Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Dress

Maddie and Izzie. I bought this dress at Kid-to-Kid, a used clothing store. I've started buying more of their clothes there since they no longer care about matching as much anymore. But as soon as I got this dress home they BOTH wanted to wear it at the same time. When I realized it was a gymboree I got on ebay and my MOM's groups to see if anyone had one they didn't want anymore. I had no idea that the $8 that I spent on it was a steal (I thought it was expensive to pay $8 for a used dress!) But on ebay in most cases the dress was going for over $40, which is $8 OVER what it cost when it was a NEW dress on the gymboree shelves!!! Somehow mom found a listing on ebay and was able to get a second dress for only $12, which we couldn't believe. So now they have a set of matching "Rainbow Twirl Dresses" as they call them.

 Izzie and Maddie. You would NOT believe how many photos I have like this. I tell the girls to stand next to each other and smile at me. As SOON as I hit the button they look at each other and laugh. EVERYTIME. To get a photo of them looking at me instead of each other is a hard feat! It's like some secret joke they have to share.

 I was very pleased to snap this one quickly before they got silly!

I like this photo of Maddie concentrating really hard to get the bubble wand in the bottle. I had to cringe when they went straight for the bubbles in their "new" gymboree dresses, but I am so NOT that kinda momma. Bubbles will wash out, and why buy clothes that kids can't play in?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Update: Izzie is just fine.

When Izzie started feeling bad this morning I wasn't even sure how bad she was feeling or if she was milking the cuddle time. When she went off to the toy room and took a little nap, I knew she was not feeling well at all. I whipped out the fermented cod liver oil and gave both her and her sissy a dose. Literally twenty minutes later they were both running circles around me, singing and dancing. That stuff is magic I tell you. Now only if I could remember to give it to them every day!

Izzie's not feeling well.

 My poor Izzie isn't feeling well today. Maddie brought her a stack of books to help her feel better.

 Maddie is a bit at of a loss and doesn't know what to do. She can't sit still for more than a few seconds worrying about sissy.

Maddie reading books near a resting Izzie.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A trip to the spice store & a day in the life of...

I love spice stores. It's almost like walking into an art supply store. You walk in and your senses are stimulated and your creativity is sparked. With an art supply store your sense of touch and sight take in everything and your imagination starts working on masterpieces you could create. In a spice store your nose takes over and the dishes that spring to mind even start working on your taste buds and there is just so much potential hanging in the air. Today my Mom and I took the girls to Penzey's Spices a favorite spice store of mine for years. As soon as I walked in, I was a bit overwhelmed of where to start. The spices, herbs and extracts were calling out to me to be sniffed and even touched. The girls got a bit antsy but they had a cute little coloring table set up in the corner for the kids.

Side note, I just thought of a cool idea for them. They should buy a small little kitchen and fill it with pots and pans and a few spice jars that are glued shut so the kids can "cook" while their parents are shopping. I think I need to drop a note in the mail!

Anyway, I picked up a wedding gift. I love giving spices as a wedding gift. Then I picked up several ounces of mustard seed. My friend Nicole Rice, made homemade mustard using mustard seed, kombucha and garlic. I can not WAIT to try it! I have my mustard seed fermenting in the kombucha as we speak, but it needs to ferment for 5-7 days. Fermenting takes so much patience. I've got a hot sauce that should be ready for tomorrow.

After the spice store we decided to try out this little Greek buffet that was in the same shopping center. It was pretty darn tasty! But then again, I love Greek foods and since John doesn't, I don't eat them very often so it makes them a bit more special. I love how the girls love the flavors too, although they did manage to ignore most of the vegetables and focused instead on the gyro meat, the pita bread and the tzatziki sauce. I don't blame them, those are my favorites too! But I filled up on dolmos today.

After the restaurant, we stopped by Lucky Layla for some more raw milk and yummy smoothies for snack later in the day and then headed home for naptime. I didn't think naptime was going to happen, but they finally drifted off to sleep. When they woke up both girls wanted their smoothie and then they requested to take a bubble bath in my bathtub. Easy enough! I had the opportunity to catch up on some laundry while they were bathing and then a quick dinner of quesidalla pizzas was in order. I was still full from lunch! John ate some leftovers, ironically enough... leftover Greek salad! (One Greek meal he does like.) After dinner the girls played "spa" with me. One of my favorite new games. They literally slather me with lotion and I just lay there relaxing. Next they moved onto some art projects with scissors and stickers. Then Maddie asked me if I could play puppets with her. She gave me the elephant puppet who "ohhed and awed" over their artwork and asked them to sing their favorite songs. We played silly songs and dancing until bedtime!

