Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes - yet another edition of Kiddo quotes

---1---

Well, today is Andrew's and my 11-year anniversary of being together (5 years married at the end of June), so of course I'm celebrating by being up at the crack of not even dawn and heading out on an all-day amusement park trip with 100 middle school students.  SO to ease your pain at the separation from me, here are some funny things the kids have been saying!

--2--

Me:  Cecilia, watch out.  Elizabeth pooped on the floor.
Cecilia:  No, she pooped on da WUG!
Me:  Well yes, she pooped on the rug.
Cecilia:  And H-I-C-J spells WUG!
Me:  No, R-U-G spells rug.
Cecilia:  And I-H-G spells wug!!!

Well, we're getting closer than her most recent attempts of lining up 3 random letters on the fridge and telling me they spell things like "Mrs. Mouseling" and "Angelina Ballerina."

Thank goodness she has impeccable fashion sense to go along with her genius!

--3--

John Paul:  Here's how you play "The Wedding Feast at Cana"

First, you take some water in some cups.

Next, you crack an egg (he cracks a toy egg).

Third, you pour some water into the yellow bowl.

There! 

Disappointed:  It's still water.

Let's play "The Washing of the Feet!"

later...

JP:  Mom!  I'm changing water into wine.  It's my first miracle!

 
He has since moved on the playing "The Martyrdom of Sts. Felicity and Perpetua," in which he cuts off Elizabeth and Cecilia's heads...  Just like any normal 3-year-old, right? 




--4--

Me:  Cecilia, are you going to be a flower girl in August?
JP:  Yes!  And I'm going to be a LEAF BOY!!!

Cecilia, after I didn't want to read to her because I was nursing both babies:  I dink...  Dad will wead it to me!  Because HE has hands!  And...  He don't have any babies!

Cecilia, giggling and farting:  A waspbewwy comed out of my boooooty!!!

--5--

Cecilia, breathlessly:  Here's your party hat, Mom!
She presents me with her cup from breakfast with a little bit of milk left in the bottom
Me:  Thank you, Cecilia!
Cecilia:  Put it on!!!


--6--

John Paul, jumping in front of Elizabeth:  She's so impressed!  *jump, jump*  She's happy!  *jump, jump*  She wants to say, "Wow!  Look at that kid jumping!!!"

 
Yup, that's Elizabeth's impressed face, all right...


--7--

John Paul, holding a cup he had just filled with water and taking a sip:  There's an ant in my cup!  Now it's bug juice!!!

Well, at least he's not afraid of ants anymore?  To be clear, he had left it in the playroom, where the ants like to congregate because the kids leave food on their table...

Go check out more takes at Jen's!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Deep Post - How I wear cropped pants

How to take a mediocre self-timed photo:

1.  Perch the camera on a tall enough piece of furniture because you're too cheap to get a tripod that you know your kids will just break.

1a.  Make sure most of your kids are napping...  I was 3 for 4, so I figured that was as good as it was gonna get.

2.  Use a stuffed animal as a guide for focusing the camera, like so:


3.  When it looks close enough, set the self-timer feature to continuous so that it takes 10 pictures at once.



4.  That way you can try to look natural in a whole plethora of different ways without having to pose again!


Here's how I wear my cropped pants (from Kohl's) - with a chambray shirt (cloth & stone from TJ Maxx, SOOOO soft!) and sandals that should really be wedges but my feet were hurting.


In other news, I'm short.  Have you heard?  Yeah, really should've gone for those wedges...

Anyway, I'm linking up to my all-time favorite fashion blog (okay, the ONLY one I actually read...) to prove to you that, despite what you see on my What I Wore Sunday posts, I actually do wear pants!  And this is my favorite pair, which normally doesn't make me look so stumpy.  I blame Elizabeth...

And just so you have a little humor with this post...

Cecilia, running to the door to retrieve a Victoria's Secret catalog that had come through the mail slot:  

"It's a balleWINA catawog for ME!!!"

Sure, Cecilia. Ballerinas. That's what we'll call them...

After leafing through the magazine for a while, she finds a pair of hot pink 4-inch heels:  
"DOSE are BIG GIRL shoes! Maybe I get pink BIG GIRL shoes for my BIRFday!"

In other news, it's probably time to take us off your mailing list, VS...  Much as I love your underwear, the prevalence of small children in my house who run to the door to retrieve the mail the second it comes in means your catalog is NOT safe!

Selfies, or Self-Portrait?

I've realized while blogging that there are VERY few pictures of me with the kids that have been taken.  WIWS has helped me a little bit, but now I basically just have a ton of pictures of me and the kids standing in front of the fireplace in our Sunday clothes...

