Sunday, October 28, 2007 scurvy pirates!!

This afternoon we participated in a Halloween Parade with our neighborhood kids. There was probably somewhere around 75 kids and they all paraded around the neighborhood in their Halloween costumes, then had a little gathering afterward where they handed out prizes for: most original costume, cutest costume, scariest costume, funniest costume and BEST costume. Can you guess which one Zach, Addie and Avery won?

Silly, Goofy, Crazy ....

Remember what it was like to be silly, goofy, crazy? In case you forgot .... here's a little reminder ..... Enjoy!

Hut Hut ... Hike!

Sam was in Minneapolis two weeks ago for work, and he was able to spend the weekend with Kayla and Ben. He was fortunate to be able to see one of Ben's football games, so here's a picture of Ben in his uniform.

They lost the game that day, but they ended up winning their bracket championship! (Yeah, Sam's pretty proud if you can!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

DNA is on the WAY....

Just wanted to let everyone know that we've officially sent the girls DNA in to a lab in Salt Lake City. It was really simple - basically a q-tip looking thing rubbed on the inside of their cheek. We should know in approximately one week whether they're identical or not. Sam doesn't care one way or the other, and I don't "care" necessarily whether they are or aren't, but I hate not KNOWING. To put it in perspective, I'm the kid who unwrapped her Christmas presents when her parents were out......and then re-wrapped them before they got home!!!

It is actually very good MEDICALLY to know for sure (this is my reasoning with Sam, though he knows me better). Here's something I cut out of an article I recently read (Because monozygotic twins have the same genetic code, they may be able to help each other in extreme medical circumstances. Usually, identical twins have the same blood type so they could share blood in emergencies. In the event of organ transplantation, identical twins would have the best chance for organ acceptance.) I've also read that identical twins are likely to have the same "congenital" diseases - such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Clearly the chances of these events are slim ... but you never know.

I'll keep you all posted in the next week or so!

Hope everyone is doing well!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Calling all picky eaters......

My mother-in-law knows that I have VERY picky eaters in my family (and I'm not just talking the kids here!) and she knows how I'm always fretting that they're getting enough nutrients. She sent me this cookbook and if you haven't heard about it ... you've got to check it out! Here's the link: There are a ton of recipes I can't wait to try!!!

Here was one of the reviews. I just like the sound of it. Stealth vegetables!

Parents can sneak veggies into kids' diet Washington, D.C --- Parents who want their kids to consume fewer calories and eat more vegetables might find a healthy solution with “stealth vegetables.” A Penn State study shows that decreasing the calorie density of foods by adding vegetables and other lower-calorie ingredients leads to a reduction in children’s calorie intake and an increase in vegetable consumption.

I had read an article earlier this month on Jessica Seinfeld's book (Jerry Seinfeld's wife) called Deceptively Delicious, and thought that this would be something perfect for me (ya'll know how much I like to cook!) Apparently Sam's mom read the same article, but when she did the research, this book (The Sneaky Chef) has a higher rating. Here's the link to Jessica's book: just in case you're interested.

In any case, thought I'd share! I'm all about making things that disguise vegetables that the kids hate ... I'd rather not have to hear the crying and the frustration of "eat your vegetables!"


Saturday, October 13, 2007

To all my Mommy friends and mommy friends-to-be.....

Everyone, I've received this through e-mail before. Never before I became a mom could I possibly comprehend this. I know, that as a mom, I will do ANYTHING for my kids. I can honestly look at any one of my three offspring and know that I would do absolutely anything in this world for them, no matter what it costs or what I have to sacrifice. I just wanted to share this story below with you all. It's really a feel good story and truly something I believe as a new parent. I wish you all the best of luck out there to have as wonderful of children as I have. Yes, my three year old is a brat. A BIG BRAT. But he's my baby. I couldn't possibly love him any more. And my twins, as cute as they are - have their moments too. But I don't regret one single minute with them and wouldn't do a thing differently. They will ALWAYS know how MUCH I love them. Not because I tell them. They will feel my love, every minute of every day.

