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Showing posts from 2010

2011 Goals - Happy New Year!

I have to say blogging has helped me in so many ways. It introduced me to people like Marcia who inspire me to live a more intentional life.

Yesterday, as we drove up to see my parents, which takes almost 3 hours to get to, DH and I took the time to discuss our goals for 2011. We have some really out there lifetime goals that we've worked on, but we decided, especially from Marcia's example to sit and think about what do we want to accomplish this year. I'm going to organize this better, but these are just some of the things we came up with, other than our exercising a certain number of days per week.

1. Put a certain amount of money toward our debt (yes we have some - I did a lot of IVFs and other holistic treatments, you know?)
2. Go to Cape May, NJ for our family vacation this summer
3. Put a certain amount of money in Phoebe's savings account.
4. Install 4 ceiling fans - 2 in upstairs bedrooms and 2 in the conservatory on the first floor
5. Make adjustments to in…

No More Monkeys Jumping Out of Bed

We bought more outlet covers, drawer latches and blind cord holders from the local Lowe's this morning after our eye doctor appointment. Don't get me started about the eye doctor appointment. It was like Christmas mass over again. Liam was an angel and Tommy a total devil. Poor kid is getting his eye teeth in now along with Liam and he gets so stubborn about wanting to do what he wants to do! Whew, does he tire me out! Thankfully, I have my ways of getting him to relax a little bit, like singing "The Wheels on the Bus" a million times, with hand gestures. After we got back from our morning errands, the boys wanted lunch and a nap. They slept really long this afternoon and DH was making dinner by the time they woke up, so we haven't had time to do the installations yet and take the sides off the crib.

So this morning, I got up early and made sure I was showered and ready for my day before they were. I was waiting to hear them wake up on the baby monitor …

Guess What And Who

Guess who climbed out of his crib after his afternoon nap today? Liam did. I'm completely not surprised, as I do call him my Monkey Boy for a reason. He might be smaller by Tommy by 2 inches and 5 lbs, but he's a climber. They were finishing up their nap this afternoon when all of a sudden I heard a really loud cry. I didn't hear a bump or a bang, so I don't think he fell hard. I ran upstairs, knowing this was not a normal cry and I found Liam standing in the middle of his room, crying and looking confused like, "What did I just do!!!!!" And Tommy was looking at him like, "Wow! That was cool. Can I try it?"

We're going to take the sides off the cribs very soon. We need to get drawer latches to baby proof their furniture, otherwise we'll end up with clothes all over the room every day. Their sister never did that, but I know they will. I have a dresser near their cribs and the top drawer is now empty as they would empty that from t…

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We survived the holiday yesterday with our now three kids running around on nervous energy and not enough sleep. Now we're getting dumped with our first Noreaster of the winter season. For those not on the East Coast of the USA, that means we're getting dumped about a foot of snow tonight and it's really windy outside. I'm taking the opportunity to relax in the kitchen and bake up some pumpkins to freeze the mash for pumpkin pies, muffins or even pancakes. I've been so busy since we bought them, we're rarely ever home for enough time. So as I watch the snow fall and my pumpkins bake, here is the cup of coffee I raise to you all to toast the season. My special Christmas coffee topped with whipped cream and festive sprinkles. Enjoy!

Ear Infections and Pomegranate Martini Recipe

Tommy was having a hard time falling asleep last night. I felt so bad for him. He was tossing and turning and moaning, not crying, just moaning and I could see he was tired. I gave him some ibuprofen and he fell asleep. Took him to the doctor's this morning. Wanted to get him in before everyone scooted for holidays. Sure enough. Both ears infected. He's now on Zithromax or whatever generic equivalent there is, and the mending will now begin. Poor guy.

However, to celebrate the festivities of the season, I've been in the mood for a beverage that is red and not too sweet. I came up with this Cosmo-Style Pomegranate Martini that I think is quite tasty. Enjoy!

2 shots of plain vodka (don't use flavors, it makes it taste wierd)
1 shot of triple-sec or other orange flavored liquor
2 shots of pomegranate juice (see it's healthy! good for you!)
dash of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a martini shaker with ice and serve in a martini glass. Yum!

