July 28, 2010

Weekend Recap

It was a BUSY weekend (and busy week after - which is why I'm just now getting to this post!)

In lieu of the latest (and worst ever) explosion of diaper rash, and in the interest of "airing out" we started the day with a trip to the Miller Water Park, and then a toddler toga party! (note: as mentioned in the previous post, we started thinking it was the water. I'm conviced we were right because Lucas filled the softener with salt and their rashes immediately cleared up!)

Just when we started to get dressed I heard a funny beeping sound outside. I looked out the window to discover that they were here to drop off our new fridge (5 minutes before the beginning of the 8 hour window they had originally given us!).

Do I love my new fridge, you ask? Well, in general, a fridge is a fridge. It keeps stuff cold. That makes me happy. It is a little smaller than our old fridge, and the ice maker is REALLY loud, but I'm sure I will adjust and won't think about the difference. I'm just happy to have something that works!

It was a super hot day - one where you definitely did not want to play outside - and since we no longer had to wait for our fridge to be delivered, I decided to take the twins on an adventure. We started by going to visit the Cascades Humane Society (sorry for the poor picture quality...I felt akward bringing out my huge camera, and chose to take covert phone pics instead!).

The twins checking out all the cats. Allie kept looking at me and saying, "ki-tty! ki-tty!" while Ryan laughed a loud belly laugh every time the kittens jumped from one level to the next (which was a lot). There was one cat that loved them and never stopped looking at them when they were nearby. Had Lucas not been allergic...

A few of the dogs we saw. The twins know that dogs make a panting noise, so they did that constantly while we were there. I also showed them how dogs drink their water, and they practiced sticking out their tongues (a new trick)!


Saturday was a day of seeing dear, wonderful, long-time friends. We made a trip to Indiana and popped in to see one of Lucas best friends (and housemates) from college and his family. The twins had a great time playing with their 2 older girls and running around (until they ran into each other and conked heads...then Allie was done).
All together!

After spending some time with them we rushed over to Olive Garden to meet up with on of my best friends (and housemates) from college and her husband and her parents (who essentially adopted all of us girls when they would come and visit). We enjoyed a wonderful meal and time of catching up.

It was really great to see these dear friends, catch up, and reminisce.

Me & Becca with the twinners

The whole gang!

The kicker? On the way home Allie got really fussy, and we weren't exactly sure why...until we got home. I thought I saw a flash of something yucky as Lucas was getting her out of the seat, but Lucas thought I was being paranoid after our Cracker Barrel experience. That was until he set her down and saw the ginormous mess she left on his shirt! That's right - an exceptional blowout. It covered her clothes, legs, and shoes. It filled her car seat. It even got on her hands...and (gasp! gag!) on her face! It was a mess. Perhaps it is a sign that we shouldn't eat out with the twins for a while...


Sunday was a little more low key (read: mommy was experiencing some serious back pain, and that put a halt to all adventures!). But Sunday evening we decided to do some grillin' to go with the yummy corn on the cob a church member had given us (home grown, organic, yummo!). I decided it would be a great opportunity to teach the twins how to shuck corn (they're at an age where they are interested in what I'm doing, so I'm starting to include them in everything at whatever level. It's fun!)
Pre-shucking. They weren't sure exactly what to make of it...

...but Ryan was confident it was edible!

Allie knew the hairy stuff was supposed to come off...

Ryan decided that maybe it was a phone (note: EVERYTHING is a phone right now!)

The finished product (well, actually, this was before it was cooked, but they still seemed to enjoy it!)

They liked the raw corn so much that I had a really hard time getting it away from them to cook...and then they were very hesitant to eat it once it was cooked! Oh, well...

And THAT was our weekend!

I will try to post one more time this week. We have been extremely busy, but with really, REALLY ordinary things (for the most part) which doesn't make for very exciting blogging... We are getting ready to head up North for Lucas working week away, and trying to get everything set up for VBS, and trying to cram in some fun social events, and all of that combined with normal life is keeping us really busy!

