Thursday, January 28, 2010

The twins playing together

Sharing was never an issue with Emily Grace. Because she was an only child for so long, she is always so glad to have a playmate that not sharing has never occurred to her. With the twins however, it will be a different story. Here is the the beginnings of what is to come.

He rolls

Eli has figured out how to roll all over the place. While Elsie is content to sit and play for great lengths of time, Eli would rather fall over from a seated position and roll to whatever catches his eye. Just today he was rolling away to get to the bowl of Emily's snack, that was a definite no-no. He is very quick!

I was taking some pictures of our sweeties the other afternoon, and I think this catches Eli's quick speed at rolling, as well as his fondness for my camera.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting out of the house on time with a smile...

On preschool days (M-W-F) I start my day at 6:30 with a list of tasks to attend to. In order to get everybody out of the house and on time for school, I have a lot of work to be done. First I change a set of diapers, and then I go downstairs and give the babies their bottles while I make coffee and unload the dishwasher that runs each night. I make breakfast for Emily, and possibly help Scott out with making his lunch. I makes sure Scott has everything he needs for his day before I kiss him goodbye.

Then I make the babies their food. I give them their puffs to munch on to hold them over, and then feed them their bowls of food. This in itself is quite the task. Elsie doesn't like long waits between bites, so many times I find myself getting in the cycle of pick up pink bowl, give spoonful, put pink bowl down, pick up green bowl, give spoonful, put green bowl down. Over and over and over.

Then when they are done eating, I clean them both off, taking great care to remove any crumbs of food from their necks. Then its time to clean up their high chairs. This means the seat where they drop pieces of food, the trays, and the high chair toys that hang off the side. Once those are washed, dried, and secured back on the chairs, I wash their bowls, spoons, bottles, and bibs.

Finally, as soon as all of this is finished, its time to move all three kiddos upstairs to get ready for preschool. I settle the babies down in the pack and play while Emily attends to her list of four things to do: get dressed (I have clothes laid out for her) brush her teeth, make her bed, and brush out her hair. I shower while she is doing this and get myself ready to go. Then I finish Emily's hair for her before changing both babies out of their jammies. Then Emily turns out all the lights while I load the babies in their car seats. I make sure she gets all of the proper outer wear that the day's weather requires, and its off to the car we go!

Seriously... this is what 6:30-8:30 looks like on preschool days in our home.

Most days there is some sort of hang up: one of the babies doesn't think I should shower, but would rather I held him or her, Emily doesn't like the shoes I picked out, or even more often, Emily doesn't like the socks. (She has serious issues with the sock seem that goes across her toes. That sock seem has created some serious drama on occasion!)

But this morning, everything was smooth. Emily did exactly what she was supposed to, checking her way off the sheet as she went. She was glad that when she sat down she had enough time to watch an entire Clifford video before we needed to load up the car. She played with her brother and sister, which allowed me to get myself together with more time than normal (my hair is actually styled today!). We didn't forget anything either!

I dropped Emily off feeling quite proud of us for being so on top of it, and on a Monday morning no less!? And then I returned home to find a message from Emily's teacher on the answering machine: Emily's fabulously cute rain boots were bothering her. She took them off, and refused to put them back on. Something about her not being able to run like a cheetah. Could I please bring her some tennis shoes?


And I thought I was doing so well this morning!?! Oh well. I'm so glad Emily doesn't have preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Wednesday will be another day to try it all over again!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kids and Activities

Its that time again. Time to sign Emily up for soccer. She played in the fall, with Scott as her coach, and it was a great experience. Before soccer, Emily participated in a year-long dance class where she took ballet and tap. That..well... that wasn't such a great experience as Emily quickly got tired of it, and the recital... well we all remember this don't we?

But before we just sign her up for soccer, Scott and I wonder if there is some other activity that she would enjoy. Should we see if she would like gymnastics? Karate? T-ball? What if we pay the registration fees for whatever activity we think she would like best, only to find out she hates it? Do we really make a four year old child stick with something that she really had no idea what it was all about to begin with? Lucky for us, Emily sticks it out, or at least she did with the dance thing. And she liked soccer, so that was no problem.

