Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm just sayin...

Living in Florida is funny sometimes. I wanted it to be cold on Christmas, but the next day I am fine with the warm weather. I've been like that since we got here. It's tough to not have much of a fall to speak of, but I can do completely without winter. It's once again in the 70's today and I'm in jeans and a new J Jill hoodie that Granny Franny gave me. I really just have it on because I like to pretend it's cool enough to wear right now. I could actually be sitting on my back porch typing this to you in shorts or even my bathing suit, but I wouldn't want to scare the turtles and birds that live in the deathtrap (i.e. pond in my back yard). Or scare myself, for that matter.

I am so anti-New Year's resolutions for the obvious reasons, not the least of which is that it only makes me feel more like a schmuck when I don't do what I thought I could do. Like I would somehow have a personality transplant and suddenly begin exercising, eating right, reading my Bible and being kind to small animals on a daily basis. Instead I am trying to live with grace - for myself and other people. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. It doesn't work, for instance, when I give myself the grace to eat my third chocolate chip cookie and stir chocolate chips into my healthy yogurt snack. That's not grace...that's just yummy. I do try to give myself grace on how I see myself and how others see me, but that doesn't work all the time either. Like yesterday I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while and she asked me if I was "having any more". Did she mean am I having any more kids at this particular minute? Probably. So I told her no way, that my tubes were tied up tight, and then I very carefully pulled my cardigan across my front and asked her if she was planning to have any more. Don't people know that you're not supposed to ask ANYONE if they are pregnant or when they are due. Not even sure if that's what she meant, but it was enough to make me hold off on the chocolate chips for a few days.

But I digress...that is just the opposite of giving myself grace. It's such a hard balance. Rationally I know that I have had three kids in the past five years and one pregnancy was with twins...nevermind the fact that one of the twins only weighed 3 lbs. 15 oz. I would feel ok using that excuse if I were doing something to lose some of this weight. But I'm not..not at all. So Ian and I decided to try this calorie count thing that's worked before but I have to say that I have no confidence in myself or my ability to keep any weight off for an extended period of time. I do look at other mommies as they run or bike up the street and think I need to get on the ball. Comparison is the thief of joy and all that. But then I see a woman pulling a wagon full of kids while cramming her hand in a bag of goldfish and I feel all better. Sometimes comparison can be a little joyful.

Admit it, you all know you do the belly watch. It's like when you were single or in your twenties and you would always look at someone's left hand to see if they were engaged or married. Now we've just moved on to looking to see how we measure up in the "who can get their baby weight off the fastest" category. In case you're wondering, I am losing that race.

What I'm talking about, though, is that I want to be ok losing that race. In my rational mind I know I need and want to be "healthy", but when I'm really honest with myself I just want to look darn good at the bus stop. I'm not super proud of this post...I'm just trying to be honest. So for all you belly watchers out there I'm praying today that we will see ourselves as the Lord sees us, through the eyes of Truth! Here's hoping we will lean into that Truth today.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And Mama in her Tank Top and I in my Cap...

It's Christmas Eve

It's 79 degrees outside

Our heat broke in the middle of the night on Monday

Who cares because it's going to be close to 80 all week

My girls are going to burn up in their red velvet outfits for church tonight

Santa is going to blaze in his head to toe fur here in Jacksonville.

Come to Sunny Florida...Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear Santa...

The following is Maggie's last minute letter to Santa that she wrote this morning...

Dear Santa,
I want a new Wonder Woman outfit because the one you brought last year didn't fit, actually. I want a big wheel and baby dolls and more My Little Ponies.

(And for the twins)...I thek tha wot Diyprs (i.e. I think they want diapers).


Thank goodness Santa is on the ball. Just as long as she doesn't write another last minute list then we're all good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Step By Step...Oooh Baby...

So Tori was just a walking machine yesterday!!! And by "machine" I mean that she took 5-6 steps back and forth between me and Sandy. It was amazing. We were both screaming and hugging her and I was crying. She is just such a little amazing kiddo and I'll try to post a video soon.

Zoe got jealous so she started walking back and forth between us so that we would yell and scream for her too. So cute.

It's been a great week. Ian's sister Miranda and her boyfriend Jud came to visit for the week. They played and played with the kids and it was so fun. We went outside every afternoon and were able to let the kids run/crawl around since we were man to man. It was heavenly. By the way, Tori crawls like a fiend - even on concrete. She has holes in the knees of all her pants and she scrapes up her toes if she doesn't have her shoes on. She's learned, though, that this hurts, so she now crawls on the cement and picks up her feet behind her. Ian says it's like one of those wind up toys that walks on the table. It's really cute/brilliant.

Anyway, it's been fun to have family here, and I've gotta say that this is the time of year to live in Florida. I actually had my air on yesterday. IT's been 80 degrees and gorgeous. I took the girls for a walk this afternoon and there were tons of kids running through the neighborhood and parents chillin in their lawn chairs on their driveways. So fun. Come visit!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I ain't got nothin' but love babe, eight years this week...

So Tuesday was our eight year anniversary. Ian left for work at 7 am and when he woke me up to tell me goodbye and happy anniversary I had a breathe right strip on my nose and bad breath. That night when he kissed me goodnight I had yet another breathe right stip on my nose and the sweet scent of the Halls of Mentholyptus filled the air in our love nest.

Not quite the way we said goodnight eight years ago.

Eight years ago we were both at least 30 pounds and three kids lighter. We were looking our best and acting our best. We went out to expensive dinners and stayed in fancy hotels just for the fun of it that first year we were married. It rocked.

