Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things We Love

Here's a brief list of things the babies love right now:

  • sitting on the front porch after bath time.
  • seeing Daddy wear his white t-shirt EVERY evening (he must do it so they can recognize him better).
  • crawling back and forth on the couch (super love it when they don't fall).
  • going for bike rides as a family (since Daddy bought himself a bike for Mother's Day).
  • throwing all stuffed animals, blankets, bottles, toys out of the crib.
  • staying in a constant state of motion during diaper changes.
  • yelping any time, any where, any volume (usually in unison).
  • playing chase with Lavender.
  • eating goldfish (the snack crackers, what kind of home do you think this is?).
  • loving on Mommy (because she's the BEST).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Painfully Clean

Yesterday we bought the babies their very first toothbrushes.  I've been on the fence about introducing this new routine.  My original thought centered on saving all big routine changes for their first birthday and stun them senseless with a 'shock-n-awe' approach to toddler-hood.  Imagine full on cow's milk served in a cup (goodbye bottles), hello teeth brushing, and one long afternoon nap replacing my cherished morning nap-a-thon.

Yet, for some reason I found myself in the grocery store buying a pair of toothbrushes and some fluoride-free toothpaste.  Okay, not so completely random.  Mirabelle just cut her first top tooth and Finn is sprouting two more chompers.

Last night, after bath time, Dave and I introduced the babies to the fine art of brushing one's gums and hopefully a tooth or two.  I'm happy to report there was a good bit of 'shock-n-awe' for mommy and daddy to enjoy.  There were no tears and a lot of curious grabbing and tentative tongue exploration (from Mirabelle of course, she still insists on tasting all new objects).

We'll give it another try tonight, who knows, we might just make it a habit.

Going in for the kill.

Either very impressed with this new teeth brushing thing, 
or mesmerized by her own beauty in the mirror.

Yes, there is a reason why Mommy had Daddy do the dirty deed
 (I scar them enough during the day, Daddy needs equal billing in that category).

We're almost certain he LOVES it, he just doesn't know it yet!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Heart The Mall

For some bizarre reason the babies slept until 10a this morning (this is NOT a complaint).  So we changed up our normal routine and did some power errands after breakfast.  Somehow we ended up at the mall . . .

I implemented the 'Lily Method' for our marathon errands (skip nap, opt for super fun exhaustion techniques).   We spent 15 minutes of free time at the children's play area inside the mall.  It was our first time.  They loved it.  At least I think they loved it; Finn managed to crawl his way out into the mall at some point.

Here's some fun photos from our play time:

Lady Belle riding Her Royal Tortoise (yes, it's actually called that . . . okay no, not really.  Though it would be a fabulous name).

Finn looking dazed and confused (aka the Donovan stare) in a big red car.

Mirabelle is actually stuck but I was having too much fun taking pictures to rescue her at the time (yes, I know, starting early with her list of 'Things My Mother Did To Scar My Childhood').

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finn Throws A Fit & Mirabelle

For the better part of a year I've been researching children's books with title characters named Finn & Mirabelle.  I'm excited to say we've found some winners and have them on order!

Finn Throws A Fit by David Elliot and Mirabelle by Astrid Lindgren

Finn likes peaches. Usually. But not today. Today Finn doesn’t like anything. Uh-oh. Is Finn going to throw a fit? Author David Elliott directs the event with wit, warmth, and appropriate wariness, while illustrator Timothy Basil Ering’s energy and whimsy match this tantrum turn for turn. At once empathetic and uproariously funny, this picture book speaks directly to anyone (young or old) who has ever had — or tried to contain — a real earth-quaking, ground-shaking, full-on fit.

