Friday, March 30, 2012

Double Trouble (or so they say!)

{Today I am linking up with other Moms of Multiples from Kelly’s blog over at Kelly’s Korner.  If you are visiting me from there – thank you for stopping by!  I hope you’ll stick around! Smile  I remember when I was pregnant with my twins I scoured the Internet looking for other moms of multiples.  It was such a comfort for me to know that I wasn’t alone, and that there was life after twins!}


Here is me at 33 weeks!  I still can not believe that picture!  Doesn’t it truly look like a beach ball in there?

Every mother of twins has probably heard the phrase “Double Trouble” more than a million times!  Ever since my itty bitty babes were born I remember the NICU nurses commenting on how full my hands were going to be when my twin boys became toddlers.


Well here we are…3 years and then some later, and yes, while my hands certainly are full, and there are moments where I have serious concerns about my mental stability – I have survived.  We have survived!  Or, at least, surviving!  We still have a long way to go I guess!

chris and grayson

But when I think back to discovering we were pregnant with twins, and then discovering that I was being put on bed rest at 23 weeks, then the natural delivery of Ethan at 34 weeks, followed by the emergency c-section of his brother 23 minutes later, followed up by the multiple weeks spent in the NICU…well I do feel like we have survived a lot!



mommy and ethan

Our lives have been completely transformed over these past few years, and additionally blessed with the arrival of little sister Adelyn 19 months ago!

Twins 243

I am an elementary teacher turned SAHM for this season of my life.  There are moments where I want to rock myself in a corner or run screaming for the hills, but truly I wouldn’t trade a minute of this madness.  I am trying to soak it in while I can, while they are all mine and in my care every hour of the day. 


It is a pretty wild ride and a pretty awesome responsibility!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I’m coming up empty when it comes to blog posts these days. 

Truthfully, it has warmed, the birds have returned, and life is returning to the land. 

And we too are emerging. 

I haven’t snapped one picture in the past week.  I need to get on that.

All is well though.

Looking forward to Easter, some time at home with family, and the arrival of MawMaw for two weeks very soon.

Nap time has arrived in our household, and I have a book due back to the library the end of the week, so I best get on that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fresh Air










Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Simon Says



Yesterday morning the kids played at church while I attended a study there.  When I came to pick them up they were playing a lively game of Simon Says. The boys loved it. 

At lunch later that day here was my conversation with Ethan:

Mommy: “Ethan, what were the names of your new friends that you played with today?”

Ethan: “The boy that I was playing with was named Simon, and the boy that Grayson was playing with was named Simon too!”

Mommy: “Really Ethan?  They were both named Simon?”

Ethan: “Yes.  Because we played Simon Says”

He completely thought that both boys were named Simon since the teacher kept saying “Simon Says…"

Smile Love it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Changing It Up

A couple weeks ago I shared that Chris was in Alaska and my parents took the boys for a few days while Adelyn and I enjoyed some quality time together at home.  I loved it.

I love my sons deeply and dearly, but oh my goodness, I get so much accomplished when they are away! 

I have been wanting to get some new pictures up on the walls. I had enlarged a few months ago, but never took the time to go frame shopping and just knock it out.  Poor Adelyn only had one framed picture of herself on the wall in our living room.

I have also been wanting to get some curtains up in my poor kitchen window. I hated walking in there at night time and having that huge bare window showcasing us in our home.  I felt like the entire neighborhood was watching!

Here are a few pics of what I, with a lot of help from my daughter and mother, was able to accomplish:


I went through my closets and dug up all the old picture frames that we didn’t use anymore.  I bought a piece of sandpaper, some primer, and a can of spray paint and I went to town!  For some reason lately I am in love with this teal and my entire living room has been taken over by it!


That big H I bought at the local craft store and there was a tutorial hanging alongside it to cover it with batting and fabric.  My intent was to put it on the fireplace mantel, but I ran out of room, so I thought I’d stick it up on the wall!  I like how it turned out.  Chris says it’s “wild.”  Haha.  Yep, we get pretty crazy around here don’t we?


