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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So so busy!


I don't know what happened but suddenly I have had zero time for the computer. I guess that's a good thing and it's been a good break for me. But I've been frustrated with it because I want to get on the computer but can't because of something the kids are doing. Or I'm taking a nap because the kids have worn me out. Something.

This week Professor has done the following: thrown my contact case into the toilet, complete with contacts in it. That went right into the garbage. Thrown several toys into the toilet, once when sister forgot to flush. Ewww. Broken a huge glass milk bottle with water so water went everywhere. Also glass shards went everywhere. He cut his foot (barely) and I pulled a huge shard out of the bottom of my foot this morning. Did you know foot wounds bleed a lot if they are deep? Probably everything bleeds a lot when it's deep, huh?

Things Pirate has done this week: managed to shut and lock himself in the dog's crate 3 times. (I think sister may have had a hand in that but I can't prove anything.) Learned how to give people high fives (so cute!). Hid his brand new shoes the day we got them so well he didn't wear them for a few days. Figured out how to climb up onto the toy box (which doesn't hold toys, it holds our DVD cases) and play the rock band drums and keep his siblings away from his cool new toy by hitting them. Good times.

Things Butterfly has done this week: stomped up to her room at least once a day saying, "I don't like ANYTHING!", bit her brother on his back while pretending to be a monster, told me she did not want to stay at dance class and then cried when I made her, has not eaten dinner in over a week because "this is yucky, is there any Butterfly friendly food?".

There have been some good things this week too. Like Pirate loves to help and almost shakes with excitement when you give him something to pick up. And the boys are starting to look for each other when they are doing something and will "call" for the other one. Professor has started giving spontaneous hugs and has won his sister completely over with that. Butterfly has been so helpful getting the boys out to the car and will hold Professor's hand so he doesn't run out into the street for me.

Look for a bunch of stuff tomorrow since I have nothing going on in the day and I might actually be able to upload some pictures. :)


Monday, September 21, 2009

Almost Nursery Time!


In our church, the babies aren't allowed to be in the nursery until they are 18 months old. The boys turned 17 months on Friday (can you believe that?!) so they are basically a month away from nursery. We have been in the hall for weeks now because trying to keep these two boys out of trouble during class is impossible. They still come to sunday school with me (since I have 2-3 teenage girls and that's it...they love these boys!) and then I walk the halls with them for the 3rd hour. Mostly because my classroom has curtains (so. much. fun.) and Juice's class is on the stage. That's a sure fire way to make sure no kids go into his class...make it a safety hazard.

In any case, we have basically 2 more weeks of walking the halls with them. (Next week, the first Sunday in October we have a big general meeting where we don't go to the church building but watch it on tv or the internet, and the second Sunday in October.) They turn 18 months old on the 3rd Sunday of October this year so I am excited to see them off on their next step and actually be in class.

Our leaders gave us two sheets to fill out for them and I thought it would be fun to copy them down here.

Pirate (next to his name I wrote "has brown eyes")
  1. Does your child have food allergies? no
  2. Does your child have a favorite toy? his thumb (please make sure it's clean if possible!). He also likes music and books.
  3. What is your child's favorite food? string cheese and meat
  4. What food do they really NOT like? bread
  5. Please tell us anything else or any concerns you have: He's still not very steady on his feet. He can climb onto chairs but can't get down. He will destroy his snack when he's done so watch out. He steals toys and can push or hit when frustrated. (welcome to twins!) A firm "stop" will get him to stop, though. He's quick to smile and has a sweet laugh. He does not say much but understands a lot. Thanks!
Professor (has blue eyes)
  1. Does your child have any food allergies? no
  2. Does your child have a favorite toy? His pacifier. He also likes balls and cars.
  3. What is your child's favorite food? cheese, cherrios, crackers
  4. What food do they really NOT like? meat
  5. Please tell us anything else or concerns you have: He likes to climb and can get on top of tables if you leave a chair near it. He is sensitive and will get his feelings hurt easily. He will put his head into the floor and cry if that happens. He can be pushy and grabby with toys (welcome to twins!). Trading toys works well for him if he gets too pushy. Please come and get me if he won't stop crying. He does not say much but understands a lot. Thanks!
It's so fun to see the differences in the boys. I am excited for them to go into nursery because I think they will have a lot more fun playing with toys than wandering the halls with me and taking screaming turns at the drinking fountain. The poor nursery leaders get a little wild in the eyes when I talk to them about the boys coming into their class, though. It's hard to add two to anything!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

