Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Strawberry Jam

How to Make Strawberry Jam with your Nana:

First find a good taste tester to check the strawberries
Then find some girls to mash them up

Bring them more strawberries whenever they ask (girls do not have much patience)

Put on your cheesiest grin, grab a masher and help them
Stir, stir, stir (have Nana hold the bowl because this could get a little wild)
Carefully put the jelly in the jars (can you believe they are letting us do this part?)
Give your brother your extra tools to keep him happy
Grab a quick taste

Then show off your finished product.

And the next day when it is time to try it on your toast?  Go ahead and slide your whole body into the back of the chair and eat just like that.
Tastes much better that way.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tiny Dancers

Parker and McKenna had their first dance class this week.
I took years and years of ballet and would be lying if I didn't say that was hoping this would be the beginning of McKenna's career as a ballerina.
As for Parker, I enrolled him in hopes that it would help us get his sister to actually walk in the door and to  burn off a fraction of his never ending energy.
Plus my kids REALLY need to socialize, they both cling to me the minute we meet new kids and I'm trying to avoid being that mom who is peeling my children off of my legs their first day of school.  

After I registered them I kept thinking about what it would be like to get McKenna ready for dance... the tutu, the shoes, the hair.
I had to keep pushing the thought out of my head because, as much as I am excited to do it with her, every ounce of me wishes I had two beautiful little girls to wriggle into ballet slippers.
Dance classes seem to be next on the list of bittersweet events in my ever-evolving life as a loss mom.  (quick break in my story to say that rainbows always remind me of Hadley)

So the evening of dance class I was trying to keep myself together while I got McKenna ready and showed off her complete cuteness to her daddy.
I eventually managed to get them into class without a trail of mascara running down my face.

So the kids barely moved through the door of their classroom, and I spent the first half hour of their dance career sort of dragging them around the room moving their arms and legs in hopes that one of them would snap out of their shy stupor and join in.  

Parker slowly warmed up a little bit.  
Actually little is too strong of a word.  
Parker moved once in a while without me lifting his limbs for him.  
McKenna continued to master her "I am not going to let on that I like a moment of this" face and I continued to pull them along as my ballerina dreams fluttered out the window.  

The last class exercise started with piano lullabye music which left me blinking back tears while the teacher began blowing bubbles for the kids to catch.  The bubbles seemed to cast some miracle spell on my children because they let go of me and started running around the room catching them.  I was thrilled with the fact that they were actually moving and smiling and just as I was feeling the all-familiar if-only-Hadley-were-here ache Parker ran up to me, pointed at the bubbles circling my tiny dancers and said...

Look Mommy, there is a rainbow in all of them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I know this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday but I have to explain this one before my husband sees it and I have to take it down... I was trying to get a better picture of McKenna's new braces, which she is doing GREAT with by the way, and ended up getting this cute shot.  It wasn't until I was editing it that I realized Parker was wearing my heels.  He has been wearing them ALL the time. In his defense, I don't think it is so much the heels he likes it is the obnoxious sound they make each and every time they hit the wood floor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For sale

Has anyone out there sold a house with three small children??
At least if someone responds I will know that I will live to tell about it.

We have had our house up for sale for a while now and trying to clean it for showings, get all of the kids out of the house while they walk through AND maintain some sort of a nap schedule is going to do me in.  I actually got a slap-on-the-hand call from our realty because I think I have said "no" one too many times to showing requests so I sucked it up and let them show the house yesterday.
At dinnertime.
When Mark was working late.

They came early.
Right after naptime, no diapers changed or snacks handed out, early.
No time to stuff the rest of our crap in every inconspicuous place and load the kids in the car early.

The realtor said she had twins so she understood but she didn't look like she understood and as the showing went on it was very clear that her nanny keeps very long hours.

So they are in the house for two minutes and someone stinks.
I'm trying to casually sniff behinds and once I figure out the offender I am then debating on what is better, changing a stinky toddler in a room they may pop into or letting him walk the house and hope that our potential buyers have no sense of smell.  McKenna solved that debate for me by feeding the baby a price tag so I moved on to fishing it out of his mouth and Twin Mommy realtor starts asking me to come open doors that have child proof handles (more evidence of the amount of overtime her nanny must work).
So I'm carrying the baby, McKenna is hanging onto the back of my leg for dear life and Parker is following with what I assumed was a trail of flies at his diaper by this point.
By now we are pushing dinner time and since the price tag didn't fill Sawyer up I had to feed him.  While feeding Sawyer, Ashlyn began a mini meltdown over mexican dip and Parker and McKenna began screeching and beating each other over a bubble wand, while standing on the chair that I was sitting on to feed the baby.  Oh, and did I mention at this time they are taking pictures of the main floor from our loft, capturing this whole lovely scene??

