Whew! New layout is here!

My new layout is finally here! You notice I didn't say, "My new layout is finally done!" - because it is not. Ugh.

As most of you know, I attempted to this whole thing myself - basically by using tutorials all over the web. Then when my computer crashed a few weeks ago, I lost all the tutorial sites I was using. The basics were done - column, etc. - but I am having trouble with the headings of each section.

Basically they should all look like the "About Me" and "Layout Design" blurbs. The picture is right above it, part of the "gadget" (as Blogger calls it). I can't figure out how to do the same to my followers, blogs I read, awards, and more that I will be adding. Right now I just added the headers in as a picture gadget - which causes them to float way above that blurb and not really look like a part of it.

Anyone know how I can fix this?

I will still be changing the header each month to update the girls pictures, and will probably just change the background designs with the seasons.

Sooooooooooooooo ... tell me what you think!

Circa 1991

Someone please tell me why my cheeks needed to see better.


A-Z on Mondays: L is for Laugh

Katie and Maddie laugh all the time. They are just little boxes of giggles with bows on top. They are getting much better at posing for me for pictures - except when they start cracking up!

Their newest "thing" is to take all their plush into the living room and line them up in the picture window and play store. It was so cute I wanted to take some pictures.

Then I decided since I was getting such a shadow, I'd stick them on the other wall and take some closeups. Mayhem ensued.

They were laughing. I was laughing. It was awesome.

Come back next week for "M" - and for more "A-Z on Mondays" visit Jen over at Unglazed!


I forgot how bad paint smells

The living room is almost done! Just three coats left (one on ceiling, two on walls) plus some touch ups here and there. The wall on the stairs probably won't be done in time for the girls' party - but as long as the main area is done I'll be happy.

Once the party is over we will put the boxes of hardwood (which are now in our garage) into the living room and dining room so they can acclimate to to the temp in here. I'm hoping to have the guys come back on the 13th or so to start that. Demo is going to be another mess - we have to rip up the existing hardwood in the living room first. "Why are you ripping up hardwood to put some right back down again, Rose?" I hear you all saying.

Our dining room is an addition (completed way before we got here) and there is only subfloor under the carpet. We are laying down prefinished hardwood (so we don't have to go through the whole sanding/laquering mess) and if we don't change the flooring in the living room then the two rooms won't match. They have a common floor that flows into each room. It'll just look plain silly.

We had the prefinised hardwood in the townhouse and we loved it. It's 100% real wood, so in the future if we decided to sand and refinish we can still do that.

Here are some pics of the guys in action - and Andy putting up the insulation. My favorites are when they are vacuuming my floor. :)


Uncle Matt and Aunt Jenny visit

About a month ago Andy's brother and his wife, Matt and Jenny, came to visit us all and spend some time with the girls. They haven't seen them since they were a couple of months old and they were blown away by how big the girls are now! Matt is a doctor in the Air Force and Jenny is an auditor like Andy. They are stationed in Mississippi now, but will most likely be moving again in the next couple of years.

Andy's parents came over and we all had a great couple of days together. Maddie started playing with them right away - and although it took Katie a little longer to warm up, once she did they all had a great time!

Aunt Jenny had done her research and wanted to take the girls to the NJ Children's Museum in Paramus. We went right as they opened on a Sunday morning and it was wonderful. It's a big hands-on museum with themed rooms - castle, music, medicine, kitchen, fire engine, science, crafts, space, sand, computers, house, etc. They had a great time (Maddie had trouble moving from one room to the next - but she was fine once she started playing in the new room).

Here is a little slide show of their visit ... and we really hope to see them again soon!


A-Z on Mondays: K is for Katie

K is for Katie.

I picked out the name Katherine when I was just a little girl. I always knew it would be the name of my first daughter.

Katie is like me in so many ways - and so different from me at the same time. I love her spirit and independence, although I know that means she will one day want to leave me and explore the world. She has curiosity. She has will and determination. She wants to do it all - and all by herself. I am so proud of her and I can't wait to see the woman she will become. I am totally crying right now.

From birth to today ... Katie ...

I love you forever, kid.

(For more "A-Z on Mondays" visit Jen over at Unglazed!)


Changes are a comin'

I finally figured out how to redesign my own blog! Yay! I got my three column layout (I loved yours so much, Tiff, afraid it's a bit of a copy - hope you don't mind!) and I designed the background and header myself. I will reveal all in April ... but here is a tease ...

