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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Half My Life


I'm 28 years old. If you divide that in half you get 14. And if you get 14, you get this:

14 years ago I met Juice. You can read about that night here. You can also read about our first date here. Well, the first installment of that night.

Here's another story of us in high school. I think I was 16 but I'm not sure. It was fall of that year, Halloween time to be exact. We were going with a bunch of friends to the haunted forest at a local farm. It was kind of silly. They hung little electric shock wires from the trees and had you walk through a lot of little zaps.

I don't remember who came. I do remember hanging onto Juice's arm all night long and often burying my head into his back because I absolutely hate haunted houses. This was a good way to be able to hang on to a guy, though so it wasn't all that unpleasant. It was also not unpleasant for Juice, he says. I remember walking down a long tunnel and getting more and more nervous with every step. I was holding Juice's hand and walking behind him. He yelled out "ouch!" all of a sudden and I think I jumped a mile backwards. He had to come and get me and tell me he hit his head on the ceiling, that it was an optical illusion and nothing bad was going to happen. We had to crawl through a tiny door at the end of the hall. That's as much as I remember in the haunted house.

The best part about the evening was the car ride there. Juice's friend Max was driving and Juice was in the passenger seat. I was behind Juice, and I think there were 2 other people in the car but I can't remember. I do remember Juice and I playing peek-a-boo over the seat and noticing for the first time that he has some great green/hazel eyes that night. Juice and I had a great time flirting over the seat like this. His friend Max was horrified though. He thought it was absurd that an adult would play peek-a-boo with another adult. That moment in the car is one of my strongest memories of Juice in high school though. For him too.

So now I've known Juice half my life. And we still have fun together, like that night in the car. I still love to hold his hand and we still like to play games together. (Current game: rock band where Juice got a 695 note streak on a song...time to make it a little harder huh?)

Can't wait to see what the next 14 years brings! I'll be...42. Butterfly will be 17 and the boys will be 14. Wow.

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh My Arms!


So the boys are no better nor are they worse. So I suppose we are kind of in a holding time. Pirate coughs and coughs and coughs. I am glad we are not near my SIL Splats because I would hate to infect her babies with this. It really is pretty horrible.

Here's a contrasting baby moment for you. Professor is so sunny. He is still happy and active and getting into trouble even through his fever and coughing and snotty nose. Pirate, on the other hand, is miserable. Truly, to look at his face you can see misery. His eyes are red, his nose is red, his ears are red. He stares at me slack jawed most of the day. He has a lot of opportunity to stare at me lately because he has been in my arms basically all day. He screams once when put down, and then has a huge coughing fit until I pick him back up. Poor kid. And poor me. My arms and shoulders are very sore. He weighs about 17 lbs so to carry him around all the time is hard. (He will not sit still in the sling unless I am standing.)

Luckily, Juice came home early today because there was just nothing for him to do at work. He took the vacation and we have been loving having him home. I was able to go run some errands by myself! It was great. We were able to go for a walk while everyone was home and it was still light. The weather was beautiful today and I figured the boys could use the fresh air. They are sleeping soundly at the moment so hopefully that will last all night long.

Because last night it didn't. Oh they slept fine until about 2am. Pirate woke up coughing and coughing so I went in to suck out his nose in hopes that he would be able to nurse and go back to sleep. Suction provided some relief but he wanted nothing to do with me. So. I sat with him in the rocking chair in their room until about 5:45am. He slept a little more after that but not much. Poor kid.

I've done my errands today. I'm going to go quickly sweep and mop the kitchen floor. And then I'm going to play rock band! Yay!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Doctor Trip


The boys were up all night long again last night. I think Pirate finally slept deeply around 3am when Professor woke up screaming and yanking his ears so hard I thought he would pull them off. I crawled into bed with him and let him nurse/sleep on me until 7:30am when Butterfly got up. I put him down to do something for Butterfly, and he screamed so hard. I've never heard him scream like that. So. Off to the doctors almost positive they have ear infections.

Butterfly ate breakfast in the car after dressing herself (everything was on backwards, including her underwear) and she was very patient in the doctor's office. The nurses yelled at me for carrying both boys and not using a stroller. I am waspish when I am tired and I snapped back at them that their office was not exactly stroller friendly. Especially my huge double wide stroller. Besides, they just want to be held! What harm is there in that?

I did wow the doctor with my ability to hold all 4 hands and both heads at the same time so they wouldn't grab the ear checker. Ears look fine. Huh. He decided to swab their throats and noses and see what came up.

All cultures were negative. We were free to go with our snotty, sick boys. Just a cold. Dang, I was hoping for some sort of medicine to help them feel better. So we could all get some sleep!

We went out with my mom's group to the pizza/game place and Butterfly had a great time. I put Pirate in the sling on my front and Professor in the backpack on my back and wandered around with Butterfly playing games and cheering her on the rides. She had a great time playing with her friends. One of our members moved away and she was in town for the holidays so it was great to catch up with her and see her kids. We all had pizza together. It was great to get out with her and see some people and let her play. I think she was getting a little cooped up at home.

I come home (with both boys screaming and Butterfly whining that she was tired and couldn't walk and why can't I carry her?!?!) and the phone is ringing. I ran to get it and it was the doctor's office. Doctor on the phone. He asked several times if everything was all right because of the level of noise in the background. I said it was nap time and was there anything wrong? Yes, one of the cultures was miss read. The boys have RSV.

Ahh...the answer! What do we do for RSV? Nothing. Nothing? Seriously? Yep, nothing. And it can last up to a month. And it's highly contagious so we should probably keep them away from other babies and elderly people for awhile. I do have to make sure that it doesn't become worse as it can change into pneumonia pretty quick. Pirate has it bad. Every time he sneezes, gallons of snot come out of his poor little nose. If the snot turns green or they are wheezing or having a hard time breathing, I need to take them back. Lots of sleep, lots of fluids, and lots of nose sucking is all I can do. Ugh.

So sorry everyone at the pizza/game place for infecting you with RSV. Looks like I'll be home for awhile longer.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Day Inside


The boys are sick. Butterfly had this but it wasn't too bad. But the boys...oh the boys. Pirate was up every single hour last night coughing. He couldn't breath with his mouth closed which meant he couldn't suck his thumb. Which meant he cried all night long. I was up rocking, nursing, soothing for hours. And then whenever I would get Pirate comfortable enough to sleep, Professor would wake up and be upset that he wasn't being held. So he would scream and wake Pirate back up. Ugh. What a night.

Juice finally took pity on me about 5:30am this morning and sat in the bathroom with Pirate and the hot steamy water running full blast. Pirate seemed to do better after that and was able to eat some and slept until about 8am. Of course, Professor was up at 6:30am to eat (normal) and then up chatting in his crib around 7:15am (also normal). But it means I think I got about an hour of sleep at a time last night.

Needless to say, we did not go to church today. I was sad because this was going to be Butterfly's last Sunday in nursery. Next week she gets to move in with the big kids and be a Sunbeam. A Sunbeam! I can't believe it.

Once everyone went down for their afternoon nap, I totally crashed. I slept for a good two hours and woke up to Juice and all the kids downstairs. When I finally staggered down there, he and Butterfly had taken down all the ornaments off the tree and were packing Christmas up. Sigh...I missed putting it away. I knew we were going to put it away soon because Butterfly had been a little too friendly with the tree lately. Earlier today she was crawling around underneath it and broke a red ball. No big deal, we've got a ton of those things but I was sick of being worried about it so I told Juice we should take it down. So he did. Christmas is gone at my house and it's strangely sad.