A was supposed to be for Apple


Week two in learning the letters with Butterfly brought us to A. Why A? Because I thought we were supposed to go pick apples this week. Sadly, I wrote the date down wrong and it's NEXT week. Oops! But we had a lot of fun learning about things that start with A!

We read Aladdin and watch the movie. We took out our magnifying glass outside and looked at ants. We then broke out the picture books and looked at pictures of Butterfly's aunts (all 5 of them!) and talked a little about families. I printed off some color sheets of apples for her and she carried them around all week, matching big A's and little a's. We played I spy with a words (apples, airplanes, armor, arsenal [yes really this one...more info later], ashes, ants, aunts, alley, etc.). We went around the house singing the "short A song" from starfall.com.

We were able to go to the resource center this week, with our friend AJ. Butterfly painted, stamped, played dress up and house. We played at the park outside where AJ and Butterfly pretended to be astronauts, attacked by alligators, and on an airplane.

We had alphabet soup for lunch one week. We read all of our animal specific books (tiger, chimp, elephant, dogs, tails, etc.) and we talked about the difference between animals and birds and lizards. ("Animals have hair and birds have feathers and lizards have little skin things.") We talked about addition and had some "visual apples". Mostly that was 2 + 1 = 3, etc. Little stuff.

And finally, we walked to the farmer's market to buy all these apples since I had planned on having a ton with the apple picking. And I'll admit, we did most of these things on Friday morning. But we did do them!

Happy A week!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Pretty In Pink


My friend K from Butterfly's play group mentioned that she was putting her daughter in a dance class. I'd heard other moms in that group mentioning a dance class and I thought Butterfly might like a chance at a class too. So when K told me what class, I went ahead and signed Butterfly up kind of at the last minute. Literally, the class started on Monday and I signed her up last Thursday.

Several times over the weekend she told me she didn't want to go. But she did want to wear her new pink leotard every single day. And the day of the class she told me she didn't want to go about 5 times and that she wanted to go only once.

Of course, we were late. We're always late. And I couldn't find the classroom. But with the help of K, we found the class and she had a great time I think.

Her class is an hour long. And it's across the street from a grocery store. Guess where I go? It's kind of nice to get all of my shopping done without her. The boys still come along and they ride in the little car stuck to the front of the shopping cart and have a great time. Now I just need to remember my insulated bags and ice for the frozen stuff and I'll be all set.

Once I got back to the class, I peeked in and took a few pictures. Butterfly is by far the tallest in a sea of pink. There is one boy in the class and one girl has a blue outfit. They did a lot of jumping over lines and skipping in a circle.

She seemed to really like it. Once we came home, she ate like a horse and went to bed early and slept hard. Yay for dance class! We have it every Monday from now until Christmas. I'm excited to see what she will do next week!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!


Happy Birthday to me!  Happy Birthday to me!  Happy birthday dear me-eee.  Happy Birthday to me!

We've had great leftover foods from take out last night (we ended up with burgers and fries for us and also burritos and chips and guac for the kids).  I had a fun time at church with my class eating doughnuts and walking the halls with Pirate.  I wore the skirt my Nana gave me for my birthday while I in Utah.  I looked at my scrapbook stuff my mom gave me and rejoiced that I now have over 400 pictures to do.  Maybe I can get caught up instead of still being on my trip to Hawaii that we took over 2 year ago. 

The kids had a nice long nap this afternoon.  I cooked dinner while the kids played and we had dinner followed by ice cream cake.  So fun!

Of course, we gave the boys some cake.  And that's kind of where it went downhill from there.  They were covered in chocolate.  They needed a bath.  I was talking to my family and Juice handled the bath.  But he doesn't do well with baths.  I do the baths in this house.  He was really sweet though.

