Thursday, April 28, 2011

My first weekend away starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I head out for an adventure sans hubby and kiddos. I'm going on my first Mommy weekend away since having the girls. I've spent the night away from them two or three times for one night at a time, but now I'm leaving them with John and I'm taking off for the TMOM (Texas Mothers of Multiples Convention.) There is the road trip aspect, the bunking with a fellow mom (my roommate is going to be Misty, she's a mom of 4 year old quads, I'm SURE I'll learn some great tips from her!) the parenting sessions, awards banquet, fundraising sessions and probably late night gossiping. There is a schedule, nametags and year pins (to show how many conventions you've gone to.) It's all so official. I'm really looking forward to it.

The theme this year is Wild Adventures and each club is supposed to come up with a t-shirt and nametag for competition. It's a way to have some fun before the event. We got together a 't-shirt' committee and a nametag committee, which of course I had to involved in both of them! We decided to do a play off of "Where the Wild Things Are" book by Maurice Sendak. We did "Where the Wild MOMS Are" it came out really cute! It was fun designing both the t-shirt and the nametags. The t-shirts we got printed professionally, but the nametags we went old school and pulled out the mod-podge and glitter and went all crafty! It was fun having excuses to get out and meet with the other moms about these items.

I also was on the Goody Bag stuffing team. Normally the host club is in charge of providing Goody Bags but this year because of a last minute snaffu the Houston area club that was going to host had to pull out. TMOM moved the convention to Austin and is having lots of clubs participate. PAMOM got the Goody Bag part. We spent a couple of months collecting donations from lots of companies for items to put in the bags. Things like toothbrushes, coupons, shampoo samples, pens, t-shirts, even a book. Our bags are pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves! A few nights ago several of us got together at Melanie's house and spread the bounty around. We then spent a couple of hours stuffing 200 of these pink bags. It was crazy! It is hard to imagine what 200 bags looks like! Yuki was planning on putting them all in the back of her SUV, but even though we literally stuffed it to the brim we only got 150 of the bags. The remaining 50 will be going with Melanie in the back of her car. We had a fun time visiting and stuffing. I hope the other clubs appreciate the hard work that went into them!
 Alison, Mary, Amanda (me), Amy, Amy, Melanie, Yuki and (Amanda B taking the photo) stuffing the goody bags.

 Most of the bags, but not all of them.

 Sitting in a sea of bags!

Our nametags for the competition. The line above the kids names says "Wild Things at Home"
 

The back of the t-shirt I designed.

New Wylie Library

Yesterday the girls and I finally made it to the new Wylie Library. It opened in March but we haven't slowed down long enough to go check it out. Last week was the first storytime, but we had our photo shoot for the Dallas Morning News, so we missed it. This week I was determined to get ourselves over to check it out! Even more exciting was the fact that I found the Dora movie that I thought I had lost and by turning it in, it erased the late fees and we are now in good standing with the library again. Whew.

The building is impressive. It's got a very shiny exterior that the girls called a rainbow building. It's actually got some sort of glass tile that is an iridescent teal color that is mixed in with the normal brick. There is no signage. I hope they fix that soon! The library is also part of the rec center and other city buildings and there is no big sign on the outside of the building that you can read from the parking lot that says LIBRARY. The only reason I new where to park was I saw another mom walking in with her kid. I forgot to take a photo of the outside of the building. Mostly because the girls were flipping out because of the wind. Ever since that day a few weeks ago where I thought we were going to literally blow away, Maddie and Izzie have been terrified of wind. ANY wind. It's getting old fast. I basically dragged them screaming at the top of their lungs into the library. As soon as they were out of the wind they were fine (until it was time to leave again.) My first impression of the building was that it was pretty cool looking. It's big and shiny and new. It smelled of the lodge at girl scout camp. I know that sounds weird, but we got a new lodge the last few years I worked at camp and when I walked into the library it sparked that memory from the new smell.

