Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Day Take Two







video

What can you do with a laundry basket, a dog leash, and twin girls bundled to the hilt ? Go sledding of course.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fort





Yet another of the multitude of fun things that only Daddy's do best.

While I was sleeping in...



..Daddy and his girls (and Ollie of course) played with the new computer.







Snow Day



We got some serious snow here last night.






This is the first time the babies have been out in the snow. They loved it of course. Sadly it was in the 20s and their little hands were cold because they refused to keep their gloves on. Also, the snow was less fun due to the loads of frozen rain that got dropped on top of it. Still.. they were loving it.. until...



..Margot tripped and went down hands first into the frozen white stuff...



..Ada went down a split second later.. and we all went inside to warm baby hands that had turned bright red from the cold. Here's hoping it hangs around for awhile. We could use a snow day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sleep



This is how tired I feel. If only I could jump into this photo and join this cuddle party.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Girl pile




One tired Mama and two sleepy babies with full bellies, ready for their PJs. I could have sat there with them all night.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Skinny


..my girls in the twilight.


.. we tried to take some photos of them tonight on our stroll, but they are running everywhere and all the pictures come out like this in such low evening light.



..the moon was out and both Margot and Ada were mesmerized by it and kept point it out to us and one another. Good night moon..

Ok. So ya'll want the details, huh? Well there really isn't too much to say other than it is really early and we, and the rest of the family and apparently some of our friends out there, are wondering if it will be one sea monkey this time ... or more ( I keep having dreams of twins and triplets.. yes triplets). I haven't been to the doctor yet but 4 pregnancy tests do not lie. According to the interweb, I am due sometime in September.

Yes, we are going to have 3 under 3. Insanity. I keep picturing myself going to the store with all of them. I am coming up with strategies for effective management even now and we have already started training the girls to be better at walking next to us and holding our hands (instead of us carrying them everywhere when we are out and about). They are naturals of course and march along next to us holding tight to our fingers, huge smiles on their faces. You can just tell how grown up they feel. That coupled with them eating their dinner with forks and we are well on our way to big girl territory. They could not be more thrilled with their autonomy. This has been my favorite part of being a parent, teaching my girls the skills they need to advance and then seeing the sheer pleasure it gives them to be able to do for themselves.

Funny thing is that we were pretty sure we wanted more children and had been starting to have serious discussions about when we wanted to start trying for that. This is the sort of thing we hate having to decide. We would rather just have it happen on it's own with no decision from us.. and then it did. We were surprised, but relieved and excited... SO excited!!!

I know conventional wisdom states that I shouldn't be talking about this yet.. particularly to the world at large. However, this is how I process what is going on in my life.. the bad.. and the good. So, now you all are along for the ride.

We told our parents and brothers and they were all thrilled. I can not tell you how excited we are about baby #3 (assuming there is only one in there). By the way, the chances of my having identical twins twice is 1/70,000 ... Stephen says these odds are not high enough. Can't wait to find out how many are in there.. I really do feel like it is only one - despite the multiple multiples dreams. Still, if there were more than one we would of course be overjoyed. A little freaked out and a touch panicky but .. overjoyed all the same.

Hard to believe we are on our way to being a party of five. Thank you, everyone for your sweet and supportive comments :) We love you guys so much and are so excited to get to share this with all of you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Q & A



Q: Why would a wonderfully engaging mother like myself, want to distract her children with Kipper and Olivia DVDs so that she can lay on the couch and be fed Cheerios by sweet little toddler hands?

A: Because I am pregnant :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Into the night..



Once a week.. on Wednesday evening.. I grab my grocery list and head out into the dusk to do my weekly shopping. I am alone. Alone in the car. Alone with a radio. I turn on the local Top 40 station and turn it up.. loud. In my former life, when I was single, before I had a Stephen.. before I had twins.. I used to do this when I needed some alone time. Sometimes I drove in anger, peeling out in the Volvo after a fight with Mom. I drove in circles. I drove out to the country. I drove .. and I listened to music and I screamed and I cried.. it seemed to be the only place I could process the pain of my adolescence. I feel echos of those moments as I drive to Trader Joe's every Wednesday evening. The trip is never long enough.