We had presents which I was totally not expecting!  I thought my fixed computer was my present.  But Juice got me a battery grip for my camera.  I'm so excited to use this!  Juice's mom also sent a few things.  Thanks Mom!  I'm excited to use the fizzy bath ball soon.  And my brother sent along some amazon bucks so I see a fun package in my future.  

It's been a good day.  Hopefully it will be a good year too.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sale Sale!


Today was one of my favorite days in membership of my twin club.  It was our semi-annual sale!  I love going to this sale and getting all the things I need for the next 6 months.  I think half, if not three fourths, of Butterfly's wardrobe comes from this sale in years past.  The boys are following suit with most of their clothes coming from here (and very generous friends...thanks guys!).  In the spring I volunteered and had a great time.  This time, I volunteered for longer and really enjoyed myself!

So last night I was in charge of helping with the toys; getting them all set up in age groups (infant, toddler, preschool, games and puzzles, and outdoor toys) and putting them all together.  Holy cow is this a lot of work.  We had 5 of us on the stage in the school cafeteria where it is held running madly holding toys.  I admit, there was a lot of silliness between us.  We took our time to play with the interesting toys and mocked things like an electronic xylaphone.  Seriously, regular xylaphones aren't enough?! 

By the end of the night, the tables were groaning with the weight of toys.  The wire racks they had built to hold the toys were starting to bow and we were hoping that toys would not fall in the night.  I made a stack of those activity tables for baby's at least 7 tables high.  We had a huge box of baby strollers, one of guitars (yes, they all needed their own box), and so many other things.  The reason for me working toys was so that I could scope out what I wanted to buy today.

While all the other mom's stood around and talked (that's how I made several friends last year), we worked.  I sweated so much but had a good time and I think made a few other friends this year.  I was able to scoped out the rest of the sale and think of a few things to buy beyond toys.  They even had clothes Butterfly's size this year!  (She is wearing a size 7, can you believe it?!) 

So, want to know what I got?

First round:
Fisher Price House
Kettler Trike (for their second birthday)
magnetic dress up dolls for Butterfly
Little People garage

The house was SO big and hard to carry. The trike, which was an impulse buy, was awkward to push and the garage did me in.  I spent 7 minutes in there, bought those things, took them to my car, and went right back in.

Second round:
4 overalls
2 jumpers
9 pants
9 shirts
2 winter coats
2 pants for Butterfly
2 sweaters for Butterfly
11 books
3 movies
one koala bear leash thing
Little People Circus
a construction sight
a fire house (all little people stuff)

I finally left because I couldn't hold anything else.  All of this cost me about $180 (with the above round), which is amazing I think.

Round Three:

My friend Lala came with me and slept in the car while I was shopping.  She and I waited in line for the general public to be let in and did a lot of shopping in the girls' clothes for her daughter Mimi.  We met a very nice couple who was having their first baby and pretty scared.  I don't think I was that scared to have Butterfly.  We talked to her about what to get and I directed her the best places to go once in the sale.  We saw them standing in line later and they looked a little happier with a crib and a stroller bought.

Anyway, Lala bought about 12 things for her daughter.  There was much debating on if we were getting the right color of purple for her and then bringing her total down to her budget. 

I also bought another outfit and another book in this round. 

One other thing I got was a double stroller for my good friend Anie.  She really wanted one, and by the time I was over in the stroller section at 7:30am, most of the good strollers were gone.  So I made the decision for them (again, really sorry Anie!) and bought them one of the last good looking ones.  I figured if she didn't like it, I could use it for a few months and sell it at the sale in the spring.  Good thing she seemed to like it.  But if she doesn't, then she could sell it at the spring sale too!  (Well, I'd sell it and give her the money.)

It was a great day at the sale!  I'm beat though and off to bed. 


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Preschool...is there an S in school?


Much to the amazement of several people, I decided again this year not to send Butterfly to preschool. I couldn't find one I liked or one that fit our budget. Seriously, no one around here just does a little preschool in their basement for a few hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That's all I wanted for her...just something low key and small! Everything around here (for 4 year olds) is every day or every other day full time. There were some schools in the area that did MWF things but from 9am-1pm or cost around $400 a month. I couldn't do it.

