I got a new camera - but I'm not supposed to tell anyone because it's my Christmas present. So don't tell anyone I told you. And don't show anyone these absolutely amazing, awesome pictures. I am writing in a really small text size because I am whispering ...

(I don't know why I like this last one so much, but I do. Probably because no way in a million beans could my last camera ever capture such an image. I think it's cool.)


I am thankful for ...

... many things this Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful for Andy.
Andy and I met when he was a customer at the bookstore where I worked. We were friends first, then we were more. We have the same hopes, values, and dreams for our family. I love you!

I am thankful for two of the craziest little girls that ever were.
Katie is strong, athletic, loving, accepting, patient, and full of kisses.
Maddie is playful, giggly, serious, out of control in a good way, and full of kisses.

I am thankful for grandparents who love and adore their grandchildren more than anything in the world. (Even us, I suspect.) Thank you for all your help with the girls each and every time you are around them. You can see in their eyes how much they feel safe and loved around you.

We are thankful for three brothers and a sister-in-law (combined) who are our family. We are all spread out all over this country, but whenever we talk or get together it seems like we only saw each other last week. (OK - one of my brothers only lives 20 minutes away, so that's not too bad!)

We are thankful for our family of aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins, and every other title that exists! Some we see often - others once in a while. But whenever there is a wedding - we rock the house!

I am thankful for my friends. Some I have had since I was a little girl, some since high school, college, many through different jobs, and now a whole new group as a Mommy. And I could never leave out my new blog-friends! I am thankful for you all as if you lived next door and we shoot back and forth for coffee.

I am thankful for this blog. It has helped me sort my thoughts - meet people from all over - and help me live a more balanced life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Who you calling a turkey?

I am getting ready for Thanksgiving! My mom and I went shopping last night and we got everything except fruit and fresh mozzarella. Some things you just need to buy last minute.

I am using a new apple pie recipe - courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks - and I am very excited about it. I'll post a picture of the finished product. I am also doing roasted asparagus from the same site. It looks super easy and Andy loves asparagus. I usually use the Alton Brown method of cooking the turkey. (Which I just looked for on foodnetwork.com and couldn't find - so now I'm freaking out.) No matter - I usually just smother it with butter, olive oil, S&P and call it a day. Maybe I'll put it in a brine the night before - I'll let you know.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? What are your "special sides"? How do you roast your turkey? Inquiring minds want to know!


I'm still here!

Hey! I know I haven't posted in a while, just catching up on things around the house. I can only listen to Andy say, "You're still on that thing?" so many times before I actually have to get up.

All is well - and I hope the same is for you!

Here is a pic to tide you over ... tea party with "the big dolls!"


Little girls in sweatshirts

One of the many freebies in the goody bag I got in Atlantic City was a medium sized black sweatshirt that says "Trump" on it. I knew my mom would love it because (1) it's free, and (2) IT'S FREE!

Katie saw it sitting on a table and wanted to wear it - and after I fit it on her she started cracking up and running "the loop." You know, the "living room-kitchen-dining room" loop that exists in 99% of homes out there.

Maddie was having none of that! "I. Want. A. Sweat. Shirt." - she said in precisely spacely Maddie-tones.

I go digging around to realize I HAVE NO OTHER SWEATSHIRTS because I give them all to my mom. I feel too claustrophobic in them. But then I remember ... the only one that I saved was from high school - my cheerleading sweatshirt. I prayed it was in the drawer I thought it was ... and ... YES!

Maddie wiggled into it - and I ran for the camera. They were so happy and excited they posed for me - which they have NEVER done before.

Fascinated with little white socks sticking out ....

"Reach for the ceiling!" - Aww - Katie blinked ...

My favorite shot of all ...

I love these little darlings.


Two giveaways for you to enter!

Hey all - I'm baaaack! I had a fabuloso time in AC hanging with my Twin Mommy friends. Pictures to be posted later this week.

In the meantime ... I have two fun giveaways on other blogs for you to enter:

1. Monogram Chick - in honor of her 100th post, this cook chick is giving away a preppy travel mug and embroidered scarf. Check out her site - it's amazing. AND - if you mention I sent you (Rosemarie from Twice as Nice) - and YOU win - then I win, too!

Mabel's House - one of my favorite blogs - she is a decorating genius. She is giving away a beautiful Christmas banner. All you have to do is name your metabolism. Confused? Just check it out ...

She has her pics copyrighted so I don't want to post it here - but take a visit to her blog - well worth it! Tell her I sent you!

I have a giveaway coming up soon, too ... I'll keep you posted!



