happy 4th of july!

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happy 4th of july, everyone!  we are having a wonderful day hanging out at home.  it’s been lazy and just what we needed as a family.  i got to sleep in and the boys have spent all day outside playing with their magic sand.  i got some tie dye kits from target on clearance and we just finished an epic tie dye session!  we are all so colorful (we don’t need no stinkin’ gloves!)  it looks like a bunch of hippies live here!

IMG_2246 IMG_2229 IMG_2235 IMG_2231 IMG_2243anyway, i hope you and your families have a fantastic weekend!  stay cool and Happy Birthday, America!

cheers,

e

 

around the house…

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you may have been wondering what the hell happened at the house of mayhem and chaos because i’ve been quiet for so long.

well, a lot, to put it simply.

i took a very last-minute trip to phoenix to see my family after some “family stuff” was happening (everyone is ok, so not to worry), the boys got glasses, finished preschool and we got them all registered for homeschool kindergarten. and, well, it’s just summer and that means our calendar is super full.

i’m trying to not overdo our schedule, but there are so many people to see and things to do!  i’m also trying to not spend as much time online (it’s a working goal, anyway) and focus on just “being” with the boys.  we have lots of fun things planned for the summer: t-ball, swimming, playdates, tending our garden, working on reading and math, camping trips and some museum visits.  ok, i’m already tired just writing out this list!

but, things are going really well.  the boys are getting so big and will be five next month (FIVE!!!!) and they have requested an epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles party, so i have that to work on look forward to.  so, that’s what we’ve been up to.  please stick with me, i’m trying to get better at creating writing goals for myself with this blog and i have a lot of fun posts i want to share with you.  like i said, working goals.

cheers!

e

embracing the mayhem and chaos…

i often hear, when people find out that the boys are twins, “oh, double trouble” or “you must really have your hands full!”  while i’m sure their intentions are good, i can’t help but think, “why are you assuming that my boys are too much to handle?”  why would you think that having twins is anything less than totally awesome?  i’m sure it’s no different than the experiences of anyone else.

it’s true that there is a lot of chaos and mayhem in our home.  i have no idea what it would be like to have just one kid at a time but i don’t assume that our chaos and mayhem is any different than anyone else’s.  our routines are all i know and since we are not having any more kids, i will never know any different.

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i have learned to embrace the chaos and mayhem and love it for what it is.  so what if my house is never all the way clean.  there’s almost always some mess or weird smell.  it’s never totally organized.  so what if they dug a giant hole in the middle of our yard to make themselves a sandbox. i have two little boys who are happy and messy and blissfully unaware that this isn’t the way it is everywhere.

and isn’t that what really matters anyway?

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i guess what i’m saying in a very roundabout way is that we do what works for us and that is the best and only thing we can do.  i recently had a woman at costco ask me if the boys were twins and she happily said that she is expecting twins too.  she asked me if i had any good advice and, without even thinking about it (there was a long line behind us,) i said, “yeah, don’t listen to anyone else’s advice!  do what works for you.”

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i read a lot about different parenting styles and theories on how best to raise children and while there are some really good ideas out there, at the end of the day, i find that christopher and i really just come back to what works for us and the boys.  we don’t have many rules in our house.  we believe strongly that the boys should be able to express themselves freely, whether it’s in their artwork, clothing choices, or in their speech (occasional profanity included.)  i get that this does not work for everyone, but that’s ok.  i don’t need it to.  i just need it to work for us, which right now, it does.

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i say “right now” because we also believe in changing our minds.  christopher and i make sure the boys know that we aren’t perfect and sometimes mommy and daddy make mistakes.  we try to emphasize the importance of respecting others, apologizing when we are wrong and being mindful of the world and others around us.  our goal is to try to raise loving, caring, empathetic boys who care for themselves as well as those around them.

and that’s the best we can do.

and that’s good enough.

have a happy weekend, people!

cheers!

e

 

back with a fresh start…

i decided to take a break from the blog for the month of january because we had a lot of family stuff that needed my full attention and i needed a little bit to recharge my batteries after a very hectic holiday season.

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but, i’m back with a fresh start for the year.  i  began by moving some things in my house around (of course!) and instead of resolutions, which i never keep, i made a list of intentions for the year.  just some things i want to focus on.  already i’m seeing a difference with the boys.  i am trying to speak with kindness and a calmness in my voice when i address the boys.  so far, they are doing really well in response.

they are back in preschool after winter break and i am gearing up to do some observation at the school(s) where they might attend kindergarten this year!  we need to decide if we want to waiver them to a different district (if we even can) and whether or not we want them in the same class.  honestly, the idea of them in school full-time is really bumming me out so i’m looking into half day kindergartens.  i don’t like the thought that they will be in a classroom setting for 6+ hours a day.  harry will do fine, but i’m worried that jack won’t be able to sit still for that long and will get in trouble and burned out on school.  i’m sure these are the things all parents think about, so i guess it’s my turn!

anyway, thank you for sticking with me and this little blog.  i’ve got some fun things planned for this year, so stay tuned.

cheers!

e

harvest and halloween…

halloween is over and i always feel a little sad when it’s done.  i leave our decorations up until almost thanksgiving, and the skulls stay out year round, but i’m a little sad that the spooky season is done for the year.

this year, the boys wanted to be a pumpkin and a skeleton, so i was thrilled that i could make their costumes.  this is the first year since their very first halloween that i made their costumes.  i got a black shirt and leggings from target for the skeleton and just painted some bones with white fabric paint.  the mask is a paper-mache skeleton face that i found at craft warehouse.  i painted it  white, used a sharpie to define the teeth and eye sockets and punched holes in the side for an elastic strap.

for the pumpkin, i got a large orange t-shirt and painted a jack-o-lantern face on the front.  i sewed some elastic to the bottom so we could stuff it with a pillow to make a fat pumpkin.  we layered a green shirt and some striped leggings underneath.  i used felt to make the pumpkin top hat and threaded a headband through the bottom.

