Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big Girl Bed Update

No fall-outs the last two nights! Yay!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Lily and Santa's loot.
Lots to cover here - so forgive me if I leave anything out.

Christmas Eve we went to Mass with the girls for the first time in a couple years. We tried two years ago, but they just wanted to run all over the place and ended up out on the playground with my mom the whole time. So, when I saw that St. Michael's was having a children's pageant mass at Green Hope HS, I thought we'd give it a shot.

The pageant was a big hit. The girls loved seeing "Mother Mary" and "Father Joseph" again along with all the angels, shepherds, etc. It wasn't as crowded as the normal church, and we were able to get good seats on the aisle.

Lily pretending to be Santa and asking Madeleine what she wants.

Lily insisted on pretending to be the Virgin Mary pretty much the entire mass. She brought her baby "Jesus" with her and wore a receiving blanked on her head for much of the time. She didn't want to sit in her seat, but kneel in the aisle in various poses. I'm not sure if the other people there could tell what she was trying to do or not.

We ducked out of there early after Communion, and both girls went with me and were blessed by the priest. Of course Madeleine asks very loudly as we were trying to sneak out the side, "Why did he put the body of Christ in your mouth?

Afterwards we went to Grandma and Grandpa Bench's to open presents and have snacks. The girls wore princess dresses the whole time and were very excited to open their presents. The biggest hits were lipstick and the jeep from Uncle Mark and Aunt Laura (which we haven't been brave enough to try since).

Christmas morning they woke up at a normal time, and didn't seem especially excited to head upstairs. Madeleine got her "office" - an old laptop I'd set up in the corner of the living room. They tired quickly of opening gifts, so it was a struggle to get them through the pile (ours plus Aunt Robin's).

Then we headed off to Greensboro to Grandma Goodman's and Poppy's house. Lily didn't sleep at all in the car, and we opened gifts there as well. As you can see the girls got helmets to go with their bikes/skates/jeep.

We came home on Friday and have had a pretty low key weekend. Saturday is rainy, so we just hung out inside. We've watched the Polar Express twice. We did painting and more paper chains. Today we went for a walk in the woods with the wagon.

Big Girl Beds

Well, we made the plunge to toddler beds last week and took off the side rail of their cribs. I figured if I was going to be up all night, it would be best if I didn't have to go to work and could nap during the day.

Based on my other friends' experiences, we've been pretty lucky. They stay in their beds at bedtime and don't get out of bed until I tell them to get up in the morning. That's 90% of the problem right? So what's left?

Falling out. On average we're going in 2-3 times per night (1 1/2 times per girl) to pick somebody off the floor. I feel kind of bad for not even trying this with a rail of some sort, but I was under the impression it was just a matter of getting used to it and after a few weeks they'd do better. We've put pillows down on the floor, so it's not like they're landing on something hard.

Madeleine's the crier. She'll just lie there and get upset. Lily's a trooper and will attempt to get back in on her own if we don't get there first. But I feel awful about the whole falling thing.

So I looked online at rails today, and the one I really like is super-expensive ($100 each). I don't think I want to pay that much for something we'll probably be using less than a year. I've posted online in some other forums to see if anyone else has any advice, but I haven't gotten anything useful yet. Singleton moms seem to forget I have TWO in the same room, so I can't just buy two full beds and call it a day. Others have suggested trying to find cheaper rails, but I've seen things online about how hard it is to get them to work with my brand of crib. I don't really want to put the mattresses on the floor either.

So, we'll keep at at a while. I'm at home for another week.

While the beds haven't been keeping me awake, Madeleine's coughing has. The few days before Christmas, she was up coughing every 1 1/2 hours at night. The only thing that stops the episodes is water. The past few nights it's been just twice, but I'm still not getting more then 4 hours of sleep at a stretch.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mother Mary, Father Joseph

Sunday night I took the girls out to see a live nativity at Ephesus Baptist Church in Raleigh. On Friday I saw the ad in the paper and considered it. But it ran from 7-9 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

So Sunday night after bath, I told everyone to get in their pajamas and we were going to see something special. Eric helped us to the car, and we were off just after 7. It was already packed. It was cold out, so I had the heat cranked in the car.

A nice gentleman with the church explained the setup to me and how everything would be on the passenger side, so I unbuckled Lily so she could sit in the front seat next to me.