All in all, it was a pretty terrific day!

In one big breath

Seriously said in one very fast breath by Maddie: I don't have ANY shoes to wear: my jelly-jellies are ticking, I can't wear my houseshoes outside, my dress shoes are too small, my flip flops are wet, my crystal shoes do not match and I don't know where my clogs ARE!

A bit of a photo catch up.

 Izzie making a funny face the last day of gymnastics at Canyon Creek.

 Maddie making a goofy face too.

 Izzie and Maddie looking over at Gabe.

 Impromptu picnic while the kitchen floor was getting cleaned by scooba our mopping robot!

 Izzie and Maddie attending a preschool co-op that my friend Luisa started at the library.

Izzie modeling a funny hat that Nanna bought.
Izzie and Maddie.

I emptied my camera this morning and was surprised to see photos from last Monday! I usually empty my camera at least once a day! I guess that shows how busy last week really was. This week is going to be a much slower pace. A few errands today, nothing tomorrow, story time on Wednesday, no plans yet for Thursday. Friday evening is the rehearsal dinner for our friend's John and Carolyn's wedding that is on Saturday! John is off on Thursday and Friday making this an even shorter week for us. I'm looking forward to a more laid back pace after last weeks exciting adventures!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My children are so civilized

A bit of background... upstairs in our house we have a family room. It's mostly a tv, a couch, books for the kids and their doll house. Oh and all their loud musical instruments (which can only be used in the afternoon, I know... I'm a mean mommy.) Every morning when their toddler clock turns green at 7 am (they usually wake up anywhere between 6:45 and 7:15)  they are allowed to go into the family room and play quietly until I can peel myself out of bed. This works out so great.

This morning I overheard over their monitor before they went into the family room:
Girl 1: I turned on the light (to the family room.)
Girl 2: Oh! But it was my turn to turn on the light.
Girl 1: I am very sorry. Let me turn it off so you can turn it on.
Girl 2: Okay, thank you very much.

Why can't EVERY interaction go like that between the girls? It was so incredibly civilized. At least I know SOME of what I teach them is sinking in!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Three Year Old Fashionista

I came down the stairs after getting dressed for a class I'm taking. Izzie takes a look at me and says: Mom, you look very cute, but that outfit doesn't match. But don't worry, you are still very beautiful.

ASI Gymnastics Update

The girls did their trial class at ASI today and they both did SUPER! This class is different than the mom and tot class because they have to go off on their own and I sit in the bleachers watching them. Maddie went right off without any problems, Izzie thought for a split second about being upset but then she just as quickly changed her mind and took off with the class. During the music/stretching circle they just watched (Canyon Creek Gymnastics didn't do that, so it wasn't familiar to them) but they took to the trampolines and all the other elements great. At the end Maddie got a "terrific job on standing on one foot" and Izzie got a "terrific job at the donkey kicks!" on their progress report. Izzie said she had a good time but she liked her old gym better. Maddie said the new gym was SUPER fun! Now to crunch some numbers, investigate some other options and make a decision!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Going, going, going!

 Maddie and Izzie
Izzie and Maddie

It's just halfway through another busy week here at the Dittlinger house. I'm telling you, I don't think we ever slow down! Monday was our last day at Canyon Creek Gymnastics. We really liked it there for the Mom and Tot class, but I decided it was time to move on to anther gym for the older class. We are trying out ASI tomorrow to see how that goes. There is also the possibility of doing dance instead. I don't want to over schedule so we are just going to pick one physical activity class. It was a sad class on Monday because the girls knew it was their last time there. They made a good bye card for Coach Kalynn their favorite coach, but she was out for the day and we missed her. They hardly wanted to participate because they were so sad. She was so great with them!

