Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Huge Prayers are Needed

I wish these posts were not necessary. I wish that God did not bring heartache to families or illness to children.

Tonight, my friend, Caryn, called me to say that her brother's baby girl was born this morning at 8 am. This should be a joyous time for Brian and his wife, Jennifer, but Abigail Marie, their baby girl, was born with spina bifida, a cleft palette, and a bump on her head that contains cerebral fluid. Within minutes of being born, the doctor informed Caryn's brother that his new baby girl would never walk and that she needed to be flown to Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles for emergency surgery to close the lesion in her back.

I cannot imagine the pain and terror that Brian and Jennifer are feeling right now. They had no indication that Abigail had any of these conditions prior to her birth this morning. Abigail will be undergoing surgery tomorrow morning at 8 am. She will be only 24 hours old.

PLEASE, PLEASE keep her in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow and say a special prayer for Abigail's mommy who is still in Lompoc and cannot travel because she had a c-section this morning. Again, I cannot imagine being so far away from my brand new baby and feeling so very helpless when all I would want to do is hold her and love her.

Please pray for Abigail Marie and her family.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Free Range Twinsies

You would think that feeding growing toddlers is easy. They will eat anything you put in front of them. That used to be my kids and it still is my kids when they are with anyone other than me.

Recently, meal time has been incredibly stressful and marked with projectile apples and lots of "No, no, no!" I dread mealtimes, because nothing I make seems to entice Gracie and Luke to eat. Aunt Bec has a running theory that it isn't my food, but their chairs that have them pretty much sitting on the floor. Since they won't eat at restaurants either, I don't know if this theory holds water, but I'm willing to consider anything.

This morning, after a frustrating weekend of making french toast and having it thrown at me, grilled cheese and having it thrown at me, pasta and having it thrown at me, and peeling tangerines and having them thrown at me, I made pancakes. Pancakes were one of the first foods Gracie and Luke ate by themselves.

Remember these:
I love feeding myself!

They started tugging on my nightgown almost immediately after I put the mix into the pan. So, instead of putting them in their chairs, I handed each of them a freshly made pancake and they toddled away chattering excitedly. A few minutes later, they came back asking for more pancakes. I took advantage of their hunger and handed them each another pancake. They came back one more time. Three whole pancakes!

I wonder if this means that I need to let them roam while they eat? Does being mobile while eating make the food taste better? Does it make the whole eating thing more exciting?

Help! I need some kind of hope.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't kid yourself. Sleep is important.

There are some children on this planet who purportedly do not have any problem taking a nap. These same mythical children can survive on little sleep and still behave as angels.

My children do not fall in this category of beings. Oh, no. They are nap-requiring, fussy-when-tired, crazy-when-exhausted, toy-throwing, food-throwing, Mommy-and-sibling-biting children. In essence, your typical almost 20 month old.

On Friday, the day care lady asked me if Gracie had been going to sleep earlier than usual. This is impossible because of her brother, but she was getting tired much earlier. Apparently, her nap time has been out of whack this week and she has hardly been sleeping. Well, no wonder! That explains some of the craziness we have had this week. This morning, she was up at 5 am and taking a hard nap by 9 am. She was out for almost 2 hours.

Luke, on the other hand, was not going to take a nap this morning, no matter what! I tried cuddling with him, giving him his binky, everything, and nap. I managed to fall asleep (a total accident, but to be expected when you are up chasing twins at 5 am) and Luke played quietly around me. When he woke me about 20 minutes after I dozed off, I found that he had scaled the kitchen table and dumped all my papers to the floor in an effort to get to the fruit snacks. I also discovered that he had somehow unscrewed the cap on the jumbo bubble container, pulled off the heretofore untouched seal, and pulled out the massive bubble wand. All, I might add, without knocking over the container or spilling any bubble solution. When I discovered this, I had a moment of panic, but then Lukie walked over to me and handed me the bubble wand. He just wanted some bubbles!

