Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Pop Quiz

How well do you know them?

Who can correctly identify this bum?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Spy


A little girl stretching her legs, a blur of red in an otherwise drab wintery landscape.

A little girl learning that running helps warm you up.

A lesson for Mommy that you should check the website before leaving the house so your kids don't freeze outside for an hour waiting for the museum to open.

ps. if you need help spying her, just click on the picture to make it bigger

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Disney on Ice


How do you turn down $2 tickets for anything? Especially when you can get enough tickets to invite cousins along?!

It was everything you would expect Disney on Ice to be, complete with a handful of cotton candy for $10! The kids were mesmerized though, and that was the best part for me.

4 is a great age - so impressed with just about anything.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bowling - sort of

What to do on a rainy winter afternoon? Why bowling of course!

This was their first time. Can you stand how tiny the shoes are?!
Ella, Drew and Tyler thought that Bowling was just the best thing ever. I call it "sort of bowling" because for starters they aren't strong enough to carry their own balls. Even if they were, I would be petrified they would drop it on their toes. So, Mike carries the ball up for them. Then of course they have the bumpers, so no gutter balls here. And just to take all of the bowling out of bowling, they have a contraption that allows the kids to simply push the ball down a ramp and into the alley

So we enjoyed an afternoon that was more pushing than bowling. But, it didn't phase them in the least. They loved seeing their name on the scoreboard. Drew loved drying his hands on the little fan provided at the ball return - sometimes returning twice to the fan before bowling/pushing. Tyler loved it all, perhaps the popcorn the best.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Need a Role Model?


Last Thursday I suddenly had an urge for my Aunt Pati's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are divine. Especially since she chops up the chocolate chips up so fine, they seem to enhance every bite in a very unassuming, yet delicious way.

So, I promptly emailed her asking for her recipe. She replied on Friday that she would send it immediately.

When she said "it" I assumed she was referring to the recipe.

No, not when you are Auntie Pati, sending a recipe simply won't do. She mailed me an enormous box full of the cookies, a copy of the recipe, Valentine's goodies for the kids, and much to their delight - it was all cushioned in bubble wrap. Across 5 state lines, mind you - and we got them today - MONDAY!!

She is amazing. And the cookies are delicious!

Now tell me, when was the last time you went out of your way for someone else, like Auntie Pati did for me? Inspiring, isn't she?

thats her on the right, with her daughter and daughter-in-law, in the very kitchen were the cookies were made :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Breath of Air

The TV was silenced, the door thrown open and we escaped the confines of our little winter cave. The last few days have been filled with constant bickering, short tempers, and long temper tantrums. Due to other obligations we were unable to meet with friends this week or go on any adventures. Sure, we stretched our legs in the backyard, bounced on the trampoline and sunk our boots in the mud...but we need more.

We traveled the 7 miles to our favorite zoo today, pulled on our hats and set off on an expedition to renew our spirits. It is amazing how such a short drive can transport us to a magical place. Made even more magical in the winter as we are often the only family there, as we were today. Some animals truly look excited to see us, where as in the summer they rarely turn their glazed eyes our way. The monkeys were performing tricks, the lamas followed the kids back and forth along the fence, the mountain lions snarled a hello.

The kids ran, and ran, and ran. I followed behind at a slower pace breathing in the crisp air, watching and listening as my kids laughed and played with each other.

Something so simple, a place so close, no money spent - but it was a day that changed everything.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Photo Fun


Sometimes when the big kids are at school, we don't know what to do with ourselves. Today we found entertainment and laughs with the photo booth app on the computer.


I love this kid.

Edit:: Ok, after looking at these pics a few times today, I am struck by the bags under my eyes and the wrinkles creeping in all over the place. Uhmm, when did this happen? Ill try to switch my focus back to the fun we had the giggles that are leaping out of the images at me....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy


This picture makes me happy.

I asked the kids what makes them happy...

Ella:: when Daddy comes home

Drew:: when we go see Nonnie and Caca

Tyler:: Nonnie and Caca Cheese, HA HA! (it really sounds like this, "nonna, dada Deese, Ha HA!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Their Way

If they had their way....