Another thing to note about Monday was that the fact the girls were officially 3.5 years old. They were very excited about this fact when I told them about it. They did ask if it meant the got a cake. It would have been cute to do cupcakes or something but I just didn't think about it! Coincidentally, we decided to put the girls in pull ups at night time and put a little potty chair in their room on Monday night. The next day at a playdate I heard both girls tell their friends "Since we are three and a half now we get potties in our room!" I thought it was cute they were excited about this. It's to encourage them to start night training without the excuse of getting to leave their room to go potty and having the temptation of playing in the sink to wash their hands or hanging out in the hallway to "wait" their turn or any other thing they could possibly cook up. There is a little potty in the corner of their room on a piddle pad, a box of wipes and a ziplock bag for the dirty wipey. So far it has been a big success. I heard one girl use the potty this morning around 6:30 am and then go back to sleep for another hour!

Tuesday was a playdate at my house. Originally the plan was to have a splash playdate with Madison and Sydney, Gabe and Misty's quads: River, Raine, Sky and Juju. Sadly, two of the quads woke up with fevers so they had to stay home. And because of the huge rainstorm we had on Monday night (after 100 degree temperatures) it was muggy and miserable outside so we decided to play inside instead. It was still a fun playdate though!

Today we went to a preschool co-op that my friend Luisa started up at the Wylie Library. It is so cool! She planned an entire morning around the storytime theme including a spanish lesson, math lesson, letter recognition, movement and socialization. The girls were a bit overwhelmed with the five boys in the class, but for the most part they held their ground.

This afternoon, I was very disappointed I didn't have my camera on me when the girls jumped into the little splash pool with all of their clothes on! It was so funny! At first they were playing with these big sticks and "stirring" a big bowl (not a pot, as I was corrected.) Then they were splashing the stick. Then they laid on the ground and the pool walls sort of caved in and got them very wet. At this point they thought they were in trouble but I just laughed at them and asked them if they were going swimming in their clothes!?! in a very teasing voice. They jumped in and were giggling like crazy. To me, that is what summer memories are all about. Being silly and spontaneous.

Tomorrow we are doing a free trial class with ASI gymnastics to try them out and Friday I'm having an organizer come (I won her services at the PAMOM Gala last Feb!) to help me with the art room. It's just another busy week in the Dittlinger house, I'm telling you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clean up crew

The last time John and I cleaned the deck we moved everything off so we could stain it. Well today I told the girls we were going to clean up the deck for our playdate tomorrow. Meaning pick up broken toys, put away small toys etc.
Well after dinner tonight the girls said they wanted to go outside. Then about 30 min later they came to get me. They "cleaned" off the entire deck. They pushed all their toys into the grass, just like momma and daddy did!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A very happy Father's Day

 At one point, Maddie sat down to read Lucy a story. The other "big" cousins thought this was cute so they grabbed books too.
So Lucy got stories read to her by Maddie, Izzie and Sabrina... all at once!
Yesterday we went over to John's parent's house for a celebration of Nanny's 89th birthday and to give Grandpa a father's day card. It was a very fun day and the whole family was there. At one point, all of the cousins were in the pool at the same time! I know that a picture was snapped of all the girls, so I'll have to see if I can get a copy of it. It really made me wonder whether if Dana's next will be another girl or a boy. On the one hand, it'd be fun that Sammy is the King of the Cousins and the rest are all girls, and on the other hand, throwing in another boy would be a good balance out all those girls. We'll find out in about 6 weeks what she's having when the baby makes his/her entrance in the world.

Jackie went above and beyond for dinner last night. We had this huge platter of Prosciutto and Fonitna rolled Chicken on a bed of sauted spinach, with green beans, rosemary potatoes, mushroom cream gravy and garlic bread. It was a huge feast! And it was all delicious. She followed it up with a carrot cake for Nanny's birthday.

This morning, I was excited because I got to give John his father's day present. My mom helped me (okay, she practically made it for me) a 1-UP mushroom from Mario Brothers as a rearview mirror dangle for John's fancy new car. He said a while back that fuzzy dice were too cliche and that a 1-UP mushroom would be fun. So the girls, my mom and I covertly worked on it throughout the week, and somehow they managed to keep it a secret. Then I had the idea to incorporate a scavenger hunt into the whole deal. Mom helped me with some of the rhymes and last night when John went up to bed, I snuck around the house and placed all the clues about. The idea was to make them easy enough for the girls to solve the riddles so they got to play along with dad, hitting some of the favorite things they like to do with him or nice things he does for us.

