Monday, August 31, 2009

A BAD Sign

Not 5 minutes after the Wondertwins got on the school bus, my 3 year old invented an imaginary friend. It's only day 2 of school, by the way. Should I be concerned for the Little Dude?

He was tooling around on his bike when I saw him pull a phone out of his backpack and started talking to "sharkfin". Sharkfin was busy packing his bags for school. 10 more minutes passed of conversations with Sharkfin before Little Dude decided to do something else. I asked him later where Sharkfin was. He said he left him in his backpack.

Should I be concerned? Preschool starts in 2 weeks. Thank goodness.

I wonder if he'll bring Sharkfin with him.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What's Wrong with YOU!

What's wrong with you "I just love Fall" people. It's all I hear. For 2 weeks now I've been hearing people lamenting about the Summer and how they want it to be Fall. If you live South of the Mason-Dixon line, you are excused because let's face it, you all live for the other 3 seasons...or at least I did when I live down South. You Southerners can say it all you want. You "Northern" people need to explain this one to me.

Don't you realize that with Fall weather comes the inevitable Winter??? Don't get me wrong. I love jeans, college football, the smell of bonfires and a good pumpkin patch. Those are all filled with nostalgia for me. Having lived in the Midwest for a good portion of my life, I can relate to those things and look forward to them as much as the next person.

After 7 years in Texas though, I've learned to LOATHE the Winter. Until 1997, I didn't know I had a choice in the matter. I'd never considered living in a place where it rarely snowed and never needed a jacket. After having been spoiled in the Lone Star State, it's been hard for me to adjust. I've been in the Midwest for 5.5 years now and I'm still not accepting of Winter. I'm sorry. If I could fly South, I would. My dream would be for J to find a job that took us South 4 months out of the year. I can't take those insanely HOT Summers down there but give me January and February and I'll be a happy camper.

So, for those of you who are out there touting that you LOVE Fall and you can't wait for cooler weather, here's a reminder. After the FALL comes that nasty cold stuff that doesn't go away.

Long live Summer!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lake Erie

If you live anywhere near the Great Lakes and haven't been there yet this summer, get there ASAP. I took my MIL to Put In Bay (an island on Lake Erie) today and we had a blast. I hadn't been to PIB in 20 plus years. I had no idea how much fun we'd have.

We took a "speed boat" to the island and the kids LOVED that part. Then we rented a golf cart to scoot around. How could you beat that in a kid mind. They thought it was better than an amusement park. And I thought so too btw!

Hubby and I have realized that amusement parks aren't what they used to be. We were the couple who rode every coaster in the park...we weren't that couple who walked around with each other's hands in the other's back pocket though!

Now we go to an amusment park and spend the whole day in kiddie land. Someday we'll be able to ride those coasters with the kids right? Hopefully we're not to old for that by then!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What a Tease!

So yesterday was the big day. The twins took the school bus to Kindergarten for the very first time. I'd show you pictures as proof but they got erased. Grr. We were using the in-laws camera and it isn't the most reliable thing in the world. That's a regret I'll be keeping for a while.

Today the kids are off school. They do a staggered start for the primary grades which means my kids went yesterday and somehow I was supposed to be able to explain to two 5 year old minds that they don't get to go back until Monday. That wasn't easy but my MIL came through by building a fort in the family room. They've been playing in it for 2 plus hours now. I'm not kidding.

We'll be taking pictures again on Monday, pretending it's the first day of school. One day down the road I'll forget that those aren't the REAL first day of school pictures, right? Probably not.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To My Babies

We've been through a lot together, you and me. It was 6 years ago almost to this day that I found out you were twins. I can't put into words how I felt. The rush of emotions, the overwhelming sense of blessing that I felt at that moment.

Days later another overwhelming sense came over me...that of nausea, intense doctors visits, high level sonograms and hospital stays. Together we endured weeks of bed-rest, surgery and then many sleepless nights.

I remember the days when it was a struggle to get you to take an ounce of milk. I worried about your weight gain and counted your wet diapers. The minutes between feedings meant precious sleep. I took advantage of every minute I could get. The day you found comfort in your fingers and thumb was a peaceful day for Daddy and me. It meant that you would sleep through the night. How thankful we were.

You babbled, spoke your little twin language and soon started saying Mama. It was music to my ears. I worried that you would never walk and once you did, I worried that you would never stop.

We started playgroups, zoo/museum trips and library story times. What fun we had together, just you and me. We explored the unknown world and I learned more than I ever thought I would. You began to ask questions, some of which I didn't have answers to. I made up some of the answers, as you will soon find out, but for a time you thought your mommy knew everything.

You ran to me with all your worries, doubts and questions. I was your comfort in this big, unknown world.