We have lived through five jobs, family deaths, five residences, grad school, an almost nervous breakdown (by yours truly), the birth of the Mag, a move from God's Country to Gator Country, the birth of the twins, Tori's diagnosis, and lots of other stuff in between. It's easy to look back and see all the tough things we've been through. It's good, though, to think back on all the ways we've grown closer through those bad and good times.

We watched the movie "Family Man" over Thanksgiving and if you haven't seen it then you should go get it right now. It's such a great, funny and true movie. And Tea Leoni has possibly the best haircut known to mankind in this film. Anyway, there's one line in the movie that is so sweet and so true. Nicolas Cage looks at his wife and says to her, "After all these years I've never stopped loving you." Sappy, chic flickish, but so good. And so true. When we said "I do" on that rainy night in Columbia eight years ago I never could have imagined how deeply I would come to love and care for Ian. Not fancy, just fabulous.

BTW, I definitely picked two "30 pounds ago" pics for this post.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So much going on

We have had a jam packed week. As you know, last week was nothing short of toddler hell as we cared for the twins and their sicknesses. Thursday was great, though, and we ate a lot and laughed a lot. My friend Melyssa was here with us for Thanksgiving which made it even more special and fun. Then I called some neighbors to come over for dessert and they did, bringing the women to men ratio 10 to 1. Yes, you read that right. Poor Ian. He made the turkey outside and sat out there most of the morning getting his "man" on, and then after lunch I finally told him to just go watch football and snooze, which he did willingly and enthusiastically. He hung in there, but there's only so much a poor guy can take. Frankly some days I wish I could have a boys night out. There's just a lot of females round here these days.
On Friday the twins were better but still puny so Ian and Sandy stayed here while I went to Orlando with my side of the family. It was a total trip. I realized in the car on the way there that I hadn't left my house for a week and a half, except to go to the store and to Maggie's school. I told my mom that I felt like Ian gave me a "get out of jail free" card by letting me go one day before the he and the twins showed up.

The place we stayed was perfect and it was a blast to be with my three of my siblings, nieces, nephews and parents. My cousin Caroline came too and we had a great time. Here are some pics...

Gotta run. My sweet hubby just got home and I want to hang out with him a bit. Our 8 year anniversary is next week. Yippee! I know that's not that long, but we have been through a LOT in 8 years so we're gonna celebrate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"But I would be proud to partake of your Pecan Pie"

I was just getting out my ingredients to make pecan pie and I knew I had a bunch of Karo syrup. It's one of those items like vanilla extract or lemon juice that you're never sure if you have enough so you buy another bottle. And you never really think any of those things expire. Well, I found four bottles of Karo syrup so I thought I was golden. Then I checked the expiration date...

My first clue should have been that the bottle was from Harris Teeter, which is nowhere to be found in the state of Florida so it had to have been from North Carolina. (We've been in Florida 2 1/2 years now). Upon further inspection I saw that the expiration date was October 31, 2000! Yes, that's not a typo. 2000. What happened in the year 2000? Ian and I got married, we moved into our first apartment, I probably made my first pecan pie. Seriously, that bottle has seen some highway. It's taken up residence with us in four different houses. Awesome.

I thought about framing it in a shadow box or something to remind us of the sweetness of our young love in 2000. No, I didn't think that at all. I just laughed and knew I needed to call my mom because that's something that would happen to her too (sorry mom, but we know it's true).

The moral of the story is, when in doubt just go ahead and buy a fresh bottle of syrup/vanilla/lemon juice...or don't and take a trip down memory lane with your expired bottles of goodies.


So it's Thanksgiving tomorrow and in true holiday form my kids are sick. I am pretty sure that for the first two years of Maggie's life she had an ear infection on every major holiday, including both of her birthdays. I need to keep that in mind because as Ian and I remember it she was never as sick or as irritable as the twins. Pretty sure she was just as sick and just as irritable but she was just one miserable child and not two at the same time.

Tori has RSV and a double ear infection. She's also acting like she's getting more teeth. If I were to swear then I would swear to goodness that I am going to lose it if these kids don't get all their teeth...and quick. Zoe has ear infections too and a bad cough. Soooo....I am giving them breathing treatments three times a day (which is really 6 times a day) and that is just not fun. Not just because they try to swat away or bite the inhaler for five straight minutes, but because they literally cry non-stop all day long...and most of the night.

Since Sandy's been here I feel like I've been validated in all my feelings and frustrations (as well as the joys too, but I'm not thinking joyful thoughts right now). She has said a number of times that before when I told her we had a hard day she would believe me, but now that she sees it firsthand she realizes that I speak the truth. It's just been straight up terrible for the past few days. Really the past week - they got flu shots and immunizations last Wednesday and ever since then they have been sick. Ugh.

To top it all off we are supposed to be in Orlando this weekend for Thanksgiving/Christmas with my side of the family. I have been so excited about it and I was so so mad yesterday thinking I may not be able to go. The doctor said today that he didn't think we should take the twins so I am trying to shift my expectations from a magical wish upon a star to just simply praying the girls will shut it!

I think we're going to work it out, though, so that Maggie and I can go while Ian and Sandy stay here. That would be so incredibly heavenly to me. I know that sounds awful, but I just want to get away! I told Ian I would send him on a trip to wherever he wanted to go by himself next weekend if he just let me go this time. We'll see how that flies.

This morning after an hour of crying I put the twins back in the bed (it was only 8:30 am) and I came out to the den. I said, "Maggie, what are we going to do with these crazy children today?", to which she instantly replied, "Well we could just go to the pool and drop them in the water."