I'm hoping the boys sleep better tonight so I can get some sleep too. Here's a Sunday Picture for you:

Maybe Christmas is not gone after all. :)


Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Finally Found the Reason


I got a Christmas card the other day from a friend I have not talked to in probably 3 years. Oh, we send Christmas cards every year and occasionally I see she looks through my pictures I used to do monthly (bad me...haven't done it in over a year probably). I knew through some mutual friends what was sort of going on in her life. But the last update I had was probably March of this year.

This year, I got my annual Christmas card from her and it said from her, her younger daughter, and another person. A boy's name. Who is this boy? I knew her older daughter (19) was pregnant...did she have a boy and now Friend is raising it? That was my original assumption. But I was thinking about her all day today and it occurred to me that Friend may have gotten remarried. How wonderful for her! But now I'm stuck as to who this Boy is and how he is related, if at all.

Now I suppose in the grand scheme of things, not knowing who this Boy is won't kill me. But I still wonder. I have now realized the reason for all of those Christmas letters. If she had sent one, I would have known who this Boy is. Or even if she had an arrow and a sentence explaining who Boy is, I would have been happier.

There really is a valid reason for these yearly notes. Who knew?


PS- Both boys sick now. Juice put a ton of vapor rub on them before bed to help them (hopefully) breath a little easier tonight. As I was just putting them down for bed, my eyes were watering with all the vapors going on between them. I hope they sleep well! Last night was rough.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Almost Forgot


I almost forgot to blog today day. (Or tonight as Butterfly would say. Every time the sun goes down it has to be to NIGHT because it is night. Of course.)

Anyway, Juice and I have been rocking out these past two nights. Last night till almost midnight and tonight a little earlier. We are tired. But we are having so much fun! I seriously can't wait to have my friends over to play rock band. It is it either addictive and fun or boring and no big deal. I remember reading on several different blogs who had Wii parties that they lurved guitar hero. And now I see why. This is so so much fun.

Today I went to the big red store for some alone time and got us a few essentials like diapers. Man we go through a lot of diapers. And cereal. I am asking Juice to make waffles tomorrow morning because we (him) eat a lot of cereal a day and maybe if we have some waffles he won't eat the cereal gone in two days. Maybe.

I spent a lot time talking to my Dad about my up coming trip to Utah. Yes, we are coming back to Utah in the summer. No details yet, but Dad and I are working them out.

I also talked to my bro and hooked up our Wiis. Now we have their little Mii family wandering around our Wii. So fun!

My arms are tired. I'm getting a blister on my finger from the drum sticks and how I hold them.

Pirate has a pretty bad cold. He is very miserable today. I spent a lot of time holding him and listening to him moan. After his 4 hour nap this afternoon, he perked up some. Enough to eat something (and pull a lot of faces) and go right back into bed. I think Professor has it too since he was pretty low key today. For him, that means he got into Butterfly's toys at least 5 times instead of 15, chase the dog only once, and pulled himself up onto his feet two times. That's a new one for him! He is going to be my sweet active into everything climber.

Butterfly has been extra whiny and tired lately too. I wonder if she is getting another cold on top of the one she currently has. I guess this serves us right for actually being really healthy until now this winter. Oh well.

K, back to rock band. No, bed...need to go to bed!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Best Christmas EVER!


For Butterfly that is. Tell me how great this is: getting all your own presents. Having two baby brothers who are old enough to get toys and young enough not to care if you play with them. Guess what that equals out to be?! Three times the toys for one three year old girl! She had the greatest time.

This morning she got up early to go to the bathroom and staggered back to bed, missing the stockings I had put in the hall. We were up with the boys (rough night for me) anyway so I walked into her room. I said, "Merry Christmas, come see what Santa left you." Her covers went flying and she was running before she hit the ground. She spent the next 45 minutes playing with the boys duplo blocks they got in their stockings. She got some tracing books and pencils and probably would have been more interested in them if I had actually sharpened some of the pencils. She also got breakfast in her stocking which is an idea I read off of another blog. So she got a granola bar, juice box and an orange. Much healthier than all the candy. She loved it! The boys were more interested in eating the blocks than anything else.

I came down to set up the camera. When she came down, she went right for more blocks that I couldn't fit into the stockings. Then she went to the boys dinosaur (which she got for her first Christmas too!). And finally, she noticed her new kitchen and all of the food that goes along with it. We played with that for a good hour and a half. Not opening any presents. Just enjoying each others company and taking things easy. The boys went down for their first nap and we had breakfast.

We opened a few gifts. Juice got a machete from Costa Rica. Thanks Bro! He wore it all day long. I got a bunch of scrap booking stuff from my mom so now all I have to do is actually print out pictures.

The boys napped horribly. Professor kept crawling on Pirate and then Pirate would scream. When I finally went up there to separate them, Professor had spit up all over Pirate and Pirate was mad. I got them cleaned up and put them in different cribs but they were so unhappy I ended up bringing them downstairs early.

I called my parents and we were able to chat with them. Butterfly got a little camera from them and took a few of these choice pictures today.
After lunch (and another failed attempt to put the boys down) Butterfly had a nap (which she did not sleep in) and Juice and I did some clean up. We currently can not get out of our house with all the boxes stacked in front of our door. Eventually Professor slept but Pirate still did not. I think he's getting sick because he just wanted to eat or be held all day long. We were able to talk to Juice's family and get our dinner in the oven.

Our talk with Juice's family ended in our annual frustration of web cams. But it was fun to see everyone we could. Finally at 5:30pm we did a last present sweep and opened about 10 presents for the boys. Cute things! A new coat, a few balls, and some picture books for them/me. They were only too ready to go to bed and have actually stayed asleep despite our pounding and laughing downstairs.

The big present of the day was our Wii. More importantly: Rock Band. I love this game. I don't know why it speaks to me but it does. We had to have dinner before we could play (boo). I spent the time making the dinner while Juice and Butterfly played. (Double boo.) Dinner was excellent though and Butterfly went right down (while Juice played again...triple boo.) Finally I was able to play some. I failed the tutorials about 10 times. I am having fun though.

I think the thing that I liked most about this Christmas was the ability to talk to our family. We talk to them every year at this time. I don't know what's different this year but I ache to be home with them. My Nana sent me a sweet email last night that I got this morning when I was feeling the absence of my family the most. I never grew up with family at Christmas time. I thought I'd be used to it out here by ourselves. And every year I have but this one. This time. It's rough.

So all of you who have family close, treasure this time with them. It is the greatest gift at Christmas.


PS- I just watched Juice get a 310 note streak on the drums! Man he's good!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve


Today has been very low key. Juice is home and has been a huge help playing with the kids and cleaning the house a little. I spent all morning covered in flour and creating a huge sticky mess in the kitchen. But I made cinnamon rolls and they turned out wonderfully! I have 4 pans so I'll keep one and deliver the rest to friends later on this evening. The original recipe makes 7 pans, but I kept out a handful of dough to make dinner rolls out of for tomorrow. I don't think the original recipe is right, because a handful can't make more than one more pan. In any case, they will be good tomorrow.