July 23, 2010


Wednesday 7:15 pm: The twins are in bed. We are making dinner (er...um...preheating the oven for the frozen pizza...). Lucas discovers that our sink has been leaking. We saw signs (the mat in front of it had been wet in the morning, I had noticed a puddle), but there was always another option to explain it. He spends 20 min mopping everything up and fixing the leak.

9:00 pm: I'm talking with a friend about the twins diaper rash (which came back with a vengeance when we returned from vacation). I tell her how I mentioned to my mom we never had trouble with diaper rash before we moved here, and that Lucas commented how strange it was that the diaper rash completely cleared up in Arkansas without us really trying, and she asks me if the diaper rash cleared up when we were in NE. It hits me that not only do I remember it magically clearing up in NE, but also when we went up North! We only have diaper rash issues when we are here, and it only completely clears up when we're gone. We talk about the different options and figure our water is probably a good place to start (specially since I use cloth diapers...).

Thursday 3:30 am: In a desperate attempt to get Allie (who is awake because her diaper rash is THAT painful) back to sleep Lucas tries some milk in a sippy. He calls me to the kitchen. "Kim, does the fridge feel warm to you?" We agree that we both felt like things weren't as cold as usual for a day or so...but the fridge is barely cold. We'll call someone to repair it in the morning.

9:30 am: Lucas and I are a little overwhelmed with all that has fallen apart in our house in roughly 12 hours. We can barely function from lack of sleep. What happened?

11:45 am: The man arrives to check out our fridge. "No problem," he says, " I know what's probably wrong and I can show you how to fix it if it happens again. I see this all the time." Great!

11:50 am: "hmmmmm. Well, that is working, so it must be something else. But that's good news because it's probably something really simple."

12:10 pm: (after fishing what he calls "treasures" from behind my fridge - one tupperware lid and 3 tampons the twins somehow got ahold of and jammed under there...oh, the embarrassment! And then vacuuming because it was too dirty to check out - I'm wishing I could disappear into the floor!) "It's worse than I thought. I'm going to call and get quotes for parts, but this is an old refrigerator and by the time you factor in the cost of parts & labor it will probably be more cost effective to get a new fridge." Oh, dear.

4:00 pm: Lucas and I (after scrambling to find the best deals on the web) take the twins shopping for a new refrigerator. Mission accomplished. Next day delivery secured. We also buy (with the money we saved) iron filtering salt for our water softener (which we think is the problem with our water - *fingers crossed*) We are so thrilled we pop over to Michael's to see what treasures we can find and the twins (thanks to the efforts of a well-meaning, and un-suspecting daddy) secure 2 amazing new toys!

5:15 pm: Lucas and I decide we deserve dinner out and take the twins to Cracker Barrel.

6:15 pm: We got to leave and Lucas places Ryan in my arms, at which point I discover an explosive blowout - on the high chair, down his leg, and now on my hand! I take him to the bathroom and discover that while I have an extra outfit, I am out of diapers! In the meantime, Lucas, busy with Allie is unable to clean up the high chair. How much do you tip the waitress who cleans up your child's excrement? A LOT.

6:30 pm: I run into Target to get diapers (Ry guy is currently going commando in his car seat) and supplies to make the magic diaper cream.

6:45 pm: I discover that the diaper run is too late as I go to diaper Ryan and find his outfit completely soaked. Little Man rides home wearing nothing but a diaper and a smile!

7:30 pm: The twins are in bed. The sink is no longer leaking. We have a new refrigerator on the way. Lucas is adding salt to the water softner. The twins are sleeping slathered in the magic cream. Things are looking up (we hope!).

It was a comedy of errors. Thank goodness we were able to keep laughing. Hopefully things look up soon!

July 22, 2010

Twins on Vacation

The twins did some amazing things (amazing to me, at least) during our vacation that definitely made me realize that they really aren't babies anymore.

They discovered that the boxes for the board books Gigi bought them made great hats, and after that they wore them almost constantly!

One of the first days I explained to them how to do something (not thinking that they understood and truly assuming I would have to do it myself). I said, "OK?" they responded "'kay" and then did exactly what I said!