But once in the library I wasn't too impressed with the childrens area. I'm SO disappointed that it isn't PERFECT. In this day and age where space planning is such a HUGE industry why a new library with obviously a lot of care and money went into it wasn't designed better is beyond me. The library is ONE huge room. Actually I do think that there were some smaller study rooms or something but the stacks are all in one large area. The childrens area is just portioned off by shoulder height (my shoulder, and I'm short) wall partitions. So the noise from the kids carries throughout the entire library. And when storytime let out, it was LOUD. VERY, VERY loud. I felt sorry for any adult without kids in that place.

Also, the childrens area is long and narrow and the baby area is tucked away in a corner. In the old library the baby area could pretty much be seen by anywhere you were standing in the kids area. I like to set the girls up with the board books and then I browse the stacks for books for them to take home. At this library I could not see them from the stacks. So I would quickly go look at a few rows then have to run over to check on them and back and forth over and over. There were so many people milling about and so many kids that I didn't feel comfortable not checking on them every few seconds. I'll have to figure out a new way to work that.

The storytime room is pretty cool. I love that it is so much larger than the last library and the tree you have to walk through to get in the room is very impressive. The only negative is that there is no way to really form a line in front of the room because of where it is located so people were all bunched up and blocking the pathway and then it was a crazy mob to get into the room. Again, space planing would have gone A LONG way to help solve this problem!

But on the plus side, there is lots of room to grow. There was lots of empty room on the bookshelves that I can see future donations being filled with. The story room is large, we used to be SO cramped in the old room. There is cute child size furniture spread around, with tables that are the right height. So it isn't all bad.

 Maddie and Izzie looking at their photo in the Dallas Morning News!


 Maddie sitting at at table in the childrens library.
 Izzie

 I meant to take a photo of the front of the tree, but this is the side.

Izzie and Maddie in the storytime room. Missing storytime for the past couple months has set us backwards a bit. They had finally gotten comfortable with sitting up front. But to their credit, towards the end of storytime they moved up towards the middle.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Singing Hairbrushes

Okay, I wish I was still 3 and got amused by dancing hairbrushes. The girls wouldn't come over to me to get their hair brushed so I started making it sing and dance. They came RUNNING over to me to see what I was doing. Then the hairbrush was sad it couldn't brush pretty blonde hair and what do you know? They both wanted their hair brushed RIGHT then! Score one for Momma and the Singing Hairbrush, coming soon to a house full of toddlers near you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cute kids

The girls are putting on a musical. They are playing with miniature dolls, but singing what they are doing with them instead of talking. It's really cute.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Happy Easter Bunny Day!

 Izzie and Maddie's Easter Baskets: Bunnies, Barrel of Monkeys, Wind Spinner, Disney Princess figurines in a pink bag, spill proof bubbles and some eggs.

We literally woke up before the cows. (The dark spots under the trees. I've never seen them all laying down before. A few minutes later the entire herd woke up all at once, pretty crazy!) (Izzie, Maddie)

Going downstairs to see the baskets (Izzie, Maddie.)

 John, Amanda, Maddie and Izzie

 Maddie, Sabrina and Izzie

Family photo: Tom, Chris, John, Maddie, Sammy, Jackie, Nanny, Julie, Sabrina, Izzie and Amanda

Sammy, Maddie, Sabrina and Izzie about to start the egg hunt!  

 And they are off! Sabrina, Sammy, Maddie and Izzie

 Izzie and Maddie hunting eggs. Grandma and Grandpa made it hard this year! They had fun actually having to really hunt for the eggs!

Sabrina, Izzie and Maddie

 Izzie and Maddie showing off their eggs.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Going Low-Key

After an extremely busy first part of the week, the second half has been much more relaxing and laid back. Thursday was a gloomy drizzly day and the girls and I spent the morning curled up on the couch together reading books and coloring. It was one of those warm fuzzy, quiet moments that I hope never to forget. The rain was dripping lightly, and the wind was howling wildly and the girls were both quiet in deep concentration on their various projects.

