Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Last night, after the kids went to bed, I ran to the store to get balloons, an ice cream cake and wrapping paper. Aaron brought the dollhouse up, and we got everything ready for the birthday girl. I was SO excited, I wanted to run up and wake her up right then. But I didn't. I made her a sweet birthday bow* instead.

I do want to get the tradition going that you wake up in the morning and have your presents waiting. That is what my mom did and I loved waking up and running to see my wrapped present at my place on the kitchen table. Although trying to get everyone out the door this morning after opening presents and playing with balloons was a bit of a challenge.

Anyway. It's become apparent over the past few months that Maggie needs 'girl' toys. She was very happy playing with trains and trucks, but if we went to a place that had dolls or a dollhouse, Maggie was totally into playing with that. So it was our mission to give Maggie some of toys I enjoyed playing with as a little girl. A dollhouse, a doll and tea set. I'm happy to report that she seems to love all three. This morning, the tea set was the biggest hit. I got this one - because it's wood and pretty much unbreakable.

She didn't pay much attention to the doll, but did give her some tea (and see the cute bow? I made that).

And when we called GB (that is what they call Aaron's mother) Maggie was super excited to show her the dollhouse on face time. And she loved the Elmo balloon!

I think it all was a little overwhelming this morning, but she was a very happy girl.

For me, today is a bittersweet. I don't know about other Mamas but on my kids' birthdays, I think about the day they were born. And for Maggie - that is hard for me. I remember the joy I had with the two girls. I think about holding both her and Nora. And our blissful days in the hospital together. I also have to admit that the further I get from it, the less painful it is. I'm not looking at Maggie and wondering what Nora would be doing now. I think of Nora as a baby, and Maggie is just NOT a baby anymore. Tonight, I think I will let a balloon go up to heaven and let Nora know we are thinking of her.

* I post the link for this bow because last night I couldn't find it. So poor Jen got an email and a twitter freak out to help me find the directions. She is a rock star and helped me find it.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. The kids were real troopers and were perfect the whole trip. There was a bit more vomit in the mix than I would have liked (Cam got seasick on the ferry ride Thanksgiving day and I got food poisoning on Saturday) but those were the only issues. Both kids were great all weekend - going with the flow and getting a few early birthday present was very exciting for both of them. Aaron's grandmother even took the kids to the toy store and let them pick out their own birthday presents - and were really great. She expected a bit of a meltdown - but Cam picked out a firetruck backpack and Maggie found some dollhouse furniture (I pushed her in that direction). I love it when they impress their great-grandmother.

We got home Saturday afternoon, and just relaxed on Sunday (Aaron let me sleep in after throwing up late into the night). We had a play date with some of Cam's friends (ones that won't be able to go to the birthday party next weekend) and I just have to tell the cutest story. The kids all play together wonderfully. We ate dinner, and the grownups stayed in the dining room while the kids were in the living room playing. Things started to get quiet, so I got up to clear plates and see what was going on. Cam had managed to get the play-doh out of the closet, and all four kids were happily sitting around the kitchen table with it. They had divided the play-doh amongst everyone and were having a blast! It was super cute.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Crazy Time

This time of year is crazy for us as a family. For the past 4 years, at least. 4 years ago, I was in my first IVF cycle, and in the middle of miscarrying during Thanksgiving. 3 years ago I was heavily pregnant with Cam, and 2 years ago heavily pregnant with Maggie and Nora. Last year I was freaking out about the combo of birthday's and the anniversary of Nora's death.

So this year is the first year in a very long time that we are traveling for Thanksgiving, and the first year that I feel like things are somewhat under control. Of course, couldn't be totally smooth sailing, as my older dog is too fragile to leave at home, so we are bringing 2 toddlers and 2 dogs with us on Thanksgiving, which will add a nice layer of stress..... but in general, this is the calmest Thanksgiving time we've had in a long time.

I went away this past weekend with my girlfriends and spent a LOT of time crafting, and made two Waldorf Dolls - one for Cam and one for Maggie. Maggie's is totally done, I even made it a sweet little outfit. Cam's needs clothes - and one of my buddies mentioned I should give it a firefighter outfit. So I ordered one from build-a-bear (the doll is 16 inches, just like the bears, so I'm hoping it works). I'll post pictures when they are both clothed, lol. I also made a bunch of cute little Christmas tree wall hangings, so I'm almost done with my homemade Christmas gifts! And I got home to find that Aaron had finished up Maggie's dollhouse. Check it out:
Cool, right? If you can believe it, Aaron's mom found this at the Take it or Leave it at Nantucket's dump. It was in rough shape, covered in crayon marks and stickers and the bottom deck had been chewed by a dog. But Aaron really did a great job of restoring it, and I know Maggie will love it. It's got two fun decks/porches and the doors slide back and forth in the front - and the sides and back are totally open. A super fun dollhouse and it was basically free - just sweat equity.