Here they are:
Daddy, Daddy,
We love doing puzzles with you!
This one is especially fun,
If you help us find the next clue,
You'll find a Father's Day gift from us to you!

Splish Splash
We love to take our bath with Daddy
'Cause he doesn't care if we wash our hair!

Singing Night Night songs with dad is great!
Too bad we can't stay up late.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder where the next clues are!

When we play building blocks with Dad,
They don't fall down, we don't get sad.
They go so high to make a tower,
It must be a daddy superpower!

Potty Training may be stinky and nasty,
But daddy never gets loopy
when he changes our poopy.
And he always takes out the bop (diaper) trashy!

We love our very own playground
Where we blow bubbles and jump through hoops.
Thank you daddy for mowing the grass
and for cleaning up the Doggie poops!

Everywhere we look, here's a book, there's a book
Reading stories with dad is a favorite thing to do
Especially the one about or day at the zoo!

Today we are only three, and we think you would agree
That it may seem bizzare,
To imagine that one day we are going
To ask to drive Daddy's car!

I did get the entire thing on video, which I'll share, but please excuse the messy house!
Video Link Here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I wasn't expecting that answer!

Driving over to moms house we were sounding out words. We were spelling CAT. I said, "Cat is an AT word, do you know other AT words? Then I said, "like BAT, FAT ..." and Maddie says, "And PLACEMAT!"

Another Crazy Busy- stay at home day

Maddie and Izzie modeling their new pajamas. I got them on the sale rack and though they were cute despite the fact that they are "boy" pajamas. The girls LOVED that they said "Goof Ball" on them.

Today has been so productive! I cleaned the kitchen (not that you can tell now!) and then I got a pot of chicken stock going, made a batch of homemade chicken nuggets to put in the freezer. Then I started a batch of homemade cereal that is about to go in the dehydrator for 24 hours. After that I got dinner started so this afternoon we can just play and I can reheat fast. The girls and I spent a long time reading library books, and we did a painting project. I wrote out a menu plan and grocery list, which isn't something I normally like to do, but decided to give it a try for a while. The girls are now napping, I'm catching up on some blogging and then I'm going to rest for a few minutes before the afternoon starts!

Our project was to make our own flag! Both girls love pointing out Texas Flags, American Flags and even company flags. (I love that they call the McDonald's flag the M flag, because they don't know McDonalds by name!) One day when we were driving I asked what they'd put on their very own flags if they had one. This led into a discussion about symbols, like a heart standing for LOVE. They decided they were going to put their initial on their flag. Maddie wanted to put a circle around hers. Izzie couldn't decide about anything except the fact it'd have an I on it. Well I finally went out to the art room and cut out a piece of an old sheet that was up there for projects like this. I let them paint their flags and then I tied them onto some old bamboo I had in the garage. They decided they wanted to put their flags out in front of their clubhouse to mark their territory (another topic we hit on lightly.) I know they really had a fun time and while their flags are mostly a blob of color, they mean a lot to them.

 Maddie and Izzie working on their flags. You can see Maddie did start with an M and a circle.

 While the flags were drying the Izzie and Madie were watching a slideshow on my computer of their baby photos. They spent about 45 minutes watching the slide show and giggling. They would point to each baby and say, "That's ME!" over and over.

 After lunch, their flags were dry and Maddie and Izzie had fun waving them around.

Izzie and Maddie marking their territory!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Last day of swim class

 Last day of swim class and the kids got to make a choo-choo.

Coach, Jake, Izzie, Maddie, Andrew, Carolyn, Benjamin, Ford, Ellory and Emmerson. The girls teacher was Coach Jordan.

Izzie standing up and Coach Jordan putting a crown on Maddie.

By the end of the two week course, the girls were much more comfortable in the water. They were holding their breath under the water for a few seconds, working on arm reaches and kicks. They were great at floating on their backs and  stomachs with assistance and they loved jumping in the water.

It's all a matter of perspective

Maddie: A meeting for grown-ups is just like a playdate, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Stay at home mom deliema

Ah.....  9:30 and in bed.  The laundry did not get folded an the kitchen did not get cleaned,  but some nights you just need to ignore some of that stuff. When you work is your home, sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Swimming, Swimming in the Swimming Pool!

