Father's Day Fun

We had such a nice Father's Day. We originally intended to go down the shore to Point Pleasant, but looking at the weather in the morning the outlook didn't look good - so we stayed home. Andy took the girls grocery shopping (by choice!) and I had some nice time in the morning to myself.

I told him to pick up whatever he wanted for dinner - and he came home with burgers, tilapia, and scallops. He didn't want to wait for dinner, though, so as soon as the girls went down for their nap he fired it all up on the grill. I'm not a fan of scallops (unless they are wrapped in bacon, of course - everything is better wrapped in bacon) but the tilipia was yummy.

He also came home with two cake mixes, and he couldn't wait for those either. I'm in the dining room and I see Andy out of the corner of my eye bending down for things under the cabinets - opening drawers - then he asked me where the vegetable oil was. He made his own cake! I made him wait to cut it until the girls woke up so I could take a picture. (He was itching for that cake.)

While the little ladies were napping the sun came out! We hemmed and hawed about taking the ride down the shore anyway, just so the girls could go on the rides, but decided against it. I wanted to take them SOMEWHERE - goodness knew when we were going to see the sun again - and after reading on Facebook that my friend Maureen and her family were at the Arboretum we decided to head over there.

I set my camera to the micro setting (the little tulip) and took really close-up shots of some of the flowers. My favorite ones are the two right after the light pink rose in the slideshow. When I saw they were from the hydragea family I was not surprised - my favorite flower! I like what I like.

The Arboretum is great - lots of paths - lots of open fields for the girls to run around in - lots of fountains. Just beautiful.

Enjoy the slideshow!



I've been tagged by Michelle over at Lollypops and Lizards! I usually forget to do the assignment when I get tagged - but I am turning over a new leaf - I am doing this one.

Here's the rules!
1) Go to your photo files…Select the 6th photo folder
2) Select the 6th photo in that folder
3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.
4) Then challenge 5 blog friends to do the same.

Here is my photo ...

It's my favorite piece of furniture - and this picture was taken in our townshouse. (Ahhh ... our first home ... our townhouse ... a place I loved and I miss everyday. Not that I don't love our home now - it's just that when you go from a 12 year old townhouse with a brand new pale yellow and white kitchen that you installed yourself ... to a 55 year old house with dark brown 70s kitchen with ugly flower wallpaper and an electric stove that burns EVERYTHING you cook on it ... you tend to get a little nostalgic.)

The hutch was decorated for Chrismas and I love looking at it. All those plaid dishes and platters and mugs I bought on sale at Target for like 70% off the year before. (You love it, Tiff!) I collect (collected) snowmen and had them displayed in little vignettes all over the dining room and living room. Did I mention this was before the girls?

Right now it is empty. We just haven't had a chance to load it back up again (with my pretty dishes) since the floors were done. This is what it will look like soon ...

I want to get the dishes back in this weekend - I am having Twin Club over next Thursday and would like this place to look lived in.

I am tagging who-ever-so-wishes to participate. Let me know if you do.


Even though it's Wednesday ...

... here is my A-Z on Mondays entry. And I am only on S to boot.

S is for sprinkled cheese.

Katie and Maddie have very different appetites. Maddie eats (besides fruit and some veggies): french toast, peanut butter and jelly on Ritz crackers, waffles, spaghetti, and chicken McNuggets. She will not try anything new - not even one teensy bite. Katie eats so much more, thank goodness. And she will try just about anything, too - especially if her Daddy is eating it. So I am always offering her new things and adding to her menu little by little.

Spaghetti night occurs here about three times a week mainly because it is a stress free meal for us all. Maddie just does not like to eat and most meals are just torturous for Andy and me. But for some reason she eats the spaghetti here without a fuss, and if I follow it with broccoli she is even more pleased. A few months ago I was watching them eat spaghetti and I had the idea of seeing if they wanted parmesan cheese on it. (I almost can't eat pasta without it.)

Maddie said "no thank you!" quite loudly. Katie looked at it and slowly shook her head yes with big wide eyes. I sprinkled just a little amount. She loved it! Score! She dubbed it sprinkled cheese, or sometimes just "sprinkes." She is really going to be confused in an ice cream shop one day.

So the sprinkled cheese became a fixture on the table on spaghetti nights, and even though Maddie doesn't like it - let me tell you she still likes to hold that bottle! They FIGHT over it quite passionately. I have to time turns for them.

Here are some pictures of Katie and Maddie with their "preeeeciouuus ...."

