Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Little Ham

Lately when I take out the camera, Ella starts to put on a show. Usually Im trying to catch a candid shot, but we end up doing mini photo shoots for 20 min. I can't fake it, because she loves to look at the images on the camera screen.

I don't know where she comes up with these faces and poses, but they make me laugh!

She must have got it from Mike....wink.wink.

Monday, June 29, 2009


What says summer more than standing in a hot parking lot watching kids ride on fast and/or high rides put together and run by people you wouldn't trust working on your car?! Yup, it is carnival, fair, and amusement park season and the monkeys are enjoying every second!

Ella and Drew will go on anything, as long as the men working the ride don't attempt to touch Ella in any way. You should see how fast I run through that gate when the ride stops! Drew loves anything that has a lever or button that will make the ride go up and down or make a noise. Ella loves it all.

Of course the maniac wants to ride anything and everything. Unfortunately for Tyler the carnies have some rules, and he is not allowed on many of the rides. He screams and points and tries to climb the fence. When we do encounter a ride he can go on, he LOVES it. Big smiles and waves for daddy the entire ride. When the ride stops he clutches the seat belt (term used loosely here) and tries to melt into the ride. I then am forced to drag the poor little guy, kicking and screaming, to the next ride.

I have to admit, I love watching them on the rides. But, one of my favorite parts of the experience is watching Mike. You have to see him leaning against the fence watching the kids go around. He is pointing, waving, cheering, and yelling like a fool. Fists pumping, hat waving, and a big goofy exaggerated grin on his face. This from the man who is too embarrassed to order my favorite drink at Dunkin Donuts because he needs to ask for both decaf and skim milk. I love it.
Ahh, summer time!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Some Friday Bits

* Ella loves her older neighbors, who happen to be all boys. She swoons over our 9 yr-old neighbor Matt, in particular. I wish I had her face on video camera last night when I suggested she invite him in the house to watch a movie with us. (We were watching him, so he had no choice!) She looked at him more than the movie and I half expected her to pinch herself to be sure it was real!

* While the big kids watched a movie, Tyler had the bathtub to himself. He loved it, but not as much as me. Sometimes the little guy gets lost in the shuffle with the big kids. But last night he had all my attention and loved it. I loved taking extra time to snuggle him in his towel. One of my favorite things in the whole world - a fresh clean baby in a snuggly soft towel.

* Mike is home today, so it feels like the weekend. We spent the 1st half of the day at the Bronx zoo. An absolutely amazing place and so much fun to share it with each other. Now for the rest of the weekend...beach?....pool?...amusement park? I love summer!

* I love that Drew says "Trench Tries" instead of french fries. I don't love that he acts like an old woman in the car..."Im hot. Put the air on" to be followed 45 seconds later with "Immm coooldddd" in his whiniest voice. The cycle repeats for the entire ride. And don't even try to fool him, he knows what the controls look like when the air is on/off.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Daddy loves....

I love to come home at night and hear Ella scream..."he's home, he's home"...It makes me feel like everyone was just talking about me.

I love it when I walk thru the door and everyone is eating dinner...it is usually quite loud and I walk in undetected....Tyler is always situated such that he is the only one that can see the door...I look at him and he smiles, then he laughs, then he yells "DaDa, DaDa, DaDaaaaaaa"

I loved it when I came home late the other night and the kids were in their room already....Mom looked very relaxed on the couch...I emptied my pockets and dropped some loose change into the vase right next to the door....here is the conversation that ensued upstairs:
Drew: "Daddy is that you? You home?
Ella: "No Drew, he is still at work"
Drew: "But Ella, I think I heard him put money in the thing"
Ella: "Drew hide...here he comes" (as I walked upstairs)
Drew: "okay Ella"
Ella hides by turning on her belly and burying her head in the bed

One of the challenging thing about twins is that it is difficult sometimes to give each one 100% attention..They just pepper me with questions at the same time...here are the usual questions...

Did you do lots of work today or a little bit? I told you to only do a little bit of work.
What did you eat for lunch? Did you eat a cheeseburger?
Did have any meetings today?
Did you drink coffee with your friends?
Did you miss me?

Ella and Drew, I love that you listen for me at night when I come home late. I love that you know my routine and that I put my loose change in the vase when I walk in. I love that you don't want me to work too hard. I love that you know that I often eat a cheeseburger for lunch.

And yes I miss you every minute of every day while I'm not with you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Need for Speed

No, not that kind...Im not that tired!!

