Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It is no wonder why......


kids hate going the doctor (and parents dread taking them!!!!)

Meghan had been sick for a few days. Nothing severe- just a fever and grumpiness and lack of appetite. I wasn't too concerned. Sunday, it seemed better- the fever was gone, but we still kept her home from church just in case. Monday morning, she woke up and was pale as a ghost and her fever was 102.9. I decided it was probably worth a trip to the doctor to be sure it was just a virus. I was pretty sure that was all it was, but thought I should make sure. I usually do wait several days with a fever before going to the doctor- I am not one to panic and call the doctor the first day of a fever. But, after several days, I figure it should probably be checked out just to be sure it isn't anything major or anything needing antibiotics.

When we got there, Meghan started crying just walking into the room. She associates the doctor's office with shots and "gickers" (stickers- her word for band-aids, which she hates- I have mentioned this before....) I figure this will be a good opportunity to have a good experience with the doctor, since it would just be a basic exam.

The doctor started the exam, listening to her lungs, looking in her ears, etc. Her left ear was very full of wax so he couldn't see if it was infected. He used his little tool to clean some of it out. Couldn't reach it all. Meghan is NOT happy. He thinks a nurse should come in and "irrigate it." I thought about telling him to just forget it because she (and most of my kids...) have never had an ear infection so I was sure that wasn't it. But, I figure the one time I say that, she would probably have one and I figured she should probably have the wax cleaned out.

So, he brings in a nurse to put some drops in it. Then, she had to squirt water in it several times to try to get out the wax. After 1/2 dozen squirts or more, she wasn't really seeing anything come out. Meghan was kicking and screaming and so upset. The nurse, trying to calm her and not knowing, says "Would you like to get some stickers?" Meghan, thinking shots and band-aids screams harder-"No gickers!!!" . So much for a simple visit. But, Meghan was happy though when the nurse brought in Dora stickers and not band-aids. She thought that was cool. So, the doctor came back in and looked and said they had gotten some, but there was still some in there, so he starts picking with his tool again. It took a few minutes since she was fighting back so bad. She was on my lap, so the doctor was examining her there. It was just uncomfortable to have this doctor sitting so close so long in my personal space. When you can smell the soap on his hands-it is too close. Not that he could help it- it wasn't his fault. Just not fun. He finally cleared the ear and said "Her ears look great-no infection there!" Ya....I could've told you that!

Then, he wanted to do a strep test since her throat was a little red. So, after all that, he had to shove a swab down her throat- causing more screams. The test was negative- no strep.

The diagnosis?

A virus.....

I think I will be a little slower to go the doctor next time. At least she can probably hear better.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who is this baby?

Five Million Dollars goes to the first person to guess who this baby is................

Okay, dream on- I am just kidding.

So, did you guess who it is?




If you guessed Aaron- you are correct!!!! Isn't he a beautiful baby?! This was taken when he was 8 months old which was nearly this many years ago...
Today Aaron is 32 years old!! I thought I would post an adorable picture in honor of his big day.
Here he is today- just as handsome- with his own babies!
He was truly meant to be a Father. Our kids just adore him. The girls frequently ask during the day- "Where daddy go?" "Daddy work?" The boys love to hang out with him and are always happy to see him. Thanks, Aaron, for always working so hard for us and for the love you show us everyday!

He loves strawberry cake and I found this recipe on this blog so I thought I would try it. It was pretty good, a little heavy and sweeter than I expected, but good. We certainly enjoyed it and I was proud of myself for experimenting.


Happy Birthday, Aaron- We love you!!!!

Oh, and by the way.....Happy Blogiversary to me! Yesterday marked one year since I started this blog. Wow.... Here is a link to my very first post for anyone curious to how this all started.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Circus Has Come to Town and Aha!

Four tickets to the circus: $0 (I won them in a door prize drawing at an event with the Mothers of Twins club I am in!)

My Dad and my sister, Emily, babysitting the girls: $0 (thanks guys! We figured it would be a bit much for two-year- olds to sit through, and we wanted to boys, and ourselves, to really enjoy it!)

Parking, 2 cheap-light sabers (that both broke by the end of the night...), 2 sno-cones, 2 lemonades, peanuts, program, 1 cotton candy: $45 (ouch!)
(note the colorful tongues from the sno-cones)

Dinner at Max and Erma's with a gift card: 1/2 price- makes it even yummier!