Mullets and Other Early 80s Fun

Tommy's hair has been starting to look like a mullet and I couldn't take it anymore. So before bath time tonight, I took a trimmer my DH has and just trimmed the back of his head. It's not the best job. I am not a good hair dresser; however, no one would notice any issues as he doesn't sit still to look at his head to begin with. At least he no longer has that look of "serious up front, party in the back" look to his hair. I really couldn't take it anymore.

That said, also in the topic of the early 80s, have you ever done anything earlier in your school life that people (especially mean girls) used to tease you about until you graduated and now you think it was really cool? So all I have to say is "Tara White, if you are out there, I'd really like that pic you have of me dressed up as Boy George when I was in 7th grade." It embarrassed me when I was younger, but now I feel like I was pretty cool. Yeah, I know it's cool only in m…

Pecan Pie Recipe

I brought my award-winning pecan pie to the work holiday potluck today. Wow! It still got rave reviews and was all gone by 2 PM. There were lots of other desserts still lingering, but mine was gone! And I had lots of people come up and ask if I made it so they could say how good it was. I'll share it. I don't mind. I use a really big pie dish for this. I think it's 9 inches in diameter, so I have to increase the filling by 1.5 of what my original recipe called for. I'll give the recipe for both amounts, so you could see what it might be for a regular pie pan size

Pecan Pie Recipe - a la Heather
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups dark Karo syrup (this is corn syrup and can be found next to pancake syrup)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (this makes it not taste so sweet - you cannot leave this out)
3 cups chopped pecans (I buy whole and chop myself not too small)
Pillsbury pie crust

No Naps = One Very Tired Mommy!

I don't think I'll ever let Liam miss his afternoon nap again. We were really busy on Saturday getting ready for the holidays. We went to our favorite store, Nordstrom Rack, for clothes shopping presents. Found lots of great stuff, but both boys did not nap. The worst part is that we were going straight to an Alumni Holiday Party from my DH's MBA program and the boys were OK in the beginning, but after awhile, they were the worst ever. We fed the boys first and then DH and I ate in shifts. Ever the gentleman, he let me go first, while he kept an eye on the kids playing. This is a family event, so they had some crafts for the kids to do, but our boys, being the toddlers they are, just wanted to eat the little puff balls and sparkly things they had for the kids to glue on. At least that's one of the things they tried to do when I was watching them. They were fine for DH, but for me, they were eating the crafty stuff, running off in different directions, which th…

Orange Glazed Pork Chops

I've been hit by another cold. I'm calling the boys "my little germ incubators". This is my second cold of the winter and we're only starting!!! So exercise has taken a back seat while I get sleep and lots of it. It's the only thing that helps me when I don't feel good. Which didn't help when it took me about 3 1/2 hours to get home last night. My 1/2 hour drive home became a parking lot because we got a dusting of snow last night and it was so cold there was ice on the roads. I also haven't been good about having a definitive menu plan, but I have had ideas ahead of time what we were having for dinner every night (except last night as I got home at 8 PM!). On Wednesday night, we had a good dinner for a cold winter night. I was so proud of being able to finally recreate a childhood dish that I've aways liked, orange-glazed pork chops. We had orange-glazed pork chops, baked yams and roasted brussel sprouts. Which was a very good comb…


So I'm trying to find time to exercise. In particular, I'm trying to get my butt up in the morning to exercise first thing and to change my mindset to enjoy that. I have to admit it is nice to go through the day without that guilty feeling that I need to work out. Knowing that I've done it already and having that great feeling that I did something for myself that makes me feel good. I will admit exercise does make me feel good. Ever since having the boys, I have had problems with anxiety sometimes and that seems to completely go away when I've gotten all that extra energy out of my system. I've also had lower back issues ever since having Phoebe ten years ago and nothing helps it as much as ensuring I spend regular time on the elliptical machine and get some stretches in. It really is the combination of the two. I've tried just one or the other, but I have to do both to get my back into peak condition.

So I'm trying to tell myself to get 45 minute…

Time for More Gratuitous Pics

I took some pics of the boys running around the other day. So just to show you how they are acting like little boys and not babies, I give you the following pictures of cuteness.

Here's Tommy, my big boy, acting like he's up to no good.