Allie, upset that she couldn't find her sippy cup, tried to steal Ryan's. Not sure where hers was, I asked Ryan if sis could have a sip when he was finished because she was super thirsty and couldn't find her cup. He ran out of the room (I assumed because he didn't want to share), and came back in with Allie's sippy cup - which he gave to Papa to give to her!

Allie, multiple times, took Gigi's animal puzzles (the kind with big chunky animals that have handles and pictures to show their spots) and put all of the animals in the correct spaces. In fact, sitting and putting together the puzzles was one of her favorite things to do!

They started making animal noises! They bark or pant for a dog, holler for a lion, and even do the elephant (my personal favorite - they lift their hand up and do a noisy raspberry!)

On the plane, Ryan spilled some of my water on his leg. He immediately grabbed for my napkin (I assumed to play), and then wiped it off!
They started dancing! A funny, Lord of the Dance, rapid footwork type of dancing!

Allie became much more communicative. While I know she understands, she rarely says actual words. But over vacation she started saying things I understand! That was an exciting breakthrough!

I've mentioned that the twins don't sleep well on vacation, and this one was no exception! This was the scene many nights...hours after bedtime. This particular picture was taken at roughly midnight, and the twins had awakened roughly 5 times since we put them to bed.

The twins finally got the concept of holding the phone to their ear! I realized (when the pedi asked me if they copy me by doing this) that I almost always talk on speaker so that I can change diapers, throw balls, catch charging toddlers, etc., and they didn't really know that phones are supposed to be held up to your ear! I started working with them on this, and over vacation it clicked! Now they walk around with any phone they find (or remote, or toy, or banana) and hold it up to their ear and say, "Hello!" Sometimes they even mimic the intonations of a conversation in their jabber! More than once I've heard them say, "Ya. Uh-huh, " like me! Now I'm wondering if it was such a good idea to teach them how to use a phone...

Every day of vacation they did new things that made them seem so old. I LOVE this phase - it's so much fun. But I do have to say that each new thing makes me a little sad because they are growing up SO fast!

By this point the situation was actually starting to seem humorous! It didn't the next morning when Lucas and I had only gotten a few hours of sleep. By the last night we had all the kinks worked out, and the twins slept the entire night! Apparently we needed a longer vacation :)

Even though I have NO pictures of the plane ride home (I feel terrible that I didn't get a picture of their first time on a plane!), I have to mention it because it was ABOVE spectacular! We had the best seatmates (members of a band that were on their way to meet with a label and hopefully be signed!). The guy I was sitting next to has a baby boy due in October and he was incredibly into playing with Ryan and asking questions. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask to listen to their music, but I can tell you that I will be a HUGE fan of this band because they are an incredible group of guys that my children LOVED (and that says a lot to me)!! I'm not going to mention their name (because they don't have a website or contract or anything I don't want to jinx them), but as soon as I find out if they're public, I'll do a little post as an introduction because we liked them that much. With their help the twins had a fun and fuss free ride home (it helped that there were also NO delays!)!!!

July 21, 2010

Caves, Christ, and Colors

The guys had an afternoon out where they toured Cosmic Cavern. I wasn't on this trip (I was home coloring with the twins), so I can't tell many stories, but I wanted to include the pictures because Lucas was there, and he is an important (although not oft mentioned) part of this blog!
I know they came back telling stories of blind salamanders and plundering trout - which means it must have been a great time!
Lucas, Matt, & Nic looking up at...something.

The guys: Nic, Matt, Papa, & Lucas. Someday soon, Ryan will be tagging along on the guy adventures!

The last full day, my parents went with Lucas and I to see the Christ of the Ozarks - one of the attractions at the location of The Great Passion Play.
The view of the Crescent Hotel from the Christ of the Ozarks (since we gave you the reverse view in that post!)
The statue that can be seen above the treetops from many locations throughout the area.

Our personal favorite view was from the side. From the front he looks so serious, and his eyes are a little vacant. But from the side we felt like there was a hint of a smile, loving eyes, and welcoming arms. Not sure why it made the difference, but a different angle changed everything!

Near the statue there is a chapel where they have a 10x10 piece of the Berlin Wall. Dad & Lucas got our of the car to get a closer look and touch this historic monument.