Out of the mouths of babes.

p.s. I love the twins and I'm not going to go Susan Smith on them so don't worry.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Walking and Puking

Sorry, again, for not posting in a while. Our computer is still on the brink and I need to take it to get it fixed. I can get the screen to come on periodically and even then your guess is as good as mine on how long it stays on...two minutes max. So I've chosen not to blog on that computer because it would be too frustrating to have to keep starting over when the screen went out and decided to come back. "Take the computer to a fix it guy," you say, which seems a perfectly logical and reasonable thing to say. I can't decide, though, if the hassle of loading up the twins, packing snacks, juice, diapers, pacifiers, unloading them, loading them into the stroller (kicking and screaming) and leading them into the store for a fun filled time of computer talk with Circuit City guy is really worth getting the screen fixed. Plus, it's been a bit freeing this week not having a computer during the day. I actually sit down and read or do whatever I want during the twins' nap time and since my house is immaculate I don't have to feel guilty about it!

How's it going with Sandy, you ask? Well, for starters I called the lady who comes periodically to clean the house and told her I wouldn't need her until the beginning of the year when Sandy has her own place. Today Sandy clipped back the trees in our yard and weeded the flower beds all by herself. I went shopping with Tori. It was a dream! Well, at least until Tori had a coughing attack and threw up all over herself in Gymboree. So I used all my wipes to get her clean, stripped her down, and promptly walked us back to the sale rack to buy her a new outfit. That's one way to get new clothes. I think I'm going to start walking into J Crew and puking on myself just so I'll have to get a threads (did I just say threads? sorry).

OK, I'm falling asleep, but I couldn't let the day pass without blogging our exciting news. Tori took two steps this morning! It was so fun and great because we were all there to witness. I had Ian tape it and I'll try to post it soon.

My eyes are closing in on me. Gotta get some z's while I can since the twins both have fevers and bad coughs. Burn it flu shot!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

If it ain't broke, don't fix it...

What about if it's partially broke?

Our computer is working but the screen is dead. We have another monitor, but the problem is that we can't see the screen to see what's going on or how we should hook it up.

Long story short, I haven't had access to the computer this week so my blogging has been a little on the slack side. Things are going well, though. Sandy's been here for a week and I really think it's going great (of course, what am I going to say...she reads this thing religiously!). Seriously, it's going well and has been such a blessing to have her here. And not just for the obsessive cleaning and laundering she does, but also because I love the fact that the girls are getting to have her in their everyday lives. I was fortunate enough to live in the same town with my grandparents and it was such an important part of my childhood. Don't know how else to describe it except for "enriching". I am so thankful for their influence in my life.

On a sidenote, Maggie has been cracking me up lately. The other day she got out of the bath, came down the hall and said, "Well color me impressed...y'all already have the babies in their pajamas!". Really? Really?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just a few observations from the day...

First observation: my kitchen is cleaner that it has ever been on a regular basis...all thanks to Sandy and the fact that she comes behind like my own personal dustbuster. And how sweet it is! I remember a day when it would bug me that she would clean up faster than I could dirty anything I would get up from the table to answer the phone or something and by the time I got back my plate would already be washed clean and in the drying rack. Now I am anything but bugged. I am overjoyed. Like tonight I was bathing all the girls and came out of the bathroom to find the table wiped clean (trust me - I hate that job because of all of the smashed food residue after every meal), the floor picked up, the babies' room straight. All in a matter of a 10 minutes.

And I am dead serious that this just happened tonight: I walked into my room to go to bed and she was heading to the shower. I came back out to get on the computer...a mere 2 minutes later and all the pillows had been fluffed and straightened on the couch, the blankets folded, and not a trace of a utensil or dish anywhere to be seen in my kitchen. Amazing. Truly amazing. It is so unlike me and I love every minute of it.

She starts back to work tomorrow, which I'm sure she's excited to do. Frankly I've been thinking of asking her if I could just go back to work and she could raise the kids! Just kidding...though if we were independently wealthy I would have her quit her job and continue her dustbusting until the end of time.

My second observation of the day is one that I've made before but never posted until now. I got to go to Publix by myself today (quite a delight...and that's not a joke) and I am always trying to find the fastest check out line so that I can, well, check out. I am there all the time so I know which cashiers are quick and which ones are like the Target lady on SNL. I know which baggers are slow and which ones will give me double paper bags. In the past I've always chosen the shortest line which inevitably seems to take the longest time. It's just a sort of an anti-gift I have. Anyway, I think I've finally figured out the secret to getting out of there quickly. Picture this: you're in line to check out and realize that you've chosen poorly so you begin to peruse the tops of the heads of the people in other lines, wondering if their carts are full, partially full, or pretty empty. You don't want to get out of your lane and check it out, though, because what if you're wrong and end up in an even longer line than the one in which you presently find yourself. Ready for the solution??? Search for the line with the most men in it. You know why? Because without fail, men have only a few items and the reason is that they work solely off of a LIST. That's right, people. Just take notice the next time you're checking out. Men are always in the express lane because they NEVER have more than ten items. And if they're in another lane then that just means they have eleven items. They go into the store, they get whatever they need to make it through the rest of that day, and they're outta there...instead of what women buy which is whole milk for the babies, 1% for the rest of the family, rice krispy treat makings for her daughter's class, bag salad, snack packs for lunch boxes, a card for your great great aunt's birthday, enough food to feed a family for an entire week, and every possible BOGO item offered. Men just go in there and get it done. Women go in there and just get everything. Why? Because one of two things happens to women in a grocery store:

1. She is in there with her children and she just throws things into her cart that she thinks they need while her kids fuss, fight, pull over displays, crumble cookies, etc. Her brain is mush so she just grabs everything in stead of discriminating.
2. She has come to the store by herself and is so excited about it that she slowly and deliberately travels every aisle, taking time to get what she needs, as well as looking around at what the store has to offer. "I never knew they carried four different sizes of pooper scoopers!". Amazing.