Here's Liam with his cute little elf face. He still looks just like me as a toddler.

Tommy is such a happy boy. This is the way he is most of the time.

And more Liam cuteness with his monkey blanket. Liam loves any receiving blanket. He's not very picky about that.

Oh my goodness! I better take more pictures of these cute boys! The next set of pics should be of them in regular clothes and not their pjs.

Santa Picture!

We went to the mall on Saturday morning for our annual Santa photo. For all that Phoebe says she doesn't believe, she still acted pretty excited to see Santa. I knew one of the boys would cry for Santa. I just wasn't sure which one it would be. It was Liam. Thankfully, they took the pic very quickly when they realized it was going to escalate. They were good. So he just looks like the beginning of a good cry. Poor kid. You'd think he'd be OK with his sister on one side and his brother on the other, but nope. I still like the pic though. It's a memory of this year.

Twin Boys Early Intervention Update

Last Tuesday we had the annual Early Intervention assessment update and both boys do still qualify for therapy, but different than before. Here's the update:

Physical Therapy: Liam will be down to 2x/month (was weekly); Tommy no PT.
Occupational Therapy: Liam no longer needs. Tommy never needed.
Speech Therapy: Both boys qualify. They are going to go back and discuss if it should be a speech therapist or a teacher to work on their communication skills and the frequency.

I'm not worried about the speech stuff. I'm sure it will come soon enough and we'll be begging them for a moment of quiet. But I'm all about getting them help to communicate better as they have said some things, but they will say it once and then never again. Then they do get frustrated when you can't understand what they want, so at this point, I'd be happy for better communication of what they want. I can't always say I'll give it to them, LOL! I also think they are a bit de…


Meet the newest member of our family! It's a piano that has sat in my in-laws house unplayed for the past 30 years. My DH and his musician/music teacher friend, G, rented a truck on Saturday and picked it up. DH fully dusted it and replaced the fabric that was on the bottom panel. I think it looks fabulous! It doesn't sound fabulous right now, but his friend is going to call a piano tuner for us and hopefully by Christmas we'll have G playing carols in our front living room! I tease G as our front living room is becoming a music room like his. They have a piano and a whole bunch of other instruments he plays/teaches. Our room now has a piano, guitar and violin. Phoebe plays guitar and violin right now. She also has memorized a small song on piano already, although she's never had lessons. I always wanted to learn to play piano. Now's my chance!

Menu Plan - Week of November 28th

I'm working hard at looking at our finances and where we can shave things off so we can save more money. We do have three kids to try to put through college now! As part of that, I'm going to work on my weekly menu planning. BTW, the Baked Chicken Nuggets recipe is from one of my favorite menu planners online. We've tried this recipe before and it's a big hit with grownups and children alike.

Matzo Ball Soup
Crusty bread

French fries
Green beans
Make sushi for my lunches and turkey pot pie

Tuesday – ice skating night
Turkey pot pie

Wednesday – CYFF night
Homemade Chicken nuggets
Baked sweet potatoes

Thursday – ortho appt
Sausage, pasta & tomato sauce
Make pizza dough

Pizza & salad

Saturday - leftover night

Update to Happy Thansgiving

BTW, the funny thing about my fast "Gotta Go" is that we'd been waiting for my DH to get done working (he works from home) so we could leave. The whole car was already packed. He had to trust us (Niki and I) that we didn't forget anything and we were running behind as we were waiting for him.

I typed the fast "Gotta Go" as he walked in the room and said, "Let's go. I'm done." and I had to rush off.

I'm hoping to have some cool updates of the kiddos and how other things are going. Right now I'm leaving the office. I had to go in today and I'm glad I did. Some things popped up that seriously changed some announcements I had. Wish I knew sooner, but live and learn.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things are getting a little better, still busy, but better. It's funny a friend yesterday when we were getting coffee at work made a comment that we're always doing something. It's funny, but true. Life just keeps getting busier. Last night I made 2 pecan pies, cranberry sauce and chopped 9 lbs of onions and when DH got back from taking Phoebe to ice skating class, he chopped 3 bunches of celery. Today, we made sushi rice (for an appetizer).

Gotta go!