 Momma and Maddie

 Izzie and Maddie



 Nanna, Izzie, Maddie and Momma

 Izzie and Maddie showing off their toes.

 Popo looks like a dolphin coming out of the water here instead of jumping in!

 Synchronized floating by Maddie and Izzie.

 Maddie ending a great swim with a juicy watermelon.

 Izzie loves the watermelon too. Last summer they both didn't like watermelon so I'm glad they like it now since it's my favorite fruit!

Maddie and Izzie.

And since Mom asked me to look for it... here is a picture of the Maddie and Izzie the first time they were in those floaties in June 2008.  We had to hold them up because they almost fell through the leg holes! And they would tip forward and backwards. The floaties really weren't THAT much help. This year though, they asked for them and we weren't sure they'd fit in. They fit fine and they were kicking their way all across the pool. Izzie learned she could float in it on her back, jump in it, spin in it and scooter around the pool with a freedom they hadn't had before. I'm glad we kept them around for another summer!

Said with such decorum

As I was plating up dinner Izzie comes up to me and asked what we were having.  I told her we were having stuffed bellpeppers. She said, "That dinner looks very lovely mom. What else are we having?" 
That of course translated to: there is no way I'm eating THAT!

(which by the way she did end up eating pretty well.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Anatomy of a Dog

I was brushing Izzie's hair when she saw Ripley, our dog. She told me she wanted to pet his belly, because he really, really wanted a belly rub. Then very matter of factly she told me, "But don't touch his dot, because that is where the pee pee comes out." I wonder if someone told her that or if she learned that from observation?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

QOTW: Farvorite Parenting Myth

I haven't participated in a Multiples and More Question of the Week in awhile, but thought that the question this week was really good. What are some of your favorite parenting myths? The first thing that came to mind when I read this was that even despite your best efforts your kids WILL be "THAT" kid at some point in their lives. Probably more times than you ever thought possible. You know what I mean, before you have kids when you are the store and you see a mom with her kid who is throwing a temper tantrum and you think to yourself  "when I have kids, there is NO way they'll act that way!" Let me tell you... they will. At some point.

My twins are great in public, most of the time. But they have had their moments and I'm sure there was a kidless adult that was shaking their heads at me. You think to yourself, "Oh, I wish they could have seen them last time we were here, or ever five minutes ago!" But I've learned to tune out the rest of the world and focus on the temper tantrum at hand, get things under control or decide to bail. So the myth that your child will be perfect, is a fancy make believe myth for sure!

File Folder Games

I just recently discovered something new (to me.) They are called File Folder Games. I like calling them Lessons though. Lessons shouldn't be reserved for serious stuff, they can be fun too. Anyway, I was stumbling across the interwebs when I found a mommy blogger somewhere that made up a few of these File Folder Lessons for her kids. With a bit of searching I found out that these things are actually quite popular. They take a bit of work to put together, although there are kits that you can buy to make them easier to make. I just took some pre-made clipart and fashioned my own. So far I've made for reading: Matching  Lowercase to Uppercase Apple game and First Letter Sounds (I just picked 8 sounds.) For Math I've done a Counting Lesson and a Sequencing Starfish Lesson. For Science I've done a Hot vs. Cold lesson. The girls really seem to like working on them too!

Here is the apple lesson. I cut slits in the apples on the tree for the girls to slide the lowercase letters into.

 The five middle starfish are removable with velcro and have to be put in order from smallest to largest.

Maddie and Izzie playing with their lessons. I punched holes and am storing them in small ring binders.

Maddie and Izzie set up a bunch of their furry friends and were playing "storytime" with them. I overheard Izzie saying, "Once Upon a Time..."

Interested in buying the graphics for my FileFolder Games? You will get you the images as jpgs or PDFs for you to print. You will have to print, cut out the pieces and assemble on your own file folder. Laminating makes the images stronger but you can print on card stock too.
Alphabet Tree: $6 - It will have a more simplified font than the one shown, as this font I learned was hard for my kids to read. 
Starfish- $4

Painted Toes and Playground

 Izzie showing off her newly painted toes.

 She wanted me to take a close up photo.

 Maddie showing off her fingers and toes.

 Maddie and Izzie running at the park.

 Love Maddie's hair, she was spinning around and around.




Izzie and Maddie, they were pointing out that Mr. Moon was out early!