In my former life, as I was speeding along the back roads of Guilford County I was listening to Rage, The Doors, 311.. the local alternative station.. even a little Marilyn Manson.. yes... Marilyn Manson (don't judge). These nights called for angry music. Music to scream too. Music that absolves you of hatred. Of the darkness that lives in your heart in that moment. I won't say that I don't still struggle with my temper ... but moments like these were confined to years 16-20. Now I drive to get groceries. To visit Ellen after the kids are all in bed.

In my former life, I would never have tuned into any radio station playing "popular" music. Working in the city, it seemed impossible to get away from songs like the one above. They were on peoples phones on the subway. Drifting out onto the sidewalk from little bodegas and H&M. I felt bombarded with popular culture. Now I feel starved for it. I never had to try to keep up with what was out there. Now listening to a pop station on the radio is the best I can do. Not because the town I live in is backward.. far from it. But because my life is so desperately different in every way. I crave pop and hip hop in a way I never have. I look forward to long drives at night with "Empire State of Mind" blasting away everything in my head. I drive down the road and I am tempted to keep going.. to just hit repeat and keep driving until I find my way back home. I let my mind wander to former days. Intoxicated by the nostalgia that warms my heart. I am alone and nostalgic for those moments when I was crammed into the train, watching the Brooklyn Bridge pass outside as we crossed the Manhattan. The moments late at night, leaning on Stephen's shoulder on our way home from a night out... watching that bridge pass outside the window.. burning the feeling into my heart.. realizing that our time was surely limited.. that one day these moments would be a memory... never taking it for granted.... reliving it all.. mile by mile.. behind the wheel of our little red car..

Monday, January 18, 2010

P-Butter Heads





Our babies love peanut butter.

Today has just been full of excitement. We got a new computer!!!!! Yes, after 6 years we decided to bite the bullet and upgrade the ol' iMac. We have been socking away Christmas/birthday $$ and it was time to put it to good use. Making large purchases like that are always nerve wracking, but as luck would have it, our sales genius (or whatever they are called at the apple store) was actually an alumnus from St. David's.. so.. it couldn't have worked out better. He was fabulous at answering all our questions and hooked us up with one of those beautiful machines in less than an hour. We brought the old iMac in to have the contents transferred and the sight of it brought a huge smile from the tech support. "This is beautiful." He said the version we had was the favorite of everyone in the store and their favorite commercial. He said he would not get rid of it even though we have upgraded. This was nice to hear since we were thinking the same thing. So it's at the store getting data transferred and I can't show you a picture of it in it's new home yet but.. I am SO looking forward to being able to Skype with friends now!!! Also, watching movies on our Netflix account.. and burning DVDs ... the list goes on and on... we got a printer for free too(with the rebate they offered) .. we have had the same desktop and printer for 6 years.. and the printer costs us $25 back then.. so you can only imagine the quality of the thing.. it has been a dust collector for many many months. How nice it will feel to be streamlined and fully productive with our electronic equipment. Now if we could just afford iPhones and the plans that support them... our tech dreams would have all come true.

We have decided to follow our buddies the Grahams and try to watch our way back through LOST before the premier on 2/2. It's a tall order but we are doing our best to get there...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Checkin' In



I have been enjoying going back and looking at pictures of the girls when they were still this size. They seem so gigantic now. It seems everyone we know has a new little bundle of joy on the way in the next few months. It's going to be raining babies. Craziness.

Still on the mend from the migraines but feeling much much better. Stephen has the day off tomorrow. Three day weekends are almost as much fun as four day weekends.

Joyce and I are watching the Golden Globes while Stephen is out at Zelda Club.. yes.. Zelda Club. I was so excited to see Ricky host and now I sorta think he is trying harder than he needs too or something.. still... he can do no wrong in my eyes.. so to speak. Maybe those Hollywood folks are too snobby to appreciate his brand of humor.. or maybe it's just too tragic a time to be joking about McCartney's divorce settlement when thousands of people are suffering in Haiti as we sit in our comfy arm chairs watching television.....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shadow



David gave me this amazing water color of the girls and me for Christmas. It was taken from the photo posted here. The last few days, I have felt like the painting me.. like a shadow of myself.