The boys were SO CUTE today during their nap. Apparently Professor was crawling on Pirate's head so Juice put them in separate cribs. (I was out walking the dog.) When I came home, they discovered they can see each other through the slats and had a huge giggle fest playing peek a boo with each other. It is so so cute. Who knew twins would be this much fun?! Juice took a video of it but it's very dark. I may or may not post it later.

Tonight is going to be filled with Chinese food and movies in the living room. We are also going to read the Christmas story out of Luke and put everyone to bed early. That includes us parents. We had a great time last night wrapping presents. Juice kept shaking his head at me because I kept pulling things out of the closet that I bought months ago. And I switched a few things around. Apparently I bought two different things for stocking stuffers for the boys. I split one thing up and wrapped it in boxes so they can give something to each other. Butterfly got one present each from the boys since I found other things I had bought her.

I am thinking it's a lot harder to orchestrate Christmas when you have a lot of little kids.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve


I remember counting down to Christmas several years in a row with the eves in my journal. So 5 days before Christmas I would write at the top of the page, Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve. I thought it got a little too excessive when I was counting down the entire month when I was about 14. I then just stuck with the numbers. (Of course, I now rarely right in my journal at all so the count down doesn't happen. Want to know the last time I wrote in my journal? The day before the boys were born. An entry full of doubt, fear, and end of pregnancy done-ness. Maybe I should update that...)

Anyway, today has been a nice day. The boys were calm and took long naps. Butterfly watched movies and bounced around with the boys a little. She has a cold and has wiped her nose so much she's made it raw. She tells me, "Mommy, there is something under my nose. And it won't come off. Can you wipe it off please?" Poor little girl. No one else has it. Yet.

Both boys ate a ton of dinner (apples...mmm....). Butterfly had some applesauce too and two tacos. I was able to sweep the floor today and made out the menu for Christmas day. Just a reminder to myself as to what we are having to eat that day so I know what to cook. Want to hear it? No? Skip the next paragraph then.

Cinnamon rolls, sausage, juice
Lunch: Mac and Cheese (boring, I know) and oranges.
Dinner: Ham, parsley potatoes, frozen veggies, dinner rolls, salad, and cranberry fluff for desert.

The cinnamon rolls I will make tomorrow so that will be all done for when we decide to eat. Knowing Juice, this will be as soon as we get down stairs. No opening presents for him until after breakfast. He says it's because he's hungry and doesn't do well without food. I counter with the fact that he takes his breakfast to work with him every single day to eat at his desk so he can obviously operate heavy machinery without any food just fine. Looking at a few presents before we eat won't kill him. Sheesh.

Lunch is easy on me so I don't have to think about it or cook anything big. That way I can focus on the day and dinner. I may make the cranberry fluff tomorrow too...depends on the day.

Butterfly was so cute this evening. She helped pick out the boys' presents from her and helped wrap them up. She gave them all of her old balls with toys inside them. I believe they are called roller rounds from Fisher Price. She decided who got what ball and wrote out the tags. She picked out the bows and is so excited to give them their very own presents! The boys are giving her a chocolate tree that she kept looking at in a catalogue. Originally I bought it for her stocking but I have other things to give her so they can give her that. I am going to go upstairs now and go through all the presents to see if maybe I have something that each of the boys can give her. Probably do.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Quick Quick!


Today has been on lazy day followed up by go go go go fast fast fast fast. Since Butterfly's mild sneezing has turned into a huge watery sniffly mass, I decided we needed some quiet days at home. Much to my dismay. Not that I had anything planned at all. But I'm noticing as it gets colder and the boys get bigger I'm going out less and less. It's just too hard to do things by myself anymore.

I was brave and went to the post office. And only because I had Netflix movies that needed to go out so I could get new ones. And I had a few other packages to send off. The post office was a nightmare with the crush of disgruntled postal patrons and my hyper bouncing off the wall trying to move her brothers which means she almost tips them over because she can't move them preschooler and me....trying to address these envelopes and not put her in a box and ship her to grandma's in the process. But if anyone is getting shipped to grandma's it would be me. And the boys because they kind of need me to eat. And then we may as all go to grandma's. Sigh...missing family a lot this year.

One fun thing happened at the post office! Butterfly was chatting away as I was trying to get into the building and I suddenly started paying attention because she kept saying, p p p p. Wait, bathroom trip? Nope, she was pointing out the letters on the building so she names them off: P-O-S-T. She wanted to know what that said. I asked her what she thought it said. She says, "Puh, ooo, sss, tuh. Puh ooo st. Oh! Post! That says post!" One smart cookie!

She took a 3 hour nap, along with the boys, when we got home. Lala, Vinny's mom, came over to use my washing machine because her apartment complex machines were broken down. Again. We had a good time learning more about each other's pasts and talking about boys and marriage and old boyfriends, etc. We also watched a Christmas Story because she had never seen it. It was a fun afternoon.

Then I was able to get dinner going, bounced and played with cranky babies and got them fed while Juice was coming home. We then rushed through dinner, shoved the boys into their winter coats (much to their dismay...they wanted nursing and bed time) and rushed out the door to see this.

Isn't it beautiful? It was so bitterly cold outside though. We met up with some friends from my play group and saw the concert they had tonight. It was a singing ensemble. And man, the instrument guy really got into it. Butterfly and her friend played more with the seats than watched the show but they're three. We then walked over to see the live nativity and a few of the lights. I tried to get a family picture for them but the little girl wouldn't cooperate. So they took a family picture for us.

Not that you can see all the family members. It was so cold and the boys were asleep. I wish I could have gotten one when they were awake but no such luck. Juice was great and loaded all the kids into the car and let me run around with my camera to get a few shots.

A good evening but now I'm exhausted. See you tomorrow!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Picture Sunday


After last week's pictures, I thought I'd just do pictures every Sunday. So these ones I took this morning of all the kids (and Soot) in their Christmas 'best'.
And I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the 'outtakes' for the above picture.
Not bad...one of the first pictures we took. Then, Juice and I started laughing through the rest of the pictures. Check out Soot.

Soot: Why am I here? With this thing around my neck?

Soot: Wait, did someone just touch me?

Soot: You do realize you've put me on the couch with all these kids, right?

Soot: Is she touching me?

Soot: Wait a minute...

Soot: You! Will you stop touching me?!

Professor: Would I grab Soot? How can you ask such a thing? Do you not see the innocence shining out of my blue eyes? Just because I find Soot fascinating and periodically rip out handfuls of fur doesn't mean that I was doing anything to her on the couch. No it does not.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Want to Enter Another Contest?


Can you tell what I've been doing online lately? I've been entering contests. I never win anything but it's kind of fun to think about what to do with the things I never win. (I have also been scanning etsy for all sorts of homemade things. Like an apron! Or soap! Cute things!)

Anyway, I thought I'd pass along another contest for you all to enter. My friend Mommy Knows is having a 25 dollar itunes gift card. Check out her contest HERE and be sure to enter! (If you want one, that is. Don't enter if you don't want one. Better yet, do enter and then give your winnings to me.) And don't forget to wish her happy birthday. December seems to be a popular month for birthdays.

Today has been very low key. The boys took 3 naps. I hope they are not getting sick because it sounds like Butterfly is coming down with something. She keeps telling me she is tired and she has a low fever that comes and goes. Both Juice and I were able to get a nap today too.

Juice also took Butterfly on a few errands with him today. He then took her on a special daddy-daughter lunch. She loved it. It was nice for her to have some time with just Daddy. One on one. And it was nice for me to have an afternoon with the boys. They also slept for an odd nap so I spent my afternoon surfing the web.