I guess my issue is that I want to expose Emily to as many different activities as possible so that she can have the final say as to what she would like to do. But how can she say she's interested in children's theatre if we never expose her to that? Or whatever other activity.

The older I get, the more I value my experiences with extra-curricular activities as a child. Yes, most of them were athletic, but as a young girl I got to play volleyball, basketball, softball. I ran cross-country. I learned how to jump hurdles, high jump, and throw a shot-put and discus. And of course I participated on a swim team. When I came to the age when I needed to focus on one of these, I chose swimming. But how awesome was it that I had been exposed to so many different things?

This experience was very rare, and I wish I could replicate it for my children. I guess the best thing we can do is expose Emily to different activities as a spectator. Any other ideas?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Volunteers in Haiti

I called our pediatrician's office this afternoon to see about an appt. for Elsie and Eli. Nothing too urgent, just that I think Elsie's wakefulness at night is due to her being uncomfortable with reflux, and maybe another stronger medicine is in order.

Anyhow, the front office girl knew who I was when I called because we are there so often. (I'm serious... I think she recognized my voice!) She told me that Dr. Cope is in Haiti volunteering his time until next week. She had just got word that his plane had landed safely there.

We will be praying for Dr. Cope and his safety, as well as for the children that he will serve. I'm grateful for doctors like him, who jump on the chance to serve our God in the middle of a horrible event like this.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

We've had a high chair situation in our home for awhile now. Simply put, it is that we have Emily's old high chair that I love, but they no longer make it in the same pattern. I REALLY didn't want two different chairs in the kitchen, so I asked Scott if we could sell Emily's used chair and buy two new ones. He said that was ridiculous, and a waste of money. And yes, I have to agree.
So as the babies neared the point of growing out of their bumbo seats, I scoured the Craigslist pages for every city in our state, hoping to find a chair like Emily's. After two months, my efforts paid off. A lady outside of Greenville was selling a chair exactly like Emily's for a fraction of the cost of a new chair. So not only was I getting my two matching chairs, but I was saving money too! Scott wasn't nearly as excited as I thought he should be, but I think was just glad to be done hearing about my search!

We decided to make a day of it on Saturday and head off to Greenville to visit their children's museum after we picked up the high chair. This museum was FABULOUS! There is a similar museum here in Columbia that is actually much bigger, but it was very fun to go to a new place with new exhibits. The only bummer was that the Blue Men Group have sponsored a sound wave exhibit that won't open until next weekend. From what we saw, it too proved to be awesome, but was unfortunately unavailable. Scott thinks it may be based off the preschool they opened. I am very intrigued by this exhibit, and want to go back!
The kids all had a great time, the twins included. The water lilly play table was ingenious! We spent a lot of time there. All the other exhibits were fabulous too, and each were set up around the theme of "I can be a...." as they explored different areas. Emily had fun pretending to be a race car driver, engineer, dietician, scientist, farmer, and various other things.

There was also this huge climbing tower that was constructed of steel and wavy plexi-glass. Emily thought that was fabulous, and just after a few minutes of play, she had five other girls her age all following as she hollered, "Come on guys! This way!" Yes, well... we like to say Emily isn't bossy...she just has good leadership skills! The little girls all followed as Emily gave them each direction like a good leader should!

After many hours, it was time to return. Scott and I always enjoy driving around our state. It was a beautiful drive and was a wonderful day-trip. And a special thanks to Justin for the adorably cute shirts! :) This was the perfect day to dress the kids alike, and these cute tops were a perfect choice! Thanks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am a lame movie-watcher. I am the one who leaves the room when violence erupts on scene. It is not gun violence that bothers me so much, probably because that just doesn't seem real to me. I can sit through the final scenes of Training Day no problem. But it is the physical violence that bothers me, or more like haunts me. I think this has worsened since I've become a mom.

There have been times that I've wanted to see a movie that looked like it had a great story, but I was worried it could be too much. Scott will then preview, and then re-watch it with me, telling me when to leave the room. The most recent movie we watched like this was Inglorious Bastards. Great movie. But you bet I ran out of the room several times.