And the birthday party is also under control. I decided that a party from 10-12 didn't need to serve lunch, so it's going to be super easy for me. They have a bunch of activities planned - decorating a birthday banner, making a drum, having someone come with a guitar and sing, an obstacle course, and winding up with a parade! It's going to be a heck of a lot more fun than I would have managed to pull off!

So now, just to survive the next 2 weeks without a major breakdown, and we are good. Deep breath.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Got a cute baby?

My buddy Jen got me into Tiny Prints. I contacted them after winning free holiday cards on her site, and they told me about a fun contest that everyone can enter.

Tiny Prints is having a Talent Search Contest - and you can enter for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash, plus a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate, what a perfect prize just in time for the Holiday season!

· Cutest Baby (From ages of 0-24 months)
· Cutest Kid (From ages of 25 months - 10 years old)
· Cutest Family
· Cutest Couple
· Cutest Pet & Owner

You can enter the Tiny Print Talent Search Contest via Facebook or on our website. For Official Rules, click here.

I admit that for letting you know about this contest, I'm getting MORE free cards (25 personalized thank you cards). They are so cute, I couldn't resist.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Morning Leftovers

I'm going away with my girlfriends this weekend - so I'm doing my leftover post a day early. Plus tomorrow I'll be telling you guys all about a Tiny Print contest, so get ready for that.

  • My older dog has been acting strange for about 2 months. Peeing in the house when we were gone (to the point of RUINING an expensive rug) and losing a lot of weight. Because I can't deal with anything bad happening right now, I was avoiding taking her to the vet (dumb I know). This weekend was the last straw - we have been crating her so she doesn't pee overnight, and she was sitting in her crate barking ALL. NIGHT. LONG. For two nights straight. I took her to the vet, nothing obvious. So I've been nervous all week that it was going to be something awful like cancer. And yesterday the blood work came back that she has hypothyroid. Totally treatable. With inexpensive pills! What a relief!

  • Because I act like I'll be OK if something happens to her - but Abby is my original baby. She was with me when I was single and lonely. She loved Aaron the second she met him. She is my girl.

  • Nightime has been a huge cry-fest with Cam lately. And then I realized I'd gotten out of the habit of giving him choices. We used to do this a lot - "Do you want to put your PJs on now and play with blocks? Or put your PJs on now and go to bed? " - he would happily choose PJs and then blocks and run to his room to put on PJs. But lately, we've been saying - go put on your PJs! And then it escalated from there. I was getting annoyed with this (and Aaron, who always resorts to yelling) and then realized what was happening. So I started with the 2 acceptable choices, and last night was a breeze. Duh.

  • I'm thinking of all of these great handmade gift ideas for the holidays - and then I do the math. Why didn't I start sooner? sigh

  • Speaking of holidays. I'm planning on starting Elf on A Shelf this year. Should I start when we get home from Thanksgiving? Or wait until after Cam's birthday (which is the 5th). I'm leaning towards after the birthday, but then we'll be starting the advent calender on the 1st, so would think we could start the elf then too?

  • Work is super stressful right now. One of the woman that I started with (over 11 years ago) got laid off yesterday, and moral is just low in general. I think I'm ok (jobwise), but the stress stays.

  • Which is why I'm looking forward to this weekend! Staying in a B&B with a bunch of my girlfriends, crafting, sewing and gossiping from Friday-Sunday. Hurrah!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Children's books

We have a lot of books in our house. At night, we read a couple books before bed. And, if you are the first baby up, sometimes I'll read a couple books waiting for the other one to wake up. Maggie's very favorites are Dear Zoo and Gossie. I could recite them to you without even cracking the cover.

But here is the thing. Gossie wears her bright red boots every day, right? She wears them when she eats, she wears she sleeps - but then, one morning she wakes up and she can't find her boots.

Doesn't she wear them when she sleeps!?!

It's a short book. Seems like an easy detail. Drives me crazy. And Maggie insists on reading it. Every day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why I love you guys

Heather hit it right on the head. Of COURSE paging through invitation after invitation for joint birthday parties for TWINS was an issue. I didn't even think of it.