This weekend my friend was telling me about another Friend of hers blog----she apparently is an actress, always on auditions, living this wonderful, fanciful, life. And my friend basically said, my life seems so boring in comparison. Friend. You know who you are. There is nothing more precious that being responsible for the upbringing and lives of children. Yes, our lives revolve around potty training and sippy cups and picking up toys. Yes, we usually have puke on our shirts, or our hair pulled back in a pony tail and makeup smeared on our faces. WE ARE NOT MISSING OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These kids that we're raising will be the next president, the person who cures cancer, the person who teaches children the things they will need to know to be the great people that THEY are, the person who guides lost souls to a place where they can pray and worship something higher and greater than anything in this world. Are we having fun doing the crazy LA/NYC scene? No. But I'm just as happy playing Pictionary (yes, with you as my partner!) than that lifestyle, because at the end of the day....they don't have Brody and Seth, and Zach, Addie and Avery to look at as they're resting their heads on our shoulder. Because I know the next morning (even if I have a massive hangover) :) my little ones are going to look UP to me and I HAVE THE POWER OVER WHAT KIND OF PERSON THEY ARE TO BECOME.
Anyway, to those who have read this, this is just affirmation that your kids are and will positively be the MOST important things in your lives. For those who haven't read it, or don't have kids.....please read anyway. I think it's truly inspiring.

From Everyday Miracles and Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul
Time is running out for my daughter.

We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." What she means is that her biological clock has begun its countdown and she is considering the prospect of motherhood.

"We're taking a survey," she says, half jokingly. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say carefully.

"I know," she says. "No more sleeping in on Saturdays, no more spontaneous vacations..."

But that is not what I mean at all.

I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking "What if that had been my child?" That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will look at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think she should know that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce her to the primitive level. That a slightly urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange for child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an important business meeting, and she will think about her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday routine decisions will no longer be routine. That a visit to Mc Donald's and a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's room will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that danger may be lurking in the rest room.

I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his son. I think she should know that she will fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would never have imagined.

I wish my modern daughter could sense the bond she will feel with other women throughout history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your son learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real that it hurts. Really hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

"You'll never regret it," I say finally.
And some quotes I HAVE used, and more I am sure I WILL use (CAN'T WAIT TO USE!!!)

