Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December still had some more suckage!

Unfortunately, as the month of December wore on, we had a bit more crap to deal with. The back windshield on the other car (the minivan) was shot out as well, about a week after the first car was hit. It seemed that perhaps we were being targeted, and we worried it was for being gay. (There is also a possibility that these acts were done by a hunter who was hunting RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD a few weeks before this all happened. He was in our yard, with his gun, not even in the woods. P went out on the deck and asked him to please not hunt in our yard, since we have animals who go outside and two little kids. He said he had an agreement with the previous owners that it was ok for him to hunt there. We told him they had sold the house. He said no problem and we thought we were done with it. We later found out from the previos owners that they had had no such agreement with anyone! So, maybe this hunter was pissed and decided to shoot out our car windows to teach us a lesson. If so, what an effing bastard!) We filed a police report, got the window replaced, and sent out a message to the neighbors. Apparently our road is known for being a place where teens from the nearby high school like to drive fast and be reckless. Several neighbors over the years have had mailboxes smashed (some several times as the boxes are replaced), car windows shot out, and other vandalism. We were encouraged to park our cars as close to the house and far away from the road as possible to prevent whatever future damage we could. We are doing this as much as possible, but it gets harder and harder as the winter goes on and the snowbanks in the driveway get bigger and bigger. Unfortunately, we felt under attack and as if we had no way to protect ourselves, since we do not have a garage. The total cost to us for the windows to be replaced was $730. Money we absolutely did not have. Hello Mr. Plastic. Ugh! We have not had any more problems since then, knock on wood, and hope to be out of the woods on this.

We have taken a few additional precautions, however, which include keeping the house and the cars locked at all times, even when we are home, and renaming this blog to remove our last names and the name of the town in which we live. It sucks to have to be so nervous and maybe even paranoid, but it is a crazy world we live in, and with two small kids, I guess we can't be too careful.

We had a lovely Christmas with Bill and his family in NY and my mom even flew in for the occasion! I will try to get some pics up from the holiday soon. Happy New Year's eve to you all. I hope 2009 is a good one and that your 2008 ended on a better note than ours did this year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

One in a million

Here's an opportunity that is free, worthwhile, and seemingly easy. Oh, and hey, wouldn't it be cool to say you were part of the research that found a cure for breast cancer?

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation have joined forces to launch the Love/Avon Army of Women. The goal is to recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity to participate in research that will eradicate breast cancer. Nursing mothers and breastmilk is needed for some of the studies. To join the Army of Women, go to: Please share this information with all the women you know. Together, we can beat breast cancer!

I signed up. Will you?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So far, December sucks!

Yesterday Penny went out to the Saturn to go to work. She opened the door, then shut the door, then heard a weird noise. Looked in the rear view, and could see out. Back windshield shattered! Got out to inspect it more. Back right quarter glass also all spider-webbed and mushy (as in you could push it in). Two smashed windows? Rocks from the snow plow perhaps? (It snowed the previous evening and the plows had been out.) An errant BB? Rocks from a passing car? Who the frig knows.

Penny called me, I came home, and we took the car to Windshield World. Our out of pocket cost for all this? $500. Insurance will cover the rest. It's all fine to have a high-ish deductible when you never have a claim. Nice to pay the lower fee each month for the insurance. But, when you have a claim, suddenly the $500 deductible seems like a sucktastic idea.

So, we were feeling a bit (understatement of the century) shitty. Big unexpected bill, recession, and all. Pinching pennies does not even begin to cover what we have been doing lately. Things are T-I-G-H-T here!

Fast forward to last night. Kids go down to bed at normal time (7 pm) and all is quite on the home front until 11 pm or so. Then Jordan wakes up screaming. Jordan has been waking up pretty much every night for the past few weeks, screaming like he is having a bad dream, and only wanting Penny (and in the process, rejecting me, by hitting my arms and saying "NO!" when I try to get him out of the crib). He has not been able to be settled back in the crib, so has been co-sleeping with one of us, either in our bed or on the air mattress in the guest room. Mostly, he has been sleeping with Penny, because, as I mentioned, during the night he has been rejecting me big time. Hurt feelings much? We have no idea what this is about.