Last evening while riding bikes around the empty Post Office parking lot, I watched my children delight in speed. Ella and Drew have always been on the cautious side. Hesitant to slide down the biggest slides or to try roller skates. But last night as their little legs peddled faster and faster they shrieked with delight. The wind was blowing Ella's curls like crazy and their cheeks were flush from the exertion.

It was one of those moments when I realize that they change so quick. One minute hesitant babies and the next daring, speed demon preschoolers. I know that one day all too soon they will trade in their training wheels for car keys. I wonder if I will be able to tolerate them growing up so fast. I wonder how much of these days I will remember.

In the meantime, Im here, soaking it all in and cheering them on.

Oh, and Tyler - he is a maniac. If I don't push him fast enough in his little push-car he screeches "Mama!" and points his finger to the horizon. So, my hair was blowing, my cheeks were flushed and Im sure I made quite a spectacle running at top speed around the parking lot.

But, hey, we are only young once, right?!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Your Dad

About 10 years ago, I sat on a big bed with my college boyfriend (aka Daddy) and his grandmother, Gram - as we did whenever we were in town and as Mike had done long before I came around. We were chatting about something, probably what we had eaten at a restaurant, and she was probably licking her lips like she sometimes did. Mike was rubbing her shoulders, his hands lathered in cream. (If you know your dad, you understand that his hands lathered in cream is a statement of love all in itself!) She was looking so tiny, naked with her little wrinkled hands pulling the sheet up to her chin. But her eyes sparkled and her smile was so big it filled the room. I looked at your dad with his huge smile, animated story and the love leaking out of his pores. It was the look in his eyes that did it for me.

It was then that I knew that he would be the perfect dad for you.

I wasn't wrong. I see that look again and again as he listens to your stories or watches you perform a new trick. You will grow up basking in his unconditional love and acceptance.

He is the kind of dad that builds snowmen on the deck long after you have gone to bed so that when you wake up you will be surprised - even though he will be at work and miss the fun. He is the kind of dad that feels pain when you fall and would avoid your tears at all cost. He is the kind of dad that sits patiently and unflinching while you crawl all over his head and back, just minutes after announcing the worst headache EVER.

He is the best kind of dad!

Friday, June 19, 2009

For the Birds

The zoos we frequent both have giant enclosures where you walk among hundreds of little birds. As an added bonus (and for an added fee) you can purchase little sticks with birdseed secured to one end. Depending on the day and the crowd the birds either flock to the food or you have to hunt them down and try to tempt one. Ella is good at the tempting, "Here little birdie! Here little birdie, I won't hurt you!" Drew is a little wary of the days when they are literally swarming us. One afternoon they were landing on our heads, our arms and even climbing into Mike's pocket. Tyler likes to hold the stick, until a bird lands on it. The poor little unsuspecting thing lands for a bite and then gets a good hearty shake.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Look at these mugs! They are so snuggly with each other.

Here we were at the Thomas the Tank Engine Live on Stage!!! Da, da, da,,ta!!! The kids were amused, I voted that it was lame - but we were given the tickets for free, so no complaints!

And, yes, that is another boo-boo in the same exact spot on Ella's head. Her little feet can't keep up with her fast spirit. She is fine, and still just as cute -don't you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Step Back

I love some of the pictures from our strawberry picking adventure in black and white. I think it makes the event seem so timeless and classic.

The kids loved running around the farm, picking the berries, and feeding the animals.

Reminded me of how desperately we all need open space and fresh air.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Under the Medium Top

We went to a circus this past weekend. Not quite the Ringling bros or Big Apple Big Top circuses, but at 1/2 the price and seats way up front...it was perfect for us. Elephants, camels, clowns, trick dogs and ponies and even a man launched from a canon.

The kids were mesmerized the entire time.

I had a few visions of those "Animals Gone Wild" shows and was a little nervous we would get charged! But all was well.
It is fascinating to look at the people's faces and see their campers outside. What kind of life is that? Have you read "Water for Elephants?" All I could think of was the hierarchy of circus employees and how they are treated. Don't even get me started on the treatment of their animals...

Monday, June 15, 2009


Although these pictures don't seem to do it justice - Ella had a nasty egg on her head this past week. While running on a sidewalk she fell and skinned both her knees as well as hitting her head. Being the toughie she is, she cried for a minute and then wanted the fussing to stop. She loves to reenact the incident and tells everyone that she has a "huge bruise" on her head, except that everyone thinks she is saying a "cute bruise" and they laugh at her. She loves it!
The top pic is the face that she gives us all the time. I love the attitude!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ah Ha!!