These days, when they will not nap like they are used to, are very difficult. They don't want any of the food I make them, they don't want to play nicely, they don't want to do much of anything except all the things I don't want them to do. Add to this Luke throwing up his lunch because he was coughing too hard and you have a pretty fantastically awful day. It is days like today that I am reminded how critical their proper sleep is. When they have their naps, their full night of sleep, they are kinder, gentler Twinsies. They don't throw things nearly as often and I am much less likely to have an imprint of toddler teeth on my outer thigh.

Now, the mommies out there who have my category of toddlers are reading this and nodding in agreement. They know how awful this can be. They've had the days when they would like wine before 10:30 am or would love to have a padded room where they can leave their children for 15 minutes of peace and quiet (or maybe the padded room is really the haven they would like to seach refuge in - to each her own). The mommies of the "perfect" sleepers and non-sleepers are shaking their heads at me right now. "Clearly, Gracie and Luke's Mommy just doesn't have proper discipline of her children. If that were me, my Little Perfect Angel Jim-Bob would know I mean business!"

Seriously, those perfect mommies can take a flying leap! I want a day of peace and quiet. A day when Twinsies take their predictable nap at the predictable time. A day when I can take a shower and not feel like everyone is looking at me and wondering why I look like death warmed over. A day when my children eat the food I put in front of them and signal me when they are all done instead of chucking their apples, french toast, tangerines, etc. across the room to be found weeks later behind the television.

There is something like a month and a half left until summer vacation. I'm wondering if we will be able to have a better schedule then. Oooo! Maybe we will be back in our house so that I will indeed have that padded room for their playing pleasure instead of a teensy one bedroom apartment with no privacy and leaking bathtubs and cockroaches (yes, I found one the other day trying to crawl into our apartment).

Hey, a girl can dream!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stacy's Dinner

I've mentioned before about my amazing colleagues making us dinner each night. This week has been amazing: spicy beef chili and cornbread, swiss steak and mashed potatoes with baby carrots, chicken noodle soup. Tonight, Stacy made dinner for us. We had lemon chicken and cous cous.

As I suspected, Gracie and Luke loved the chicken! They each ate a drumstick and a thigh all by themselves. They were a little more conservative about the cous cous. I tried to convince them it was rice, but they knew better. It may have been that the cous cous was smaller than grains of rice. Or, it may have been that it stuck to their fingers. Gracie and Luke are weird about things sticking to their fingers.

Lukie doing his Happy Food Dance

To finish off the meal, I gave Gracie and Luke their newest favorite thing ever...Danimals yogurt smoothies. I found one that has the special bacteria to help with digestion. They are both on antibiotics, so this yogurt is very important. Gracie's stomach does not do well with antibiotics. The good news is that they LOVE the yogurt.

Gracie was very upset that she was finished with her yogurt. She decided to put her extra chicken in the yogurt container.

Stacy, thank you for the very yummy dinner. We have leftovers. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

Angel or Devil?

This morning, Gracie's hair hinted at her true nature.

I'm seriously in love with my new design!

Normally, I wouldn't comment on this, but I am so excited about the new layout I designed that I have to say something. I've been working hard learning how to customize Gracie and Luke's blog so that it will look fun and happy. Some of my designs have been a little off, but this one is so wonderful!

I used a digital scrapbooking kit by a designer named Ellie Lash. All of her designs are so adorable and when I saw this kit, I had to have it. Gracie and Luke are in love with anything that vrooooms, whirs, or honks. All I hear in the car is "Oh, ruck!" when they see a truck. So you can see why I love this one.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twinsies for Sale! A Poem

Twinsies for Sale
A Poem by Mommy

Twinsies for Sale! Oh, Twinsies for Sale!
Two crying and crying young Twinsies for Sale!
You may think I'm joking, but really I'm not.
They're driving me crazy, my stomach's in knots!

