Monday, August 31, 2009

Cereal Rules

Scott and I both love cereal. If we have a late lunch, or have a big lunch we will often grab a bowl of cereal for dinner. When I grocery shop I make sure to buy cereal when it is on sale, and when I have a coupon. I refuse to pay more than $2 for a box of cereal. That may sound really cheap, but when it is on sale AND I use a coupon I can get it often times for around one dollar. And when these cereal sales go on, I often stock up. Our pantry can often be found with twelve boxes of unopened cereal on the top shelf. Somehow I think having this type of cereal variety makes Scott happy. :)

I think most cereal can be put in one of two categories: Adult or child. Anything with Special K on the label is adult, as is anything by the Quaker brand. If there is a cartoon on the front of the box, then it is probably child cereal.

For the most part, I stick to the adult cereal. But every once in awhile I will stray away from my responsible adult cereal and indulge in a bowl of my all-time favorite cereal: Fruity Pebbles. This multi-colored sweetened rice cereal is so tasty. I remember when my mom would buy it for us as kids. I have always loved this cereal.

When I was in college my swim coach would supply breakfast to us during swim meets and training trips. She had a rule about cereal. She said that if more than half of the carbohydrates are listed as sugar, then it was off-limits.

I remember being thankful that Fruity Pebbles made the cut. And I was also pleased to see a Fruity Pebbles/ Coco Pebbles coupon this past Sunday in the paper.

Cereal, I love you!

Emily or Elsie?

Its always easy to tell which one is Eli. He is Scott's clone, and the one with blonde hair. But Emily's baby pictures look a lot like Elsie. Can you tell who is who?







Answers are in the comment section!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Emily's questions about baptism

Today at Lake Murray our good friend Amber was baptized! It was totally cool because there were over twenty others who were also baptized. We sat on a huge lawn in the back of a church goers house and watched with Emily and the twins. Emily got fidgety quickly, but then had many many questions about baptism.

First of all she was concerned about the physical part of the baptism. She wanted to know why Amber had to be "dunked" and if she would get water up her nose. Once the baptisms started though, she realized that it wasn't really some dangerous thing, and she moved on to other questions. She wanted to know why John the Baptist wasn't there. Good question.

Later at home I tried to answer her questions as best as I could, and from what I gathered she basically understands baptism to be a symbol that says a person is living for Christ. But she then asked me, "Mom, what happens if I get baptized and then I do something bad. I have a hard time making good choices every time."

Yes, so we have a long time and much more explaining before Emily fully understands.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for choosing me to be Emily's mom. I am grateful for the way you used today's baptism to encourage Emily to ask questions. I pray she will one day fully understand your mercy and grace, and that she will chose you as she realizes how much she needs both. Continue to give Scott and me wisdom to answer her questions and raise this precious little girl.
Amen

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hmmmm... Ehhh, why not. Here you go!

I wish I had some awesome pictures to show you of the twins first photo shoot. I don't. I wish that these pictures showed the essence of their sweet faces. I don't. I wish I at least had one of EITHER of them smiling. I don't.

What I have are the result of a not-so-good photo shoot at a place that I will never again visit. My sister Mindy was with me when these were done. I was so glad she was with me. The entire experience was so bad that as we walked out Mindy said, "Okay, were there cameras in there for the show 'Boiling Point' because I thought I was going to deck that lady!"

Well said. And to answer... no. That was just a really bad experience for the babies first pictures. Oh well. My mom is coming in October which will be a perfect time to take their six month pictures with a better photographer.

Until then, here are the pictures. Cute, but only because they have my babies' precious faces in them. Other than that... not so much!



Daniel

Two years ago this October my Bible study and I began Beth Moore's study of Daniel. I've done about seven or so Beth studies, and this one is my all-time favorite. There is so much in this study, one can't possibly take it all the first time. So we decided to do this study again!

Tuesday was our first session, and I started the day 1 in the book on Wednesday. Immediately I recall why I love this study so much! The comparison of Babylon to our culture is eerily easy to make, and so the application to life in 2009 is easy. The first time I did this study I felt like I learned the importance of not letting my own life blend in unnoticed with today's Babylon. But this time I really feel God has given me the opportunity to learn how to teach my children from blending in to today's Babylon.

