Thursday, August 28, 2008


Every night, after we put the girls to bed, Joey and I go through the living room and kitchen and put back the myriad of toys strewn about the house - a hurricane clean-up of sorts.  In the past week, I've found the following items in rather odd places:
  • My car keys in the dryer
  • One of the girls' shoes in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator
  • My cell phone in their playhouse
  • Cheerios in the bottom of my shoe
  • The TV remote control in the storage drawer below our oven
  • Hair clips in the tupperware cabinet
And you know what?  Finding these little things always makes me smile - because they are just little end of the day reminders that we have these lovely - and very, very busy - little ladies in our lives.
Taken in May 2008: The last time they ever sat still long enough to get a picture of them together.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Perfect Weekend

So I'm a day late in posting this, given it's now Tuesday...but I thought I'd give a little run down of our fun past weekend in Nashville:


The girls and I met Joey right as he was getting out of work at the Nashville Courthouse Public Square, which happens to be directly across from his office and viewable from his office window.  I've been wanting to take them there for some time to play in the huge spray fountains.  Not to my surprise, they were entirely intimidated by them - particularly when they towered at least 6 feet over their heads - but they were quite enamored by the reflecting pools.  After an hour and a half of playing in them and being soaked from head to toe, we literally had to drag them away, kicking and screaming, to take them home for a late dinner and bath.  I'm sure we were quite a sight as we frantically pushed two screaming toddlers in just their diapers toward the car.

Thrilled at walking back and forth across the reflecting pool

As an afterthought, it's pretty gross that we let them play in these, given the pools are frequently visited by dogs
The aforementioned fountains in the background of this photo - apparently we're not quite ready for those just yet.
Soaked!  And taken just after Margaret dunked her entire face in the pool

Drying off by chasing Daddy on the lawn


We enjoyed a quiet morning at home, making breakfast and playing with the girls.  After their nap, we took a test drive of a Toyota Sienna as part of our ongoing search for a minivan.  The car was nice, though the test drive was slightly humorous, as our car salesman happened to be a 3-days in rookie on the job and didn't know anything about the Sienna.  As we were driving, Joey and I were actually pointing out the features to him, so I guess we sold him on the car, ha ha.  No big deal, though - everyone has to be a beginner at their job at some point.

That night - a babysitter came over to watch the girls so that Joey and I could have a date night!  We enjoyed a 4-course meal at Zola and really got a chance to talk, free of the distractions of the girls and household chores that we normally get wrapped up in while we are home.  We shared a chocolate cappuccino tart for dessert, fulfilling my serious craving for chocolate that I've had for the past few weeks since we've cut out buying ice cream in an ongoing effort to drop the pounds.  


Joey's college roommate, Bo, who now resides nearby with his wife Rhiana and daughters Evie (2.5) and Amelia (3 months), called and asked us if we wanted to meet them at the Nashville Zoo.  Seeing that we thrive on last minute planning, and it was the perfect day for a trip to the zoo with overcast skies and cooler temperatures, we jumped at the opportunity and even bought a family membership while we were there.  It was perfect - the kiddos behaved well and the animals apparently were up for showing off that day, getting close to the fence to let us take some pictures.

As you can see, Anna and Margaret are far more interested in their snacks than the very cool giraffe behind them

Margaret and Daddy

Well, off to attend to my non-napping daughters - I hear them both screaming and "talking" to each other in their room. I think Anna and Margaret are caught in this weird, in-between phase of not being tired enough to take the morning nap, but not ready to stay awake until their afternoon nap, so our days have been erratic and often filled with overtired meltdowns. Toddlerhood has been interesting!

Monday, August 25, 2008

To my sister-in-law, on her birthday

Dear Karolyn,

Happy Birthday to you!! You are so special and amazing in every way, and I feel so honored and blessed to be in your family. Thank you so very much for always showing so much love to me, to Joey, and to Anna and Margaret. How lucky they are to have an aunt who loves them so very much. We are missing you always, thinking and praying for you today, and looking forward to seeing you in just a few days.

As always, we were late in getting your birthday card and gift in the mail - and so Anna and Margaret decided to make you a little e-card to brighten your day.

We love you!!!!

Joey, Katie, Anna and Margaret

Friday, August 22, 2008

Somehow this still hasn't gotten old

The tupperware party continues!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mental Note...