So, we're not. Instead, I had talked to a few friends about doing something small with some of the 4 year olds in Butterfly's church class. That seemed like a viable option for me. But then, it hit me. I would actually have to teach. And you know, entertain six 4 year olds at my house. On a regular basis. All with trying to juggle the boys along with it.

I decided to just rework our day and make time for teaching Butterfly myself. There are thousands of home schooled kids and they seem to be doing just fine. I started to research out some ideas. I asked my friend Lolli about some ideas. We ended up deciding to do this school thing together. Once a week we will get together and do some activities, along with a trip to the resource center once a week. Add to this a dance class for Butterfly (to get her some teacher time) and I think we've found a perfect fit.

I totally stole another friend's idea and we are doing one week dedicated to one letter. This week was S week. S for school and September. Here's what we've been doing so far:

We had to get out daddy's big foam swords and sword fight one night. We also played sword fighting on the Wii and Pirate is really good at it. Go fig.

We bought some new S books at the used book store and read them several times this week. "Bernstein Bears Talk About Strangers" and "Blueberries for Sal". We talked about having a family password and how to be safe.

We've discussed how S at the end of a word makes that word more than one. We counted things in seven. She played Starfall on the computer and pointed out S's on signs as we drove around doing errands.

Today we got together with Lolli and AJ and enjoyed a school type day. They were so excited and ran around quite a bit but we had some good activities. Check out Lolli's blog for pictures about today.

Once we got home today, EVERYONE took really long naps. Me included. I think tomorrow we'll talk about snot and sneezing. I have a cold. And watch a S movie. And sleep some more.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fun Times


Let me introduce you to some fantastic Maryland Mom Bloggers! (Twitter names
in parentheses) From left: Parenting by Dummies (@thenagainphoto),
me tall and in the back as always! and hey I have twitter now (@safirecat),
Joanne of Barely Domestic (@BarelyDomestic),
Lara from Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom (@dipaolamomma),
Mary from Pajamas and Coffee (@marymac),
Scarymommy from Scary Mommy (@scarymommy) and
Lolli of Better in Bulk (@1momof5).

This is a fledgling group that we've started to start networking here in this favorite state. There are a lot of bloggers in Maryland. This meeting we started in Baltimore right on the inner harbor. Has anyone been there? It's awesome! Not only with water and some pretty cool shopping, there is an amazing Spanish restaurant called La Tasca. They had some amazing food on tiny little plates that everyone got to sample. So interesting! Lara lived in Spain for several years so she ordered for us and we just sat back and talked and had a great time. Flan was sampled through a straw for desert.

We also had some samples from some fun companies to make this night out truly amazing. Thanks to Dunkin Donuts (@dunkindonuts) for hooking us up with gift
cards, travel mugs and t-shirts!
We also got some great stuff from Shaklee by Clean Mama (@AboutShaklee), Piggy Paint (@PiggyPaint) which Butterfly has been loving, and WAT-AAH! (@WAT AAH).
A big thanks to Jen and the city of Frederick for a preview of our next meeting!- thanks
to: Candlelight Ghost Tours of Frederick with some ghost walk tickets, Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts (@dbeartoys) with an awesome spinner that Juice has been analysing and taking to work so all of his buddies can analys, Maryland Ensemble Theatre FUNCompany (@mdensemble) which is responsible for Butterfly's new school mascot to be discussed later, Author Kristin Kish Whyte - "One More Minute" (Which is something that Butterfly gets a lot.) book and Maryland Life Magazine (@marylandlife).

The best part of the evening (besides NOT getting lost too badly in Baltimore with Lolli) was having fun talking to these amazing ladies. Everyone come from different walks of life but we each have something in common: we love Maryland and blogging. If you local gals would like to join us, check out our site here.

Thanks again ladies for an amazing night!


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Almost here!