I think back to all we have done together, just you and me. It's been a whirlwind and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Now you are off on your own for the very first time. You will begin to discover this great big world on your own. It's time for you to spread your wings and fly, my sweet babies. With all the things that we have experienced together over the past 6 years, you are fully equipped to step out on your own and fly.

I can't wait to see what you do. The dreams I have for you are boundless. You have the potential to do anything your heart desires. I pray that these 6 foundational years will be used by God as a basis for the rest of your lives. You're off on a new adventure and although I will not always be by your side as in the past, I am here as your biggest cheerleader and support. My prayers for you are unceasing and my love is unending.

God-willing, we have many more days together. Even though we won't have endless hours together to do as we wish, I look forward to all the things you will experience on your own as you learn and grow. I want to hear all your stories and I can't wait to see what you have to teach me along the way.

We can never go back to the days we have shared but the future is bright and I thank my God everyday for you, my sweet babies.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Help!

UPDATE: For school pictures we chose Outfits # 2 and 2. BWT wore something different for the first day of school but GWT work outfit #1 for the first day. That's over with...thankfully! I can't take all that stress! Oh, but we have a class picture coming up next week. When does it end?
===============================

I need 2 outfits! Well, 2 outfits X 2. So that's 4 right?

Not only do I have the pressure of the perfect outfit for the first day of school but we have picture day tomorrow...one day BEFORE school starts! Oh, the pressure. I just can't take it.

You are going to have to help me. Here are the 2 outfits I have picked out. Well, really the twins picked them out. Help me decide which one should be pictures and which should be first day of school.

And yes, I realize by next week I'll be happy next week if they remembered their shoes but there is something about the first day of school and picture day. It's remembered forever and should be perfect. Until they dribble the pancake syrup all over the shirt. Just waiting for that!
(Oh yea, and sorry about the sideways thing. Despite my best efforts, the gremlins have taken over the computer. I can't turn 2 of these around. No rhyme or reason).

Girl Wondertwin

Outfit #1

Outfit #2



Boy Wondertwin

Outfit #1


Outfit #2

Countdown to Kindergarten

T minus 36 hours...no tears yet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crazy Deals

Everything is FREE! Or it seems like it anyway. Just today I signed up for a free meal at Chick Fila as well as a free meal at Pei Wei. I LOVE both of those places. Now all I need is a free meal at Chipotle and I'll be a mighty happy camper.

Sadly, kids clothes aren't free. I went to Crazy 8 today (new chain...offshoot of Gymboree). Crazy 8 is to Gymboree as The Gap is to Banana Republic. Too bad that correlation wasn't on the SATs.

I had two good coupons to Gymboree and Crazy 8 today but still nothing was in my price range, or struck my fancy enough to pay so much for it. I'm still reveling in my purchases at the Outlet Mall last weekend. Everything I bought was $3.50 and under since it was the 3.99 sale AND I had a 15% off coupon.

Generally I wait for the Twin Sale (semi-annual consignment sale...HUGE!) to buy seasonal clothing for my children. Since I've found The Childrens Place (TCP) I plan to do very little shopping at the Twin Sale. Why when I can get brand new clothing for the same prices. I made sure to get down there before the Summer clothes were all gone. Unfortunately I think I overestimated on sizes for next Summer. It's so hard to know for sure.

I shopped at TCP Outlet at the end of last Winter for this Fall so I'm pretty set for the kids. I still need some shoes (SO EXPENSIVE) but if you are looking for deals, go to www.ebates.com and then to Famous Footwear. You will get free shipping and a major discount on the shoes. Then you will also get a percentage back (up to 8%) from ebates for going through their site.

Everyone is complaining about this economy and if I were jobless, I would too. I understand that but with a job, it's like Christmas. Chains are doing everything they can to stay afloat and I don't mind helping them as long as I'm getting a MAJOR deal along the way. What deals are you finding? Point me in the right direction!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ugh!

I can't believe how I'm neglecting the blog. I'm going to confess. I'm completely and utterly obsessed with finding deals. It's been that way for a while. I don't EVER pay full price for anything...unless it's a Starbucks' Mocha...and then I only use gift cards given to me by other people. I refuse to spend my own money at Starbucks.

Since I've found these websites (moneysavingmom and dealseekingmom etc), it's all I do. I haven't blogged about 99% of my deals because I don't want to be one of "those" blogs but I feel like I have nothing to say otherwise.

My other excuse is that my laptop isn't functioning properly. It's been out of sorts for over a month now. Don't EVER buy a Compaq! Really cruddy brand if you ask me. The computer is not yet 2 years old and I've already put almost $200 into it....and it's not working again.

After I get my $70 Dell coupon from the Kellogg's rebate, I'm going to buy a mini Dell. Hopefully that will help the frequency of my blogging. Stick with me folks.