Friday John was home on due to Good Friday and my mom ended up watching the girls. Somehow I spent the majority of the morning at an impromptu chiropractor appointment and at Target. My back has been sore all week, but I never slowed down enough to call for an appointment. Friday morning after I dropped the girls off at my moms, I was headed to Target and was about to pass Dr. Reif's office. Spur of the moment I called to see if he had an opening, and he did. Even so, when I finally got home, I had a few hours to enjoy hanging out with John before I had to pick up the girls. They had fun at Nanna's, like usual.

Today wasn't anything super special either. John spent a good portion of the day trying to fix the lawn mower. When he thought all hope was gone, we gave Chris a quick call and he came over to check it out. It ended up being a cheap and easy fix (yay!) and so he was finally able to mow the jungle. I mean, our backyard. We spent the afternoon watching basketball together. A couple of years ago, John got me interested in basketball and now I get into it (almost) as much as he does. The game came down to a few points and John had to turn off the tv. He couldn't stand to watch the last seconds of the game! Apparently John is a bit superstitious and he was afraid that since he was watching they were doing terrible. I totally get it, I can be superstitious too. Regardless, the Mavericks ended up losing despite the fact that he turned the tv off early.

Tomorrow is a busy day, with Easter. We'll spend it with my in-laws like we typically do. Our tradition usually entails church, a big hearty breakfast at my father-in-law's country club and then a day spent over at their house. Now that all the cousins are getting older, the Easter Egg hunts are a bit more fun! Hopefully we don't get rained out again!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Newspaper

For almost a year, I contributed once a month to a Mom blog for the Dallas Morning News. It was sad when the blog ended up getting closed and combined with another section of the Dallas Morning News, because most of the writers didn't get the chance to move over to the new blog. It was just a "for fun" experience, but it was one I really enjoyed. But I did make some blogging friends through this project, especially Nancy Churnin, who was our Moderator, so to speak.

Well mid last week, Nancy sends me a message on Facebook asking if I could possibly help her with a print story for the Healthy Living section of the Dallas Morning News. I told her I'd love to help out if I could in any way. She ended up calling me and we chatted for 40 minutes on food additives (mostly dyes) and other aspects of Real Food vs. Processed Foods. I had company coming over so our call got cut short, but she called me the next day for an hour long follow up interview. I impressed myself by spouting off all the things I've been learning about food, actually forgetting I was being interviewed for an article. (I tend to do that if you get me going on a subject I'm passionate about!) By the end of the article, Nancy had scheduled a photographer to come out to my house to take photos of my cooking with Maddie and Izzie. She wanted us to make my Cheese Cracker recipe that I use as a "Goldfish" replacement for my girls.

I was nervous trying to get my kitchen "photo" ready and spent most of Monday and Tuesday evenings doing a deep scrub. (It is SO worth it to have a photographer come to your house so you can "see" your own home through a different perspective!) Yesterday I got the girls all primped up and frantically realized that I too was going to be in the shot, not just my cute girls and my now spotless kitchen. I went to get dressed and crossed my fingers my hair would cooperate. Just for future reference... if you are going to cook with flour for camera DO NOT wear a black shirt.

Anyway, the girls did terrific, the photographer (Stewart House) was very friendly and I think we got some great photo moments. I wish I could have the film he took! The article goes to print next Tuesday (we think.) I'll definitely post it fresh off the presses!

Easter Playdate

Tuesday was our playgroup's Easter party. The girls got to wear their pretty dresses and hang out with all of their friends. It ended up being a pretty chaotic gathering. At any given point it seemed like there was at least one kid, if not two or three, screaming or crying. Some days are just like that. Maddie in particular was in rare form during craft time. I think she would have been perfectly happy if she had all her supplies around her and no one near her. But all the kids were sharing the supplies, especially the glue and well.. it made Maddie come unglued. She is very particular when it comes to her art. She is very detailed. So when she gathered up the puff balls she wanted to use and another kid took them (they were scattered all across the table it was hard to see what was what) she flipped out. But we finally got it all together and both her and Izzie made cute little Easter chicks out of glue, construction paper, puff balls, stickers and googley eyes. It was a very cute craft!