(The top two pictures are Maddie and the bottom two are Katie. Katie is actually eating Ramen noodles here, which she also loves, in case you were wondering why it doesn't look like spaghetti.)

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


First Dance Class

On Sunday night at 11pm I was on Facebook. My friend around the corner - who has twin girls a year older than mine (we have three sets on our block alone, never mind how many more around the corner) posted that her girls had their first dance recital and they loved it. I had been thinking about signing the girls up for a while, but the cost and finding a good place were getting in my way.

I commented on her post and asked where she sent her girls. She told me - I went to the studio's website - saw that they had two openings for their Preschool Combo class and started signing them up online. On Sunday. At 11pm. Mr. Andy Man is sleeping. I would explain it to him in the morning. Bye bye new oven, Rose.

Of course they didn't take Discover - and I don't carry any other card in my wallet. I had to wake him up to ask him where a Visa card was - he was NONE too pleased. He had no idea I was even doing this, but all of a sudden it was THAT IMPORTANT to me. So now I am talking really fast about how the spots might fill up tomorrow and it's only a summer session so they can try it out without any long commitment, etc. etc. He thinks and tells me where the card is.

So now I KNOW they need shoes - tap and ballet, but my mom wants to buy them for the girls and Payless is having a BOGO sale! Score!

They also needed a pink leotard (Walmart, $7 each - not bad). I had pink tights already - brandy new. My cousin, Felicia, had just given my girls a HUGE bag of dress up clothes that her girls had grown out of - and in that bag were two little ballet skirts. Perfect.

Their class is after dinner, but it's only 10 minutes away so it's plenty of time for them to nap, eat, get dressed and leave. BUT - Maddie fell asleep on the bus on the ride home. So she wouldn't nap. She ended up falling asleep around 3pm, and I really wanted them up at 4:30 so we had an hour to eat and get ready and leave. She didn't want to get out of her crib. She didn't want me to change her diaper. She didn't want to eat and threw a tantrum the likes I have not seen in a long time. I breathed in as deeply as I could - because Katie was starting to get upset, too.

I fed them on couch in front of the TV. I knew they needed to eat if they were going to have to pay attention to a new teacher in a new environment and I was desperate. We managed to get out the door.

Now, as most of my friends will tell you - I am always early. I don't like rushing at all - it makes me all panicky inside and I can't calm down for a while afterwards. So I just get everywhere early and relax while I wait. My girls? Don't relax while we wait.

The waiting room is tiny tiny tiny. It is filled with (very nice) moms putting tap shoes on a bunch of wiggling little 3-year-old girls. I do the same. But now we have like 5 minutes before their class starts which is like eternity to my children. Maddie starts fussing - then she starts whining - then she starts walking back and forth to the studio door crying that she wants to go in RIGHT NOW. I am mortified, but honestly the other moms just looked at me with a "I've been there look."

Finally it's time for them to go in - and they skip off like two of the happy-go-luckiest girls in the world. Like the last five minutes never happened. I am sweating like a pig.

There is a closed circuit television in the room and we get to see the girls in class. Except the TV switches between their class and another class going on at the same time. In three-second intervals. As soon as you've focused - the screen switced again. One mom said she was about to have a seizure.

I did manage to see that they listened and paid attention and had a great time. Even the owner of the studio mentioned that rarely sees a first class of three-year-olds where no one cries and starts freaking out.

Class is about 15 minutes from ending and the waiting room starts filling up with older girls for the next class and the parents to pick up their girls from the current classes. The waiting room is like 10'x16' and it is getting packed. The girls' class ended and we can see them all lining up on the TV so we all stand up. Mayhem begins.

Kids coming out - kids going in - parents everywhere. My girls have never seemed so little. I spot Katie - call her name - and she comes right to me. Maddie? She's following the crowd about to walk out the front door. Seizure mom grabs her for me. She is my new BFF for life.

I had these big dreams of getting a picture of them outside the studio all dressed up and smiling and just oh-so-perfect. I was happy to get these ...

Honestly, I am thrilled that they loved it - because they did! They talked about it the rest of the night and Katie wanted to go back the next day.

So I guess dance class is a go!

But we won't be early anymore.


Giveaway Alert!

Are you looking to be more eco-friendly with the products you use in your home and on your family?

If the answer is "yes" - I have found a great giveaway for you!

If the answer is "no" - I don't know what to tell ya.

For all you "ayes" out there, take a moment to stop by Multiples ... and More blog network.