The first stop was the Angel telling Mary she was going to be with child. The second stop was Mary and Joseph not finding room at the inn. The girls had a lot of questions about these two.

The third stop was the Angel talking to the shepherds. The girls got excited here because there was a shepherd's crook involved. Next were the three wise men.

Then the finale - Mother Mary, Father Joseph, more shepherds, and the wise men. Madeleine was calm, cool, and collected, but Lily was so excited. She could have sat there forever watching. I pulled up to buckle her back into her seat, and she freaked out. She wanted to run and hug them and was mad that I wouldn't let her.

I thought driving around to look at Christmas lights would calm her down, but I was wrong. We arrived home 30 minutes later, and she was still sobbing. But she was probably just overtired too, as she fell asleep almost immediately.

But today she was talking about it and how great it was, so I'm totally glad we went. I just need a huggable nativity instead of a drive-thru.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It figures...

The girls are out of day care sick for about twice a year, and it usually lasts a week. The last time was April, so I knew we were overdue. And last year it was the week before Christmas, so it's very familiar.
When I picked them up Monday night, Brianna said Lily wasn't herself. But no fever when I checked her. Madeleine, on the other hand, was 101.6. No change in her personality though. They both ate dinner like I hadn't fed them in forever. They stayed cool all night and slept through the night fine.
This morning temps were about 100, so I kept them home. They were happy as clams all day. I attempted to work at the kitchen table, so there was more TV watching than I ordinarily allow. After the third time watching Max and Ruby Christmas DVD, we headed downstairs to play "fashion show" in my closet.
Madeleine got all into it. She picked out a nice shirt, necklace, shoes, and sunglasses. Lily preferred her ballerina outfit and just went for shoes. I let them wear them all day until bedtime.
I didn't give them Tylenol most of the day since the fever didn't seem to be botherting them. It was still about 100 when they went to bed (I gave them Tylenol then).

Naughty or nice?

Sunday afternoon our multiples group hosted a "Milk and Cookies with Santa" party in Raleigh. I was excited to go because it meant that we were able to go see Santa without waiting in the crazy long lines at the mall.
It was a little chaotic at least, but if I've learned anything the last three years, it's patience. So, we sat quietly at the table and ate cookies while other parents with little babies haid their pictures taken. For the first time, our girls were some of the oldest kids at the event. I loved all the kids who were 18-24 months just freaking out at the thought of Santa. As a dad of multiples himself, it was also funny to me to watch Santa holding infant triplets on his lap when his own kids went off to kindergarten this year.
Lily was very excited to see Santa, and Madeleine told him she would like an "office" for Christmas.
Of course, our busy weekend with activities has resulted in what I was afraid of: illness. Madeleine had a fever when I picked her up from school yesterday, so they're both home with me today. But they're not acting sick, so that's the hardest part for them. I'm hoping they're well for their Christmas party at daycare on Friday. One of the other moms is going to do gingerbread house decorating with them, and everyone will get to do their own gingerbread man cookie.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Disney On Ice

This weekend, the girls went to see the spectacle that is Disney on Ice. I was interested to see how they would react to skating that wasn't hockey since they hadn't seen it before. I had gotten discount tickets through work, and Aunt Laura joined us for the morning since Daddy was out of town.

We got there about and hour early because I'd seen a "Princess Party" advertised that looked pretty cool. So, we headed up to the club level to check it out. The line was huge, and Lily really didn't want to stand in it much. It was moving pretty fast, which surprised me. When I got inside, it was obvious why.

The whole thing was kind of lame. The promotional picture I'd seen had Snow White posing with a little girl dressed like her, so I thought all the princesses would be milling around and taking pictures with kids. No, it was their dresses on headless mannequins. Cinderella was off in the corner on a pedastal with security guards.

On the concourse level, it was packed with people and merchanidise stands. Even food was marked up quite a bit because it was in souvenir buckets and such. The girls saw the vendors walking around and begged for snow cones. I promised that I would get them on at intermission.

The first half of the show was awesome: Cars, The Little Mermaid, and the Lion King. The girls liked the Lion King part best and when the male skaters picked up the women skaters.

