Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Five.

On Friday, our amazing little miracles turned FIVE YEARS OLD.
 
I know. I can hardly believe it either.
 
I asked David if he would take one good picture of me with my babies on the eve of their birthday...our last night with four year olds...
Well.
Birthday Madness had already set in, and these two wanted absolutely nothing to do with a staged photo session...but the candid shots turned out pretty fun anyways...
 






 
These two were worth every minute of the wait.
Even in my most overwhelmed moments, I know we are richly blessed. 

"Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay."
Habakkuk 2:3b

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Because blogging sounded like a good idea...

(**I wrote this on Saturday night. And then completely forgot to hit "publish". Let that serve as a testament to how much my brain is currently mush.**)

It's Spring Break?! I'm not sure how it's nearly the end of March. I guess we're still catching up from the February of Illness??? But seriously, will we ever not feel behind around here?

I should be doing about a dozen things other than blogging, but I just don't want to.

We put our house on the market earlier this month. It was a good time to do it -for a number of reasons- so we did. I have mixed feelings about it. We became a family here, ya know? So many memories.
Also? Super hard to keep a house clean for showings. Kinda hate that part. Our broker is hosting an Open House tomorrow. I should probably clean.

I still have a large tote shoved in my van full of crap important things that were on the counters and floors and just generally outta place prior to our last showing. Somewhere in that tote is the information the DMV mailed me regarding renewing my drivers license. Which is now expired. Should probably dig that out.

The twins turn five this Friday. FIVE. It was five years ago that this happened. Babies were born. While I can't say it's gone by fast, I also am struggling to wrap my mind around the fact that we have five year olds now.

Lots of party stuff to do.

 
Whenever my To Do List gets too long, and I feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, I get SUPER dramatic and become an absolute wimp.
 
My husband is a really lucky man.
 
I flail my arms in the air and declare "THERE IS TOO MUCH TO DO!"
 
And then I go into avoidance mode. Today when I got home from work, the kids were still down for Quiet Time (and I'm playing fast and loose with the word "Quiet" there) so said a quick "hi" to Dave and immediately left to take Dory for a walk. For 45 minutes. Because I wanted to avoid everything that needs to be done at the house.  
(But, also because she hadn't been walked since Tuesday and we don't have much of a yard for her to run in...)

Then I came home and played with the kids.
Then I made dinner.
Then I cleaned up dinner.
Then I found random small things to do around the house.
And then I read books to the kids.
Then they went to bed and now I'm blogging.
Because I have 4 phone calls I need to return/make...and I don't know which one to do first so I'm just not gonna do any.
Because I have clean laundry in the dryer that if I don't fold tonight I'll likely need to tumble again tomorrow to get the wrinkles out.
Because I could do some things to get ready for the Open House tonight, like mop or dust.
Because my email inbox is out. of. control.

But mainly because I realize that nothing that overwhelms me today is critical. The majority of it is First World Problem kinda stuff. And that fact grounds me when I'm circling the drain... but also doesn't help me get motivated ;)

So blogging and facebook it is ;)

Last week I turned 34.

It was a good day.

My sister Emily was here, and she came with us to the community center for Family Swim. We have a blast every time we go, and this time was extra fun with a 3 on 2 offense. (remember, the best defense is a good offense). We swam and swam, and then got take out on the way home for dinner. It was just the fun and relaxing day I'd hoped for =).

 
 

Then on Saturday David and I got to go to a cabin on a mountain with another couple. They are some of our favorite friends, and we had such a great time relaxing and hanging out. The cabin was right on the river and it was so peaceful. We ended up being gone exactly 24 hours, but it really felt so much longer.
It's much easier to get away like that now that the kids are older - for them and for me ;). It helps that the kids have a ridiculous amount of fun with their Aunties ;).
(the fort Auntie Mem made for them...seriously impressive!)
 
And if you've made it this far into this rambling, stream of consciousness, you will now be rewarded with pictures of the World's Cutest Twins...