Looking for Balance

I think this title sums it up. I've been working a lot. I've had the cold the boys gave me and it threw me for a loop. My father-in-law had heart surgery and is now doing well at home. I've still been swamped with taking care of work and babies. There's so much other stuff I want to do. Go out with my husband. Spend non-distracted time with Phoebe! Do my nails. Take a long hot bath. Write on my blog! Work out!

The last one is the most important as I was doing so well with working out in the summer that I looked and felt great. I miss that. And going into the milestone 40th birthday this coming March, I want to go into that looking and feeling my best again. So it's back to the elliptical machine I go and I need to do some yoga. Maybe if it's not too cold out, I could take some walks outside. But I need to get rid of this head cold. My nose has been like the water works and yesterday it was giving me a sinus headache. Thankfully, none of that t…

Crazy Work Update

It's been quite some time and there's been good reason. Home is great. Boys, Phoebe and DH are all good, but work is outrageously crazy. We've been under threats of layoffs since my last post. But of course it was all rumor and speculation. It finally sort of happened last Wednesday. They didn't lay anyone off though. The people they were going to let go are all in a pool of people that are looking at the current job openings in the company for another opportunity, while still being in the office. What's worse is that my boss is on that list and they gave me all his direct reports on top of the 8 people I was already managing. Then they also reduced my boss's overall team by 4 developers, reducing our ability to make things happen. So they are now looking at me to come up with a new organization for our team. I'm also putting together the list of processes we have to run every month, week and day and the list of new projects we currently have. I…

First Day of School!

The boys started their first day at school/day care yesterday!!! Niki is out of town and I found a day care near our house that can take the boys when we need them. I have a day care at work for emergency care, but they are never available even a month ahead of time, so I registered the boys where my best friend takes her daughter. I've been at the school several times to pick up her daughter, as we're on the list to be able to when they are in a pinch.

Anyway, the boys had a great time! They really loved it. When we dropped them off in the morning, we held them for a few minutes while we were talking to the teachers, but then put them down to put their things away. They both immediately went off in the same direction to check out some toys. They didn't care we put them down at all. Then when we went to kiss them goodbye, they couldn't be bothered. I'm waving bye as we're walking out the door and they glanced at us, but it was like, "Whatever, we…

Who FLYs?

So here's a question for my few readers? Do any of you follow (or try to follow) the Flylady routines? I've been on and off working on my routines for almost 10 years now. I will admit that when I've been using routines, life seems so much easier, especially a before bed routine. Our daughter has a morning routine to get ready for school and it really keeps her on time to not miss this bus. Which is good, as her school is 20 minutes from our house and that's just one way!

The one thing I'm working on these days is to be up and dressed before any of the kids. This is important especially on the weekends, as they are leaving morning naps behind in the dust and with that my ability to get dressed before noon if I'm taking care of them. On the weekdays, Niki gets up with the boys while the rest of us finish getting ready for work and school. But not next week! Niki will be away and the boys will be going to day care for a week. I really want to make sure I…

Tommy Is Walking!

Here's is Tommy's favorite thing to do these days. He loves practicing walking! What's really funny is that he will already kick a ball while walking he loves to chase after the ball and kick it again. Liam is working on his walking, but he's till happier if you hold at least one of his hands. Otherwise, he drops down to crawl again. Soon enough they will both be running around like this.

Updated Pics!

We've still been amazingly busy. I've been working hard on my Flylady routines both at home and work. I've taken my new timer (that has a vibrate mode!) to work and it's been great for my productivity in the office. A great example at home is that last night I set my timer for 15 minutes and I got the dinner dishes done, setup the coffee pot, shined my sink and wiped down the kitchen counters. I couldn't believe I got all that done in 15 minutes. I got the beginning of the month bills done in two 15 minute sessions.

This past Saturday, I cleaned out the closets in the boys' room. I had Phoebe's old clothes and the old baby clothes that don't fit the boys anymore. Phoebe's old clothes were either given to a friend's daughter (sizes 4, 5, 6 and some 7s) and anything smaller than a 4 went to a Goodwill bag. I separated the old baby clothes into either a bin for consignment or Goodwill. My car trunk is full right now and I'm going to t…

Mammogram Update

I had my mammogram today and they want to see me in 6 months. I'm not worried. They just said there was some calcification on my right breast and since I've never had a mammogram before, they need to check to make sure it's not doing anything.