So, in the spirit of Theme Thursday, I've been trying to take more pictures that actually have ME in them.  Does that count as a self-portrait?


Me, JP, MC, and a JC photobomb


Me, Mary Claire, and my grandmother


Elizabeth and me


I suppose this is a more honest self-portrait, since this is what I do 90% of the time when I'm at home!

Cecilia did NOT want to be in a picture with me that day...  And I swear I took some pictures of just me for this, but I can't find them!!!  Maybe later...

Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday!


Edit:  I KNEW I had taken some pictures for this assignment a while back - I looked at them and was kind of amazed at how much happier I look in the pictures with the kids!  Guess I'm confirmed in my vocation!


WAY more makeup than I normally wear - this was right before our church directory pictures were taken.  I get a kick out of how you can see me holding the camera in my eye!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

5 Favorites

Source

ONE

Fabric shower curtain liners

I HATE cleaning the shower curtain when it (inevitably) starts getting gross and mildew-y.  And those stupid "won't ever mildew!" shower curtain are liars.  But you know what's awesome?

These shower curtain liners

<------

Because when they start getting that lovely sign of mold, you THROW THEM IN THE WASHING MACHINE instead of awkwardly trying to scrub them!  And they get CLEAN and you just hang them back up!
Source



TWO

Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage


Yes, I mostly try to eat real food.  And this is processed meat.  But it's just SO delicious.  So SO so delicious!  I love it.  A lot.  Grilled on our griddler in the winter, or on skewers on our new grill now that it's warm, it's one of my absolute favorites!  I pair it with redskin mashed potatoes (ohhhh I make awesome mashed potatoes, you wish you could eat them) and green beans.  Yum!



THREE

Metal skewers



We got ours from Crate & Barrel off our wedding registry and they're fabulous!  Sturdier than wooden skewers, don't burn, super-long and strong.  I love them!

FOUR

Bacon mac 'n cheese

Not enough bacon because I ate it all.  Whoops...

I make really delicious mac 'n cheese.  Another thing you wish you could eat.  And when I'm feeling fancy I top it with bacon, more cheese, and Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs.  And serve green beans or something on the side but really, who cares what vegetable you're eating when you're filling up on starch, cheese, bacon, and more cheese?

Sadly for you, I have no real recipe...  Basically I cook a pound of cellentani or cavatappi pasta, which makes it taste better because the pasta's pretty.  Chop 3-6 slices bacon, drain & reserve fat (try not to eat all the bacon - I usually cook an extra slice or four for snacking).  Saute 1/2 finely diced onion in fat.  Add flour to make a roux.  Add a bunch of milk (no measurements for anything - this is why mine is not a food blog!), then melt some good old processed American cheese in there until it tastes cheesy enough for you.  Stir in drained pasta, top with grated cheese, bacon, and breadcrumbs.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

AMAZING! 

FIVE

Not only is it an awesome toy for the kids (I really wish they would stop stealing it), but it keeps my salad greens fresh for SUCH a long time!  Like, sometimes I forget about it and expect to open it up to see wilted and slimy greens, but they're somehow still fresh! 
 
Linking up with Hallie - go check out all the awesome things!  And send up a prayer for her and her house full of sick little ones :(

Monday, May 27, 2013

This Weekend

Let's see if I can do this in 10 minutes or less...
 
Got a second swing on Thursday because that's the only place the babies sleep.  This resulted in simultaneous naptimes on Saturday for several hours, which gave us time to:
 
 
Mow the lawn (Andrew)
 
Read all the books (big kids and me)
 
Do a science experiment (big kids and me)
 
Bake cookies (big kids and me - 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies!)
 
 
No picture of our delicious fresh strawberries from the Farmer's Market, since those got eaten too quickly (is there anything better in the world than fresh local strawberries?  I think not...)
 
We went to a carnival hosted by the Moms of Multiples group I'm a member of (even though I never go to meetings because of the babies). 
 
Glitter tattoos!

 
And stuffed bears for the babies, which the big kids are "borrowing."

 
And visors that they artfully decorated...

 
And monkeys that they decorated also.  Cecilia's was pink.  Surprised?
 
...
 
Sunday found us basking in the beauty of our backyard once Andrew was home from singing.
 
Well, once he cleaned up the dead bird that found its way into the water table.
 
Pretend you never read that.  GROSS!!!
 
Elizabeth discovered grass and was absolutely entranced!

 
Tips for outdoor photography in harsh sunlight?  I can't figure out what angles work!
 
