A Visit from Aunt Kerry

We had such a fun afternoon last Friday when my Aunt Kerry came over to visit. (It's weird calling her "Aunt" since she is only 5 years older than, me - I usually just call her Kerry!) She has half-day Fridays during the summer so she came over after work to spend some time with the Katie & Maddie. The girls are usually very shy when someone comes over, so I told Kerry to just get down and start playing if you want them to be comfortable around you ... and she did!

They played "building" ...

And played "the game" (the term they use for this particular game only ... apparently to them it's the only game that exists in the universe) ...

And she just goofed around with them, which they love!

Thank you for coming over, Aunt Kerry! Come back to play with us again soon!



Maddie loves to talk. Half the time I think she is speaking gibberish, then I recognize a line from "Oobi" or a new favorite, "Max & Ruby." She will be sitting there, quiet as can be, then start shouting, "Rollerskates! Max! Not! Tow-truck!" with a HUGE smile on her face. The other day is was, "DO YOU BELIEEEEEEEEVE?!?!?" That one scared me until I realized it was from "The Big Comfy Couch." The exclamation point is her favorite adjective.

She also speaks from the point of view of the person she is talking to, usually me. (Katie actually does this, too.) So instead of "Help me," I hear, "Mama help you?" in little desperate voices all day long.

A few weeks ago I was in the kitchen getting their lunch ready and I sort of hear Maddie grunting and squeaking. I yell out to them, "What's going on?" because usually when I ask them that they settle down. They are usually just fighting over something. Silence. I hear it her making noise again not a minute later. She's not calling for me - so I just let it go.

I finally go down to open the gate and I see her on the floor, twisted up in a kiddie chair - feet through the braces between the legs - laying on her side - the works. I look at her and say "What happened?" with my hands up at my shoulders.

She says, "Are you stuck?" with that HUGE smile on her face. It comes out "Aaww you stuck" and she looks adorable.

I scoop her up, give her big wet kisses and say, "Mama help you."


Super "T"!

Katie likes things. She likes to hold things ... as many as possible. When I change her diaper, she first has to gather 2 or 3 things to take on the table with her. She holds them and shows them to me, and of course the world will end if Maddie ever takes them from her.

I bought a Lego table for the backyard at a garage sale ($3!) and it came with a bunch of Legos. We keep them outside rain or shine and they hold up fine. The girls love to do "building" with them, but mostly Katie. Last week we went outside on a gorgeous breezy day and it was "Katie building T". She made a letter T.

She then proceeded to bring the T with her on every toy in the backyard. It was "T slide", "T swing", "T climb".
Poor T kept falling apart, so it would then be "Mama fix T" - which I did about 20 times. I would have done it 200 more to keep that smile on her face.

Viva la T!


They have discovered teamwork ... (Oh no!)

The girls finished their breakfast this morning (which ALWAYS consists of milk, 2 eggs, banana, and some other fruit) quite easily. It is not unusual for them to fight and whine through it some mornings, or in Katie's case cry from beginning to end (while stuffing her face). But happily this morning was a pleasure.

They were both running around the kitchen when Maddie went up to the fridge and put her hands on the freezer door (it is a bottom pull out freezer, so the handle runs horizontally). Katie followed, put her hands on the handle, and Maddie said, "1, 2, 3 ..." Katie said, "Pull." And open it came.

My life has now entered a new chapter. I'll be in the bedroom crying if anyone needs me.


Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad

Today is Andy's parents' 40th wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad! We went to Long Island this weekend to celebrate with them. The girls had a great time running around the backyard and climbing in and out of all the trees.

We went to dinner on Saturday night with their friends, Dave and Roseann, and Roseann's mother Madalena. The girls were very well behaved for a 2-hour dinner, the food was yummy, and we finished it off with ice cream and cake.

Congratulations to Lorraine and Ed! Here's to another 40!


We love our Playroom

When we first moved to our new house, it needed (and still needs) a lot of updating. I liked the split level design because of the room one level down off the kitchen. I knew we would turn it into a playroom and be able to hear the girls all the time. However, the walls and ceiling in that room had a "stucco swirl" design that I just did not like. We knew when we were looking at the house that those walls and ceiling were coming down immediately. All these pictures are from last year.

