Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
We put up the Christmas tree when the girls the came home from their Dad’s house Saturday afternoon. We have a fake tree because I’m allergic to real trees and prefer not to spend the entire season of advent. I popped our new 6 1/2 foot pre-lit Colorado pine tree out of the box, put it together, plugged in the lights and let the girls pull out the ornament. I did my best to try and keep them from reeking havoc on the ornaments especially since a few of the older ones are ceramic and breakable. We pulled out the ornaments one-by-one and the girls sorted them all out by type and if they needed hangers on them. I call the hangers “hooks” which may or may not have been a good idea because the girls started calling them “hookers”. Yes, that’s right there was a lot of “Mommy, this Barbie is missing her hooker.” “Santa has a big hooker!” “Mommy, where do you buy the hookers?” “That’s a whole lotta hookers in that box!” It took every once of strength for Stephen and I not to die laughing.
Hannah was a complete ham when the camera came out. She wanted to pose with each and every ornament. (Please don’t mind her crazy hair. She had her hair in a ponytail but she started wallering around and got it all goobered up right before we started pictures.) She had to pose by the house ornament in, then the snowman, then one of the Barbie ornaments and then pretended to be surprised at the the lights. She cracks me up. I got all of one photo of Hailey but it’s of the back of her head as she ran from me because she, for once, was being camera shy.
Each year I get an ornament for the girls the same that my Mom did for me. Their first Christmas they got the obligatory “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament and the second they received the Hallmark edition 2nd Christmas bear. This year I wanted to get them something that represented their likes and dislikes instead of something cutesy. They have been obsessed with Disney princesses and fairys lately so the Cinderella and Tinkerbell ornaments were an obvious choice. They got to open up the box, but on the hangers and place them at the front of the tree.
Now it’s time for Mommy to start getting those presents wrapped! Wish me luck.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
The girls had gone to see a movie in the theater with their Dad and Nana but this was my first rodeo and I was nervous. Would they be quite? Would they sit still? Would they enjoy it? Lucky for me I was able to answer yes to all of the above!
Friday, November 26, 2010
This evening as I wandered around my living room in my “sinus congestion filled loopy/can’t sleep because my head feels like it’s going to explode-ness” I started to notice all of the tiny red and green dots of lights around the house. As I began to realize how many standby lights were on my wallet made a little sigh. Now, I am a penny pincher due to necessity but there are a ton of things that I miss that really add up when it comes to paying the bills. So, where are just a few simple tasks to help you keep some money in your wallet and maybe help put a little more presents under the tree this year.
* Unplug your standby power. Did you know that a studies by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was able to show that standby power eats up 5 to 10 percent of the energy in your bill each month! That’s an insane number when you think that all it power is going to light up one tiny LED bulb.
* Don’t use your clothes dryer as often. It costs 34 cents per load and if you are like most families you are doing at least seven loads per week (if not more). This really adds up at the end of the month.
*Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees. Most people overlook the fridge because we assume that colder is better but in reality the more your fridge is working, the more it costs and for no positive result.
*Don’t use a screen saver. Many people believe that screen savers on your computer save energy when you are not using the machine and this is not true. A screen saver uses just as much power so instead try using the sleep setting between long periods of inactivity.
*Use Compact florescent lamps (CFLs) instead of regular light bulbs. They will last you several years and use 75% less energy.
*Use low flow shower heads. They can save you at least $500 a year! Many people are skeptical about using them because they worry about water pressure but they are make to sustain regular water pressure but use 2 to 5 gallons of water per minute versus the regular head using 5 to 10 gallons.
*Check your windows and doors. Every little bit of air that is going in and out of the house after being either cooled or heated is a huge waste. Most of the time filling these gaps is a simple and cheap fix.
*Program your thermostat and keeping the temperatures a little lower in winter or a little higher in summer can save you 3% on your energy bill.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Although I was not able to have the Thanksgiving that we had planned for we still had a good one. Most of the family and friends we invited to come over and who accepted ended up not coming after all. Of the fifteen people who had said they would be there we had six but we enjoyed every minute of it and everyone who couldn’t come was greatly missed.
The girls helped me pick out leaves that had fallen from one of the Bartlett pear trees in my Mom’s neighborhood. I wrote everyone’s names on them to use as place cards. Both of the girls were very proud of their leaves and couldn’t wait till Nana Susan and Papa David came over to see them.
Mom and I cooked enough food for an army (well, for fifteen people) and it was all absolutely delicious. We had a roasted and smoked turkey, sweet potato casserole, collard greens, corn, green bean casserole, dressing, gravy, cranberries, rolls and deviled eggs. Ontop of that we had apple, blueberry and pumpkin pie along with cheesecake. Needless to say we had too much food for six people and after we all ate it didn’t look like a thing was touched.
After we filled our bellies we went outside to the back porch to talk and enjoy the night air. I absolutely loved having Stephen’s parents with us this year and am glad to know that turkey freezes so well.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Hannah and Hailey had their first dentist appointment today. As some of you may know I am a stickler for oral hygiene. I have never had a cavity but due to some lovely issues with my teeth not falling out on their own, having my two front teeth knocked out repeatedly (first by a golf ball and then my a softball) and my cuspids/canines growing on top of my jawbone instead of beside it I have have had to undergo my teeth being pulled, shoved back in and several oral surgeries. Did I also mention this is my second time have orthodontic braces? I never want my girls to have a to suffer through any type of dental procedure, especially if it’s due to lack of hygiene on my part while they are still young.