Sunday is my birthday! I'm excited about it. Not because I have any presents to open this year (fixing the computer was my present, yay working lapple) but because I get to go out to eat. We rarely go out to eat. And even then, even more rarely as a family. We go out on birthdays and I order a lot of food in while Juice is traveling. Other than that, we don't typically eat out.

Since my birthday is on a Sunday this year (and we don't buy anything on Sundays) we're going out on Saturday. (Reminder! The twin sale is this Saturday!) That really works out for me and the twin sale because I imagine I'm going to be pretty tired and not want to cook anything that night.

Here's my dilemma though. I can't decide where to go! So I need your input please!

Chinese food: always a favorite. The kids eat this well and we buy a ton and eat it for several days after. I even take the left over rice and all those little packets of soy sauce and make fried rice.

Mexican food: This place has amazing guacamole. I always end up eating too much here because it is just so good. Bonus, you can order on the internet and go pick it up. Then you skip the horribly long line. (Last time I was there someone had brought their DOG in with them! Ugh!)

Burgers: I know you can basically get burgers at every corner if you want but these burgers are awesome. You can customize them to eat what you want. I always get a chicken sandwich. But the thing I love love love the most is their fries and onion rings. I could eat an entire serving of these things and be happy. You can also order these on the internet and they have about 50 flavors of shakes to get too.

Notice, all these options are for picking up and eating at home. We are getting to the point where going out with all 3 kids is horrible. Someone always wants to walk around the restaurant and Butterfly complains when we don't color with her. She is great at restaurants. I think because we took her so often. The boys are not going to be as great. I'm okay with that.

What would you do?


Monday, September 07, 2009

We're On The News!


So today we were supposed to go hang out at a lake about an hour away from us. But we didn't get up early enough to make it worth our while (Juice kept me up ALL NIGHT asking me if the power had gone off. Sometimes it's funny when he talks in his sleep, sometimes it's not. And for the record, he talks in his sleep about twice a month or so.)

Since we were home, we thought we'd go to the Labor Day parade. We got ourselves over there, sat down near the beginning of the parade (seriously, we were about 2 houses away from the starting line) and passed out flags to the children. The boys love to play them and we had a great time waving at all the parade goers. We cheered for everyone. The boy scouts, the bank employees, the dancers. Everyone.

Because we are so cute (and we are, especially the small people in our family) we had a lot of face time with the local news camera. He kept coming back to us and filming our family. And we ended up on the news tonight! Here are a few screen shots of the story. I won't post the link on here because it gives away our "secret location" but email me if you want to see it.
I look a little annoyingly happy and Butterfly just looks annoyed but still, kind of fun for us.

The parade was okay. Getting there was a challenge. We went over to Chick-Fil-A for free food before the parade and took it with us to eat while we watched. We bought milk shakes (we got free food for the kids if we bought milk shakes) and Butterfly wanted to drink hers and ride on our stroller while walking to the parade. That's fine, as long as she shares with her brothers who beg off of her all the time. Well, she shared a little too much and spilled milk shake all down Pirate. Poor boy was shivering he was so covered in it. Honestly I wasn't too worried about him as much as I was worried about the stroller. That thing is hard to clean! But we got everything wiped up and enjoyed our time at the parade. Annoyingly so. :)

The article that went along with all of our pictures was all about unemployment. Note to readers: we are lucky. We are not unemployed. I do know (from this article) that the DC Metro area has about a 6% unemployment rate. Lately I've noticed the number of people begging at stoplights has doubled. A lot of these people hold signs that say, "Need money to pay the rent." or "Out of work mom of 3 kids, please help." I feel horrible that people resort to begging because they feel that this is the best way to get money.

We are so incredibly lucky to have Juice's job. We are lucky that I am able to stay home with these cute flag waving kids and we still have enough to live on. I know God takes care of us and our needs because they are met every single month, even when I wonder sometimes how we do it. I hope that those people begging on the streets find something soon.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Crafts with a Purpose


After finding 4 of Butterfly's bows scattered around the house (including one on top of the fridge. How it got there, I don't know.) I knew we needed a new way of storing them. The cheep dollar store Christmas basket they had all been piled in was not working any more. So I had an idea that I would hang a ribbon and then clip all her bows to it. Making them easily accessible and also kind of pretty!

