Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What's missing in this picture?

Can anyone see what is missing in this picture of the twins' bedroom (well, yes ... besides the paint and decorations that we haven't gotten around to doing yet, thanks for pointing that out!) YEP, the CRIB SIDES.

Today is a very sad day in the Tramontana household. My babies are no longer BABIES. They are officially not in CRIBS anymore. Avery was climbing in and out of her crib and it was so disruptive - not to mention dangerous - that we made the decision that today was the day they had to go. When they went to bed tonight (besides the two hours of playing that they don't normally do) they ended up sleeping in the same bed. *sigh* there is something about twins that you just can't describe.

Weren't they just this small, like last week?

Anyway, just thought I'd share...I'm sad and kind of mad at the same time (LOL) because I just wasn't READY for them to NOT be in a crib anymore!!!! I want my BABIES back!!! :) Maybe We'll just have to have another one? Sam?

(Now that you're up off the floor, honey, I'm JOKING!!!!!) ??

Hope you all have a great night!



PS: Just a picture to make you smile, Sam took this of them in the tub tonight (they made green water, as you can see). As much as he drives them crazy, Zach really does love his sisters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And to all....

A GOOD NIGHT! (Finally)<---Smile!
Well it has been an EVENTFUL day at the Tramontana household. I'm going to put the last two day's posts down in no particular order....sorry it's just been SO positively chaotic and well, I'm just too tired. :)

First, here is a before/after shot.

It may not look like much here....but that is because when we were wrapping, we were smart and wrapped some things together....for example - we wrapped three monster trucks in one package. (Santa's elves were very busy this year and they couldn't do as much as they normally do!!!)

PS: NOTE THE "ZOOPAL" which was the plate Zachary insisted on putting out for Santa. We stuffed some "batting" into the fireplace grate and Zach was in AWE that Santa's beard got stuck there...heheeee!!!

Notice the three foot high pile of wrapping paper. Oh boy.

So we get through the CHAOS of unwrapping gifts. Not only that but my family decided to do a "video conference" with my brother and my sister (at my mom/dad's house) ... so we had my computer running the whole time so they could see us unwrapping our presents and we could watch them unwrapping theirs in Wisconsin. Technology is amazing. I have to say I thought the WebCam was going to be cheesy ... but it was REALLY very cool!!! I haven't seen my nephew since he was a baby and he's 3 ... so I got to see him which was so fun and my niece I have never met I got to see .... sister's kids...Kiersten, Samantha and Dawson, I haven't seen in at least 4 years....all are SOOOO big now....and I couldn't believe it! Anyway, that was a fun thing for me this year and it meant a lot to see them all on a holiday I haven't spent at "home" in a long time.
Favorite toys?
Zach's is (and I knew it would be)

The Fisher Price kid's digital camera. He LOVES taking photos with it - he is even sleeping with it tonight (I actually got him to STAY IN HIS ROOM tonight by threatening to take it away ... YAY!!!) :) <-- Smile!!!

The girls favorite toys are (and I don't have pictures yet - I'll post some tomorrow) are these Princess shoes - there is like 8 pairs plus these tiaras (very cool) and shopping carts. Not to mention the huge kitchen that has real-sounding microwave and oven and stove (yes, it takes 12 - and I'm not joking - 12 - batteries). They love the play food and have been making us "ice cream cones" and "pizzas" all day.

However....they (all three of them) were AWFULLY cranky today. First they were up late yesterday. We went to a 7:00 service at church and didn't get home until almost 9:00 - which is way past their bedtime. And then they were up pretty early. Little miss Avery does not stay in her crib anymore (we have to convert their cribs this coming weekend into BEDS....UGH!!!!!) so she wakes up and then either wakes her sister up by poking her arms into Addie's crib, or ...she has actually learned how to climb up and INTO Addie's crib. (MORE ON THAT LATER!!) Anyway, they hardly napped today and with all the new toys...I think they were just in meltdown-overload until they finally couldn't fight it any longer....Avery fell asleep on her floor, Addie in her bed, and Zach with an open book, his camera, and a car in his arms.