Mission Accomplished!

Remember this?

I did it!! The guy came this morning at 7:37 AM and my house looked awesome! Ok, maybe not invite Nana Vera over awesome, but it was looking pretty good.

And we still had fun :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This is my family circa 1979. What is up with my parents posture? And glasses?

I should submit it to Awkward Family Photo...haven't seen that site yet? Prepare yourself it is laugh out loud funny!

found via this site

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wacko at 1 and a Half

Hey Ty - you are a wacko!
I have to stop calling you that, though, because now Ella and Drew are saying it and it isn't so funny from 3 year olds.

You still wake up screaming, but sometimes when I pick you up you give me one of your super hugs. It is as if your whole being just wants to squeeze me and I absolutely love it.

You love Ella and Drew with amazing devotion, even while you are tackling and biting them. Guess what? They love you with amazing devotion right back. They even laugh when you bite them.

You hand me the remote and point to the tv. I am embarrassed by this, but it is cute how you dance to "Sunny Days."

You ride a tricycle and a scooter, swing on big kid swings, climb ladders, and hang from monkey bars.

I shake my head at you every day and wonder where you came from.

As Olivia's mother says..."You really wear me out, but I love you anyways." Except that in our version it is that I love you madly.

Happy 1/2 Birthday Buddy!

ps. since this is the only form of a baby book you will ever have, your wife may ask some day when you started talking. So, at this point you say Mama, Dada, Whoa!, Uh-Oh, No, and Ta-da...although all we really here is NO! You know all the important body parts and all the animal sounds. You know a bunch of sign language, but refuse to use it. You also sing "Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma" when marching.

Mommy Guilt

This morning I was up at 6, before anyone else, worrying that I was too hard on Ella last night. Then I wondered if their feet were cold because I put them all to bed with no socks.

When I came downstairs I walked by all the toys, disheveled and unorganized, and berated myself for not keeping them neater. How can they enjoy them if they are a mess?!

Then Tyler woke up and was hungry. (I knew this because he was standing in front of the fridge, pointing and saying, "mama!") Instead of making breakfast for him then and Ella and Drew later, I gave him a graham cracker to hold him over. A graham cracker. At 7 AM. Really, what kind of mother am I?

I could go on and on about my other inadequacies today and it is only 2 PM. But Ill save you the boredom and just skip to the synopsis. Is it really part of motherhood to worry and feel guilty? I have yet to meet a mother who hasn't second guessed herself. Recently my friend cried at the dentist when she was told her 3 year old had cavities. She told me that she "failed" him.

Did our mother's fret this way? Our grandmothers?

Im guessing they probably did. From the moment your baby is born you feel a deep sense of responsibility and an all consuming love. Of course you want everything to be perfect for them.

Hopefully it makes us all better mothers.

Even if they blame us for everything when they grow up.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Perfect Day

On Saturday we finally escaped from the house thanks to a beautiful sunny day and Grandma's car. It started off with breakfast at the local spot and a quick walk over to the park. It was still wet and soggy from the rain the day before, so we headed home to get the car.

Off to the zoo, carousel, and train. Mike hasn't been there with us in so long and the kids showed him around and introduced him to the animals. They played the role of tour guide so well, "Daddy, this is the porcupine. He is always in the tree sleeping because he sleeps in the day and is awake at night. See that antler at the bottom of the tree? Porcupines like to chew on antlers. Come on daddy, this way!"

Home for naps, although they were aborted pretty quickly. So, riding bikes and jumping on the trampoline rounded out the afternoon. We ordered chinese and ate on the deck. Finally we made a quick run to the ice cream store. I wish I had my video camera with me. Tyler sat between Ella and Drew and they took turns feeding him ice cream. The look on his face was priceless and the giggles were contagious.

As I tucked them in at night and we recapped the day it felt so....good. We did it all, but we were never rushed or stressed. We hit so many fun kid things. It was the kind of day I would dream about while thinking about being a mom.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Change the Channel

Ive reached the end of my rope.

Ive had it up to here.

The straw that broke the camel's back was about 20 straws ago.

Still no car. Still raining. Still whining, yelling, fighting, crying. Art projects take 30 min to set up and hold interest for about 2 min. We start a game only for an 18 month old to wreck it.

My jaw is tight. My smile stiff. My heart isn't in it.

Change the channel.