Anyhow, I tell you this to explain what a dumb thing I did this morning. I got an mass email asking that I pray for the people in Haiti after the horrible earthquake. There was a CNN video linked to the email, and I opened it up and began to watch. I guess I expected news reporters telling the latest information, but rather it was video taken just seconds after the quake hit. The dust hadn't even settled and people were running everywhere. There were people literally holding their arms out between stories of leveled buildings. There was much screaming.

I'm sure these images will haunt me for weeks. Not because they are more graphic than movies I've seen, but because they are actual people, not actors. I can't imagine what it must be like to be a citizen of Haiti today. I can't imagine what they saw and what they are going through. But I will pray.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Scott!

For Scott's birthday I wanted to surprise him with one of his favorite meals. When I started thinking about the meals that I make, I couldn't come up with one that was his all-time favorite. Maybe goolash? Seriously, this is one of his favorites, but such a throw-together, easy dish, I couldn't possibly serve it on his birthday.

So I asked Emily, "Hey Em. What do you think is Daddy's favorite thing to eat for dinner." She doesn't even look up from coloring as she automatically answers, "Gas station fried chicken."

There you have it folks. My husbands favorite dinner. Emily was spot on.

For those of you who don't live in our area, there is a Exxon Quickway on the way to the lake that serves fried chicken. A friend at work introduced me to it when she recommended we get the fried chicken for our school tailgating party there. I won't lie, I was totally skeptical at first. I don't even like to eat a Subway sandwich out of gas station. But I went ahead and tried some, and it was fabulous! Later when Scott tried it he was head over heels.

Along with the fried chicken would be a potato salad and cole slaw that I will make. And of course a birthday cake.

However, we had a change in plans. Though today is his birthday, looks like we won't be celebrating until Friday. Eli has a terrible stomach bug that he's slowly recovering from, and Emily was sent home from preschool as it turns out she has a sinus infection.

I called Scott and told him about the kids, and our plans that we had to change. He didn't mind that we had to change until Friday. And I think he was pretty excited about Gas station friend chicken. Good job Emily. You know your father well!

I included some pictures of Scott from the last time our family pictures were taken. I thought they celebrated Scott doing something that he does so well... being a dad!

Happy Birthday to Scott! We love you so much!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm glad my husband understands me

Many of you know of my bathroom wallpaper. It is grotesque. It is slapped on with awful colors and an awful texture, and an awful floral pattern of ugliness. And our house is not that old. Its just that whoever was here before us had really outdated taste. Yucky!

Anyhow, I have talked a lot about our kitchen wallpaper which we have yet to conquer. Really the only reason we haven't is just out of fear. We use that kitchen as the center of our lives. We're always in the kitchen, and with three kids projects have a way of not being completed in the given amount of time. And also, the kitchen is a really big area, with A LOT of wallpaper.

Now back to our master bathroom. The bathroom itself is really quite nice if I do say so myself. There are two entrances from the bedroom, and there is a wall that doesn't go all the way to the end of the room, so that each entrance walks in to a separate counter and sink vanity. THe shower is on one side, the garden tub on the other, and on the far end of the bathroom are three doors. Two lead to big his and her walk-ins, and the third to the toilet.

So what a shame that this gorgeous and lovely bathroom is masked by this awful wallpaper!??

Well, tonight I decided I have had it! While taking my bath I decided to peel just a bit. It came really easily off the wall. I kept peeling. It kept coming. I took a quick peak at Scott to see what he was doing in the bedroom and found him busy on the lap top. I kept peeling.

Before I knew it I had three entire sheets of wallpaper that I had peeled off the wall. And then he noticed.

"Honey? What are you doing? You're peeling the wallpaper off the wall aren't you?"

Yes, well what I failed to mention before is that I have done this once before. About three years ago I was in the downstairs half bath and I decided I had had enough of that wallpaper too. I started peeling and just as Scott was coming down the stairs and around the corner, I walked out of the bathroom with my arms loaded with peeled ugly wallpaper.

I wish I had a picture of the shock on his face.