Anyhow, I am so blessed to have such a great group of ladies to meet with every Tuesday. We've met together from years, and I think all together we represent at least five different churches. I learn from these ladies, and lean on them when I need to. They are fabulous, and I am grateful to be a part of them!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eli Telling Stories

Typically Elsie is the one filling us in on the day's events, but today she let Eli take over.
Here is what he had to say:

video

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday thoughts

A couple things on my mind this a.m.

- Baby personalities are not small. Scott and I joke that tomorrow Elsie will be talking and Elias will be walking! She babbles and coos about as much as he wants to kick and be held on up on his wobbly legs.

- Emily is ready for preschool. Her first full day isn't until Sept. 9. Before that there is an evening parents meeting, an open house, an abbreviated "practice" day, and finally their first full day on 9/9. I'm sure this is to help squelch fears that some preschoolers have, but my Emily is not one of them. She's ready to let the good times roll!

- Last night Scott and I discussed the progress of his program. Lately our family has had so much going on with our new additions to Scott's health issues that his program has taken a back seat. We worked out a schedule that we will need to adhere to that gives Scott time to complete his comps, and then his dissertation. Today is the first day, and I pray that we stick to it! I am so proud of him and can't wait until he finishes, but until then I need to do a better job supporting him and the time he needs to devote to his work.

- The twin sale is this Friday and Saturday. I plan on consigning the babies preemie and newborn clothes. I also plan on purchasing some boy-girl matching twin outfits from a friend whose babies are exactly a year older than our twins, and hopefully I will find another high chair to match Emily's old one. Last spring we bought our snap and go stroller, two bouncy seats, a swing, and some matching preemie boy/girl clothes. When they are young and go through things so quickly, consigning only makes sense!


- On Saturday we took Emily and the twins to the State Museum here in Columbia. We had never been there before, and found it to be really awesome. There are four stories, and we didn't even get to the fourth floor before the museum closed. Emily learned all about optical illusions, and she really loved the "Powers of Nature" exhibit. She learned the difference between tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as earthquakes, blizzards, and volcanoes.

- Sunday after church we had lunch with Linda. After that she came to our house and was playing with the babies. She was holding Elsie, and Emily was talking. As Emily walked away, Elsie followed Emily with her eyes until she turned her entire body to see Emily. She loves her big sister, and watches her every move!


- Tomorrow night our Bible study is beginning Beth Moore's Daniel study. Yes, we've already done that study, but it was so great and packed with so much info that we're doing it again. :) I can't wait!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A dirty trick

This morning our family was enjoying our coffee, newspaper, and breakfast. While I was trying to read the paper and finish my first cup of coffee, Elsie was in my arms and being a little fussy. Eli was in his bouncy seat. Scott asked me if I would like him to take Elsie to give me a break.

So sweet, or so I thought.

The moment I handed him Elsie, he grinned a very mischievous "Scott grin" and told me that Eli had a really yucky diaper. He said, "I guess you will need to change, since I busy holding Elsie and all." Scott couldn't stop grinning at his own dirty trick, and the entire time Eli was smiling away, obviously proud of the present that awaited me.

These boys are sneaky I tell you! Emily, Elsie, and I will have to get them back!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Emily the Artist


Our Emily has been drawing and coloring to her heart's content! She has some amazing pictures that she draws, and she and I wanted to share one with you that she did today after her nap time. It is of Scott teaching his class on the first day of school. She tells me that I also need to write that she is a fabulous colorer. And she doesn't even scribble-scrabble.

What a cutie!

Are you kidding me?

Got a call yesterday that Elsie's home phototherapy lights back in May were not covered by insurance because Blue Cross/Blue Shield's medical review committee decided they weren't "medically necessary." Even after my pediatrician faxed three different letters stating that they were absolutely necessary, and provided them with charts from the AMerican Academy of Pediatrics, they still said they weren't medically necessary.

Glad to know insurance thinks they know more that my doctor.

Here we go with another fight to get them to pay.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life-lesson

A few days ago Scott and I decided that we could better use our time and money on other things besides cable. So I called and disconnected the DirecTV that very day. We had already cut back our cable to the lowest amount of cable channels possible, and of those we only watched about three. We plan on getting a converter box, but until then knew we would just go without T.V. for a few days. Fine with us.

But not fine with Emily.

