Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dance Party

About every other day, Grace will go in her room, shut the door, turn up the radio REALLY loud and just dance. Or sometimes, if she gets it too loud, come running out of the room, screeching for help turning it down. 

We know the dance party is going on as soon as the radio starts blaring. It isn't satisfactory for the radio to just be on at a normal volume. Everyone knows the room has to be rocking for it to really be a dance party. 

Yesterday, though, Scott and I were chatting in the kitchen when we heard the radio rev up. We looked at each other, laughed and finished chatting. 

I headed to their room to turn down the radio, and when I opened the door, my heart stopped for the briefest of moments.  

Grace was STANDING on top of the changing table. 


And jumping up and down. 

And generally scaring the crap out of her mom. 

No. More. Dance. Parties. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Growing Pains

I have so many thoughts and stories swirling in my head. 

I'll start with my dear, sweet, loving little girl, Claire. 

Who has been a little less dear, sweet and loving lately. 

She has known the word no for a long time, but she's started using it much more aggressively lately. 

Claire, let's put your shoes on. 


Claire, don't you want to go bye-bye? 


Claire, we're going to the park to play and you need your shoes on before we go. 

NO! NO! NO! 

And then she takes a swing. At ME — her dear ol' mother. 

So, I think we've entered some terrible twos, which I'm trying my darnedest to remember aren't actually terrible. My little girl asserting her independence is a sign she is growing up and becoming a free thinker. This is good. 

Now, if only we can work on the hitting. 

And pushing. 

And kicking. 


Grace is the most unpredictable kiddo I have ever met. One day she's a firecracker, pushing me out the door while screaming "BEEP, BEEP." The next day, she's sitting in my lap, patting me on the arm, telling me "YOUUU" (That's how she says love you.) 

I have found no rhyme or reason to her mood swings … she's just Grace being Grace. 

And just as "happy" as I am that Claire is discovering independence and exploring her own opinions, I'm equally happy that Grace is content to be Grace. 

At 23 months old, she is already displaying a character trait that I hoped to teach them later in life: Be you. Don't worry about what others' think. Be happy with who you are and be confident with who you are. 

The foundation is there. She's happy being Grace. 

Now, we just have to maneuver through adolescence and we'll be good. Easier said than done, I'm sure. 


All this talk about growing up is making me feel mushy and sentimental. 

And when I get mushy and sentimental, I turn on the country music and start looking through old baby pictures. 

And when I start looking through old baby pictures, I start to miss my itty bitty little babies. 

And when I start to miss my itty bitty little babies … 


I think I'll go clean a toilet or two.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Now and Then

So, so much has changed in the last year. They are running and jumping and dancing and singing and TALKING. It's really quite amazing all the changes that can happen in a year's time.

On the other hand, some things never change.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halloween, Vol. 2, Issue 2: Tricky Things

Let's go back about a week. It's Halloween day. A mostly normal day. 

We decided this year that we were going to trick-or-treat at the mall and save their little legs/our backs from walking the neighborhood. 

We got 'em dressed. Claire was cool with her costume. Grace, not so much. She mostly hated the hair. But I think she hated the implication that she may terrorize my house as much as Thing 1 and Thing 2 do in Cat in the Hat. I told her "Hey, if the blue hair fits." She didn't find it amusing. So, we ditched the wig until the mall, hoping we could sneak it back on once we got there.

We got there, we tricked, we treated, and the girls loved seeing all of the other kiddos. The Dr. Seuss-inspired costumes -- created by my little sister and I -- were a huge hit. And we even got Grace to wear the wig. Things were going good. 

We ate pizza at a nearby pizza place afterwards and then headed home. This is where things started to go down hill. I was getting more and more tired as the minutes ticked by. Not only had I got up at 4 a.m. for work that day, but then I worked an 11-hour day, rushed around trick-or-treating and I was getting a touch cranky. 

Ok, ok, a lot cranky. 

We put the girls to bed and waited for them to fall asleep. And waited. And waited. 

At 10:45 they were still talking and my work day was about five hours away. 

I decided to just go to bed, thinking for sure they would conk out soon. I got my purse, dug around looking for my phone (a.k.a my alarm for the morning). It wasn't there. 

I looked in my coat pockets. My car. In my jeans. Purse again. In the living room. Bathroom. Kitchen. Car. Bedroom. Purse again. 

My family even helped me look for it. Under the couch. On the table. Under the papers on the table. Under the table. In the shoes under the table. 

Finally, I got Scott's phone and just started calling it. I probably called it 10 times before I told everyone "LOOK, I'M SURE I LOST IT. I DON'T CARE ABOUT MY PHONE ANYMORE. I'M JUST TIRED AND WANT TO GO TO BED." 