Collectively they also LOVED this toy that my friend from Chicago, Lori, sent them ... it's one of those view finder projector things - THANK GOD FOR YOU LORI is ALL WE HAVE TO SAY!!! First, we told them they had to wait until it got dark to try it Well the SECOND (and I mean second) it was dark, they ran upstairs begging for us to do the slide show. THEY LOVED IT! Sam moved the projector around the walls of the room and all three of them screeched with laughter as they chased butterflies, and spongebob, and the Backyardigan characters around. We were laughing so hard. Very cute. It was probably the only 30 minutes of the day where NONE of them were being fussy at ALL.

So my excitement of the day started when we were almost done opening gifts...I had already opened most of mine and I had gotten a new laptop bag - which was the one thing on my list because I'm using my "Merchants Terminal" laptop bag and as much as I love my company, they didn't have "girls in mind when they designed this thing! I like to have pens, my files, stapler, a calculator --- all that kind of stuff because I'm back and forth to DC so often. Anyway - because of all the stuff we got for our 5 kids this year, we had a pretty strict limit on what we were going to spend on each other. Sam knew I wanted GPS (because I'm forever getting lost) but it's really not a "necessity" because ....well, I should just learn to read map (for Heaven's sake, I'm the Director of Logistics for a Transportation company!!) Anyway, halfway through present-opening, he hands me this card, and on the inside it reads:

Head Northeast to a closet, not a typical one; to a place where lately a lot of work has been done.

I started to the bathroom - though I didn't necessarily associate that with a "closet" because as many of you have know - that's been my "special project" I've been working on remodeling it with Sam's help. (((I'm just in the last stages of refinishing the cabinets.))). Anyway, in the "water closet" as it turns out, there is another card. It reads:

Continue Northeast where even more work is done; a place where we sometimes also like to have fun. Searching, playing, watching and answering the phone; it's a place where Merchants Terminal calls on one of their own.

So of course, I head up to my office. There I find another card/clue..... and it reads:

Now head due west on your final present quest; some might say what comes last is best. This is a place where a few toys call home as they circle the island to find new land to roam.

Now I head to Zach's room.....his train table has "SODOR Island" and in the drawer is 4th card .. which says:

Travel southeast, finally a place to find your gift. An area to season, bake, saute and sift. A tool to find your way, a place to be, but more importantly find your way back home to me. ALSO NOTE: INSIDE THIS CARD he has also picked out the get out of jail free card from Monopoly and added a note which reads - this might come in handy in February. Verrrrrry FUNNY, Sam! :)

So of course I head into the kitchen .... and he does the hot/cold until I find......... GPS? NOPE. A Virgina map. With a bow around it. Very funny joke, right? Well of course he could see the disappointment because he tells me to keep going, and we continue on the hot/cold, until I find my REAL present.....and it's GPS! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!! And not only is it GPS, but it's also MP3 player! That was so awesome!!!!!

Anyway, aside from the kids being in complete meltdown most of the day (lol), we really had a nice time just being together. We ate, napped, played ... (didn't work) .... can't ask for much more than that.

Here's a couple other pictures from the night before - we went to a candlelight Church service at our neighbors Church, which was so nice. The kids did so well in the church nursery we got to enjoy the entire service without being paged once. We really felt in the Christmas spirit after leaving there - between the sermon and the "classic" Christmas carols - both in English and in Latin - it was wonderful. (Our neighbors both sing in the choir and Jen, if you're reading this - I can absolutely tell you love to sing. You smiled the whole time.)

So now back to Avery. She does not want to stay in her crib. She climbs in/out. She's very disruptive to Addison who just wants to SLEEP, poor thing. I walked in there earlier today, Avery was sitting behind Addie with her arms around her (she was in her own crib when we left her) and you could tell that she was trying to soothe Addie - but all Addie wanted to do was sleep. So.............we are going to have to break down and turn their cribs into beds. DARN IT! :) I was hoping to wait awhile longer.

Anyway, I think that's all my news/photos for now. We'll have more, but it's 11:00, and I'm really just WIPED OUT.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and that Santa was as good to you all as he was to my family!



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mommy Moment ...