While Juice and everyone else slept after they got home, I also went out for a walk and got the mail.

We had omelets for dinner.

That's it. There isn't any more.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Contest Over!


I got a call this morning from my BFF Mink. She had her baby! Welcome to the world little Fair, born yesterday evening. 8 lbs, 8 oz with curly brown hair. Mink and Fair are doing great. They will be home tomorrow and she is excited to be home for Christmas.

So what does this mean for you? My contest is over! Granted, not a whole lot of people entered so you 7 who left comments, you had a pretty good shot at winning this very cute little romper. I meant to ask Mink for a number but forgot in all the new baby details. So I asked Juice and he said number 7. Looking at the list, my brother. Congrats Bro! No need to contact me (unless you want to say thanks) because I already have your address. And be sure to send me a picture of little Cappy in his new shirt.

But for the rest of you December mommies out there, don't forget to enter the big contest at cutesttaxdeduction.com for a chance to win a 5,000 dollar savings bond! Good luck!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

8 Months Old!


The boys are 8 months old today. Which means that they are as old on the outside as they were on the inside now. I can't believe how much has changed in 8 months. In ways I wish that I took pictures of them every single day and then I could have made a really cute yearly page(s) in my scrapbook (if I ever get back to doing that) but I didn't. I'm just glad that I have the blog and these monthly pictures! They have gotten more mobile this month and it has made for interesting searches some times. Professor has taken to crawling on top of Pirate. While Pirate normally doesn't care, Professor does it in their crib while Pirate is still asleep. And then Professor pokes eyes and wakes Pirate up who screams bloody murder for me. They don't do this enough for me to think about moving them into separate beds (Juice wants to, I'm hesitant). I don't want to because I do often find them snuggled together at night, arms across each other or heads next to each other. I think they sleep a little better because of it. They don't know any different! Plus, it's nice to have them both wake up happy in the morning and listen to them play. Yesterday I heard laughing from both of them and when I went in to see what they were doing, Pirate was rocking his head into Professor's belly and they were both laughing. Cute cute. They really do like to play together, and have what I call the great toy chase. One will have a toy, the other will make their way over to the toy and wrestle it out of their brother's hand. If it's Professor, he immediately rolls away and leaves Pirate in the dust. But Pirate does hop on over to him eventually and takes it back. So far the coveted toy for today was a small plastic girl with long blond hair and a bright pink shirt.

Pirate is 17.8 lbs (clothes on, on my scale) and 28.5 inches long by my measuring tape. (Take these measurements with a grain of salt...I don't know how accurate they are.) He has two teeth on the bottom and several on the top that keep threatening to come out. I was sure he had one of his front edge teeth about a week ago. Every time he smiled you could see a flash of white. It looked like a fang. Our little vampire. But it went back up into the gums and we are just at 2 teeth. He is starting to crawl, mostly hopping around like a frog. He moves his hands forward, then rocks his legs up to his hands, and does it over again. He is also doing real push ups. He gets himself up on his hands and toes and rocks as hard as he can. He still loves sucking his thumb and often takes breaks from rocking to just lay there and suck for a second. It's so cute. He has the greatest expressions and is always so interested in anything that I am doing. He cries when ever I leave the room. Okay, whenever anyone leaves the room, including Soot. It's hard to take sometimes. He has been very needy this past month, and I've been trying to spend more time holding him and talking to him. He had been loving the solid foods, but that has changed this past week. I'm not sure he enjoyed butternut squash or prunes. I'm going to do applesauce this week too so we shall see. He loves to be held and loves to give hugs. He grabs your arm, smashes himself into you and wraps his other hand around your neck or (if it's me) in my hair. He also tries to rub his face into my shoulder a lot when I pick him up. He is fascinated with Butterfly and the dog and really enjoys trying to play with her little people. She actually lets him too. He really doesn't like the exersaucer but loves our backpack or being in my sling. He looks so much like Butterfly. You can tell they are siblings no sweat.

Professor is 17.2 lbs, although .2 of those pounds could be the prunes I fed him tonight. He ate a ton of them. And yes, he needs prunes. (Side note, you should have seen the faces Pirate was pulling with those prunes! And Butterfly thought we were feeding them chocolate.) He is 27 inches long. He is just now starting to grow out of the 6 month old size of clothes so I've been taking all of them out of their wardrobe and moving onto 12 month size. He is Mr. Independent and always wants to be down on the floor exploring. He is seriously on the move. I have found him under the computer desk, in the kitchen, under a chair in the kitchen, and in my closet. He has a fascination with doors and loves to hold on to them and move them back and forth. He is very very close to crawling on all fours but often topples over. He is a master at army crawling and is starting to get fast. When he is happy, he smiles a huge smile and waves all of his limbs. He has a cute dimple like Butterfly does, but on the right while hers is on the left. He loves to be picked up but I think he loves to be put down more. He is always crawling out of my arms the minute he sees something interesting. He has 4 teeth, 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. Those top teeth are huge. I don't remember Butterfly's being that big. He is our loud one still. He has this great thing he does to his pacifier. He pulls it out of his mouth, looks it over, sings to it (a very long ha-aaaaaaaaaaaaaa), looks at it, sings again, and then puts it back in his mouth. It is so stinking cute it makes me smile every time I hear it. He loves to put both of his hands on your face and has funny or serious conversations with you. He is the bane of Butterfly's existence right now because he can get around and loves her toys. He also loves books, dolls, balls, and cars. Basically anything he can get his hands on he likes.

We are looking forward to their very first Christmas next week. I can't wait to see how they deal with wrapping paper!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Book Club


Tonight is my book club meeting. We are having it at my house and I am making chocolate bread pudding for desert. We are doing our annual book exchange. This is our second one. I love book club. There are about 8 of us. I think we all bring something interesting to the table. We all like to read different books and because of that, I've read a lot of books I never would have before. Some have been a struggle for me to get through. Some I've sailed through and loved! And some I haven't even finished before we get to discussion. But all have been unique. I always buy my books because sometimes it takes me all month and then some to finish these books. The library doesn't always have them so I buy them used for a dollar online. I don't care if they are brand new and look it. I figure the words are still the same, even if the cover is stained. Every time I see those books on my shelf, I think of the person who picked that book. It's like a grown up friendship charm bracelet without the cheep metal jewelry that turns your wrist green.

Books we have read:
Leadership and Self Deception, Arbengor Institute
Persuasion, Jane Austen
The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards
Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
Possession, AS Byatt
The Lemon Tree, Sandy Tolan
Life and Death in Shanghai, Nien Cheng
Close to Shore, Michael Cappuzzo

Books coming up:
Stolen Lives, Malika Oufkir
Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
In Harm's Way, Doug Stanton
All Over But the Shoutin', Rick Bragg
To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis
Fire in the Bones, Michael Wilcox
My Dearest Friend, Abigail & John Adams

I'm really excited for all of these books. I like that I have other people to read with me and then we can discuss it. I also like that I have a deadline. I always need to get started early on the books so that I can make sure I'm done before our discussion. Lately, they are the only books I've been able to read. I can't read while I'm nursing (no free hands) and nap times are filled with getting things done around the house that I can't do with the kids. Like cleaning the kitchen or hauling things up the stairs or folding laundry. So I like that book club forces me to take some time out just for me and be myself again, not Mommy.