It took a few days to disconnect, and some time last night is when the cable turned off. When she turned on the T.V. this morning to watch her cartoons, she was very upset. I tried to explain the reasoning for not wanting to pay so much money and spend so much time. I even told her how many "monies" it cost to pay for cable, and that mommy and daddy want to be wise with how we spend our money. (The idea that we have to PAY for T.V. was a new concept.) I even explained that every time the calendar flipped to a new month, we had to pay again. (Again, complete disbelief at this idea).

About an hour later, Emily came to me with all of her play money in her hand. "PLEEEEEAASSSEE can we get the T.V. to work again" she said.

Too funny!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three kidney stones later...

and Scott is feeling much better. That said, I should probably explain that since my last post when I said he was feeling better, he actually starting feeling quite bad again. On his Monday appointment he told the doctor he was really hurting on the left side (the surgery was on the right side) but the doctor just shrugged it off as leftover uncomfortable pain from the surgery.

Turns out not. He had another three kidney stones on his left side. Bummer.

But now he is stopping the migraine medication that is known for causing kidney stones. The urologist didn't know anything about this, but the migraine doctor knew about it right away when Scott mentioned it, and agreed that he should stop taking it.

Today Scott goes to his classroom to get it all set-up and prepare for the first day of school tomorrow. Not exactly the best time for these kidney stones to occur, however, I'm so glad this didn't all begin while school was in session.

I'm praying that God will keep Scott well from everything from kidney stones to head colds, and that everybody's first day of school tomorrow will be fabulous!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Serious? No way!

I've shared with you what I thought was the meanest, rudest comment I have received about the twins. Today, I will share with you the stupidest.

Last night Scott and I were at a store with the kids. We had the babies in their double stroller. As we checked out the clerk (loudly) asked us many inappropriate questions about fertility and how we became pregnant with the twins. How strangers seem to think it is okay to ask other strangers these types of personal questions I will never know. But, like with most cases, the asker was very sweet and meant absolutely no harm. I was just glad that she asked in front of Scott so that he could experience the comment phenomenon that comes with being in public with twins.

But then, as Scott was pre-occupied with Emily, came the kicker. She said, "Yeah, I've always heard that all babies start out as twins, but then one baby eats the other."

Huh? What did you just say? Oh. My. Gosh.

I looked around to find Scott, but he was already walking towards the door having a discussion with Emily about something. He missed it!

Oh well. As scared as I was that somebody could actually believe and repeat such non-sense, I didn't feel it was my place to educate her on twins. So I dropped my head to hide my grin and suppressed that giggle. Of course as soon as we got to the safety of our car I shared with Scott and we laughed all the way home. Isn't that crazy?!?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blessings

Today is one of those days that I just feel overwhelmed with blessing. Our children are amazing! I don't think I understood how much love and joy these three precious children would bring until they were here. And I am amazed at how much God has entrusted to Scott and me through Emily, Elsie, and Eli. When I watch Emily love on them I feel like my heart is literally swelling. She is such an amazing and gracious little girl with so much love for her brother and sister. I look forward to observing from afar as she teaches them things and explains life as only a big sister can.

Tomorrow Scott goes back to school. He is well now, thank goodness, and he has meetings at the beginning of the week until the children return on Thursday. He is at a school that is just fabulous. I'm so thankful that he works with such wonderful people. Emily and I have loved having him home this summer. Yes, he was in his office much of the summer working on comps, but we went with us on outings to town, and ate lunch with us almost every day. I know Emily will be bummed when she won't have her daddy around all day.

And our church. Scott and I decided to go to this church back in May of 2008. We went to a "Discover your Church" class shortly after, and planned on attending the class to become partners (members) shortly after. However I had just found out I was pregnant, and didn't yet know it was with more than one baby. When we walked in to the class, lunch was set up on a long table. The smell was so over-powering I had to immediately leave and go home. Luckily, we finally attended that class today and plan on completing the final steps to join East Lake. I have many past students that attend church there, as well as Amber who came with us when we started. The worship is amazing, and I have already learned so much from the speakers and pastor. THere are so many times when I compare churches here to the one I grew up in, and in so many ways they will never compare. I could only pray for a wonderful place to raise my children with wonderful people who love God, and Scott and I found that in this church.