They are giving away two products from Ecostore USA. Details on how to enter (you can score multiple entries!) are in their post.

Right now I am slowly moving to more ecofriendly products. Our cleaning supplies are 95% green - 'cause sometimes you just need bleach to disinfect the bad germy messes, sorry to say. I'd like to get into our health products next - especially for the girls. The price tags just scream at me though. So I figure one thing at a time - I'm comfortable with that.

So head on over there and good luck!


A-Z on Mondays: R is for Rules

OK ... so I think that the A-Z gang is onto V at this point - but I love my "R" idea and I wanted to post about it!

R is for Rules. Around February I noticed that things were getting out of control. Correction: things were already out of control. The girls had officially entered the "two-going-on-three" phase and were testing their limits. I was at my friend Michelle's house (a fellow twin mommy) and she had a nice set of rules hanging up in her playroom. While I didn't copy HER rules, I did copy the idea and hung them on the wall right next to the kitchen table.

The first four rules were first. Maddie had entered a complete shrieking and screaming stage where anytime she was upset - anytime at all - she just lost it and shrieked at the top of her lungs. Ear piercing. So I made rule number one "No Yelling." Well, apparantly yelling does not equate to screaming (or crying for that matter) and I had to add the last two rules.

Maddie (who is already reading - long story ...) read the rules over and over and over and over out loud that first day - and that was that. She had them memorized. Mind you, she didn't follow them. She just knew them.

A few weeks ago we were taking the girls out of the bath and Maddie was getting impatient that we-just-weren't-moving-along-fast-enough. She started fussing and whining and twisting and kicking. It was driving me nuts.

I yelled , "Maddie - no kicking! Number one rule!"

She looked at me - and in the same whining tone of voice said, "No, Mommy! Number one is "No Yelling!"

And continued her tantrum.


Jersey Girl went to see Jersey Boys

We went to the city today to see Jersey Boys! It was amazing!!! Everyone said I would love it, but I was "eh..." - the commercials didn't do anything for me. Whoa - was I wrong! I laughed, I cried, I was amazed - and I learned Joe Pesce helped get them together in the beginning.

We went to the city early and took the subway to the Upper West Side to walk around. Midtown is yuck - grey and gross. (Sorry Midtown lovers ... just doesn't do it for me.) We ate outside at a nice little Italian restaurant and I had a delicious chicken mozzarella panini. Then we walked over to Central Park and took a nice stroll through the park. It was shady and breezy and perfect.

We got on the subway to get back to 8th Avenue. Now ... the subway is NOT a place I like to be, in any way, shape or form. I managed to walk up and down stairs, get in and out of the trains, sit and stand - without touching a SINGLE THING! Of course I had my Purell just in case - and I used it anyway.

The show was sooooooo great! The actors playing the Four Seasons were wonderful and alive. The show told the story about how they came to be - how they broke up - their relationships with each other - how some of their hit songs almost "weren't". I want to read a bio about them now, just to see how accurate the show was. If you have a chance to see it - GO!

Afterwards we stood by the stage door and met some of the cast and got a ton of autographs! Only two of the leads ended up coming out - and when one saw my cell phone he offered to take his picture with me. Um ... yeah!

(I took a ton of pictures on my cell phone and I have to figure out how to get them on my computer, then I'll post them up!)

I am now watching the Tony Awards as I type - the cast of Jersey Boys will be performing and I just have to see them again. I go to see Mama Mia in a few weeks - so look forward to me gushing again ...!


Step One: Check!

I took a break and I enjoyed it, I must say. Something that is supposed to be fun should not feel like a chore, right? If I was supporting myself off this blog, like Dooce or Pioneer Woman, and had a ton of advertisers depending on me - well, that would be a different matter, wouldn't it?

I wanted to change up the design for summer and I wanted something nice and bright. I was originally going to use a kit with a ton of primary colors - bright blues and reds and yellows and greens - but it was just not coming together. I started browing the kits I own and saw the daisies and knew it would work. Can I tell you I love this kit so much I accidentally bought it twice? It was one of the first kits I ever bought - and back then I really didn't have a system for categorizing things (not that I do now) so it sort of got lost. Forgot all about it. I saw it months and months later on a digiscrap store site and I didn't even remember that I already had it. It was only AFTER I bought and started downloading it that my computer told me that I already had the filenames and did I wan't to copy over them? Oh well! I like what I like!

So now that the design is updated ... I can start posting again.

And Jana can stop hounding me on Facebook about it.