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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Princesses!!

So, we finally got a few inches of the fluffy white stuff...... of course, it was 2 days AFTER Christmas, but- that is okay. The first snowfall is always fun no matter when it is, but after that- I long for April. Of course, the girls were aching to go outside and play in it. So, we all (boys and girls) went out to play. The boys played a few minutes and went inside because they were cold. (They probably wouldn't have been so cold if they had not lost their gloves already!)
Ellen & Meghan LOVED the snow!!!! They outlasted us all and probably would have stayed out there longer if I hadn't wimped out and had them come in because I was cold!!!

And, as always, Christmas was an absolutely wonderful day. We spent time reflecting on the best Christmas gift of all- the Savior- as well as giving each other gifts, spending time with family and each other. Santa was good to them this year! I was so busy giving out gifts and watching their joy, that I left Aaron in charge of pictures. He didn't take a whole ton, but here are a few good ones of Christmas day and the day after.


Ellen & Meghan are into dress up now. Santa was smart and visited Walmart a few days after Halloween and loaded up on "dress up" clothes for all 4 kids!
Santa also found this awesome train table used for a great deal! The boys are always setting up their train tracks around the basement- maybe this will keep them more contained! (Santa was good to me as well..... see the Wii Fit box?? I have no excuse not to exercise now, huh?)

Both girls are very into pretend play, which makes the costumes, as well as the Raggedy Ann dolls from Grandma Janet a hit. Meghan enjoyed feeding her doll breakfast!

So, once again, it was a wonderful holiday. I am truly grateful for my family and all that we have been blessed with. We are so so very fortunate.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breakfast with Santa X 2!!

What could possibly be more exciting for a kid than to have breakfast with the big guy himself?? Having breakfast with him twice!!! That is exactly what we have gotten to do this month!

First, on December 5th, at the Mothers of Twins Club Christmas breakfast, we all had a wonderful time! They had a company called "The flying pancakes" cater it. They cooked up a whole bunch of pancakes all at once and then flipped them in the air for the kids to catch on their plates! I am sure my kids have never had breakfast served to them that way before! Of course, there were pancakes all over the floor that had to be swept up often, but they all had a blast.

Here are the pictures with Santa:

As you will notice, the girls wanted NOTHING to do with Santa. Even though they have been really excited about Santa bringing presents, they didn't want to go near him. The best I could get was a picture of Aaron holding them next to Santa. By late in the morning, they would stay far back from him and wave "Hi Santa!!" but would go no closer!



Then, a couple of weeks later on December 19th, our ward at church had a Christmas breakfast where Santa paid a visit as well! Sadly, Meghan was sick (story of our lives this month.....) and had to stay home with Aaron, but Santa gave Ellie an extra candy cane to take home to Meghan. I was only able to get a shot of the back of Ellie's head because she still wouldn't sit on his lap, only walked up and talked to him for a few seconds. When I tried again to get a better shot, she was not interested and got out of there!


(if you are wondering why Kenny is in a bathrobe, read on....)

At this church breakfast, the children put on a brief nativity. Kenny got to play Joseph! He was so very excited to get to be Joseph! All of the kids dressed up as wiseman, shepards, or angels- as they desired and gathered together around Mary and Joseph. One of the wisemen read the account from Luke 2.
There was even a magician for entertainment!
Quite honestly, not the best magician I have ever seen, but the kids enjoyed him and he did work in the true meaning of Christmas into his act a little.

The night before, it had snowed with accumulation for the first time this season. Though it wasn't much- an inch or less, the boys just had to build a snowman. They did a great job with such limited snow! I thought it looked great!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Long Awaited Goal......ACHIEVED!!!!!

Last Sunday, my awesome sister, Julie, graduated from THE Ohio State University (yes, that is how you say it....). She received her Bachelors of Science in Human Ecology for Textiles and Clothing (which is a fancy way of saying interior design). I do believe this is what she was born to do. She.....is.....good! For an example of a room she redid in her house, click on this post here and scan down.

She has worked on getting her degree for the past 7 years while working as a nurses aid at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, which she hated but stayed on since the job paid for her school. She has seen some really tough times the last 7 years, even more so the last few months, but thanks to sheer determination, she made it! On Saturday, myself, our parents, my sister, Emily, my sister-in-law Melissa, and Julie's friend Cheryl, worked together to throw her a long awaited and much deserved graduation party.
She even had her dog, Spencer, ready for the big day (I couldn't get him to wake up for the photo opp). Our sister Emily also dressed her kids in OSU spirit.


Melissa, who is very talented at decorating cakes, made this awesome and delicious cake. (Buckeyes made by yours truly.....) See more samples of Melissa's work here.
We had one room set up with portfolio samples hanging on the walls for guests to view. I thought I got all the walls, but only found one picture, but you get the idea. I was very excited to be able to attend her graduation on Sunday afternoon with my parents! I was surprised that, even though it was autumn quarter, there was still about 2000 people graduating!! It was all in one ceremony with all PhD, Masters and Undergrads in all fields graduating together. Due to the size, only the PhD's were recognized by name. Everyone else was filed through a line to get their diplomas. Though it was an effort to stay awake during the ceremony, it was so truly good to be there and be a part of her moment. Thankfully, she attached a big yellow smiley face to the top of her cap to make herself easier to find.
(and, the guests seated around the stadium extended upwards still by two more sections! It was packed!)