At intermission I left our seats to go in search of snow cones, but at $10 each I had to make an ATM run first. Then at the booth I chose, they were out of spoons, and I refused to pay the extra $2 for a souvenir spoon. So then I had to run around looking for straws and spoons. I got back to the seat just as the second half was starting. Guess what? Girls don't like snow cones. We held the cups the whole second half just to dump them out when we got home.

The second part was all Tinkerbell, and I think the girls found it hard to follow since they knew the plot of the other stories. They asked a lot of questions I couldn't answer. Their favorite part of this section was the flowers growing at the end.

I'm glad Aunt Laura was with us. As she said - this event required "man-to-man" offense.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Movie Madness

We took the girls to see their first movie in a movie theater over the weekend, and it went much better than expected. They rarely sit still at home more than 10 min. when watching a movie, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

A couple weeks ago the IMAX theater announced that they would be showing The Polar Express this Christmas season. I thought this might be the perfect first viewing experience because:
  • The Polar Express is their most favorite book of the past year
  • As far as I know, they hadn't seen the movie yet.
  • The aisles are wide
  • They have a 10 am showing - perfect fit for naptimes.

Of course - there are reasons why this could have gone terribly awry:

  • IMAX is huge and more intimidating than a regular theater
  • 3D glasses required
  • Has a chance of selling out unless we plan ahead
  • $50 for a family of 4 to attend

I bought the tickets online Saturday morning just as Eric said we were going, and we made the mad dash to the car. We got there just as the show was starting. Luckily there were some seats right as we came in because it was VERY dark in there.

Lily sat with me, and Madeleine sat with Eric. Lily refused to wear the 3D glasses, so she saw the whole thing blurry but didn't mention it. She only got scared a couple of times, but sat there very attentive until the end. She wore her reindeer antlers the entire time and held on to her baby polar bear.

Madeleine's comfort object-of-choice was a bag of paper she had cut up earlier in the morning.

Afterwards we had lunch at Roly Poly as the girls demanded a snack immediately following the movie. So we sat there and talked about the movie and their favorite parts. It was really nice.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


We were having a dinner conversation with Lily and Madeleine about their day at school. Many of the kids in the three year-old room have been with them since they were infants.

They were talking about somebody named "H-dawg."

Mommy: Who's that?

Lily: Heath

Mommy: Who calls him that?

Lily: Avery

Mommy: Does Avery have nicknames for other kids?

Lily: Yes.

Mommy: What does he call you?

Lily: Madeleine.

Mommy: And Madeleine, what's your nickname?

Madeleine: Lily.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cold Day Thoughts

Okay - it was a unseasonably cold weekend here in NC, so with the current runny nose situation, we opted to not attend the Raleigh Christmas Parade on Saturday.

Sunday afternoon it was warmer, but still chilly out. So I attempted to introduce the girls to the concept of hot chocolate. I got them little espresso cups to use and set them up in the kitchen with some marshmallows. Lily just wanted to eat the marshmallows (three bags full), but Madeleine finally ended up drinking the actual chocolate after about 45 minutes.

They spent most of the time stirring the marshmallows around the cup and making a general mess. Here they are eating marshmallows off the floor.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

The girls had their annual Thanksgiving Feast at day care today, so Daddy and I were happy to attend. I also got to try out my new camera, so that was a bonus.

They ate much better than last year, and I could tell they were very happy to have us there. About half of the kids in the class had their parents attend. The kids were playing pin the tail on the turkey when we arrived.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Go Wolfpack!

Yes, I'm a Carolina girl who hasn't said "Go to hell State!" in a very long time. Whether is it was the tough times NCSU faced in the early 90's when they lost Jimmy V or Kay Yow's valiant struggle with cancer, I lost all animosity against NC State athletics. I've looked forward to the day we could take the girls to sporting events, particularly women's events, for a long time. NC State being the closest option, they win.

Then in August I got a NCSU cheerleader outfit at the consignment sale for $10. It was fate. I just needed an event to wear it to. For weeks Madeleine has been asking to wear her cheerleader dress, and I told her we needed to check the basketball schedule.

Unfortunately, most of the women's basketball games fall at 2 pm or 7pm this season, prime sleeping times for us. However this weekend they had a special tournament with a game at 2:30. So, today we took an early nap and got them up early. We managed to make it to the game about 5 minutes in and grabbed a seat on the third row to watch.