We thought last night would be like the others. Except it wasn't. Jordan WOULD NOT SETTLE. He pretty much screamed througout the entire night! We tried water, Tylenol, walking around, taking him downstairs, rocking him, laying him down in both rooms/beds. We tried everything we could think of. Jordan slept for 10-20 minute increments and then for two hours from 1-3 am and that was it. We were pulling our hair out and bickering with one another. What was happening here? Was this a temper tantrum, coupled with being over tired? Was he sick?

This morning he seemed better. No fever. His mood was ok and he ate ok. We took him to the doctor's anyway. Double ear infections. He had been on antibiotics for the past 6 days due to a cough and his cold-induced asthma (wheezing for 4 weeks, despite using 2 inhalers every 4-6 hours). So, we thought if he did have an ear infection, those abx would have taken care of it. Not so much.

So, now our boy has double ear infections and is on another antibiotic for 10 days. He was in pain, and we were bickering with each other, wondering if this was a tantrum that we had created by indulging him with sleeping in our bed over the past few weeks. Oh the things that happen and the things you think during the middle of the night when you are sleep deprived.

So, can I have November back? Please?

(P.S. Taylor slept like a freakin' rock star last night. Did not even wake up one time during Jordan's hours and hours of screaming shenanigans. She slept in the crib from 7 pm until 6 am when we woke her up. Thank you, Taylor! You made our night!)

(P.P.S. Oh, the best part? At pick up this evening, day care told us he was just as happy as could be all day, napped great for them, and they could not even tell that he was overtired or sick. Thanks for only sharing your best side with us, Buddy! We love you!)

It's 9:07 pm on Tuesday night and I just heard Jordan start crying. Please let this be a better night.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What a difference a year makes!

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2008

What food item will we pose with next year??

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for so much again this year. We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal at home with Penny's family. After finally getting the kitchen cleaned up this morning, we began thinking of ways to use the leftovers. Turkey pot pie anyone? It started snowing this morning, but has stopped now. We are looking forward to a quiet weekend at home. And the moms hope to get in some craftiness.

And speaking of craftiness, below are some pics of the felt bread slices that I made for the IVP's felt food swap. I think they came out pretty good if I do say so myself!

I have also included some pics of the kids and us from yesterday, as well as a shot of Jordan helping me make the pumpkin cookies. I so look forward to being able to cook with the kids more as they get a bit older. They love helping Penny feed the animals, pouring the food into the bowls, so I know they will adore mixing and pouring and everything wonderful that goes along with cooking!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I cannot believe it! Obama is our next President. WOW! We are so thrilled and just overwhelmed with the whole thing. As the numbers started rolling in last night and it was looking good, I was just crying with joy, overcome with the relief that it looked like things were finally going to turn around in this country. It was very exciting for Vermont to be the first state to be officially called in Obama's favor.

Tiredness overcame us before the final numbers were in and the celebrations began. When we went to bed, Obama was leading by about 100 electoral votes. I wish we had been able to stay up late into the night to celebrate, but it just wasn't feasible. We woke up, giddy with anticipation, turned on the TV and saw the amazing news. We tried to get Jordan and Taylor to say Obama, but it was a no-go. Jordan was too busy saying uh-oh and Taylor was too busy eating toast.

A few thoughts:

I am so proud of Florida for turning blue this election. What a difference 4 years makes, ey? My mom lives in Florida, so it was a state I was watching, especially given the history there.

Voting in VT was so, so freakin' easy! No lines for me when I voted in the morning and no lines for Penny when she voted in the evening after work. What a difference voting in a rural state makes! In CA, we always waited in pretty long lines and had to strategically plan when we were able to take enough time away from work to go and vote.

Vermont is a blue state, elected Obama for President by a margin of about 55% to 44 % for McCain, and yet our Republican Governor was re-elected, despite two pretty good Democratic and Independent candidates. This is odd to me, but Douglas is a good speaker, so I guess people went with who they knew and felt comfortable with in that office.

I can't believe we have someone other than a white man moving into the Whiet House. It is a day that I never thought I would see in my lifetime and yet, here it is! Well, it's not January yet, but you know what I mean. We have elected a black man to be our President. This is so so awesome and I can only hope that it means our country is moving in the right direction.

