Doors - Wonderous Doors!

My back doors are being replaced as I type this. They are doing a spectacular fantastic amazing job considering that this house has only one straight wall in the place - wait, no it doesn't.

They started yesterday and are finishing up today. The old doors leaked in air somethin' awful - I could not get this house warm if it was a windy day.

We have been shuffling the girls all over the house to keep them away from the cold air, especially since they are still sick. We let them watch for a while and they got a kick out of there not being a door. "Windy!" Maddie said. "Snooooow ..." came from Katie. And yes, it is currently snowing. And the contractors are cursing at it. It's hysterical.

The playroom door is all done - and something was bothering me about it but couldn't put my finger on it. Then it hit me. We had new storm doors installed, also, and they are the kind that have a pull down screen built right in. So the door is essentially cut in half with a white bar ...

The entry door is a "nine-light" (oh yes ... I know my door terminology) ...But when you close the doors together, the "middle line" doesn't line up. (I don't think that's a proper door term.)

I thought I had made a mistake and should have known when I was shopping to make sure that this line matched. So I asked one contractor, Mr. Jim, and he said, nope - that's how they're made. So that made me feel better at least.

Working on the kitchen in the above pic.

Next job: living room. There are many cracks in there that are beyond Andy's level of experience (sorry, hon). We are also having hard wood floors installed!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!! (many exclamation points required) And a new ceiling with highhats! And it looks as if the fireplace is leaning into the room - and that's not something I even want to think about.

So Mr. Jim and his brother Mr. Matt hopefully will be back here in a few weeks to get that work done. Then I'll write a post called, "Living Room - Wonderous Living Room" ...

Happy New Year, everyone!


The Christmas Carrolls

(Whew! The girls are in bed finally. They both have colds right now and Maddie sounds like Kathleen Turner. Very throaty. Love it.)

How was your Christmas? Ours was wonderful. We spent Christmas Eve at my mom's house where we did the whole fish thing as we Italians are wont to do. Andy's parents came and Uncle Eric was there, too.

Andy and his dad were in the garage for the beginning of the evening deep frying calamari and shrimp for us all and they came out delicious! I wish I had thought to get a picture of them doing it - they had a blast. We had a fantastic antipasta spread - my mom really outdid herself. We had so much of it, in fact, that we barely touched any of the main courses. We all sat there looking at each other with "I'm stuffed" looks on our faces. We decided then and there that we will be doing an appetizer-only Christmas Eve next year. That's where all the good stuff shows up anyway!

The girls had a blast running around my mom's condo and eating clementines. They peel them all by themselves right over the garbage can, and then section them off and eat them one by one. Delish. I asked my mom and Andy's parents if they could give the girls a present that was a toy before dinner to keep them occupied - and that kept them busy for all of 10 minutes! We fed them their spaghetti and some broccoli, and then they ate Hanukkah shortbread cookies because my father-in-law said they were the most delicious cookie at the store. I said Jesus was Jewish - so there you go. We put them up in their pack-n-plays to bed before we all sat down to eat because I actually like to sit down and eat. All the adults had a wonderful time and we opened our presents to each other so all we had to worry about the next day was the girls.

Andy's parents were sleeping over, so we all packed up and headed back home, where we proceeded to place all the girls' presents under (and around) the tree. I think I got to bed around 12:30am, which was not too bad.

The girls woke up bright and early (as usual!) and surprisingly didn't rush to the tree. They are in such a habit of walking right downstairs to the playroom to have their diapers changed and play a bit before breakfast, and this day was no different. All the adults woke up eventually and the girls started opening presents around 9am - and this went on for over two hours! NOT because they had two hours worth of gifts to open, but because they had to play with every toy right then and there before they were satisfied enough to move on to the next one! (The Blue's Clues plush were such a big hit - it took them forever to want to open another present after that!) I let them do it because they were having such a blast. We even took a cinnamon roll intermission to re-energize.

The girls would NOT take off their pj's all day. I had beautiful dresses for them to wear but they loved their Christmas pj's so everyone said to just leave them in them. So I did.

We had the same crew for Christmas Dinner, with the addition of my mom's friend who the girls call Aunt Patty. It was very nice - and it was very casual. We set the table and everything - but it was a very "take some now or take some later" event. After dinner Uncle Eric plugged in the Wii and we bowled the rest of the night - with Andy and his dad getting into it the most. Andy asked me if I wanted to get a Wii and I said "sure, right after I get my new oven." He was all, "I know, I know." It may happen soon! Both of our parents gave us gift cards to Lowe's and that will certainly help.