Tonight we took the kids to the Holiday Lights at the Beach. This is an annual event in VA Beach, where the city turns the boardwalk into a spectacular nautical themed Christmas light-show...that you can drive through! Open the windows on this cool, 55 degree night and you could hear the waves crashing and smell the sea air! Amazing! (Not quite what we're used to!!)

Here are some pictures (borrowed from their website)

Anyway, on our way home, we stopped for dinner - and I won't go into that horror story....let's just say that the kids *normally* eat dinner at 5:00 and are in bed at 7:00 ----and we weren't even at the restaurant until 7:00 ... but as we were driving home and singing songs from the CARS movie to try and take our minds off being cranky (lol)... I looked back and ALL THREE KIDS WERE HOLDING HANDS!!!!! ***SIGH*** That was truly a MOMMY MOMENT!

Have a great night everyone! Be on the lookout for some pictures here in the next couple days....I'm sure we'll have LOTS to share!

And don't forget .... SANTA IS WATCHING! Speaking of Santa....are any of your kids out there as logical as ours apparently is? Zach is having the absolute hardest time with the idea that Santa could POSSIBLY be coming down the chimney. First it was No Mom, it's too hot for him to come down the chimeny through the fireplace. And now he's absolutely certain that he won't fit. Why can't he just BELIEVE?? :)

If I don't post before then, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Kiss anyone?

So on Saturday I made cookies - just one batch to get me started and in the mood for making Christmas cookies. I made those Peanut Butter Blossoms --- the ones with the Hershey Kisses in the middle. I made them when the kids were napping and they were on wire racks cooling.

When the kids came down from their naps, I was changing the girls diapers and Sam happened to be on the phone. Well, Swiper (AKA Zachary) decided he was going to help himself to the cookies. Oh, I mean, the Hershey Kisses. Not the cookies. So what does he do? He proceeds to eat NINE of the Hershey Kisses off the top of the cookies!!! Sam came in the kitchen and was like "ZACH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!" And the look on Zach's face said it all. Chocolate ring around his mouth, chocolate covered fngers --- he looked like he was going to throw up from all that candy! Sam asked him if he had a tummy ache and he said "uh huh!"

I should have taken a picture of all the cookies - sans the kisses............that's my Zach for ya!

Just thought I'd share....I know some of you who know the little thief are cracking up right about now!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Confession to make...

Ok I have a confession to make.

I'm 25 (ohhhhhkayyy. 34.) years old. And I'm hopelessly addicted to ......... (yes, apple martinis) but besides that GUITAR HERO! And my husband is 44....and he's more addicted than I am! (to the game that is!) :)

Do you think it's sad and pathetic that we spend our free time rocking away like teenagers on this thing? If you haven't tried it, you have GOT to check it out...LOL!

If you go to you can search for Guitar Hero and see the many funny videos people have turned in. We had our neighbors over the other night for a Guitar Hero-a-thon and we were cracking up for hours!

So not only am I addicted to this VIDEO GAME...but I've recently come down with"tennis elbow" in the last month or so. I have to get a cortisone injection in order to stop the pain, it hurts THAT bad. (I don't know if you've ever experienced tendinitis...this is my first's awful!) For the last month I have been wondering what the heck I could have done to my elbow ...because I've never felt anything like this. The somewhat *odd* thing is that the problem is in my left elbow...which is only odd because usually one gets tennis elbow in their dominant arm....which would be my right. Well. I realized tonight, jamming to Cult of Personality, that the ONLY thing I consistently do with my left arm, and have only done for the last 6-7 play Guitar Hero. Unreal! GUITAR HERO CAUSED MY TENDINITIS! The game should come with a health warning....wear arm brace or else...! Do I hear class action suit? :) Sad, sad, sad. (heeheee!!!)

. . . . . . . my boss has specifically asked me to get a video of Sam on the guitar! :) (Smile honey, you haven't even heard this yet!)

Have a good night everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I can't drive fifty-five...Life in the Fast Lane....Highway to Hell......

Yeah those are all songs. Unfortunately, the titles all suddenly seem to apply to me.