However, I am disappointed to see that many (perhaps all, once the final numbers are all in) of the propositions and amendments regarding gay and lesbian rights came down on the side of bigotry and discrimination. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. Maybe someday Jordan and Taylor will live in a world where their family is validated as 100% equal in the eyes of the law. I am grateful that we live in VT, where their moms can have a civil union (not equal to marriage, but it is better than nothing!) and can both be seen as their legal parents through a second parent adoption. Here's to seeing the day when same sex parents can be married in all states and have it be federally recognized and not have to "adopt" their own children.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where does the time go?

We had a great time at Disney, but of course it was more exhausting than we expected. The kids did great on the plane rides to Orlando and back. We were thrilled and shocked by this! I highly recommend direct flights on Jet Blue. The kids did not watch much of the DirectTV, but it helped some and every little bit of help is gold! I will put up a Disney post with lots of pics, soon.

So, getting back to some stuff that I said I wanted to blog about... Our house we are renting was sold over the summer. The couple who bought it live in San Diego and want to move to VT in a few years, maybe for their retirement. So, they basically invited us to sign another lease and stay in the house for the next 1-2 or so years. We signed the lease for a year and we hope to be able to buy something next year. We will start looking around in the Spring and Summer and maybe buy in August or so. Having never bought anything bigger than a car, moving towards homeownership seems both terrifying and thrilling to us, especially since, um, we have no money! Good times of working in nonprofit mental health and having two toddlers in full-time daycare. Hey, if we had no school loans, credit card debt, or kids in daycare, we would be living high on the hog! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

The new landlords have put some work into the house and we are so happy with the results. They put on some amazing and very safe hardwood railings all along the stairway going up to the second story. Some of you know that before, it was all open, with no railings, other than on the wall side. It would have been very easy to fall directly from the second floor down to the first floor and we had to be super vigilant about the kids. We could not even attach a gate, because there was nothing to attach it to! All the work on the stairs was done while we were on vacation. Perfect timing. The other big change the new owners are making is installing a dryer! We have had a washer, but no dryer, which has meant weekly trips to the laundromat for me to partake of their hot air. Every Thursday, after my day at home with the kids, my treat has been that I "got" to go do the drying when Penny got home from work. Now, don't get all jealous. Soon, I will do the drying like everyone home in my very own dryer! We can't wait till it gets here. We are told it should be here soon. Yay!

Penny has a new job with the same agency we both already worked at. Penny was working as an employment specialist for adults with mental illness since December. Well, a case manager position became available, so she applied and she got it! Our badass teacher/anthropology grad student is now working in the mental health world! Who woulda thunk it? Well, when you live in a more rural place, you get whatever work you can. Congrats to Penny on her new job, which comes with a nice little raise. This little raise will help us to keep our previously glub-glubbing heads, a bit more above the water. Thank G-D for small miracles! Penny felt badly about leaving the first position because she had been there for less than a year, and people have a habit of moving from the other position into this new one because the money is so much better. And, she really liked the other position and the clients and her coworkers. And, and, and....But, the move was very necessary for our family, so she had to do it. Thanks for making the sacrifice, Pen. Our family and our checking account thanks you!

That's enough for now, I think. More soon. Sooner than a month from now, I promise!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vacation approaching

Vacation in a few days means a few things:

We start making crazy lists and piles all around the house. To go on the trip, to be done before the trip, to recycle, to get rid of to take care of, etc, etc, etc
We both start feeling sick or hoping we are not starting to feel sick.
We start hoping the kids will stay well. "Does he feel warm? Get the Tylenol!"

Do other people start feeling almost manic before a vacation? We have things we have neglected that now I feel a need to get done before we go. I have not balanced the checkbook in about 6 months. Now I am balancing it everyday, one month at a time, so that I know we are all up to date by the time we leave. I am shredding things and organizing things like we are going to be gone for 7 months, rather than 7 days. Because even though that one box has not been unpacked since we moved into the house a year ago, it must be done now, before we leave for a week!

And I start worrying that something will happen in the last days leading up to the trip that will prevent us from actually getting on the plane. I try to will us all to stay well and to stay safe and not get in any crazy car accidents or any other such nonsense. Do other people feel this way?