 

I mean I know I'm biased...but still, how adorable are they?!?








Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lately...

As Spring begins over here, I figured it's a good time to do a good old fashioned picture dump =).
 
I always love having these posts to look back on and see what we were up to "way back when..."
I had contemplated giving up blogging after my Grandma passed - sometimes it just feels like ONE MORE THING TO DO - but I started reading old posts from when I was pregnant, and when the twins were tiny babies, and I realized how grateful I am for this Memory Book of sorts =). Plus, if I ever make the time for an actual thoughtful post, it's a good place to journal.
I know several extended family members like to check in and see what our family is up to, and I still receive weekly emails from people wanting to advertise on here (which is not something I'm interested in...sorry!!) so it must get more traffic than I realize...which I choose not to spend a lot of time thinking about, or I start to get a bit weirded out..;)
 
So. Lately:
 

One evening Luke decided he wanted to sweep the laundry room.
Um, ok. Sure. I'll allow that.
He tucked Bear into his jammie shirt to assist him...adorable.
 
 
I feel so blessed that we get to raise both a daughter AND a son.
Hand to God, I would have been completely thrilled if we'd had two of the same sex...I was just so giddy to finally be pregnant, let alone with TWO babies!
But when we found out we were having one of each, I felt like we had won the lottery.
And it continues to feel like a gift each day. They are so alike and so different (and I realize only some of that has to do with gender) and it's so fascinating to me that two kids being raised exactly the same, going through the exact same stages (age wise) at the exact same time can be so different.

One of the main things I love about it is the collaboration of toys.
Here is Abbey parking SuperHero cars in garages made of blocks, and then putting SuperHeros to bed in bunkbeds made of blocks.
I die.
=)


 
 
Pulling your weight around here by pulling weeds...
 
 
 
Being sick most of February meant being cooped up at home A LOT. That forced us to get really creative, and we ended up digging out some things we hadn't played with in a long time. Like the sensory bin...



We also got creative and lined up action figures all over the bedroom and practiced shooting our nerf guns...




 
 We also recently hosted our very first "school friend playdate". While playdates are nothing new to us, this was the first time we invited friends from preschool - kids who I wasn't already friends with their parents, like my Twin Momma group, or Church friends, or family friends.
I'd met these kids' parents at preschool, but we'd never been to each other's houses.

I told our kids they could each pick one friend to invite over. Abbey picked her sweet friend F and Luke picked his fun friend E.

 
 
We've been playing more games lately, like Memory...
 


And I think this may be the most surprising thing about being *almost* five...the ability and interest in sitting still and coloring. It has TAKEN OVER our home.
And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled about it!!

 
So, there you have it. A glimpse at our days lately. Of course this doesn't include the battles and weeping and gnashing of teeth, because I tend not to photograph those moments =). I'm not sure if it's coming off of 6+ weeks of illness, or just a frustrating Season, but the kids and I have been struggling to find our groove at home lately. But, we press on =). Seasons come and go, and it's nice to take a moment and sit down, look at pictures and write about the good stuff =). 


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Valentine's Day =)

Because suddenly it's March.
I feel like I lost all of February to illness, and I am behind on every aspect of life because of it! Seriously, How is it March already!??!


We had a low-key Valentine's Day, as it fell in the middle of all our various illnesses.
Also, David and I don't really celebrate Valentine's day. We're big on birthdays and anniversaries around here =).
But 4 is such a fun age for excitement. Everything is fun and exciting when you're 4! Expectations are still fairly low as well, so it makes it pretty easy for me to add some Joy to our home.

Abbey and Luke were pretty blessed this year! They received mail (also a really fun thing when you're 4! No bills!) from all 3 sets of grandparents! They were so excited.
 
 Opening their Valentine's Day packages from GrandDad and Grannie Annie...


Putting together the puzzle message Grammie and Bopbop sent, and reading cards from Grandma Donna and Papa...