Finally, this may sound sort of trivial, but I am so thankful for Skype! There are many Sunday evenings that we bring out the lap top and talk to Grammy and Papa on the computer. It is easy for them to see Emily and how big she is getting, and she can see her grandparents. She is often wild and crazy and has a hard time settling down because she is so excited, but she SEES them. She shows them "her babies" while Scott and I hold each baby up to the computer screen. They can see how much they've grown, and it eases the heartache a bit. Especially since my dad won't see the babies until October. Living so far away from my parents is so hard sometimes. And this is just one way that I survive that.

Anyhow, I hope you also feel tremendous blessing today. And when tomorrow comes and I feel overwhelmed again I will remind myself to remember this post and re-new my attitude!

Scott Update

When Scott went in to the urologist on Friday the doctor said he was surprised Scott hadn't been in earlier! The stone was blocking passage in to the bladder and the doctor gave him a shot of pain medication immediately and then sent him straight over to the hospital for surgery.

Luckily I have some awesome friends, because I needed to find a place for the kids to go and quick! My friend Meesh arranged for Emily to stay with Kori's grandma, and the twins both stayed with Lori. I rushed to the hospital and got there right before they took Scott in. In just a few hours we were on our way home with a much happier Scott. His only complaint was that he was hungry... the first time he had an appetite in days! We picked up the twins and went with the Mooney's to Mexican food. Emily stayed the night with Kori, and could have cared less. She was actually quite clueless. All she knew was that for days her daddy didn't feel good, and now he feels much better!

Thank goodness for that! We are so glad to have our Daddy back!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scott

... doesn't feel good.

Kidney stones are horrible! I will never forget the first time he had a kidney stone. We were in our house on Floradora and he stood up in our bedroom, and just about fell back down. I was so scared! Later, the emergency room doctor told us what caused the pain. She also told us that as a mother of three, she thinks her worst pain came from her own battle with a kidney stone, not labor. Wow.

And then I was reminded of how horrible they can be when our neighbor across the street got one. He didn't know what it was at the time, but suffered from such severe pain that his wife couldn't get him up off the floor to bring him to the hospital. An ambulance was called. And this is a tough man I'm talking about!

So, once again Scott has a kidney stone. Actually at last check he had three. Ugh. I guess the good thing is that we know what is causing the pain. But normally Scott spends about twelve hours in pain. He can take pain pills, and has even passed a kidney stone while on a field trip with third graders. I guess you can say he's learned to live with them.

But this time is different.

Scott has been in pain for over a week now, with the past four days the worst. It has never taken this long before. All he can do is take pain meds that make him nauseous and try to find a comfortable position to sit or lay. All the while thinking about his class and school that starts next week.

I hate that I can't do anything. I hate that I can't help make him comfortable or feel better. It is the most useless feeling. I am so frustrated at the situation. I'm a fix-it person, and there is nothing I can fix!

So if you would say a prayer for Scott, we'd appreciate it! He's at the urologist right now, and who knows what they will find. I'm afraid the doc will say he needs a stint or that they need to "break up" a large stone. But then again, if those two things aren't options, I don't know what he will do. I guess what I am most afraid of is the doctor not being able to do anything and sending Scott home again to wait.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What I woke up to this morning

Emily woke up early and decided to watch cartoons downstairs before waking us up. Scott and I were up with the babies several times last night, so initially this sounded like a good plan. Emily is four now, and can work the remote. No big deal.

Then we saw this.


Apparently she got hungry and helped herself to a Fun Dip.

Its raining again today. I will keep my camera handy in case there are any other moments that could bring a smile to somebody else. As for me, I'm need to check to make sure there isn't anything else I need to clean up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In to everything!


This little girl is just too much! She's got her little hands in everything that doesn't belong to her! I think this picture says it all (that's mascara for you boys who don't know better). Here are some other things I have caught Miss Emily Grace doing while I've been busy with the twins:

- Today when given a bowl of fresh cherries, she decided she wanted "cherry juice" instead. (I still need to go clean up that mess, but am procrastinating on the computer instead!)

- When I walked in from the garage today I noticed that "somebody" got a green crayola marker from my box of classroom things and drew a little man on the wooden banister to the steps into the kitchen. Em says she knows nothing about this, but did tell me the man's name is "John the Baptist."