Other than that, my girls did pretty decent. Maddie did fall of the swing at one point which set off another round of tears, but she was easily consoled and the party went on. The egg hunt was a big success. Even Jake finally got up the courage to go check out the egg hunt. He was terrified that the Easter Bunny character was going to be out there. After the PAMOM Easter Egg Bunny he has a terror of Bunny characters. Thanks to Alison for hosting! I know that we all had a great time.

 Maddie
Izzie




 Craft time, Ford, Sydney, Madison, Payson, Hayden, Izzie, Gabe, Maddie and Madison

Eating lunch: Ford, Izzie, Sydney, Madison, Payson, Hayden, Madison, Gabe and Maddie

Egg hunt starts!
 
 Maddie looking for eggs.

 Izzie hunting for eggs.

 Maddie checking out her prizes.

 Maddie, Izzie and Madison.

Izzie checking out her prizes.

Quad Momma for one afternoon.

 This photo wasn't even posed. I sat on the couch and all four of the girls crawled up in my lap wanting to cuddle. It took a bit for everyone to get "comfortable" and then we sat that way for about 20 minutes just talking. John was home so I got him to shoot a quick photo of us! (Izzie, Sydney, Amanda, Madison and Maddie.)

After playing in the family room for a bit, I  let the girls watch a Dora the Explorer show. Each girl had to get cozy with a blanket!
After gymnastics today, Melanie followed me home and dropped off her girls for me to watch. She had to visit a dear friend who has an untreatable form of cancer and she didn't want to bring her girls since she knew it was going to be a emotional visit. I was more than happy to do what I could. The girls spent most of their time playing together, making my job easy to do. John was home with me and he helped out checking on the girls when they got too quiet. One time when I went upstairs to check on them all four girls had squeezed into my very small upstairs bathroom. They had pulled all of the bathtoys out of the bathtub and were sitting on the floor playing very quietly. The other thing that was fun for me was how very talkative Sydney was when Melanie wasn't there. She almost talked my ear off! I love seeing all these girls grow!

Daddy visits Gymnastics Class!

 I love this photo of Madison, Maddie, Sydney and Melanie! I wish Izzie was in it, but it is still cute!

 The girls were very excited to show Daddy everything the could do at gymnastics.

 Maddie and Izzie on the pommel horse.

 Izzie & Maddie

Madison, Gabe and Sydney. Gabe is one of the girls good boy friends. He is such a cutie! Here he is giving Sydney a big hug.

John had Monday off of work, so it was the perfect opportunity for him to come see the girls at their gymnastics class. I wish he could have gone to one of their first classes to see the major difference they've made! Now they take off at the beginning of class like they own the place, when I used to have to literally carry both girls to the back of the gym and do everything I could to coax them to participate. It isn't always smooth sailing, but now they are doing so many of the elements and tricks. I really have enjoyed watching how far they've grown in this class and I'm glad John got to see what I am privileged to see every week. Our girls really are amazing and it's a joy to watch them succeed and grow!

Lucy's Birthday Party

Little Lucy Jane celebrating her second birthday.
Dana made a cute teddy bear cake!
Grandpa and Grandma got Lucy a sandbox! The kids started playing in it right away!
Izzie and Lucy
Picture of Dana expecting baby number 2 and her friend Stacey.
Maddie and Sammy
Lucy, Dana and Grandma
Maddie and Izzie watching Lucy open presetns.
Lucy was singing Happy Birthday to herself!
The Triplet Cousins - Izzie, Maddie and Sabrina!
Lucy with her Grandpa!