our pad

our pad

Friday, March 25, 2011

Special Times

This past weekend, we shipped the girls off to their grandparents so we could get some stuff done around the house and spend some quality time with the boys. We started a bathroom renovation project, and although we made progress the bathroom is far from complete. More importantly we got to spend some much needed alone time with the boys. We went out to eat for breakfast and dinner and it was amazing how much we could actually learn from them without the girls crazy meal time antics. We even fit in some time for playing a board game and a game of basketball. Although I missed the girls terribley, it was amazing how relaxing the weekend was despite the manual labor and how quiet it was around here.

Yesterday, Cam and I took a day trip to NY city. It was a long drive, but I found it very relaxing compared to my usual morning. Cam didn't mind the time in the car and was entertained with movies, games and just chatting with me. He is such a pleasure to be with one-on-one and really enjoys our alone time. He asks so many great questions and really absorbs all of our conversations. One-on-one his ADHD symptoms are almost non existant and the day alone was such a great one. We stopped for breakfast along the way, and made it to the city a few hours later. We walked around (or skipped holding hands), took in the bright lights of Times Square, visited the giant Toy's R US where he picked up a "souvenir", rode on the ferris wheel, got a great lunch, strolled through Chelsea Market, shared an ice cream cone, saw a huge naval air craft carrier up close and enjoyed some very special bonding time with out any interruptions!

This weekend the boys are heading off on a ski trip, and I am looking forward to my quiet weekend home with the girls. It so nice to be able to spend quality time with the kids on their own, and I know they appreciate it too!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We really embrace our Irish heritage over here at the Lily Pad. The boys were excited for today and set out leprechaun traps last night which consisted of cardboard boxes which they painted in green and gold then filled with coins to lure in the tricky imps. They then propped open the lids with a stick in hopes of capturing a leprechaun. Well in the morning they found green tic-tacs and a box of lucky charms in the traps instead! The leprechaun also left other evidence of it's visit such as carnation flowers which had turned green, green milk in the fridge, and some shamrock balloons! I sent the boys off to the bus dressed in green from head to toe. When they got home they informed me that it was not in fact a "tag day" and they were suppose to wear their uniforms! Oops- my fault! Luckily their teachers were understanding! We finished our St. Paddy's day celebration with corned beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread! For dessert we all enjoyed sweet Irish potatoes which Jameson and I made by mixing cream cheese, confectioners sugar and coconut then rolling the mixture in cocoa and cinnamon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You Know You Have a Big Family When...

You know you have a big family when:
1) Your bi-weekly trip to grocery store evokes comments from other shoppers such as "Looks like someones having a party" or "Is there a storm coming?"
2) You need to roast two chickens for dinner to ensure leftovers for soup
3) Doing three loads of laundry a day does not get you caught up
4) You panic and run to the store right before closing when you open the fridge and realize you only have one full gallon of milk left
5) You have to choose another restaurant because they don't have enough highchairs to accommodate your family
6) You take in the relative peace and quiet of a hockey game
7) Even when you open a brand new loaf of bread at lunch someone still gets stuck with the ends
8) You can't go anywhere without hearing "Are they all your?" or "Wow, you've got your hands full."
9) You ask "Do we have everyone?" when you head out in the car, then actually turn around and do a head count.
10) Your son's family portrait hanging in school is mounted on the door's window because its double-sided

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Terrible Two's (and a half)

So Avery and Ella have reached the terrible twos and a halfs, and are really trying to wear me down. This has gotta be the most difficult stage so far in raising twins. I would take infant twins, heck infant quads over this!They have become so opinionated, and know exactly what they want to wear making dressing in the morning a challenge. Ella insists on her "Florida outfit" A cute shirt and leggings set we got for our trip south which is not quite seasonally appropriate now that we are home, so I either have to hide it or let her wear it as her undergarment. Avery is very insistent upon what shoes she wears, which always makes leaving the house a disaster. If there is a foot of snow on the ground she wants to wear the sandals, when its nice and sunny out she wants her snow boots, often times when we are heading to gymnastics it is my heels that she sets her heart on. Sometimes I wonder if they just like to be difficult, but than I remember they are really just trying to assert their independence. Independent they have become- wanting to dress themselves, pick out their own food, brush their own hair, wash their own faces, and walk on their own, no more strollers, or even holding hands. Except when they don't want to be independent anymore and we are 5 blocks from home on a walk and they decide they don't want to walk any more but want to be carried, at the same time, while I'm pushing Addie in her stroller. Transitions have also become a bit of a nightmare. They are excited about going out for a change scenery whether its to their music class, the Playspace, a friends house, the gym, but then fight me getting into their car seats! The really hard part is when its time to leave our fun destination. Ideally, I would say "OK girls time to go." And they would gladly come to me, put on their coats and shoes, and follow my lead as we head for the door. This has not been the case for awhile. Instead they look at me, say "no" and either carry on playing or run away, in opposite directions. I have now taken to bringing a snack or something else to lure them to the car, but really wish they would just listen as it would make things a heck of a lot easier. They certainly seem to enjoy giving me a run for my money recently, but also can't bear to be without me. Separation anxiety has reached an all time high. Avery especially, has a very difficult time when I leave her, and cries as soon as a sitter shows up, or we pull into the parking lot at the gym. Maybe I should be flattered that she likes me so much and can't stand the thought of me leaving her for an hour or two, but really it just makes things more difficult. They definitely have their sweet moments when they tell me they love me, make beautiful artwork for me, cuddle on my lap, hug their baby sister- but all in all please tell me the threes will be easier!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Show Us your Life- Kids Birthday Parties