In the meantime, I hope to blog about the Wondertwins' 1st day of Kindergarten...and the arrival of my in-laws. All kinds of fun around here!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Overheard From The Driver's Seat

BoyWonderTwin and GirlWonderTwin playing in the very back seat of the van while I'm driving:

GWT: Okay BWT. It's now time for the prince and princess to marry.
BWT: No GWT. First he has to fight the dragon, cross over the moat, break down the bridge and put out the big fire in the castle.
GWT: Then they will kiss and marry?
BWT: Oh Gwt, not again.

From the very beginning girls are girls and boys are boys. Amazing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Wanna New Drug

I'm going to expose my naivete here but why not. It's a blog. I've just discovered caffeine. Seriously.

Caffeine effects me in a way that is almost illegal. If I have a Starbucks at 10AM, my hands will shake til 5PM. For obvious reasons I've stayed away from caffeine at all costs. I just can't handle that jittery feeling.

The other day I was meeting a friend at the spray park at 2PM. I knew we'd be there a while and I was hitting rock bottom. I was exhausted. Since we also had evening plans, I splurged on a McDonald's Mocha (not as good as Starbucks btw but I had a free coupon). I was bzzimg and flying high til Midnight that night. What I used to think was a negative side effect might just become my greatest addiction.

I realize that I should have discovered this one over a decade ago but I'm a little slow when it comes to this stuff. Forgive me.

I still don't plan to become a 4 cups of coffee a day person but it's good to know I have a secret weapon just in case.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Almost Sock Season

As I was digging the last few garments out of the dryer, I found a stray sock. I detest socks. They really are the bane of my existence when it comes to laundry. Of course there are never matches and all 3 kids socks are so similiar in size. I buy Hanes because the toes are colored differently. This helps but sometimes I forget whose sock is whose.

Anyway, it's almost sock season. After a 3-4 month break from socks, they are slowly making their way back into the rotation. Do you know how hard it is to get my 3 year old to wear matching shoes (and put them on the right feet?) Now we will be battling socks as well. Save me please!

I don't know if I could survive those Texas summers that I used to endure but the bright side is that my kids would be wearing Crocs most of the school year...no socks.
Is that worth a 100plus degree Summer???

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Recipe for Induced Sleep: No Drugs Needed

I have the secret. My kids slept past 10AM today. No drugs involved.
Yesterday, we spent 1.5 hours at the health club where they played like banschees.
We returned home to eat quickly and then we ran off to a spray park for 5 PLUS HOURS!
The weather was in the mid 80's and tons of sun. (Key ingredient: Sun)
Realizing that it was 6:15PM and we were still at the spray park, I packed the kids up, flew home, shoved tacos (meat already cooked and waiting to be heated) down their throats and off we went to yet another spray park.

We played from 7-9PM, returning home around 9:30ish and in bed by 10:00, asleep before 10:30PM. And they seriously slept past 10AM...all 3 of them.
Oh what a joyous morning it was.

Recipe: Excessive Sleep, No drugs needed.

3 kids, lots of climbing structures, computers, art projects and genuine fun.
3 square meals
8 hours of constant play, 5 of them in the beating, scorching sun
Plenty of Sunblock
1 parent willing to live the longest day in history

=A free morning for the parent who lived the longest day in history...except I slept til 9:30AM! I haven't done that in AGES!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Woe to the Cougher

Woe to you wretched cougher who chose to spread her germs all over the Taco Bell bathroom. May you cough and cough til you can cough no more. You wretched excuse for humanity that you germinate all over my son and me. And now I lay in bed, toss and turn, listen to Wondertwin cough like a banshee while I too hack and hack. Meanwhile, Hubby is sleeping soundly in the guestroom.
Woe to you wretched cougher. Woe to you.

PS. I've been studying the book of Isaiah this Summer and I'm quite inspired by all the Woes. When was the last time you heard a woe?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thumb Detox

My female wondertwin is making me crazy with her thumb. She is 5.5 years old and her thumb is in her mouth CONSTANTLY. When she was 4 months old she found her thumb (and boy wondertwin found his middle and ring finger the same day) which meant they were sleeping in 12 hours a night from 4 months on. That brings any new mom immense joy. I was the envy of infant moms everywhere. When my friends were struggling with the paci, I was sitting pretty. No pacifier to burn and no fights to duke out.

I'm paying the piper now, my friends. In less than 3 short weeks my wondertwins will be heading out to the wild blue yonder, otherwise known as Kindergarten. All the wisdom out there suggests that Kindergarten will be the thing that finally puts an end to the thumb sucking. I'm not putting all my hopes in Kindergarten. All those wise people have not met my stubborn daughter.

This morning I started my first round of defensive action. I whipped out the glue stick (non toxic of course). Currently she is laying on the floor outside the bathroom door whining, "I can't take it any more". In a minute I fully expect her to get the shakes and sweat like a banschee. Time for rehab.