So bottom line of today is that I am thankful Sandy is here. It has given me time to be woman number two above and leisurely peruse the carefully stocked shelves of my local Publix, all the while knowing that when I get home the kids will be alive and well and, most importantly, I can see actual countertop space in my kitchen.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Last night was so fun! We had some friends drop by, then sat outside in the driveway and ate dinner, drank wine and gave out candy. Two of us would take the kids trick or treating while the other two relaxed. I am so thankful to be in a house in a great neighborhood. I truly am grateful. Here are some pics. The twins dressed up but only went to one house and only ate candy while it was still in the wrapper! Hey, they never knew the difference.
More to post about tomorrow because my sweet mother-in-law is here! Living with us! The girls are beside themselves about Nonnie and about her cat, Lucy. But for now, here are our little ballerinas and our witch!
By the way, I am pretty sure I broke my toe yesterday. Awesome. At least it won't affect my cooking or diaper changing...then we'd be in real trouble!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Follow this link and watch what happened to this woman :

I think it's terrible that she had head trauma, but how amazing would this be if she ever did Young Life program!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You can vote however you like

My brother David sent me this and it made me laugh. Remember people, you can vote however you like!

One to go

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Group Hip Hop on DWTS

Just had to post about DWTS...

I proudly admit that I love Dancing With The Stars. I am not a reality tv fan, but I'm a sucker for semi-famous people wearing sequins and shakin that booty. I rarely vote, though I have been known to call repeatedly for Emmit Smith, but I love to watch the show. Until now...

I seriously think that one woman may single-handedly run me off from DWTS and that woman is Cloris Leachman. I feel just terrible about saying this because I really do admire the woman for being 81 years old and giving this a shot. And I really think she could win if she would just stop talking! Seriously, she just acts like she's losing her marbles and everyone just laughs and laughs, but it's not funny.
I have to say, though, that even if Cloris weren't on the show there is another woman that could just as easily have me switching to Monday Night Football (which I LOATHE). That woman is Susan Lucci. Seriously? I think she's just terrible at this. I feel bad for saying that too because I'm not sure I could do any better, but what I really hate is the way the judges just love her and keep her in the competition. She's not good. She's really not.
What really put the nail in the coffin, though, was the "hip hop" number last night, and by hip hop I mean the dance that seriously could have been a skit on SNL. It was awful, just awful. I just watched it again before I posted it on here and I really cannot believe they went through with it. Please, please watch Cloris Leachman and her blacked out tooth. Then please, for the love, watch Susan Lucci do that thing where she struts across the floor and sticks her booty in Laci's face. It's just too much.

I think I may go to hell for voicing these opinions, but someone had to say it and I figured it had to be me. I don't think I could do much better, but once I found out I couldn't do much better than that then I would have had my people call the DWTS people and tell them to recruit another soap star...maybe Dr. Marlana Evans is available.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No way!

I was in the laundry room this morning and turned around to walk back into the hall. As I turned around I looked up and there was Tori STANDING in the middle of the room! Not holding onto a thing, just standing there! I saw her try to squat and then stand up the other day but she wasn't quite ready. It was so amazing! That little kid is so determined and I'm so proud of her. Thankfully I waited until she went back down before I screamed from excitement this time...didn't want to scare her to death. I'm learning!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nonnie can't get here soon enough

I have waited to post about this because I wasn't sure of the details, but now it's official! Sandy, my mother-in-law, is moving down to Florida and is going to be living with us for at least the next couple months. She's been wanting to move for a while but the details just didn't fall into place. Then a few weeks ago my brother and sister-in-law sold their house, are buying Sandy's, and they all close on the 31st of October. Whew! Sandy still didn't have a job, so we just told her that instead of renting in Asheville she should just move on down and job hunt while she's here.

Now I know what many of you are thinking..."Buffy, are you nuts? You ASKED your mother-in-law to move in with you?". Answer: ABSOLUTELY! Aside from the fact that I love her and we get along really well, I have had a few days in the past week where I thought that if I didn't get help...and quick...I was going to lose it and go nutso on my kids. Not that I am counting on abusing Sandy when she gets here by leaving her with the twins while I go to the store or leaving one twin here while I take the other to an appointment, or asking her to keep an eye out while I jump in the shower. Well, actually, that's exactly how I plan to abuse her. And I think she's up for it. I don't need a lot, but I do need some help! I thought I was through the roughest part with the twins and I do think that's true, but it's still really tough sometimes.
For example, yesterday Tori cried LITERALLY nonstop. I am only being slightly dramatic. She stopped crying for a while when we were in the car and she didn't cry through her nap, but all the other moments of her day yesterday were filled with screaming and tears. She is getting a mammoth tooth and that kid is a total bear when she cuts teeth. She actually screamed all night long one time and there was nothing we could do about it. So, needless to say, I was seriously losing it yesterday. I'm talking pulling at my hair, crying, cursing under my breath and out loud kind of losing it. It was bad. It was ugly. I'm not proud of the way I felt, but we made it through the day and nobody got hurt.
The one funny part, though, is what happened when I gave the twins their bath. Every time they hear the bath water they head for the bathroom and Zoe just repeats "baf, baf, baf". Then she walks over to the tub and leans over to try to splash the water. Yesterday I turned on the water and was holding my screaming Tori while trying to drop saline drops in her nose. Zoe was doing her thing, saying "baf" and leaning over the tub. I heard a thump and looked over just in time to see Zoe diving into the tub head first with all her clothes on. Then she just looked at me and smiled, sat there soaking wet and started to play. I took a couple pics to show you. Just too cute. What was not cute, however, was when I took her clothes off and went to remove her diaper only to find a majorly stinky, saggy and messy blowout waiting for me. Really? Really?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my sweet friend Beth for sensing my pain and taking the twins to walk around the church while our older girls were in choir. And also shout outs to my neighborhood buddy Marty who asked Maggie to come play with her girls after school yesterday. They made apple pie which I devoured once the kids were in the bed! Well, not the whole pie, but a pretty healthy slice!