Hey all - I will be away until Sunday. The NJ Association of Twin Mothers Clubs is having their annual convention in Atlantic City this weekend - whoo hoo! I'm especially excited because each club votes on Member of the Year - and yours truly was chosen from our club! There is a little recognition during the Friday night dinner, which is nice. :)

I will be all on my own for three days! Andy will be with the girls all weekend - they will have a blast. I'll fill you when I return. Until then ... here is the reason and origin of why I am going away in the first place ...


The Grand Poobah

Andy's parents gave the girls these adorable Elmo trick-or-treat baskets. Katie has turned hers into a hat - a la Howard Cunningham on "Happy Days" ...

... or like the guards outside Buckingham Palace ...

Katie walks around like this pretty much every night in the time between dinner ending and bedtime routine starting.

Maddie got in on the act, too. She only kept hers on a matter of minutes - "no things on my head!"

See you all at the next meeting.


Again with a calendar!

The ancient calendar makers are haunting me.

I want to move the calendar's base of operation off the wall and to the refrigerator. It's on the same wall as the kitchen table now and I have to take it off the wall to write on it and then lean over to put it back. I was at my friend's house and she had this great sturdy magnetic holder for her calendar, with room for pens, etc. and I was instantly smitten. I ordered this from Current. It has huge spaces for writing, and each month has a pocket for receipts and such.

I liked all the headings ... nothing too scary for Andy ...

Here is the holder - I cropped the hooks off by accident ...

Nice, right? Perfect for a busy family.

It came today - and it came backwards.

It starts at December. I thought, "Cool - a nice way to end 2008." Then it goes to November ... then October ... I did a double take. I looked at it a couple times just to be sure. So I called Current and asked them, it this the way their calendars are? The woman chuckled at me and said NO and is sending me a new one!

Who have I offended, oh Calendar Ancients? Who do I apologize to???


Our Kitchen Calendar No More

This past Sunday I went to a Pampered Chef party (LOVE THEM!) and when I got home this is what I found:

Andy had taped a piece of construction paper to the top of the calendar, covering the picture. "Um, why?" I asked him warily ... He said the picture was freaking him out. He told me he has never liked this calendar and not to buy this kind again. He was so deadly serious I almost started laughing! He so rarely has an opinion about anything - but he was darn adamant about this calendar. So the green construction paper has stayed. Want to see the picture that was freaking him out?

I think it was their huge, open, gaping, "I'm gonna eat this pie and love it" mouths.


Lil' Pumpkins picking pumpkins

Below is a slideshow of our pumpkin picking adventure. It was a nice day - not too cold. (I remember last year we went in the middle of an October heatwave. It was like 95 degrees. Yuck.)

Maddie has not been doing well on outings lately and cried about 90% of the time we were out. She smiled on the horse and when we first took the hay ride to the pumpkin patch - but we ended up cutting the day short. I have to remind myself that we have years and years of outings ahead of us and not to push them too much now.

Katie had a blast! The farm had a huge mountain made out of haybales and Katie had no problem climbing right to the tippity-top. She is fascinated with older kids and she would stand next to one of them and look up in admiration. It was so cute.

We got two very nice pumpkins - and I can't wait to go again next year. Below is a slideshow of that day. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Picking - October 2008


A Hard Day

I was tired today - as I have been a lot lately. I have seem to have lost some energy and I have a feeling why. I don't sleep well - the slightest thing will wake me up and I will then lie awake for hours hoping to fall back to sleep - getting more agitated by the moment.

I am not eating right - I feed the girls first around 5:30pm and we (or me alone if Andy is working late) usually get around to having dinner after they go to bed. I used to love cooking - now it just seems like a chore. I rarely fix myself something healthy if he's not here because I am dead tired. Frozen meals - cereal - sandwiches - low hassle.

I need to get my act in gear. I need to lose a lot of weight (that's a whole other post in itself). I need to start moving. I lay awake at night promising myself that I will do an exercise video the next day (we get them free through our cable service) or take a walk after the girls go down. When the time comes - utter exhaustion comes over me. The girls occupy my every thought and breath and they not only physically exhaust me - but mentally, too. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love being home with them and I feel lucky that we can afford this - I wouldn't trade it for the world. I just have days now and then when I feel like I am going out of my mind.

I look at some of my friends with envy - they seem to have so much energy. Their homes are beautiful - they cook - they DO things. I know that once I start exercising my energy will increase. I hope so.

I joined a new blog group: OSB, which stands for Operation Skinny Bitch. :) I am hoping that being part of a group of women who have the same goals as me will help.

I apologize if this was a downer post - but it is a real one. Thanks for listening.

