Monday, January 31, 2011

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Happy 50th Anniversary Bubble Wrap. Here's a fun site to surf while you pretend to work (or ignore your children--don't judge).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Random Conversations

Overheard while driving home from church:

Me:  'Finnlay, please don't open the car door while Daddy is driving.  You could fall out and get hurt.  You'd feel really bad and Mommy would be very, very sad.  You're irreplaceable--one of a kind.'

Dave:  'Unlike Daddy, who has an identical brother, which makes him two of a kind . . . '

Don't worry, folks.  We've activated the child safety locks on the car now that the twins have located the door handles and found immeasurable joy in touching them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Say 'Cheese!!'

The Dynamic Duo is actually smiling for the camera these days.  Here's some pictures of the twins eating grilled cheese sandwiches while saying 'Cheese' for the camera.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eating Out Saves . . . Something

Just a quick update on the 2011 Resolutions:  Current count 5 for 11!  Almost halfway to the finish line--because doing something 'once' does count as 'regularly' since it's only January [insert cheeky grin].

Last weekend was Only Child Day for Finn & I.  We picked up Finn's new girlfriend 'Aunt Ash' and did some shopping, then enjoyed a relaxing lunch.

On Sunday, we all FINALLY went to church for the very first time as a family.  We dropped the twins off in the nursery--Dave & Finn both struggled with this transition (men!).  Then Dave & I enjoyed a wonderfully quiet, calming, relaxing (Dave would add boring) church service.  After that we headed out for lunch to celebrate the monumental occasion of being awake, dressed and out of the house before 2pm on a Sunday.

You see a trend . . . Emily likes to eat out--for so many reasons.  The main one being someone else gets the honor of cleaning up after my toddlers.  Because cleaning up after the twins often ends in hallucinations of raising swine.  Which couldn't possibly come from my gene pool, leaving Dave the sole carrier of these mutant genes.  Then the cycle of resentment sets in and suddenly spending $30 to feed a family of four in order to spare feelings of resentment seems ridiculously cheap.  Thus, eating out saves . . . my sanity.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mildly Creepy

Tonight was 'Buddy Night' at preschool.  A special one hour arts and crafts time for Daddy and the twins.  I arrived a little early to pick them up--thus proving the theory I CAN be on time when I've only myself to dress and feed.  I couldn't resist watching them through the classroom window (Hello, Creepy).  As if sitting in a parked car after dark staring into a classroom full of toddlers isn't obsessive enough, I also felt compelled to take a few photos (Hello, Stalker).

Dave holding Finn and The Pink Swan, Mirabelle, taking flight.

Daddy stealing kisses from Finn [insert collective sigh].

After a few bizarre stares from people in the parking lot, 
I finally went legit and walked inside.


Today we visited a local gymnastics facility for our morning activity.  Every Wednesday and Thursday morning the facility holds Open Gym for toddlers to explore the equipment and tumble around for two high octane hours.

Finn & Belle had a blast (so did Mommy).  Here's the video to prove it.

I think what Finn & Belle loved most about this place was the decided lack of flashy plastic toys (or maybe that was just me).  The facility was large and the various floors and mats were fun to climb, run, jump and bounce on.  Hands down, the best part was watching Finn & Belle chase each other while laughing hysterically.

My advice to all you toddler parents:  Google local gymnastic facilities in your area.  Most of them offer something like this for a small fee (it cost $5/per child for us).  In fact, I think my new favorite gift for any child turning two will be passes to Carolina Gymnastics Academy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The English To English Translator

For the past 12 months I've been mildly obsessed with teaching the twins to talk (yes, since they were 6 months old); mainly in an effort to spend less time deciphering grunts, gestures, whines and more time focusing on other important things like what "I" want to wear, eat or do.  You would too if you lived in some remote temperate jungle with knee-high natives begging you for milk--no wait, juice; to read only the first two pages of every book and hold their sippy cup in your left hand, now right hand, now give it back--you thief!

One of my friends thinks this obsession is ridiculous (in her defense she's endured my repetitive complaints since May of last year).  I believe she said:  'Why in the world are you stressing over something that will come no matter what you do!?!'  My reply:  'Because I have nothing else better to do.'

She's absolutely right.  For the most part, Finn & Belle are hitting all their language milestones with perfect punctuality (must have gotten that from their Oma-ma).  So now I spend most of my days decoding various attempts made at speaking the English language.  Then I spend a portion of each evening translating those words into something coherent for their Daddy.

