Saturday, October 30, 2010

A roll of Smarties

If this is what Becca does with a package of Smarties, can you imagine what she & Mary-Gail will do with all their Halloween candy???

Friday, October 29, 2010

What a surprise

so i got hit with some pretty crappy news at the beginning of this month, and my Lovey wanted to cheer me up. he is so loving and astute to my feelings, and knew just what i needed...

something shiny and new!!!

do you love them? i do. becca, mary-gail, and i had just come home from walking pixie & arlamae & visiting w/jack & carol. i was mumbling something under my breath about how messy our entry way was; instead of picking up shoes, socks, and coats, i marched upstairs and saw these beautiful creatures sitting on my kitchen counter. aren't they lovely?!

i told Lovey that i didn't think i could use them because they were so pretty. he smiled at me, and i'm sure he was thinking, "honey, you hardly used the last set," but he didn't. he was sweet on me and said he couldn't wait to have me make our little family dinner with my new, shiny pots & pans. i got a kiss and then becca & mary-gail started dancing and singing, "you're gonna get married! you're gonna get married! when you're 24! in the temple..." see, we've already begun teaching our daughters the importance of getting married at the right time (when they're 24-years old), in the right place (the temple), to the right person (that is if Lovey doesn't shoot the guy first).

Neighborhood preschool

**The letter B, the color Blue, the shape Square,
and the number zero**

Last year I did "Joy School" with 6 other moms in our neighborhood. A schedule was created with each mom taking a turn once every 6 weeks to host Joy School at her home. The lesson plan was simple: teach a letter, color, shape, & number. There were 8 kids total (I have twins, remember?) and school only lasted 1 1/2 hours. It was the highlight of Becca & Mary-Gail's life and the excitement of "going to school" would build over the week until it was school-day. I took the girls w/me to get backpacks: Mary-Gail chose a "Dora The Explorer" backpack, and Becca chose an "Ariel, Little Mermaid" backpack. Oh how they loved their backpacks! And they loved playing with their new friends. Some of the existing bonds between the little 3 year old girls were stronger than others, which made me sad that Becca & Mary-Gail weren't "included" like I would have liked, but made me more grateful that I had twins and they were (and still are) each other's best friends.

This year we joined the neighborhood Joy School again. Some of the girls had already turned 4 and "graduated" to a different preschool in the neighborhood (we've been on that preschool's waiting list since April 2008! 2008?! I've had my kids on a preschool waiting list for 2 1/2 years?). And some of the previous moms wanted a smaller number of kids in the group - I guess 8 little 3-year olds were too much for them, but I didn't mind (then I remembered they're not used to having multiple children of the same age like I am). So the group was organized down to 4 kids. My first turn was on Thursday, September 16th. I was in charge of the letter B, the color Blue, the shape Square, the number zero.

Here's what I did: made bean bags with the Big & little letter "B" sewn on (I sewed the number zero on the reverse side). The material I used was flannel w/little blue squares and the finished bean bag made a large square. The kids filled their own bean bag with...beans, then I sewed them closed, all the while making the "b" sound and enunciating each word that began with the letter b: "Let's fill our b-b-b-bean b-b-b-bag with our b-b-b-beans..." Once we were all done, we played hot potato, except it was "b-b-b-burning b-b-b-beans!" So much fun! It was wonderful!!

Big B, little b, what begins with b?

We had a snack: Life Cereal (we called it b-b-b-brown squares) and then we went outside to b-b-b-blow b-b-b-bubbles, and to b-b-b-bounce! The bubble wand blew bubbles that looked like a large zero's, and the kids jumped on the large b-b-b-blue b-b-b-base that was the shape of a square. (It all came together very nicely, don't you think?) I seriously lost track of time, and before we could do anything else, everyone's mom's came to get their child. I sent each child home with a b-b-b-blue b-b-b-balloon. Just for the record, I hate balloons because my girls fight over them with a vengence; but everyone needs a blue balloon when you're learning about "B"

I loved it so much, and I loved playing with the kids. My dream has always been to have a house full of kids, and it was realized each time I had Joy School at my house. I tried to arrange my schedule w/day care to continue doing Joy School this year, but sadly, my day care rate didn't change, and I couldn't "afford" to be home for the roughly 3 hours it took me for prep, play, and clean-up. I had to back-out of Joy School. Last Thursday, 10/21, would have been my turn again. JoJo says I should start my own neighborhood preschool...maybe.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I stole them

Tenley {brown eyes, brown hair}; Quincy {blue eyes, red hair}

Oh yes I did! I stole these pictures right off my sister's blog because I LOVE HER & HER BABIES SO MUCH!!!! And that's not all I stole. JoJo & I each stole one of Carly's babies when she visited for a few weeks this past June. I stole Tenley and Jo stole Quincy (Quincy Joanna...of course she'd get her name-sake baby!) It was so much fun having Tenley spend the night! Becca & Mary-Gail were all over her, and Becca was very possessive of "the baby-sitter" - that's what Becca called the pack'n'play, "the babysitter." And when I lent it out to a lady in our ward for a week, Becca nearly cried. So sweet.