I really want to be able to do a new header for each month, like I always have - but I don't know if that will entail a new background every month. Things that make you go "hmmmm ..."


Who left the freezer door open?

Um ... that would be me.

OK, not MEEEEE - but a too-large Carvel ice cream cake box. I walked down to the basement this afternoon to get some water from the extra fridge we keep down there. On the floor - aforementioned Carvel box - and the top freezer door WIDE OPEN. Everything soft and warm as could be. And smelly.

I called Andy to see if he went down to the basement in the morning - at least to get an idea of how long it was open (for energy purposes - the food is beyond saving) and he hadn't been down there all morning. Which means the door was open since probably last night. Ugh.

There really wasn't anything in there that was super expensive - I didn't start shopping for food for the girls party yet (see post below) - thank goodness. But still!

Garbage doesn't pick up until Tuesday, so we decided to just close the door - TIGHT - and empty it out Monday night. We have too many animal critters who would have a feast. I'll wash it out then, too and hopefully it won't be too smelly.

Then I can start filling it back up! hehehehehehehe ....

My babies are almost three - when did that happen?

Most of you know that after Andy and I were married we were unable to get pregnant for two years. I now know that two years is not that long of a time. I have read incredible stories from many blog friends who have been trying for much longer. But at the time I had no other perspective - none of my friends had any problems - so two years were an eternity. We finally were able to have our baby girls through IVF and are so thankful everyday.

The girls are turning three in less than a month and it blows my mind! Where did my little babies go? Katie, especially, is growing bigger and bigger everytime I look at her. She is close to two inches taller than Maddie at this point. (Maddie is destined to have her mother's body type - poor thing!)

We are celebrating with their cousins (second cousins, really - they have no first cousins, yet) in a few weeks and I decided to make their invitation Check it out ...

I am a digiscrapper now and I thought, "I can do this" - and do this I did. I used a kit called "Birthday Bash" by Nikki Scott. You can find her products at
Elemental Scraps, an online Digiscrap store I spend a good chunk of time browsing.

The theme is "The Wonder Pets" - and I am so excited. We all love the show - Andy and I can sit through them and crack up the whole time. That little Ming Ming is just adorable. I found a picture on the web and copied and pasted it. The colors of the kit match it perfectly.

I have lots of planning to do!!!!!


Oh no, I napped

Nooooooooo! I fell asleep at around 4:30 for an hour! Bad Rose! The girls were playing so nicely - they love playing with Little People and small plastic figures. They set them up in a ton of situations - mostly from whatever books or TV shows we recently read/saw - and squeek cute little dialog back and forth to each other. They were so calm and peaceful I drifted off on the recliner. So now we shall see what tonight is like. My Aunt Audrey suggested (in my comments) to get Simply Sleep by Tylenol, and my question for those of you who take it is this (or Bendryl) ... how often can I take it without it being a bad thing? Don't want to get addicted! And I would! :)

The girls were really cute today. Katie is in a "put little things in a bag/box/basket and tote them around the room. So she'll gather things in groups - play utensils, or these small letters we have, or large beads for stringing - and put them in whatever container she is attached to for the day - preferable with a handle. Then she gets dressed up in this pink princess dress that is all ripped apart (poor princess!), a hat that is too small for her but she squishes it on anyway, whatever stray bibs are laying around, and her bag of loot. She struts around from place to place and just does her thing. It cracks us up.

Maddie has a memory like no other. She can memorize a book or a show after just seeing it once. I kid you not. So she'll take her Little People and Sesame Street figures and acts out what is in her head. The girls are on a "Little Bear" kick and her figures were acting out one of the episodes today. I just sit and watch her - it's amazing.

(Oh - and I am totally doing "rest time" when they give up their naps! Thanks for the suggestions, Yaya and Saf!)


Thank you all so much for your advice. I think I tried about each and every thing suggested (and WHAT a suggestion that was, Safire!) - haha!

I went to bed about 10:30 and was still up at midnight. I have a cold in the back of my throat and it is making me snore snore snore. So everytime I started to fall asleep, I started to snore and woke myself up! This happened in 30 second intervals. I was laughing and crying at the same time. I was still up at 1am so I walked around the house a bit, and finally gave in at 1:30 and took a Tylenol PM. Of course all I want to do now is nap, but I won't. Let's see if sheer exhaustion works tonight!