At this point I tell them the kids come with the house.  They barely smile because I'm assuming they are horrified by this whole scene and telling themselves they will never have children that act like this and all Twin Mommy can say is that this age is so fun.  That is just what I was thinking.

They thanked me for my time and left quickly so they could get to their car and shake their heads over the insane asylum they just visited.  I continued to feed Sawyer, untangled a bubble wand from my hair and calmed two toddlers with toys and a teenager with mexican dip and prayed that these people buy our home because we are never showing it to anyone again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Proposal

I had to do "Show Us Your Life" from Kelly's Korner this week because I love the topic--- Proposal Stories.

So here is how our fairytale :) began...

After we had been dating for about a year, Mark took me to Chicago for Valentine's weekend.  Our second night there, Valentine's Day, we went out to dinner at a great seafood place and then ended up in a really neat, jazz bar with amazing live music.  There was a piano player and singer who sounded just like Frank Sinatra and we were having a great time dancing.

I have to stop here to brag for a second... among all of the other things he is good at, my husband is a phenomenal dancer.  He has amazing rhythm and can swing, salsa, waltz, you name it and is that guy who everyone is asking to dance with.  Me, not so much. I'm not bad (I don't think) it is just not my favorite thing to do.  I think I have always been a little too self conscious to let it all go and just dance.  We always laugh about how I, one of the few women who doesn't like to dance, ended up with Mark, one of the few men in the world who actually can.

Anyway, back to the Chicago... so we were dancing and "The Way You Look Tonight" came on and before I knew it he was down on one knee and we were the only two people in the world.  To this day I still have no idea what he said because the music was so loud (and he won't tell me!) but I'm sure it was amazing and I do know it ended with "Will you marry me?"  I said yes of course, and the whole bar cheered and clapped for us.  Everyone came by our table to congratulate us and see my ring and since we didn't have a camera, one of the waitresses took our picture with a camera they had behind the counter.

We called my parents to tell them and then headed to the top of the Sears tower.  When we got back to our hotel room it was filled with dozens of roses and champagne.  I still have no idea how he pulled all of this off without me suspecting a thing but it was an amazing night.

The next morning I sat at breakfast with a phonebook on my lap trying to find a jeweler in the area who could size my ring immediately.  I was determined to wear it, fitting perfectly on my finger, home.

We were married August 5, 2005 and it has been a whirlwind ever since... some may say more like a tornado or a hurricane but the one constant has always been how much we love each other.  We never could have imagined in our wildest dreams, where we would be today and the five years we have to look back on but I absolutely love him more this minute than I did the day we said "I do."

Oh, and months went by after our engagement and we never did receive that picture the waitress took of us after we were engaged.  I was so disappointed.
Two years later, pregnant with the triplets, I received this in the mail...
Mark and I right after I said yes
and waltzing to "The Way You Look Tonight" at our wedding.

Love you Mark!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, 
to the highest of your hopes, 
to the windows of your opportunities, 
and to the most special places your heart has ever known.
-- Author Unknown
Ashlyn completing 8th grade with honors

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

These Two

Someone tell me that 3 is easier than 2.  
I always feel guilty for complaining about our days, especially since they should be one more little person busier than they already are but these two are running me ragged. 
I am just hoping that the minute they turn 3 all will be calm and there will be no more squealing, fighting, climbing the walls, squeezing out the toothpaste, telling me no, dumping their food, throwing their diapers, refusing to get dressed/come inside/get in the car/clean up, etc., etc., etc.  
I'm sure the age of 3 is not going to be the miracle cure but for my sanity I'm going to pretend it is.   
In the meantime I will just try to keep playing the lyrics to "You're Gonna Miss This" over and over in my head.
That is if I can hear myself think through all the noise.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


To call the last week wild is an understatement.  
Wednesday morning, Mark called bright and early on his way to work (he never does this, in fear that he might wake us on a day that the kids decide to sleep later than the crack of dawn).  What is it that causes them to wake so early as soon as warm weather hits?  In the winter they will sleep until 7:30 or so but the minute it starts getting warmer the whole house is up by 6.  
Anyway, back to Mark's call... apparently, while he was driving he heard an extremely loud noise and his entire sunroof shattered and came crashing down on him.
He was not hurt, or so we thought, so he came home, changed out of his glass-filled clothing and took the van to work.  By mid-afternoon he noticed he was losing vision in one eye.  He headed to the ER, while I stayed home with the kids freaking out that he had some sort of head trauma.  

