Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Aquarium

The kids had their first trip to the Aquarium, and they loved it.
Marie's favorite animals were the waddle-waddles, aka penguins, aka penguinos. She loved watching them.
Do you see Jaws moving in on Will?

Abby, make yourself comfortable. I'm sure the floor at the Aquarium is super clean.

Look at all the fishies!

This freakin' tunnel was on my nerves. My kids kept going in there and not coming out. Finally, two of their older friends went through and showed them the way, but Marie wouldn't climb through the last tube because it had clear plastic around two sides and only one strip of orange down the middle. I think she thought she'd fall through the clear area. I had to climb in and get her. It reeked of poop in those tunnels. Gross.

They liked getting up close and personal with every tank.
Upon coming home, they decided they were going to put up a fight at nap-time. Abby protested by sleeping half in and half out of her bed. Looks comfy, right?

Will sacked out at the foot of his bed, where they is no rail.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh Jesus

Yes, that's his underwear on his head. He probably put them on after this and then pooped in them. The whole pooping in the toilet thing isn't processing. I'm so tired of scrubbing poop out of underwear. Ugh.

Seriously, they wrestle constantly. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, which happens about 99% of the time they play like this.

These two are trouble. Here they are with their tea party set.

So, I've really gotta watch what I say around these kids now. Abby has been using the phrase "Oh Jesus" very well lately.

A couple of weeks ago, we were heading upstairs and Will was freaking out because he left some toy downstairs. Abby quickly turned around, ran down the stairs, got the toy and brought it to Will. Will then screamed, "No! Mommy do it!" Abby turned to me, rolled her eyes, and said, "Oh Jesus." She walked the toy to me, handed it over, and then walked right past Will on the stairs.

Last weekend, she walked outside carrying a bunch of her little plastic plates from her kitchen set for a picnic, but as she walked out, she dropped the stack she was carrying. She then proceeded to yell, "Oh Jesus." Will caught on and also started screaming it. I hope our neighbors couldn't understand what they were saying.

I was telling my boss about that, and she said that one of her nephews used the expression, and the parents figured out that they were saying it so they started to add "save us" after every time they used it. Then, when the nephew would say "Oh Jesus," they would hear their daughter add "save us." Maybe that can be our strategy. At least that might keep them from getting expelled from their Catholic preschool. Oh Jesus. Save us.

Mems was also commenting on the funny stuff they say. Marie was at her house last weekend, and she said she asked "what's that?" about the salt shaker like 5 times. Every time Mems told her what it was, she'd say, "Oh. Okay." Then, a few minutes later, she'd ask "What's that?" Mems also said that they would be sitting eating or on the couch and Marie would say, "Hi, Mimi!" out of nowhere like it was the first time she'd seen her in days. Funny child.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm taking care of me in 2011

Sorry for my slack blogging. I have tried to turn a little more attention to taking care of me now that the kids are a little more independent. That has meant less blogging time and more time devoted to other things I enjoy.

I'm cooking pretty regularly again. We just had black beans & roasted pork loin, chicken piccata and roasted potatoes, and maple mustard pork chops and peas and sweet potatoes all in one week. For the past couple of years, I had been throwing together quick stuff at the last minute, which usually consisted of breaded chicken breasts, meatballs, or meatloaf with a side of veggies. It's time to get the variety back.

I also started running again a few months ago, and I've worked my way up to about 15-20 miles/week. I run about 5 miles 3 or 4 days/week. It feels great to be doing it again, and I feel myself wanting to push harder and harder. I didn't know how much I had been missing it until I got back into it.

I've also been sleeping a little more. Hallelujah! The kids give us tons of trouble to go to sleep at night, but once they are down, they sleep much better. Will typically wakes up around 4:30 and says, "Mama, come yay down wit Wheel." I can't's snuggle time. I'll sneak in his bed and we'll cuddle until I have to get up for work, or if it's the weekend, we might stay in bed until 8 or 8:30. It's glorious. The girls have been great about staying in their room and chatting until I come in if they are up. They are also much nicer to Billy the mornings I'm gone to work.

I've also gotten more into my work and taken on lots of new responsibilities. That also feels great. I felt like during the time I was pregnant and for about the first year and a half after the kids were born, my brain was like mush. Now, I feel like I'm getting myself together and the pieces are falling in place.

Billy and I have also been taking time together. We have a standing lunch date every other Thursday, and we try to get out and socialize more.