Ok normally, I wouldn't post my, ahem, legal.....problems for the world to see. But, in this case...I think this might be helpful to others. All I have to say is if you drive I apparently do....I highly recommend slowing down. You want to know what happened don't you?

So on Tuesday I'm driving up to work in Baltimore....have my nice strong coffee in, the iPod cranked up to Jack Johnson's Upside Down....and I'm singing along (not pretty) and I'm in the left lane keeping up with traffic....not thinking about anything much other than what I had going on that day (my annual performance review...yikes), and really was enjoying what was appearing to be a lovey cool, sunny morning.

Then I see the lights. Blue ones. Right behind me. Let's just say, I won't post the words that came out of my mouth at that point. 'Cause they weren't pretty or very ladylike.

I pull over to the right, and Officer Friendly informs me I was speeding and asks me for my license and registration. I politely inform him that I don't carry registration in my car - that I've always been advised not to (security purposes because it has your address.) In the state of Illinois - you are only required to carry license and insurance. Anyway, he tells me to check the glove box (maybe my husband put it in there) and he will write the ticket and come right back. So he comes back and I don't have the registration - which he says no problem right now but he recommends I get it in there because it's a law in the state of Virginia (here I think the guy is letting me off the hook somehow, right?) and he hands me my ticket. He says I have to appear in court on February 28th and could I please sign on the dotted line. I look at the paper and it says RECKLESS DRIVING. I said what??? He said yes, ma'am, 89 in a 65 is reckless driving in the state of Virgina since July of this year. I said I couldn't believe I was going that fast - it was 7:30 AM and there was a ton of rush hour traffic on the highway and he said he couldn't believe it either, but apparently I was.

Anyway, I am thinking back to when I was about 23 and I got a ticket in Wisconsin driving 91 in a 65 (clocked by an airplane, mind you) and the ticket was almost $300.00 (which could be $3000.00 to a 23 year old, lol) and I call Sam. Sam proceeds to fill me in on a couple little details about Virginia's new laws, and let me tell you it's not the Commonwealth state for nothin'!
Here's what a reckless driving carries.

First of all - I should tell you this is not a regular ole TRAFFIC offense.

This is a class one misdemeanor criminal offense.
Penalties, if convicted, include:

-Up to 1 year in jail

- Up to $2500 fine imposed by the COURT (additional mandatory fees below)

-Up to six months loss of VA license or if out of state, privilege to drive in VA

- Automatic $350 due on conviction date, this is called a civil remedial fee

- Automatic $700 additional in civil remedial fees due over next two years ($350)

Maximum possible out of pocket costs: $3550.00

Maximum possible Jail: up to 1 year

Maximum possible loss of license: up to 6 months

Minimum possible out of pocket costs: $1550


If there is anyone out there who wants to make a donation to Rachel's legal fees, please let me know! ;) (Smile!!) I am actually going to have to hire an attorney because for one, I can't take the chance of losing my license for 6 months and for two - if this goes on my record - in addition to the fees above, my car insurance will literally double.

Anyway, wanted to share my woes with you all. For my Virgina case you weren't aware of all this new legislation they've passed this year.........I recommend you not only read up but SLOW DOWN!

Have a good night everyone.....I'll be having nightmares of Officer Friendly, don't worry. Maybe I should send the judge a tin of cookies to butter him up for my court date? Either that or does anyone know some big whig in VA government who owes you a favor? Or a good lawyer in the Richmond area who does pro-bono work? ;) One thing I learned is that a bum speedometer is an actual defense in VA. So.....I have to ALSO have to pay to get my speedometer calibrated, and if by some *miracle* my speedometer is off by a couple miles per hour it may look like I only "intended" to go 20 over, not 24 over which puts me out of the RECKLESS DRIVER category. Please someone up there looking out for me.

Rachel (AKA, the Felon)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Yard work....

Ok, when we moved in here in January, we knew there were lots of trees. However, there were no we didn't *really* anticipate the yard work. (Well, maybe Sam did...but I didn't know this is what he signed me up for, trust me!!) <-- smile!!! WHEW, is all I have to say. 21 bags of leaves later, and we're not even halfway done.

Here's some pictures of the kids "helping" out....