Watery Wednesday #8

Happy Watery Wednesday, everyone!

These pictures were taken in June 2007 (when the girls were just over one) at Andy's parents house in Long Island. It was their first swim of the year - and really the first swim where they could sit up on their own. Maddie at first wouldn't go in the water for anything. But she was having fun splashing in it - so whatever rocked her boat!
Eventually she climbed in all her own and stood for a while. In this picture above she had just sat down. They weren't taking baths together yet (still in the sink) so it was a fun chance for them to splash each other and they loved it!

If you'd like to partcipate in Watery Wednesday, click the picture at the top of this post. :)


Getting Back to the Crafter In Me

I used to be such a crafter. One year I made all my own Christmas cards - about 60 or 70 of them - with Classic Pooh Christmas stamps. I even embossed them.

I crossstitch, too. I crossstitched the most beautiful wedding picture for my friend who was getting married. It was huge - like 18 inches by 2 1/2 feet - and it took me 18 months. I sat in front of the TV night after night (no boyfriend at the time, obviously!) and just zoned out as I did it. I crossstiched her a Beauty and the Beast picture, too. So beautiful and elegant - her favorite movie. (She stopped talking to me about a year ago for reasons I have no idea. I've stopped trying to call her - but that is a whole different story. It makes me sad.)

Both of those things were before I had a digital camera - so I have to dig into my old tub of photos to find and scan them.

My favorite craft project was for my bridesmaids when I got married, all ... ahem ... eleven of them. And the three junior bridesmaids - and the three flower girls. I KNOW. But I was second to last of all my friends to get married - and there was no way I couldn't ask them all. And we had a fabulous time. My mom joked that if you wanted to be in the wedding, throw on a blue dress and get in line.

But I digress. I wanted to show you what I made for them ...

The younger girls all got these ... they are jewelry boxes. I went to Michael's picked up a bunch of unfinished wood ones, and went to town. I made a bunch of different designs - this one was my favorite.

For my bridesmaids, I found a bunch of cutting boards at the Dollar Store - and again, went to town ...

Did you count 11? I sure did when I was painting them. Andy was living in his apartment when we were engaged, I set up shop right on his living room floor. Right in front of the TV. I sat there night after night watching my shows and painting away. I loved it and looked forward to it so much.

Why did I stop? I loved it a few weeks ago when
I made the girls' vests. I remember painting and doing crafts in the townhouse - crossstitching and painting and making doo-dads. I know that when the girls were first born I stopped for a bit - but once they were sleeping through the night and Andy's and my sleep patterns got better I started again. I sat at the dining room table and flipped on the TV ... wait. I sense a pattern.

When we moved to our new house - the TV was put in the playroom - not in the main living area. I need background noise! I get lonely in silence.
Andy is setting up a TV up here for me. When his busy season starts (he's an accountant) he doesn't come home until after 10pm at night, and works Saturdays until 3pm. I'll have lots of time on my hands. I have mostly sewing projects in my head right now. I am so excited!

My First and Last Political Post


Which Movie Star Are You?

(I received this email from my cousin, Mary Ann, and I thought it was cool. Sorry if you've seen it before!)

Ever wonder which female movie star you are most like? (Sorry men!)

A team of researchers got together and analyzed the personalities of movie stars. The gathered info has been incorporated into this quiz. There are only 10 questions so it doesn't take long.

Number your paper from 1 to 10, then answer each question with the choice that most describes you at this point in your life, and then add up the points that correspond with your answers.

I have posted the answers in the comments section. Let us all know who you are!

1. Which describes your perfect date? a) Candlelight dinner for two b) Amusement Park c) Roller blading in the park d) Rock Concert e) Have dinner & see a movie f) Dinner at home with a loved one

2 . What is your favorite type of music? a) Rock and Roll b) Alternative c) Soft Rock d) Classical e) Christian f) Jazz

3. What is your favorite type of movie? a ) Comedy b) Horror c) Musical d) Romance e) Documentary f) Mystery

4. Which of the following jobs would you choose if you were given only these choices? a) Waiter/Waitress b) Sports Player c) Teacher d) Policeman e) Bartender f) Business person

5. Which would you rather do if you had an hour to waste? a) Work out b) Make out c) Watch TV d) Listen to the radio e) Sleep f) Read

6. Of the following colors, which do you like best? a) Yellow b) White c) Sky blue d) Teal e) Gold f) Red

7. Which one of the following would you like to eat right now? a) Ice cream b) Pizza c) Sushi d) Pasta e) Salad f) Lobster Tail