Last week I had two or three migraines... this week just one.. but it left me incapacitated for two days. The pain was so intense that I went to bed when Stephen got home from school, and stayed there until this morning (getting up only to be sick..ugh). Today, I could hardly move. Stephen came home during his free periods so I could go back to bed and Joyce came over and with a latte and baked me some scones while we watched "Bend It Like Beckham" (which she rented and brought over).. then got the girls up from their nap so I could go back to bed and watched them until Stephen got home from school. Yeah.. I pretty much have the best husband and the best Joyce in the whole world. Everyone should have a Joyce in their lives. I have not been this sick with pain for about.. two years I think... I can't help but be nervous that this is just the beginning of a return to the hell I lived with these freakin' migraines when we were up north. The hell that was somehow lessened by pregnancy and my new life with the girls. I suppose I need to go to the doctor.. or nutritionist (thanks Kate :) .. this can not continue..

Now onto a new topic that has me genuinely aggravated. What the cuss NBC?! Seriously!??! Jay Leno needs to hit the road and you need to leave Conan alone and let him do his thing. I can't believe that Jay might actually be going back to hosting The Tonight Show. He sucks so bad at 10pm it is unbearable to watch.. what makes you think moving him back to 11:35 is going to make things any better? He had his chance.. he is finished..let it go for cryin' out loud. It's flippin' embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as Fallon's flounderings at taking Conan's place. I have said my peace..piece..? Either way.. take that.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Early Birds






The baby girls ate their breakfast this morning watching the birds outside our window eat their breakfast from the feeder swinging in the chilly air. They were entranced.

I have spent the last two days relaxing and recovering from this weeks migraine attacks. I cleaned like a maniac on Friday so that I could feel at ease this weekend .. it worked and I feel rested and ready to face Monday morning. My brain is still a little fried so I have nothing interesting to talk about but.. I hope that changes in the coming days.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

migraine.. again..



..thanks to the weather coming and going the way it has.. I spent a great day of my day laying on the floor with an ice pack on my head ..watching toddlers toddle and responding with all the excitement I could muster as they brought me random items and tried to help me feel better .. patting my head and saying "ooooooh mama.." .. so since my brain is deep fried.. here is one of my favorite pictures from the girls birthday.. a very happy daddy and a very happy papa..

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Migraine Take Two



I had another migraine today. U.G.H. So, for here are some pictures I never posted from Christmas in Tallahassee last year.. for your viewing pleasure.



Ada and cousin Mark with Grammy. Can you believe how much they have grown in a year?



Sweet Margot with Great Grandma Elsie.





Meeting Uncle David for the first time.



The twins meet the twins.



Cousins.



Beautiful Aunt Tracy.



Beautiful Aunt Mindy and a baldy Margot.



Uncle Jeff.. the baby whisperer.

And now...My latest favorite recipe.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice (from Real Simple March 2009)

1 cup white rice (we use Jasmine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt (sea salt for us) and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15.5 ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 radishes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I didn't do the radish bit but since it was in the original recipe I feel obliged to include)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

- Cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for 1 minute.

- Add the beans, oregano, and 1 cup water. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and smash some of the beans with the back of a fork (or a potato masher as I did) to thicken.

- Serve the beans over rice and top with the radishes and cilantro (We topped it with fresh sliced avocado, sour cream and salsa... get crazy.)

Hope you enjoy this "bowl of warm" as much as we did.

Monday, January 04, 2010

She's back!



My how we missed our buddy Josie around here! The girls were so excited to see her this morning they could hardly wait to get down from their cribs and start showing her their new loot from Christmas.



I turned around for a second to get something for lunch out of the fridge and when I turned back .. each of them had climbed onto something different. To each her own.

I had leftovers for lunch today. I have fallen in love with this new recipe for Cuban Black Beans and Rice. It is SO delish I fixed it two nights in a row .. Stephen asked for it. I think I could eat it every day. Maybe I will put the recipe up on here.. right now I don't feel like walking to the kitchen to get it. Am I the only one who likes to do things over and over? Like.. listening to certain songs on repeat.. or watching certain movies repeatedly.. or eating the same food every day.. it seems to comfort me. Have we spoken about this before.. seems like we have. What about you readers out there.. do you ever find yourself finding comfort from something repeated? What do you think it means? Really, I am curious....

