Monday, August 29, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

So Happy Together

This afternoon reminded me of a country song. Max and Ella truly adore each other. They spent half of the afternoon fighting, and the rest of the day following each others every move. 'Matel (Maxwell),' Ella says to him under the tree. 'What?' he asks. 'I wuv you.' 'Yah. Me yov you to.' True story.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

5 Years

Right after we got our new car, we spent our 5 year anniversary in Morro Bay for the weekend. The kids stayed with my parents and my brothers. Mike golfed and we visited with friends from out of town. I want to do it all over again. Because it was great.

Happy 5 years Mike. Love you.

Look What I Got!!!

The past week has been busy...with really exciting things. We finally decided on a car! Much to my step kids delight, we chose something other than a minivan. We drove and fell in LOVE with the Mazda CX 9. It seats 7 and is amazing. It rides so smooth and it feels like a luxury car. It's been less than a week but it makes everything feel better, and easier. It's so so so so nice. I LOVE it.

We had a DVD player put in for the kids. Part of me wondered if this was a good idea. Is it going to spoil the kids and melt their brains? What about learning while we drive? Pointing out letters on signs and looking for deer? My hesitations were put to rest the first 15 min. they put their wireless headphones on. Two words: Sweet Silence. Or, I can blast my music and it's almost like I'm in the car alone. They love it. I love it.

This is what I get now when I say, 'Smile!'
The third row folds down super easy, but there is so much room with the seats as they are. I love it, I love it, I love it!!!

My first trip to the grocery store with Pearl (that's what I named her). She's a beaut.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Post In Which I Sound REALLY Uptight, But I'm Actually Grateful

You know how some weeks/days/hours you feel more patient than others? I feel like God's given me patience with my kids this week. Things that usually frustrate me have rolled off my back. I often find myself getting annoyed then getting embarrassed because the things that annoy me are...dumb.

The top three dumb things that drive me crazy are:

1. Mealtimes. I get really irritated when both of my kids aren't eating when they're supposed to. It feels like nails on a chalkboard when yogurt and applesauce fling off of their highchairs and they squeal in delight. It makes me want to yell, "EAT YOUR FOOD AND DON'T MAKE A MESS!" (which I sometimes do ...over and over and over and over). I remember when they were starting solids and I used to read Some article told me to encourage 'finger painting' with sweet potatoes on their tray so they can explore their food. The thought of that made me want to throw something. My house isn't super clean but I hate a mess. And yogurt and applesauce are VERY hard to clean up after they've dried. {insert Meghan from 10 years ago, Is this really your life? You talk about food on the floor?} Anyway, mealtime is annoying for me and I'm trying to let messiness go.

2. Yet similarly, I can't stand when my kids go outside after they've had their nighttime baths. Our neighbor's children are so fun and imaginative. It's not uncommon to see their youngest girl wondering around  in a mud puddle, after dinner, dressed in PJs. Fun, right? Memories that kids will always remember? A cute kid, an adorable photo. But all I think is, 'OK, just as long as we do another bath because I just changed  sheets.' I am my mother. But I don't want to do another bath. Because I'm tired and it's almost bed time. And I want 30 min. to myself once the kids are down. Play in the dirt all afternoon. Paint your face with sidewalk chalk. But preferable, can you keep it after nap time and before bed? Again with the crib sheets.

3. My last pet peeve is when my kids are woken up from their naps. We live in a somewhat rural neighborhood that definitely has a small town feel. It is very common to 'drop by' your friends house. Calling ahead isn't necessary, help yourself to a beer in the fridge. I generally like this, just not at nap time. I'm one of those obnoxious mothers who still put's a 'Knock please, kids are napping' sign on the front door. Because when I don't, the doorbell will ring five separate times: UPS, 2 of Mike's friends, a boy scout selling popcorn, a Jehovah and a Mormon. And on a good day when both kids are napping, all I want to do is hide in my room and read blogs or fold laundry in silence (I prefer the blog reading. Obviously). And when one or both of the kids are woken up too early, I have zero time to myself (I know, selfish) and the kids are cranky and I am cranky.