Like I said, I was a tad cranky. 

I walk down the hallway to the bedroom and the girls are STILL chatting away in their room. Completely done with this day, I push opened the door to find out what in world could be keeping these girls awake. 

Expecting a pitch black room, I was a bit startled to see everything in the room. Claire sitting in her bed, facing Grace's. Grace laying on her tummy, feet up in the air, ankles crossed -- with the source of the glow in her hands. 

My phone.

Trick-or-treat, indeed. Trick-or-treat, indeed. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Vol. 2, Issue 1

There's a story to be told here. But that will have to wait until another day ... a less work-filled day. Until then, which I hope is soon, I give you my dearest, cutest, funniest Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Look! We found Cat in the Hat! 

P.S. It is not a coincidence that in the book Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and 2 destroy the house. I repeat: NOT a coincidence. Also, a HUGE thanks to my sister Cassie for helping create the costumes ... you rock, lil' sis. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Graa, Ma & Pa

Claire calls both Grandmas "Graa." Grace calls them "Ma."

And they both call the Grandpas, "Pa." 

Put it all together and somewhere in there we have full-blown names. 

Grandma/Grandpa time is cherished time at our house. (And not only for our sanity.) 

It's so wonderful to see the bonds the girls are forming with both sets of grandparents. Some day, I'll be sure to remind them how incredibly lucky they are to have grandparents who love and care for them so deeply.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Any time we drive by something that even remotely looks like a park, Grace shrieks very excitedly "YA! YA! YA!" as if she is answering a question. 

Sometimes it's actually a park we're driving by. Other times it's a driving range, batting cages or just a random person's house with toys in the yard. 

These kids love, love, LOVE going to the park. 

Claire is partial to the swings, Grace to the slides, but they really enjoy just about everything. 

And it's fun for us, too. I mean, we work from home. In the country. So, going to the park reminds us there is a world outside of our family of four. 

And it really encourages us to shower. 

Which most definitely deserves a YA! YA! YA! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Survival: On Balancing Work and Life

The scales have been tipped a bit lately, as if you couldn't tell from my falling off the face of the earth.

I'll try and sum it up for you as quick as possible.

Early mornings. Late nights. Long days. All day work meetings out of town. All weekend work meetings in D.C. It's been a fun, but seriously exhausting, few weeks.

Oh ya, and we have twin one-year-olds. Run here, jump here, climb here, fall here, tantrum here. Lather, rinse, repeat. Fun, but seriously exhausting.

Another, more visual, way of putting it:

But the ultimate peak of this craziness was last Friday morning.

We had been working nearly straight from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. for two days. My Mom came early Wednesday and stayed until Scott's Mom arrived on Thursday. They were total life savers.

So, we put the girls to bed Thursday night. Things couldn't have been any more normal as they quietly and peacefully drifted off to sleep.

Exhausted from two straight days of hard work, we passed out at about 10:30.

The next thing I remember is looking at the clock at 1:15 when I heard Grace crying out. I assumed this was one of those times where they cry out for a few seconds, roll over and fall back asleep. Then a minute passed and another, and then an hour. Clearly, she was not going back to sleep.

And she — ahem, we — didn't until 3:30. I crawled back in bed, closed my eyes and laid there wondering how I was going to survive another long work day, no babysitters and less than three hours of sleep.

Fifteen mintues later, I hopped out of bed and got a jump-start on my 4 a.m. wake-up call.

Thanks to a very understanding, very kind boss and our loving mothers, we made it through the day and still managed to hit the park that evening with the girls.

Survival of the fittest.

So, I had this post ready to go last Monday, but work hit again and it was pushed to the back of my mind. But the biggest thanks goes out to our parents for being so helpful during these weeks (months) of long work days. We really, honestly, genuinely couldn't do it without you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's that, Lassie?

Every day, the girls are getting better about communicating. In fact, just yesterday, Grace uttered her first no. Many more to come, I'm sure.

 But when they get excited, their brains tend to go mushy and all they can say is "uh! uh! uh! uh!" And they tug on my hand and yank me in the direction of the crisis.

 A couple of days ago, Grace came screeching out of our bedroom and was all "uh! uh! uh!" So, I followed her and when we got into the room, she pointed to the door and looked at me with those crazy eyes that say "Mom, fix this!"

 And there was Claire, with her face pressed up against the door to the sunroom. She was trapped.

 This happens about every other day because Claire REALLY enjoys shutting herself in rooms and waiting for assistance. Damsel in distress??

