Sunday, October 28, 2012

Showered with double the love

Back in September the gals in my family threw a shower for me and the babies.  It was really fun. We played games (that I did poorly at, but enjoyed anyhow), ate a yummy rich chocolate dessert, and of course admired the babies.  Owl and Otter got some fun new clothes and things, which I am really excited about! 

The outfits that they are wearing were a gift from our wonderful neighbor, Sharon.  They are one of my favorite sets : )

My sister Melinda gave the babies darling Halloween costumes, which we had fun trying out on them : )  you'll see more of them when I get caught up and can post Halloween pictures!

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I didn't get a picture of my Mom or my sister Judy, but here's everyone else...

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Owl smiling at cousin Emily. 
Emily was a bit of a baby hog,
but it's ok because she's expecting a baby of her own
and needed a bit of baby time : ) 
Plus they matched.

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Otter with cousin Katie

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Otter with Aunt Marlene

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Otter with Aunt Melinda

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Owl with Aunt Laura

Thanks for the love and support, everyone!

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I forget that I'm so short.
All pictured here except for Melinda

Monday, October 22, 2012

Twins: the good, bad, and in between

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while, but haven't had a chance.

But this morning I found out that my SIL Katie is expecting TWINS!  I'm so excited for her!!!  So I thought that it was the perfect day to write this post.

My favorite thing about having twins: when they are hungry they suck on each other.  Seriously it makes me giggle EVERY TIME.  Here's a little video, not the best, but the only one that I have.  And I love saying, "Don't eat your sister!"

My least favorite thing about having twins: equality.  favoritism.  If they aren't dressed alike (which is most of the time, since I only have a few matchy-matchy outfits), then who gets the outfit that I think is cuter?  They're both crying, who do I pick up if it can't be both?  etc.  There are a lot of these little questions that crop up throughout the day, and it drives me crazy that I have to analyze whether I'm showing favoritism (which would just be superficial, since I don't have a favorite child at all).
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What I'm undecided about: being a celebrity wherever I go.  Seriously, EVERYONE is interested in twin babies.  Sometimes I like the attention.  It also helps restore my faith in people-- like when some grumpy-looking man comes over and is in awe of them and is cooing.  That's pretty neat.  But sometimes I just want to buy my groceries and get out of the store, rather than chatting with strangers.

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They were pretty interested in the camera...Owl (R) is always especially captivated by it.
And since I mentioned Owl specifically, I need to also say that Otter went CRAZY for my sister's cat (as did's an especially awesome cat). 

ME as a mama of twins: if I'm out and about with just one of the babies, and someone is admiring her, I almost always feel the need to say that she is a twin.  Somehow it's not ok to let her be admired just for their own cuteness, but also for the fact that there's another cute one at home.  (4 more cute ones, actually, but not all babies).
Now that I've written that, I realize that it is wrong to not let that baby shine by herself for a I'll try to stop doing it.

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And as far as baby updates go:  they've grown out of the small newborn clothes that they've been wearing, and are into 0-3 month clothes now.  I'll find out weights next week.  They are smiling and cooing a lot more, and like to look around and stand (assisted of course) and try to do sit-ups.  They sleep pretty well--sometimes Owl sleeps through the night, but most of the time they each wake up once in the night.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Scholastic Endeavors

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Chick started Kindergarten!  Aside from getting lost on the first morning (why wasn't there someone to help the kindergarteners get from the bus to the classroom? I called and only felt more frustrated by the "we should have someone out there by next week" answer...seriously, I think she'll know her way by then.  It was the first day that mattered!). . . Anyhow, aside from that, all went well.  She seems to like it and be learning new things.  Her reading has really taken off lately, and her teacher puts a lot of emphasis on proper penmanship.  She's made new friends, and her favorite part of school is recess (but really, isn't that always the favorite?)