Large amounts of sugar early in the morning aren't conducive to winding down for a morning nap.  Anna is currently standing up and spinning around in circles on our living room floor, and then laughing hysterically after falling down on the ground out of dizziness.  Slightly hilarious to watch, but I fear trying to get her to take a nap in 15 minutes.  

The reason for this sugar high?  Eggo Bake Shop Muffin Tops for breakfast.  Oops.

Hello everyone!  I promise I will get back to this blog this week - I've been quite neglectful.  It feels great to say that between my moms' group, a music class that we're taking, and meeting up with friends, we're having so much fun that it's leaving little time to blog.  And we've had beautiful, pleasant, tolerable August weather (that sounds like an oxymoron), so we've visited every park in town.  This sure beats last summer, during which we experienced the hottest summer on record since 1955.  Have a great week!

Question for the week: When will our mother cut our hair instead or resorting to these ridiculous hair styles to keep our bangs out of our face??

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Five instances this week during which they proved to be the geniuses I always thought they were

I think I need to give my children more credit for what they know and understand. I jabber all day long, not really thinking they are listening or comprehending all that much - but they proved me wrong the past few days.

Incident #1: We're preparing to go outside and I say to the girls, "Okay, ladies, let's go put on our shoes."

Twinski reaction: They both walk over to the closet, pull out their shoes, and bring them to me. (Admittedly, they grabbed 2 mismatched shoes, by hey, pretty cool, huh?)

Incident #2: We've come back inside from yet another sweltering, humid day, and I say, "Let's take your shoes off."

Twinski reaction: Anna sits down and begins pulling on the Velcro strap on her shoe.

Incident #3: Anna has dug my keys out of my backpack and is carrying them around the house. I call to her from down the hallway and say, "Anna, please bring Mommy the keys."

Twinski reaction: Anna walks on over, hands the keys to me, and smiles. I felt like I should have patted her on the head and given her a treat.

Incident #4: Margaret hands me a small, crumpled up piece of paper that she found somewhere in our house. I act surprised and truly overjoyed to receive this gift, and say, "Oh, how nice, it's beautiful, but I insist you keep it - it's for you."

Twinski reaction: Margaret takes the piece of paper back and puts it to her ear.*

(*Okay, that one needs an explanation. Whenever we're playing with the myriad of toy phones we have around the house, I pick it up, pretend to have a conversation with someone, and say something like, "Oh, you'd like to speak to Margaret? Okay, she's right here. Margaret, it's for you!" So I think when Margaret heard the words "it's for you," she instantly thought we were playing the phone call game. Cute!)

Incident #5 - or, my heartwarming moment of the day: I'm in the girls' room, about to put them down for their morning nap, and we're playing with their dollies. I pick up a doll, and to demonstrate being affectionate, I give the doll a hug and a kiss.

Twinski Reaction: Margaret watches intently - then leans over and gives Anna an enormous hug. Awwww!!!!!! Moments like this make the challenges of raising twins all seem so very, very worth it.

Of course, the hug then went on for 30 seconds too long for Anna, and turned into a wrestling match with kicking and screaming, but it was cute there for a second.

So it's not much, and certainly no need to sign them up early admissions to Harvard. But I guess I find myself so surprised that they're absorbing so much - and understanding so much language. It also makes me realize that their ability to selectively listen is there - and when I'm saying to one of them, "stop pulling your sister's hair!" but they refuse to's not a lack of understanding as much as mind over matter.

On a completely different note...we took a few photos of the girls outside this past weekend, and so I thought I'd post them. They look so OLD to me - my goodness, where have my babies gone?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When does Fall start?

I'm sure I'll long for these hot, sunny August days in January...but for now, all I can think about is jeans and sweater weather. It's just so darn hot and humid. Our grass has turned crunchy and a shade of yellow, the flowers start wilting an hour after I water them, and you could hear a pin drop when you walk outside our door, whereas during nice weather, the sounds of kids laughing can be heard from the playground just down the street. The girls get red faced and cranky after just a few minutes of being outside, and our car is an oven most days when we get in - so the temptation to just stay inside all day and play is always there, which means we're experiencing a winter-like cabin fever. Luckily, the girls are easily entertained - they spent a half hour the other day climbing in and out of a cooler.

Which gave them close quarters for some open mouthed kissing (HA!)