Here is the fireplace mantel as it stands right now. The canvas I got off from a company in California. It was one of those daily deals I get in my inbox every morning.  It is my first gallery wrapped canvas and I love how it turned out.  It’s a 16x20.  The silhouettes I made using the tutorial I found here


Adelyn is on the walls!  Welcome sweetie pie!


I made this huge poster using Picasa and the images that I took off of this site.  I just scoured and scoured and scoured his flickr page for the letters I loved.  It was so hard to choose!  I then created a collage in Picasa and had this printed at our local Sam’s Club.  It is massive.  It is 30 x 40.  I mounted it on a piece of foam board and stuck it up on the wall in our entryway. 



And the last project was my kitchen window.  With the help of my amazing, and talented!, mother, I made curtains!  I haven’t sewed since middle school and couldn’t even figure out how to thread my machine that my wonderful Mother-in-law gave to me, so instead I packed everything up and went to my Moms!  (I am looking forward to my MIL’s visit next month when she can show me how to use her machine! No pressure Mom H!) Smile

I am so thrilled with these curtains and proud of them!  My Mom saved the day though. You have no idea how many ways I would have destroyed these things if she hadn’t shown me some tricks.  I lined them with some muslin so that they wouldn’t be so see through hanging up in that bright window.


Here is an up close of the fabric.  It adds a pop of color to the kitchen and livens it up in there a bit. It also gives me a lot of colors to work with in decorating other parts of the kitchen.  It even has teal in it! Smile

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How Big Are Ethan and Grayson?

So Big!


Yesterday it became official.  Bookies stay in bed.  If you ask the boys why they can’t have their bookies with them anymore during the day they will tell you, “Because I’m tooooo big!” 

It went fine yesterday.  We even skipped naps and went to play with our cousins and there was no thumb sucking, until the very end of the trip, when Grayson tucked his head, wadded up his t-shirt, and then stuck his thumb in his mouth.  He was so tuckered out!  It has been 2 1/2 years of holding that bookie and sucking their thumbs to calm themselves down.  It’s not going to be broken in a day, but yesterday was a pretty major step.

We celebrated with some yogurt parfaits and even sang the boys the “Happy No Bookie Day” song!  I am so proud of them, but a bit melancholy with another reminder that my babies are growing up. 

*The other day Chris and I talked with the boys about this event. Preparing them for the great bookie day that was to start Saturday morning.  This particular morning (I think it was Thursday), Grayson told his Daddy, “But Daddy, I need to have my bookie with me.  It is my map.  I have to look at it so I know where to go, so I need it with me all the time!”  Clever little stinker! Smile

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting Groceries


Our fridge was bare.

We were in desperate need of filling it up. 

I really don’t mind shopping with the kids. 

I try to have my list and coupons organized and ready to go.

I have a plan and I am ready to execute it!1

This latest shopping experience started two days ago.

The kids and I entered the store with the intent to knock out all the produce we needed.  We had already that morning spent a couple hours at the library and eaten some lunch out together, so I knew that with nap time approaching our time was limited.  We gathered our produce and the other necessities we needed and we headed to the check out.  The boys informed me that they both had to use the restroom, so after checking out we headed straight there, with our groceries waiting on us for drive up. (I love that service with kids and so worth the extra few dollars that I may spend by shopping there vs. Wally World!)

We took care of business, walked to the car, buckled three kids in to their seats, and then pulled up to get our groceries.

This woman came out with this shocked look on her face.  I gave her my number and she gasped,  “I just gave your groceries away to somebody else!”

“Well alrighty!” I said.  “Now what?”

She rushed back inside and grabbed the manager.  The manager took my number and said I had two options.  I could either shop all over again or wait and see if the people returned my groceries.  With three tired children in the car I opted for door number 2!

The minute I walked in the door my phone rang.  The manager said that the other customer had realized the mistake and turned around and brought the groceries back to the store. (Nice folks!)  The grocery store then offered to deliver the groceries for me so I wouldn’t have to make a return trip.  And so…a few hours later, my groceries arrived.  Dinner plans had to be changed, but beyond that, no harm done.