A fun afternoon with the boys: Priceless!

I took this picture only to catch the expressions on their faces. I love it when they are excited about something.

I was so excited at this opportunity to have a "virtually free" afternoon at the circus and going out to dinner. Obviously, it didn't quite work out that way, but still well worth it and cheaper than it would have been if we had to pay for the tickets! It was an amazing circus with all the fun classics, including:


Elephants!



Horses, Bears, Monkeys and High Jumping Dogs! (Oh my!)




And, of course, AMAZING trapeze artists, acrobats and clowns!


Such a fun, fun day to just hang with the boys without trying to keep track of two busy two-year olds. Our boys are so fun and we really enjoyed giving them all the attention for a day.

But, don't feel sorry for the girls being left out. With the boys in school they frequently get to do things that the boys don't. For example, my friend Amy and I recently heard about the Aha! childrens' science museum in Lancaster. We had heard it was geared toward children age 6 and younger. It was awesome and very reasonably priced. I would recommend it to anyone with young children! A short drive, a good price and loads of fun for little ones. Here is a sampling!


Here they were "on stage" in the dress up area. They were singing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam"- in two year old speak. Sooooo cute! (Their pants are wet from the water table...read on...)

A giant harp that played just by sticking their hands through the opening (and other instruments as well.)


An art table! They also made shamrock necklaces, but the girls wouldn't let me get a picture then.

Here is Amy with her girls, Amelia and Sophia, going "fishing"


And here is more fun there!

A large muscle climbing area...


They loved the play house and the fishing...




And, of course, the water table!!! That was their favorite! Meghan refused to wear the smock and Ellie did wear it, yet each girl was equally soaked!


So, there is a sampling of the fun we have been up to the last couple weeks! Here is hoping for another great week, especially since the weather is getting sunnier and warmer. Yay spring!!!

Aaron update: He is doing well. He did go to the doctor and had an x-ray done. The frontal x-ray didn't show anything, but they gave him an Rx for a lateral x-ray should his condition worsen, but they don't think he will need it. What they believe happened (and what the lateral x-ray would show) is that he cracked a rib at the sternum, but it isn't displaced. They wouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway- just has to heal. They said it would take 2-6 weeks to improve. He is okay, just sore. It hurts really bad if he sneezes, coughs, hiccups, laughs, etc. So, just keep him in your prayers that he will not get a cold!! (and, if you have no idea what I am talking about- read the previous post....)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

He obviously still has a mission here on Earth....

On Saturday, Aaron went to a friends house for a get-together with his VW buddies. They worked on each others cars all day. Aaron has developed quite a talent for working on cars and frequently helps others to fix their cars. Saturday was no different- he spent the whole day at the gathering working on different peoples cars. He didn't get home until about 1 am. The next morning, he was acting a little funny and I asked what was wrong. He then went on to tell me a story that I just could not believe.

He was underneath a VW Jetta that was up on ramps checking on something. While he was under the car, he asked the car's owner to get in and start the car. It had been someone else that put the car on the ramps and that person left the car in reverse (It was a standard shift....) . The owner did not know this and did not check the shifter. He started the car and then let go of the clutch. The car squealed backward and the ramps shot out in front of the car- DROPPING THE CAR ON AARON'S CHEST!!!!! He was pinned under the oil pan.

Luckily, there were 15 guys right there who saw it happen and they rushed over and literally just picked the car up off of him and he scooted out. One of the guys attending the gathering also happens to be a paramedic and did a full check over of him and determined there were no broken ribs. His chest is sore and the paramedic says he may have cracked his sternum, which is mostly cartiledge and that if he went to the hospital, they would probably just take an x-ray and tell him to come back if it got worse.

So, thankfully, he seems to be okay. His chest is still sore and it is forming a big bruise, but he is okay. I was so mad that he didn't tell me until Sunday morning. He said he didn't want to worry me needlessly. Hello?!?! He could have so easily been killed..... And, he had to fly to Texas on Monday for work and doesn't get home until Wednesday night (say hi to him Katie! :)) I was worried about him going, but so far he is still okay- just sore.

Aaron and I have been married 10 1/2 years now. This is his second brush with death. Most people know that 5 years ago, he was in a bad car accident but walked away from it seeming fine. Then, a few weeks later, he had a pain in his thigh that wouldn't go away and just kept getting worse. We had no clue that it would be a blood clot until he passed out at work because the clot had broken loose and gone to his lungs- a pulmonary embolism at the age of 26! We have known more than one person who died of the very same thing.