And now here we are again. Me, full of great intentions to get this paper off, and the walls painted a beautiful shade of... well I haven't thought that far. And Scott fully recognizing that beyond my great intentions is the reality that he will be totally helping me in the completion of this project.

A high school boyfriend of mine had a wonderful mom that I loved. She was once talking with me about how marriages work (and don't work) and she said, "If a marriage can survive hanging drapes, a marriage can survive anything." Simplistic, I know. But i've always thought that saying holds so much truth.

Scott and I make a great team in everything we do, but almost nothing is done in the time frame that we'd like. With a four year old, and twin babies, our bathroom project may take awhile. But that's okay. Anything beats looking at that awful wallpaper!


Because if there was one thing I hoped for every day it was for more Sarah Palin.


It amazes me how much three kids can be so different. I think that some people don't fully realize how different children are, and how much personality they have even at such a young age. These little people that God has given us amaze us every day. And I think they amaze others too. Especially Miss Emily Grace. I can't tell you how many countless times we've been out in public and her sweet personality has dazzled strangers. She truly has so much to offer the world, and I am so excited to see exactly how she will do that!

Anyhow, in honor of our three sweet-peas, I wanted to share what I've been thinking about and appreciating them each for, as individuals.
First of all is Miss Elsie Faith. This child is a heart-stealer. Watch out! Some of my favorite things about Elsie are:
- Her entire facial smile. Its not just her mouth, its her eyes, nose and cheeks too!
- Her patience with her brother. Even at this young age she puts up with a lot of his antics and rarely gets upset.
- Her contentment. Elsie can stay in the same spot with some toys and play for over an hour and is just content to watch what is going on around her and play.
- Her desire to be at home. When we return from picking Em up from preschool, or return for the grocery store or church, I feel like if Elsie could talk she would say, "Oh! I am just so glad to be home!" She loves routine and her family. Staying at home and being with us is at the top of her list. And how fun to know that about her already!

Next is our ornery and curious Eli! Some of my favorite things about Eli are:
- His curiousness. Animals are at the top of his curiosity, with Dakota being his favorite. Eli will truly be a boy with his dog.
- His hair. Seriously? Have you seen this boy's thick head of hair that stands up all over the place? Its a conversation starter for sure!
- His activeness. If there is anything to pull, push, grab, hit, or kick, Eli is on the move! My mom nick-named him "Bam-Bam" and it just fits so well! So far he has overturned countless bowls of baby food, three water glasses (one all over me at a restaurant), and just about every day he empties the napkin holder.
-His love for attention. Every night around 10 or 11 p.m. just as Scott and I are about to go to bed, Eli wakes up. When I go in to see what the problem is, I find our boy with wide awake eyes, throwing his legs up and down to make as much noise as possible. Its as if he KNOWS that Elsie could wake up, so he makes lots of noise so I will hurry up and pick him up. It works. He lights up with a big smile when he sees Scott, and its like Eli needs just an extra half-hour to have us to ourselves. A bad habit? Yes. But we enjoy it every night!

Finally is Emily Grace. I guess as she has gotten older I have found more and more out about her. The list could go on and on, but here are my favorites:
- Her love. I've never met a little girl who loves her younger siblings like Emily. And she is just so PROUD of them! I'll never forget when they were first born and we took them to church for the first time. There was a lady entering the front door at the same time as us, and she was probably running late like we were, but she didn't pay much attention to the two car seats. Emily very quickly said, "Excuse me. Did you see our babies? I have TWO babies!" The lady didn't hear at first, and so Emily repeated herself until the lady finally acknowledged the twins.
- Her energy. I've always said I could make millions if I could sell her happy energy.
- Her smarts. Sometimes I believe she is really smarter than me, and while it is funny, it is probably true, and definitely scary!
- Her ability to see what is important in life. I don't remember many times when Emily has gotten into arguments with friends about toys, or fought with me about wanting to wear certain clothes. Now this may certainly come as she gets older, but as for now the most important thing to Emily is her relationships with people. Christmas wasn't about santa and presents (though she did enjoy that too!) Christmas to her was about a birthday party for Jesus, and a time for us to visit those people we love so much. I hope this never changes for her.

