Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something Tells Me I Need Cabinet Locks

Ah, yes we've discovered how to open any and all doors and drawers in the Green house! This has resulted in moving all sharp, heavy, toxic, and otherwise hazardous substances to a higher location! I'm trying to avoid getting cabinet locks by making everything on "baby level" safe for exploration.

However, I did decide that I'll need at least one cabinet lock for the master bathroom so I don't have to store my rubbing alcohol, medicines, lotions, etc. in another location! The girls LOVE their designated drawer in the kitchen and open it multiple times a day!

They are really becoming the dynamic duo! When they get bored playing in one room, one will start crawling to another area and will be quickly shadowed by her sister. I love that they are both crawling - keeps me from having to carry two babies at once! I just carry one and call the other! It is incredible how quickly they learn new things. Addie just began trying to stand "hands free" last Thursday, and then today she was nonchalantly standing and sucking on a toy like she'd been standing for months!

Parenting is anything but boring - although I can imagine from the outside looking in it could be a bit boring to hear me go on and on about my child's ability to stand - seriously lady get a hobby! : )

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring Preview

I can't believe in just a month and a few days my girls are going to be one years old! Crazy - it seems like just yesterday we were coming home from the hospital and beginning what seemed like endless feedings and night wakings!

Since I never buy the girls anything new (being the cheapskate that I am), I've decided that their birthday outfits can be my annual splurge. I've loved Zutano clothes from the first time I saw them - fun patterns & stripes & bright colors...just darn $$$! We also hoping to get pictures by Amy Pennington some time around their birthday. This will be our first professional pictures with the girls...never know how they'll be...could be interesting!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good News!

We started working on paying off our $10,000 in credit card debt as our New Year's Resolution. We sold one car to pay off the first big chunk, and then have been allocating a large portion of our income & extra cash towards paying it down.

Here is our latest progress! Alex got a nice bonus from his work (yearly bonuses always come at this time of year for his company). That money combined with Ebay sales and all the other extra cash we scraped together (sold stuff on craigslist, freelance design jobs, etc.) leaves us with only $1,500 left to go! We actually have that $$$ plus a bit more in our checking account - it's our tax return - we're just waiting for it to clear so we can kiss this debt GOODBYE!

I can't believe how quickly we've been able to pay this off - truly amazing! I definitely feel like we've been blessed to not have any major car repairs or home expenses during this time so we could concentrate on paying this off! It is incredible that we will have this paid off in two months and we've been letting it cripple our finances for 3+ years....all of the sacrifices have definitely been worth it! Never again, never again!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Perfect Pint Party

Our "Perfect Pint Party" was last night and we had a great time! Usually it is Alex who is still in the shower when guests are arriving, so I made him shower early to avoid this...that resulted in me being in the shower! Thankfully we have great friends who helped Alex put the finishing touches on the food. We were rather ambitious with our menu - and after everything was devoured we definitely felt like it was worth all the effort!

We had cornbread muffins (with jalapenos, cheddar, & beer in the mix), fruit kabobs, blue cheese & honey bruschetta, pigs in a blanket, outrageous chocolate cookies, spicy hummus & vegetables, a rum bundt cake, and a potato wedge bar (with chives, sour cream, tomatoes, and bacon). Not to mention a delicious cheese ball brought by a friend! We were afraid we'd be eating leftovers for weeks - but everything was dessimated with the exception of a few muffins and some cake!

If you're looking to add a few new beers to your repetoire, here are the ones that were brought for the contest in order of highest votes to least votes. We had two categories so you'll see (D) next to the dark beers.

1. Rogues Hazelnut Brown Nectar
2. Rare Vos Ommegang
3. Celebrator Doppelbock (D)
4. Arcadia Ales, Scotch Ale (D)
5. Blue Moon
6. Leinkugel's Sunset Wheat
7. Abbey New Belgium (D)
8. Hoeggaarder
9. Old Speckled Hen
10. Rolling Rock Light
11. Frambroise Lambic

The top prize for light beer was the Kerners - they got a Duvel glass & Duvel beer. The top prize for dark beer was the Burlisons - they won a Ommegang glass & Ommegang beer. The worst prize went to Nate & Ginger - they won the six pack of Blatz tab top beer that is from the 1980's (we won this six pack for worst wine in December)! In their defense, I really like Frambroise (it is raspberry flavored Belgian beer)!

Several funny comments occured while everyone was tasting the Old Speckled Hen. One person commented that it smelled like skunk (it did a bit) - but it actually tasted pretty good! The person who brought it later comment after looking at his ballot once the results were revealed that he gave his own beer a "1" the lowest score! Ah...we can relate since we routinely rate our wines at the Kirk's wine tasting party a "2" even when we think we've got a "Real Winner!"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oh, The Places You Will Go!