 


Their preschool had a little Valentine's Day party that I got to volunteer for. It's always so fun to get to observe our kiddos in their class!





 


Checking out their haul...





 
We had pink, heart shaped pancakes for dinner that evening...
(Aunt Kay, great minds think alike!!)
 



 
Abs showing off her heart puppet from preschool...



I saw this idea on Pinterest, and immediately knew it was something I wanted to do.
I've said it before, if I can instill gratitude and kindness in my children in their early days, I'll be so thrilled. I really do not care if they succeed in academics or sports or theater or band or whatever, I just hope to raise grateful, respectful, happy kids. Because that's really the key to a happy life =). 

The kids cut out little hearts I'd drawn on different colors of construction paper. We left them in a baggy on the counter, and each day between Feb 1st and 14th, we'd each right something we loved about another family member. It was so sweet to see the things everyone came up with. I beamed with pride when one of my family members said they loved that I "gave the best hugs and kisses"....there's something to hang your hat on! =).

And now it's March. In fact, the first week is even already over. Oy. The twins turn 5 this month (!!!!) and I've done exactly one thing to prepare for their party...confirm our Church gym is available for use again this year. That's it. Luckily, as mentioned above, they are at a pretty-easy-to-please age, so as long as there is cake and some friends, they'll likely be thrilled =).
Happy Spring!



Monday, February 23, 2015

I heart Tamiflu


The second half of January was plagued by sickness for us. And then the majority of February as well.
It has sucked.
Poor David had it the worst of us, he was sick for nearly two weeks straight.
The rest of us got small reprieves in between viruses.

The last Thursday in January, David was home from work with what we thought was a nasty stomach bug (and learned later was Influenza A), and I had a cold, but the kids were healthy and we were pretty sure the end of illness was near, and the kids had managed to escape it all.
(what fools we were...)

Then I went to pick the kids of up from preschool Friday morning, and was in my van in the pick-up line (early) (which is rare), and the teacher brought my babies out to me, before school was even over. Turns out Abbey had just thrown up in class! Poor thing!! She felt miserable, and was so embarrassed she'd thrown up in front of her friends. My heart just broke for her. We quickly headed home, where she proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon throwing up, coupled with a 103 temp. My poor baby.
 I finally drug myself to an Urgent Care that afternoon, and was diagnosed with bronchitis and an ear infection. I had 100.8 fever there. I may or may not have begged politely requested the Urgent Care doctor just admit me to the hospital, put me in a delightful little medicated coma, and just wake me when I and everyone in my family was healthy again.
She said no, but she would give me lots of cough syrup with codeine, which is a cheap but close second.
That same evening Luke was light-sabering around our living room with his usual fervor, and then randomly decided to lay down on the couch.
And promptly fell asleep.
Which has happened exactly never in that boy's lifetime.
I took his temp and was not surprised when it read 103.2. Bless his little heart, he had it too.
So. We've been hanging out around the house a lot lately. Recovering.
Luckily, these adorable kiddos have a vivid imagination...







Lots of jammies. Unlimited screen time. No regular meal times. Lots of toast.

 Because the twins got on Tamiflu the very day they started showing symptoms of the flu, they were feeling much, much better within 48 hours. *miracle drug*


But I was still down from the bronchitis, and Dave was still down from the flu, so we had to call in some reinforcements, AKA:Grandma.
David's mom came up on Saturday and spent the entire day caring for our kids so we could rest.
And rest we did!
Dave ended up taking a long nap, and I slept the entire day. Like ALL DAY LONG. I didn't even see my Mother-In-Law! I didn't wake up once in the entire 8 hours she was here. The night before I'd slept on the kids' bedroom floor (very loose use of the word "slept" just there) and with bronchitis as well, I was just exhausted.


The kids were grateful to have Gaga here to care for them, as were David and I =)








Whenever our entire family gets sick, the kids rebounded the quickest, which is always a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand you're so grateful your babies aren't miserable anymore...and on the other you're like "SHHHHHHH!!!" because you still feel like death.