From morning to night,
They cry and they pout,
They throw toys, food and shoes.
Heck, sometimes, they shout!

I don't know what's happening,
They used to be fine.
If this continues much longer,
I'll have to drink some wine.

They hit and they scratch,
They hang from my clothes.
They walk around screaming
With snot streaming from their nose!

Who will buy the young Twinsies?
I'll make you a deal.
Five dollars? One?
I promise, they're a steal!

They're really a bargain.
It's like two for one.
Toddlers without being pregnant,
You could be done!

I guess I might miss them.
I, mean, heck, who would wake me up early?
Who else would make me so crazy
My hair goes curly?

Wait.........Yes, I mean it!

Twinsies for Sale! Oh, Twinsies for Sale!
Two crying and crying young Twinsies for Sale!

(apologies to Shel Silverstein for the mutilation of his poem)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Monday, Grandma cut Gracie's hair. It had grown to be a crazy nest and needed some shaping. It is super cute, although, her bangs are really crooked. She just would not sit still.

Today, when I picked them up from day care, I found that one of the day care ladies had created this special hairstyle for Gracie.




Who can resist that hair?

Too Cute for Words!

I'll let these pictures speak for themselves.

opening my own bag of fruit snacks

I love my brother!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Life without Air Conditioning

Back in olden times...

Okay, that's just too hokey!

But seriously, back when I was little, we rarely had the air conditioning on. In fact, when I think of drives in my mom's cars, it wasn't until she bought the Ford Tempo that we actually had air conditioning. In the house, she had us open windows and use fans, rather than turn on the central A/C that she spent an arm and a leg for when our house was built.

With the recent heatwave (yes, it really is a heatwave in April), everywhere I go, there is air conditioning on. My classroom has it, although it sends most of the cool air to my coworker's room. My car has it. Yay! Our house has it, if we ever get to go back. Technically, our apartment has it too. However, I can't use it.

You see, we had Daddy's new TV placed on a tall dresser in the corner of the living room so that it could be seen in the kitchen. The same corner that houses the air conditioning unit. I'm pretty sure it is not a good thing to run an A/C that close to the back of a television. So, we are making due with a sliding glass door, a fan, and the door to our apartment propped open with a baby gate to keep Gracie and Luke from taking a trip outside. We are wearing fewer layers of clothes and Gracie and Luke have been wearing t-shirts and shorts to bed.

If things get really bad, I guess I will have to figure out how to move the dresser and the TV without damaging the cable connection. Then again, if pioneer women could survive wearing those awful skirts and long sleeve shirts, I can bust out the summer jammies.

Dreaming of my house with my own air conditioning,

Now I get the Twitter thing...

I won't be starting a Twitter account. I don't need anything else to obsess over and I don't have that much to say every 29 minutes.

It is, however, a good thing when you are waiting with bated breath for an update:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Please Pray for Stellan

Asking for prayers for my family is something I've had to do a lot lately. It isn't easy, but I've done it because I believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking. Several months ago, I asked every one to pray for little Tuesday. Today, I come to ask you to pray for baby Stellan. While I do not know Stellan personally, I have followed his mom's blog for quite some time. I so admire her strength and determination. Today, she really needs our help.

Stellan isn't even a year old and he is in the fight of his life. Diagnosed with SVT while still tucked safely in his mommy's tummy, Stellan battles with a heart that keeps trying to beat too much and too often. Stellan was not expected to live very long after birth. He was a miracle the day he was born and is still a miracle today.

Tomorrow, or even tonight, Stellan will be having major surgery for doctors to try to map the electrical charges in his heart. Their goal is to find the nerves causing the extra electrical signals and stop them from causing the extra beats. The problem? The surgery is crazily dangerous for infants his size and age. There are so many complications that might arise. However, this is the only choice his family has to attempt to save his life.