Well, enough at me. I'm just giving excuses for my infrequent posts. Next post, it's back to the good stuff--the kids!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Finishing up December and early January

Okay, so I realized I missed a few things that were Christmas-related in the last post. This post should get you all caught up.

1. We visited the Pink Pig! My dad worked for Rich's for pretty much his entire adult life so the Pink Pig was a huge tradition in our family. We always went to Rich's downtown to ride the rickety pig on the monorail on top of the building. It would go around the Rich's Great Christmas Tree, and they had a little zoo set up underneath. I remember being so excited to get my sticker at the end.

Well, the whole experience at Lenox kinda sucks compared to that, but it is what it is, and as they say in Pinkalicious, "You get what you get, and you don't get upset." By the way, Pinkalicious is Marie's favorite book these days. Thanks, Becky! We have to read it every night, and whenever I ask Marie what color plate or cup or whatever she wants, it's "pink, pink, pink!"
Anyway, back to the Pink Pig. Billy went over to Lenox and bought the tickets the day before we went, and then, we headed over there the Wednesday before Christmas. We waiting in line for about 40 minutes for about 2 minutes of actual pig riding, and it was a really lame ride at that. The kids liked it okay, but it wasn't thrilling or anything. I guess it's just a tradition.

Before riding the Pig, we hit daddy's office, and Abby squeezed in a quick check of her e-mail. She said she really needed to update her Outlook calendar before we got going. She sat there and yelled, "Abby working!" Enjoy it now. It won't be nearly as exciting when she really has to go to an office everyday.

2. I had the picture of them sitting at the little Ikea table in my last post, but I have to tell you that one of Santa's elves, aka Papa Lando, came over to build a bunch of toys on Christmas Eve. There was so much to do, and we simply didn't have enough time, so we had to enroll helpers. Even with assistance, we were up until about 2 a.m. on Christmas. It was a long day! We opened gifts at home first, and then, we were off to Mems' for lunch. They took naps there, and then, we headed off to my dad's for dinner.

My dad has wrapped his carport in heavy duty plastic and put large space heaters in there to give some extra square footage because of all the attendees. We called it his "kill room" because it looked like something Dexter would have set up. You only get that if you watch the Showtime series Dexter. My dad loves it...actually, most of our family is really into the show.

3. Abby and Will started shaving. No, not really, but they wanted to give shaving cream a try one morning when they saw daddy shaving. With my hairy genes, really shaving isn't that far off.

4. I still find Abby in random places at night after locking her and Marie in their room. Yes, I lock them in. Call it bad parenting, but would you rather that they come out of their rooms and fall down the stairs? I don't think so.

Billy found her in the rocking chair one night. A couple of days later, he found her asleep in the office by the printer. Apparently, we had forgotten to lock the door that night. Whoops. See what happens?

Most nights, she's just on the floor in her room, and I have to move her into her bed. Some nights, though, she's on the floor directly behind her door so we have to literally push her back with the door to get to her.

Sometimes Marie does the same, but not as often. During naptime the other day, she snuggled up on the floor behind our rocker when Papa Lando was rocking Abby. She just wanted to be close to everyone. She's learned that behavior from Winnie.

5. We love getting Christmas cards. We put them all up, and the kids ask, "who this? who this?" and point at everyone. Abby committed most names to memory and would explain to the other 2 who everyone was when it went in one ear and out the other with them. :) They were very sad when I took them all down.

6. We took them to the grocery store before our major blizzard! They fought over who sat in which cart. They had to switch multiple times. It was like a Chinese Fire Drill every time we stopped the carts. The fun never ends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Days

Atlanta got some CRAZY weather this week. We've been snowed/iced in for days! I'm going CRAZY myself. I am maxed out on time with my children.

Michele, our nanny, was sick last week starting Thursday. I had morning meetings Thursday, and Billy had some in the afternoon. Therefore, I went into the office in the morning, and Billy left when I got home. I was with them from Thursday afternoon pretty much 24/7 until today at 10:30 a.m. when Michele was finally able to get through the ice to us. I ran upstairs to hide in my home office the moment she arrived. I have not walked back downstairs. I don't plan to go back down there until tonight. I might lock Michele in our house and tell her there's no escape because I'm deathly afraid that somehow, she won't make it back tomorrow. I love the kids, but being trapped with them is really hard!