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harry was “scary harry” the skeleton and jack was “jack-o-lantern” the pumpkin king.  he wouldn’t let me stuff his shirt because he wanted to be a skinny pumpkin like jack skellington.  the boys said that daddy needed to be a ghost, so we made a very traditional ghost costume for christopher.  we went to downtown kennewick and walked down “treat street” where all the businesses hand out candy.  we had to pit stop at home before trick-or-treating our neighborhood because the boys already had full buckets!  then, we stopped by our neighbor’s house for a little halloween gathering and had a wonderful time before i had to go to work.

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my costume was kind of chosen for me.  at work, the theme was that the men would be hunters and the ladies would be the animals.  i wasn’t too keen on that thought (but since this is not a post about the rampant sexism inherent in society, i’ll skip the diatribe) so i decided to go as a raven.  i couldn’t pull off a jungle cat costume in my 20’s, let alone my late 30’s, and i figured “gothic raven” was more my style anyway.  plus, i found these wicked-cool feather false eyelashes, so i was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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we harvested the pumpkins from our garden and the boys went to a pumpkin patch on a field trip at preschool.  they love picking the pumpkins.  they drew faces on their pumpkins and christopher and i carved them into very happy jack-o-lanterns and we put them on the font porch to ward off the evil spirits.

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this has been a really fun halloween season.  i’m looking forward to thanksgiving.  i think we are going to host at our house this year and i just love the idea of having all our family here to share the meal.  christopher’s mom is living in washington now, and it will be the first thanksgiving, since we’ve been together, that she will be with us.  it’s time to get planning!

how was your halloween?  i would love to hear what you and the kids were dressed as!

cheers,

e

autumn on the air…

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today is the first day of autumn.  maybe it’s the fact that i’m listening to the tori amos station on pandora and it’s full of a mix of tori, natalie merchant, florence + the machine and imogen heap, or it’s because the air is heavy with humidity and a few falling leaves, but i think fall might be settling in.  and i’m not sure how i feel about it.

the equinox snuck up on me and i didn’t celebrate the end of summer like i wanted to.  it doesn’t really feel like fall yet, though.  it rained a bit overnight, and it’s still warm outside.  it’s not chilly like it was a couple weeks ago.  i don’t want to acknowledge autumn until that morning crispness is in the air.

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i am burning my new fall candle though.  i finally found a candle with an orange blossom scent that is an acceptable replica of the scent and didn’t break the bank. i grew up in phoenix and our house is surrounded by citrus trees: lemon, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit.  the citrus blossoms are my favorite scent in the world, and i am on a quest to find perfume and candles that come close to that memory scent for me.  anyway, i’m sitting here, typing, smelling the aroma and feeling pretty happy about my choice.

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the garden is dying down.  there are a bunch of green tomatoes on the vines that i’m sure won’t ripen, so i will get my dear friend, felicia’s recipe for green tomato curry and send the tomatoes off in a coat of curry and saffron rice.  i put up the las of our ripe tomatoes and have some jars of heirloom tomato sauce to use this winter along with the pizza sauce and whole tomatoes i canned earlier this summer.  soon, i’ll pull out the plants and till under the soil to make room for new starts in the spring.  and it’s just one more month until we pick the pumpkins.

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i have some projects on deck for myself and the boys and halloween decorations will go up soon.  i might like decorating for halloween more than i do for christmas. the boys still haven’t picked out their costumes yet.  they keep changing their minds, and i can’t bring myself to start making something if they won’t want to wear it next month.  we’ll see what they decide on.

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the nights have been cool and we’ve been feeling cozy.  the boys are going to bed a bit earlier in preparation for school next month and christopher and i are getting to tuck in and watch our favorite shows premier.  it’s nice to snuggle up and just talk some nights too, while we listen to music.

how are you celebrating the first day of autumn?

cheers.

e

s#%! my kids say…

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it’s been a while since i updated this on the blog.  but, i was going through the notes on my iphone and found some gems.  i am noticing that i write down more funny things that jack says.  i don’t know if this is because he says more funny stuff than harry or if i’m just around when jack says this stuff.  regardless, i find them hilarious.

jack: mommy, our campsite is awesome…and exotic!

jack: watch out! i’m about to do something awful!

harry: (wrapping his arms around my neck) mommy, I love you.  me: i love you too, harry.   harry: i love farts

(this one’s from the summer) jack gets out of the pool, dripping wet, and grabs a bag of two day old movie popcorn and says, “dad, i’m eating some stinky popcorn.” then bursts into song and sings, “stinky pop, stinky pop, stinky pop!  i’m eating the stinky popcorn!”

jack: nick fury, a dragon is chasing me!  i’m a viking!

jack: i wish my dog had rocket boots.

jack: (coming downstairs when he should be sleeping but clearly isn’t) mama, i’m sleepywalking.

me: what are you guys doing? jack: i’m just hitting a ball with a lightsaber.

jack: i’m still disappearding.

me: do you want to be a beer salesman like daddy when you get big?   harry: no.  me: what do you want to be?  harry: (ponders) i can be iron man.

i hope you find these things as funny as we do.  do your kids say crazy things?  i’d love to hear the silly things they come up with!

cheers,

e