Six-year-old Britta very much wants a doll, but her parents can’t afford one. One evening an odd little old man arrives driving a horse and cart. Britta opens the gate for him, and he thanks her by giving her a little yellow seed, with instructions to plant it, water it, and she’ll see something very funny. To her astonishment, a doll begins to grow in her garden! After harvesting, Britta learns that her new doll is much more special than she could ever have guessed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

View From The Top

Dave decided to let Finn ride shotgun on Daddy's shoulders.  It's now his new favorite mode of transportation.  I dare you to stare at Finn's face in this photo for five minutes straight and not crack a smile.  It's humanly impossible; which means if you are not moved by this photo in some positive way, I just diagnosed you as emotionally incomplete (time to call your real doctor).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Should Do This More Often

That is, hang out with Max & Ollie.  Today the Fab Four had a mini play date with 'Aunt Lily' so I could run a few errands.  Unfortunately this disrupted Finn & Belle's morning nap routine.  We're still on a two nap per day routine with a solid 2-hour morning nap worthy of rock star status.

We deviate from this routine every few days (Mommy is a slave to no one and nothing).  The only challenge has been trying to catch the 'make up' nap once we get home.  More times than not the 'make-up' nap happens on the car ride home which either turns into aimless driving through neighborhoods depleting the world's oxygen supply with my unnecessary carbon emissions or sitting in the garage, in a parked car, contemplating the idea of leaving them to slumber while I attempt productivity inside the house.

See, when my babies fall asleep in the car, they NEVER go back to sleep in their cribs if I wake them and try to move them.  They also NEVER sleep longer than 5 or 10 minutes when I try parking in the garage.  So what I end up with are overtired, refuse-to-sleep fusspots for most of the day.

Today, Lily suggested I roll the windows down, turn the radio up and sing as loudly as possible to keep the babies awake during the ride home.  I tried this.  Five miles into our journey home both babies were out (Rock Stars, truly Rock Stars).

Against all hope I decided to move them to their cribs (we've graduated from 'never wake a sleeping baby' three months ago).  Folks, I'm still shocked and amazed.  BOTH babies went back to sleep in my arms and again when I put them in their cribs.  This is a true first for yours truly!

55 mph winds, loud (embarrassingly 'pitchy') singing to 
Top 40 songs with made-up lyrics, I guess when you're born a twin 
you quickly learn to tune the world out.  

Monday, May 17, 2010

sWaGGeR WaGon

If I had a large disposable income, I'd actually consider becoming a mini van owner based solely on this one commercial (faulty gas pedals be damned). However, I'm a happy Honda CR-V owner . . . a fraction below mini vandom.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Free Photo For Me!

Alright folks, please help me out.  If 15 people leave a comment on Katie Matthew's blog post about the twins' photo session I'll get a free 5x7.

Pretty please, hep me!  With all the love that a potentially FREE 5x7 can hold, thank you!

Here's the link to her post:

Splish Splash I Gave My Dogs A Bath!

I'm utterly embarrassed to admit, I can't remember the last time we gave the dogs a bath.  Since July 2009 they've been so thoroughly neglected I'm almost positive Lavender spends 95% of the two hours she's awake every day fantasizing about life in some other home with some other loving, attentive owner (the other 5% is devoted to all aspects of food).

So, yesterday I finally did it!  I packed the dogs and the babies in the car and drove to a local self-service dog washing center.  The place is called Splish Splash Dog Wash and the owners are absolutely phenomenal.  Here is why:

After watching me unload two babies from the car then proceed to wrangle two very excited dogs from the back of the car, the owner came rushing outside to offer a helping hand.  She then told me she'd gladly wash both of them for me and still charge me the self-service rate (bless you, sweet dog-loving Angel).

I let her wash Lavender while I attempted to wash Bailey.  This worked for about 10 minutes until Finn decided he was done playing spectator from the stroller and turned his attention to Mirabelle's hair.  Somehow I managed to get Bailey washed and save the few precious hairs on Lady Belle's head.  However, I did let the owners finish blow drying both dogs while I entertained the babies.

Folks, it's quite possible I've told you about this place before; if so, it bares repeating.  I love, love, love this place.  They have rows of professional wash tubs stocked full of every supply you need to give your dog a loving bath.  Plus, the owners give tips and helpful suggestions on the best way to wash your dog (don't laugh, there's ear cleaning, face cleaning, bottom cleaning . . . it's not all that intuitive).  After the wash you walk your dog to the drying station, which is a raised platform with a professional grade blow dryer and several brushes.