These ladies have become really special to me. I see them all the time at church and I always feel like we have this great bond. I love that just reading books together creates that bond.

Got lots to clean before they come. I think they'd like to walk in and not have to step over several packages and then pick their way through a minefield of toys to sit down on the papers that are covering the couch. Can't wait for tonight!


Edited to Add: I forgot January's books by CS Lewis. The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Am On Fire Today!


I have done SO much today. It's amazing what a day at home will do for you and the state of your house. Here's what I did:

-tried (and failed) to convince Butterfly that it was still night time at 7am
-washed all of Butterfly's sheets again, several accidents happened today
-washed the boys sheets
-finished up my laundry
-declared myself done with my Christmas cards, finished address and stamping the last of them
-swept (twice, once before Butterfly and once after)
-mopped (amazing!)
-moved all random boxes/stuff upstairs in preparation for book club tomorrow
-payed all bills
-cleaned off table, counters, other table
-cleaned downstairs bathroom
-got all visiting teaching appointments together
-visited with friends
-made an awesome dinner
-ate way too many sugar cookies
-admired Professor's ability to almost sit up by himself
-played several games with Butterfly on the computer
-made Pirate laugh so hard he cried (not hard to do, that is one smiley kid)

Yeah, that's it. It was a very full and fulfilling day. The boys were great at playing or napping today, and Butterfly even took a 2 hour nap. Juice helped a ton when he got home and put all the kids to bed and made all of their beds and did the dishes and cleaned the counters and the high chairs. I'm feeling all jazzed that I did all this stuff and could probably clean all night long if I wanted to. But I know I am tired and really need to get to bed because those boys will be up around 2am. And then 4am. And then 6:30am or so.


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Day Did Not Go As Planned


Juice and I had decided we were going to go to the DC Temple tonight and see the Christmas lights. It's something we did for Butterfly's first Christmas and I'd like to repeat that for the boys. We have a picture of Butterfly all decked out in her snow suit sitting on a huge pile of snow with the lights in the background. I'd like a similar one for the boys, although probably without the snow this year.

Anyway, Butterfly was exceptionally petulant this morning. She kept moaning that she was tired and she even looked it. She has been eating me out of house and home lately so I thought she was growing and just tired. She insisted on going to the mall today. So we ran over there for some lunch and a chance to play on the cool light game. (See it here.) We had lunch and she barely ate anything but drank all of her lemonade. I noticed her lagging more and more as she was playing the game so I hauled her home. She ate some of her lunch in the car and most of it at home while I put the boys down. She went into her bed for nap with no fuss looking even more tired.

About 10 minutes later, I heard coughing and "Mommy!" Uh oh. She had thrown up all over her bed (that I had just made) and was continuing to throw up when I got there. I figured damage done, let her finish and put her in the bathroom. A drink, a little more, some clean clothes and blankets and she was back in bed. With a bowl this time. I rinsed out her sheets, threw them in the wash and went up to get the boys who were crying. I fed them, got them changed, and got Butterfly up from her nap since she was not sleeping.

I let her watch Beauty and the Beast for the first time since I figured we were not going anywhere. She loved it. The boys played on the floor and with me for awhile.

Pirate is moving forward! He has been rocking on his hands and legs for a long time, whining that he can't go anywhere. Well now he does! He does not army crawl. He gets up on his hands and knees, rocks his back legs up to his hands, and then puts his hands forward. He looks like a little frog jumping from place to place. He is MUCH happier now, and is able to follow Professor towards the kitchen. Now they both try to chase me around the house. This is going to get fun really fast.

Another word about Pirate. He sobs whenever I leave the room. Absolutely breaks down with a huge sad face and big wet tears. It's heart breaking. Professor does this too but only if he's hungry or wants to be held. Pirate does it every time he notices me move from place to place. He also gives hugs when you pick him up. He grabs your arm in one arm, your neck in the other, and cements his body into yours for a moment. Then he looks at you smiling. So sweet. Professor is also hugging but will put his head on your chest, and then look up at you smiling. So sweet!

Butterfly had an exciting dinner of banana, bread, ginger ale and water. Oh, and a Popsicle for sick kids that has been in our freezer at least 18 months. She seemed to like it. She also asked for a bite of Juice's banger (we had bangers and mash for dinner, basically sausage and mashed potatoes with gravy) and no other instances of tummy trouble. She has a low fever this evening, and 2 very very bright red cheeks. She went to bed early and was asleep almost instantly after her story. The boys are fine. They had butternut squash and cereal for dinner tonight and went right to bed as well.

Juice and I took the time we have with an unexpected free evening to clean out the toys and do the semi annual toy removal. We have half a trash bag full of toys to toss. Broken toys, annoying toys, toys with batteries that have ran down and can't be replaced easily, fast food toys that are stupid. We also have a big bin of toys to be put away for another day. We will put those in the attic with the other toys that came out of the rotation. Some of those toys are getting out for the boys' Christmas.

I feel okay and Juice does fine. We are both pretty tired (up late last night talking about high school and people we knew. Hi people! We were thinking of you!) and I feel a little off but nothing huge. I really hope that this goes by fast since I have my book club meeting here this week and I don't want to miss it and have to change it!

So. I've had one busy day. I hope tomorrow is less exciting. We plan on doing nothing.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pictures for You


I have no idea what to say so here's some pictures for today.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A String Of Days


It must be me because I've been having a string of hard days lately.  Today started out nice with Juice home and entertaining Butterfly instead of her jumping all over me.  So I got to lie in bed for just a moment longer.  That moment didn't last as I remembered that we had a birthday party to go to this morning and I had to make sure that the boys napped on time.  (Juice was going to help someone move so he couldn't watch the boys.)

Of course, the boys did not nap on time.  Oh I tried.  They talked and babbled and shuffled in bed while I ran around the house getting everything ready.  Butterfly was a gem and very helpful.  I didn't hear the boys about 10 minutes before we had to go and sure enough, they had just fallen asleep.  They were side by side in the crib with their arms linked facing each other.  For how dissimilar they are, they sure do love to be next to each other and doing whatever the other one is doing.

So now I'm headed out the door with two tired and whiny boys and Butterfly to the party.  It started out great.  And then I noticed where Butterfly was sitting there was a puddle.  Uh oh.  When I went over to see what happened, she simply said, "I peed."  She went back to decorating a bag.  Boy she got in trouble.  Everyone was great about it at the party but we left.  I can't have her not caring that she peed somewhere.  Arg!  I was mad. 

On the way home I did see a bald eagle over my house!  (Totally unrelated I know.)

After we got Butterfly cleaned up and I went for a walk looking for that bald eagle to take a picture of, she asked to go back to the party.  I figured she had been punished enough so we called to make sure it was still going on.  We went back (without the boys, they napped for Juice for about 3 hours) and had a nice time.

Home, naps all around and dinner.  I just got back from grocery shopping by myself.  So although this day had it's low and high points, it ended fine.

Maybe this is why I shouldn't write every day in December.  I do remember my last December being much the same.  But no one else has to remember it if I don't post it.  Sigh...


Friday, December 12, 2008

Today, today.


Today was one of those days I dreaded and knew would happen when we were pregnant with twins. Both boys were very needy. Both boys were very tired. Both boys only wanted Mommy. It was very tiring. I think Pirate is teething big time because he is drooling and unhappy. Professor is a might constipated from all this new solid food stuff and so he's uncomfortable and wants Mommy. While I'm happy to sit around and hold them all day, they didn't just want to be held. They wanted to get down and play, but then they were down so they screamed. But then they were being held and wanted down. It was a no win situation this morning.