Prayers for Stellan

Please keep Baby Stellan in your hearts and prayers for the next few hours and for the rest of the week. He needs all of the help we can give him!

Update: People are truly amazing! They are sending in their pictures wearing orange for Stellan.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fairy Godmother Update

Well, not only did the fairy godmother not show up, but the manager did not fix the leaking bathtub. I plugged up the tub about a half hour ago and already have an inch of water. Talk about wasteful! Good thing I'm not paying the water bill!

I wish I had plants I could water.

Sunny Palm Springs and Salsa

Nana, the Twinsies, and I hopped in the car and trekked to Palm Springs today. Our goal was to go to lunch at this Mexican restaurant we never remember the name of. We know what it looks like and where to find it, but when called upon to name the darn place, none of us seem to remember.

It turns out that the restaurant is called Las Casuelas. Usually, we get the Chopped Chicken salad and if we were thinking straight today, we would have ordered our usual. However, Nana and I were thrown off by the presence of Gracie and Luke, not to mention the fact that Lucas fell off of a bench and hit his head. He has a nice goose egg in the middle of his forehead. Nana ordered a combo and I ordered a Chicken and Avocado Salad.

But what we ate is not the relevant bit of this story. You see, Gracie and Luke were starving by the time we were seated. Out on the patio, there were lots of things to look at: people, birdies, motorcycles. However, Gracie and Luke were not interested in these things. Oh, no. All they cared about were the chips, and the salsa, and the guacamole!

Gracie refused to eat a chip without salsa on it. At first, I dipped them for her, but when that got boring, I pushed the little bowl to her and let her dip her chips herself. Notice the pinky action.


Lucas really had fun with the Guacamole.

By the time the meal was over, we were all covered in salsa and guacamole!

We were very happy that we drove all the way out to Palm Springs with Nana!

Friday, April 17, 2009

In need of a fairy godmother

Have you ever had one of those lifetimes days where you were ready to throw in the towel, leave all your worldly possessions, and hop a freighter to a foreign land?

You know you have.

I feel like I've had 6 months worth of those days.

I'm working hard to come up with my blessings today. However, after having been treated unkindly by the nurses at Eddie's hospital, not being able to contact the contractor I hired for the fixing of our house, and having my children hit me, pull my hair, and take an hour and 15 minutes to finally settle into sleep, I'm ready for the high seas and I dare any pirates to try to take me!

We seem to go through cycles. One moment, things look quite rosy. We are in a great pattern of sleep, eating well, etc. And then, wham! Everything gets smashed to smithereens. Gracie, Luke and I were on a great schedule during Spring Break. That darn Healthy Sleep Habits author was totally right about never waking a sleeping child. We had 12 hours of sleep (well, the twins did) and everyone was nice to me (even when they had the stomach flu) during Spring Break. Now that I am back to work and am waking Gracie and Luke a half an hour before they are ready to get up, they are pains in the booty. They fight me at bed time, hit and bite each other. It's pretty ugly.

What I need is a fairy godmother. I don't need Prince Charming, although, some fairy dust on Daddy might be wonderful if it helps him get better soon. I need a fairy godmother who will come to the temporary abode and wave her magic wand to make the clothes, food embedded in the carpet, the piles of toys and random other things magically organize and store themselves so that I don't have to do them. Unfortunately, 1) there is nowhere to store this magically organized stuff and 2) there's no such thing as a fairy godmother.

It would be quite lovely, though.

Tomorrow, Nana is going to kidnap us and take us to Palm Springs. There is a Mexican restaurant there with this very happy chipotle chicken salad. My stomach is growling just thinking of it. Auntie Ten Ten and Nate are coming, too.

Maybe my fairy godmother will show up while we are gone.

Hey, a girl can wish!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Celebrating Mommy's Birthday

It was a great day today. I've already forgotten how many times Lukie threw his binky on the floor and how many times Gracie ate crayons.