If you are an animal owner of the furry kind, then you know about pet hair and dander.  The stuff gets everywhere, especially during bath time.  Here's my favorite part of Splish Splash:  you don't clean up after yourself.  We left enough dog hair to knit a small afghan and none of it is clogging my drain or blowing along the fence in the backyard.

It's safe to say we will be doing this again.  It's also safe to say I will most likely let the owners wash and dry both dogs for me until the babies are able to enjoy the fun of it all independently.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


My doula, Amanda, had her second baby early Tuesday morning.  She birthed a beautiful 10 lbs. baby boy named Archer after 41 weeks of pregnancy (we were wondering if he came out with a beard . . . or at least the ability to formulate words).  Mother and baby are doing well.  

With all the love in the world for one of the most amazing women I know:  

Congratulations, Amanda!  

Enjoy you're precious gift (and . . . sleepless nights, inability to think coherently, cry management strategies, poopy diapers, spit up, etc)!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Drop It Like It's Hawt

Way back when the babies were born our pediatrician recommended we give them vitamin supplements everyday.  No brainer, I've been popping prenatal vitamins for years, of course I wanted my babies to stay adequately supplemented.

He recommended Tri Vi Sol, a combo pack of Vitamins A, D & C in liquid form.  For two solid weeks we gave this to the babies and for two solid weeks they managed to spit it out.  Folks, about 85% of the stuff is some sticky syrup crap that ended up all over the changing table.

So, I did what any self-respecting new mother would do, paid homage to the old adage: 'If it's good for the Goose, it's good for the Gaggle' (the entire flock, remember I've a flock).  Meaning, my mother didn't bother with vitamin supplements when I was growing up and I turned out just fine (depending on the day).

At the babies' 9 month check-up our doctor asked if we were still giving daily vitamin supplements, which started a conversation about the actual necessity of them.  In summary,  vitamin D was all he really cared about and if there was a simple vitamin D supplement he'd be happy if that was all they were getting at this point.

Folks, there is and it's called Ddrops for babies.  I found them at the Health Barn, a local health store.  It's simple vitamin D in liquid form preserved in coconut oil, minus the sticky syrup.

One drop has the daily recommended 400 IU dose and can be applied to a bottle, pacifier, spoon or breast (if breastfeeding).  I'm proud to say it's tasteless and something we've been doing for more than two weeks.

I sneak it in during breakfast usually with the applesauce or yogurt.  The best part about it, one bottle contains 365 drops!  That's a 6 month supply for a twin mom, meaning I only have to worry about running out of this stuff twice a year instead of every month with the Tri Vi Sol.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Miracle Worker

This past Friday we made an appointment with Katie Matthews to do a mini photo session for the babies' 9-month birthday (which technically was their 10 month birthday).  To date we've done a newborn, 3-month, and 6-month session with Katie so she's practically a member of the family by this point (does this mean we should invite her to Sunday dinner?).

Here's a walk down memory lane:


3 months

6 months

For the 9-month session we met at a local garden called the Arboretum.  I provided two snotty nosed children with large blank stares and Katie transformed them into actual adorable pieces of art.

Thank you Katie for being a part of our first year as a family and capturing the growing weeds that are my children.  I'm looking forward to our final one-year-old session, at which point I will then begin plastering the walls of our house with questionably large prints of all the photos you've taken (future house guests--you've been warned).

Here are some of my current favorites, of course they're all so yummy (then again I'm terribly bias about the subject matter . . . would it be bad of me to go wake them up right now and give each one a thousand kisses . . . I'm jokingly serious I could kiss each one a thousand times).

M Day^2

It's true what they say (Amanda) 'Mother's Day is WAY better than any birthday.'  At the risk of bragging (because I know that's what you're thinking . . . no worries, your cynical side can't help it), let's just say Dave created the perfect 7 day extravaganza fit for a new mother of twins who spent the better part of four years trying to become one.

