Friday, December 21, 2007

The goose is getting fat...

We are headed to my parents' house for Christmas this year (if you're a thief reading this, please don't rob my house - although we'll have literally everything packed to the hilt in our janked up mini-van). It's going to be so much fun and so much chaos. Just in my immediate family there are 18 people - eight of them 5 and under. Wow. Thankfully Jeannie and Kelly, David and Mary Lane live in town, so we'll all have places to spread out...a little. When we all come together, though, we just all want to be in the same place, which usually means the 4 bedroom, 2000 square foot house where we grew up that we call home. Mom has parties and activities planned pretty much the whole twice, parties every night, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas day brunch. And then for the grand finale there will be Christmas dinner with 30 people in the same house we call home. Hilarious.

Even more hilarious are the emails that have been going around about what food all the women are bringing. I mean, we have to make sure we have enough, right? So here's the line-up. Please keep in mind as you're reading this that my mom thinks this list is STILL not enough:

Veggie Tray
Ham Things (ham biscuits that literally melt in your mouth)
Fried Turkey
Fruit Bowl
Tofu Turkey (my sister-in-law is the only healthy one in the bunch)
Cherry Cream Cheese Tarts
Lemon-glazed Pound Cake
Ten tons of chicken strips
Antipasto Platter
Huge Salad
Sour Cream Biscuits (I mean, wow...these are amazing)
Boiled shrimp
Sausage dip and chips
Vegetable Pizza
Pecan Tarts
Deviled Eggs
Sweet Potatoes
Maybe Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin
Enough alcohol to inebriate a small country
And, of course, a partridge in a pear tree

Think that's enough? Not so sure.

I'd love to hear what goodies you HAVE to have on Christmas. Just leave a comment that I'll post so everyone can see. (Reminder - to comment, just click comment, leave the comment in the space provided - don't forget to type your name, then click anonymous...It will not show up automatically, but it'll get there, I promise).

Since we will be at Mom and Dad's, I may not be able to blog for a while. They are still in dial-up land, though I am hoping and praying that's their Christmas present to each other. If so, I'll be up and running. If not, have a merry, hug your kids, kiss your family, and thank the Lord for your life - and for His.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The sweetest sound...

I've just recently discovered the sweetest sound in the's the babies laughing at Maggie. I thought it was cute when Tori laughed at me or Zoe flashed me that grin, and it was. But there's seriously nothing sweeter on earth than hearing them crack up at each other. It just makes me so happy and reminds me of my own house growing up. Of course there were other sounds in our house - yelling, screaming, fighting too - but I remember LOTS of laughter. Still to this day no one can make me laugh harder than my siblings. It's that full, hilarity, gotta run to the bathroom kind of laughter with them...and I can see it starting in my girls already.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Everything's better with a stick of butter...

So this is what I did with my morning while the twins napped. Hilarious. Maggie is such a mess and I love her to pieces, y'all!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More pics

As if you hadn't had enough of my little family...I got these yesterday from a friend, though, and they are just too sweet, so I had to add them. I love the one of Maggie watching Tori.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Big Weekend

This weekend was so fun! Saturday we just hung out at our house and took it easy - playing with the kids and napping and stuff. I forgot to mention last week that we are having to take Tori to a bunch of specialists to get her checked out because she's so tiny. So all weekend Mom and Sandy were testing her out - trying to get her to sit, stand, laugh, talk, whatever. It was funny. The pic of Tori surrounded by red above is when they pinned her in between the couch, the ottoman, and some pillows to get her to stand up. It was hilarious. Tori is so strong and she loves standing straight - she's just not very pliable and she doesn't bend well at the waist. So they just stood her up and surrounded her. It was really funny.
Saturday night the grandparents stayed with the kids so Ian and I could go out for our seven year anniversary! It was so great to get away together and have a fun night. We went out to the intracoastal to a place called Lulu's and had yummy seafood. Then after dinner we took chairs and sat out by the dock and watched a Christmas boat parade with about 50 other people. It was really so fun and neat. They had a fire pit out there and you could just sit with a beer and watch the crazy boats go by.
Sunday morning was the baptism. As if it's not crazy enough trying to get our family to a normal day of church, we had to get everyone in and out of the shower/bath and into presentable, non-puked clothes. It seriously took all five adults and one quite cooperative four year old to pull it off, but we managed to do it and actually get there on time. It was a really special day - our friends from church were there and the Bernards and Putmans were there too. It was so fun and the babies did great. Tori just smiled and cooed at our pastor the whole time, which was precious. Zoe looked like a deer in headlights, and Maggie was the sweet little proud big sister. I was so proud of our little family. I just love them so much and I have the greatest husband. It was just one of those moments when you just beam! I'll try to send more pics when I get them.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What a great Saturday

It's just 9 am, but we've been up and at 'em for quite a while around here. Last night Ian's mom, Sandy, and my mom and dad came into town for the twins' baptism this Sunday. I am at the computer printing off Christmas coloring pages for Maggie and "Doc" (my dad) to color in the kitchen. Ian's washing the dishes (what a studly, sweet hubby), and Mom and Sandy are feeding Zoe and Tori. I can hear them all in there laughing and washing and goo-gooing at the babies. I have to say that it makes me tear up to listen to them. It just makes me so happy to have my family here in our house. The tree is up and lit, the ipod is playing Christmas music, our bellies are full of yummy breakfast pastries, and I am actually sitting by myself at the computer without anyone crawling all over me!