(We missed my brother Jeffery and his girlfriend, Heather, who live up in Vermont - and Andy's brother Matt and his wife, Jenny, who are in Mississippi. We talked to them both and maybe we will see them all for Christmas next year!)

The girls went to bed, everyone (except Andy's parents) went home - and we were all fast asleep by 10pm. Whew! (I am sure I am leaving out a bunch of things ...)

I posted a slideshow below of the best shots of the day - enjoy!

Christmas Slideshow

It may seem like things are quiet ...

... but there is much going on backstage! I am getting a post of Christmas pics together, writing up how we spent the day, working on a new header - all while paying some attention to my babies! :)

Look for more later tonight ... Love ya!


The Secret is in the Sauce: Win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System and $50 worth of K

The Secret is in the Sauce: Win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System and $50 worth of K

Hey everyone! Check out this great giveaway from a new blog I started reading ... "The Secret is in the Sauce" ... it's a good one!


Pizza Pizza

Well, Christmas Proper is over - and Christmas Aftermath has begun. The girls got way more presents than imaginable - and we plan on doling them out here and there throughout the next few months to keep things new and exciting. This was a good year though, in that they got a bunch of educational toys that are actually fun toys, too! (I'm big on that.) I'll post Christmas pics after I organize them a bit. In the meantime ...

It's Pizza Night!

I love making pizza. I used to make my own dough, but certain things have been set aside for the time being (crazy girls, cough) and I found that store bought pizza dough is mighty tasty. Andy and I are plain pizza people - Katie, too (Maddie says a prim and proper "no" when asked to sample a slice) - so I usually just do a regular cheese pie. Like this one ...

But I had fresh mozzarella left over from Christmas antipasta so I decided to use that instead of the Polly-O. Here's what it came out looking like ...

It threw us off a bit because we like our Pizza Pizza well-done. I thought it tasted pretty good, but I could tell from Andy Man's look that he likes it better with the regular mozzarella cheese (even though he said, "this is fine, this is good.") So back to Shop'n'Stop I go for the Polly O'!

(Any Pampered Chef lovers out there? Recognize my bar pan? Yeah, baby!)


Merry Christmas ...

... from our home to yours!


Nativities and Bible Lessons

My dream of dreams is to have the complete Willow Tree Nativity. I love the whole Willow Tree line, and this nativity just touches something inside of me like no other one I have seen has.

For now however, this is the nativity we have here in the Crazy Carroll Compound ...
Yes, it's a Little People Nativity. I got it at a garage sale and I have to admit, I love it to death. It is just soooo cute, as the girls would say.

Our Bible lesson this Christmas was for the girls to learn that Jesus was born on Christmas, and that his mommy is Mary and his daddy is Joseph.

Me: "Whose birthday is on Christmas?"
Maddie: "Baby Jeeeeeesus."
Katie: "Id's Kadie's birday. I need cake." (Pause, after a look from me ...) Then she says, "Baby Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus!" and collapses into a fit of giggles.

They both know Mary and Joseph, too. Excuse me while I go pat myself on the back!

Christmas wishes to all of you


Whoo hoo!

Found the stockings!!!

They were in a box, under a box, under a box - of course! My mom knitted mine and Andy's when we were married 5 years ago. Then she made them for the girls when they were born. She has made them for cousin's, family friends, etc. The very first one she made was for ME when I was a baby. I thought that was the one I had, but she has it at her house. I forgot she made me a new one so it would match Andy's better.

Hope this week is going well for everyone - it seems blogging is slow, as it should be. Spend the week with your families, and enjoy the festivities!

Random Rosies #2

More thoughts and rambling ...

1. Can't find our stockings anywhere. Andy opened every Christmas box yesterday, and then some - and ended up organizing part of the basement in the process. Good - but still no stockings.

2. Found a silver pen and got my cards out. Realized I missed about 5 people - will do them today when the girls nap.

3. Fingers are healing well - almost look normal!

4. Today's project ... bake cookies for garbage collectors and mailman. Run out tonight for Dunkin' Donuts gift cards. If we keep them happy, our garbage cans are stacked nicely and the big packages are brought to the door! (They are all nice, though - so I'd do it anyway!)

Have a nice Monday!