Luckily Juice came home early from work and I let the boys scream it out for a nap. They slept for close to 3 hours. And woke up somewhat happy.

We had our old neighbors over for dinner and games tonight so that was fun. But Pirate screamed for a good hour going to bed. Poor kid. Oh, I forgot to mention that Professor slept with me from about midnight till 3 am and then Pirate joined me around 4 am till about 8 am. Mommy did not sleep well because of that and was a little cross this morning. I enjoyed having our old neighbors out to distract/help/enjoy my kids and we had a nice time.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rain Rain Rain


It seems like it has been raining non stop today. But we were adventurous (after a very lazy morning) and were able to go out to the resource center to play with Chef and Al. They were both into the cars first thing, and then Butterfly moved on to the barn and all the animals. There were only 3 other kids there (not counting the boys) so she had the entire play area to herself. She used it too! The boys were able to get down on the carpet and play a little bit even. We all had a really nice time. Chef even gave me some of her candy that she made yesterday. Oh. So. Yummy. I did not share. If you'd like to see what she did, go here.

Butterfly, ever the enthusiastic learner, basically ordered Al around during circle time and was enraptured by the book on spiders. She told me all the way home about them. "Mama, did you know that spiders have eight legs and two body part, not three like bugs. Spiders are not bugs. They are a very big word."


"Yes, a very big A word. I can draw A! Spider starts with A!"

She learns so much so fast. Pretty soon she is going to be telling me about all sorts of things and I will be happy for my college degree to keep up with her. Smarty pants.

She had a late nap and a rushed dinner so we could make it to the church for activities tonight. Juice is still working with the 12-13 year old boys in scouting (they did concealed weapons, I mean, pocket knife certification tonight) and I am working with the 8-11 year old girls. We made no bake cookies tonight and frosted sugar cookies. Yum and yum! They each got to take a plate home to share with their family and we gave a plate to each member of the bishopbric. There was lots of giggling, lots of sneaky cookie tasting and then lots of running after. I had Pirate, Juice had Professor. Butterfly and another little girl in the ward (5 years old) totally hit it off and played so nicely in the classroom next door to the kitchen so I could keep an eye on them as well. It was a good night. If a little bit sticky night.

Recipe for the No Bake Cookies:

Saving Cookies (no idea why they call it that, it's just the title)

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light karo syrup
4 cups corn flake cereal
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows

Combine sugar and karo syrup in a pot over low heat. Stir and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Fold in (quickly) the cereal, peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Drop in teaspoons onto wax paper. Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

The girls used their (clean) hands to make the cookies. I also made a batch with peanut butter and without and they worked out just fine. I also ran out of karo syrup for the peanut butter batch so it's a bit rich. But very forgiving. They girls had a great time and we got to talk about filling the measuring cups to the brim and working as a team.

Juice just walked in and looks exhausted. I feel the way he looks. Bed time!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Dreary Day


It's dark. Dark enough that I've had to use the lights all day long. And it's raining periodically. The sky is covered in dark clouds and I am feeling hermitish. Is hermitish a word? Can it be now? I have a few reasons for this new word.

1- It's getting increasingly difficult to get out with the kids by myself. I thought that it was supposed to get easier as they got older but it's not. They are bigger. They are heavier. Oh so much heavier. I can barely lift both of them at the same time. And since we live in a town house and do not have a garage, I do not feel comfortable about taking them one at a time out to the car. Silver lining: I do not have a ton of steps to walk up and down every time.

2- I miss snow. I miss seeing it. I miss playing in it. I miss smelling it. I wish we had snow and some good hills near our house to take the kids sledding and come home to hot chocolate and red faces. Silver lining: I do not have to worry about driving in snow weather.

3- I am missing my family a lot lately. It's this time of year that I miss them the most. I feel like I miss out on all the fun stuff they do together. I wish my kids could know their cousins and aunts and uncles and even more extended family better. I want to go do Christmas related things with them. I want to see my brother and sil sing at their many concerts. I want to play card games at Juice's mom's table with family jammed into every available spot. I want to have Christmas Eve dinner at my Nana's and have my parents enjoy my kids present carnage in person on Christmas morning. Silver lining: Our Christmases are much less hectic here. We really have time to enjoy our presents and don't have to rush off to a bunch of parties. Juice even has some time off so we're thinking of taking a major day trip somewhere that week.

I guess those are all my reasons. I think the key to getting over this is to do some fun things with Butterfly to get into our own family traditions. I would like to make cookies with her (and have all the stuff) and also cinnamon rolls (because she asked to). I would like to drag my family downtown and see the lights of the city, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to do that and skip the boys' bed time. Maybe in a few years we can do that. At least I can get Chinese food on Christmas Eve watch A Christmas Story after everyone goes to bed.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Getting Out


Want a Wii Fit? So do I. Magpie Musings is giving one away. (Don't forget about my own giveaway here!) The rule is you are supposed to post an exercise story on your blog and then how a Wii Fit would change your life. So here is my story:

I have a very vibrant (read willful) 3 year old and almost 8 month old twin boys. I do not go to the gym because of the sheer magnitude of getting out of the house. When I do get out, it's an hour long preparation on my part to be anywhere near on time for anything. And that prep has to start after I get myself all ready. And if the boys are awake during that prep, forget it! I will be late and flustered and sweaty. Except now it's cold here and so I'm more icy than sweaty.

My timeline:
1 hour before: start packing diaper bag. Experts say to just keep the bag stocked and ready to go or stock it when you get home. I can never do that. I use stuff out of the bag during the day. So I have to wander around the house picking up things like my slings, toys, wipes, diapers, and snacks for the 3 year old. Most of the time she tries to help pack the bag and I get places and realize I've "forgotten" some of it. (She likes to be helpful and take them back out and put them away.) This step takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 depending on how helpful she is and how much stuff I need on any particular outing.

30 minutes before: decide on stroller. This can be tricky. Am I going to be doing a lot of quick in and out of the car? The car seat stroller would be better. Am I going to be doing a lot of walking? BOB might be best. Is it a small space? Then I better take the car seat stroller. Once I've decided on the stroller, I have to switch them out of the back of the van. Because I never seem to need one stroller over and over. I seem to flip flop between the two. So in heading out the door to the van (which is hopefully parked in the closest parking spot in our lot, still a good 20 feet away) my 3 year old decides she wants to come and help too! So I have to find her socks, fight with her to get them on (no I want to do it...tries...will you help me?...I help...no I want to do it myself...tries...will you help me? maddening!) She decides she wants to wear her boots after she has one shoe on and will not let me help her along. She can get her coat on but can't start the zipper. I have to start only the first 2 or 3 teeth so she can zip the rest up. Crying and pouting will ensue if you zip more than you're allowed. I throw shoes and my coat on and lug BOB out to the van. BOB weights around 23 lbs so it's quite a load. This takes at least 15 minutes.

15 minutes before: get the boys ready. In the summer, it was easy to snap them into their car seats in minutes and go. Now that it's freezing cold here, they have to have coats on. Someone always needs a diaper change. Sometimes they need a whole outfit change. They both need to be stuffed into their coats. I put Pirate's hat on at least 3 times between now and walking out the door because he has learned to take it off and thinks it's funny. Coats on, in car seats, all set. Whew. I might be on time. I look around for the three year old and find that she has taken off every article of clothing from the waist down and her coat because she had to go potty and it's hot. Round up her scattered clothes, fight with her to put them on, and get yelled at for forgetting her mittens.