A little "birdy" told me! All I do is follow you around, picking up after you like some maid. Am I talking to a brick wall?Are you deaf or something?Are you lying to me?As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say.Beds are NOT made for jumping on. Call me when you get there, just so I know you're okay.Close the door! You don't live in a barn. Did you brush your teeth?Did you comb your hair?Do as I say, not as I do.Do you think I'm made of money?Do you think your socks are going to pick themselves up?Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.Don't eat that, you'll get worms!Don't go out with a wet head, you'll catch cold.Don't make me get up!
Don't pick that scab, it'll get infected. Don't pick your nose in public.Don't run in the house. Don't sit too close to the television, it'll ruin your eyes.Don't talk with your mouth full!Don't walk away when I'm talking to you! Eat your vegetables, they're good for you. Enough is enough!Go play outside! It's a beautiful day!Going to a party? Leave a phone number in case I need to call.Going to a party? Who's going to be there? Going to a party? Will the parents be home?How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tasted it? I brought you into this world, and I can take you right back out! I can't believe you can sleep in this filth!I didn't ask who put it there, I said "Pick it up!"I don't care what "everyone" is doing. I care what YOU are doing! I don't have to explain myself. I said no. I hope someday you have children just like you.I just want what's best for you.I will always love you - no matter what. If God had wanted you to have holes in your ears (eyebrows, tongue, etc.) He would have put them there! If it were a snake, it would have bitten you.If wishes were horses...If you could stay out last night, you can get up this morning. If you don't do it NOW, then when are you going to do it?If you stick your tongue out again it will fall off.If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play outside.I'm doing this for your own good. I'm going to skin you alive! I'm not going to ask you again.I'm not your cleaning lady!I'm not your waitress!Isn't it past your bedtime? It's not that I don't trust you, it's that I don't trust everyone else. Life isn't fair.Look at me when I'm talking to you.Money does NOT grow on trees.No child of MINE would do something like that.Nobody asked you. Over my dead body!
Pick that up before somebody trips on it and breaks their neck! Pick up your feet. Put that down! You don't know where it's been!Say that again and I'll wash your mouth out with soap. Shut the door! I'm not heating (air conditioning) the entire neighborhood! Shut your mouth and eat. So it's raining? You're not sugar -- you won't melt. So what if Bob's mom let him do it? If Bob's mom let him jump off the Empire State Building, would you want me to let you do it too?Someone is going to end up crying. There's enough dirt in those ears to grow potatoes!This hurts me more than it hurts you.Turn that racket (music) down!Watch your mouth!Well, I haven't figured out how to cook "cold" yet.Well, people in Hell want ice water too!What did I say the FIRST time? What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?What part of NO don't you understand? When I was a little girl... When I was young we had respect for our elders, now look at the world! When I was your age, I had to walk ten miles through the snow, uphill, by myself, to go to school. When will you be back? When you have your own house then you can make the rules! Where do YOU think you're going?Who died and left you boss?Who do you think you're talking to? Who taught you THAT? You didn't learn that in this house!Wipe your feet! You can't find it? Well, I can't find it for you - I didn't wear it! You can't find it? Well, I can't find it for you - I'm not the maid! You can't find it? Well, if you'd put things where they belonged, you wouldn't have this problem. You can't find it? Well, where did you leave it last?You can't start the day on an empty stomach. You don't always get what you want. It's a hard lesson, but you might as well learn it now.You have an answer for everything, don't you?You kids are trying to drive me crazy! You must think rules are made to be broken. You won't be happy until you break that, will you? You'll understand when you're older. A little soap & water never killed anybody. Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident. Answer me when I ask you a question! Are you going out dressed like that? Are your hands broken? Pick it up yourself! I'm not your maid! Be good. Bored! How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age. Clean up after yourself! Cupcakes are NOT a breakfast food! Did you clean your room? Did you flush? Do you live to annoy me? Do you think this is a hotel? You can't just come here only to sleep. Don't ask me WHY. The answer is NO. Don't cross your eyes or they'll freeze that way. Don't EVER let me catch you doing that again! Don't make me come in there! Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been. Don't run with a lollipop in your mouth. Don't stay up too late! Don't use that tone with me! Don't you have anything better to do? Go ask your father. Go to your room and think about what you did! How can you have nothing to wear? Your closet is FULL of clothes! How many times do I have to tell you? I can always tell when you're lying. I can't believe you did that! I don't buy snacks to feed the neighborhood! I don't care who started it, I said stop! I don't care who started it, YOU stop it! I don't know is NOT an answer. I hope you don't kiss me with that mouth! I said CLOSE the door, I did not say SLAM it. I would have never talked to MY mother like that! If I catch you doing that one more time, I'll... If I want your opinion I'll ask for it! If I've told you once ... I've told you a thousand times. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. If you don't clean your plate, you won't get any dessert. If you don't stop crying, I am going to give you something to cry about! If you're too full to finish your dinner, you're too full for dessert. I'll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one. I'm going to give you until the count of three... I'm not always going to be around to do these things for you. I'm not running a taxi service. I'm not your maid! Is your homework finished? It's no use crying over spilt milk. I've had it up to here with you. Leave your sister (brother) alone! Little pitchers have big ears. Look at this room! It looks like a pigsty! Never try on anyone else's glasses or you'll go blind. No, I don't know where your socks are, its not my day to watch them! Now, come back downstairs and go back up WITHOUT stomping your feet! Now, say you're sorry...and MEAN it! Running away? Don't let the door hit you in the rear. Running away? I'll help you pack. Running away? Is that a threat or a promise? Some day you will thank me for this. SMACK!!! Someday your face will freeze like that The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Think of those poor starving children in India... (or China, or Africa.) Turn off that light. Do you think we own the electric company? Watch your language! Well, people in Hades want ice water, but do you see me with a PITCHER? Were you born in a barn? Close the door -- and DON'T slam it! What do you think, money grows on trees? What kind of a grade is that? You could do much better! When did your last slave die? When I was your age... When you have kids of your own you'll understand. Where are you going? Who are you going with? Do I know them? Who do you think you are? Who said life was going to be easy? Why? Because I SAID so, that's why! You are getting on my last nerve. You can go out to play...after you brush your teeth and comb your hair. You can go out to play...after you pick up your room. You can go out to play...after you've done your homework. You can't judge a book by its cover. You could grow potatoes in those ears! You could have called. You had better wipe that smile off your face before I do it for you. You just ate an hour ago! You made your bed, now lie in it. You should have that phone surgically implanted in your ear. You WILL eat it, and you WILL like it! You'd forget your head if it wasn't attached to your shoulders! You will ALWAYS be my baby. You're going to put your eye out with that thing! Your father is going to hear about this when HE gets home! You're the oldest. You should know better.
And last but not least, you MUST check this out.
You all have a good night. Love your kiddos lots. THEY NEED YOU!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Girls gone wild.....