- The very few disposable diapers that we keep in the house for emergencies are all being worn by various baby dolls and stuffed animals.

- Scott and I found the tape dispenser out in the office yesterday with a crinkled end. We were suspicious, but it wasn't until later that night that I found Emily's Bitty Baby with taped up legs and I remembered Emily saying something earlier about a "cast."

- Poor Dakota. That's all I will say about that.

Hopefully once I get a better schedule things will be a little more managable. (And by things I mean Emily!) I also think that Emily is sick of fussy babies all day, and she will be ready for preschool and kids her own age. Until then, keep enjoying the posts regarding Emily's medelsome nature. And scroll down if you missed the "Evidence" post from last week!

Zoo Trip with Mindy

Emily and I drove Mindy to Charlotte yesterday to catch her plane. We really enjoyed Mindy, and can't wait to see her again at Christmas. Later yesterday afternoon Emily woke up from her nap and was crying as she realized that Miss Penny was no longer sleeping in the guest room. These are the moments that make it so hard to be so far from our family.



This is the gorilla that escaped from its enclosure only a few weeks ago. We didn't mention that to Miss Penny until we had already gotten her to the zoo! Don't worry though. He's a nice gorilla, and only accidently knocked over the pizza place man before jumping back over the wall into his enclosure.

I'm pretty sure the twins loved being around their Aunt Mindy. Both Elsie and Eli had plenty of smiles for her while she was here.

This picture makes me realize how hard it will be to get three kids to look at the camera and smile all at the same time. :)

Emily loves to know the EXACT names of each of the animals. This one was a Tree Kangaroo.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Today's gut-busting laugh

... courtesy of Miss Penny.

Yesterday afternoon our house had a moment of sheer chaos. I was sitting on the couch trying to nurse two fussy babies. Emily was tired, and acting a bit rotten. The dog was running around in circles, and then the phone rang. I was really feeling tempted to begin repeating, "Serenity Now!" like Cramer from Seinfeld.

Right in the middle of the chaos, Mindy, who was laying on the couch beside me, put her foot in my face and said, "While you feed two babies, yell at the dog, and discipline your four year old, do you think you could massage my feet?"

We both started laughing as we looked around at the sheer chaos. And I realized that sometimes having a total brat for a sister is just perfect! :)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sleeping babies and Miss Penny

The babies are sleeping fabulously! Both are in bed by eight, and Eli wakes every morning at 4 a.m. for a feeding. Elsie doesn't wake until 6-7 a.m. This morning she didn't wake until after seven, and she was in bed before eight last night. Over eleven hours isn't bad! And eight hours for Eli is fabulous too!

Mindy thinks this is fabulous as well!

And while we're on the subject of Mindy, every day she provides me with a gut-busting laugh. Here is an example from yesterday:

I was upstairs and Scott came up to ask me if the babies were hungry. I said no, they had another hour or more before they should be hungry again.

Well, I didn't realize at the time that Eli was just screaming downstairs with Mindy. I couldn't hear. So when Scott came back down and told Mindy that they shouldn't be hungry, she marched upstairs with Eli and said,

"Here. I wanted you to tell him to his face that he shouldn't be hungry, because I think his response will be 'B.S.'!!!!!!!"

Mindy was right. The poor guy thought he was starving. I got right to feeding him! :)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Miss Penny is here!






We've always called Mindy "Minni-Penny" but Emily had her own swing on things. She has always referred to her aunt as, "Miss Penny." Emily has been waiting for weeks for her "Miss Penny" to get here and is so excited!
We went to Charlotte and stayed the night at a water park after picking up Emily. It was in the hotel room that Mindy got to meet Elsie and Eli. As you can see, Elsie immediately could tell that this Miss Penny character was somebody fun and important! (A later post will document the first over-night trip with the twins.)
Here are a few pictures from the water park.

P.S. It turns out that indoor water parks are great for babies! The "white noise" was just what they needed to keep them cool and calm the entire time we went on the slides. They sat in their stroller and either napped or observed. It was really great!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Saturday Smiles




The happiest most playful times of day come after a nap and feeding. Here are a couple of my favorites that I took today. I'm still learning how to best use my camera. And the babies are learning how to smile at the same time. Hopefully they can figure this out before we take them to get their pictures taken next week!