My boss asked me the other day if I would ever want to be a stay at home mom. My response was, "Yes, maybe, when the kids go to school, and I can do my own thing during the day." :) I stand by that answer. Right now, trying to stay sane and manage all 3 of them every day and night is too hard for me, and I must say, I really admire stay at home moms and the patience they must have.

Last Friday, we had quite an adventure. I usually don't venture out with them alone, but they've been skipping naps, and I had to find ways to keep us all entertained all day. Our first stop was my office around 11 a.m. I had to pick up some papers, so I dragged in my crew. Everyone was taking a donut break so they loaded the kids up with sugary treats. One co-worker asked the kids if they shook hands. Abby put her hand out, shook the lady's, and said, "Hi. I Abby. This Marie. This Will," and pointed to her sister and brother, respectively. She was our spokesperson. How cute is that? They then wandered into her office and came out with her giant green exercise ball and proceeded to push it up and down the hall while screaming and giggling. We caused quite a disruption.

Next, we went off to Super Target. At first, I had them all in the cart, but then, there was no room for the stuff I needed to buy, so they all had to follow me around. That was not a very successful strategy. It took forever! We also ended up with lots of stuff I wasn't really planning to buy...a big truck, Dora sippy cups, Cars sippy cups, hair bows, etc. Oh well.

We stopped at the Target Pizza Hut for lunch. High rollers, I know. As we sat there, I wondered how the heck I was going to safely maneuver 3 kids and a shopping cart full of random stuff to the car in the crowded parking lot. I ended up putting the 3 kids in an empty cart and pushing that one, while I pulled the one full of our supplies. I must have looked insane. It worked.

Next stop....Liane's house for a playdate. We went to play with Carley and Chlo-Chlo for a while. Cooper was at school. Will kept saying, "Cooper escuela" when we got home. Anyway, that was fun, and we discovered the kids love cutting with toddler scissors. Seriously, this entertains them for at least 3o minutes at a time. Whenever I need a few minutes, I say, "Tijeras?" (Scissors), and they all scream, "YAY, CUT!" Yes, they are cutters. I just give them each a sheet of paper and safety scissors, and they cut and cut. I love it.

So, on to the weekend. We had a playdate with my friend, Jamie's daughter, Marissa. Marissa is more mature...almost 3, and Abby got along well with her because Abby is the more mature one. Billy and I were kidding about this later that evening when Marie and Will put a little baby doll playpen on their heads and started running around. Abby was looking through a book at that point and did not want to be bothered. Classic illustration of the differences.

Sunday night, Mems came by to pick up Will because she had been out of town over the weekend and missed his turn. Then, later that evening, the snow started and it snowed hard! We woke up Monday to several inches. Will was snowed in at Mimi's house!!! We took the girls out for some sledding craziness. They had a great time. Several neighbors had sleds, and those who didn't improvised with cookie sheets, boogie boards, etc.

We didn't have an snow boots for the girls, so we went totally ghetto. They had on tights, and then, saran wrap around their feet, and socks on that. Then, they had on shoes, and we put Target plastic bags over their feet, and secured the bags with rubber bands around their ankles. I'm telling you, it's going to be all the rage next winter. We got lots of compliments on their feet. It was more like little kids asking, "Why does she have bags on her feet?" Pretty funny stuff.

I think Billy had more fun than the girls. He went out and sledded with other kids when the girls went down for naps. Then, when they woke up, we went back out for more. I made them cocoa when we got in, which they called "cafe" because they see mommy and daddy make their coffee every morning, and I tell them I'm making "cafe." They figured since they were drinking them out of mugs like ours, they were the same thing.

By Tuesday, it was pretty icy out there, but some streets were passable. Bill volunteered to go pick Will up from Mems' house. I wanted him back because I was afraid of everything icing up again and not being able to get to him until Friday. I was missing my little man! Will got home safely, and we played outside for a bit in the afternoon, but it was getting way too icy to be out there.
Billy spent the day hatching and executing a plan to clear our street because it was just a downhill sheet of ice. He recruited guys on our street and on the main road, which is not a hill, to go to Home Depot and get some shovels and salt. Well, when they arrived at Home Depot, they discovered something better...a small snow-plow thingy. All the overgrown boys fell in love and had to have this toy...sounds like my experience with the kids at Target Friday. :) Anyway, Billy shows up with this thing, and all the boys, I mean men, on our street take turns shoveling snow. I have to hand it to them, they cleared it! If they hadn't done that, we would have been stuck the rest of the week.