BTW, if I haven't said why I needed a mammogram, both my mother's sister and my mother's aunt have (or had) breast cancer. My great-aunt passed away several years ago from breast cancer and my aunt was just diagnosed this past year.

I've already figured out how to remind myself to schedule the test. Six months from now is March 21st, less than a week after my 40th birthday. My plan is to call to schedule the re-test on my birthday.

Updates from Last Week

So we survived last week. DH was in Los Angeles from early Monday morning until Friday night around 9 PM. It was exhausting! Thank goodness Niki was here, or I wouldn't have survived with all our appointments. The after-school activities for Phoebe are starting to heat up and Liam had a consult with a neurologist on Thursday. The good news is we don't need to see him again, even though he was such a sweet man. We made the appointment back in May when Liam wasn't motivated to move. It was funny as the doctor asked me if I had any concerns today (which I don't) and what concerns I had in the past (a lot!). It was like a trip down memory lane trying to remember all the details of Liam's early days in the hospital: how long he was on the respirator, CPAP, oxygen, going back to CPAP, diagnosis of PDA, him getting medicine to fix that, how he was so laid back about eating. It's amazing all the things I almost forgot. At first he was concerned because Liam …

Boys - 15 month checkup

Just a quick note, we're having a crazy week here. The boys had their 15-month checkup with the pediatrician today. It's the last time we'll be able to go to them for now, as my DH's company changed insurance companies effective 10/1 and this office doesn't take that insurance. So far it's the only doctor we've had to change, but we've been going to this office for almost 10 years! Anyway, the boys stats are as follows:

Weight: 20 lbs 4 oz (9.19 kg)
Height: 31 1/2 inches (80 cm)
Head circumference: 46 1/2 cm

Weight: 24 lbs 14 oz (11.3 kg)
Height: 33 inches (83.8 cm)
Head circumference: 46 1/2 cm

Liam needs to stay on one bottle of Pediasure a day and Tommy needs to stay on Zantac for reflux. Other than that, they are doing great!

E-A-G-L-E-S! Eagles!

Well, they lost (after the boys were in bed already!) but they looked great! Plus some pics of them in their new PJs and other playing pics.

Look at this sweet one of Liam"s face!

And the boys with their Daddy!

A close up of Tommy (the Bruiser):

And I love this one. Liam kept making this face when he saw me bring the camera to my face. He was bracing himself for the flash going off.

We still haven't heard an official first word, but they are babbling all over. Tommy has taken to pointing at things, which is so cute (and effective!). We got their new forward-facing car seats and they loved them! They were very confused! Tommy kept pointing at the front of the car as if to say, "Wow! That was always there! This is cool!" Liam looked concerned. They are both on the verge of walking. It's there any day now. They'll take steps here or there and try to stand in the middle of the room.

Back to School/Back to Blog

Hi all! Sorry I've been away for so long. I have so many updates to do. I have to say things have been really, really great! We really worked to enjoy the summer this year. We had put our lives on hold for so long because of infertility and then prematurity. We went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and then we spent a long weekend in Cape May, New Jersey. I've decided for next year we will do Cape May again for vacation, but a whole week. That was really right up our alley. You can walk right into town, do anything you want without having to drive and then if you want to drive to Wildwood for the boardwalk and amusement park it's only 10 minutes away. And it doesn't take as long to get to Cape May as it does to get to North Carolina.

Other than that, things have also been great at home and work as I've been working hard on my Flylady routines with the beginning of the school year and all. I love the beginning of the school year and fall. To me it'…

Back to the Grind

Yesterday was our first day back to work. I ended up working late, but thankfully, DH made dinner. Vacation was so nice, but I love being home. I missed it. What was really nice was that everything was clean when we walked in the house, we could just unpack and start the laundry. I followed Flylady's vacation packing and planning list, and that was so helpful for this trip. We spend Sunday going to BJs to pick up food (Liam needed another case of Pediasure) and watching movies. I got caught up on a lot of stuff at work, but there is still so much more to do.