I watered the lovely tomatoes that my mom brought over and planted for us because she's seriously the best mom ever.  She came over, helped me with the kids, planted heirloom tomatoes that she grew from seed, and weeded.  Yeah, you wish she was your mom :P
 
 
Mary Claire showed us her growing strength.
 
And that morning a wonderful friend came by with boxes full of craft & homeschooling supplies - we will never need to buy markers or crayons again, and the kids have been having an absolute BLAST with all their new things!  I have a stack of homeschooling books to read and we have a second high chair that I PROMISE we really will set up and let these babies actually try solid foods one of these days...
 
The day ended with dishes being left unwashed because ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!!
 
Which may or may not be the reason I'm only giving myself 10 minutes to post...
...

 
Monday morning we got ready to head out to Front Royal to visit friends and then drive out to Skyline Drive for a hike.  John Paul chose an adult-sized hat to keep the sun out of his eyes.

 
Cecilia chose her Mary veil...

 
And wore it for half of the car ride, but eventually decided it was cramping her style.
 
We stopped for Apple House doughnuts (fresh warm apple cider doughnuts - nothing better!), visited with friends in their wonderful new house with their adorably snuggly baby, and then headed out *right* as it started looking a little overcast...
 
 
 
Which is why this is one of the only pictures I took!  It started raining about 20 minutes before we got to our final destination!  We went for our hike anyway, but it was at a rather less leisurely pace than we had planned because it was chilly and rainy.
 
Highlights:  The kids getting to pee in a giant hole (the weird weird toilets that just dropped into pits...)
 
John Paul, in the middle of the trail:  I just need to dance for a little while.  Dance break with no music
 
John Paul, picking up a walking stick and hitting a rock with it:  I'm hitting the stone with my staff.  AND THEN WATER CAME OUT!
 
John Paul:  I'm going to throw my staff to the ground and it will become a SNAKE!
 
Yeah, he's been reading a lot about Moses lately...
 
 
Then of course, Cecilia fell asleep about 15 minutes from my father-in-law's house, where we stopped to play for a bit before dinner.
 
Ah yes, our first dinner out with all 4 kids in tow (aside from trips to Chick-Fil-A and Subway). 
 
BUST.
 
In retrospect, after such a ridiculously long day we should have realized nobody would be on their best behavior.  At least the food was delicious!
 
And there you have it!  Only 5 minutes over my time limit, time to go watch more Arrested Development!



Sunday, May 26, 2013

WIWS - Happy Trinity Sunday!

Did you know it only takes like, 7 seconds to create a facebook page for your blog?  Apparently so...  So I did it so that I don't awkwardly post links to my posts on my facebook wall because it feels so strange doing that!  Here's the page, if you want to follow along:  A blog for my mom

Aaaaaaaaannyway...

Here's how our mornings look on our way out the door:
 
 
Andrew gets the babies in their car seats while I try (and fail) to focus the camera (look! detail shot of my skirt!).
 
 
The closest this man will get to participating in WIWS - he also wore a navy-and-pink striped bow tie, although the jacket was off for Mass because he was wearing Elizabeth in the Ergo.

Neither of the big kids cared about being in the picture with me until they heard the beep of the self-timer.  John Paul came DASHING in from the playroom but he got in the picture, by golly!


I rarely wear anything other than my pearl earrings, but I dug out a 3-color pearl necklace that I got in college to celebrate Trinity Sunday appropriately!

 
Black, white, and pink.  Remember 2005, when those illusion necklaces were big?  Yeah, I still like it :)  And it's held up to some serious baby grabbing all day!

Elizabeth

 
Mary Claire, in a distinctly less-modest outfit (she had socks and a cardigan, but this is a post-Mass shot)...


 
And there you have it - you've seen the skirt (eShakti) and the shoes (DSW), the shirt is TJ Maxx.
 
Temporary tattoos were our form of bribery this week - you'll never guess who didn't get one (Cecilia) and who just scraped by (John Paul)!
 
Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple as always!

Friday, May 24, 2013

7 Quickety Quick Takes

Happy Friday!  Happy long weekend!  Happy Quick Takes!
 
--1--
 
I have a confession to make:
 
I still use Google Reader.
 
You know how everyone has been switching to Feedly or Bloglovin' or Ye Olde Something or Other?
 
I hate them all.  I just want my Google Reader to stay the same, because everything else just gives me STUPID PARTIAL FEEDS!  I DO NOT WANT TO CLICK OVER TO ANOTHER BLOG because half the blogs I read are too fancy with their formatting and it takes forever for me to scroll through them unless I read them in Google Reader.
 