I have no hope in my intervention but hopefully it's a message to Girl Wondertwin that it's time to stop. I'll keep you posted. I may need a rehab when this is all over. Any tips appreciated.

Monday, August 10, 2009

When it Rains it Pours

I didn't have a blog topic all last week...well, not anything I could post anyway. Today it's raining with blog gold. Okay, so not gold. Maybe aluminum foil? It's useful for something right?

You GOTTA read this. This is from a Christian friend who lived in the US for 10 years before moving back to his homeland in the Sudan. He is very Western as a result of his 10 years here. This is is most recent email:

Thank God that you are living in individualistic culture, I am living in a
collective culture and I feel like every time I turn around my family or my
friends are going on and on and on about how they want to meet the right girl
for me, and assist me to settle down and have a family. My mother told me that
she wants to be young enough to hold her grandkids.

Let me give you two recent attempts of how my family tried to arranged a
marriage for me and how God intervened in a very amazing way.

Two months ago, they asked a girl from our tribe who has a college degree in
Public Health and her name is Isra and she is 23. Two days after the wedding was
planned my aunt died suddently of a heart attack, in our family tradition we
have to mourn her for 40 days before we can have any wedding, and by the time
the 40 days were up my cousin Isra was drafted in the militrary to do her
selective service for two years, so that plan plan fell apart.

And last week, my uncle talked to his cousin and asked him to give his daughter
Dalal who is only 16 years old to marry me. Everybody said yes including the
girl, and they set August 19th to be the wedding day, but today the girl's great
aunt demanded a higher dowry of 20 camels (becasue the girl is tall and young),
like $10,000. Of course neither me or anyone in my family has that money to
spend on the girl's dowry.

As my folks plan, all I do with my friends is just praying and asking God to
intervene and God always take my prayer seriously.

This is where hubby references Hitler when he sees my chores list...

I'm home from vacation and all ready to jump into the school year. I even made up a list of chores for my 3. Let's see how long this one lasts!

Note: Wondertwin's name is blocked out at the top of the page and she drew the pictures next to the words, not me. =)

Nobody Tells a Dying Guy to Shut Up

These are the words of Dave Chilcoat, the father of some friends of mine. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in 2003. It is well worth the watch.

http://bethchilcoat.com/Media.jsp

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Almost 13 hours in the car and a stop at my Alma Mater. We are home. It's so good to be home. Of course with that familiar surrounding comes loads of laundry and tired adults. Kids are wired from all that napping in the car. Oh, why didn't I sleep in the car?

Oh yea, because I had a cappuccino at 10AM and I'm still Bzzing. I'm not kidding. The tiniest bit of caffiene (and there was nothing tiny in that grande) will keep me up for days. As tired as my eye lids are from staying open, I'm still awake at 9PM. Considering I got up at 4:30AM and spent a day in the car with those I love most...I should be crashed by now. So much to do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Beer with Barack


I thought we'd just stop by the White House and have a beer in the Rose Garden. Turns out you actually have to get tickets 6 months in advance just to see the great mansion...or resist arrest. Should have thought of that one.

Hubby and I had the privilege of taking one child to DC with us on the way to the beach. We stayed in the suburb of Reston and intended to take the train in. Turns out we spent the whole evening in Reston because it was rockin'! There was a very quaint town square...maybe quaint isn't the word. More like a 2009 version of a town center with bars, restaurants etc. The outdoor concert was well attended and Little Dude danced in the streets.

The next morning we drove into DC but had to jump on a train because we'd already promised Little Dude. We saw the Capital and the Air/Space Museum. I'm going back to DC asap. I love that place.

Mama Duggar

I woke up this morning thinking that I had to run to my computer. I had to blog about how I had met the Duggars. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was only a dream. What a strange dream. I dreamed that I was walking through the Duggar Compound and in every corner there was a teenager holding a young one while they did their reading lessons.

Mama Duggar was handing me coupons printed out on X-ray paper. Strange I know. She was giving me parenting advice and directing me on the rearing of children. I remember being disappointed that there were no TV cameras there that day. Not a clue why I dreamed that one.

In case you are wondering, Mama Duggar is a lovely woman when you meet her in person...in a dream.

Monday, August 3, 2009

BTW,

He forgot his swimtrunks and we had to buy a pair at the Outlet Mall.
(see post on July 31st for relevance).

"I remember a day when I thought it was a miracle to get my own belongings packed, organized and ready for a trip. Now I'm responsible for packing up 5 people. I'm including my husband in that number because well...let's face it. He needs help. I usually find a pair of shoes he has forgotten or a pair of much needed swim trunks. I have to admit...he helps me too. He's in charge of packing the van because it has to be "just so". I don't touch that part."