After dinner with Nana, Aunt Becca, Auntie Ten Ten and the cousins, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for even more cake and ice cream. Grandma left the spoons a little too close to Gracie and Luke, with the following results:




Some of the best entertainment all week!

A picture of my Gracie Lu Who

Grandma took this picture while she and the Twinsies were visiting Daddy in the hospital. It makes me happy.


Mommy's Birthday

Today is my birthday. I was hoping that Daddy would be home by now. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Add to Daddy's illness, the freakiness of having our Federal tax return rejected last night, twins waking up an half an hour early this morning, and the spilling coffee on myself in the car, the disappointment at the day care people for doing something I expressly asked them not to, the day did not start out well.

Luckily, I teach at a girls' school. When I arrived today, I was surprised by a white board filled with Happy Birthday wishes, cookies, a cake, a gift certificate to Gymboree so that I can go shopping for Gracie and Luke, a bottle of Chanel perfume (wow!), a journal, and many homemade cards. I had cake with my Math Department friends and celebrated with my Birthday Homie, John. I had more hugs today than I have in the past 3 months!

Even though having Daddy home would be the best birthday present ever, unexpected kindness from others has made the day quite lovely. To top it off, we are planning to go to dinner with Nana, Aunt Bec and her crew, and maybe, Auntie Ten Ten and Nate Dog. Then, we are heading to cake time with Grandma and Grandpa.

Whew! A busy and happy day ahead. Yay!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

19 Months Old and First Tax Return Filed

Yep, that's right! Gracie and Luke have had their first tax returns filed. They have a very small income in their names, so the each have to file a 1040 EZ. How crazy is that?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kisses for Boo-Boos

In the tub tonight, I noticed that Gracie has a small owie on her foot from her new shoes.

"Uh oh," I said. "Gracie, you have a boo-boo. Let's give kisses-kisses to the boo-boo."

Before I could lift her foot to give it a kiss, my daughter bent over in half, lifted her foot as far as she could out of the bath water and kissed her foot herself.

She's self-sufficient like that.

Luke decided to help by pointing out other boo-boos Gracie had. The next 10 minutes was dedicated to kissing our own boo-boos.

Yet another sign I am not as needed as I thought I was. Sigh.

Easter 2009

I was hoping to have pictures of Gracie and Luke wearing their bunny ears.

I was hoping to have pictures of Gracie and Luke hunting for Easter eggs.

Alas, they hate the ears and without Daddy, my two hands are occupied with Twinsies' hands. No room for a camera.

Gracie and Luke had an amazing time running around the park with Hailey, Bianca, Brandon, Nathan, Patrick and Kate. Uncle Mike chose a great spot and we set up our EZ-ups and tables. Aunt Bec brought the bubble machine and I brought a gallon of bubble solution. We had a pot luck lunch and just enjoyed the beautiful day.

Aunt Bec and Devanie "hid" the Easter Eggs and after the frenzy was over, all of the "hunters" sat down for a picture.

Left to right: Patrick, Brandon, Nathan, Bianca, Kate, Destiny, Hailey, Gracie, and Luke

Gracie and Luke enjoyed the strawberry cupcakes Aunt Bec made and even the dirt they decided to play in while they were eating the cupcakes.

The bubble machine was a huge hit and Lukie tried to master the on/off button.

To top off the day, Gracie and Lukie squished together into the baby swing, proving that they are indeed still way little.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We only turned our backs for a minute!

Three adults missed three toddlers opening the cage of a dog and climbing in.

Because it's a perfectly great place to play, if you are under 3!

Can you tell Gracie and Luke LOVE playing with Cousin Nate?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lukie the Sagger

My children have no booties. They still wear size 12 month pants that Abue Rosi has tacked to keep them from falling down.

These pants lack the tack.

Clearly, rolling them doesn't help .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Popcorn Fun

Gracie and Luke have been eating me out of house and home since they started feeling better. The other night, they were acting like I had been starving them for the past month. I've been trying to give them healthier snacks, so I decided to make some popcorn.