This morning I'll be going into work late though as Liam has physical therapy and then occupational therapy and Phoebe has an orthodontist appointment. I think we may be making an appointment for braces to begin! I hope my wallet survives.

I'm also coming back to update this post with a few things I forgot. For those that were interested, we did still travel to the beach last week with the boys rear-facing in…

The Beach and Proof That I Exist

Here's some cute pics of us on vacation. It's half over and some things have been awesome and some not so much. It's definitely been a learning experience. But we've all had lots of fun!!!

I'm not crazy about this pic, but here's one with me with both the boys!

Here's a cute pic of Liam (and me in the background)

Here's a cute pic of Tommy and his Mommy!

This is a funny pic of Liam crawling away from the water and Tommy sticking his tongue out in the background

Here's Tommy and his Daddy

Here's the best of the boys and their Daddy

And here's Phoebe having fun in the surf on her boogie board

Very Busy - Gearing Up For Vacation!!!

We've been very busy around these parts lately. In a really really good way. Work is keeping me busy as I have 4 mid-year reviews to finish writing (I finished them staying at work late tonight! Go me!), several hot projects at work going live before the end of the month and a committee to improve employee satisfaction with some deliverables needed from me over the past few weeks and will continue until the end of this week.

But the great part of all this is that next week, we are taking a whole week family vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I am so so so happy!!! We have not had a week off for a family vacation in about 5 years. We've had long weekends and we did have that great business trip my DH had to Disney that we tacked on three days mid-week for us and our daughter, but it's never been a whole week of us devoted to relaxing, spending time together and chilling out as a family. I CAN'T WAIT!

There is lots to do in the evening then to gear up f…

The Changes in Liam

I keep saying how different Liam is and it is so true! Here are some photos to illustrate Liam on the move other than his one armed commando crawl that I used to call the Quasimodo crawl (he really looked weird the way he commando crawled). Today he's going to have his first physical therapy appointment in three weeks. I can't be here as I took time yesterday to be at his first occupational therapy appointment ever, which I think we all agreed we'll have one more and if he's still doing well we can drop those. Niki will have the fun of showing Ruth all the cool things Liam can do now. I did talk to her on the phone earlier this week and she is incredulous that he's doing so much now. I wish I could see the look on her face when she sees what Liam can do now.

Here's Liam with something his brother wants. Sometimes Liam will let Tommy take stuff from him and he doesn't care. When he does care, he just stays on the move and Tommy follows him.

Here's …

Mmmm! Watermelon!

I need to take some pics of both boys standing and cruising as well as Liam crawling on hands and knees. I can't believe how far they've come. Here's a pic of them eating watermelon on the 4th of July. Enjoy!

Looking Forward to Dinner

We've been having some really hot weather around here lately and it's created havoc with my menu planning. I could eat salad 24/7, but the boys can't live on rabbit food alone, so I bought a new cookbook, Giada at Home and I'm loving it! Tonite we're going to have "Pasta Ponza" on page 85. The boys love pasta dishes, so hopefully everyone will be happy. We'll also be having a big salad to make Mommy happy.

I especially do need something to make me happy as we all drove DH to the airport last night. He's in Dallas, TX first and then Los Angeles, CA and I'll be picking him up from the airport on Thursday evening. I hate it when he's out of town. I don't sleep well and things are more hectic because he really does pull his weight around the house, straightening things up, asking if I need any help, reminding me of things I haven't added to our to-do list yet and getting Phoebe to activities. Of course I also just miss having hi…

One of Three Back

We spend a wonderful weekend with the kids in New Jersey. It was wonderful playing with my babies again and having Phoebe sit all over my lap with her wet bony butt (it hurts after awhile!). Her butt was wet as there was a pool at our disposal, which was fantastic, as the East Coast of the US is going through a horrible heat wave. It should be over 100 degrees Farenheit today. Ugh! We spent lots of time in the pool, which the babies and Phoebe love. The boys are on their way to being fishy kids like their big sister. I wouldn't be surprised if Phoebe ended up on the swim team in high school. The hard part was we weren't at our house, which makes it difficult to figure out where to put the boys to play when there are tons of people around, which was only on the 4th itself. The other days, we could put up barriers on the deck and let them play there.