I told him these brushes with death have got to stop. I need him here. I am so thankful that he is okay. That God was watching out for him and that the guys were able to get the car off of him. I have not been able to stop thinking about it since-

Apparently, his mission on Earth isn't done because God continues to keep him safe. Thank you, God! I really need and love him!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Note to Self- Invest in Ear Plugs!!!

For 4 years now, I have judged the annual "Battle of the Bands" at my old high school with my dad (who has done it for 11 of the 12 years they have been doing it). What a blast it is. But, oh, how it is loud!!! We judged this years contest this past Friday night, the 13th.

There were 7 bands preforming this year. Of course, most of the music is punk and/or heavy metal- which are not my favorite forms of music by any means. However, I have an appreciation for any genre of music when written and performed well. There was a little variety. For example, a soloist doing acoustic guitar (with a song written to his girlfriend- how cute is that?!?!) and an Irish punk band, hard rock and "screaming" heavy metal.

The talent is actually very surprising. These kids are teenagers and are really very good. Each group is supposed to do at least one original and one cover song. I always scored well for their original song because I am just so impressed that teenagers can write music- and well at that! They are judged on: vocalist, percussion, guitar, bass guitar, stage presence, original song, overall- and then there was a grand champion and 2nd place. There was 6 judges and we each judge according to our opinion and award them a score in each category. Then, we all meet in a room and decide mutually who gets what. I had definite opinions on who should get first and second place and all the other judges agreed as well. There were two bands that distinctly stood out.

The grand champions were "50% shadow". They.... were...good! There was only 3 in the group- two guitarist and a drummer....the drummer was a GIRL!!!!! And, by far, the BEST percussionist of the night. Here is a picture...wish I would have thought to record a short video with my camera...

The second place band was just amazing as well. They were called "St Patrick's Folly" and consider themselves "Irish Funk" I believe. They had incredible music variety: Violin, guitars, percussion, flute, piano whistle and more. They did modern music as well as Irish traditional music put to a rock beat. Very creative, I thought. Plus, you have to give credit to high school boys wearing kilts:

(The guy on the right of the above picture was playing the part of a "drunken sailor" as they sang the traditional song titled as such...) They had two singers- male and female. The girl- aside from her skirt being too short- was just too darn adorable, I thought:

Again, it didn't occur to me to take a short video, but this group is on You Tube. So, here is a clip. Forgive the poor sound quality- it is the camera, not them. But, the sound gets a little better after the first 30 seconds or so. This was recorded at last years Battle of the Bands, which I also judged.



Of course, some of the bands weren't so good. Like the group where the singer literally just screamed. I gave him a score of "1" (out of 5) on vocals and commented that screaming was not a vocal talent- my kids do that everyday! Then, in a different group, the keyboardist was too distracted by the hood on his sweatshirt and his hair to play his keyboard right. But, really, they were all amazingly good considering their age. You could tell how hard they work. So, again, not my favorite genre of music, but still really fun- and a good opportunity to spend time with my dad. We made an evening of it and went out to dinner before as well.

AND NOW- A FUNNY STORY!!!! A little long, but funny if you are up to reading it.

So, my dad picked me up for the evening in his red Ford F-150 pick up truck. He has night blindness and is not supposed to drive after dark. So, we decided I would take him home after the contest and drive his truck home, and then we would get it back to him later. So, after I dropped him off, I am driving down the freeway on my way home. One thing I notice is that his truck has a bit of a mind of its own and does NOT like to go under 70 mph on the freeway. Very easy to speed in- despite my efforts to slow down, I continually found myself going faster.

At one point, I pass a freeway sign/marquee (you know, the ones with messages about road conditions, amber alerts, etc.). The sign says (no joke....) "Missing adult- Red Ford F 150- License #...... Call 911 immediately if seen..." Okay, that is really weird. Not my license number, obviously- I wasn't missing! But, I had to wonder what the car driving beside me was thinking....