Becca has been in this baby-talk mode for a while now - like almost this whole year! - and I hear Mary-Gail correct Becca when she does baby talk, "Becca, you're not the baby; baby Tenley is the baby," and then Becca will respond with, "Baby Tenley can do baby talk. I'm a big girl."

JoJo and her family + mom were able to go to Paige, AZ, this past weekend and meet up with Car, Spence and their twiners. Jo & Car did a triathlon and rocked it! Jo came in 3rd in her age group (killer!) and Car came in 2nd in her division (seriously? Do you have to show up everyone? You just had twin girls and were on bed-rest for 5 months!!!) I'm not in the least bit jealous...oh no, not me...:)

I am wishing I could re-live my baby days again. Savor them this time instead of being overly neurotic. But can you blame me? I mean, Mary-Gail was supposed to be a vegetable and if you have seen Mary-Gail, or talked to her or played with her, you know she is anything but a vegetable. And Rebecca is so mature - she always tells me, "I'm the big sister Mom. I'm bigger." And I say, "Yes, you are. You are 4 minutes older than Mary-Gail!" And Becca says with a huge amount of elation in her voice, "Yeah, I know!" I love reading Carly's blog and seeing her devour her girls - her miracle babies. They are at my favorite stage: sitting upright, grabbing at everything, putting whole fists and whole feet in their mouths (and each other's mouths), babbling constantly and smiling at everything you do. I love it!

Carly & her girls will be here in just three short weeks and I plan on stealing both Tenley & Quincy for a night. What would it be like to have two sets of twins....hmmmm. I can't wait!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is my mom coming, or what?

That's what Mary-Gail said to her teacher on Wednesday. "Is my mom coming, or what?" Miss Kenzie told Mary-Gail that Mommy usually comes to get her and Becca when they're outside playing. Didn't satisfy Mary-Gail; she insisted that I come and get her and Becca from school right now!

I love the reception Becca & Mary-Gail give me when I drop them off AND pick them up from school. Becca & Mary-Gail always say, "thanks for taking us to school mom." Ahh, it's seriously so cute. Then they skip off to their class, hang up their coats, and give their teachers big hugs. It makes my guilt of leaving them for 8+hours a day a little less painful.

But my favorite is when I come to get them after work. Oh how these sweet little girls race to me with their arms outstretched, screaming all the way, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" I snatch them up in my arms and we spin around and around. Becca squeezes my neck, and gives me big kisses, "muah!" And Mary-Gail seems to always say, "Mommy you came back!" (which brings back my enormous guilt of being away). Oh how my time with Becca & Mary-Gail has changed! Everything seems so scheduled now: have to rush through our used-to-be relaxed morning routine so I can rush us out the door for school & work; have to rush home to get started on my other job (home business - which is seriously on life support), and then I only have 2 hours left before bedtime @ 8pm. And sadly little Miss Mary-Gail seems to spend 1 1/2 hours in time out (not really, but really).

I know I'm singing the same sad song of working moms, but seriously? This sucks. I'm so sorry that my mom had to work (she doesn't ever complain, my mom, she is seriously a saint); and I'm so sorry that many of my friends have to work, including my best friend and sister, Joanna. I can say that before I didn't "know." I didn't know the turmoil mothers feel as they leave their precious little ones to work outside the home. I didn't know that time with your children could be so cruelly cut short. And I'm sorry for not being more sensitive. These realizations - these heartaches - are making me better: more aware of others, more understanding, less critical & judgemental. I hope to pay-it-forward with the little "free time" I have and be better. So now that I'm done complaining :) I understand that my time is too short to complain and be angry at these situations. After all, I do have two beautiful, intelligent, happy and very lovable girls, and they love school...and they love me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lovin' the hand-me-downs

Way back in May (5 months ago?!) my sister, Kristie, gave Becca & Mary-Gail tons of hand-me-downs which included dress-ups, games, books, and my absolute favorite - Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head (and their 4 little babies). I swear I play with these more than the girls do. I always wanted a Mr. Potato head when I was younger. Now at 33 years old, and thanks to my older sister and her 4 kids' hand-me-downs, I finally have Mr. Potato head. Crazy...but so much fun!
The girls didn't even let Aunt Kristie in the house! They wanted the dress-up clothes immediately. Becca quickly transformed into The Little Mermaid, & Mary-Gail easily became Princess Aurora
Hello, Pappy. Meet "Princess Aurora"
Even Pappy wore a crown!
Mary-Gail requests to wear this princess dress nearly every day - at 7 am!