Well, we thought we were returning home from FL to a slower, calmer, rejuvenating pace of life before Alex leaves for his next trip to Germany....not so! Alex forgot that he is not yet an American citizen, thus requiring a visa to visit Europe for his upcoming business trip. He figured this out with about 10 days to spare - was overnighting documents while we were in FL, only to find out upon his return that his visa had been denied!

The USCIS (immigration) is WAY behind on their paperwork and although Alex applied for his permanent green card last March (he has his temp. green card now) the USCIS is currently processing Feb. 07' applications!!! One whole year behind! This means his temp. green card is set to expire just after his return from Germany...and that for some reason makes them nervous! I volunteered to give a phone interview and say I would hurt him badly if he did not promptly return!

Upon hearing Alex's visa had been denied, his boss began contacting the local senator's offices for help! It ended up that one day, Alex had to drive to St. Louis to get a special "extend his green card for a year" stamp in his passport. The next morning he had to fly to Chicago to appear in person to apply for his visa at the German consulate! He flew back that same day...! So much for relaxing!

The girls and I did have a much more routine and relaxing week. They too went a few new places. Addie hung out in Tinsley's kennel and had trouble grasping that she was too tall to stand up in it - kept getting mad that she was banging her head! Jasmine got a ride in the laundry basket as I tried to get a few more things done around the house.

It is a busy day ahead of us! Tonight we are having our first annual "Perfect Pint Party." Each guest is to bring their favorite beer - which we will blind taste test - and the winner gets a prize! We have several yummy foods we want to make...just need to get off the computer and get to the grocery store!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Traveling with Twins

We returned today from Orlando, FL. Alex was working the International Builder's show - selling their rainwater systems. The girls and I came along and stayed with our friends, Leah and Scott. The trip started out good, got better, and then got ALOT worse! Read on for all the details...

The girls were fairly content on our two flights - Springfield to Atlanta - Atlanta to Orlando. We even fed them baby food on the plan without too much of a mess! We discovered that we could not sit next to each other on any flight (unless we were across the aisle from each other). There is only one extra oxygen mask per row - so two infants on laps means someone would be without a mask...bit of a bummer for us since this means we had to sit next to strangers. The girls were constantly grabbing stranger's magazines, hair, hands, clothes, drinks, etc. since they were within inches of grabbing whatever they wanted!

Here are some pictures of our hosts. It turns out Scott is WAY more baby experienced than Leah - he even worked in a daycare with 1 year olds for a year. Leah had to go to diaper attachment 101 - but learned quickly and proceeded without fear even through the nasty diapers!

We had to improvise somewhat with our toy selection since we only had what we could pack in our luggage. Two big hits were the contents of my makeup bag and Leah's kitchen utensils jar. The pict with Addie pouting is my makeshift baby gate - I got tired of constantly prying her hands off the TV buttons and DVD cords. It also turns out that blue painters tape works well as temporary outlet covers.

We tried park swings once before and the girls were terrified. I thought I'd try again one day while I was on a walk with the girls. They LOVED it! Jasmine didn't like to go too high, but they were both laughing and looking at each other!

Another mom from my moms of multiples group mentioned that she'd put her twins back to back when they were too little to fill up the infant swings themselves. This was also a big hit with my girls. Lovin Jazzie's outfit? : ) I ran out of matching warm weather clothes so we just went with what we had!

We enjoyed the warm weather and had lunch outside with the girls. They were angels and drew lots of attention for their good behavior. I think the Cheerios in their cup holders had something to do with their new level of contentment!

And then the rest of the story! Alex and I got up at 3:30 this morning to finish last minute packing, eat something, & load the girls. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. We filled up our rental car, returned it, and got in line to check our bags. This is when we discovered that we would not be allowed to board our flight. With Delta, you have to check your bags 45 minutes prior to your departure time...

So we got booked on the 7 a.m. flight for a $50 fee - bummer! We then went to wait in the monster security check line for 30+ minutes. It is a nightmare to go through the security check with two babies, a diaper bag, a laptop, two carry-on suitcases, & two carseats. Everything has to be taken apart and ran through the x-ray. Even the girls' little leather shoes had to be removed and scanned!!!

We finally get on our flight to Atlanta and it goes well. I had Addie (our more hyper child) on the way to FL so I'm thinking I've got it made since I get Jazzie on the way home... I look back at Alex (sitting behind me) and Addie is fast asleep %$#*... at this point I have a little jealousy problem...Jazz is kicking me, pulling my hair, bothering our neighbors, whining, etc. I tell myself - she'll sleep the next flight...surely!

We get off the first flight and our gate check items don't appear! We have our two carseats strapped to two carry-ons with a special strap we bought on Amazon. Apparently, TSA decided it wasn't safe for us to have our suitcases so they took them! We freak out a bit because we need them to carry the carseats and carry the girls - plus they don't have tags! We soon realize it a lost cause and have them take the carseats as well since we can't carry two babies and two carseats through the airport without our special straps & carry-on suitcases. I'm sure I could have been more patient...but I'd been up since 3:30 a.m!