Part of the craziness might be that we have not gone on a vacation since summer 2006, when we had the amazing vacation in France and England for Harry and Woody's wedding, the month before I had the IVF and got pregnant. It was truly our last hurrah before pregnancy and babies. And it was a wonderful trip and we will likely never have another one like it, or not for a very long time, anyway. The past two years have been a whirlwind of pregnancy, and giving birth to twins, and moving cross-country, and getting new jobs, and trying to figure out what it means to be a family of 4. It has been wonderful, but holy crap, we are exhausted! We think we are doing a pretty good job, but man, we need a vacation! Wish us luck that the trip to FL is not thwarted by any natural disasters and that, even with our 16 month old monsters, er, make that darlings, it is still fun enough and relaxing enough to make it all worth it. Did I say relaxing? I fear that some illness is coming over me to make me think such foolish thoughts. Maybe we should cancel the trip?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Other summer highlights...

We had a very busy summer, which may have led to such sparse blog posting....or maybe that was laziness? Anyway, here are some highlights, in no particular order!

We spent a lovely weekend in Jamaica, VT (yeah, I did not know there was a Jamaica, VT either!) with Bill and his family. Michelle's family has an A-frame house there and Bill and Michelle try to vacation there once a year. Now we live in VT, so we joined them for a weekend. From left to right: Back row: Bill, Michelle and Chris. Front row: Will, Taylor, Kelly, and Jordan. I am so glad these kids will all get to grow up together!

We took a dip in Cindy and Brian's pool one hot day. Not a bad lookin' bunch, if I do say so myself.

Hey kids, I think that's a one-seater! Cousin Chase graciously shared his jeep with Taylor and Jordan. Only trouble was, they could not decide who was gonna use it first. Oh yeah, and the fact that you have to steer and push the gas pedal.

Nikki came to visit us this week, along with Hannah and Parker. We had a blast and spent the day together in Burlington. We went to the VT Teddy Bear Company, where Jordan had a blast in their huge pile of soft pillows. I did not get any pics of all the kids together, unfortunately. We also went to ECHO, a children's museum and aquarium. Nikki wants me to make sure to tell you that I got stuck in the door coming out of ECHO, thanks to the new-to-us side-by-side double jogging stroller that she gave us. Yeah, thanks for THAT hand-me-down, Nik! It was all she could do to help me get out of the door, without wetting her pants. Thanks for visiting us guys, and thanks for all the rockin' hand-me-downs you brought us (yes, even the stroller that causes one to be trapped in a building. G-d forbid there was a fire!)! We are so glad to be on the East Coast and closer to you guys now!

Taylor learned how to ride this lion this summer and just recently she learned how to push it forward with her feet, rather than going backwards. She is such a big girl!

Chris and Connie got married this summer and we were lucky enough to make it to the wedding. Well, they really had their Civil Union in January, when NH legalized it, but they had a ring exchange and a big ol' party a few weeks ago and we are so glad we got to go! We love you guys and it was so great to see you and have you meet the twinners!

One of the awesomest parts of going to this party was the LOBSTAH! Welcome back to New England, baby! It was awesome!

We were thrilled to get to spend some time with Kelly and Sylvia at the wedding, too. Oh how we miss our CA next-door neighbors! You guys are the best and we love you and miss you so much! Hard to have ya babysit when you are 3,000 damn miles away!

Penny's uncle came to visit a few weeks ago and we all met for lunch. It was nice for him to get to meet the kids and to spend some time with the family. Pictured above are also Cindy and Brian who are going to Walt Disney World with us in a few weeks.

We spent 4th of July with Jess and her family in CT. It was a mini Smith reunion, as Rajni (and Barry) and Aileen were also there. Above are Andy, Jordan, Will, Ben, and Taylor. Not pictured is Jess' newest: Jackson. Thanks for a lovely weekend, Jess. We had tons of fun!

Whew! Were we busy enough for ya? The kids are doing more and more everyday and it is all we can do to keep up with them. The biggies right now are talking and signing (baby sign language is AMAZING!) and running. We are such lucky mamas to have them in our lives, keeping us alive and on our toes!