After googling "bow hanger" for about ten minutes, I came across several different websites that said to take the glass out of a frame and string ribbons inside the frame. What a great idea! But why waste the glass when you can buy glassless frames at the craft store? So I hauled all three kids there to look for supplies. (Flower I miss you!)

Butterfly picked out the frame and the ribbons. We had paint at home and she dictated what color she wanted it to be. What do you think?

This is it hanging in the kids' bathroom.

Now the only problem is keeping the boys from pulling at it. I think I'll need to hang it a little higher! Also, this girl needs more bows!


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

More Talk about Clothes


I know, I must be boring you with all this talk of clothes. But apparently I need to talk about them because that's all I've been thinking about lately.

So. Clothes. How do you keep clothes clean? I swear between my 3 kids I am always washing something or pretreating something. The past 2 weeks or so I have washed something every single day, as well as doing all the rest of my laundry on my laundry day. Well, I should have been doing laundry on laundry day. But I was so burned out with laundry every day that I just wasn't keeping up with it. Then I thought, "Why not just do this every day?" I've been trying it out for the past little while and it's been working great. I think, any way. I have a lot less laundry to put away. I do kid laundry, then our laundry, then towels, then kid laundry, our laundry, sheets. And when I need to do whites, I'll do those that day and start up my rotation a day later. I also throw whatever is stained in with whatever I'm doing that day.

Speaking of stains, my mom is the queen of stain removal. I am trying to become so but it is slow going. I have started to use this stain removal called Soilove. It's pretty good, and seems to be working for most things. Plus it has so many other uses!

One other thing I do is I make up my own laundry detergent. I take half a cup of borax and washing soda, and add that to a cup of grated soap. I use fels naptha soap and it is working beautifully. I also mix them together in my food processor. I usually make a huge batch of it, mixing at least 4 bars of soap (grated) and about half a box each of the borax and washing soda. I figure I make about 96 loads at a time and it only costs me around 7 or 8 cents a load. Pretty cheep! I make the powdered soap but if you want to, you can make this into a liquid (more like jelly than liquid) by cooking down the soap with water before adding the borax and the washing soda. I don't do this because I think it takes forever and I also don't have a 5 gallon bucket to put it in. Or even a place to put this supposed 5 gallon bucket. So, I go powdered.

I think I am boring myself now. I'm off to find something else to do. Oh I know, picture clean up! I am excited. And sarcastic.


PS- I went with Lolli and AJ to a castle park today and we had so much fun! The boys took 3 hour naps afterwards, and only 3 hours because I woke them up when it became 5pm. A fun day! No pictures though because I forgot my camera. Oops.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Clothes clothes clothes!


So today my big project is to go through all the winter clothes I have for the kids and see what I need and what I don't need. Why today, you ask? Well, it's not because the weather has been GORGEOUS in the low 70s and sunny and supposed to be like this for the rest of the week. It's because my twin mom's group semi annual sale is coming up.

Are you ready to rumble?!

For all you local ladies, if you have kids from baby to size 7, this is THE place to get clothes, toys, books, movies, baby gear, and supplies. Seriously, the quality is amazing and the selection is huge. In fact, in the spring, the lines were so long they redid the layout this time. They are checking out in the hall and hopefully the lines won't be so bad. (This is what I got in the spring sale.)

Do consider coming to this sale. It's one of the biggest in the area with over 600 families selling things. It's a $2 entrance fee and it's open to the public at 9 am sharp. You'll want to be there by at least 8:30am to wait in line to get in. This year, NO STROLLERS are allowed. And children are strongly discouraged. I am looking forward to a kid free morning, although I'm sure Juice is not as excited as I am. :)

The sale is at Julius West Middle School at 651 Great Falls Road in Rockville on Sept 12th. Check out their website here for more information.

I'm so looking forward to this sale! I need coats for the boys, and some toys for Christmas. It looks like thanks to the generous donations of friends and family I won't need to buy many clothes for them this season. But I'll be there! So local ladies, who's coming along??