Speaking of sleep, the girls are JUST starting to fight me at nap time. They go down at 1pm everyday, and they usually just totter up the stairs when I tell them "naptime!" without a fuss. Not this week! They are crying and screaming their little hearts out the whole walk upstairs. I would think they are ready to give it up (oh please, Lord, no) but they still fall asleep within a few minutes of me closing the door. So I figure as long as they still actually sleep, they'll still get a nap.

Once they stop napping I don't know what will become of me ...



Updated: How do you fall asleep?

Please, I need help! I just can't seem to fall asleep normally - it can take me up to an hour. Then - if I wake up at night for any reason at all - noise, girls, bathroom - it takes me another hour to fall asleep again.

I've been up since 4am and this happens all too often.

Anyone been through this before? Any advice? Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart.

Update: Thank you all who commented. Caffeine has been gone from my diet for a long time, although I admit the sugar is still here! :)

I do think that a lot of it has to do with my mind racing at a mile a minute and I can't slow it down. I think of all the things I forgot to do and get stressed. Tylenol PM has worked for me, but I don't want to have to take it every night, you know? I'm going to try relaxing and praying, as almost all of you suggested, and just see how it goes. I'll let you know what happens tonight!

(Thank goodness for Tivo - I don't have to miss any of my shows if I go to bed early!)


Thank you!

I received another award! I love this one - I love how Kreativ is spelled with a K and missing the E. I love the color scheme. I love the font. Just too cute.

A big thank you goes out to Impulsive Addict, who recently drank one to many mimosas. :) Thank you so much!!!

Here are the rules: List 7 things that you love and then pass the award on to 7 people...tagging them and letting them know they won! You can copy the picture of the award and put it on your sideboard letting the whole wide world know you are.

Aside from loving my family and friends, here are my other 7 loves (all materialistic because I am in a fun lovin' mood, not a sappy one right now!):

1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Fresh ones. Stale ones where the peanut butter is all powdery are gross.

2. Digiscrapping. It's my new love, my new obsession. I want to find a way to do it for a living.

3. Vera Bradley. Her bags make me happy and make me smile. I get a new catalog and I'm like a little girl, running up to Andy "Can I get this one ... and can I get this one?"

4. Firm pillows. Maybe it has something to do with my bad neck and bad back - but what is the point of a super soft down pillow? Your head just sinks into the pillow and is flat on the mattress! And you can't breathe! I travel with my pillow - we got a big enough suitcase JUST so my pillow will fit into it along with my clothes. And yes - I will sacrifice some outfits if the pillow won't fit.

5. Crossstitching. I miss it. I used to do it EVERY NIGHT before I had the girls. When I got pregnant and stopped working (at about 3 months along) I had big dreams of just sitting on the couch crossstitching all day long. But for some reason I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't follow the pattern - my eyes got all dizzy! Then of course once the girls were born sleep was the preferred recreational activity! :) I need to start up again. I am about 1/3 way through one for the girls room. Two little girls having a tea party with their dolls. So pretty. (I found a picture of it on the web! Here is what it will look like finished!)

6. I would say Facebook, but I am not pleased with their new layout. So I will say I love the OLD FB layout. The new one is boring.

7. I love that we HAVE to get the living room painted by April 4th - which is the girls' 3rd birthday party. I love that having a due date kicks Andy's cute little butt in gear.

I am passing this on to all of you! I think you ALL deserve it - so take it and say it's from me!


A-Z on Mondays: J is for Jumping for Joy

(Hi everyone. I always feel this need to explain where I've been when I haven't blogged in a while, and the answer is usually: just plain busy. Busy with the girls, busy with Twin Club, busy with the house. I get such a feeling of guilt when I don't blog or make comments on your blogs - like I am letting you guys down or something - which I know is just silly. Blogging should be fun! So, if I go through busy times when I don't blog, please know that I am thinking of you all and I'll be back when I can!)

This week, J stands for Jumping for Joy! I won a giveaway! A cool giveaway! A big thanks to Tiffany over at Songbirdtiff! Lots of exclamation points!!!

Through Tiffany, I won a 16x20 poster print from www.onlineposterprinting.com - now all I have to do is decide which of my pictures I should get blown up! I am thinking it should be something from the past year with my new camera, since the resolution is sharper than my old camera, but we shall see.