If Ella had her way....she would eat 2 bowls of cereal for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack...she would never go to bed...she would never have a ponytail or braid...she would have at least one real puppy...her brothers would always do as she says.


If Drew had his way...he would eat cheese sandwiches made with Laughing Cow cheese, chips and apples for every meal...he would watch TV all day...he would never have to share his favorite toys...he would ride his bike everyday.

If Tyler had his way...well, he kind of does! No really...he would do everything himself...he would never have his diaper changed...he would wear his football pajamas all day everyday...he would sleep in our bed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

5 Random Things

Happy Friday! How about a few random things to start off your weekend...hopefully a LONG weekend?

5:: Little fish, tinker toys, and beads are always showing up on my floor. Do they multiply under the couch? Speaking of toys under the couch - some company out there should make something that fills in the space under your couch, but still looks attractive, so that thousands of cheerios and teeny toys are not always stuck under there - multiplying and then reemerging covered in dust.

4:: Drew and Tyler have sweaty boy feet that cause lots of sock lint to collect between their toes. Ella - not a speck in between her girlie digits.

3:: Remember this? He came this morning and my house was actually in great shape!! I didn't have a bra on and my hair was sticking up in 4 different directions, but hey, you can't have it all!

2::The kids still talk about Santa - a lot. As in, "Mom those geese are going to be on Santa's naughty list because they are chasing us and that is MEAN!!" By the way, I was just as afraid as the kids were, and yes, they were really chasing us - and hissing!

1::Finally, a random picture from this summer that I just found on an extra camera card. I think it is funny that Ella and the man behind her are making the exact same face. I think both were pretty unimpressed with the swan boat experience!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Changes


Four years agotoday we were waiting to take 1 month old Drew home from the hospital. It was a mere 3 weeks after Ella was finally released from the NICU and we were anxious to just have every body home together.

I guess we were just anxious in general.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be a different type of mother if we hadn't gone through 2 hospitalizations in the first month of our twins lives. Im sure of it. I was never the anxious type, or a worrier, or a nervous nelly. But then I had never loved anything so intensely. I had never felt so responsible for anyone. I had never placed the lives of my babies into strangers hands. Waved them off into an OR to be cut open. Literally life or death situations for BOTH my babies in the first month - yikes, how is that for initiation into parenthood?!

So, yeah, I think those experiences changed me. Sometimes I think it was a change for the worse -making me more on edge than I would have liked to be. A little bit more prone to hover over my babies, because I had a smack-in-the-face lesson since day 1 that anything could happen at anytime. But maybe it was for the better, too. I learned that so many of the "little" things were exactly that, little. I learned that babies are so resilient. I learned that I am strong, that I can protect, and that I can advocate for my kids. I learned that my husband is truly the best partner I could have picked, because when we were hit the hardest he was exactly what I, and our kids, needed.

I guess everything in life can change us, and it isn't always so bad.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hugs


Sometimes you just need a hug.

If you fall down. If you lose your favorite toy. If you had a rough day.

I could sort of use a hug today, good thing I have 3 very willing huggers around me all the time. I've been stuck in my own head and my own memories today. Wondering how to take some of my most trying experiences and make them meaningful today.

Kids in Haiti...kids in foster care...kids in families who so desperately need help.

What I came up with:: It isn't fair and there isn't much I can do about it right now or even in the next few years. But then....

Oh, just give me a hug.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bros


We always have a bag handy to collect toys for kids that may not have any. We found a great little organization that puts them to good use and the kids love to go there and bring their bag of goodies. We talk about giving toys regularly, I admit I even use it as a threat sometimes..."maybe if you don't play with your toys nice, we can give them to a little boy who will." Works every time!

But, I was a little surprised this morning when Drew took the concept to a whole new level. It went like this...

Tyler was harassing Drew as usual. This morning he was insisting on wearing Drew's backpack.

In frustration, Drew looked at me and said, "Maybe we can give him to someone who doesn't have a little brother."

But he quickly added, "then we could pick him up in a little while."