A trip to Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH

We are headed to Disney World in Orlando, FL in three weeks for our first big family vacation. We are going to Disney more as a getaway and as an opportunity to spend time with family than we are for the kids to actually experience Disney World. We know they are much to young to really enjoy it, and we hope to have many more Disney trips in the future. Joining us in Orlando are Bill's family: Bill, Michelle, Kelly and Will and some of Penny's family: Cindy (Penny's sister) and her husband Brian, and their daughter, Heather and her boyfriend, PJ. Also, we will see my mom and her boyfriend Bob there, as well as my brother Tim. Tim lives with my mom now, but is moving to Boston the week we are in FL. It will be nice to Bill and Tim to be so (relatively) close by!

Anyway, we took a day trip to Santa's Village to see how the kids would do in a theme park environment. They did great and we had a lovely day!

Check us out on the monorail sleigh ride. Fun stuff!

This is a picture of Taylor and Jordan's very first ride they ever went on. They are a bit too young to drive and their legs do not touch the pedals, so Mama P drove and the rest of us were just along for the ride!

Jordan was such a little daredevil on the playground at Santa's Village. He seemed fearless and even went down a bigger slide than this one, on his stomach, coming down face first! Fearless I tell you!

Mama P and Taylor feed the reindeer. There were REAL LIVE reindeer here and they were quite gentle. You could hold your hand out and feed them these little crackers they sold there. Jordan even fed them out of his own hand. Again, the daredevil!

Penny and the kids pose on a freakishly large rabbit. Do you think he lives at the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the elves?

Our last ride of the day was the carousel. The kids did great, even though the moms thought the ride went unusually fast for a carousel!

Overall, it was a successful day. We left a bit early as Taylor did not seem to be feeling that well. She was kind of sluggish and felt very warm. After a little Children's Motrin and a nap in the car, she seemed fine once we got home. As an aside, both kids slept all the way there and all the way home, even though it was a 2 hour ride each way! ZOINKS!! Guess they were tired!

We are super excited for WDW in three weeks and Mimi can't wait to see her grandkiddos. Given how the kids did at SV, we hope they will do at Disney, too. We plan on relatively short days at the park, with plenty of trips back to the condo for naps, lunch, and swimming. Hopefully there are no hurricanes or tropical storms happening while we are there!

"A weekend you'll never forget, at Farnsworth..."

We spent a weekend at Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, VT a few weeks ago. I went to this camp as a camper and Penny spent 10 years working at this camp, so when the camp turned 100 years old and we had a chance to go back for a weekend, we jumped at the chance. The weekend was exhausting, as we spent a good chunk of it chasing after our rambunctious toddlers, but we had a blast never the less! Here are a few memorable shots from the weekend.

Here's Jordan and Taylor taking a stroll with their new pal Darci. Luckily for us, she and her partner Elisha live in Burlington. Score on some new VT pals!!

Chris and Elisha pose for a pic with a sleeping Jordan. Camp just wore him right out. HUGE thanks to Darci and Elisha for loving spending time with our kids and giving us a break from chasing them around the dining hall, especially during the hail storm when we were all cooped up. These chicks are so awesome, they even offered to babysit!! WHOA!!

It was chilly in the mornings, so we were all decked out in our sweat suits.
Taylor discovered a love of sweeping during the weekend. We start training them young in our family.

Jordan and Taylor dined in style. Their little seats clip right on to the table and then kind of hang there, suspended. Pretty cool! We take them everywhere with us, so we always have a place for the kids to sit and eat. We hope Taylor attends Camp Farnsworth in the future and that we will have many picture of Taylor through the years in this very dining hall. We will have to find an equally awesome camp for Jordan to attend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Can I get an award?

Now you are wondering what kind of award I should get. I think we might be the worst bloggers EVAH!! Is there an award for that? The time between blog posts is appalling and I am ashamed of us. What? Are we busy or something?

So, the summer is almost over and I am pissed! It has rained as much this summer as any winter in Northern Cali and now the leaves are changing (already??) and that means winter is coming. I feel like we barely took the snow tires off and now we have to put them back on. Now, what kind of racket is that? Pay to take them off and pay to put them back on? Total BS! Remind me why we moved to VT again??