That's what my mom always says. When you are in a slump, down, depressed, feeling negative or pessimistic in general...change the channel. Stop yourself mid-complaint and switch focus. Force yourself to be positive.

It works. Try it.

We'll build a fort. We'll make brownies. We'll play with balloons.

I will remind myself that we won't have this day back. They will never be these ages again. We are all healthy. We are lucky. I will make us all laugh. We will dance. We will appreciate this day for forcing us to use our imaginations and reminding us to slow down. It isn't all about zoos and museums and shopping malls...but about being together.

She won't nap. Ill go lay with her and tell stories and sing songs. Laundry can wait. DInner can wait.

She can't.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Are You Guys Doing?

Occasionaly Ella will enter a room and ask that question...she loves to act like a grown up!

Here are a few snippets of what we were doing today...

This is the face Tyler gives me when he doesn't want to do what I ask. In this case, walk out the door. He thinks he is so funny, and he is right - I can't help but laugh at him!

Drew is getting frustrated trying to put his shoes on. He usually ends up laughing at himself, especially if you smile at him.

Ella now puts her hand on her hip when telling you something important. In this case she is telling me about the music show she will be putting on tomorrow. Already taking after me and my procrastination, she announces a show daily, but always for the following day. I have yet to see a performance.

I love this Radio Flyer tricycle I scored on Craigslist last summer. When I watch Drew on it I try to imagine what Mike and his grandfathers looked like riding tricycles. I love classic toys.

We went for a long walk and I watched these curls bounce the whole way. They still amaze me - how does MY little girl have curls?!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another Day, Another Dollar

So, it turns out that our car is in the shop all week getting a face lift. Im so in favor of plastic surgery especially since Mike hit a Dunkin Donuts and even more so after breast feeding 3 children in two years...but more on that another time. Did I just confuse you?

Anywho, we are stranded. At first it seemed like a recipe for disaster...3 kids + rain + no car?! But this morning we walked to the library (thank goodness we live in walkable distance to a few things) and low and behold they were waiting for me. Yes, it made me feel slightly nerdy that the librarians lit up like Christmas Trees when I walked in the door and they all said "We have been waiting for you!" I looked behind me, because surely they weren't talking to me. But yes, they were. I request books on-line from other libraries whenever I read a good review or when a friend makes a recommendation. They usually trickle in to my library for me to pick up every few weeks or so. Today there were 8 books waiting for me. I was afraid to pass them back because it could be weeks before they came around to me again.

In for naps, a quick pick up of toys and on the couch for a little reading. I felt like a kid in a candy store....which one would I pick first. I arranged them first by due date, then I skimmed the summaries and picked a winner. They woke up from their naps and since it was raining and the book was getting good, I popped in a movie. The movie ended and I kept reading. They played, independently. I kept reading. At one point I looked up from the book and realized what an awesome afternoon this was. This never happens. We always play with them, or clean, or cook, or go somewhere. But this was so, um, nice.

At one point Tyler crawled up on the couch with me and we cuddled. Actually it was like a make out session! He never gives kisses, but he was kissing my face and slobbering all over me. It was funny and blissful. And I realized that if I were making dinner that wouldn't have happened.

And then I remembered...Dinner! Oops.

I ordered a pizza and kept reading.

I love this life and I only feel a little bit guilty.

ps. I finished the book

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Sometimes the moments, or days, or weeks, or the last 3 years feel tough. There are lots of people out there writing and talking about how being a mother is the hardest job.

I think they might be full of it.

I feel so lucky and happy today. This might just be the easiest and best part of my whole life. I have no one to report to, no time clock to punch, or deadline to meet. Im not stressed by an over scheduled calender or emotionally draining clients.

I have my 3 awesome babies, a beautiful day, and no where to be.

Being with my dad always reminds me to let them go a little. There is no need to monitor their every move, or rush them here and there. Let them go outside barefoot or splash in puddles...let them be. When I do, we are all happier.

I feel so lucky and almost a little guilty that my days are this awesome. I am so thankful that Mike provides us with this life. He rides the bus and the subway in the heat and in the cold and works all day, so that we can do what we do. I am so thankful.

My New Fav

Tyler is catching up so fast. It doesn't feel like 2 kids and a baby anymore, more like 3 kids.

Tough to get Drew to pose these days. I guess he is finally tired of me pulling out the camera all the time. I tricked him here and told him I was only taking a picture of Ella and Ty - who both pose willingly.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I can only be responsible for keeping the heads on my own children. Some days I wonder how I manage to do that much!

Get the back story on these ducks here.