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She takes the bus to school, and it was a major stress as I realized that the bus stop was around the corner.  Which meant that I'd have to take all five kids to the bus stop at 8:20 every morning...and on rainy bad mornings I'd probably need to drive there to keep the babies warm and dry.  I'd chosen to stick with our assigned school (which is probably the worst around) because I knew that I couldn't get drive her to school this year with the new babies.  So to have to drive to the bus stop seemed to nullify any benefits of bussing.  But long story short, there's a neighbor boy and his mom who volunteered to walk her down for me.  So every morning Landon comes and knocks on the door, and Chick opens it, and Landon says, "Hi, are you ready to go?"  (sometimes it gives me visions of when she starts dating) and then they run off down the road with their backpacks bouncing.  cute stuff.  Anyhow, that has been a HUGE help, and she only missed the bus once (pre-Landon).

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Monkey started Preschool!  She goes to our friend Jill's preschool, where Chick went for two years.  Monkey LOVES preschool.  She loves playing outside, and singing songs, and reading stories, and playing with her new friends, and painting.  So far there isn't anything that she doesn't like.  I love that she has something all to herself. 

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In lieu of paying tuition, I make random stuff for Jill.  One thing was composition books for the students (using Lia's tutorial again...thanks, Lia!). 

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In addition to preschool twice a week, Monkey and Moose go to my Aunt's apartment about twice a week while Chick is at school.  Part of the time is spent doing preschool-type stuff, so Monkey is working on her letters and doing art projects there (Moose usually does them too, but they aren't geared toward him).

On the days when both Chick and Monkey are at school:  Moose doesn't know what to do with himself.  Hopefully he'll get over that soon. 

At any rate, it's been very exciting to see everyone learning new things and loving their new school experiences.

The story of the chalkboard: 
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I saw someone else's cute chalkboard online and got all covetous.  So I bought a fancy board at the craft store.  Driving home I had buyers remorse.  $5 (after coupon) for a piece of wood that I plan to use once a year?! I decided to take it back.  The next day I'd swung back the other way-- I really wanted a school day sign, and of course could use it for other days too, and what's $5 anyhow?

So I mentioned to Mr. Fox that I couldn't decide about keeping the board.  He said, "there's tons of wood in the backyard, use some of that."
I responded with some comment about wanting it to be pretty, and he said that it could be cut into any shape. 

So I picked out a board from the back yard, drew a shape onto it, and he cut it for me.  I already had chalkboard paint, so we were able to make the cute chalkboard sign for FREE.  I like free.  And my sign is cuter than the one that I'd gotten from the craft store : )  Plus I did a little bit towards decluttering the back yard (ok, very little, but something).

My husband is awesome (and a penny pincher).
True story.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Muddling through

A woman that I correspond with for work wrote in an email (in response to seeing our most recent family picture):

"You must be VERY busy all the time.  I don't know how you do it...."

I responded, "I rarely feel like I'm "keeping up"... but I try to remind myself that it doesn't matter. Happy kids do, but a messy house doesn't. It's pretty hard when I have layout--I was up until 3 last night working-- but a couple of friends came and helped with kids and cleaning today while I got a nap : ) I guess that's really the only way that I muddle through...with lots of help."

And it's true.  Thank you Becky R. and Shannon. 

And thank you to all of the other helpers.  (this is not an exhaustive list...please don't be sad if you are not mentioned specifically.  I DO still appreciate you!)

Thank you to our neighbor Landon and his Mama who walk Chick to the bus stop in the morning so that I don't have to pack everyone out at 8:20 a.m.  and thank you to all of our other great neighbors (especially Sharon) for being understanding and kind with my children.

Thank you to Aunt Diana and Mom for taking the kids as much as you do (they love the time with you!).

Thank you Heidi and Judy for email support (and occasional phone calls) when I need to vent.

Thank you Becky J. for pinning hilarious stuff on pinterest, because often your pins give me a much needed laugh at the end of a potentially hard day.

Thank you Maria K, Shannon, Becky R, Kira, for continuing to come help (and helping me to feel ok about it.  I wish I was able to keep up with my life by now, but thanks for not making me feel bad that I'm not).

And thank you to my visiting teachers, who have given me great perspective:

Becky R-- "You look fantastic!  Your body has had five babies in just over five years!" (I hadn't thought of it like that, and now I remind myself of it when I start to feel discouraged.  That is a pretty awesome accomplishment)

Heidi-- "I think you're doing great if you get out of the house with a bra on most of the time."  (Finally, a set of requirements that I can actually live up to! Hooray for success!)