The kids are keeping us super busy and we are tired moms, who basically endure 24/7 of chasing our toddlers and trying to figure out what the hell they want as they point and make versions of this sound" eh, eh" just about every hour they are awake! This is what made our summer and the fun weekend trips we made turn out to not be as relaxing as we remembered. We attended a civil union party (Congrats Chris and Connie!), a Girl Scout Camp 100th birthday weekend (Yay for Camp Farnsworth!), spent the 4th of July weekend in CT with my college friends and their spouses/families, and spent the weekend at a cute A-frame cabin in VT (did you know there is a Jamaica, VT? Neither did I!)with my brother and his family. These weekends away were great and seeing everyone definitely helped us to remember just why we moved back here. But they were also exhausting with the kids, and the amount of stuff you have to take for a weekend away with two kids is absolutely freakin' ridiculous! We have also spent tons of time with Penny's family, which has been great. We are exicited for the kids to grow up seeing the Penny's side of the family as much as possible.

We are very excited to be heading to Disney World in three weeks. It is our first big family vacation and we are psyched! We know that the kids will not remember it, but we are mostly just going to get away and be with family. My mom and her boyfriend Bob live down there, and my brother Tim is down there now, as well. (Tim is moving to Boston the same week we are in FL, and I am exicted to have him so much closer to us. I feel some big family holidays coming on!) My brother Bill and his family (wife: Michelle and kids: Kelly and Will) are also going on this vacaton, as well as Penny's sister (Cindy) and her husband (Brian) and their daughter (Heather) and her boyfriend (PJ). It is going to be great. We have adjusted our Disney expectations and plan on short days in the park, combined with trips back to the condo for napping, lunch, and swimming.

We had a great visit with my friend, Nikki and her kids Hannah and Parker, over the past few days. It was so great of them to come from NH to see us and hang out with us on Thursday, which is my day at home with the kids. We went to Burlington to the VT Teddy Bear Company, had lunch at the Olive Garden, and then went to ECHO, a children's museum and aquarium. It was a blast. Jordan and Taylor did not cry whent the giant bear came out to walk around with the kids at the Teddy Bear Factory. Jordan even high-fived the bear and hugged him! I think this bodes well for Disney!

This weekend we are headed to Santa's Village to further expose the kids to a theme park and check out how they might do and what kind of stamina they might have for a park day.

I can't believe it is Labor Day Weekend already! WOW! Where has the summer gone?

I hope to write a post soon about some things I have been struggling with, in terms of being a mom and feeling like I have lost myself as a person. I also want to talk about our housing situation and Penny's new job. Stay tuned! Hopefully I will get another post up this weekend, with the above topics and maybe even some new pictures!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just to catch you up.

Well a lot has happened in twin land. We have had our first molars to start coming in. The kids have graduated up to tooth brushes from the little things you put on your finger. Taylor is becoming attached to her Froggy and Jordan is starting to become attached to his elephant. The kids have had pink eye. Heck we all had pink eye. But the winner of the worst pink eye in the family goes to Chris. I have never seen pink eye so bad. The illness of the week is now Hand, foot and mouth disease. Love the crazy illnesses.

This past week we went to CT to spend the 4th with Chris' friend Jess and her family. It was fun but the weather did not cooperate. We did get to swim in their pool and it was nice seeing everyone. Rajni and Barry and Eileen came too. Unfortunately, our kids might have passed on their little bug to Jess' kids. We hope not but if we did we are sorry.

Also over the Fourth my niece Jessie moved back to VT from Utah and we are pleased about this. Jess has a son who is a few years older than our kids but it will be good to have some young ones for our kids to grow up with. This weekend there is a welcome home BBQ for her and all of my siblings (Penny) and their families will be there.

Just an up date on the Relay for Life. We had fun and as it stands now we plan on doing it again next year. During the 3 am lap was a costume competition. We were supposed to dress up like a super hero. I wore my Wonder Woman adult underoo type garment and was very cold. On the bright side I also won the contest. Chris and I raised over $400 and the team won for raising the most money. Thank you all for your help and support.