Playing along with Kelly's Korner and Show Us Your Life; Kids Birthday Parties! I love throwing parties so thought I had to play along with this one! The girls Birthday is in October just a few days before Halloween, so this year for their second birthday I decided to do a costume party. All the girls friends came in their Halloween best! I made a not-so scary haunted house in the playroom, with lots of pumpkins and blinking orange lights, and even a scarecrow riding around on their choo- choo train. In the backyard I piled bails of hay for the kids to climb on, and had a mini John Deer tractor set up with gourds and pumpkins. In two small lawn chairs I made custom "Avery and Ella Scarecrows" wearing their monogrammed shirts, jeans, cute little pumpkin heads and their birthday tiaras. I also transformed our swing set into a haunted house, hid hundreds of spider rings scattered throughout the backyard for the kids to find, and made several cardboard cutouts in the shapes of ghosts, bats and pumpkins. I made some yummy "treats" to go along with the theme, including a cake decorated with a haunted house and pumpkin and spider cupcakes. For goody bags I made orange playdoh and packaged it with a Halloween cookie cutter! It was so much fun seeing all the kids dressed up and everyone really got into the "spirit" of things!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Great Lock Out

We are puppy sitting Daisy again, and Avery and Ella couldn't be happier about this. Boy did they miss her! Anyway, earlier today they opened the side door, and called to Daisy, letting her out on her own to get a little exercise and freedom. They then began crying that Daisy was outside running free- funny how that works! With Addie playing contently on the family room rug, I went out in the front yard to try and lure Daisy back in the house with promises of "cheese" and "treats". The girls came out to "help", which really fueled Daisy on and she began to run circles around all of us. At this point, I decided we should head back in and thought Daisy would follow when she tired out. Ella had already turned back in, and to her and my surprise had locked Avery and me out! I called her over to the door, and told her to turn the knob and let us in. "Knob, what knob?" She looked dumbfounded. She pulled on the handle a few times, with me instructing her, "Not the handle the knob! Come on Ella, you can do it!" She gave a few more half hearted tries, then sat down in front of the door, and began trying on shoes. I was knocking, then pounding on the door, as I watched Addie spring to her knee and start heading for the stairs! Yikes! I then remembered I had my phone in my pocket. Phew, the phone! Wait how was a phone going to help me? I called Jim, and asked him where he hid the key, after the last time this happened...all he could remember was that he hid it in a place that nobody would think to look! Great Thanks! I thought of calling the fire department, but then thought of all the mischief that could take place in the few minutes it might take for the fire department to show up and knock my door down. I decided I must break in, so after securing Avery in the car went around back,kicked in a small window and somehow managed to climb in, lower myself to the ground and run up the back stairs to find Addie still making her way towards the two stairs heading up to the kitchen (luckily she's a slow crawler) and Ella trying on her 10Th pair of shoes. Only moments later did Ella notice Daisy sitting out on the stoop outside and on her own, without even hesitating, walked over to the door, unlocked it and let Daisy in! Go Figure!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Water Play

I needed ten minutes of peace to finish dinner, help the boys with their homework and give the baby a bottle, so I decided to let the girls do some water play. I filled a couple casserole dishes with warm soapy water, handed them some slotted spoons, floating toys, ice cubes and let them go to town entertaining themselves, playing quietly. Well I didn't quite get the 10 minutes of peace I was hoping for, because what did my girls decide to do? Take a swim, of course!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Florida Fun

We took a much needed break from the cold and headed to visit Nanny and papa in Florida for 10 glorious days! The weather could not have been better, sunny days, breezy nights and temperatures hovering in the mid 80s. We really lucked out! While a vacation with this gang did not include much rest and relaxation, it was jam packed with fun in the sun! All three girls loved the pool. Avery and Ella took off swimming by themselves (with the help of a life vest and arm floaties. They really got the hang of kicking with their feet and loved jumping off the side of the pool and neither minded getting their face wet! Addie loved splashing her hands in the water, and it helped that the pool was kept at a balmy 90 degrees. Jameson and Cam while fans of the pool, also loved the ocean and diving into the monstrous waves. Jameson enjoyed fishing with the new rod Pappa got him, and had some luck reeling in at least 4 different kinds of fish. Speaking of fish, we saw plenty of marine life during a trip to Orland to visit Sea World. The highlight was seeing Shamu and famous fleet of Killer whales. On the way home we stopped to see the Shuttle Discovery's last launch into space. The boys were fascinated and now I'm wondering if I might have some future astronauts. Some other highlights from the trip included a trip to see a game at spring training, playing several different playgrounds, visiting the grandparents, Aunt Dar and other relatives,and Ella's favorite part of the whole trip was "goin out ta dinnewr"! As soon as the plane landed back home, and we looked out at the cold rain and snow, Ella turned to me and said "We go back to Florida now Mom?", Instead I think we'll turn our thoughts toward spring!