Hope you all are taking time to enjoy the season. I have literally left the house twice this week during the day, so it makes it a little easier to "slow down" and do fun stuff like color Santa's sleigh, sing Christmas tunes, watch Rudolph for the tenth time, and drink hot chocolate. You gotta try it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Our good friend

Last week we lost a really dear friend to our family. Her name was Maria Alvarez and she passed away after a long illness. She was the sweetest woman ever - I'm serious. She and her husband, Al, would literally take a bullet for anyone in my family, and I'm sure there are many other families that could say the same. I remember meeting the Alvarez family when their kids were on swim team with us. Vivian and Virginia, their two girls, were really great swimmers and beat the goggles off of me (every day of the week and twice on Sunday). We used to all carpool out to Hunting Creek pool where we would jump in and swim at the crack of dawn. The trip to the pool took a while - about 15 minutes or so, I guess, so we had a lot of time to get to know each other. I didn't know it then, because Mrs. Alvarez was just Mrs. Alvarez to a little girl, but soon came to realize how dedicated and devoted a person and friend she was.

Mrs. Alvarez, my mom, and another family friend, Mrs. Wier, would take each other out to lunch every time one of their birthdays rolled around (though they were always about four to six months behind on each other's birthdays, but they still made it happen). I love that they were always dedicated to each other like that. Their lives didn't naturally intersect but they always made time to get together and care for each other. It has been a great example to me of the need for close, old friends (not old age, mom!).

Mrs. Alvarez learned somehow (maybe it was the gawking and begging) that our family LOVED her poppyseed cake, so she would bring one over at Christmas, Easter, or anytime she knew all the kids would be descending on the Sloan house. It was seriously so moist and delicious. She always told us it was for Matt so we all had to steal some of it before Matt walked in the door to devour the rest.

When David, my brother, had cancer in high school, the Alvarez' were right there with him and us every step of the way. I can't explain it, really, but they were just always there at the right time. Mrs. Alvarez would call or stop by to visit and it literally just brightened the day. She and Mr. Alvarez would come over and start chatting and it was all she could do to pull Mr. Alvarez away - I remember her always saying, "C'mon Al, let's leave these people alone!". Of course, we never wanted them to leave because they are like family.

Over the years I have come to appreciate the love of old friends. It's like a good old pair of jeans (that you wish you could fit into!) just makes you feel comfy and free. That's what it was like with Mrs. Alvarez - and what it continues to be with her family.

Praying for you, Mr. Alvarez, Virginia, Vivian, and the kids. Your sweet, Gamecock lovin' mom will be missed! I can't wait to see you guys at Christmas - and get that poppyseed cake recipe so we can carry on the tradition! Love you all...

Cooking Channel

I was just in the den feeding Tori and Maggie was eating lunch in the kitchen and the cooking channel was on. All of a sudden Maggie ran in the room and said, "Mommy, I just realized something! The man on the TV talking to Paula Deen is the man on Iron Chef!" (it was Mario Battalio or whatever his name is). Hilarious - especially since we've never seen Iron Chef - she just saw the commercials.

So we are just chillin at home today, and thankfully it is finally a bit chilly here. It's about 55 degrees right now, which at least feels like Fall. Because of this I actually had my air conditioner on yesterday, and then my heat on last night. Ahhhh, Florida.

By the way, how many times a day can one actually BE a rotten egg? Apparantly a lot because Maggie informs me that I am that rotten egg about every five or ten minutes. (i.e. "last one up the stairs, to buckle their seatbelt, to go down the stairs, to color their picture, to pick their nose"...the list is endless). She's not too far off, actually, since most days I do smell and look like a rotten egg until about 8:30 at night when I get to take a shower.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes...

So last night was a doozy. The twins had their shots yesterday at the doc and when we got them up for their last feeding around 11:30pm, they both had a fever. Zoe went back to sleep pretty easily after a bottle and some tylenol, but Tori was up and down a good bit because we also found out that she has an ear infection. Anyway, I have a bit of a cold, so I slept downstairs on the couch and checked on Tori whenever she cried out. I was up from 4-5 with her, re-tylenol-ing her and all that. Finally back to sleep, I am awakened at 7:30 by Maggie standing there staring at me. She's ready to get up for the day, get some breakfast, and watch "kid channel". As I'm getting up from the couch she says to me, "Mom, you look like you ate jelly all night long." I'm thinking, do I have something on my mouth? No clue what she's talking about, so I say, "Maggie, what are you talking about?". She says, "Your belly, Mom. Your belly looks like you've been eating jelly all night."

Ahhh, four year olds. Gotta love em. I actually would have rather eaten jelly all night than have to get up and down with the twins. I think we've been reading too much about Santa and his belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly. Hmmm...maybe I could moonlight as Mrs. Claus?
I need to remind myself that of course my belly looks like a bowl full of jelly. I mean, this is what it looked like 6 months ago - just a few days before I went in to have the girls! Not sure it will ever be the same again, but it was definitely worth it. Mama's, we need to love our war wounds!