Random Rosies - #1

OK - first of all I am totally copying that title off my cousin and her husband. They are both chemical engineers who are working in Singapore for 3 years and have set up a website to chronical their time there. One page of their website is called "Random Reeds" where they list crazy and wacky things that happen to them over there.

So, yes I am copying - but it's all good in spirit! I want to keep up with blogging during this busy time, but only have the energy for a few lines here and there. Here are some Random Rosies ...

1. I burned 3 fingertips on my left hand yesterday making dinner. Badly. I had to keep them soaked in water all night and they are only just now feeling better.

2. We went on a Santa train ride this afternoon with the girls and it was eh. Let me just say - it was no Santa Land.

3. I wrapped 99% of our gifts this evening and my back is a'hurtin'.

Good night. :)


Busy busy busy

The last few days have been a whiiiiirlwind of activity for me!

I can't decide if I want to do this ...
... or this ...

I will write a new post soon - I am juggling about 22 different things right now - I'll be back!


In need of a silver pen

So I ordered our Christmas cards through Shutterfly and I was so happy with the design I chose. I wanted it to be different from the previous years ...

Christmas 2006 ... I loved this card. I loved their dresses, I loved the circular space to write in ... just loved it all. It was our first "picture card" and I felt like I finally belonged to that exclusive little club! hehe

Christmas 2007 ... I liked the horizonal look a lot. I liked the bright white, too. Also, since it took us about 3 hours to take this picture and I still wasn't 100% thrilled with the results - I included some closeup shots of the girls from different pictures, which everyone else loved, too. Their dress came with a black velvet bolero but when we put it on them it just looked like they had on a black dress, so I took it off of them.

So I did the red - and I did the white - so I thought ... "green would look nice this year!" I also dressed them in a non-traditional Christmas dress. They are ivory and teal and magenta. A very small paisley design on an ivory corderoy jumper and a long sleeve ivory onesie with a cute collar. I bought them at Janie & Jack for like 90% off on clearance when they were only a few months old. I got it in a size 3T - and lucky for me it just fits Katie.

So looking at only green cards, I found one I really liked. I don't want to post it here because I want my relatives to be surprised when they see it for the first time. Here is a sample of the card, just to show you the color ...

Pretty green right? Well it printed up about a thousand times darker. So dark that my black Sharpie doesn't even show up on it! Here is what it really looks like ...

BUT DARKER! I couldn't even get it to look as dark as it really is without going into black - which it might as well be. And the pictures printed really dark, too. I used a shot of them in front of our tree and didn't use the flash to get a nice glow - but it just looks like I used a bad picture.

Not a big deal, I know - there are much worse things in this world. I'll just go out and get a silver pen. And I'll remember to compensate for brightness next year. But it's just those types of little things that drive me nutso.

Make me feel better. Tell me something that drives you nutso even though it's really not a big deal. You'll feel better! PROMISE!


Santa Land

We went to Santa Land today! We heard about it from a friend and decided to check it out. It is an indoor/outdoor Christmas themed park. Inside you meet Santa and outside there is a nice little playground for the kids to run around and climb. To meet Santa, you stand in line in front of a 50-foot mini-village of different Christmas scenes. There was a carousel, a train that went around the whole village, a waterfall, a castle, and more.

The girls were PE-TRI-FIED of Santa - but Katie came around when he gave her an apple. She loves herself a good apple. Ate almost the whole thing - skin and all - on the ride home.

Tried to get a picture with Grandma in front of the tree - t.r.i.e.d.

After that debacle, we let them loose on the playground and they had a great time.

It was a short excursion - which was fine for this age. Everytime we do something like this I think ... it will get easier when they get older ... and take a deep breath.

And I wasn't kidding about that apple.


How to make a really big mess in under an hour

We decided to make sugar cookies with the girls this afternoon. I looked and looked for my Christmas cookie cutters, but no luck. So we just used a round glass and it was great!

We had sprinkles and candy in little bowls. The girls had parchment paper to work on. The cookie dough was nice and cold.

Then Maddie started eating the M&Ms off the raw cookies. Katie ate them right out of the bowl. Sugar rush ensued!

Batch one in the oven!

Even Daddy got in on the act with his "KM" cookies.

Messy messy table!

Then came the time to chow down.
You couldn't walk one step without getting nonpareils on your socks! Andy swiffered for the next hour!

Now that I think about it, it wasn't that bad! It didn't take too long, really. It was the perfect after-nap activity!

But we are still stepping on nonpareils.