It all started last Sunday with the purchase of my new Babymobile (aka beach bike and baby trailer).  Folks, we went five for five last week.  Five morning bike rides plus some early evening jaunts to the end of the road where we waited for Daddy to come home from work (very similar to one sweet cocker spaniel I may or may not have known growing up).

Saturday we took the babies to the Riverfront Farmers' Market for some more tomato plants because she-who-shall-not-be-named trampled on 8 of the 13 Dave planted (we'll not focus on the fact my sweet husband wanted 13 tomato plants for our VEGETABLE garden).  Then we stopped by my new favorite cupcake shop Hot Pink Cake Stand.  Folks, the Reese's cupcake is worth a visit (trust me).  After the farmers' market we headed back home to catch our neighborhood spring festival (mainly for the free food and beer), followed by a late afternoon trip to the pool.  The day was perfect.

Sunday, I was greeted by two very happy babies and not one but three Mother's Day cards:  one from Dave, one from Finn & Belle, and one from Lavender & Bailey (Lavender & Bailey just wanted me to know they still loved me even though I don't spend enough time with them . . . very sweet).  Dave made strawberry crepes with pomegranate mimosas for breakfast.

After the babies' morning nap, we headed to Airlie Gardens for a picnic in the park.  For those of you unfamiliar with Airlie, it's similar to Brookgreen Gardens but much, much smaller.  I got to play with my camera and enjoy a beautiful day with my favorite people.

On the way home we stopped at a local playground to further exhaust the babies (worked like a charm).  Then Dave said the sweetest 16 words in the entire English language: 'Why don't you let me put the babies down for the night and you go shopping.'

Yesterday was complete perfection.  Here's a pictorial highlight of my very first Mother's Day:

Finn is happier with the spoon than the food on it.

My first Mother's Day, neither baby wanted to sit still for a picture, 
this was the best we could do . . . and it just might be perfect. 

Mirabelle just can't help being silly . . . runs in the family. 

Fun in the tunnel at the playground.

Hey, Handsome!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happiness Is A Room Full Of New Toys

Folks, we've been in a playtime rut recently.  Now that the babies are crawling, (climbing, standing, cruising, screeching, barking, etc.) they find it more enjoyable to play with my glass vase full of fake flowers, pretty coffee table books that were never meant to be read (much less touched) and any available power cord, coaster or remote control.

Then it dawned on me, as the obvious eventually does, they're bored with their existing toys.  Why shouldn't they be, rattles really aren't that complicated.  So, thanks to our yard  sale we've upgraded the play area with more exciting toy options.

Here's some of our favorite things right now:

IKEA's MULA stacking rings (come one peeps, for $6 I really should have bought two).

IKEA's KORALL ANEMON lady bug tent.

My sister teaches at a Waldorf school.  I like some of their philosophy on early childhood play, particularly the idea of creating 'secret' cove-like environments for play.

We bought some cool pillows (from IKEA, of course) to go inside Ms. Ladybug.  Each morning I set up a new toy experience inside the tent for the babies to discover when they crawl out of the nursery.

IKEA's SPEJA tunnel

A personal favorite with the babies.  As soon as they started crawling on their hands and knees we ran to store (or rather  drove 4 hours to the nearest IKEA) to get this asap.

Mirabelle loved it immediately, Finn was a little unsure of it for about a day before venturing inside.

Playskool's Step Start Walk 'N Ride

Nana just sent this to us (thank you! thank you!).  Finn is ready to start his first triathlon just as soon as he can learn to walk. This will surely get him conditioned and ready for his first 'Look Ma, no hands!' steps.

B. Wheee-ls! for Target

'Aunt' Shannon told us about these!  You pull them back, let them go and they race forward (just like magic).  

Oddly, Finn was a little upset about them at first and would only play with them from the safety of my lap.  Now he spends all morning trying to recreate the magic on his own.

B. Whacky Balls for Target

Okay, these were geared towards 1 - 3 year olds, but I already believe my children are geniuses.  They understand the concept, but have a hard time with the motor skills.  