Luckily, between a house full of dress-up clothes and toys, and Netflix streaming instantly, they managed to stay entertained...
 














The next Monday evening I went to work, only to throw up 1 hour into my shift...which meant facing the sad reality that I was not going to escape the flu like I'd thought.
Curse words flew out of my mouth as I asked one of the pediatricians I work for to write me an rx for Tamiflu. I started the med that night, and although I was positively miserable the next day, by Wednesday I was feeling much, much better. (Seriously what is in that stuff? Is it meth?!?)


I kicked the flu just in time for my bronchitis to come back in full force. I'm finishing off round two of antibiotics tomorrow, and David just finished his for pneumonia, (which his flu ended up turning into).
OH! And. AND!! Abbey got croup in there somewhere as well.
It's been a helluva month at our house.



It's nearly 60 degrees outside today (huge for Feb in Oregon!) so we've got all the windows open and are determined to get the germs outta this house FOR GOOD.
Grateful for Netflix, grateful for friends who will run to the pharmacy for you, grateful for apple juice, grateful for warm baths, grateful for grandmas, grateful for health insurance, good doctors, and good meds.

And grateful for the ability to keep twin 4 year olds entertained during so much illness...
we even pulled some old tricks out of our book, like glow-stick bath! (AKA: Baby Rave)



Here's to a Healthy Spring!



Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tae Kwon Do!

Last month the kids have been taking Tae Kwon Do class at a local community center.
If you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm in love with these little classes! This particular one was $15 (per kid) for six classes. They're really well taught, and our kids get a taste of some activity to gauge their interest without breaking the bank.
 
I'll be honest: I'm really hoping Martial Arts is something they want to do for a long time. I love how it teaches self control, discipline, and strength.
All good things =).
 
The instructor for these classes was so great. Each class he would talk about how even the best students make mistakes, and how and when are appropriate times to use their Tae Kwon Do moves. He held their attention well, and was very firm but still incredibly positive.
 
(Luke on the right end of the back row, yellow shirt. Abbey on the right end of the front row, pink sweatshirt)










At the end of each class, the lead instructor would pick two or three kids as "Star Students", he was clear to explain (each and every week...which this over-sensitive soul appreciated ;) ) that each student did really well and he was proud of them, and that all he expected was that they try their best. He explained that this award was just for who he noticed did a particularly fantastic job keeping their eye on the teacher.
He also said that before the six classes were over, each student would receive one.
 
 
Well...Abbey was recognized her first week!! We were so proud of her!!


She got to select which color headband she wanted, and received a paper award ;)
 
Luke was a little down that he didn't get an award that first week, but to his credit, he really tried to be happy for his sister.
(it just came out later that evening when he puddled over something silly...it was one of those "there is wayyyy more to this story" kind of meltdowns)
 
But, such is life. You can't win all the time, and you have to *try* and be happy for those who do.
 
Abbey was positively beaming as the other kids in the class came up to check out her headband and congratulate her! And good for her. She earned it She was a model student.
 

Looking pretty proud in our kitchen after class...


 
The next week,  Abbey got another award. I'm telling you, that girl obeyed when she heard the instructor say the best students have their eyes on the teacher. BabyGirl was not distracted even once.
 
Luke didn't seem to mind at all that time, thank God, and seemed genuinely happy for his twin.
Bless his little heart.
 
Finally, at week three, Luke got his award! 
 

Abbey was positively thrilled for her brother.
I love love love how she is waving to him here...


We took this class with some of our twin friends, and it was particularly fun week three because one of our buddies was awarded at the same time!
 



Luke picked a green headband.

 He was so happy.
 
And both my kids finally had their headbands, and were therefor (self-declared, mind you) "Real Ninjas now", so my life was pretty complete.
 
I mean, check out these fierce moves...


Proud boy showing off his award and headband...
 

 
 
And show us how you bow...