There's just not a lot to do with 13-month olds, particularly when they're not content to sit in a stroller for any period of time (otherwise I'd be spending far too much time at the mall). Whereas Nashville is full of opportunities for pre-schoolers, from pottery painting and cooking classes to the new planetarium at the Adventure Science Center - taking young toddlers to those places is like throwing money down the drain, as I learned after paying the $13 admission fee to the Nashville Zoo in June and spending half of our time in front of the drinking fountain (the girls' favorite attraction, strangely enough).

During the week, my moms' club is a true sanity saver. We're headed to the library later today for their story time hour, which is such a completely awesome, free event. The last time we attended, the girls weren't walking yet - and so even though Margaret insisted on climbing into this other mom's lap four times in a row (apparently her lap was more comfy than mine), they generally stayed in my vicinity and actually paid attention to the story and puppets for about 5 minutes. I fear what today will be like, though, with their being proficient walkers - and sometimes runners (!). Luckily, the story time presenters don't seem to mind their audience making a lot of noise and moving around.

I've also signed the girls up for a music class on Thursdays at a bookstore, which I'm really looking forward to. I'm hoping Anna and Margaret will show off their rhythmic swaying/bobbing moves to the class. I hear the high-energy instructor is awesome but insists on all parents full participation, which means I'm going to make a fool of myself for an hour straight while I sing along and make the associated hand gestures to songs like "The Wheels on the Bus." I just always pray in those situations that no other adult is watching me.

Our weekend was nice and relaxing, although I ended up getting a head cold/sore throat/earache that was worse than any cold I've had in years. I guess I'm lucky to say that it really was the first time since the girls were born that I was too sick to take care of them - and so father of the year Joey stepped in and took the lead in tickling/chasing/throwing/singing to/feeding/and generally exhausting himself for 2 days straight, while I layed on the couch and watched. At the height of sore throat aching, all I could think of was eating a popsicle, so we took the girls to Dragon Park with the ultimate plan of walking over to Fido for a Las Paletas popsicle.

We had the park to ourselves, of course, and I adore this place - it's located directly across from Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and features a fully handicap-accessible playground, which is also quite awesome for wobbly toddlers not quite ready for the monkey bars and slides.

The Water Sprayer - which was quite a hit until the wasps started to surround us

Oh, and the Las Paletas popsicles? Totally hit the spot. We highly recommend the Mexican Caramel and Strawberry Pineapple Banana flavors, although Joey and I got a mere taste whereas the girls devoured them. I'm not even sure they stopped for air.

Well, I'm off to get a shower while the girls are still sleeping. Have a good one!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Catching up on some photos...and tangential stories

My parents came to visit us last weekend and brought with them a CD of photos from their first birthday celebration in St. Louis last month. I uploaded those photos to our web gallery, but thought I'd pick out a few of my favorite.

Anna's signature thumb suck - I love how she always hooks her finger around her nose

This photo cracks me up - check out their annoyed faces when we put on the birthday hats

Their favorite trick right now - putting their hands in the air when we say "Hands Up!"

Our first ride on a carousel - Margaret absolutely loving it

Anna - not so much

Margaret was desperate for another turn and couldn't believe the ride was over

Showing their determination in attempting to scale the slide

Totally loving climbing up this plastic tube

Not quite comfortable in the prickly grass

On an unrelated note, Joey and I test drove a Honda Odyssey minivan today, and we loved it. I make myself a little nauseous just writing that - if you'd have asked me 2 years ago if I would ever consider buying a minivan, my answer would be a definitely no, no way, never gonna do it. But seriously, this thing rides like a dream, has an infinite amount of storage space for the caravan of junk we take along while traveling with the girls, and you just push these little buttons and presto!, the doors close. Purchasing a car that gets a mere 16 miles to the gallon in this economy seems like a sin - but I've still got my head wrapped around buying a car that doesn't feel like the clown car I'm driving around town right now.

On the way to the dealership, I asked Joey if he feels like his fun and crazy bachelorhood is truly long gone since he's taking his wife and 2 kids to look at minivans. You know what he said? That he loves his family so very much, and that this is exactly what he wants to be doing. I truly married the right man, and 2 days ago, as we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary over a romantic dinner and a dozen roses that he brought home for me, I was reminded of how lucky and blessed I am. I love you, baby. You are an incredible husband and father.