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday



Today Ada successfully spoke actual words into the phone. When I asked she repeated "Ollie", "Nana", and "Papa" while Nana and Papa cheered on the other end of the line. It was precious.





Then the girls did some art work.

Stephen goes back to work tomorrow. Time to jump into this new year with both feet. Splash.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day Two



Margot. She is a tough nut to crack.

I am upstairs typing while Stephen and the girls play downstairs. I can hear them giggling at each other as they give hugs to one another. Sometimes their laughs sound so alike. Sometimes their behavior seems so alike, but the moment I relax they remind me just how different they are.

Take this afternoon, for example. Stephen asked Ada to stop doing something (whatever it was escapes at the moment). In typical fashion Ada she obeyed, then went back for more. She got into trouble. She screamed in anger and cried for few moments. Then snuffled a bit more, got snuggle from her Daddy to assure her everything was ok again, and went about doing things she knew she was allowed to do. Enter Margot Dagny. Stephen reprimanded Margot for something. She cuts her eyes at him, and proceeds to do several other "no no"s in a row. Stephen warns her for each ...infraction. She stands there looking at him, then marches off across the living room, stops in the foyer and stands in the shadows for a moment. Seeming to have collected herself, she returned to the coffee table (scene of the showdown) with her milk cup and stood there staring at Stephen again. Then she threw her cup in his direction. We reminded her that was "Not nice!" and continued to act as normal as we could. She marched around the room, swinging her little fists, a few more times and then tested Stephen for one last time by grabbing the floor lamp and pulling it to make it sway. He asked her to stop and she obeyed the first time, walking back to the coffee table and starting to draw on her Doodle Pro and babble to herself as if nothing had happened at all. This was hard for me to watch for some reason and left me feeling concerned for my relationship with little M. I never need wonder if Ada needs her "Mama". She clings to me when she is in need of me. Watching Margot process everything with very little evidence of her feelings on the matter.. I couldn't help but wonder if she was internalizing it all. Is it a good thing that she is learning to handle her emotions and not just melt away the way her sister does? It was pretty obvious that she was processing something.. it did not just go over her head. Just for good measure, I even tried to give her a hug and she wouldn't let me. She seems so in her own world sometimes, more so than Ada on most days. Then at bedtime, she got in my lap and hugged me so tight that I could feel her little finger nails gripping my sweater. She put her head on my shoulder and held me tight.. so I hugged her tight.. in gratitude really. Feeling needed... still wondering what had gone on in that little mind tonight.. but feeling like her Mama.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Day One



Sometimes Daddies have to play frisbee with one hand.





One little girl, two little girls, three little girls .. more :)

We are approaching the weekend. Normally I feel exhilarated at having made it through the week with limited casualties. This evening, however, I must say that I am not looking to Saturday morning with my usual enthusiasm. J, M and the girls arrived yesterday and will, most likely, head back to Boone tomorrow. It should feel cramped to have 4 adults and 4 little girls, plus an Oliver, all sharing our space. Yet somehow it never does. Also, Stephen will be headed back to school on Monday - Boo squared.

We are watching the Star Trek movie. It's pretty good.. I can see what all the fuss was about - though I wish I knew a bit more about the original so that I could enjoy a knowledgeable chuckle when appropriate. Alas the only Star Trek I ever indulged in was Star Trek: The Next Generation which I watched with John when we stayed at Gram's overnight. So I had a mad crush on Wesley but don't really get who the guy with the Russian accent is on this movie...? Is this a young Scotty? As in... "Beam me up Scotty!" ..? This is unclear. What is clear is that I definitely need to make sure we have a fireplace in our home of tomorrow. I seem to have a thing for warm feet.. you know to the point at which you have to move them from the heat source before you do serious damage? I am laying here with my feet pressed against a space heater.

Well, I'm really glad we did this. We must do it again sometime.