Grocery shopping Take 2:


Yesterday morning, with time on our side, we headed back to the store to finish it all up.  Now that Adelyn is getting older she isn’t always so content to sit in the front of the cart (as she is in the above pic), so I thought it might be fun to let her and one of her brothers ride in one of those car carts where they sit waaaay up front.  I would then let one of the boys push a little shopping cart along with me.  We would then, half way through the shop, switch places, so that both boys could do both things.  In my mind it was to go splendidly!

And then reality happens.

We first enter the store.  Ethan grabs his little cart.  Adelyn scrambles to get down saying, “Me toooooo! Me tooooooo!” and she runs over and hops in to one of the car carts.  She is happy as a clam until she realizes that her brother is about to climb in beside her. Sister did not want to share.  A few tears and some repositioning later and we were off. 

All went well for the first ten minutes or so and somewhere right between the black beans and cereal bars Adelyn had enough.  I moved her up front with me and then had this amazing thought.  Why not let both boys push a little shopping cart around the store?  It could be fun!  Sooooooo…we returned to the front of the store where I announced my bright idea to my offspring and Grayson bounded off to get his own little cart.

We were like a little train moving around that store.  Me with this HUGE car cart followed, somewhat in a line, by two little boys and their carts. 

Every aisle we would walk down I would need to remind them to stay “right behind Mommy” so we didn’t block up the entire lane.  And nearly every single aisle we would block the entire thing anyhow. 

There were many kind glances, many patient people who waited while I pulled a cart here, tucked a child there, etc. 

At one point we had to spin around and as Grayson tried to turn his cart, which was now at least half full, the cart and it’s entire contents went tumbling to the ground, right in front of this man who was trying to pass.  Thank the Good Lord nothing breakable was in there.  The man’s response?  “Looks like you’ve got your hands full.” Then he kept walking.  Thanks. Smile

So we keep on keeping on.  The boys really were so good!  They were following behind me, helping me look at pricing and brands and sale items, not begging for this or that or anything. 

Then we get to the meat department.

All the sudden Grayson starts grabbing his rear end saying, “Mommy! I’ve got to go poopy!”  “Grayson,” I said, “You have to wait!"  He continued to grab himself and said, “I’m too late Mommy!”  I said, “No Grayson.  You’re not too late.  You’re fine.  You can wait.”  And he was fine.  And he did wait.  Shew! Smile

So the carts are finally filled and it’s time to go.

I ushered the boys ahead of me at the check out counter and had them unload their carts first. 

I got stuck behind that huge car cart and at that moment Ethan and Grayson start fighting over what sucker they were going to get after we checked out.  They were pushing and shoving and crying.  I couldn’t get to them!  The cashier had to reach over the counter and split them up.  Proud mothering moment.

I finally did move the cart and get up to them, separate them, calm them down and all that jazz.  At the same time I look back and Adelyn is pulling magazines off the racks left and right.  This other Mom behind us in line started taking magazines from her and putting them away for me. 

Dude, I just so wanted out of there.

And then the cashier totaled it up and I swiped my debit card.

And then I realized that I hadn’t given her my coupons which was one of the main reasons why I was shopping at that particular store that day.


I had to go to the customer service counter and have them take care of getting me my refund.

My kids were done.

I was done.

The lady behind the counter had no idea what she was doing.  It seemed to take her forever.

My kids were getting wound up.  They weren’t being whiny, but wild.  They were wanting to lay on the ground and tickle each other. 


Disclaimer: I did not take this photo at the service counter.  This was taken at the very end of the shop, tucked away in the back of the store, while I was sorting the items between the carts.

After the lady finally gets it all figured out she looks at me and says, “That will be $1.83”

I laughed.

I told her that I shouldn’t be paying her anything as the entire point in my being there was to be reimbursed for the coupons that I forget to give!

She called someone else up to help.

I got my refund.

I turned around and told the kids “We’re done!”

Then I made eye contact with this woman waiting behind me in line and I said, “At least I’m done!”


Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Planning With Pinterest

I have been pinning stuff like a mad woman for the past few months, and now I am going to put my money where my mouth is (or perhaps I should say, put my mouth where my mouse is), and we are going to have a week or two of eating recipes that I have pinned to my food board.

Here is what’s on the menu for this week:

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Crock Pot BBQ Beer Chicken

Easy Garlic Chicken. Photo by Derf

Easy Garlic Chcken

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Whole Wheat Biscuits (To go with spaghetti dinner)

slow cooker chicken tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

I have realized two things while planning my menu this afternoon:

1. 4 out of the 6 things posted here contain chicken. I’m not a compulsive poultry eater, but perhaps subconsciously I am drawn to recipes that contain this bird ingredient. (After my children helped my father raise baby chicks last year, and those said chicks are now in my parents freezer and used to make soup that was in turn fed to this daughter without her knowledge of their presence in my bowl – I now like to think of poultry as just another ingredient, like lettuce for instance, and give no seconds thought to the origin of it.)

2. After my rant above I have completely forgotten what the other point was that I intended to make. Ahhh well. I’m sure it was quite profound.



I really wanted to get in the habit of emailing the people who comment on my blog.  I appreciate and love the comments so much!  I don’t write just for the comments, but they are an added bonus and I love to hear from people who read my ramblings!

However, for some reason a message appears on my computer whenever I try to email a commenter, saying that my mail client is not properly set up.  I’m not sure how to fix this problem, so until then I am not able to write to any of you. Sad smile

I just feel rude when you comment and then I never respond!  Please know that I do read your comments, they do bring a smile to my face, and I do want you to continue writing them if you want to!

Truly thank you for finding my blog worthy of even a few seconds of your day.  We’re all busy, all have full agendas, so it feels so good to know that there are people out there who find this humble little blog worthy of your time!

Have a fabulous Monday!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Chocolate Éclair

Do you love chocolate frosting?

Graham crackers?

Vanilla pudding?

Cool whip?

If so – you can’t go wrong here.

This recipe came from my sister-in-law many years ago, and it is always my go-to recipe if I am in need of something quick and delicious.



1 large box of instant vanilla pudding

3 cups milk

1 tub of chocolate frosting

1 container of cool whip

1 box of honey or regular graham crackers (Not cinnamon)


Make pudding according to box instructions.

While that is setting a bit line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with graham crackers

Before the pudding is completely set, mix the container of cool whip in with it.

Pour the pudding mixture over graham crackers.

Lay another layer of graham crackers over the top of the pudding.

Microwave the container of frosting for a few seconds to soften it a bit and allow for easier spreading.

Spread it over the top of the graham crackers.

Put a lid on it and stick it in the fridge overnight because it helps the graham crackers to get soft.  If you don’t care about soft graham crackers you can eat it right away!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tuscan Vegetable Soup


Might I just state for the record, that I am by no means a photographer of food.  It just never looks quite like I want it to through that camera lens.

This recipe though, was amazing. 

I came across it in the USA Weekend I pulled out of the paper this past Sunday.

So easy.

So healthy.

So delicious.

Being that I was stuck inside today due to snow, it just called for some hot soup!

Here is the recipe:


1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.  (Or other small white beans can be used)

1 T olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

1 medium carrot (I didn’t have any for this round)

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T chopped fresh thyme or 1 t dried

2 t. chopped fresh sage, or 1/2 t dried

1/2 t salt

1/4 freshly ground black pepper

4 c low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)

1 14.5 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes, with their juices

2 oz. baby spinach leaves, chopped (about 2 cups lightly packed)

1/3 c freshly grated parmesan cheese (I used mozzarella)


In a small bowl, mash half of the beans with the back of a spoon.  Set it aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium/high heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft.  I gave it about five minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes.  Bring it to a boil.

Add the mashed beans and the whole beans, along with the spinach leaves.

Cook it about three minutes more until the spinach gets slightly wilted.

Add the cheese on top if you desire!


I had mine with a slice of whole wheat bread. 

I keep thinking about the leftovers in the fridge and I get excited for tomorrow!


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