I sound like a super fun Mom, right?  These are just the things that make me crazy. But this post is actually about how calm I've felt with the kids this week. And I wanted to share this snip it of my afternoon a couple days ago. I was cleaning up in Ella's room and when came out into our living room...I found every towel we own in a glorious pile on our couch. Annoying to refold? Yes. Naughty? Pretty much. But their giggles were like a MasterCard commercial, 'The smiles on their faces? Priceless.'

Thank you God for showing me the humor in my children this week. Thank you for reminding me of what's really important. Please teach me to loosen up a bit. Thank you for happy, healthy children. Despite the small stuff, I LOVE being a mom. I never forget that our babies are miracles.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


On our last trip to Target I bought .99 cent (washable) water colors and $2.00 worth of paint brushes. $3.00 gave us a crafty afternoon and new love for painting. It's always the simple things.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Photo Overload

3 Posts In 1...

Slip N Slide.
A lot more slippin' than sliddin'. 

Beach day with Nonni.

Grandma Judie's Birthday BBQ.

Uncle Dan, Mike's brother

Meg x 2

Maxwell with the big kids out front.
Cousins. Ella with Charli.

Helping Grandma blow out the candles.

Hillbilly BBQ.

Ella savoring each bite of cake.

I keep trying to buy Maxwell a new hat. But he only wants Daddy's hat- Daddy's old, stinky hat.

Date Night.
We went to dinner than to a class reunion BBQ of Mike's.

I can never refuse a good hoop.

Old friends.

Monday, August 8, 2011

For Judie

Wanted: Mother in law

Who loves me unconditionally. Who encourages and supports her son. Who cherishes every detail about her grandchildren. Who is completely involved in our lives, but respects our privacy and parenting decisions. Who laughs with me and makes me feel special. So special. Who affirms me and really makes me believe I am a good wife and mother. Who I don't have to try to love. Who is my friend.

If I had to write an add for my ideal mother in law, this is what I'd write. And guess what? I got her. Thank you Judie. For everything. We love you. Happy Birthday!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Will Never Drive A Minivan. Or Will I?

We are car shopping. I drove a Honda Element which was in an accident (everybody's fine) and I have been driving a truck since October. Mike has an additional work truck so the good news is we weren't without a vehicle. But now we're looking to buy a family car. Even though only two of our kids live with us, we're looking ahead. In five years I want to be driving something big enough for Maxwell and Ella to each have a friend with them. I want seven seats. Which means three rows. We had really liked the Kia Sorento for the price and ratings on consumer reports.

We drove it and it's really nice. All the nifty features and it's pretty 'cool looking.' But really, it's kind of cramped. I imagine I'd have the back row folded down for most of the time which makes a ton of cargo space, but there's not a lot of room in the second row. I was debating on the Kia lot and I half joking asked to see one of their minivans. The Kia Sedona is the opposite of cool looking. It looks dated and just...extremely Mommish. But I fell in love when we got inside. Double power sliding doors! TONS of room for Max and Ella in their own captain's chairs! Ample trunk space! On and on and on.
We have so many more cars to look at but it's pretty funny that I'm even considering a minivan. 

Do any of you Moms have suggestions? Smaller SUVs? (I know, the environment) Minivans? We have a lot to test drive but some of our friends have the Mazda CX 9 and we like that. But again, it kind of seems like a lot to fit three rows into something that size.

Suggestions? Kid friendly choices?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Plasket Creek

We spent the weekend camping in the Big Sur area. I call it camping, but we had our RV. The kids loved it and we had a great time. Daddy didn't have to work,

...there was never ending mischief,

...follies on the beach,

...hugs that melt my heart,
...playing in the waves (Ella LOVES the ocean),

...a lesson in skipping rocks (or just throwing them),

...temporary suit wearing,

...campside games (with new rules),

...great friends with ADORABLE baby girl, Charley,

...and mouth watering fish tacos- caught and cooked by Mike, that day.

People always ask me if it gets easier with twins. As with all kids, I think it just changes. But this was our best ('easiest') camp trip yet.

The rest of our camping pictures (I take way too many) are here, along with adorable photos and videos of Uncle Spencer giving the kids their first official swim lessons.