Okay, maybe that's "slight" exaggeration.

However, I am excited to tell you that in exactly one month, me and some girlfriends that I've met out here will be taking off to a beach house that we rented on the shore for an entire GIRLS weekend! We're bringing all of our scrap booking "stuff" and we're going to scrapbook, make our holiday cards and most of all............GIRLS ONLY. NO KIDS. NO HUSBANDS (not that having mine around wouldn't be great!!) Lots of food, snacks, CHOCOLATE, wine and martinis! :) I have to tell you that I'm seriously looking forward to a weekend JUST FOR ME. I need it!!! YIPPEE! Maybe I can plan a massage that weekend too? Hmm.....

Jen- I think Sam wants to have a "football" party at our place that Sunday - hubbys can bring the kids to play while they watch the games on the big screen! Maybe we should help coordinate that - otherwise everyone will be eating ... who knows what? (I'm seeing the scene in The Break Up - where they have game night and Vince Vaughn isn't prepared because his girlfriend usually does all the preparations. I'm visualizing chips, slices of Kraft singles and sticks of gum.) Heehee just kidding honey!

Anyway, just wanted to share the news of my exciting upcoming "retreat"! I'm off to bed, hope you all have a good night!

Oh, to be young.

We took the kids to the park the other day. They had a blast, and they are so fearless! I'm sad to see them growing up so much that the twins go up and down the playset by themselves and Zach swings on the BIG BOY swing as high as his Dad will push him (much to Mommy's dismay! I think I got a few gray hairs watching how high he wants Daddy to push him!)

These kids are a complete joy to be around. Many of you know that our nanny left to go back home to Utah to take care of some personal we are in the search for a new nanny. In the meantime, my mom is here and she's loving the time she has with her grandkids, though I think they're wearing her

Here's some pictures from our afternoon at the park!

Addie looking like a big girl!

Avery going UP the slide

He's yelling higher Daddy! (No! says Mommy!)

Getting ready for bed after baths, goodnight kisses (Aww!)

Zach, there is NOT enough room in there for you, bud!

We aren't going to have many more of these moments ... where they all play togeter, kisses, was just a great day! !

Take care,

Rach :)

Happy Birthday to me...LITERALLY

So we had Zach's first official birthday party with KIDS two weekends ago. It was so cute! I'm going to try to get the birthday song video on youtube so we can attach to our blog, but Zach actually sang happy birthday to himself....heehee, he's so Polish! ;)

Here's a picture of him with his cake, which as it turned out was a NEAR disaster (more on that in a minute.)

Ok, now for the birthday cake story. Let's see. With all I've had going on, I was lucky to just *barely* get the invitations out. I finally get them done, and in "my mind" the last Saturday in September was the 30th. Apparently it wasn't, it was the 29th (which makes sense since his birthday - the 22nd - was the Saturday before). I realized the date issue after someone called - who knew I had said I was having his party on Saturday and not Sunday. So I let everyone else know of my blonde moment - however I forgot to call the place we were having the cake made. I go in to pick up the cake at 10:30 (his party was scheduled for noon) and they were confused as to why I was wanting to pick up the cake a day early. (OH MY GOSH, I FORGOT TO CALL FARM FRESH!) I think the cake decorator could just tell by the look on my panicked face - because she said don't worry honey, we'll have it done for you in one hour. I was completely freaking out to say the least.....I mean this is my kid's first REAL birthday party, and it's not like I ordered some plain old square cake with Happy Birthday Zach written across it! It was this elaborate "stage" cake, with airbrushing and all sorts of details. Needless to say, when Sam went to pick up the cake at precisely 11:30, it was ready. And perfect. This is the way people are in the "south" so I've come to learn. It just seems that they all go out of their way to help you no matter what.

The kids (and the parents too) had a great time - we all wore CARS tatoos (even the parents wanted them) and the excitement in Zach's face could not be hidden! Not only that, but the weather here has been pretty stifling for the past few months... however on this day, we had a breezy 70 degrees ... and it was perfect to have the party outside where all the kids could play and we could enjoy our wonderful wooded backyard.

Here are some more pictures from our fun day, and the shock of Zach turning three is finally wearing off.

I'll post more photos on our photo site over the weekend, just wanted to get this out - it's been a few weeks since I've blogged and I've actually MISSED it!