We get on the second flight (to Springfield) and we are feeling pretty good. We are both sitting next to empty seats so the girls have room to squirm and squirm they do. We are delayed a 1/2 hour since our plane's tire had a nail in it. This makes a 1.5 hr. flight more like 2 hrs.

I peek back at Addie and Alex and she is looking sleepy AGAIN and Jasmine is BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS! I am now uber jealous! And then - Addie VOMITS! Not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES! And we have tiny wipes and no burp clothes for Alex to clean it up. Alex is horrified and I'm am grateful that I am holding Jasmine! : ) I asked Alex if he thought anyone noticed...he said the people behind him started making gagging noises at the odor - now that makes you feel like a star! My parents pointed out that several people will go home to their families tonight and tell stories of these people and their twins on their flight! : )

When we think about it now, we laugh, especially about the vomiting! It did however make us realize that we are going to have to think long and hard and be INSANE to get on an 18 hr. flight to Africa anytime soon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Only Child

Addie likes to pretend like she is an only child. To accomplish this fantasy, she regularly wakes up 1/2 to an hour earlier than her sister from each nap. Here are some of our adventures while Jasmine was still sleeping. First, Addie checked out the weather outside - we are having freezing rain - some of the city is out of power. Then, I was making cookies and Addie was insisting on being held - we finally compromised with her sitting in the sink in the island watching me work. I thought I was SO SMART for coming up with this great solution...until she figured out how to turn the faucet on....

Busy Weekend

Alex had to go into work early since we leave for Florida tomorrow. This is the sweet message he left for me - too cute! He said he considered doing it with M&M's but thought I might scold him for tempting me...probably right! : )

Our friends, the Dierkings, stayed with us this weekend. They were one of the chosen couples for the latest OMM project, Lovenests. They had a photo shoot in our house done by Randy Bacon ( It was fun to see them. Watching Megan (their 18 month old daughter is preview of what's to come for us with the girls)! We laughed really hard on Saturday night - we played Super Mario Brothers on their Wii.

I am TERRIBLE - it was a series of how quickly can Miriam kill her character doing the exact same thing she just did - I ran Luigi over cliff, into fire balls, ran him into monsters, and was in general careless with his life!! I tried - really - I hope I never have to play a video game when the stakes really matter!

Our sweet Jasmine has found her wings - or should we say knees! She began really crawling this weekend and spends her time crawling new places and then smiling and laughing once she gets there - so impressed with herself!

Addie loves to do "Big Girl" things - she was so happy to be sitting in my chair at the computer! She also loves to hold whatever I'm holding, eat what I'm eating, and drink from my glass!

We started a new group at church called, Sleepless in Springfield. This group is for families who have a child under 3 years old. For now we just have a potluck following the late service on the second Sunday of the month. The girls had a great time - as soon as we left they zonked out in their car seats!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Here is my brand new little nephew - Sawyer! He arrived this morning just before 9 a.m. He weighs 8 lbs. 12 oz. and is 21.5 inches long. I stole this picture off of my brother and sister-in-law's blog - so if you want to see more go to the Bakers in Texas link along the side!

About to be an Aunt!

I'm excited because I'm about to be an aunt! My sister-in-law is being induced today. It is even more exciting because they didn't find out gender so we have no idea if it is a boy or girl - or what his/her name with be! Alex and I are leaning the not finding out way when we have our next child...however if it is multiples again...there are no guarantees! Andrew and Sarah had a baby pool - guess the gender/weight/birth date. I guessed girl, 8lb 11oz, & today (2/7/08) as the fun is that!

I've been doing projects around the house like mad because there is a photo shoot in our home this weekend. The photographer who took our wedding photos is taking pictures of our friends in our house for an OMM project called Love Nests - they won a contest for their love story - but couldn't be photographed in their own home since they live in Jeff City! Nothing like a professional photographer coming to your home to get you off your butt.

This week I reorganized the guest bedroom (my little Ebay business creates some massive clutter)!

I've been working on beautifying the nursery (never did much in there because I thought we were moving)! I had one brown crib and one white crib and always wanted a matching pair - but didn't want to be picky since they were both donated to us. I posted the brown one on and asked if anyone wanted to trade for a white one and I got several responses! We are going to trade tomorrow night - and the best part is it won't cost a thing!!! I've also hung pictures in the girls' room & name banners. I'll post a pict once the second white crib is in place and I have their little table painted white.

The girls have been fun this week. Addie is in the copying phase and loves to copy the noise I make (clicking my tongue, grunts, etc.) and Jasmine is doing her "ba, da, ya, la, ma" sounds like crazy. I think she uses BABABABABABA when she's angry - it is said the most often and with the most conviction! Alex says last night he was on his knees holding Jasmine's hands practicing walking with her - not to be left out - Addie grabbed the back of his shirt and practiced a few steps herself! That would have been a GREAT picture...but I was working so you'll just have to imagine it!