Back to the kids. Jordan says a few words like Baby and he tries to say Bear (Our dog). The new word is No. He started saying, "No", Monday and it makes us laugh (now) because it sounds like he is saying it with and English accent. Taylor points to things that she wants and clearly says, "Dat" when she wants to be picked up she says, "Dup" They are walking very well and are very quick. They also love to crawl up the stairs.

I hope I haven't forgotten anything. We will add more pictures soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Memorial Day Camping Trip 2008

Finally as promised here are some pictures and an up date on our family's first camping trip. Chris mentioned that we went camping in Island Pond, VT which is about 40 minutes from the Canadian boarder. The weekend was cold, cloudy and it did rain a bit too. Although the weather was not always with us. We had fun spent time with family and the kids were able to experience their first nights in a tent, campfire, homemade ice cream, rocky mountain pies, nap in a camper and special time with cousin Heather and PJ.

This is our new tent. It can be divided into two rooms and with the right adaptor it can have electricity (We do not have the adaptor.)!
Cousin Heather is playing with Jordan while he is in his stroller and PJ is snuggling with Taylor. They love hanging with Cousin Heather and PJ and well I think the feeling is mutual. Because they could not come up for the Kids birthday. Heather and PJ got the kids Red Sox T shirts.
You can tell by the way the kids are dressed that it is a chilly evening by the fire. Cousin Heather and I hold our kids while we try to stay warm.
Say cheese! PJ is cheesing it up with Taylor.
On Sunday. Which was the Sunny day, we loaded up the van and the car and drove to Newport VT. We thought about zipping in to Canada for a bit, but we decided that we would wait for our next trip up North for that. For lunch we stopped at Wendy's where Heather and PJ volunteered to eat lunch with the kids.
Two handsome men in Wendy's. That's PJ and Jordan. You gotta love a guy who likes to hang out with babies.

Here is Auntie Cindy cheesing it up with Taylor. Taylor loved wearing Auntie Cindy's sunglasses.

After our trip to Newport we did a little shopping in Island Pond where we bought the kids some tevas. We then returned to the campsite and made two types of ice cream in an ice cream ball that we bought from LL Bean. We ate the ice cream Monday on our way home.

Although the weather could have been warmer we did have fun. Heather and I (Penny) also got a chance to plan our Orland trip. We can not wait.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Behind in blogging!

There is so much going on and I am not doing a great job of keeping up with the blogging. Here are some highlights, with a promise of more news and pics soon.

We took Jordan and Taylor camping (in a TENT!) over Memorial Day Weekend. We went to Island Pond in northern VT, near the Canadian border. It was COLD at night. The kids slept in their fleece hats and gloves! We were mocked by co-workers, who said, "You do know you're not in California anymore, right?" We went with Cindy and Brian (Penny's sister and brother-in-law) and Heather (our niece) and her boyfriend, PJ. They were all so helpful with the kids and it was so great to be with family. Another thing that was so great is that Cindy and Brian have a camper, so when it was cold, we could have the babies go in there to get warm. They took naps in the camper and it was so helpful. Thanks, guys! I will post some camping pics, soon. Overall, it was a lot more work than camping was pre-kids, but we had a lot of fun, too!

Both kids are walking now and that is a lot of fun. They are still doing what we call "the drunken robot" walk, taking unsteady steps with their arms outstretched. Very cute. Sleep is going well for the most part. We read to the kids a lot at night. Penny is reading them the Harry Potter books right now. She is about 1/2 way through Book 1.

The kids are transitioning to the toddler room at daycare. When did they get so big?

Jordan and Taylor are pros at drinking from sippy cups now. They eat well and enjoy tons of different foods. It is so great to be able to go to any restaurant, have them sit so well in high chairs, and be able to order them pretty much anything from the menu. It makes life so much easier to have to pack less in the diaper bag when you go out. They are also learning to drink from straws! Exciting!

We are really looking forward to a bunch of weekend trips over the summer. And the big vacation of the year will be a trip to Disney World in Florida in September. We are going for a week with my brother, Bill and his family, as well as Cindy, Brian, Heather and PJ. They are even gonna babysit for us at least one night so Penny and I can get out for date night. Yay! Penny has a countdown going, and she tells me we have less than 100 days left to go. We are in the double digits. Yeah baby!