I guess that is how it goes with little brothers, you may be tired of them sometimes, but in the long run you always want them around.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Knowing


Last week after visiting my Nana Ruth, I left feeling a little troubled and a little sad. She is just not quite who she used to be and well, I miss my Nana. On the one hand I feel like my kids and my Nana are so lucky that they know each other - a great grandmother she is! But on the other hand, they will never know the "real" Nana Ruth.

I wish that they could float in the pool or on the lake with Nana, like I did as a girl. She was a water lover and I would push her around her pool for hours. She would listen...she is a great listener...and talk and float and it was perfect. She was so indulgent. Always offering the yummiest treats, chocolate AND strawberry milk, and -gasp- whole cans of soda!! All these items taboo at our own house. We would walk in the park, listening to grandpa, and her presence was just so relaxed and sweet. And always entering her house you would be welcomed by the shuffling slippers and the "di di di" song that was so her.

Things are different now. She is different now. That is hard and sad.

But the thing is, the kids aren't sad. They know a different Nana Ruth. They know the Nana who lives in the big building with a fish tank in the lobby, elevator buttons to push, and a terrace to explore. They know the Nana who smiles so warmly as they come in and who laughs at their crazy antics. They know the Nana who listens to their stories with interest and who displays their pictures so proudly.

Most importantly - they KNOW their Nana.

One of the best things about having kids is that they help you to focus on what really matters.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"T" for Too Much

This kid kills me. video
again, I must apologize for the shakiness...I think a combo between him moving around and me laughing

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ella at 4

I saw this idea somewhere, sorry I can't give credit - to take a video clip of your child each year asking similar questions. I thought about doing it on the first day of school, but oops. Anyway, won't it be cool when they are 18, or 21, or something and I put them all together with sappy music?!

Without further ado...here is Ella 2010 video

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Resolutions

Drumroll please....

Ella: To do everything herself and to do it perfectly. To take care of her brothers. To overhear every conversation and then retell it perfectly to everyone she meets. To be the cutest thing around.

Drew: To avoid doing anything himself. To try and speed up...well, everything. To ride his bike without training wheels. To carry small items everywhere he goes without losing them. To be the cutest thing around.

Tyler: To stop wearing diapers and to start sleeping in a big bed. To continue to keep up with Ella and Drew. To take his comedy routine on the road - to relatives houses. To be the cutest thing around.

Me: Im going to get a little deeper this year.

1:: Simplify. Keep my eye on the ball. If it isn't necessary, fun or somehow enriching our lives - why do it?

2:: Be kind. Go out of my way each day to make someone else's day better. Write letters, share cookies, give a phone call.

3:: Make more, buy less. Save more, spend less.

4:: Explore - outside, in books, myself.

Review Resolutions

Im pretty pleased with our resolutions from last year - how did you do on yours?

A little in depth review:

Tyler: accomplished his goal of keeping up the with big kids...and then some! Of course he stopped nursing and he sleeps until 7AM, although the last hour is usually in our bed. He grew lots of hair, requiring 2 haircuts! And now he plays with tracks and towers a bit before he smashes - well done, Tyler!

Drew: is amazing on his bike, tolerates Tyler beautifully, and has a few new favorite movies. He has also learned to use a big boy voice to get Ella to bother him less. Best of all he made an awesome transition to preschool. Nice work, Buddy!

Ella: also loving her bike and still dotes on her stuffed animals. Still wearing a pull-up to bed, but goes to bed MUCH earlier - thank goodness. Daddy is tightly wound around her finger and she is also thriving in preschool - woo hoo Ella!!

Me: I found a great preschool just around the corner, and I manage to leave them there twice a week. I think I read more than 12 books, and loved so many of them! I didn't take a class in anything. I started babysitting and made enough money to finance our little adventures and some extra treats. House cleaner and neater? A little progress I think. No moving to Mass, yet. We shared lots of laughs and plenty of hugs, we may have even slowed down a little.

It was a great year and Im thankful for so much, especially the awesome family I shared it with.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's reveal of our new resolutions!! Go 2010!!