July 31, 2004

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

Slipping into my old blogging ways

I was doing so well for a while there - keeping the posts coming every few days. And then, I don't know - I could blame my lack of posting on company coming in town, the girls' simultaneously getting colds and new teeth (and associated lack of sleep affecting all four people in our household), and a general fatigue from caring for very mobile, active, headstrong toddlers. But I think laziness is more to blame than anything. So here I am again - resolving myself to do better!

I've heard of the terrible twos - even the terrible threes - but is there a word for this stage right now? The willful ones? Perhaps I'm just getting a taste of toddler hood and I wasn't prepared for how strong-willed 13-month old toddlers were capable of being. Every day is a constant and endless battle of my trying to figure out what Anna and Margaret want. Their lack of words, and my inability to decipher their screeches and frantic pointing and head shaking, leave all three of us exhausted and frustrated by the time Daddy walks in the door from a long day of work. I have to say that the finger pointing is quite funny, though - numerous times during the day, the girls beg to be picked up by running over and slamming their bodies into my legs. Once in my arms, they locate something across the room they'd like - the light switch, a glass of water on the counter, the much coveted laptop computer - yet when we get over there and they've had their fill of that particular object, they just move their finger pointing to another object in the room. So, I spend about 5 minutes just moving them in whatever direction their little constantly migrating fingers are pointing. I'm sure they find it to be a fun little game.

I had heard of baby sign language and had once considered it to be a fairly useless skill for parents with too much time on their hands. I am now eating my words and we're diving in headfirst to signing in some hope that we can find some way to communicate. Surprisingly, after just a day, Anna was signing back the word "eat" to me - although her favorite way to show me she's hungry is to walk over to the highchairs and push them away from the counter, as I always do before each meal. She's direct and to the point, and I appreciate it.

So despite the screaming, the frantic head shaking (boy they've learned to say no!), and the occasional tantrum (complete with feet kicking, fist pounding, and even an intentional and quite painful head pounding into the wood floor for good measure), life is still incredibly funny and charming with the girls (seriously!). They fascinate me with what they're learning every day, and make me laugh with their funny little quirks. Just some things I can think of off the top of my head:

- They're learning to share. Though it's far more common to see one swipe a toy away from the other one, I do catch really tender moments throughout the day when one will bring the other a toy or reach over and hand a piece of food off of her highchair tray to the other. They also love to feed me - so I frequently am the lucky recipient of a gummy wad of macaroni and cheese during lunch time. Delicious!

- Simples phrases are understandable to them, such as "please give that to me," "be gentle to your sister," "stop pulling her hair" (repeat 10 times throughout the day), "it's time to take a nap," and "let's go outside."

- They revel in the routine of walking Daddy to his car every morning and saying goodbye. It's pretty funny - they start waving to him and saying "bye-bye Daddy" when we're still inside and he's packing up his bag. After he pulls out of the driveway, they like to stand there for a few extra minutes, waving goodbye in the general direction of where he drove off, and if we come back out there sometime in the middle of the day, they instinctively wave again. It's a little Pavlovian but very endearing.

- Anna has this adorable all over body smile - she raises her shoulders up to her ears and her whole face lights up.

- Margaret makes a "fish face" periodically throughout the day, and has also learned to smack her lips together.

- The girls both adore music and dance in their own funny way the minute anything starts playing. Margaret does this funny little thing where she walks while bobbing her head and pounding her feet excitedly on the floor. We were at a restaurant the other day and caught her bobbing her head to the background music. The girl's got rhythm!

- They love to mimic - they hold play phones up to their ears, attempt to brush their hair with a hairbrush, and I even caught one of them punching the numbers on their play kitchen's microwave the other day. Aw - they cook like mommy does! With a microwave!

- It never fails that around mid-day, they chase each other around the kitchen island, laughing hysterically in their chase and often changing course to surprise each other.

- Anna has a serious fixation with the Hershey's syrup in the fridge, and the other day I took my eyes off her for just 10 seconds after I had opened the fridge door to get something, and in that time she swiped the bottle out of there, opened up the cap, and was sucking chocolate sauce out of the bottle. I caught her with a guilty look on her face and chocolate smeared all over her chin. I mean, the girl loves chocolate. She's definitely my daughter.

There's so much more, but I imagine I've bored you by now. So I'll leave you with a cute little video clip of Anna giving Margaret zerberts (and punches). You'd think Margaret wouldn't appreciate getting pinned down like that - but she seems to roll over and come back for more at one point.

Silly little sisters!