 So, when Grace came running and grunting at me today, I thought Claire was probably stuck somewhere and needed saving. So, I said "Grace, what is it!?!" And she promptly sat on her bottom, stuck her foot in my face and said, "uh, uh, uh!!!!"

 I bent down for a closer look. A crisis, indeed.

 There was a smooshed piece of banana wedged between her toes.

 That, my friend, is what you get for throwing your food on the floor.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cross My Heart

I swear one of these days, I'm going to start posting on a regular basis again. We have had a couple of jam-packed weeks. Between long work days and long baby days, Scott and I have both been utterly exhausted.

But I'm fairly certain things will return to normal soon. Please, please return to normal soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Caboose

My parents are obviously the locomotive. They are the driving force behind my family.

My eldest sister, Kim, is a passenger car — loves people.

My eldest brother, Tim, is a tank car — sturdy and trustworthy.

My sister, Carrie, is a gondola — because it has a fancy name, and, well, she's kinda fancy.

My brother, Johnny, is a hopper — he used to actually hop on trains. The name fits.

I'm a box car — reliable, gets the job done every time.

And my little sister, Cassie, is most definitely the caboose. In our wild and crazy train — she is the perfect ending.

Am I taking this train analogy a little too far?? I didn't think so either.

But to get to the point ...

Yesterday, my sweet-itty-bitty-little-baby sister, who is really not itty bitty or baby any more, got engaged.

Her fella, Trent, is the most genuine, thoughtful, kind-hearted guy. I couldn't ask for better for her.

She may not be an itty bitty baby anymore, but she is still pretty sweet.

And a bit sassy.

Ok, a lot sassy.

Good luck with that, Trent!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good DNA

Some people ask me where I get my strength to be a mom of twins.


Nuff said.

Love you, Mom!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rock Stars

Everyone needs a hobby.

Claire has already found hers.

She's a rock picker. (And occasionally, a rock thrower.)

She will sit in the driveway for hours picking rocks. Well, hours in baby time. It translates to about 10 minutes in adult time.

Sometimes, she pulls Grace in. But Grace usually only participates for 3.5 minutes. IN BABY TIME. I'll let you do the math on that one.

This new hobby is especially nice because they love the independence and I get to sit on my front porch, drink my tea and pretend that I'm relaxing.


In other news ... Isn't this picture kinda creepy? Like maybe they are getting ready to eat me? Or knock me over and steal my lunch money?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Emphasis On No. 3

Love it.

Relish it.

Forgive it.

Respect it.

Understand it.

Appreciate it.

Because there is nothing like a sister's love.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thomas Edison Would Be Proud


This, along with Bup, was our girls' chosen means of communication. Whenever they wanted something, they would grunt. Whenever they didn't want something, they would grunt louder. And if you weren't hurrying fast enough, they reached for their whip and screamed their grunts.

Until a couple of weeks ago. It was like a light bulb went on for Claire and she finally understood what we were trying to get her to do.

She can now say the first syllable of almost all the words we ask her to attempt. And if she can't quite make out the sounds, she gives it a good try.

I cannot begin to tell you how awesome this is. The other day, for example, she was pointing to something and saying "Neh, neh, neh." I was a little slow, but as soon as I saw the edge of a necklace hiding behind a lamp, I knew immediately what she wanted. I said "Necklace?" She smiled big and said "Yaaaa."

It was such a profound moment. She told me what she wanted, I understood, and she got what she wanted.

If we were still grunting, I would have been clueless and she would have left crying in a fit of frustration.

Grace is being typical Grace: completely unpredictable. When I first thought about writing this post, I was going to share my opinion that Grace's light bulb — understanding we wanted her to try to say the words — just hadn't lit up yet. But then a few days ago, she was saying "dow," telling the cat to get off the table. So, I've changed my thinking with her. She's caught somewhere between not knowing what we want, not having the development to get the words out and knowing exactly what we want, and flipping us the bird. I have a feeling this will be a trend with this little one.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mother Nature's Blessing

My big sister got married this weekend. It was an emotional, love-filled, beautiful day.

We had endured 63 straight weeks of oppressive heat and humidity. For most of the summer, the moment you walked out the door, sweat beaded on your forehead and your energy was drained. The weather channel was bordered in red -- warning people to stay indoors.

Then, the week before the wedding, it rained. And rained. And rained. The sky opened up the day before and poured down on us as we rehearsed.

But the day of … it was just gorgeous. Low humidity. A cool breeze. Sparkling sunlight. A full moon.

The most perfect day all summer.

Congrats to Carrie and Nate. May your marriage be full of love and happiness and the strength to endure when it's not.