Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

"It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge." - Phyllis Diller
Above, a brief moment of abundance, conformity and peace on my 4th Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Built In Best Friend

When people ask me, as they often do, "do they play nice together?" I can honestly reply with a yes. Sure, there are times when one wants the same toy as the other and a bit of a tug-of-war ensues. But, for the most part our days are spent pretty peacefully. It's usually 2 (them) against 1 (me) in most of our battles.

They really are each other's best friend, even at the tender age of 3. It makes me so happy to see how they take care of one another and look out for each other. Jillian is the mother hen for sure. Today, as I was dropping my grandmother off from a shopping excursion, Max began to cry because Mammam Dora left the car before he could say good-bye. "Don't cry, honey," Jillian said trying to soothe him. A few weeks ago, in an effort to get Max to clean up his toys, my dad threatened Max by "taking" one of his toys and pretending to give it to another boy. Jillian chased my dad down saying, "Pappap, that's Max's toy. Give it back to him."

Max is Jillian's chivalrous protector. He does nice things for her like waiting until she gets in the Monster Truck Jeep before driving away. (I tell her, it's safer to be in the car with him then out in the open with him driving around!) On the playground, he watches out for her to be sure she's safe. And soon, we'll start teaching Max what to do when a boy wants Jillian's phone number. Let's just say Mark has him watching UFC nightly (I kid, but it's coming!).

Joking aside, I feel so lucky to have these twins when I listen to their conversations about nothing - they really do get each other; when I see them play together and share; when they walk around holding hands; when they play "you be the mommy and I'll be the daddy"; when they settle in for the night, resting their head on each other's shoulder.

Today I talked to someone who has 16 year old boy/girl twins. She reassured me, saying it gets easier after 3. But most importantly, she told me how her twins are still best friends. I pray every night that they do remain as close as they are now for their lifetime. And, how lucky they are to get to live their lives with a built in best friend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Day Without Mommy

This past Saturday, I spent the day in NYC. I was up and out the door before the kiddos woke, and was home much past their bedtime. A day in their life that I missed.

But, luckily for me, daddy took many pictures of their adventures without Mommy. Clyde Peeling's Reptileland and fishing - two activities I would kindly bow out of, even if I was home.

Mark said they behaved like angels (of course they did, I wasn't there!) and he enjoyed his time alone with the kids. Besides, from his retelling of their day, I think he got special "single dad" treatment at Reptileland.

Here are some of the pictures I came home to - a great retelling of a day without me!

Monday, April 05, 2010


A portrait, of her brother, by the artist currently known as Jillie.

Happy Easter

A post by the kids:

Our Easter was fun.

We got lots of candy. (3 overflowing baskets worth.)

And toys. (too many to count.)

And bathing suits. (4 total.)

And bikes. (4 total.)

From the mommy:

Lucky, lucky kids.

I had to reorganize the toy closet to fit all the new toys. And I can't wait to have a yard sale to get rid of everything they don't play with...I just need a free weekend. We have something going on every weekend from now until June! But I'd take busy weekends with friends and family over boring ones any day.

This weekend, Nicole, Emma and I are heading to NYC to do some sight-seeing, shopping and to see Wicked. I can't wait to visit my old stomping grounds, but I'm especially excited to see Wicked. I've been listening to the soundtrack for months now and have heard amazing things about the show. I hope it lives up to all the hype!

Next weekend, Emma receives her First Holy Communion. It's hard to believe Miss Emma is in 2nd grade and receiving this sacrament already. I can't wait to see her in her beautiful dress and veil. I get a little choked up just thinking about it.

And, we've got birthday parties galore to attend in the following weeks. Creative, fun ones too! A baking party! Lake Tobias! Skating! Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about them all.

And we can't forget the opening of Knoebels. The park opens in just 19 days (yes, we have a countdown for that as well). We're so fortunate to live just minutes away from the park. I'm looking forward to spending some evenings there enjoying watching the kids enjoy the rides...oh, who am I kidding? I can't wait for all the good food!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Cousins and Traditions

Jillian and Max are very lucky to be growing up just a few minutes away from their cousins. The proximity allows us to do lots of fun things together fairly regularly. Our Good Friday tradition has been to color eggs and this year was no different. (The only difference being we got to enjoy the beautiful weather by coloring eggs outside this year - when was the last time we could do that?)

The kids have so much fun playing together. Jillian and Max really idolize Emma and Ava and they both really adore Colton. It is so sweet to see Jillian especially play "mommy" with Colton. She is so loving.

It's also been neat to see how much the kids can do by themselves this year versus last year. Emma and Ava have a huge playset in their yard that, in the past, had my heart racing and my arms ready for a catch every time Jillian or Max attempted to climb it. This year, they climbed with ease, and I relaxed on the deck, enjoying the banter of kids having fun in the spring sunshine.

Later in the evening, Uncle Nate had to help daddy with a few projects, so Emma and Ava came back over for another visit. Max and Jillian had fun showing off their new swings (no more baby swings!) and driving their big cousins around in their "Monster Truck Jeep".

If our fun Friday was any indication of how our summer will be this year, we're in for a great time!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

...and she was swingin'

The beauty of this girl amazes me.

How'd I get so lucky?

Monday, March 29, 2010

More on Raising a Redneck

Life with Max surely is never dull. Since we've had some really nice days weather-wise, we've spent a lot of time playing outside. One of their Christmas presents was a Monster-traction Jeep. I'm sure I don't have to describe how happy this vehicle makes Max. However, not only does he think this truck is a monster truck, he thinks he is Randy Brown, one of Gravedigger's driver.

Max does a great job at steering the vehicle...right into and onto people and things! He crashed (on purpose) into his slide and ran over his sister (sadly, on purpose, too). After both crashes I said, "Max are you okay? You can't do that!". His response, "It's okay, Mom. I'm Randy Brown."

I wish I had pictures or video of his latest attempt, but Mark and I were too busy laughing our butts off to grab a camera. He had another one of his ride on toys out in the yard and proceeded to ride his Jeep right on top of the other car - just like the monster trucks do. While he was literally teetering in the air, I screamed, "Max are you okay?" He fist-pumped, yelled "YES! I'm Randy Brown!".

It's a good thing we have lots of land around the house. I think we'll give Max the yard to play in while the rest of us wait safely on the deck.

Easter Fun

It's the biggest day in Max and Jillian's life since Christmas and their birthday! With Easter quickly approaching, our house is abuzz with anticipation. To kick off Easter week, we spent the weekend doing fun Easter events. On Saturday morning, we headed out to a local Easter Egg Hunt. The twins collected lots of goodies, plus had their face painted, decorated a cupcake and colored eggs. On Sunday, our church held both an Easter Egg Hunt as well as an Easter Basket Auction for kids. The 1-4 year old section was packed, but they did well in collecting more Easter treats. They also cleaned up at the auction; they won four baskets total! This morning, we made our Easter countdown chart. Just six more days until the big furry bunny visits!

It's funny thinking back to last Easter. We decided that the Easter bunny would be taking their binkies in exchange for their Easter baskets. What in the world were we thinking? The kids were miserable (and as a result so were mommy and daddy) last Easter. They didn't sleep well since they didn't have their binkies and had a hard time without them the next day. I guess we have lots to make up for this year as we celebrate this Easter season.