That's it for now. Pics to come soon. Maybe this evening if I get a chance. Penny and I have been talking about the blog lately. We love to keep folks updated, but sometimes we worry about safety concerns with having our faces and names out there for all to see/read. Do other people worry about that?

In closing, we had a pretty quiet weekend. It was Father's Day and I know I missed my dad. I am sure Penny missed her dad, too. I spent some time thinking about our donor, as well. If I could, I would say a million thanks to TSBC donor #1376. He helped us to create a beautiful family that we feel so lucky to have every single day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We made it through the first year!

On May 10th, our babies turned 1. We had a lovely party with friends and family, who came to celebrate Jordan and Taylor and us all making it through the first year as a family.

I ordered these cool personalized bibs from and they came out great! We loved them and have now added them to the drawer of keepsakes that we are saving for the babies when they are older.

Uncle Brian tames wild Thing 1 before the party begins. Doesn't she look wild? Thanks to Uncle Brian (or Buncle, as we like to call him after I switched the B and the U when referring to him. Get it?) for color coordinating with Taylor and Jordan on their big day!

Auntie Lisa helps with Jordan, the wildest of the beasts. We ordered the shirts online, too. Don't ya love 'em? It was so great to spend the weekend with Lisa and Robyn, who came up from Boston to spend some time with us. They had not seen the babies since they were 3 months old and we moved from CA. Lisa is the lucky lady who flew with me and the kids from CA to Boston. And she lived to tell the tale. We talked about the flying experience and how we both kept telling ourselves: "We will never see these people again" and "Every second that goes by is one second closer to the end of this journey." There were some "interesting" moments during the flights, as you might imagine!

Thanks to Auntie Cindy for making these awesome birthday cakes for the kids. This one is a turltle. Check out the licorice toenails! Such detail! And very yummy, too! Thanks, Cindy!

This giraffe cake was pretty awesome, too. The colors are dyed coconut. Isn't the neat? Anyone want to place an order with Cindy for their next party? She did an amazing job!

Here are the cupcakes that Mama Chris made, simply because she felt like a slouch if Aunt cindy was the only one to bake for the twins' first birthday! The kids each had one of these to dig into. You will see more of these in a bit, but they will not look this good!

Thanks to Auntie Robyn for being the grill master during the party! She made some pretty awesome burgers and dogs for the masses to gnosh on. Thanks so much, Robyn!

Enjoying the sunshine and a few brewskis.

Hail, hail the gang's all here! Even Jordan and Taylor's great-grandmother made it to the party! And she seemed to have a damn fine time!

Taylor and Jordan check out the cupcakes. At first, they were not sure what to make of them. They were hesitant. They were cautious....

And then the sugar started to hit and they were psyched! Look at that face!

Jordan got messy and enjoyed his cupcake thoroughly.

I have never seen someone suck a cupcake until it was gone, but that is exactly what Taylor did. Once she tasted that sugary icing, she was not putting that thing down for anything in the world and she wanted to make sure no one tried to take it from her. Enjoyment would be an understatement, I think!

Check out those frosting hands!

A family picture to commemorate the big day! We made it through the first year! Hip Hip Horray!
Thanks for this huge bag of mess-makers, I mean blocks, Uncle Ray and Aunt Jenn. (And they gave us TWO bags of them!) You know what they say about pay-back, right? I can't wait to shop for your kids for Christmas!

I love this picture of Jordan playing with a ribbon from one of the presents. He just looks SO happy!

They love their new riding zebra that we got them for their birthday. Our first mistake was only getting one and thinking they MIGHT be able to take turns and share. Mom, we're one. We ain't gonna do no stinkin' sharing!

Jordan tries out the walker/riding Lion from Auntie Lisa and Auntie Robin. The kids LOVED this! And it is so perfect to help out with developing their walking skills.

The shirts the kids wore for the party. They got dirty, but not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be after such merry-making!

The post-birthday party bath. Taylor is tired and Jordan is ready to go another round. The mamas just want to pass out in bed!

G'night everone. Thanks for an awesome birthday. We had a blast and are so, so tired!