I told Will that only big boys got to ride the tractor because he kept saying, "Will on tractor?" When Billy got inside after this plowing, Will asked him, "You ride tractor, big boy?" Too funny. Yes, indeed, he was a "big boy."

Okay, I'm exhausted after this monster post, and I'm sure you are tired of reading about us. Let's just hope life gets back to "normal" soon for us. I can't take all this much longer.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Updates

The week before Christmas, we enjoyed a celebration at my cousin's house with all of my mom's side of the family. We do this every year. This year, my kids played with the "big kids." I can't believe they aren't by my side all the time anymore. It's nice, but a little sad also. Well, not that sad really. I'm enjoying a lot of their independence now, except for when they insist on doing things they really aren't able to do. Seriously, you want to make your own lunch? I'd like to see that. You want to drive the car? That should be interesting. You want to walk Winnie? do you feel about being dragged across pavement? It's so hard to explain this to all to them!

This is what they came down to on Christmas morning...a new train table and kitchen set from Santa! They also got magnadoodle boards, jeeps, a slide/climber thing, and lots of arts and crafts supplies. They were really excited to see everything. They still say, "Santa brought that" every morning when they come downstairs and look in the playroom.

Here they are coloring at their new Ikea activity table that we gave them for Christmas. We got rid of the triplet feeding/activity table. This is much smaller, and they can get in and out of it themselves. They are so independent now!

On Christmas Eve, the Zeiglers came over. Unfortunately, Abby did not nap that day and passed out fully clothed at 5:30 p.m. She didn't get to open any of her gifts from them until the next morning. Marie was an expert unwrapper by then. She loved all the clothes she got and would instantly want to put it on. What a little fashionista! Will would just look at the boxes and move on. He didn't know you could actually play with anything until he got the "big truck." It was a big Tonka police rescue truck with a crane, and he screamed, "Open it" when he saw it. He may wear girls' clothes, but he's all boy! Speaking of funny clothes, he's got on his Georgia suspender pajamas in the pic above. Thanks, Aunt Liane! Just to make it a bit redneck, when he spilled water on the shirt, he just wore the suspenders and pants with no shirt the rest of the evening. It was a hot look.

Billy got the kids Toy Story 3 for Christmas, and one night, he set up all their sleeping bags for a viewing party. They didn't last long, but Billy and I finished the movie after they went to sleep. I guess they are a little ways from understanding and following a movie storyline. Oh well, Billy and I enjoyed it! Abby crawled into Billy's sleeping bag with him after she got tired of hers. That's the picture of them 2.

All in all, the kids had a great Christmas! They kind of "got it." We used lots of Santa-related if you don't do that, Santa won't bring you presents, or Santa only brings choo-choos to good boys and girls. It somewhat altered their behavior from time to time. I think we'll have more success next year. We'll probably invest in an Elf on the Shelf in 2011. What they really get now is the threats now that Santa will come take away toys if they don't behave. I guess now that they've got the stuff, they don't want to give it up. How long will this work?

They are having official withdrawal from the Advent Calendar. Every night they ask, "Abrir la puerta?" (Open the door?). The calendar had little doors they would open to reveal hidden treasures. Well, really it was a bunch of junk or an occasional piece of candy, but they loved it.

Will is officially a hoarder. He has insane amounts of toys in his bed now. He is especially fond of sleeping with all of his tools. Each night, he carries a hammer and a screwdriver, as well as 2 knives from their kitchen set. I guess he's looking to protect us all at night from evil monsters. He refers to all of these pieces as "sharp" and/or "very sharp." He sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and screams, "Mama, SHARP!" That means, "mom, get the hell in here and find my knife, hammer, and screwdriver in the bed." I have to run in and rummage around to find everything, and he'll go back to sleep gripping them. Should I be worried about this obsession?

Michele finally convinced him to get rid of the 2 shake 'n go firetrucks, the batman car, and 6 matchbox cars that he had in his bed. Now, "all" he has are the knives and tools, a Little People school bus, a big plastic Goofy thingy that spins around and around and lights up, a sunshine that used to be attached to his crib slats that plays music, and stuffed animal. It's a good thing the kid sleeps in a queen bed! Every night before bed, he grabs random things and asks, "Eso en mi cama?" (This in my bed?) The other night, he was grabbing pieces of his train track. Why in the world would he want to sleep with those wooden train tracks?

There are many more Christmas-related updates and pictures, but this is a start.