They sat in our laps most of the first half. We got popcorn and some nachos, and they were very excited to see the cheerleaders and mascots during breaks. Then I let them out of the bleachers to jump around during halftime. Then it was over. There was no going back into the seats then. They wanted to jump and dance for anyone who would smile at them. We made two separate trips to the bathroom that was a mile and a half away. They wanted to stalk Mr. and Ms. Wulf.

We did manage a few cheers, and the girls both managed to make the Wolfpack sign frequently.

State managed to just beat UNC-Charlotte. It was a close game, but I always like to see Yow's ladies win.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fancy Ribbon Dance

Well, our first dance class went as well as can be expected for a room full of 3 year olds. Both Lily and Madeleine were so excited today, they told anyone who would listen that they were headed to ballet class tonight.
We got there around 5:15. I tried to feed them some goldfish in the parking lot since I knew we'd be having dinner late. Madeleine wasn't interested, but Lily was going to town. Eric showed up shortly after with juice boxes, so they had those as well. We went in around 5:20, but no one else was there yet, so we were left to entertain ourselves for 10 minutes. Not really a whole lot to do in the community center.

But class started promptly at 5:30. Almost all the other little girls had on the Target brand ballet slippers. The course is taught by Khadija ElMcPherson, or 'Coach K." I have to hand it to her, she did a pretty good job wrangling all the kids together. We started off sitting in a circle all together, parents and kids, but shortly after the girls were on their own.

It was hard for me to watch sometimes as the girls were doing something wrong. I wanted to help them out the best I could, but I knew that Coach K was their teacher, and I shouldn't interfere.
The last 10-15 minutes they did "solos." I think this was the hardest part for the girls because they had to wait while each girl took their turn on the dance line. They were not supposed to touch their ribbons, but of course they did. Some girls went and ran to sit with their parents when they were done. I thought she might have a meltdown, but Lily was very patient and went last out of the whole crew without a complaint.

Getting out of the community center was another story. Lily freaked out immediately that we wouldn't let her run into one of the other meeting rooms. I knew she just didn't want to leave and go home. Madeleine followed her leave and started yelling too. We tried more snacks in the car, but they kept at it for a few blocks. All was well though by the time we got home. Hopefully they'll understand next week that they do get to go back.

I'm experimenting with a video montage for the first time, so please excuse me if it sucks.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Baby Showers

We all went out to Pittsboro this afternoon to celebrate Hunter's babies - Tristan and Corinna. She is 24 weeks along with boy/girl twins.
We got them what I would call a "box of linens." It was a mix of new items as well as some used hooded towels that the girls used as infants. There were also a bunch of burp cloths, bibs, etc. that we never really even used.
Many of Eric's old college friends were in attendance, and it was very strange to see everyone with their children and all the kids playing together. I brought bubbles, so we did those outside a couple of times. But the little ones loved jumping around in the papasan chair and playing in the babies' room most of all. The daddies and big kids pretty much hung out downstairs and played with the Wii.
We stayed past the girls' bed time and didn't make it to bed until almost 9. Needless to say, they totally passed out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Divas

The kids had a super-busy Halloween. We started off the morning by heading to Global Knowledge for the annual Halloween spectacular. We picked up breakfast on the way, and the girls snacked on it at the conference table.

Then we walked around to see the other costumes and decorations in the office. Many groups had candy out for the kids, so the girls enjoyed picking out candy. They especially liked seeing other kids dressed up. We entered the individual costume contest as "Super Mom," but I didn't win.

Around 9:30 am we headed out to EPLC for their Halloween parade. This year they marched up and down Executive Circle. All the kids were super cute.

I picked them up from day care at 4:30 and headed home for dinner and trick-or-treating. We went up to Grandma and Grandpa's house since more people on their street give out candy. The girls had a great time, but they forgot to say "trick or treat" after the first house or so. They just wanted to say "Happy Halloween." They also were under the impression that everyone knew them, so on one occasion Lily tried to enter someone's house.

We only went to 6 houses before the girls said they were done. Then we headed home to talk about our candy before going to bed for the night. I had to go through each piece in their pumpkin and tell them what kind of candy it was.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The girls asked me for a Spanish lesson on the way to daycare this morning. So, we went through the numbers 1-10 twice. They do pretty well except for siete.