The hammer is a little problematic (Finn hit me on the head yesterday for fun).  We now hide the hammer and teach them to hit the balls with their hands.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Successories By Finn

Inspired by actual events:

Belle & Finn's new 'favorite' toy is the telephone.  It doesn't matter where you put it, they will find a way to get it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Early Mother's Day!

I've been wanting a beach cruiser bike for Mother's Day, so yesterday Dave suggested we go ahead and get my present a week early (who am I to argue with this brilliant logic?).  I've had my eye on Huffy's Cranbrook beach cruiser bike for a few weeks.

Of course, what's the point in getting a bike if you can't take your babies with you?  Which meant we also had to buy a bike trailer so I could cart the babies on all my wonderful adventures.  Ironically the bike trailer was more than the actual bike (by $2).

So last night under the soft glow of our fluoresce garage lights, Dave and I assembled the bike trailer (clarify: Dave assembled, Emily read instructions and every possible safety warning).  Then this morning, like a giddy little school girl (because really folks, that was about the last time I owned a bike) I packed the babies into their seat buckles, threw in some bottles and headed for the open road.  We covered a few miles until Finn got bored and screamed in protest (on principle, I'm sure).

The last five minutes of the bike ride were a mixture of quiet early morning breeze and chirping birds along with the piercing echos of Finn's cries for freedom ricocheting off everyone's front porch.  It was about 8:30a, time for folks to wake up anyway.

Last night Dave asked if I wanted to return the bike trailer . . .
 and find one that matched my bike  . . . some people are real comedians.

Despite their looks of mild boredom, 
my money in on them begging for more rides in the future.

Another First

On Sunday we walked the babies to the neighborhood pool.  The weather was perfect.  Sunny with High's in the low 80s.  The water was a bit chilly (next HOA meeting I should ask for a heated pool, just for the chuckles).  Not only was it the babies' first dip into a pool EVER, it was also Dave's first visit to our neighborhood pool (apparently he was 'working' all last summer or so he liked reminding us on the walk to the pool).

Since the kiddie pool is closed for repairs, I bought two Swimway Baby Spring Floats for the babies (about $16 each new at . . . totally worth it).  They loved it and now I can do solo trips to the pool during the week.

Lady Belle in her lily pad spring float.  She was a little unsure of the adventure at first.  But if you made constant eye contact with her she began to have fun.

Finn needed no introduction, he was splashing around like a professional fish on a hook.

Looks like the whole family's found a new fun thing to do on the weekends.  Did I mention the babies took a killer nap afterwards . . .

Our First Yard Sale

We participated in a community wide yard sale this weekend.  It was our first, so we called in the cavalry (my folks and Aunt Quinn) to give us a helping hand.

I highly recommend hiring my Dad to organize and advertise your next yard sale.  If he can charm a 70 year old woman into believing she may one day still need baby clothes, he can sell your most worthless junk.  We sold a good bit of baby clothes, newborn toys and whatever else Dave could find in the garage.  Oma-ma spent the morning watching the twins.  It seems I'm easily replaceable, they cried for her every time she left the room . . . mind you, I was still in it.

Quinn and I spent the night before baking 48 cupcakes, 24 cookies and 12 brownies to sell in case no one wanted our crap.  It seemed like a clever idea at the time and most of the other neighbors participating in the community yard sale agreed.  However, no one bought my baked-with-REAL-love, fictitiously fat-free treats.

Apparently our target audience of professional yard sale shoppers are mostly diabetic, or so they said.  Our major setback was a decided lack of adorable 3 - 7 year old children to work the bake sale with earnest looking puppy dog eyes and muddled speech patterns--just two more years and I will be QUEEN of the bake sale table (insert evil laugh).

All in all we had a great time and Dave let me pocket the profits!  Truly, the best part of the entire experience was meeting our neighbors.  In fact, one of our neighbors is expecting twins this fall!  I'll try my best not to stalk her house on my daily bike rides through the neighborhood . . .