So, on I drive. At one point, I look down at the speedometer and see I am going 77 mph. Crap- slow down. Just then, I look in my rear view mirror and see a cop car with lights going about 1/2 mile back. CRAP!!!! I am in my dads car- I can't get a speeding ticket!!! I slowed way down and looked again and no longer saw the lights....Phew.... but now I really watched my speed. So, I get off the freeway at my exit and look in the rear view mirror and there is a cop behind me without his lights going. I think I am soooooo done. So, I get off the freeway and he follows me. I turn into my neighborhood....he follows me!!! Still, no lights on. I turn onto the next street and decided that if he still followed me, I was just going to pull over- what was the point? He had me. So, I turned on the next road, but he kept going straight....very slowly. I drive on home and my heart beat slowly returns to normal.

So, the question is.... did he follow me because I had been speeding and wanted to make sure I stayed under the speed limit- or, did he follow me because I was a red F-150 and wanted to make sure I am not the missing adult? We figure it was the latter- and that he only turned on his lights on the freeway to catch up with me, then just followed me as he called it in. Yikes! Too weird.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Randy!!!!

My "little" brother, Randy, turns 28 today!! I say "little" in that way because he towers several inches over me. I thought it would be fun to show off some cute pictures of him. I love the above baby picture of him. It shows the personality he has even now. Just fun and happy!


I found this one of him and me with our mom in 1983. I just had to include it. He would have been 2, I would have been 6.
Randy has always been very active throughout his life. He played drums in the band (very well I may add....) and loves football and basketball. He played varsity in high school.
He was very active in scouts and received his Eagle scout. He was active in the "Order of the Arrow" and frequently participated in shows.

When he was 19, he went on a mission for our church to Tampico, Mexico. You can see where Tampico is by looking on the east side of Mexico- about half way down, right on the Gulf Coast.
When he submitted his paperwork for his mission, he requested non-Spanish speaking and no spicy foods, due to stomach problems. So, he was shocked when he received the call to Mexico. However, he showed great faith and went. He served an amazing mission, spreading the gospel to many. He fell in love with the people and the culture. When he arrived home, he went to Ohio State University and got a Masters degree in Spanish and is now in his second year of teaching Spanish at a nearby high school. He is an amazing teacher- the kids love him!

I love this picture from his mission:He also coaches freshman football and is an awesome coach. I think his team is undeafeted- or at least close to it.

Randy has been married to Melissa for nearly 5 years and has two beautiful daughters- Kaylee (almost 4) and Kristen (2 1/2). Obviously, this picture is a couple years out of date, but it was the only one I could find and you can still see how beautiful his family is!Randy is truly an amazing person. He is a gifted teacher and is always willing to help whenever needed. I am happy to call him my "little" brother.

Happy Birthday, Randy!!!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let's Hear It For The Boys!!!

My boys have been up to some major fun the last couple weeks and I just had to share. They work so hard going to school and getting their work done that they deserved to be rewarded. Now some of you may think that Kindergarten and 2nd grade would not be that big of a deal- but oh, how times have changed! Kenny, who is in second grade, is doing things in school that we didn't do until 4th grade! He has at least an hour of homework every night and has to read for at least 25 minutes a day in addition to that. Even Jacob, in Kindergarten, has daily homework. It is a lot of pressure for a kid.

Two Saturdays ago, my dad had to take my mom to a meeting in Dayton and thought it would be fun to take Kenny and Jacob to the Air Force Museum there while she was in her meeting. They had to get up at 5:30am to go because of the time of my mom's meeting. I was a little worried about getting them out of bed that early- knowing how they are sometimes at 8 am trying to get them up for school. But, nothing to worry about- they jumped out of bed and were ready to go in no time!! They got to climb in and out of all kinds of Air Force planes and did so many activities. Here is just a sampling:








Introducing- the President and Vice President of 2048:

This looks like my kind of cookie- one as big as your head!!

And, Kenny was sooo excited to get to take a picture with a "real soldier" (as he called him....)


Then, this past Saturday, Aaron heard about a local orchestra playing and thought the boys would love it. They were performing the Gustav Holst "planets" symphony as well as a selection of the Star Wars Symphony by John Williams. So so so perfect for all 3 "boys."
They were also so excited that they got to meet some of the Star Wars characters:Talk about kind of creepy....., but they thought it was awesome- as you can tell by the excitement on their faces. These characters even walked around during the performance of the orchestra, doing moves with their light sabers and much more.....
Thanks, Dad and Aaron for the wonderful days you gave the boys- they love you so much!!