15 minutes after we were supposed to leave: finally start to walk out the door. One or both of the boys have been crying because it's hot in their coats in the house but outside they are fine. Haul both of them (over 17lbs now) and their car seats (which weigh around 5 lbs each), one in each hand, to the van. Consider doing a few arm curls with them to strengthen my arms and decide against it. Have you lifted those things? They are heavy!

Help all three kids into the car. Wrestle with the 3 year old's straps and finally get her buckled in. Realize I've forgotten the diaper bag. Mad dash back to the house, pick up the bag and run back to the van. Realize both the boys have pulled their hats around so they can't see and are screaming. Fix that. Give 3 year old a crayon or whatever toy she wants and take off her mittens. Put them back on because she is cold. She takes them off, and cries. I finally give up and we are headed out.

In the coarse of getting ready, I have lifted close to 75 lbs (total), walked at least half a mile, and have ice sweat running off my forehead. There is no way I am going to the gym to get all sweaty and tired and then have to do this again to get home.

How could a Wii Fit change my life? I wouldn't have to do this to get to the gym. Which means I might actually exercise. And then my arms might actually be strong enough to start carrying the boys everywhere without the car seats. That is coming up soon.

Help me Magpie. I'm facing a long winter inside with 3 very small people. I need some yoga to help me deal with it.


PS- Want to know about my twins group? Go here and click on "Multiples Support Groups" on the right hand menu. It's about 2 minutes long. I'm not in it, but it's a glimpse into what my life is going to be like next year with twin toddlers.

PS- Want to hear my boys mentioned in a food podcast? Go here. We are mentioned about half way in. And honestly, their expert didn't say anything I didn't know before. So yay, things are going well! The boys now LOVE their solid food and I'm glad I stopped and started again when they were a little older.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Day


Today was a day. An okay day. The kids did beautifully today. The boys were so cute and happy and even napped for almost 3 and over 3 for their morning nap, and just under 2 for their afternoon nap. Butterfly even napped for 3 hours this afternoon. (Only about 20 minutes of that overlapped. I need to remember that the boys sleep for less time in the afternoon and put Butterfly down ASAP instead of playing with her.) The boys played happily together in their crib and when I went to go get them this afternoon, they were looking at each other and giggling. Very cute.

We even went to the toy store to pick up a birthday present for a friend and there was no crying, no whining. The boys ate twice as much food tonight and went down with only a slight fuss. Butterfly has been pleasant all evening. An all around okay kid day.

But Mommy feels like she is in a funk. Cross and crabby me. No specific reasons, just one of those days.

That and someone came to my door selling half a cow and a free freezer along with it and I'm put out I can't afford it because I really want to.

Oh, and the dog is sick. Or at least throwing up so I had to clean that one up. At least it was in the kitchen so it was an easier clean up.

And I had to tell my friends no to a shopping trip because of said dog throw up.

So this is me being in a funk.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Conversation With Butterfly


Here is the conversation I had with Butterfly this morning as she sat next to me and ate her sucker from Santa.

B: Is Christmas over?

Me: No, not yet. He hasn't come to our house yet or done presents for us.

B: But he came last night to church.

Me: That was so he would know what to bring you. Did you tell him what you wanted for Christmas?

B: No.

Me: That's okay. I think he'll bring you something nice.

B: Like a carriage?!

Me: A what?

B: A carriage. You know, like one you push a baby in?

Me: You already have one of those.

B: No, I want a different one.

Me: Oh. Well, you already have a stroller so maybe Santa will bring you something else.


B: We don't have Christmas day. We have Christmas time.

Hope your Christmas time is going well!


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Party


Tonight was our church's Christmas party.  I was in charge of making 10 lbs of potatoes into mashed potatoes.  They turned out great, if I do say so myself.  But other people brought sweet potatoes, green beans, turkeys, pie, cookies, and mac and cheese.  What a feast!

We had a story, the kids did the nativity story, and Santa came.  Butterfly is not quite old enough to be a part of the bigger kids and their nativity story.  She will next year though!  I can't believe in about 3 weeks she is going to move out of nursery into the kid program.  Our little Sunbeam!  I'm sure I'll talk about that when it actually happens.

Anyway, she was old enough to join the stampede for Santa.  When Santa first came out, she jumped into my arms and wouldn't look at him.  But all the kids were so excited, I think she got swept up with the rest of the mob.  I was excited for her.  She actually sat on his lap this year (probably because I told her she couldn't have the present of the sucker if she didn't sit on his lap, only fair I think) and actually talked to Santa.  Santa was even good enough to hold both the boys AND Butterfly so we could have a picture.  Of course, I forgot my camera but I'm sure someone got it (Chef?) and will email it to me.  I know Mom, I will send it to you too.

It snowed and actually stuck last night!  I think we got maybe a fourth of an inch but we got some!  Butterfly and I took some time out to go and play in it.  So much fun!

The boys had pears and rice cereal last night and ate it like it was going out of style.  They also had tastes of mashed potatoes at the party and Professor had a suck of my orange.  These boys are getting so big!


Friday, December 05, 2008

Thinking of Spring


It's not that time of year. No one is thinking about it. Well, except maybe my BFF Mink. Why her and what is she thinking about you ask? She is due to have her second baby girl (which I like to think that I named, thank you very much) any day now. Not only is she excited to have a baby the same year I had mine, she is excited about the tax credit.

Yes, she is! If you know Mink, you know this is totally true. And to tell you the truth, I am excited about my double tax credit coming up. I have a general rule with the tax stuff I get for the kids. Two rules actually. 1) That credit goes straight into a college fund for them. It may not be a ton, but at least it will be something. 2) The first year I get the credit, it's mine. Pay back for having suffered through pregnancy and delivery. The boys first tax credit is earmarked for a new kitchen table and chairs since they pushed us over the edge. And I'm going to go all splurgy and buy one that the Amish have made. With a take out leaf, a bench on one side, and 4 chairs. And then we are never going to eat on it because it will be too beautiful.

Back to Mink. Her new baby girl will be born at the last "minute" for tax purposes. And even if you aren't having a baby at the last minute, you will still at least get some tax relief. Such as:

  • Any new baby in 2008 could deliver a $1,000 child tax credit. This keeps going until they turn 17.
  • Be sure to file a new W-4 form with your employer to claim an additional withholding allowance which may help boost your take-home pay.
  • There's also a tax credit, worth as much $11,650 in 2008, to help offset the cost of adopting a child.
My good friend Karen knows all about that tax credit and adoption. Go check out her blog and her beautiful baby girl!

So, all of you friends like Mink out there, you can even get more from your December baby! Turbo Tax is having a contest called America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction. Parents or legal guardians can go to www.CutestTaxDeduction.com and submit a photo of their newest last minute tax deduction. One lucky baby, born between Dec. 1-31, 2008, will win a United States savings bond worth $5,000 (up to $10,000 upon maturity). I bet you didn't know your December baby could be worth so much!