I'd say it was a success!





Of course, as usual, it was all good until they discovered popcorn is throwable!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

19 Months Old

Dear Gracie and Luke,

It may seem odd that I am writing these letters to you each month. Daddy and I swore we would not be the kind of parents who obsessed over monthly "birthdays." But so much is happening with you that I want to make sure I share it with you in these letters. I want you to know when you started doing certain things and how much more they made me love you!


This past month has been a whirlwind. It seems like every hour you are learning a new word or doing something to show me how much you have changed.

Here are some highlights:
  • New words include No, bubby (bubbles), down (used for up, down, in or out)
  • You understand almost any direction I give you. The other day, I told Lukie to take his cracker and sit in his Elmo chair to watch Barney. He turned away from me, walked across the room, and sat down quietly to watch Barney and eat his cracker. I was stunned. I asked Gracie to bring me shoes so that we could get ready for our day. She brought me a pair of shoes for her and a pair of shoes for Lukie. Two matching pairs: one Lukie's and one Gracie's!
  • You are obsessed with crackers. When you had the stomach flu during the first week of my Spring Break, all you wanted was crackers. First, it was tons of Saltines and then, as you felt better, it was Ritz and finally, it was graham crackers. The first thing you ask me for in the morning are crackers. When we get in the car: "Mommy, cracka!" Morning, noon, and night!
  • You "swim" in the bathtub and think it is hysterical. When I put the colored Elmo Fizzies in the bathtub, you shriek and giggle and pour the red or purple water all over each other.
  • Lukie does a Happy Dance whenever he has a food that he likes. It goes like this: cracker goes into hand, Lukie (standing or sitting) shakes his hips and waves his arms. Aunt Bec loves it!
  • Gracie's hair is insane! I remember this past summer when we were worried she would have Who-Hairs for the rest of her life. Now, she has so much that her hair looks like it is a big poof ball around her head. Luckily, I can gather it into ponytails or clippies. Photobucket
  • You can both use spoons! Your favorite are adult spoons. Gracie is an expert at carefully picking up rice or whatever you are eating and getting the spoon directly into her mouth. You can even use them to eat cereal with milk!
  • Every time you see a phone, you yell "Papa!" and hand it to me so that I can call him. You recognize him immediately when you see his picture and whenever you see him, you smile and do Lukie's Happy Dance.
  • You hold my hand, well, at least Gracie does, whenever we walk in dangerous places. Lukie usually holds my hand until he decides he would rather walk by himself and then he falls to the ground like a wet noodle. Luckily, I am smarter than that and he ends up being carried the rest of the way.
  • Lukie has all of his baby teeth and Gracie is growing her last two on the bottom.
  • You like Strawberry Nesquick. You don't like chocolate milk. That's one point for Daddy.
  • You like to brush your teeth. Actually, "brush" is an exaggeration. You put the bristles in your mouth, suck off the toothpaste and wag the end of the brush back and forth to immitate me.
  • You are the easiest children in the world to give medicine too. In a way, it is actually quite frightening!
  • You are getting more and more independent every day.
  • You LOVE Barney and Sesame Street. Gracie especially loves the Barney theme song and shouts and points at Barney when he comes into view.
  • Lukie survived my attempt to trim his hair using the clippers. Even though around your ears has some rather interesting patterns, Aunt Bec came to the rescue and fixed the crazy long hairs that stuck out all over your head. Photobucket
  • You know that hitting isn't nice and do it anyway.
  • Lukie tackles Gracie when she has something he wants and lays on top of her until she drops it (or I rescue her).
  • You love to blow kisses when you say Goodbye, when we read the Counting Kisses book, and when you are trying to say "I'm sorry."
  • You say "Hi" and "Bye" to everyone.
  • You are obsessed with "Wow-wows" (dogs). Sometimes you call cats "wow-wows." We are working on that.
  • You love to say "quack" whenever you see a bird. We are working on distinguishing between normal birds and ducks.
  • You love the moon.
  • You love to sweep and pick up trash.
  • You think shovelling sand into a pail is one of the best activities ever.
  • You are starting to realize that you can take off your clothes. Gracie knows how to take off her pants, but can't quite figure out how to get them over her feet. This is a good thing, because she also knows she can move her diaper. I'm really hoping we can avoid that!
  • You love to try on all of your shoes.
  • You love ice cream, but yogurt is even better.
  • You will eat grapes and strawberries until your tummies stick out.
  • And the most frightening of all: You both know how to open all of the doors inside our apartment. In fact, as I was sitting uploading pictures tonight, I heard the bedroom door open and then the door between the foyer and the bathroom opened. There, wearing his dino jammies, was Lukie. It is like the end of an era!
What is so amazing to me is that just when I think I could not possibly love you any more, you do something, smile at me, say something silly, learn something new...and my heart swells. I love hugging you, showing you how to do things, chasing after you when you decide you are going to be independent.