Have a great day everyone - I plan on doing lots of reading today and making lots of comments.


A-Z on Mondays: I is for "It's a Small World" (and a winner!)

A big congratulations to Liz (TidBits from Liz) who made the first correct guess! You won the surprise prize! Send me your address (to madkatblog@yahoo.com) and I'll get it out to you ASAP. Honorable mention goes to Safire - right ride, wrong park! :)

These pictures were from our Honeymoon in Disneyworld in July 2003. I worked for Disney for almost 5 years (before I knew Andy) and had fabulous discounts and perks (which no longer exist to the same extent, I hear). We would get 2 free tickets a year, close to 50% off our hotels, and 30% off all food and shopping. It was hard not to go - and "go" I went - about 3 or 4 times a year. Andy, however, had not been there since he was a little kid. He was just as excited to go as I was ... and I think he had the most fun out of the two of us.

It rained almost everyday we were there, but you expect that in Disney - it usually last about 15-20 minutes in the middle of the day and then it's over. All the weaklings leave and you get a nice empty park for a couple of hours. But it rained HARD for us - and two days it rained almost the whole day. We were troopers, though, and just got wet. I even got my hair cut off at the Grand Floridian so I didn't have to worry about the humidity.

One night it poured, and Andy wanted to ride It's a Small World over and over and over and over ... and over. He loved it, and I loved him - so I went along for the ride. He had me adjust the setting on our camera and take picture after picture of him making this face. He is a crack.

(The third picture was with the flash - no fun.)

We were there for 10 days and had a great time. We always look at our honeymoon pictures and smile.

Congratulations, Liz!


Computer back up and running

Thank you, Mr. Andy Man! Thank you for buying me an external hard drive for Valentine's Day. If it were not for that - and for backing up my entire system for me - I would have lost each and every single picture of our lives together since we met.

Pictures us dating ...

Pictures of our wedding ...

Pictures of us in our first home ...

Pictures of Daisy Cat ...

Pictures of the girls ...

Pictures like this ...

... that would be irreplaceable.

(Can you guess where (specifically) this last pic was taken? And I mean be specific. Prize to the first correct guess. Don't know what the prize will be yet.)


I wish I lived in the Midwest (next week)

Sigh ...

Pioneer Woman is holding a contest for 4 winners to visit her at her ranch next week (in Oklahoma) for a baking demonstration from Bakerella ... two of my favorite bloggers in one place and the unrealistic possibility of me being able to be there.

Assuming I would even win.

Which I would.

Because I wouldn't be able to go!

Of course I would win!

I feel like Maddie, in the yellow.

If you could live anywhere in the world next week - where would it be? Yes, just next week!


Updated: Did anyone else get this email?

I got an email from a student at Washington University looking to conduct a study about personality types among bloggers (or something of the sort). Anyone else get something similar? It kind of intrigues me ...

Update: Well, I took the questionnaire! I was at one point a graduate student in a psych program and I remember how hard it was to get participants. I went to the website to check it out first, and then went to work. It was interesting! I answered about 315 questions like, "Do you like to take risks?" "Do you have mood swings?" "Are you an organized person?" etc, and then I received my score on 5 different scales. (Which I am still trying to figure out if I should post for you all to see into the depths of my soul! Haha!)

If you are interested ... here is the link ... http://e-xperiments.org/personality/


One award and 25 other things

I know that I have been remiss about passing on the awards I've received - and that is just inexcusable! But I also have forgotten some of them ... sorry ... so if you've sent me something and I never posted it - give me a yell. I mean that literally - yell at me to get my butt in gear!

I received the award above from one of my very first blog friends, Darla! Thank you, Darla - I love it! I don't have a sister, so my friendships are very important to me - and a sisterhood award from one of them is awesome.

I would like to pass this award on to any of my readers who don't have a sister. (Anyone out there?) I'd love to know if you accept it - let me know!

And as an added bonus, I am going to include one of those corny"25 things about me" ... just 'cause you can't get enough of me!

1. I met Andy on July 31, 2001 when I was working at Barnes & Noble - he was a customer. We were friends first, and then started dating in February 2002. We were engaged 4 months later and were married in July 2003. He is the most fantastic husband and father and he is my best friend.