Liam is catching up to his big brother in the physical skills. He's pulling himself up to stand and can do everythi…

Summer TV/Computer Rules for Kids

So Phoebe got out of school last Friday and we're dealing with summer vacation! I have to say I prefer it to getting her up in the morning and dealing with homework after school. She's at her grandparents' right now, but I told her when she gets back home, the following are the rules around TV and the computer:

1. No TV during the day. She can watch some shows together with us as a family in the evening. I figured if it was a rainy day, I might give her a reprieve from this rule, but it's been a pretty dry summer so far.

2. She can only be on the computer for 1/2 hour a day and it will be timed with the kitchen timer.

I know this will be similar to the rules at her grandparents' house as they don't allow the kids to play with the computer at all and the TV is not watched in the daytime when it's nice outside. Kids must be outside playing.

If you have children, did you impose rules for TV and the computer for the summer? Any other rules I should think o…

Bicycle Ride

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but DH and I bought bicycles this spring so we can ride around with Phoebe. We want to get a trailer that can seat the two boys, but haven't gotten around to that yet. So for now, we've been trading off who's riding bikes with Phoebe and who's pushing the baby stroller. Part of the reason we decided to do this is that our neighborhood is limited in being able to ride a bike. You can, but it's a dead end street with a cul-de-sac at the end. If you go out of our neighborhood just a little bit, but on a busy road, you can get to lots of other neighborhoods and have a great ride. I'm not comfortable letting Phoebe do this on her own yet, but very comfortable doing it with her and a double-stroller.

DH came up with a great idea for last night, since we are child-free for the moment and trying to make the most of it. We rode our bikes to our friends' house in the next town. It took us 20 minutes to g…

Child-Free Morning #1

The kids are all at their grandparents until the Fourth of July weekend. Phoebe finished third grade last Friday and today is our first day waking up without the kids. I'm missing them already, but I'm sure the trip is good for them. They will have so much fun swimming, playing in the sandbox and going on the swings and slide. We're going to focus on getting some work done and having some quiet time together.

I do have some good news! Liam is finally pulling himself up to sit!!!! It's taken him forever, but thankfully now the two things that made me concerned lately he is now doing: holding his own sippy cup and pulling himself to sit. He's going to have three weeks off physical therapy because of this trip to the grandparents', so I'm glad he's making some good progress.

Update: BTW, let me make it clear that the all-knowing, all-powerful Aunt Niki is with them, so they are not alone with their grandparents. I don't think they could handle …

Memorial Day - and Cake Pics!

We spent the day after the boys official birthday at my in-laws for the usual Memorial Day picnic. It's on Sunday instead of Monday, so we don't all have to drive through Jersey traffic with people trying to go home that evening.

Here's Phoebe in her favorite place, the pool! That girl really knows how to swim! That day she showed me her shallow dive that DH taught her, the kind swimmers do off blocks at the beginning of a race. It was amazing!

And here's what you've all been waiting for! My niece made the boys their cakes. We all ate the Elmo cake and the boys each had their own individual cake to dig into. They came out fabulous and they really loved them.

Here's the boys and their daddy waiting for cake!

We all sang Happy Birthday! Here's the boys with Dad and Sis and their cute little new bibs!

Tommy stood in front of his cake to eat it, but Liam was so tired (another no afternoon nap day!), that he just wanted to sit in my lap and eat his cake.

Of c…

Boys First Birthday!!!

Here are the pics from their actual birthday. I will warn you there was no actual birthday cake on their birthday. That came the next day at the usual Memorial Day barbeque at my in-laws.

BTW, something weird did happen on their first birthday. I did wake up out of the blue at 2AM, a few minutes before they were born the year before. I went and peeked on them and then took pics as soon as they woke up. Here's the boys waking up officially a year old!

Tommy (Mr. I-Love-To-Pull-To-Stand)

Liam's first moments were cranky, but he was very happy hiding behind a Cheerio at breakfast.

Here's the boys all dressed up and places to go!

Here's Phoebe getting in on the birthday love. Boy has her life changed in the last year!

Here's the boys enjoying some jazz music at the vineyard up the street from our house. Do you think they will take an afternoon nap here?

Here's a plug for our friend's jazz trio. Phoebe took this photo.

Phoebe's artistic creation of the day