What did the twins do during these adventures? They tried coloring for the first time! They seemed to enjoy it, and the next morning Allie got up and immediately ran over to the colors and started coloring on the paper! Granted, Allie truly enjoyed stacking the crayons and Ryan enjoyed banging them together like cymbals the most...

Ryan's first crayon art!

Allie's first crayon art!

We're Going to the Promised Land...

We, of course, wanted to make sure we had lots of adventures with the twins (Turpentine Creek, swimming, etc.). I will tell you now that due to the heat (in the 90s and humidity like we have never felt before), we only really had one out-of-the-house adventure with them. That was a trip to the Promised Land Zoo.

The first part of a trip was the drive-thru zoo where you got to feed animals from your car! I will confess that I have always wanted to do a drive-thru zoo...and so I picked this a little for me... The biggest bummer (as you will see) is that many of the animals were actually penned in. The only ones who were free to come to your car were the deer and emu. But we still had fun!
Ryan checking out the ostriches
Allie checking out the Zebras.
Uncle Nic feeding deer from the window! We did manage to get a deer to come to each of the twins' windows to eat, and they were thrilled!
After the drive-thru, we went to the petting zoo. They had some animals indoor (rabbits, guinea pigs, a python, and an alligator!), and lots outdoors. This was where the twins had the MOST fun!
I'm pretty sure I heard her say, "Mama, I want a pony!"
"Llama, llama red pajama!" They had a baby llama and its mama...because "Llama, llama" is one of their favorite books, they were really excited to see llama & his mama in person! Seriously. They got really excited!
Allie's favorite animal was a baby goat that had a habit of getting loose and roaming free (she has a love of freedom and all those who follow suit!). This little goat jumped up to eat her hat...and she thought it was funny!
The little goat sucked on her finger (which caused me to panic!), and she thought it was fun!
Then the little goat tried to eat her dress, and she had enough. You don't mess with Allie's clothes!
I'm going to start calling Ryan Dr. Doolittle. He loves animals and went to all of them without any fear. His favorites were the cow and camel. I would have thought they were scary (the biggest animals in the petting zoo), but he loved petting them...
...and even tried kissing them! He spent the most time at their pen, and would have climbed in with them if he knew how.
Then we had a picnic surrounded by the animals. All through the picnic the birds (parrots, cockatoos, etc.) kept saying, "Hello!" and since that is one of the twins' favorite sayings they would occasionally respond!
After the picnic Ryan started making the rounds again. Saying "bye" to all of his new friends.
The whole gang :)

Being somewhat of a zoo fanatic, I was thrilled that we got to go to this zoo (even though I was disappointed that we weren't able to hit Turpentine Creek and make it a 2 zoo trip...). And, I honestly think that it was the twins' most exciting zoo experience yet - mostly because it was SO interactive. I'm thankful that, since we only got to have 1 adventure with the twins, this was the one we had!

July 20, 2010

We Interrupt This Broadcast for an Important Announcement!!!

Tonight I officially clocked 100 MILES of swimming, biking, and running since the beginning of keeping a log (4 weeks and 1 day ago)!!!!!!!!!
When I updated my training log, and added it up, it was 99.93 mi. Lucas (wanting to make it even, and to be there to celebrate with me) made me go out and run .07 mi. on our street :)

And he took this picture!

Sure, I look a little dorky, but I've covered 100 MILES in 4 weeks!!! When you take into consideration that before the month of June I maybe walked 1.5 mi a day...if the weather was nice...not too hot or raining...or overcast because that might mean rain :) This is progress people!

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming (i.e. more cute pictures of the twins on vacation!)

Adventures in Arkansas

After the wedding, we spent a week in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with my family. On the way to Eureka Springs (ES), we were able to stop by and check out my youngest brother's college campus and house! It was really fun to be able to see where Matt has been and will be.