Thems were the good 'ole days when Reese would come play at our house until she had to go to school @ BYU; when I went to work @ 11 am and had all morning to play to Becca, Mary-Gail, & Reese; and all three girls were excited to be in Pappy's DayCare as Pappy watched them while JoJo & I were at work. Now the girls are at all day day-care, which just sent home 3 kids today who were throwing up and one confirmed case of Strep-Throat. Welcome to DayCare.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sprinklers @ Pappy's house

We always have a blast @ Pappy's house. This is the same day as the earlier post (August 17th). Becca & Mary-Gail make me laugh.

"Miguel, you wanna play with me?"

"Peace, be still"

(Becca & Mary-Gail like to play"Jesus" and Becca is saying what Jesus said to the stormy ocean, waves, and rain, "Peace, Be still")

The harvests are over

This is how we all feel now that Pappy's garden is done producing. Pappy had a wonderful garden!! 2 rows of corn; 3 rows of red, baby potatoes; red, green & yellow bell peppers (and the red and green peppers were outrageously delicious!); baby carrots; red onions; beets; cauliflower; broccoli (the last bit went to flowering); cucumbers; watermelon; cantaloupe; 2 zucchini plants that took over the whole earth(!); and rows and rows of tomatoes. Pappy also planted pumpkins which we still have to pick, but we're waiting to pick those until the last minute!
These pictures were from our very first harvest. The tomatoes were so delicious - they actually tasted like tomatoes, instead of grocery store imitations.
The corn was sweet, sweet, sweet! While I shucked the corn, Becca & Mary-Gail practiced drawing their circles and snail-spirals.
Red beets - tasted just like dirt.
August 17, 2010
Becca & Mary-Gail & I made bi-weekly trips to harvest the tomatoes (their bounty was endless!) and to water Pappy's grass, flowers & gardens. I stocked Pappy's freezer with Popsicles, and between the Popsicles and pretending to jump on the "Pirate Ship" in preparation for our family trip on the "Big Boat," Becca & Mary-Gail were in heaven!
Gimme those red lips, Becca!
Whoa! Sometimes even still pictures can capture sound. I swear these pictures do just that
(Strawberries in the foreground)
This "Pirate Ship" (or a "trailer" as you and I would call it) provided hours of entertainment for Becca & Mary-Gail. I love my little girls' imaginations

More leaping and jumping. Cantaloupe, pumpkin, and summer squash in the background
Back row: Corn, potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, tomatoes
Front row: zucchini, cucumber, & waermelon
The growing baby red potatoes! Becca & Mary-Gail helped Pappy plant the seeds, and their eyes were full of amazement when they saw the end result! I harvested one row of potatoes (the far left "dirt row") and there were two more rows to harvest.
Yup, so we're all sad now that the zucchini loaves have been devoured, the fresh corn eaten, the potatoes stored for the next potato bar, the green & red peppers have been sliced and cooked with fajitas, and the cucumbers have been picked and pickled (THANK YOU AUNT CAROL!). Pappy's garden treated just more that our family - we brought the bounty to work for our co-workers, and shared through out the neighborhood. Gardens bring people together, and I think that's what I'm most sad about. Thanks Pappy for planting and nourishing such a rich garden, and for brining back the memories of us kids helping to harvest Grandpa's ginormous garden in Springville. xoxoxoxo

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This is Not a Box

We have this book called, "Not a Box." It's a very simple, very "plain" book. I wasn't sure of Becca & Mary-Gail's response to this book when I bought it. It doesn't have elaborate drawings, or lots of words & conversations. It's simply about a bunny rabbit and his box...well, "it's not a box." However, after just one read with Becca & Mary-Gail, their little minds began reeling with ideas, creations, and pretend play. This book sparks children's imaginations and my girls loved it immediately! Just like their "Harold and the purple crayon" book. And it just so happened that Becca & Mary-Gail found their own "not a box" to play with while Lovey & I worked in the garage.

Rebecca & Mary-Gail in their own "Not a Box"...
Which happened to be the "big boat" on the ocean...
...and then it turned into a race car "with no top on" and lots of snow inside "because there is no top on the car, Mom" ...

...which turned back into the big boat, but it was sinking. Ahhhh....
"...Quick! Get out!" ....
...and then it finally turned into their bed...
(kindof looks like their bedroom after they finish playing...messy!)
Go check out the book. And then save your boxes and play!
P.S. This was drafted in July, but slacker me never "published" it

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier
September 2007