There were just so many fun pictures, that I figured out finally how to do a collage and have them set up as a scrapblog. Play the image below to see them all. One interesting story: You will notice a picture at the party Saturday of Julie with her best friend since Kindergarten, Cheryl. Cheryl was expecting baby #2 in January. However, she was pre-eclamptic an would have to deliver early, though she was hoping to make it past Christmas. She kept trying to help clean up and I told her she needed to sit if she didn't want that baby to come too soon; however she kept helping. Early Sunday morning, her water broke and her baby girl, Reagan, was born healthy at 6 pounds!



Congratulations, Julie!!!! We Love You and are very very proud and excited for you!!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best and the Worst (Tag!)

This time every year, we are all bombarded with the annual onslaught of Christmas music. In the stores, in our cars, in our homes- everywhere. When some radio stations started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, I was just not ready. However, in the last couple weeks, I have found myself with my radio tuned to Christmas music all the time. I love it! So, for your entertainment, here is my opinion on the best and the worst Christmas songs out there- with links for you to listen (I figured it would be a bit much to embed that many videos into one post-most of the videos are dumb anyway).


5 Awesome Wonderful Christmas Songs:

1) Josh Grobin- O Holy Night (I like any version of this song, but this one blows any other version out of the water!
2) Christmas Canon (This song is just beautiful! I always imagined a boy choir in a big cathedral singing this song. However, upon listening closer to the words, it occurred to me they could be singing about Santa instead of Christ like I originally thought. It tainted the song a little for me, but I still love it! The music is just beautiful!)
3) TSO- Carol of the Bells (love the strong instrumentation and the slightly darker sound....)
4) Sleigh Ride (especially this instrumental version- I like how it is fast paced and makes me want to dance, but I like all versions)
5) I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (just too funny and fun to listen too...... love it!)

A few other favorites are What Child is This, Angels we have Heard on High, Mary Did You Know, Do you Hear what I Hear, The Little Drummer Boy (most versions, see below) and many more!

And these are songs where I change the channel when they come on:
1) Santa Claus is coming to town. (Bruce Springsteen version- I don't like this song because it sounds like Mr. Springsteen is having a tough bowel movement while trying to sing the chorus.)
2) Little Drummer Boy- ( I only hate this version by the Harry Simeone Chorale- I love the song when it is sung right which is most of the time- this version just doesn't fit the song-old operatic sounding ladies. I am realizing this is possibly the original version and I feel guilty for my dislike, but I think it is much better sung with a strong male voice and a real drum)
3) Santa Claus is coming to town- I really do like this song, even though it is listed twice here- there is just some bad versions out there like this one from the Beach Boys- what is up with the circus theme between lyrics??
4) Do they know it is Christmas Time at all? (I am all for "Band-Aid" and for giving what I can at Christmas, but I hate songs that make me feel guilty for being happy at Christmas time. "There won't be snow in Africa this winter" ?? duh..... I think that's a given...)
5) Christmas shoes (A good song with a good message, but Christmas songs should never be depressing....it makes me want to cry. I prefer the happier Christmas songs.)

So, there is my take on it. I am sure there are those out there who like some of them I hate and hate some that I love. I would love to hear your opinions! I here by tag Emily, Sarah, Katie, Kelly, Autumn, Breezie, Laurie , Michelle & Amanda M and anyone else who feels like it to participate and do a similar post!! Yay for Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hypochondria

Hello. My name is Amanda and I am a hypochondriac. Okay, not really- except when the stomach flu visits my house.

This is one of those weeks. Apparently, my girls picked up the bug during nursery at church last week. It started Tuesday with Meghan who decided to throw up just as we were walking into Childrens' Hospital for a scheduled doctor's appointment for Jacob. That was not fun. The reason I suspect it was nursery is because several other kids that they play with in nursery started getting sick at the same time- right around Tuesday and Wednesday, which is the perfect amount of time for the bug to grow. Then, Ellie got sick in the wee hours of Thursday morning, all over her bed. This morning, I was woken up by Kenny at 4 am saying, "Mom! I threw up!" It was alllllllllll over his bed. I realize this is probably working as great birth control to my readers who don't have children yet....

I do not handle vomit well. You would think after being a mom for 8 1/2 years, and with the sheer volume I have dealt with over the years, I would be somewhat desensitized to it, but I am not. As soon as one of my kids start throwing up, I start to feel queasy myself, nervous that I will get it too. This continues even long after they have thrown up. I spend a lot of the day thinking I may not be feeling well, but when it is time to eat, I am hungry- proving I am fine- only to go back to feeling weird after I eat. I have come to realize my "upset stomach" is not the flu coming on, but real anxiety. I even look at others kids and if they look upset, or don't seem to acting right, I start to worry that they will suddenly throw up. Yes, when our house is in the midst of the stomach flu, I feel like the whole world is slightly off too. I feel silly admitting it. I mean, really, what is the big deal? With each of my kids with this round of the bug, they have each thrown up a few times and then are fine. It moves through quickly and is gone. So, maybe I would be down one day at most if I did get it? Big deal, right? Ya- easier said then done- I still just can't even stand the thought of the miserable stomach flu.

My kids could get bad colds, coughs, bronchitis, strep throat and even "the flu" (true influenza)- all of which take much longer to recover from- and I have no concerns about getting it. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about more serious illnesses either, such as cancer or other things. Sure, I don't want to get sick and would take precautions, but I don't stress over it either like I do with this. Strange, but I can't help it!

So, 3 people down in my house but hopefully NOT three to go. There has been times in the past when my kids have gotten sick and I haven't. We have a fun weekend ahead and I would hate for us to have to miss any of it! Aside from sicknesses, this is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!"