom. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Big Girl



Happy Birthday to my most special girl!
Three years ago I met my beautiful, tiny little girl. It is hard to believe that the little baby being wheeled away in an incubator is now a curly haired ball of fire. My life changed the day you were born, I changed and I will be forever grateful.



This past year you have grown so much. You have always been a little spit fire, but this year you decided to share this side of you with everyone else! No longer do you cringe at strangers who come too close, oh no! Now you are yelling across stores and walking up to new people to introduce yourself and ask their name. You even danced into the night, loving your audience, at Mike and Shauna's wedding.



You have a big personality squeezed into that tiny little body - it oozes out of you, noticeable even in your walk. You like to be silly and you like to tease, but you also love to be kind and take care of others. You give the best hugs and kisses - squeezing and squishing with all of your might. I love your independence and your blossoming leadership qualities. I can already see you organizing friends into games and giving the boys in high school a run for their money! But, let's be patient, my Ella Bella, there is plenty of time for that later, much later.



You are never far from my side and I see so much of myself in you. You are an amazing mimic! Im grateful for my walking, talking mirror as you are teaching me to be a better person every day. I imagine you will be teaching me lessons for years to come, and Im as eager to learn as you are.

You love your stuffed animals, your daddy, and music. You love books and are beginning to memorize enough of them that you now read to Drew and Tyler. You crack us up with your crazy dance moves and your original songs. You are simply the best and we couldn't be prouder. Thanks for being you.
Love always, Mom

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great Day

I worked hard into the wee hours of the night so that my little guys could have a fun birthday party today. I actually enjoyed every minute of the preparations, reflecting on how awesome they are and how lucky I am. We had lumpy brown penguin cupcakes and gingerbread houses that withstood toddlers decorating them. They had laughs and giggles. It was perfect.



Gift Obsession

I am currently obsessed with finding these skates for Ella, Drew and my nephew for Christmas - problem is that I can't find them anywhere!! I can't stop thinking about them and searching for them. Thankfully, they have no idea. I can't imagine what it will be like when they are begging for a toy that I can't find.

Edit: As Shauna, so thoughtfully pointed out, these skates are available at Amazon. However there is a catch, they are available for $40, but out of stock at $15. I just can't pay $40 now for something I may be able to get later for less. I just so want them for the kids, it is bugging me.

Additional Note: It has been brought to my attention that someone may read this and feel the need to buy them at the higher price. If you do that I will be mad at you!! The kids have no idea they exist and will like them from the Easter Bunny just as much as from Santa! Don't do it!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tyler Turns One


Dear Tyler,
Happy Birthday my little guy! This year has flown by faster than I ever imagined possible. Granted, the first 6 months weren't easy, you sure gave us a run for our money! But I have fallen for you in a way I never planned. I simply can't get enough of you.

You have been completely enamoured with your big brother and sister from the moment you met them. I love how you watch them, follow them, and laugh at them. As soon as you could crawl you would clamor over to them and tackle them. Now you give them giant hugs and big wet sloppy kisses. You also topple their towers, pull their hair, and rip their books - but they don't mind - they have fallen in love with you just like the rest of us.

I love your determination, bravery, and sheer will. Of course you often use it for evil as in splashing in the toilet, falling down the stairs, and wreaking havoc in the bath tub - but you also learned to walk a month ago, taught yourself how to go backwards down stairs, and entertain all at the playground by flying down the biggest slides head first. Did I mention you do it all with a huge smile?!

I should apologize now for all you have and will suffer by being the third child. You have cried more, slept less, and been dragged all over the tri-state area more than Ella and Drew ever were. You have eaten junk food and watched tv. You have eaten god-knows-what off the floor and gone too many days without a bath. I tell myself that these injustices will make you more resilient and independent - lets hope Im right!

I love how snuggly you are and the way you smile at the people you love. I love your curiosity. I love you.

You have done amazing things this year and I can't wait to see more - well, maybe I can. You are growing a bit too fast for me!

I love being a part of your life. Keep being awesome, keep being you.

Happy Birthday my little guy - love always Mom.

This is Horrible


Ella is trying out a new phrase.

Yesterday while driving in the car she and Drew were going at it. After several attempts to quiet them down and to stop grabbing at each other, Ella was showing no signs of stopping, while Drew played the helpless victim. So, my last ditch effort was to announce that I would pull over and put her in a corner. I suppose this is somewhat of a parenting cliche, usually reserved for fathers on road trips, but in the moment it was all I could think of. Yes, she called my bluff and I pulled over. As I was pulling into a parking spot she said,

"Oh, mommy this is horrible."

Today Ella was not being a nice sister to poor Tyler. After a break on the step she returned to play and quickly noticed that Tyler had 2 of the toys she so desperatly wanted. As she went to grab them from his hands I reminded her to be nice. She followed him around fighting back the tears, as she asked nicely and tried to trade. Finally, between tears, she said,

"This is just horrible."