Sadly, I've gotta stop writing now because Tori is screaming again. Something must have woken her up from her nap and she's just in there crying. Calgon!

Monday, October 20, 2008

This past weekend

Ian was on a retreat all weekend and the girls and I were here by ourselves. It was a long weekend, but we were really busy and had a ton of fun. We went to the beach, with our sweet friends the Hammonds, for the Down Syndrome Buddy Walk and it was so great to be there. We were walking for Team Smiley Miley, a little girl who went to preschool with Maggie last year. I loved being there and seeing all the families who are walking through similar situations as we are with Tori. They were just regular old families with kids they loved, being supported by people they love.

That afternoon we went to the Fall Festival up at the soccer fields in our neighborhood. It was such a beautiful day and the girls and I had a blast. The twins were dressed up as ballerinas and Maggie was a witch. The two girls in the pic with Maggie are her two best buds from school - twins named Amelia and Elizabeth. They are thick as thieves and they have a blast together. Their mom, Marty, is becoming a good friend and it's so fun to have them living around the neighborhood.

Forgot to mention...

Right after Maggie filled me in on her loot from the Tooth Fairy I got up and walked to the bathroom, tripping over the lamp chord and sending it crashing onto the floor - shattering the light bulb on the hardwood floor. Keep in mind it's 4:45 am and pitch black dark.

Thank ya Tooth Fairy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

4:45 AM

"Mom, Mom, can you read this for me. The Tooth Fairy left me a note!"

"I don't think it's a note, honey, unfold it."

"MOM!!! The Tooth Fairy left me TWO DOLLARS!"

Awesome. 4:45 AM.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I'll post a picture tomorrow, but I just had to come right in here and post. It's 10:30 pm and I just stuffed $2 into Maggie's tooth fairy pillow! I can't believe my girl lost her first tooth today at school. She was biting into her snack (which, of course, was a Taco because, after all, it is "T" week) and out it came. She looks so stinkin adorable. And I just can't believe that we are at the tooth fairy stage.

So I have one child (who will remain nameless but let's just say that her name starts with a "T" and rhymes with Rory) who screamed all day on Wednesday because her tooth was coming in while another child's tooth is coming out. So amazing to watch these little milestones happen right before my eyes! Although I gotta say that if I had one thing I would choose to skip in the life and times of my kids it's definitely the teething. Cannot take the screaming...

But the Tooth Fairy part is pretty fun!

What's the going rate these days, anyway?

Monday, October 13, 2008


So as I mentioned my parents and grandfather were in Daytona this week, so we got to see them a good bit and it was so fun! Maggie went and spent the night there with them last week (hence the shuffleboard pic) and then the twins and I met them there for a day. They came through on the way down and back and each time stopped to watch the USC games at our house. The best part of seeing them, I think, was the fact that the twins got to know Papa a bit better. At first they were a little scared of him because, well, he's big and he's old and he says things like, "Hey Shuggie" in an old man voice. It's adorable, though, and he just lights up when he is around babies. The twins got to know him better and even learned his name. Zoe says it like a French person because she stresses the second syllable and says it in this sing song way that sounds like "Pa PAAAA!". It's so sweet and cute. Then he gives them all sugar wafers and they just eat it up.

Another funny thing, I thought, was the way they loved his watch. This is the way he broke the ice with the babies. Papa is legally blind and he has a few gadgets that kids just love. One of them is his watch that says the time outloud. He played that sucker for Zoe and Tori a million times and they loved it...and tried to eat it, as you can see.

I am really amazed that my sweet, blind, kinda deaf, widowed grandfather would get out of his comfort zone of home and travel to the beach, much less to my house to spend the night! It made me miss my Nana so much, though, and I know it was tough for him to be here without her. October 10th would have been her birthday and they celebrated at the beach that day. My sweet Dad got all the kids and grandkids to write about what they loved and remembered about Nana. Then Dad also made or got a cake and they blew out candles in her honor. That was just so thoughtful of Dad to do that and I think it meant a lot to Papa, and to all of us because we got to spend time remembering Nana.

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My week...

This week has been crazy. As I mentioned, Mom, Dad and Papa are in Daytona this week vacationing and so I decided to take the girls down on Tuesday. It was a beautiful day at the beach and though we only stayed for a few hours, we could have stayed for days because of all the gear I had to take. Two pack and plays, two booster seats, double jogging stroller, diapers, sippies, change of clothes, bathing suits, beach towels, videos for the car, snacks. At least I didn't have to bring formula, bottles or burp cloths. Tuesday afternoon after we played outside for a while we all came up and I set up the pack and plays in this TINY room for the babies to nap. They were NOT thrilled at the prospect of sleeping in a crazy place and they were screaming their heads off. Fun. My mom was in the kitchen (and by kitchen I mean the entry from the door to the bedroom/kitchen table area) making lunch for the rest of us. Sweet mom, she just knows when I'm losing it. I walked out of the twins' area, fully prepared to lie down on the bed and try to read while they fell asleep. Instead Mom just hands me a beer and a fried bologna sandwich (yeah, I said fried bologna)and sent me away to eat and read in peace by the pool. It was heavenly! I got to sit outside in the shade and listen to the waves while I read for one glorious, uninterrupted hour or so. Thanks Mom!