Not the greatest picture of the three of them, but Addison is adorable here.

Note that Addison has enough hair for pig tails but Avery, unfortunately, doesn't...

Another cute one of Addie and Avery ... Zach's in his own world, lol!

Chasing the neighbor's dog.... (they want a puppy, Daddy!!!)

There we go Zach! Handsome boy!!!

Throwing the leaves on top of Sissy is always fun

Helping daddy fill the bags

Pouty face...

Hope you all had a good weekend.......we'll catch you next week!


You're killing me......

So I realized today that I must use this phrase an awful lot.
Today, Sam and I were sitting on the couch watching the football game and the kids were in the living room (AKA play room) and they were being very quiet which is usually a signal for disaster. I yelled in "Zach, what are you guys doing", to which he replied, "Nothin, Mom." (Sounds more like Nuffin Mom). I said "Are you sure?" And he said "Yes. You're killing me, Mom!"

I turned to Sam and said ..."Did he just say what I think he said"... and ... he did.


Friday, December 7, 2007


Well everyone, thank goodness it's FRIDAY!!!! It's been a long week....Sam and I have both had hectic schedules....I was in DC, Baltimore and Delaware for two days and he had corporate people in town that he had to entertain (boohoo, he had to take them to dinner at one of my favorite places) but he did also have to make a same-day trip to DC as well.

Our new nanny, Caitlin, is doing good...she seems to have the "chaos" of dealing with three babies under three under control so we're happy and relieved about that. We all miss Carli and for anyone who is wondering...she is doing well back home in Utah. She's been keeping in touch with us and Zach called her just the other night to have her sing the "SPANISH" song ... which is some song she used to sing to him in Spanish that he claps along to and he loves. Caitlin - if you're reading this, you may need to call Carli and learn the words. (Smile!)

We took Zach to the dentist today...they just had a fast look at his tooth in the front. Many of you have seen this but his bottom right tooth ... looks like he got a "toofer"....two for one. And that is exactly what happened. Apparently two tooth buds fused together when they were coming in. They took one tiny peek and Zach was NOT a happy camper. Whew. I had to get him McDonald's and a Monster Truck afterwards! Heehee!!! I am not sure what we're going to do when we need to actually go in for a cleaning, etc.....which actually should be within the next year. It's going to cost us a bundle....he's going to get us for like a REAL monster truck! (heehee!) Anyone have any horror stories to tell about taking your toddler to the dentist so I know what to expect? Suggestions? Recommendations?

Anyway, here's some pictures of the maniacs I took this evening.........I can't wait until the day that we can get them to SIT STILL for like thirty seconds so that I can get a halfway decent picture! (This is just a warning, the picture on your Christmas cards - when I get them finished next week -'s the best we could do!!!!!)

Hope you all have a great weekend...and please, if you are anywhere there is snow ... be selfish. Keep it to yourself. We don't want it here. :) I'm just kidding......actually ..... we would love some....since I work from home and Sam's the head honcho at his job (who would just LOVE to call, I'd love a huge snow storm where we could take the kids out to play! As it is right now, they were on their play set and in their sandbox earlier this I don't think we're going to get much snow anytime soon.

Also just a note to our friends, Kurt & Jen .........HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Hope you guys had a great time tonight...Jen you looked beautiful! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's .... bathtime! Yay!!!

As I have told our new nanny, Caitlin, bathtime is crazy organized chaos in our house. It takes no less than an hour and she should expect to come out of the bathroom almost, but not quite, as wet as they are. The kids all love to be in there at the same time and they enjoy splashing and playing and "swimming!"

As you can see, we also like to get a little goofy...


Addie on the right

Avery making a perfet fish kiss! :)

Note: She's the only one who can do this....her sister can't make a fishy kisses! heehee!

They really love the bath - we have colored tablets they get to pick each time (somehow it makes the water either blue, red, yellow, etc. ... and doesn't stain the towels or turn the kids skin colors) and I just got them bath "crayons" which they think are the greatest things ever.

Anyway, just thought I'd share a couple of photos, I know I haven't updated lately. It's been very busy with work and getting ready for the holidays. Hope you're all doing well!