Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo!

Happy Halloween everyone! Stay tuned for pictures of our awesome costumes!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life as a MoM

Back when I found out I was pregnant with the twins, I began reading a blog written by various moms who have either twins or triplets. Their stories are often helpful, encouraging or just a good laugh. It was in this forum that I learned the term "MoM." The capitalization is key here; it changes the word mom that we all know to mean "Mother of Multiples." As a MoM, I share many of the same experiences with any other mother, but there are certainly those that are unique to my situation as well. As I share a little glimpse into my MoM days, enjoy these recent pics of Jake & Mal enjoying some fresh air in the front yard.
  • To say that you need two of everything when you have twins is the understatement of a lifetime. Sure, there are certain toys & large items that we only bought one of, but I am constantly amazed at the sheer volume of stuff that we have for the kids. Onesies, socks, shoes, pacifiers & lovies seem to somehow mulitply until our house is just covered in them! Case in point: my extra bedroom closet right now. It is jam packed with outgrown baby clothes & gear. A few months ago, my sweet mother-in-law helped me organize it all, but guess what? Those little stinkers kept growing, & now we have a whole new heap of things to be sorted!
  • I've recently noticed that my children spend less time "underfoot" than it seems my friends' kids do. Other moms I talk to speak of their children playing near them in the kitchen while they cook, "helping" them fold laundry, etc. I think I save a lot of chores for the time that Jake & Mal are either sleeping or playing in the playroom because having two toddlers underfoot just inhibits movement too much. Don't get me wrong, I don't keep them fenced in all day, but I still think it's different than what most moms of one kid do.
  • One nice aspect of having twins that does allow me to get them out from under my feet is the fact that they play so well together. Since they always have a playmate, they don't mind that much if I leave them upstairs to go do something because they aren't ever really alone. Thank goodness for this!
  • We've never been to a public park or swimming pool! I hope to change this fact now that they're walking, but it was just near impossible for me to carry around two lumps of dead weight before I had the option of setting one down momentarily. Sometimes it bothers me that they've missed out on some experiences that they might have already had if there had only been one of them, but I can't dwell on that. As my friend Michelle reminded me the other day, "You're only one person!" I am thankful for encouraging words such as these!
  • The twins are still on a two-nap schedule, & I don't see it changing anytime soon unless they start not sleeping well. While many of my friends with similar-aged kids have relished giving up the morning nap in favor of more time to get out & about, I am hanging onto it with white knuckles. Nap time is a precious commodity around here, & it is my time to work out, shower, clean my house, etc. As I mentioned before, I don't get much done when there are two little shadows following me.
  • The recent skill of walking has entered us into a whole new world. It's pretty simple really: two kids walking does not equal two kids walking in the same direction! While I am excited about their newfound mobility, it complicates things like getting in & out of the car since the first kid out isn't usually too keen on waiting for his/her sibling. We're figuring it out, though!
  • Twins aren't really that rare, but they aren't the norm, so we get a lot of looks, pointed fingers & comments when we're out in public. During a quick stop at Sam's to pick up a prescription the other day, I had no less than fifteen people stop to talk to the kids. Everyone has questions about them, which I'm usually happy to answer. This certainly impedes our speed in getting through a store sometimes, but honestly, I think I would be sad if no one stopped to admire them. I've gotten so used to it that I might miss it if it was gone. What mother ever gets tired of hearing that her children are beautiful?
  • Speaking of Sam's, it is my favorite place to shop with the kids because we get to use just one shopping cart! I am currently bugging my SuperTarget manager about getting some of the new two-kid carts that newer Target stores have, but it hasn't worked yet. In general, the world really just isn't made for multiples! For our regular weekly grocery shopping, I push one cart & pull another so that each kid can be strapped in, but at Sam's they get to sit side by side.
  • Though our day to day routine may be a little crazier that that of some families, we also get twice the smiles, twice the giggles & twice the love. I love being a MoM & wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Ultimate Drink Stop


My name is Allison, & I'm a sonicaholic.

That red, yellow & blue sign calls to me as I drive by, beckoning me to pull in. And when it's between 2:00 & 4:00 in the afternoon, my mind can't help but fixate on the fact that my perfect cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper is there, waiting for me to come & pick it up - at half price! So I indulge. And you know what? I've decided that there are many worse vices, so I'll just embrace mine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yummy to My Tummy: Chocolate Chess Pie

Today's tasty recipe comes courtesy of Justin's family. It is a staple dessert at all of our family gatherings and is oh, so good! Even better, it's super simple! I have people ask for the recipe often, so I thought it might be a good one to post. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chess Pie

5 oz can evaporated milk 2 eggs
3 T cocoa 1/2 stick margarine or butter
1 1/2 C sugar 1 T vanilla

Mix all ingredients in the blender. Pour into an uncooked deep dish pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Best made the day before serving. It will keep for several days unrefrigerated.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Livin' the Island Life

J & I just returned from our first real, kid-free vacation since having the twins! You might remember that we spent a long weekend away from them in June, but with me nursing, it was hard to go anywhere that actually required a plane trip. Mimi (J's mom) was so sweet to come & stay with Jake & Mal while we took a break & headed to Grand Cayman for five days.