Before. You can sort of see the pattern on the walls and ceiling.

First the room was gutted with help from Andy's friend Anthony. Thank you Anthony!

Putting in the recessed lighting - it took me forever to decide how many lights I wanted. I finally settled on 4, although 3 would probably have been enough.

Anthony and Andy putting up the ceiling. Later, Andy replaced ALL the insulation before the walls went up.

My brother Eric came over to help with walls. Then he came over every day for about 2 weeks to spackle, put up crown molding, and make new shelves for the built in little bookcase. Thank you, Eric!

We had to have a new floor poured, because the room was sinking - so I marked the occasion for all time.

Once the room was all painted and carpeted, Andy and my mom had the lovely task of moving all the furniture downstairs. Thank you, Mom!


After! The girls have their beautiful playroom - it gets wonderful light during the day - and Andy and I have a great TV room at night.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out! There was no way that we could have done it alone!


Old MacDonald Had a Farm

A few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party by twin boys at a local farm (Happy Birthday Carlo & Anthony!). At first the girls were a little nervous, but they got into it pretty quick. It was great - they each got a ride on a horse (made ME more nervous than them!) ...
(Katie is the top pic and Maddie is the bottom)

They got to pet a rabbit - Katie said "Bunny sooo cute!"

Then they were able to feed some of the animals corn ... first the chickens ...

... then the goats and a cow.

Maddie did really well - she stood still and held her hand open and waited for the animals to come to her. Katie couldn't get the hang of holding her hand open - she would open it too soon and all the corn would fall. She didn't really care too much, though, because they had her favorite thing in the world there ...

Give that child a slide and all is well with the world.

Maddie meticulously tried to separate the hay and move it from one pile to the next. It was a wonderful time and I hope we can bring them again soon!


Hershey Park with Grammy & Poppy

Andy's parents, better known as Grammy and Poppy to our girls, took us to Hershey Park for 4 days at the end of May and we had a great time. I was a little nervous about putting them on the rides, but after Andy & I squished into the few we were allowed to, we let them at it by themselves as long as I thought the strap was good. (Katie's favorite word: "Tight!")

The only ride Katie wouldn't go on was the carousel - you can see Maddie & Grammy & Poppy in the background on the horse. We had wonderful breezy weather - and we were all fast asleep by 9:30pm.


Summer is here - and the deer poop is gone

The deer and I have a love/not-love relationship. Love: watching them gracefully wander into our yard. Not-love: watching them poop in our yard. Solution: FENCE! We finally did what we have been talking about since we moved here last August: we put up a fence. I am not an outdoors girl (as many of you know) but I try my best. I don't want my girls to have my "bug/mud/too-much-sun-is-really-bad-for-you phobias" so I was looking forward to our yard (after coming from a townhouse) to introduce them into the big green world. What I did not expect was the deer poop everywhere! So this morning Andy cut the lawn, scooped up all the poop (apologies for continuing to say that word) that was left from before the fence went up, and did some lawn maintenance.

This has been the first weekend of having the fence and beautiful weather and we took full advantage of it!

So, apologies to the deer, and apologies to our neighbors who now have them more than before ... but the indoors-girl in me loved every minute of it!

Welcome - I begin again!

Welcome! I am sure many of you remember that when the girls were first born I posted pictures of them daily ... and then weekly ... and then twice a month if I was lucky. (Two babies on the move seems to take up a lot of time for some strange reason.) I eventually gave it up but always missed it.

I have decided to begin again. Not that I any more free time now than I did then, but Katie and Maddie are 2 now and this house is baby-proofed enough that I don't have to hover over their every move. They still take one nap a day - Katie will stay down between an hour & 1/2 to 2 hours, while Maddie still gives me a good 3 hours at least. I am usually on the computer during that time anyway getting things done (i.e. checking freecycle or catching up on Twin Club happenings) so now one of those things will be this blog.

So as I said - welcome - and enjoy.