We rented a Town House, and used it as a base for our many adventures. For the first adventure, Lucas, Nic, Matt, and I set out to the Historic Crescent Hotel for a Ghost Tour. Since Crescent Hotel has been called "America's Most Haunted Hotel," we figured it would be interesting. In the picture to the left you can see (top left to bottom right): the staircase leading up from the Catholic church - where they often find strange items (such as hotel keys) left on their altar. The Hotel originally was a location for those who summered in ES. During the off-season it was a conservatory school for girls. The entrance to the hotel (showing a crescent moon), the view of the historic hotel from the parking lot (the main entrance, but technically the rear view), the guys looking down at me from the top balcony of the hotel (they climbed ALL those stairs to get pictures...I took the elevator!), Lucas and Nic posing in front of the sign.

We had a little over an hour to wait for our tour, so we explored the building, grounds, and nearby church. In this picture: The view of the Christ of the Ozarks statue (more on this to come) from the top balcony of the hotel. The "front" stairs leading up to the hotel door, Lucas, Nic, Matt and I posing on a couch in the lobby, Matt descending the stairs from the top balcony. Nic descending the stairs while simultaneously texting (he's so multi-talented!), the guys waving at me from the balcony (the zoomed in picture...above you have the zoomed out, so you can see how far away the actually were).

The tour itself was really fascinating. On the top left you can see our group in the basement (right by the spa) standing on the spot where a little girl once fell over the banister from the top floor. She apparently haunts the nearby Men's restroom (located behind the man taking a picture). You can't see it well, but the chimney in the next picture is painted purple. During an economic downturn, girls stopped attending the school and the owners were forced to sell. A con-artist claiming he was a doctor bought it and turned it into a cancer "hospital." His favorite color was purple and he completely redecorated - including the chimneys! Our tour guide and group outside the elevator and office where the ghost of a local doctor (a legitimate one who had an office in the hotel) is often sighted (or smelled - he smoked a pipe). 423 isn't a special room...I just liked this picture. Our group in one of the hallways. The, now deceased, cat who lived for an amazing 21.5 years, and was referred to as the manager of the hotel. The hotel, to this day, always has a hotel cat (currently they have 2!). A picture down the hallway where a woman in our group had, moments before, gotten a picture of an "orb" (the visible energy of an entity caught on film). This hallway is a common place to capture small blue orbs near the floor - thought to be the ball of the little boy who once liked to play there (and perhaps STILL likes to play there).

At the end of the tour they take you to the basement (which was the morgue in it's cancer hospital days). The first picture is of the locker (with the #2) that is featured in one of the most popular episodes of Ghost Hunters where the TAPS team captured a full body image on thermal camera. The mirror in the men's restroom where the formerly mentioned little girl is often heard giggling. Looking up at Matt (and up the rest of the staircase). In the morgue - Matt and the lady in pink are standing in front of the original autopsy table. The room that was formerly the freezer where they kept the bodies. In the hallway heading from the spa to the morgue. The finale of the tour is when they take you to the morgue and turn out all the lights!

Now you might think that you've basically read the tour here, and therefor would never have to go, but I have only told a minor fraction of the stories, and it's just fun to poke around an historic building and hear the stories. The biggest bummer of the tour: neither Matt nor I captured any sort of spectral images with our camera. Granted, I'm not necessarily a believer in ghosts (we can have that conversation at another time if you really want), but it would have been fun to find something to make me a believer! Granted, believer or not, I'm definitely too much of a chicken to spend the night in this hotel! The scariest part of the night? Driving home. Don't know if you've ever been to the Ozarks but the roads are curvy and hilly with steep drop offs on the sides...and on the way home it poured so hard we couldn't see the road! Thankfully we made it.

And because I know that the real stars of the blog are the twins. And because I am not one to deprive my fans (i.e. the twins' grandparents and great-grandparents) of what they really want. Here are a couple pictures of the twins on that first day. Allie reading with Papa: notice the bulging cheeks. In those cheeks is the ginormous piece of pork chop that she pilfered from my plate and refused to give up. She worked on that pork chop piece for almost 2 hours - when she spit it out because she wanted yummy Tylenol! And Ryan playing balcony ball with his uncles. A lot of things were thrown off the balcony during our week there (no children. Don't worry!), but Ryan's favorite was the beach balls the uncle's would throw down to him (or lift him up to catch)!!