Yesterday Mom and I got to meet at the outlets to do some shopping for her. It was so fun! I never get to do things with mom by myself - come to think of it, I never do anything at all by myself. Anyway, we spent the better part of two hours in the Chico's dressing room. If you're thinking of buying clothes from there anytime soon just give me a call and I'll be able to tell you exactly what they have in stock. I think she tried on everything in the store and she got some great looking clothes for work and for fun. It made me happy that she would buy herself some stuff - she does everything for everyone else so it was great to see her getting some things that feel good and look great on her! Now if only I could get her to buy a new purse. Yesterday when we were checking out I just had to laugh because I mom carries a purse within a purse. I'm not joking. She just doesn't take time to switch things out like wallets or purses so I guess one day she just decided to put her smaller purse fully inside her larger purse that I guess matched her outfit at the time. So whenever she goes to pay she takes out the little tan purse and rummages around for her moolah, pays the clerk, then crams it back into her fashionable purse. Hilarious. For a long time, too, she had a plastic ziploc as her wallet. It was sad...and pretty funny. Thankfully my mother-in-law got her a new changepurse to put in her put in her purse. (By the way, I got mom's full approval before I included this little pocketbook ditty.)

Yesterday afternoon I did something so crazy. After school I had eight (count em...8) children at my house. Six of them were kindergarteners and then my twins. The mommies of these kiddos are good friends and have both helped me out with my girls when I have needed them. So, I wanted to do what I oculd when they asked. It was a zoo. The funniest part was when one of the kids came and sat by me and stared at me for a while, then asked, "Maggie's Mommy, have you ever helped Maggie wipe her bottom before?". Took me a minute to figure out the child needed help. So sweet. They are all getting so big, but are still so young. Basically what I've learned from that little afternoon is that I will never, and I mean never, be a daycare worker. I don't know how people do that. I love all those kids dearly, but I just don't have what it takes to take care of that many kids at the same time. You know I enjoyed my glass of chardonnay last night!

OK, the loads of laundry are callin. Schlada!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Zoe learned how to open all the doors in the house today. We have doors with handles instead of knobs and she can get in and out of them all (except the outside doors, thank the Lord. Those are different). This really cramps my style. I may just have to leave all the doors open now and buy more baby gates. What a pain.

She's so proud of herself, though, which is really cute.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Too much...

OK, I am quite sure that everyone has already seen this, but just in case I wanted to include it for you guys. My friend Mindy sent me to this site called, "Stuff Christians Like" and I have only read one post so far, but it made me laugh so hard that I had to post about it. Please go to the site, read the guy's comments and then watch the video. Hilarious!

By the way I laughed out loud in my den at the "pop and lock" comment. And when the guy in the video says "Zap". You'll see what I mean.

Soooo excited today. My parents and my grandfather, Papa, are coming to spend the night here tonight! They are heading to Daytona for the week for vacation and to re-live the good ol' days when they used to head down there every year for family vacations. As you all might remember, my grandmother, Nana, passed away in the spring and this is such a huge step for Papa to come. He's never been to any of my houses where we've lived...I only see him at his house in Columbia. I am so proud of him for coming. He's legally blind, can't hear that well, and has been anxious about going places that are unfamiliar, as you can imagine. I am so thankful he's coming - and that he feels comfortable to come with Mom and Dad for the week. It just really makes me smile. It also makes me have to run and clean up the house!

Please go to that website if you wanna crack up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

True and Amazing

Zoe knows a TON of sign language words...and by a ton I mean like seven. It's so great, though. She can do the sign for milk, more, all done, sleepy, cracker, please and thank you. And she is talking up a storm too. She said bus when we went to get Maggie today, and she said "Beth" when, well, Beth was here!

Torina - she is equally amazing and will NOT be outdone by her sister. She SAID the word MILK and JUICE today. I couldn't believe it! I screamed and I think I scared her pretty good, but I was so excited! It's just so fun when they can start to verbalize things. I know I'll be eating my words in another year when I have three that talk non-stop.

Another true and amazing thing is Sesame Street. They are mesmerized for an HOUR! I know that may be terrible, but for a woman who hasn't had an hour to clean, cook, blog, pee, or any other such indulgence, it is anything BUT terrible.

That reminds me of another adorable thing Zoe is doing...whenever she sees "The Count" in a book we have she says, "Ahh, Ahh, Ahh" in this deep count-like voice. So cute.

By the way, please don't stop reading my blog just because I put stories of my kids on here all the time. I promise I'll try to get out more so I can have more exciting things for you to read about. For now, though, thanks for sharing in my excitement!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last weekend...

Sorry I've been slacking off lately. It's been nothing short of a zoo around here. Last weekend Maggie and I went to the Women's Retreat at Windy Gap that my friends and I do each year. It was so heavenly to drive up there with just Mag - we stopped at the outlets, went to the bathroom whenever we wanted WITHOUT a stroller, rolled down the windows and sang Hannah Montana at the top of our lungs. It was a blast. The weekend went great and it was fun to be able to have a chance to speak to 300 women about what the Lord has done in my heart and in our lives over the past couple years.

The craziest thing that happened, I think, was that literally all five of my friends either got sick themselves or their kids got sick. Including Maggie. She woke me up in the middle of the night Friday night with a sore throat and a high fever. I took her to the doc in town on Saturday and she had strep, which pretty much set off a string of strep throats throughout our little team. It was crazy, but it was still so fun. I just love my friends - really they are life to me. Just being with the four of them makes me smile. They are my friends who have known me for so long and have loved me through so much. They are a trip, they are beautiful, they are basket cases like me, and I just love them.