Here's what I've translated so far:

Cacka = Cracker
Cookie = Cookie or Cookie Monster
Car = Car, Truck, Airplane, or Cold
Ear = Ear
Mommy = Mommy, More, Help, Fix, Do, Fetch, Grab, Get, Go, etc.
Daddy = Daddy
Up = Up or Down
Baby = Baby, Doll, Bailey, Blueberries or Bumblebee Slippers
Sock = Sock
Shoe = Shoe
La La = Lavender
'La La La La' (tune for Elmo's World) = Elmo or Sesame St.
El La La = Ellen
Dia-dar = Diaper
Hey Ya Ya = Telephone, Cellphone or Daddy
Nana = Nana or Banana
Mama = Oma-ma
Poopy = Dirty Diaper
Bye Bye = Good Bye or Toilet (don't ask)
Circle = Circle
Ball = Ball
Eat = Eat
Mah = Milk or More
Da = Finn or Belle's nickname
Dog = Dog, Cat, Horse, Goat, anything with 4 legs 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Only Child Day

We're 1 : 11 on the New Year's Resolution front, not bad if the goal is to accomplish one resolution per month (it's all about pacing oneself).  On Sunday, Lady Belle and I spent the afternoon together.  I 'whined' and dined her at the finest of luncheon spots (Sam's Club) and took her to the local zoo (Wal-Mart).

Apparently, I've done a stellar job of lowering the twins' expectations since the best part of our outing was carrying my little Lady to and from the car.  Don't get me wrong, she enjoyed every moment of Mommy's undivided attention, but specifically enjoyed viewing the world from the towering vista of Mommy's arms--rather than confined to the stroller.  I equally enjoyed stealing kisses and talking nonsense to anyone caring to listen.

Dave took Finn to do some man's man stuff (shoe shopping) and then stopped for a cup of joe at the bookstore, where I hear Finn was a big hit with the ladies.  Finn must have enjoyed his Daddy time, he spent the rest of the day saying 'shoe'.

Eating the best hot dogs $1.88 can buy.

Chillin' in her very own Walmart shopping cart with no 
pesky brother touching her side.

Monday, January 10, 2011

'Preschool Prep Company Presents!'

Alright, last summer I begged the 'Universe' for portable DVD players to use on extended road trips.  I promised only to show educational DVD's and I kept 80% of my bargain (Belle just HAD to meet Belle from Beauty & The Beast).

For the most part, the twins alternate between two DVDs teaching them the alphabet and numbers.  These DVDs are a series from the Preschool Prep Company.  I found them at a local Learning Express Toys store and chose them because their covers displayed about twenty different awards (possibly all made up, but impressive to look at).

If you've been fortunate enough to ride in our party-mobile then you've possibly experienced the joy and wonder of these DVDs.  They gained such glowing reviews like (NOTE:  excessive exclamation points used to convey the intensity of emotions felt):

'This is about as exciting as watching grass grow!!!'

'How do you listen to this over and over again!?!"

'I don't like the repetition.  It's REALLY annoying!!!'

'Do you have anything more stimulating for them to watch!?!'

'I'll ride home in the other car . . . '

Well 'Haters', I'd like to inform you that my 18 month old children can now recognize and say their letters and numbers.  I have no idea what this actually means, as I've no clue how to teach them to apply this information usefully.  So, we'll just sit patiently on this little gem until someone explains the next step . . .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gender Blind

Recently, Mirabelle approved various short mergers between her hair and bow clips.  To facilitate these unions, I've been making a concerted effort to offer her a bow every morning, show her herself wearing it in a mirror, and praise her on how pretty it looks.

Unfortunately, Finn is usually standing next to us watching and wants in on the 'fun'.  My instinctive response is to give him a bow and let the public school system sort it all out later (that's why teachers get paid the big bucks, right--wait . . . ).

Instead, I called my babies' Daddy to seek his counsel on this gender issue.  After all, he is the one who taught them how to grab stuffed animals by the mouth and shake them from side to side, lick their plates clean, and throw their hands up in the air while running around the house screaming as a form of interpretive dance.

After rattling through our standard game of 'It Could Be Worse' with favorites like:  'wait till he wants his fingernails painted' or 'wait till he wants his ears pierced'; Dave suggested I get Finn some hats--or better yet, cool sweatbands (with matching armbands of course).  Not such bad advice from a guy who thinks all children should have 4:30p bedtimes.

So hats for Finn and bows for Belle.  Now it's time to search 'The Internets' for some nifty--yet manly, headgear for my little boy who is gender blind.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reset The New Year Button

Here's why I absolutely LOVE New Year's Day: it's a chance to collectively reflect on the previous year and reset priorities, ambitions and goals for the new one.  Granted, this could be done at any point in time; but since the rest of the Western World is doing it right now--I will too.

  1. Start going to church again (that would require finding one).
  2. Take Lavender for a walk every (maybe, other) day.
  3. De-poop the backyard at least once a week.
  4. Have a date night once a month--preferably with my husband (kidding).
  5. Go to bed early during the week.
  6. Keep the garage, office and guest room more organized.
  7. Sign the family up for one 5K Fun Run (even if we only walk the entire race).
  8. Establish special 'Only Child' time with each baby on the weekends.
  9. Start a writing project (no need to finish it--starting it would be the biggest hurdle).
  10. Figure out a brilliant way to make easy (and legal) money without having to actually work.
  11. Keep the dogs (and my eyebrows) regularly groomed. 
Happy New Year!!  It's a new blank slate; time to paint it pretty!!!