Every day I'm reminded somehow of our loss. Maybe it's just walking into Maggie's room and seeing the holes in the wall where Nora's name hung over her crib. Or last night, when I was trying to soothe a sad baby girl who couldn't stop coughing - sitting in the chair in her room often reminds me of the one night they were home, and I was sitting in that chair giving them both a bottle at the same time. We got this nice big chair just so we could do that. But now it's to the point wher it's a little pain, a small thing, and I move on with my day. I rarely register when the reminders are more frequent that it may affect my mood. And now that Heather pointed it out - I see that she is totally right.

Sigh. Moving onward and upward! Want to see the final proof of the birthday card?

Perfect, right? I love it. Exactly what I was thinking. Hurrah!

One funny story, as I ordered this, I copied Aaron on the wording, to make sure it was correct. He noticed that I put "Maggie is turning 1". Guess I'm not ready for my little girl to grow up!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I'm in a funk.. I blame it mostly on an awful cold that I've had. A cold totally kicks my butt. Add in a random financial stress we weren't expecting and being super busy at work... blech. I'm working on shaking out of it, but that is why the lack of posting.

This month is already flying by! I can't believe we are almost in mid-November! First thing I need to do is to get the kids birthday party invites and send them out. I picked these invites from Etsy. It's surprisingly hard to get good invites for a joint birthday party for non-twins. My invite is going to really similar except with orange and purple as the colors. I am happy to report that the actual party is going to be the way I envisioned it - pretty low key but in the hall as I expected.

For birthday presents, I'm almost ready to start making Maggie's doll. I'm a little nervous I waited to long, as she is kind of getting attached to a different baby doll that was laying around the house - but here is the progress I made on my practice doll:

I would definitely do the hair differently, and do better on the face shaping - but I was really happy with how cute the face looks! I was really nervous about the face embroidery, but wasn't any where near as hard as I thought it would be. The eyes may need to be a little closer together, but all in all - cute!

Aaron is working on refinishing a dollhouse for her, and the other big present, which I'm not sure will be for her birthday or Christmas, is a child sized rocking chair that Aaron refinished and our Aunt did needlepoint covers for the cushions. Just this week I dropped it off with someone to get it all put together - so I may have done that too late for her birthday.

Cam is another story. Aaron did that whole firehouse bed, so I'm kind of at a loss for what else he even NEEDS for his birthday. Aaron is thinking some sort of race track, but we have a little bit of time to figure it out. Worse case, we'll save some of the presents he gets from family and friends at the party (which is on the 3rd) for him to open on on his actual birthday (the 5th).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Last night, I went and used a groupon for an 80 minute massage. Very much needed.

  • I met a friend at a Super Walmart after the massage. Two things on this. First - how convenient is Super Walmart! You can get groceries, home stuff, clothes, go to the bank, get your hair done, and your nails done all in the same place. BUT. Wow. Now I understand why people protest them. Small business killer.

  • Related to the above, I also got a pedicure last night. First one in a few months. So nice.

  • Tonight is the rescheduled Halloween. My kids are crazy excited.

  • Aaron is away this weekend, so my kids favorite adult friend is coming Saturday. Suzanne is my ace in the hole for anytime Aaron goes away. They could care less that Daddy is away if SUZANNE is here. When I'm away, Aaron never asks for help., It's like he wants to prove that he can do it alone. Me? I'm all about getting reinforcements. Plus, after the kids go to bed, I have a buddy to hang out with. We'll all have a blast.

  • I'm totally obsessed with hair clip making. I blame it all on Jen. BUt that is a post for another day. I will say that it was picture day at school yesterday, and I stayed up late making Maggie the perfect bows to match her sweater.

  • And we are taking a break from potty training. Maggie was doing great 80% of the time, but the 20% was ending in tears (for both us us). I'm not dealing with that.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Last night, we got home from daycare's Halloween party (and the only Halloween my kids got. The town canceled Halloween because there are so many down power lines and power outages in town. I'm hoping they reschedule). I was crabby. Aaron was crabby. The kids were losing a nut. It's been a rough couple of days. The people we were borrowing the generator from wanted it back, so I was bracing for another night of cold and dark.

And then the lights turned on. And all of a sudden, everyone was happy again. It's sad how miserable I was after only about 48 hours without power. The house was a mess with no water to be able to clean anything. Maggie's potty training isn't going super great, so I had a lot of laundry to deal with too. The minute the power came on, I started cleaning. I've never been so happy to have warm, running water!

Aaron had already setup for a fire in fireplace, so we sat downstairs in the nice, warm living room and watched TV. And were happy. And then went to bed.

It's the little things.