I also got to see mom and Jeannie and Sandy, which is always great! And the sweet Jacksonville ladies that made the trip up to camp and had a blast on the ropes course and night swing. Basically the whole thing, though it was exhausting, gave me great joy.

So I'd like to thank my hubby for keeping the twins, my mom and Sandy for sitting with Maggie while I did what I needed to do on the weekend, and for the Sisters of Mercy Clinic in Weaverville for seeing all kids and making them well!

More later. It's just too beautiful of a day to be blogging!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is Love At First Sight Really Possible?


My doorbell rang at 8:00 this morning and the sweetest smiling face greeted me. Her name is Maria and she came to clean my house. My mom and dad graciously sent me $100 to get take out, get a sitter, or have someone come clean...since they couldn't be here to help out with all the Zoe maddness.

I wonder what I have to do each month to get $100 in our budget so I can have her come. My house smells heavenly. There's no dust. She came in, stripped the beds and washed all the linens. She cleaned the fans, baseboards, and windows. Seriously and shamefully I've never gone near any of those things since we moved here in April.

There's just something about the smell of bleach and lavender scented vaccuum BB's that makes my heart all a-flutter.

All I know is, if loving Maria is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I have a lot to be thankful for...

Today I am thankful for all the people who surround me and take care of me. For Melyssa, Beth, my husband, my small group, Melinda, Sarina, Teresa, Harriet...for Kelly in the ER, for the doctor that didn't have a great bedside manner, but got us what we needed.

Saturday night we spent most of the night in the ER with Zoe. She's ok now, but she ran a really high fever yesterday and was on motrin all day. When we got to the ER it was 105 WITH motrin in her system. I freaked out but tried to stay calm. They ran some tests and decided they needed to do a spinal tap. Yes, a spinal tap. I was freaking out even more.

Long story longer we are home, she is fine but still fussy and needy. We went to the pediatrician yesterday for a follow up and all her tests came back clear, but he thinks she has a mild case of viral meningitis. Seriously? That is so scary. There's nothing they do for it, though. We just have to keep an eye on her, and on Tori and Mag if they get sick. If they stop drinking then it's bad and we have to head back to the hospital.

Of course I am supposed to leave Thursday morning with Maggie to go to the Women's Retreat at Windy Gap. Ian's staying here with the twins. He will definitely need the power of the force while I'm gone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We now officially have three princesses

Zoe has been wanting to dress up some and has pulled out a few things and brought them to me to help her put on. Crazy that she's old enough to do this. Then today Tori got really mad when Zoe tried to take her little sparkly tutu. And we all know that Maggie came out of the womb wearing a tiara. So here's a pic of our little priss pots.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kindergarten is kicking my rear

This week has been the first almost full week of school for Maggie and I must say that somehow I am totally exhausted. Despite the fact that I have a couple hours to myself each day, which has been heavenly, I am finding that the times when she is home are way more intense than before. For example, I wake up at 6:30 each morning and hit the ground running. I get the babies up, changed, dressed, and into their high chairs (I made that seem like it's so quick, but it's totally not). Then I have to make sure Maggie is dressed, do her hair, pack her lunch, feed all four of us (Ian has to fend for himself), get myself dressed and all of us out the door by 7:45. I get back from the bus stop around 8:20 and it seriously feels like it should be noon. I am dying for my coffee these days.

I can only imagine how Maggie feels. She has been such a trooper and really loving school, but for the past two days she has gotten pretty upset about getting on the bus. She says she just wants to stay home with me. Sad! And the thing is, I kind of want her to stay home with me! I mean, not really all day every day, but I DO miss her a lot. I find myself wanting the twins to be asleep when she gets home so that she and I can do something together like read or play Barbies or something. Sweet Mag. How fun to have a daughter that I want to spend time with...I just love her.

On a different note, I had a sitter come today for a few hours and it was HEAVENLY! I went to Target all by myself and then to Border's to read for a bit. So fun and I need it so badly every week. What I don't need every week, however, is the woman at the Border's coffee shop making conversation she shouldn't make. I had to give her my name so she could yell it out for everyone to hear and laugh at when my coffee was ready. Well, when I told her my name was Buffy, this is EXACTLY what she said:

"You don't look at all like a Buffy...unlike my cousin (who's named Buffy). She is like THIS big around (and then held up her hand and made a TINY little circle with her thumb and finger). She is so skinny...I hate her."

But I, apparantly, am NOTHING like her cousin.

Did I just get told that I'm fat, big boned, plus sized? Not that there's anything wrong with that, right?

And I was feeling pretty good about myself today too. I had my hair did, my makeup on, real clothes, and even funky shoes. Just goes to show me, I guess. So here's to you, real barista of genius...Misses Insult Your Customers While Serving them Pumpkin Bread and Fattening Drinks Woman...thanks for nothin. Oh, and hold the whipped cream.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Everything I needed to know...

Well, today was Maggie's first big day! She did great, as you can see. I, on the other hand, had a few tears, but managed to hold it together. Nonnie (Ian's mom), the twins and I walked Mag to the bus stop and she didn't miss a beat. She got the most excited look on her face when she saw the bus and she got right in line to get on. I mean, really? I can't believe how brave she was, and how big she is!

I know I've already blogged about this, so I won't go on and on, but it does feel so strange to have her in school full time.

Don't have time to really think about it, though, because the two crazies take up all brain power and energy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It just doesn't stop

I am not making this up. This really happened about an hour ago.

I fed the twins dinner at 4:00 because they were hungry and they were contained in their high chairs. While they ate I made a casserole for the rest of us to eat later. I even had my new spiffy apron on. I was Supermom.