So I'm hoping that Google changes their minds and lets us keep the reader?
 
--2--
 
I added social media buttons to my sidebar!  They're blue and very pretty and if you need realtime John Paul updates or just want to stalk me all over the internet, you can follow me all the places!!!

Am I supposed to make a facebook page now?  Because I feel really awkward every time I share my blog on facebook because I think people don't really want to know...  Thoughts?
 
--3--
 
I bought another swing for the babies (used).  We have one and it's pretty much the only place they'll sleep during the day, which means that if Elizabeth decides to take a 3-hour nap, I'm stuck trying desperately to nurse Mary Claire to sleep that whole time and end up just sticking her in the swing the moment Elizabeth wakes up.  Which means they almost never nap at the same time, which means we pretty much never leave the house because somebody is always asleep and NO WAY am I going to mess with that!
 
I have taken them a few places though, and I'm pretty proud of it - so far we've been on a walk around the block (.7 miles, so a LONG walk), to Trader Joe's, and to the Farmer's Market, just me and all 4 kids!  And ALL the trips were successful! 
 
But it's still a lot of work, so I'm gonna see if I can just host a trillion playdates at our house this summer so that I don't have to try to get all the kids out of the house all the time...
 
--4--
 
This article about yelling was really powerful for me - I try REALLY hard to be patient with the kids and to encourage Andrew to be patient when they do ridiculous things, and I think it's incredible how you can see the compassion this teaches our children when they get older. 
 
I'm not perfect - I certainly resort to yelling more than I'd like, but it's absolutely always just a quick fix, and I'd like to think about how a patient approach to parenting can mold my kids into such incredible individuals:
 
"And that’s when I started to cry – not so much about the three chapters, I knew they could be rewritten – my heartbreak was more of a release due to the exhaustion and frustration involved in writing and editing a book. I had been so close to the end. To have it suddenly ripped away was incredibly disappointing.
 
To my surprise, my child reached out and stroked my hair softly. She said reassuring words like, “Computers can be so frustrating,” and “I could take a look at the time machine to see if I can fix the backup.” And then finally, “Mama, you can do this. You’re the best writer I know,” and “I’ll help you however I can.”"
 
Yeah, I teared up.  Go read it!
 
--5--
 
 
A friend of mine just made us a beautiful mei tai and get this:  IT'S REVERSIBLE with STAR WARS on the other side!  I haven't let Andrew wear it yet though, because I love the girly blue flower side so much!
 
I need to work on how exactly to cross all the straps to make tandem wearing easier, but it's definitely less bulky than the ergo-mei tai combo here:
 
 
--6--
 
Selfies!
 
 
Once again, proof that the twins look nothing alike!
 
--7--
 
Elizabeth is getting perilously close to crawling. 

 
I think we'll still be safe for another week or two, but this is one major reason why my blogging is going to take a serious hit - the babies are rolling all over the place and want me on the floor playing with them, plus they don't nurse for the marathon sessions they used to have, so I don't have nearly as much "sitting on the couch not being able to do anything" time - I know my mom will be sad, but I'll try to take plenty of pictures to make up for it!

 Check out more Quick Takes at Jen's!
 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

{phfr} & TT


Cryptic enough title for you?  Ah, yes, I'm doubling up on my link-ups today!
 
 
{pretty}
 
Linking up with Clan Donaldson for "bodies" this week:
 
 
Perfect wrist rolls (Mary Claire's)
 
 
Chubby baby toes (Mary Claire's)
 
 
Pudgy toddler fingers (Cecilia's)
 
 
Dimpled baby elbows (Elizabeth's)

 
And the only chubby part of John Paul's body - his toes!
 
{happy}


 
This kid ALWAYS wants to take pictures together - his smile is infectious!
 
{funny}

 
Andrew was NOT amused by Elizabeth's Spock eyebrows last week...

 
But then he brought her into the kitchen wearing a tiny baby hair net???
 
Actually it's a little net that keeps produce in its farmer's market bins...

 
 I took that as permission to draw eyebrows on the twins...  Concerned Clown and Happy Clown?
 
{real}

 
Too bad they can't stand being near each other, right?  John Paul's legs are up in the air, as usual.

 
Because apparently he needs to be in various stages of head stand at all hours of the day.



 
And you're getting a nice view of his body here - see what I mean about no pudge?  Kid eats more than the entire rest of the family and where does it GO???
 
Check out more loveliness at Like Mother, Like Daughter and more bodies at Clan Donaldson!

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