19 months is not very old. What it is, is the start of the countdown toward 2 years old. In five months, you will be two. I can't even fathom that! My hope is that when your second birthday comes, we can celebrate it in our house, our real house, not our temporary apartment with the yucky slab leaks, broken washers and dryers, and no Daddy. I hope we are home with Daddy and everything is wonderful again.

I am so proud to be your Mommy, Gracie and Luke. When things seem their bleakest, I need only hug you or watch you tickle each other or listen you to "talk" about something. In those moments, I remember how very lucky I am to be your Mommy.

I love you!

Mommy actually cooks dinner!

I used to cook all the time. When it was just Eddie and me, I cooked 3 to 4 times per week. I used to make Garlic Pepper Beef, grilled chicken, enchiladas, chilaquilles, and much more. I can count the number of times I have cooked on one hand since Gracie and Luke were born. Since I have been myself with them for so long, I've been awful about preparing our own meals. I purchase frozen meals or we buy a rotisserie chicken, anything other than cooking the meal myself.

Since I am home for Spring Break, I decided to actually do some cooking. We went shopping the other day and I bought cilantro, onions, tomatoes, beef, rice, and a few other things. Today, while Gracie and Luke were at day care, I actually chopped the onions, cilantro and some garlic. I marinated the beef. I made my famous Spanish rice. Before I left to pick them up, I had a pot of my rice and sliced, cooked beef ready for us when we got home.

I picked up Gracie and Luke and headed home. While they were taking their babies for walks on the patio, I tried the food. I was a little worried because the rice did not seem to have the same amount of flavor I am used to and the meat was a bit tougher than I wanted it to be. I cut the meat up into small portions and placed it with sliced tomatoes and rice into their bowls.


After getting them to sit down, I put their bowls in front of them and watched to see what would happen. Without spoons, they started shoveling meat and rice into their mouths. I started hearing, "More. More. " just a few minutes after they started eating. They kept making happy eating sounds and Lukie did his Happy Food Dance in his seat.

I finally got them to use their spoons for a few bites, but they kept dropping the spoons and using their hands to put as much rice as possible into their mouths.



Three helpings later, they finally slowed down. They had orange all over their faces from the Spanish rice and Luke had rice all over his lap. They both picked up their bowls and tried to scoop the rest of the food into their mouths.



Forty-five minutes after I sat them in their seats (this is a record, I assure you), I stripped both of them down before I let them leave their seats and set them on their feet to go to the bath tub. They both walked straight there and waited patiently for me to turn on the water and to set them in the tub.

I would call this meal a success. Now, if I can only manage to do this again tomorrow and the next day!

Happy 10th Birthday!

There's nothing better than bringing cupcakes and having free dress on your 10th birthday! These two were so excited that they kept r...