2. After trying to have kids for two years we knew it would not come easy. It took us three (failed) IUIs and one (successful!) IVF to have our twin girls. I’ve had more needles stuck in me than a pin cushion.

3. I am a steak and potatoes girl.

4. I am a blogger. I never managed to put together baby albums for the girls, so the blog is a journal of our lives. I love it.

5. I miss cooking. I used to cook all the time before the girls (and sleep deprivation) came along. I stick to the usual menu plans now. I keep promising myself I will start up again!

6. Although I do soooo love eating out.

7. I regret not getting my teaching degree in college. I actually did teach for 4 years and was just looking into getting my certificate through alternate route when we finally got pregnant and I decided I wanted nothing more than to stay home with the girls.

8. We hope to have one more child to complete our crazy life!

9. When all the kids are in school, I plan on going back myself for graphic design, specifically for the web. I’d like to open my own Web Design business. (What happened to teaching, Rose???)

10. TIVO is the best invention – EVER.

11. I am glad that I am a member of my local twin club. I have met so many great moms and I love being involved in something I really care about.

12. I keep my house really cold. Really. My friends know to bring a sweater.

13. My desk is a mess – papers, books, coupons are in lots of tiny piles. I do a major clean up every few months that usually only lasts a week.

14. My mom is my personal superhero. She comes over every day after work to help me with the girls – and has done so since they were born. (It really helps during tax season when Andy works late nights and Saturdays.)

15. My girls are the reason I was born.

16. I love reading science fiction. Always have. Right now I am reading the “Dragonrider” series by Anne McCaffrey. (And I can't wait to see the new Star Trek movie.)

17. I regret hurting people – especially past friends. I made a lot of stupid decisions about stupid things that seemed to matter so much at the time. I see some of these people on Facebook and want to apologize, but have no clue how it will be received.

18. At the same time I have so many good memories of my friends that make me laugh out loud and I wonder if they remember them, too.

19. I love to gamble – small amounts. Just for fun. Put me in front of the craps table and I’ll play the minimum all night – and win. (I love playing BINGO, too, and hope to find a friend who meet me at the local Catholic Church one night and play for real!)

20. I love Vera Bradley – she makes the most beautiful quilted bags in beautiful colors and styles. I have over 20 of them. Andy is happy that I am not into Coach.

21. I cried every day the first week we moved into this house. I missed my townhouse so much and I wanted to start looking for a new home immediately. I drove Andy nuts. I do love it now – and I am thankful we have a home to keep us safe.

22. Nothing makes me angrier than poor customer service. I have written more complaint letters than I can count. Poor product upsets me, too. I got Home Depot to re-carpet our entire upstairs after the original carpet they sold us started to show wear after two months. Lots of letters and phone calls over three months but totally worth it.

23. I love watching Family Guy.

24. I don’t drink – just don’t care for it. I have no problem if people are drinking around me (not morally against it or anything) – but I get very uncomfortable being around people who are drunk. Don’t like it.

25. Andy and I are opposite in many ways – but totally alike in the things that really matter. And our birthdays are only one day apart.

I'd love it if anyone else did their "25 things" - c'mon ... you know you have one!


Updated: A-Z on Mondays: H is for Help

I crashed my laptop. I could just say, "My laptop crashed" - but that would be a fib. I downloaded a digiscrap freebie and I think that'swhat did it.

The good news is I just backed up all my documents and pictures Friday morning - so I have not lost a thing! (Just some digiscrap layouts - which is not bad at all in the scheme of things. I'll take it!) Andy got me a removable hard drive for Valentine's Day - best present ever!

I am working on his computer now - which I am totally not used to and have no pictures on - but I will post the updates as we go. Andy thinks that all the files are still there - we found them in DOS mode - and just the operating system is screwed up. We shall see!

Update: Andy had to reformat the entire drive. I did end up losing all those digiscrap files, 12 of them, which I spent all day Saturday doing. My friend Carol and I went to an all-day crop. I know I should be thankful that I didn't lose anything else - but I am still sad.

Update 2: My computer is back up and running. We reloaded all my software this morning - and then took the girls outside to play in the snow! I took a ton of pictures - which I immediately downloaded and picked one out to be my new header. It's similar to the January one - but it's all I got right now! :)

The girls had a great time in the snow - and didn't want to come inside at all. I am going to make a slideshow and post it tomorrow - too many to post now!
Well, OK ... here are a few ...