We’ve been prepping for this day for awhile now and I really thought that the girls would do great but I always seem to forget how shy they get around strangers. My kids are in no way, shape or form “shy” but the moment someone they don’t know speaks to them they clam up and try to hide behind each other. The waiting room was nice and the girls read a book or two and waited patiently consistently asking me if it was their turn and when they could say “ahh”. Their excitement was gone the moment the dental hygienist started talking and went to get the dentist. Hannah was to go first and she shut her mouth and hid her face so far into my chest I thought I would have to get a crow bar out! After a little fussing she finally let the dentist look in her mouth and everything was fine. Hailey did a little better but she still was not happy with me for letting some strange man put a mirror in her mouth. After it was said and done they gave the girls each a balloon and we were out the door with an appointment in six months to perhaps try a cleaning next time.
I was able to get confirmation on their being “mirror image twins” while at the appointment. (Mirror image twins are monozygotic twins that form from a single fertilized egg. When the split occurs late - more than a week after conception - the twins can develop reverse asymmetric features. This term is not really a type of twin, just a way to describe their physical features. For example, they may be right and left handed, have birthmarks on opposite sides of their body, or have hair whorls that swirl in opposite directions. About 25% of identical twins are mirror image twins.) I always noticed that the girls seemed to teeth on opposite sides but I because their teeth all came in so quickly it was difficult for my to tell for certain. The girls each have 19 of their 20 “preschool teeth” and their final molars are, without a doubt, coming in on the opposite sides. The dentist even remarked that the way their teeth are aligned were even opposite. Between the hair whorls, birth marks and teeth I can now saw with confidence that the girls are mirror image.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
On this day we thank the men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend each and every one of us.
I had a dentist appointment first thing in the morning so my good friend Bonnie and her daughter Elizabeth took the girls to the park for a little while. They absolutely love Elizabeth and they always ask for her. If there was one person they would consider their best friend, besides each other, it would definitely be “Wizabeth”. (And, please, don’t ask me why Hailey had the goofy headband on. She did that all on her own.)
We went to the Veteran’s Day parade downtown after my dentist appointment with Bonnie and E and met our friends Ms. Kelly and her boys (H&H’s future husbands Lol!) They loved listening to the bands, seeing all the soldiers and being with our friends.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
In our house most of our toys are pink, glittery, princess and fluffy except for one…our train set. The girls love toy trains! I, myself, have always had a fascination for trains as well so it’s only fitting that they would too. Although we love trains in our house we have never had the good timing to actually see one at a train crossing. While most people get annoyed when they are held up at a train and hope that the little bars don’t come down I have been saying a little prayer each time we started to approach one that we would actually get to see one. Yesterday my prayers were answered!
As I saw it approaching I rolled all the windows down in the car and the girls could hear the rumbling coming down the tracks. The train conductor blew his horn several times and they both just laughed and laughed. They were surprised at how big it was and how much wind it was making even though it was going relatively slow. The wind was being whipped through the car and Hannah’s hair was going everywhere. As loud as the train was Hannah begged to have me put her window up. She still really loved seeing the train but the sound was just a little too much for her. Hailey just smiled and did her “happy giggle” the entire length of the train.
As the train rolled through the trees the girls had a lot of great questions for me and I was more than happy to answer them all. I am so glad that they were finally able to see a real life train in action!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The girls were so excited to trick-or-treat that we started by going to Poppy’s house (aka: walked upstairs and rang the doorbell!) He was a great sport and the girls thought it was hilarious to ring his doorbell. As soon as he opened the door they yelled “TRICK-OR-TREAT!” at him as loud as they could. I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t open their doors too. Lol!
They, of course, had to see what candies Poppy gave them and try some. They both went straight for the M&M’s. They come by their choco-holic-ness honestly. Between their Poppy and I there was no denying the chocolate gene.
My Mom was able to find these super cute Halloween bags for them that had Tink and Cinderella on them! They loved them and now we have a bag we can use for years to come.
We went to a newer neighborhood in town in which the houses are close together and people really participate in the process. In many of the neighborhoods in town a majority of people do not give out candy so most people have to drive to different neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. We would have to drive regardless because we live in a rural(ish) area and it’s WAY too far in between homes for such short legs to walk.
They did a pretty good job saying “thank you” but they kept forgetting to actually say “trick-or-treat” I think mainly because most of the people in this certain neighborhood sit on their porches to give out candy. They loved seeing all the houses decorated and were especially infatuated with homes that had lights and pumpkins. There was one pumpkin that had been painted pink and had glittery polka dots on it that Hannah just adored. We’ll probably be making one next year.
There were two homes that they got scared of and would go near. One had scary music and sound effects playing and had an animatronic “Jason” on the porch that moved and “slashed” with a big knife. Hannah refused to go to it but Hailey did go up part of the way with Stephen. The second home was one in which a women was dressed as a witch and had a huge green worty nose and had her face painted green. They absolutely refused to speak to her and hid behind Stephen and I. She did her best to try and explain that she was nice and was just wearing make-up but they weren’t having it.
The final few blocks got a little rough. The girls are still unable to hold their stamina since they’ve been sick and once their batteries are down they go into ballistic toddler mode. We rushed as fast as we could back to the car, popped in their Chipmunks Halloween movie and let them have a lollipop to help ease the crying and exhaustion. (Hailey wasn’t as drained as Hannah as you can tell from the unfortunate photo.) We stopped by Taco Bell to refill some empty bellies from all trick-or-treating and they ate up an absolute storm when we got home. They ate all of their food, plus half of mine and several bites of Stephens! They ate, gave me dirty looks for taking photos of them eating then headed to their bath and bed.