To make a long story short, after a night in the ER and two long days with an eye specialist, they finally found that he has a form of retinopathy caused by the pressure of the explosion of his sunroof.  Thank goodness he is fine and that laser surgery will hopefully correct the damage to his vision but can I just say that we are very tired of hearing "I have never heard of such a thing before" when it comes to things that happen to our little family.  Seriously, we have had one medical mystery after another for YEARS now and wouldn't mind just a few, normal, run-of-the-mill months.

Speaking of medical mysteries, I realize it has been ages since I have updated on McKenna.  She is doing better than she was after her initial illness in March but still has poor coordination and strength in her lower body.  She was fit for braces on her legs last week which I thought was going to be a hugely traumatic event but ultimately turned out to be an "everyone is fussing over my feet and showing me new shoes and I love it" appointment.  So her braces should be in this week and my fingers are crossed that she continues to enjoy them as much as she did when she tried them on.  Most likely I will be posting next week about the fights that have ensued over her new shoes since these days ANYTHING that someone has someone else wants.  At least if they fight I know a timeout will be had since punishing her siblings is McKenna's new talent.  I have caught her twice this week disciplining Parker and Ashlyn.  Here is her strategy in case anyone is looking for a new one:

McKenna (in a long drawn out tone) "No, you do not say that.  You have three seconds or you will go to time out.  ONE, TWO, THREE.  Now you go to time out until you are ready to say sorry."

We have used counting to three, time outs and sorries but not all together, I think I like her technique :)

Of course, this sweet little boy will never need a single time out...
Especially with such an innocent brother to look up to...
(He may look like he is part of some sort of strange toddler tribe but it's just the combination of fixing his own hair, lots of sunscreen and one of Daddy's tools.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby

My sweet little Sawyer is one today.  
I can hardly stand it.  
It has already been a year since I first laid eyes on this little guy.
The year has gone by so quickly and I can't believe that we are already celebrating his first birthday.  
I love him so much and am constantly reminded how lucky we are to have him.
Happy Birthday baby boy!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Autism Story

Yesterday, Ashlyn and I had a great car talk.  We had a long ride home, the little ones where falling asleep and I can't remember how it came up but we started talking about what she feels people do not understand about her.  She amazed me, not for the first time, with how well she is able to articulate how it feels to be her.  Here was her list...
1) I just want to be like everyone else 
2) I listen the best when I don't have to look at you
This is the one that blew me away...
3) My art teacher says "Draw what you know not what you think.  Don't draw what you think a tree looks like, draw what you see when you look at a tree." That is how I am, don't tell me something if it is what you think, only tell me it if it is a fact.  It is too hard for me to figure out the other stuff.  
There have been a million times when Ashlyn has gotten upset over something not happening like it was supposed to and I always thought it was just the change in schedule and never thought about the deeper meaning of why.  The more we talked about #3, she helped me to understand that it has so much more to do with needing things to be concrete and factual.  So telling her "I think we might go to the park" is like nails on a chalkboard.  Either we are going or we are not, she does not need the fluffy stuff in between and I can appreciate that.

The list continued with things like "I don't like cleaning my room" and "I want to be on the honor roll" and other less philosophical statements but I thought that what she started with was amazing.  I wish there was someone like her for me to talk to when she was younger and could not articulate what it was like to live in her world.  Teenage Ashlyn could have helped me out immensely with little Ashlyn.

I have been thinking about our conversation all day and about the journey we have been on that has gotten us to where we are today, a few weeks shy of her 8th grade graduation.  Ashlyn and autism have taught me so much.

So I am adding this to my long list of things that Ashlyn has taught me...
There is no perfect road to follow and no matter what path you take it is a long, bumpy, exhausting ride.  But there will be a day like this, when you feel the rewards of all of your travel and you can look at the only tour guide you've ever had and thank God that they are able to read you part of the map.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...