After the little ones finished I cleaned them off, thinking we could even skip bath tonight since they just had one and they were relatively clean. I put them in the play area (aka the entire house except for the den and the bedrooms) and let them at it. Keep in mind that Ian and I have spent hours if not days getting this area childproofed. Well, last week during the tropical storm we got a LOT of rain and some ants decided they wanted in, so they kind of swarmed around the bathroom which is in the play area. Earlier today I removed the ant traps, cleaned up around the area in case of residue, put the traps in the bathroom on the floor and shut the door. Good enough, right?

Guess I was wrong because as I was sweeping supper off the floor it got really quiet. Any parent knows this is the sound of danger. So I peeked around the corner and the bathroom door was wide open. I screamed and ran to see what was up, though I didn't really need to see because I already knew. As we've established, Zoe eats everything and Tori is pretty much the same way. Well, there they were in the bathroom... ant traps strewn on the floor (not in their mouths at that exact moment but I KNOW they were in's just what the twins do), and Zoe's hands were wet because she had been splashing around in the toilet.

This happened all in a matter of about a minute.

So by 4:30 the girls had been fed, practically poisoned, had a toilet cocktail, a bath, and fresh jammies.

Who's Supermom now?

Monday, August 25, 2008

What is with this kid?

OK, so we've already established that Zoe chews on everything from her shoes, to her own poop, to the sides of her crib. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but for the past few months I have had hand towels literally duct taped around the sides of her crib so that she wouldn't choke herself with shards of wood that she had gnawed off. I took those towels and tape off a couple days ago thinking we might be past all that now. Also because my hand towels looked like they had fringe hanging from them because she had chewed until the strings of the towel were hanging down.

Let me just say that we are so not past all that yet. Today my friend Melyssa and I went in to get the twins up from their nap. Melyssa noticed Zoe had something in her mouth and sure enough, it was another splinter of wood. Arrrrgh! (By the way, have you ever tried to type a frustration sound? I don't think I really say "arrgh", but I'm hoping it gets my point across.)

So what did I do? Well, this Mother of the Year marched straight to her fridge, pulled out the tabasco sauce, and proceeded to dab it all over the wood on the sides of her crib. Genius!

Or so I thought.

I cracked the door to watch her tonight after I put the girls down. She stood right up and bit the side of the crib, made a hilarious face like she was disgusted, and then WENT BACK IN FOR MORE! Seriously, the child is a trip. I don't know what to do now. So I watched her do it a couple more times just to make sure she really liked it, and then I went in and popped her hand a few times. That seemed to do the trick for now, as she just pretended to whine until I walked out of the room and then she just laid down and fell asleep. My little Zo-Zo. Please, for the love, get all your teeth in!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where is my Julie Andrews?

Yesterday I was going through some mail that accumulated while I was away. I came across a flyer for a cleaning service that said:

Life's Too Short To Clean Your Own House

Seriously? I mean how snobby does that sound? Don't get me wrong, I daydream constantly about a cleaning lady sweeping down from the clouds and tidying up the place Mary Poppins Style. But "life's too short to clean your own house"? That's a little much. It made me embarassed to live in the suburbs where we would get a piece of mail like that.

Not to get on a soap box (pun totally intended), but that brochure doesn't make me feel like I should get someone to come and makes me feel like I shouldn't be so busy that I can't clean up the place we've been blessed with. If cleaning is an obsession of yours, which it is NOT mine, then yes, life is too short to clean all the time to the detriment of your health or your family fun. My problem, on the other hand, is stopping family fun or playing with the kids or going somewhere else so that I don't HAVE to clean.

Therefore I am totally justified in wanting Ms. Poppins...right?

I'm not sure. For now I will just simply drag that company who sent the flyer and secretly wish I had one of those nice ladies coming by to scrub the potties.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

I'm not sure whether to break down in tears or bust open a bottle of champagne. I'll have to settle for a double stuff oreo. Here's why:

This afternoon at 2:00 Maggie, Ian and I walked up to the corner of our block for the kindergarten bus stop trial run. Yes, I did say kindergarten and I did say bus...neither of which I am super excited about. They do this excessively suburbian, yet super cool thing in our neighborhood. You go to your bus stop, ride up to the clubhouse with your parent and other kids, then all hop off and have ice cream before returning back to your stop. So sweet, and so great for kids and parents so we can try to get used to this whole idea of our little ones going to school all day every day.

Don't get me wrong, I think Maggie is ready for this. I can't entertain her or involve her enough right now. She needs more and she's excited. I think I'm ready too, but sometimes I just get overwhelmed with the thought of bringing her home from the hospital five years ago or teaching her the alphabet or how to paint her fingernails. I know I will still be doing this stuff with her, but it's not the same and I know it.

As I walked home from the bus stop I wondered if I were going to cry. Just as I was trying to decide (how cerebral of me) it started to rain. Not a scary rain; more like a comforting rain. Kind of like a rain while you're at Disney're sad that it's raining on your (literal) parade, but at the same time it feels so darn good and you realize how much you needed it. That's kinda what I feel like about this whole school thing. But of course I can't let on one iota with Maggie because kids can smell fear a mile away.

So on Thursday, August 28th I'll take my sweet girl to the bus stop (maybe) or school (definitely) and kiss her goodbye. I'll cry, no doubt, while I'm coming home, but I'll also have a couple glorious hours to myself that I haven't had in about 15 months. That is, if I can get the twins to nap at the same time...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun with the grandparents and cousins

We are on vacation, just in case you were wondering. We've done a lot of traveling and spent most of our time at my parents' lake house. We've seen every grandparent, cousin, and friend imaginable, which has been both fun and exhausting! Here are just a few pick from our trip. I'll write more when I can.