Anyhow, I guess I've just been thinking a lot today about how God created three totally different children for our family. Its exciting to see them interact with their differences and to enjoy each one for exactly who they are.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

In honor of my Dad's 50th birthday, Emily helped put together a little video in his honor. Please enjoy, and take special note to 3:21 in the video when the finale takes a downward turn and Emily and I erupt in laughter. Too funny!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

California Christmas in a nutshell...

So we've been back in town since New Years, however, I'm a little slow getting back to normal with our day. Unfortunately, blogging hasn't made its way back in my schedule. Sorry about that. I even had a good friend call me and ask if I was okay! :)

To catch up, I will try to post all about our Christmas vacation with pictures and brief information. Overall, we had a fabulous time. It wasn't the big break that I had anticipated (what was I thinking... babies on the other side of the country, with a three hour time difference, and I thought it was going to be a relaxing break?) and there was so much that we didn't get to do, but that is always the case. My mom and I always plan, but then end of so tired that we're grateful to hang out together at home. My parents just completed a beautiful renovation of their living and dining area, and we loved hanging out there with them.

First of all, the flight was fabulous. On the way out Emily was a little excited and bouncy, which got old, but who could blame her? She'd been looking forward to this trip for weeks! On the way home, the flight was rather empty (which is why we fly on New Year's Eve!) and Scott and Emily got their own row, and I got my own row. I got Elsie to sleep and laid her across the seats, and then got Eli to sleep and laid him along side Elsie. Then Emily fell asleep. They all slept for over two hours, and because there wasn't a lot of air traffic, our flight was a little less than four hours long. It was splendid! Best flight ever!

Now for the trip. We did a whole lot of hanging out at my parents house which was wonderful. With twin babies and a four year old, we didn't go in to town very often. Rather, we hung out at my parents' house and enjoyed each other. Highlights for Emily was baking with Grammy, Miss Penny, and me, and also watching "tooners" in Grammy and Papa's big bed. The twins enjoyed all the attention, and took it all in stride. Elsie especially enjoyed when my dad got home from work every day and did is patented Papa Dave whistle. It didn't matter where she was or what she was doing, when he walked in and whistled, she would turn and find him and give him a giant Elsie smile. It was truly priceless.

Eli fell in love with Miss Penny who put him to sleep so easily! She would snuggle with him on the couch and rub his fuzzy hair, and he'd be out in no time. Not to mention that she loved to carry him around in the baby bjorn. He loved that he could grab things and pull at things.

Christmas morning was a great time. There was one package in particular that Emily had asked to open the entire week prior. I think the initial conversation regarding this present began on the day of our arrival and went something like this:

Emily: Oooohh. Look at that big present!
Grammy: I wonder who it could be for?
Emily: Um, Me!

She was excited about all the things she got, and of course the twins were just as excited about the wrapping paper and packaging as they were anything else! But really they enjoyed their new toys as much as we could have anticipated. We spent many hours on the floor on a blanket playing with them.

After Christmas we had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends. My aunt, uncle and cousin came and we enjoyed them and my cousin's sweet son. My uncle Steve had a really cool RC car that he let Emily drive. She ran it in to a tree, and when she found out that he wasn't going to get upset with her, she ran it into everything. She especially liked to run it through my mom's flowers, and she would cackle while she did it. It was pure joy.

Scott and I took an overnight trip to Fresno. My parents watched the babies, and luckily that was one of the best nights that they had with sleep. We headed up and had dinner with some great friends, and then we met up with our old group of friends at a favorite place for drinks. This was one of my favorite nights, as we hadn't seen our friends in such a long time. I enjoyed every moment of it, and Scott and I both enjoyed our first night away from the kids since the twins were born. We were very appreciative to my parents, though I think my mom was thrilled to have them to herself!

All in all, Scott and I were glad to be home when we got here. We loved our trip and look forward to it every year. We're thankful that we can see our family and friends, and that even though some of them we only see once a year, we pick right back up where we left off. We are truly blessed!