Even at 5:30 in the morning, we were excited to be heading out!
Neither of us had been to the Cayman Islands before, but we now agree that it may be our favorite beach we've visited yet. This little guy welcomed us to our hotel.We stayed at the Westin Casuarina resort. This is their off season in the Caymans, so it was very peaceful. Here's our view from our balcony.
The gorgeous beach! I've never seen water so clear, & the sand was perfectly white. In this pic, the Ritz Carlton resort is the tall building on the right. It was a huge resort.
I loved the mangrove trees all over the island.
During one of our many strolls on the beach, we spotted this white sting ray near the water's edge. The other form of wildlife that we saw everywhere was iguanas! They were too speedy for us to get a picture, but there were tons of them on the paths around the pool, in all sizes & colors. I was a little (read: extremely) concerned about these little creatures before we left for Grand Cayman. I had heard that they were everywhere, & I do not like reptiles, but they always ran away from us & weren't actually on the beach, so it was okay.
For most of our trip, we were beach bums, but we did venture out for one excursion to snorkel over a reef & swim with the sting rays. Self portrait as our boat headed out:
The boat takes you to what seems like the middle of the ocean, & then all of a sudden, the water turns a bright turquoise & becomes shallow enough that you can stand. Beautiful!
Our new friends, the sting rays!

As we were about to walk down the boat's steps into the water, I saw the sting rays crowding all around the boat & told J, "We're stupid! Why are we doing this?"
The feeling of the rays bumping up against you in the water is rather freaky at first, but you get used to it, & it's so cool! They feel sort of like a big mushroom, so soft & slippery, & they're very docile. We even got to hold them!Here are some other shots from around our resort. We took lots & I had a hard time narrowing it down.




Dressed up for dinner at the Ritz!




We had such a great time & enjoyed our much needed rest & relaxation. A huge thanks goes to Mimi for coming to keep the kids, as well as Nana & Papa, who came for the weekend to help out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

King (& Queen) of the Mountain

New discoveries & experiences are a part of daily life here at our house now that we have two walking, running toddlers. It certainly keeps life interesting! Our latest fascination: climbing! As we were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner a few nights ago, I looked over to see this little monkey. This was the first time either of them had made it up onto the bottom shelf of the green thing in our kitchen. It hasn't happened since then, but Jake was pretty proud of himself!

Mallory also wowed us with her climbing skills last week as she proceeded to push my little red kitchen stool up against a cabinet, climb onto it & reach around on the counter above to see what she could find. We were standing right there near her, so we just watched these events unfold, but we failed to have a camera handy.

Climbing stairs is a popular activity around here, too. You would think it would lose its charm, but they seem just as excited about it each of the multiple times a day that we do it. Mommy's arms & back enjoy the break!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Balloons for Chase

Today we had the honor of participating in a very special memorial. Our friends Mark & Chelsea Jacobs lost their sweet baby boy last week at 34 weeks of pregnancy. They asked that others join them today in releasing balloons in baby Chase's honor. We have been so saddened by the news of Chase's death this week, but we know that he is in heaven with our Father. After saying a prayer for this precious boy, Jake & Mal each got to release a balloon up to heaven. Jacobs family, thank you for letting us be a part of this day. Our prayers are with you!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Yummy to My Tummy: Soft & Chewy Chocolate Drops

I realize that the main reason most of you probably read my blog is to see my super cute kids. However, I would also like to start posting a few non-kid-related things, too! In that spirit, be looking for my "Yummy to My Tummy" posts to pop up occasionally with tasty recipes I've found. Today's edition was a major hit with my small group a few weeks ago, courtesy of the back of the Baker's brand chocolate box. Enjoy!

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Drops

Cookies:
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate 3 eggs
3/4 C butter 1 tsp vanilla
2 C sugar 2 1/2 C flour

Glaze:
1 tub (8 oz) frozen cool whip
6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

Cookies:
Microwave unsweetened chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes or just until set. (Do not overbake.) Let stand on baking sheet 1 minute; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.

Glaze:
Place frozen whipped topping and semi-sweet chocolate in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is shiny and smooth, stirring after 1 minute. Let stand 15 minutes to thicken. Spread over cookies. Let stand until glaze is set. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

I've been meaning for a while to start recording a couple of TV shows for Jake & Mal to watch whenever we need an entertainment filler. While I don't want them to turn into TV addicts, I also don't think there's any harm in a little TV watching each day.

Anyway, yesterday they woke up an hour before they should have from their morning nap, so I decided it was a good day to start. Sesame Street just happened to be on at that time, & they LOVED it! My video doesn't do it justice, but they were bouncing around, talking & laughing, with awestruck expressions as they watched. We saw all of my old favorites like Bert & Ernie, Elmo & Big Bird, as well as a few new friends. It's good to know that after all these years, it's still a great show!
video