Both times I couldn't help but laugh.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sum it Up


How can you sum up a fabulous pre-birthday weekend? Bullets.

*The Boston Childrens Museum was a fun, not-crowded, clean walk down memory lane. Many a field trip was spent here and it is as fun as I remember it. Best of all was that we caught up with my college chum Elyse and her 2 kids. Padraig was born 2 days after Tyler and they hit it off immediately.

*My parents and their house are a fantasy land for my kids. Nonnie and Caca delight in spoiling them with attention from reading books to playing in the yard. Their patience is unending and they find a way to make everything fun. Ella, Drew and Tyler literally light up as soon as they enter the house. It is amazing for me to watch my normally clingy kids disappear for hours with my parents and ask for them over Mike and I. One highlight is watching my dad help Drew do pee-pee. They can even make that special!

*The Birthday Bash, Whew, the Birthday Bash! There were about 40 people there! What an event, with faces we haven't seen in forever coming to celebrate my kids. My mother outdid herself, yet again. She decorated and cooked up a storm to make the perfect afternoon. To top it all off we collected almost 30 toys to donate to Toys for Tots. Success.

*First Snow. Ok, they have seen snow, but living in a city, we have never actually played in snow. We were all pleasantly surprised when the snow began Sunday morning. It was the best kind of snow, sticking to the trees to create a winter wonderland. Also perfect for snowmen and snowballs. Ella and Drew loved it! We played with my brother, niece, nephew and parents. It was awesome. Ella asked me this morning if Uncle Matt could come over to play in the snow.

I love being "home" at my parents house and I am absolutely thrilled that my kids love it...and them...as much as I do.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Excitement Builds

Ella, Drew and Tyler have the good fortune of their birthdays happening all at the same time. Having them together makes them seem bigger, more exciting, and well, happier! We have been talking about them for weeks. They are at the perfect birthday age where just the concept of a birthday itself is exciting. Oh, a gift too - marvelous! Oh, a cake - yes please mommy! A party, or three - Im excited! Their expectations are so low that it just seems too easy. I, of course, am making a bigger deal out of their birthdays because I love birthdays. What's not to love?! Stay tuned for pics and stories of the festivities that begin this weekend in Beantown. 

Here is a pic from their 1st bday - so not excited.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Post Meal Bliss


After all 3 little maniacs eat there is a brief period of time where all is well. Specifically, there is no yelling and screaming... and the kids are pretty quiet too! They all get up from the table, bellies full and hands clean, and find a toy. Usually they separate, and there is so little noise, it almost feels wrong. 
 Right now Drew has a drum stick and a dish towel wrapped around his head. He is waving the stick around and making a "tssshhk" sound. I have no idea what he is doing, but I wouldn't dare interrupt him to ask. Ella is adding animals to her canvas bag that perpetually hangs on my dining room chair. Her beloved Jackson dog is on the bottom and she regularly delivers friends to him. Tyler is walking around with the grandma doll from the dollhouse in his mouth. Im sure it isn't safe and he could choke or knock out a tooth or something, but did I mention that everyone is happy?
And here I sit, belly full, hands clean and surrounded by love. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Walking Man

This is a little late, since he has been walking for a month and this video was 2 weeks ago...but thrilling all the same. Where did my baby go?!

Other notable aspects of this video...Ella. She is involved in everything! Translation of her shrieks: "Walk to me Ty! Good walking! Good Huggies! Good Huggies!" 

  video

Picture and Video Catch up!

I found my camera cord!! So here are some pics from the last few weeks...

What's better than a new car seat?


Why the box of course!!




Making crafts with our friends to include in our Thanksgiving care package for the troops! 

Sometimes the stars align and they play nicely with the same toy...miracles do happen! 




Monday, December 1, 2008

Influences

We all know the old saying, "kids are like sponges." Ella, Drew too, but mostly Ella, takes this to a whole new level. She hears everything, remembers most things, and tries to repeat a lot. Im learning that so many things just sound wrong out of a little blond cherub face. From this weekend: 

"Mac and cheese is gross."  - apparently I say gross. Who knew? She said this phrase about a gazillion times. By the way, both of us love mac and cheese. 

"Holy Mah-cah-rollie!" - Mike says Holy Mackerel when the kids show him something. 

"Oh God! Look at those Christmas decorations." - Grandma says "Oh God" a lot. In a really strong NJ accent. It is funny and even funnier when Ella mimicked her while driving in the car. 

"I want more milk, I SAID" - not something Im proud of, but I do say this when repeating myself for the 100th time to the kids. Now, after hearing it from my daughter, I fully realize how yucky of a phrase it is. Im stopping. 

"You are my meatball, Tylie." - My dad calls Ella a meatball. I love that she understands it as a term of endearment. 

ps. still no camera cord. I think I need to order a replacement.