8. Which is your favorite holiday? a) Halloween b) Christmas c) New Year's d) Valentine's Day e) Thanksgiving f) Fourth of July

9. If you could go to any of the following places, which would it be? a) Reno b) Spain c) Las Vegas d) Hawaii e) Hollywood f) British Columbia

10. Of the following, who would you rather spend time with? a) Someone who is smart b) Someone with good looks c) Someone who is a party animal d) Someone who has fun all the time e) Someone who is very emotional f) Someone who is fun to be with

Now total up your points on each question:

1. a-4 b-2 c-5 d-1 e-3 f-6

2. a-2 b-1 c- 4 d-5 e-3 f-6

3. a-2 b-1 c-3 d-4 e-5 f-6

4. a-4 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-1 f-6

5. a-5 b-4 c-2 d-1 e-3 f-6

6. a-1 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-4 f-6

7. a-3 b-2 c-1 d-4 e-5 f-6

8. a-1 b-3 c-2 d-4 e-5 f-6

9. a-4 b-5 c-1 d-4 e-3 f-6

10. a-5 b-2 c-1 d-3 e-4 f-6

NOW take your total - go to the comments section - and find out which Movie Star you are. Be sure to let us all know!

My Non-Living Room

I have no living room furniture. When we were in the townhouse (I miss that place sooo much) it was a big open floor plan. I love no-walls. The space for the living room was nice and big and the space for the dining room was nice and small. I only had dining room furniture - so I switched things up. We used the dining room space as a TV room, and then the girls' playroom when they came along. We ended up buying a loveseat, an ottoman, an end table, and a TV cabinet for that space.

Here is one view of my dining room (that is really a living room). It was decorated for Christmas, before the girls came along obviously. I loved to decorate for each season and holiday. Now, (1) I don't have the energy anymore, (2) half of these things are still tucked away in boxes, and (3) the girls would wreak havoc on this room in a matter of seconds.

This was the TV room - tiny tiny tiny. But it was cozy and I loved it!

So when we moved into our current house - and finally fixed up the playroom - we moved this couch (and ottoman) in there, and that was the only couch we owned. (OK - I lie. We had a hideous couch from Andy's bachelor days - but having no couch at all was better than that one. We freecycled it.)

Below is a picture of my inspiration living room. The colors and patterns may be a bit different (I am more into yellows and greens) and I like my wood a little more natural, but I love the FEEL of the room in this picture. I like nice clean lines and bright white moldings. I would do anything for those windows.

I found this next picture online. It perfectly states why I will not be furnishing or decorating my living room until the girls are in HS.


Mostly treats

Finally I have my camera back and can post some Trick-or-Treating pictures. This just solidifies in my mind why I need a Nikon D40. I can dream ...

We went to Andy's office in the morning (he took the day off) and his co-workers got to meet the girls. Katie and Maddie were shy at first - then they realized - "people are giving us chocolate!" and perked right up. I decided at the beginning of the day that I was going to let them have candy when they wanted it - and that I wouldn't make a big deal when I did say "no" - and it worked out pretty well. They go their chocolate and when I told them "later" they knew I meant it and didn't freak out.

We went to see my mom next and her co-workers made a fuss over the girls, too. We gave them some lunch there and let them "work" for a while. They loved it!

They went down for a nice long nap when we got home. When it was time to get dressed up again, Maddie was - shall we say - NOT going for it. Katie loves to dress up - in any way. She is usually very cooperative when it comes to getting dressed and ready to go out. Maddie loves to say "no" and will just go to flop-mode when she doesn't want to do something. She was crying and screaming that she didn't want to put her vest or hat on - and after I calmed myself down and took a 5-minute time out - we went out with her not dressed up.
Of course, once she realized that CHOCOLATE was the theme of the day, she calmed down enough to let me slip the vest on her - although she still resisted that stupid hat. We took them out of the wagon and I was so proud of how they acted. They learned very quickly that you say, "trick-or-treat" and then (with a few nudges) they said "thank you" as well. Again, we let them have a few pieces then and there, and when we said "later" they were good with it.

(Got the vest on!)

We went trick-or-treating with our neighbors up the block, Dave and Lisa, and their little baby Jake. The girls LOVE Baby Jake - and he had a great time trick-or-treating, too! Jake was The Incredible Hulk! (Dave was a Nascar fan.)

When we were done, we fed the kids, put the girls in their cribs and Jake in a pack-n-play. The grown-ups had pizza and watched Poltergeist, of which we were all amazed that we forgot half of the movie. It was a great day and I think the older they get - the easier it will get. Can't wait for next year - what shall they be .... ?