You can check out a video of last year's winner

There's more here, though. So what if you didn't have/are going to have a baby in December this year. Did you have one the same time I had mine? Or after? You can win a turbo tax romper that says, Tax Deduction, on it. (size 6 months) Right here! Just leave me a comment and tell me what you plan on using your new tax money for. Or if you know someone who needs a romper (maybe you know Mink!), you can leave a comment telling me what you do with your kid credit. Because I'm nosey like that sometimes. I will randomly pick a winner the day after Mink has her baby. (She is due on the 19th I think...or that may be the day her doctor is inducing her.) Anyway, the point is this contest is going to run from now until her baby girl is born, whatever day that may be.

Good luck everyone! (And I bet you are thinking about taxes now!)


Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Big Decision


It's that time of year when Juice and I make our big decision. Do we continue with our warehouse club membership or trade it the other one? What are the pros and cons of our store? Do we honestly shop there enough to warrant a membership? We have been with our current place for more than 5 years I think. My friend Chef was nice enough to take us to one today and let me browse for the prices/availability of things. So here's my list.

Pro Current Place (CP)
-We know it.
-It's a cheaper membership.
-They have polish dogs.
-Not as crowded.
-Plenty of parking.

Cons CP
-Major long lines that take forever.
-Employees are not stellar.
-They randomly stop stocking items that we use regularly.
-Not a great selection.

Pros of New Place (NP)
-Great selection!
-Great samples.
-Churros at the food court.
-Great counter wipes and picture printing (so Chef tells me).

Cons of NP
-Holy cow parking.
-And the people! I was overwhelmed with Butterfly and AJ running around.
-More membership.
-No polish dogs.
-Big store to learn.
-Opportunity to spend more.

They both have the staples we use. They both have big boxes of diapers (although NP had a bigger box...224 for 42 dollars. CP has 200 for 39 dollars. 24 diapers for 3 dollars more...worth it?) and the cereal we like. They both have things like cheese, dog food, laundry soap, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.

Right now I'm leaning towards staying with CP. Yes, the employees aren't stellar. Yes, I miss out on things like better selection. And no churros! But the press of people was just too much. If I couldn't handle it, I know Juice would be a cross camper afterwards.

And really, it boils down to one point. At CP, they have polish dogs. And we love us some good hot dog. :)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Our Tree


I've blogged about this before but our tree is old. (I first typed in very before the old but then I didn't want Juice feeling very old since this tree is as old as he is.) And for this being it's 29th Christmas, it's looking remarkably well. It's still full. The needles are not smashed or flat. It is a little rough around the edges, especially the top branch where the star goes, but all in all, it's beautiful.

I was thinking about it today while I was staring at it, that some of my ornaments have hung on this tree for over 10 years. I feel fairly attached to this tree and until it breaks or something, we may never get another.

We had a great time decorating the tree. I always put up our yearly ornaments first. This year, Butterfly picked out the little people barn. Juice got Wall-E, the boys got matching first Christmas Winnie the Pooh ornaments, and I got my 20th angel. I have been collecting them since I was 8 years old. It's the hallmark series that will never die. All 21 of them (they had a special one for 15 years and Juice got it) look great on the tree. They look so good next to all my animals and all of Juice's big fun ones. He has a dancing mickey, letter to Santa that talks, an ark that moves, and several others. I love pulling out the boxes and seeing all of these things again.

Butterfly moved her barn to 4 different places before I made her pick a place and stick with it. She then hung the boys and lost interest to the little people nativity that we have and only play with at this time of year. Juice and I spent the rest of the afternoon reminiscing over what was going on in our lives when we got each ornament. Butterfly hung two or three more. The boys were most interested in them. Professor was more interested in the tree skirt but Pirate really really wanted to hold/eat/slobber on the ornaments. Every time we walked by holding one, he would kick and smile and get all excited like we were coming for him to hold what we were holding. They both stared at the tree for a long moment when Juice turned the light on.

We decided this year not to put any presents under the tree because they (okay, Professor but Pirate may learn this month) are on the move and the tree is out in the open. We moved it from behind our couch like we had it last year. I like it better where it is. We will put the presents out Christmas Eve.

And taking a picture with two infants on a timer is really pretty silly but still, we did it. Christmas cards are mostly addressed so they will hopefully go out by this weekend. It's one of my better cards so I'm excited to show it off! Especially since my good friend Chef took all the pictures. I also have loads of extras since I could only buy either 50 or 100. 50 would not be enough, 100 is WAY more than I need. But I figure if worse comes to worse, I can always send them to doctors and dentists and people I don't normally send them to. I'll find a way to use them up. If you'd like one, please email me at safirecat {at} gmail [dot] com and one will find it's way to you.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Apparently this is my limit


I can write for 31 days before I run out of something to say. Because that's what has happened today. Still, even now, nothing comes to mind. So one boring day to day list today.

We visited Vinny at his house today. It surprised me that Butterfly is taller than Vinny. He's almost 2 years older than her. I guess her size shouldn't surprise me much but it does. Both Juice and I are 6 feet or taller so really she has no choice but to be tall.

We then went to the mall to return some shoes I bought online. I don't know why I insist on buying shoes online. I always end up returning them at least 3 times before I get the fit right.

Naps were short and smelly due to a diaper blow out that I (thankfully) caught before the boys decided to play in it. Butterfly, on the other hand, napped too long and woke up cross. We had a big fight about putting her pajamas on tonight. She kept telling me she wanted a time out. She got as many as she wanted. And the last time out, she said, "But I really didn't want a time out!" I am desperately trying to understand her circular logic and not be frustrated with it.

Totally off topic but here is a cute story from yesterday. As I was trying to get through my email (which I did!), Butterfly said, "Ew. Gross." That is my clue for someone has spit up. I glance at the boys to find Pirate painting Professor's hair with it. His face was in deadly serious wonder of "what would happen if I put some here". An exclamation from me brought their attention to me and I noticed that Pirate had had those wondering thoughts all over Professor's face. Pirate is going to be my thinker. He is going to think things up, tell them to Professor, who is going to do them. And get caught. And then bawl because he got caught all the while it was really Pirate's idea and he really should be in trouble too.

We had left over pizza for dinner (boring) and I watched An Ideal Husband which I had never seen before. Through the whole movie I kept picturing Cate Blanchett in Lord of the Rings and I couldn't get into it because of that. Still, it was good. I am loving Netflix and I have maxed out my list of movies. Did you know that you can only have 500 on there? Me either. At this rate, I will not be able to add another movie on there for at least a year. Longer. Apparently I've been out of the movie scene for awhile. Probably since Butterfly was born. I can't remember the last movie I saw in the theater was. I do remember it was me and Juice and one other guy who smoked through it. In a non-smoking theater! Juice complained, nothing happened. Kind of ruined the movie for me because obviously I don't remember what it was. One movie I would love to see is Twilight.

Hey look, I get going and I do have something to say.


Monday, December 01, 2008



I did not check my email for 5 days straight and now I am drowning in it. I had over 500 emails to read. Which means I get around 100 emails a day. Ugh. I am trying to go through all the junk mail I get and remove my email address but it is slow going.

Also, I've never mentioned this but I will briefly. My identity has been stolen (secret internet names and all...blast!) and I've been having issues with credit cards, etc. calling me every day. Double blast. I feel like I need to have a second job just to get through all the paperwork and the hassle that this is.

Of course, this has to be Juice's annual trip to Chicago so I'm solo again for a week. Triple blast. At least the boys are sleeping better and we get to order out again. I'm so looking forward to pizza tonight!


PS- Thanks for all the love that you, my readers, left on the last post! I feel like I can do it! :) I love comments.