Then I taught them to say girls - chicas!. They sounded very cute saying it at the same time.

So we got to daycare, and I told them to say girls in Spanish for Ms. Connie. Did they say "chicas?" No. In perfect unison they said "Girls in Spanish!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Well I did it. I signed the girls up for their first dance class today. Hopefully all will pan out. It's called "Fancy Ribbon Dance" for children 2-3. It's only 4 weeks long and starts Nov. 13. The description reads: Tiny dancers will dance like stars in the sky while you watch the twinkle in their eyes! Dancers will learn ribbon twirls, spins, and a variety of dance patterns.

The class runs from 5:30 to 6:15 on Thursdays, so it's going to totally throw off the evening routine. But if the girls like it even half as much as I think they will, it will be worth it. Lily is now dressing like a ballerina EVERY day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Buzzing Around

These are the costumes we bought for last year that the girls never wanted to wear.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Take Time for a Great Time

We took the girls to the NC State Fair today. They went last year, but this was the first time that they were 36" tall and could enjoy the rides.

We went with our same strategy as last year. Eric and I both took a day off during the week for them to go. We took the park and ride bus and left on the first bus of the morning (8:30). We started off our visit with a biscuit at the Methodist biscuit kitchen.

It was pretty chilly today, but I learned my lesson from the pumpkin farm over the weekend and had brought mittens.
As for the animals, Lily liked the cows best, especially the milking cows the NC State kids had available for milking. We watched the showing of the goats and some cows as well.

It was too cold for all the little chicks to be out, but they brought one out of the incubator for them to touch. The little chick was just born this morning. Lily spent the rest of her time in the poultry tent with her hands over her ears yelling "cock a doodle doo! cheep cheep!"

And then we hit the kiddieland midway. Their first ride was the bumper boats, and by far their favorite.

Then we did the cars, a dragon roller coaster, a hot air ballon ride, and a jet-ski like ride that went in a circle. I was the most nervous about the roller coaster dragon, but they loved it. Lily got a little nervous on the hot air balloon ride as it went higher and higher, but we cheered and waved until she kind of had a smile frozen on her face.

They played two games. The duck pond where you pick the duck out of the pool and choose a prize. They both picked trumpets. Then a fishing game where you use a fishing pole to grab a shark out of the water. They got little pumpkins. Lily wasn't interested in the prize at all. She just wanted to keep fishing.

After the rides, we went looking for lunch. Mom had mozzarella sticks, Dad had pizza, Madeleine had a hot dog, and Lily had some french fries. It was the first time I've actually seen Madeleine eat a hot dog in a bun. Usually she eats the hot dog in pieces or eats only the bun. She's happy to tell anyone that "it was a little hot." We also got chocolate milk from the dairy board.

We checked out the rabbits and then headed back for one last ride on the bumper boats. We made it home just before 1 pm for nap. Overall a successful trip. Not much crying. Both girls used the restrooms even though I'd put pull ups on them. No one got lost (we used the harnesses). I'm already looking forward to next year when maybe we'll do the ferris wheel as a family.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Farm

This year we headed out to the Ganyard Hill Farm in Durham again. Sunday morning before 10 is definitely toddler time out there.

Lily went straight for the "Hay Mountain." I don't remember this being there last year, but I just might not have noticed. She was scared of the slide tube at first, but quickly got over it. She loved climbing to the top and was so proud of herself when she made it by herself.

Madeleine's obsession was filling her pockets with corn for the goats. She wasn't interested in feeding the goats necessarily, but just collecting corn in her pockets. Luckily we convinced her to feed them before we left.
The hay ride was fun as well. We learned our lesson from last year and didn't sit so close to the tractor, so the fumes weren't too bad. The girls weren't so interested in picking out pumpkins this year. Madeleine skipped the whole thing entirely, and Lily just wanted to lift them up and drop them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Party Time

Today we went to the annual TMOTT Halloween Party. I always like going to Multiples group functions because it's nice to see other parents having to chase after their kids like we do. I always see lots of nice costumes as well.

Madeleine and Lily ran into their friend Matthew from daycare right off, so they got into the activites pretty quick. Madeleine got a pumpkin tattoo, and they got to work creating their own trick-or-treat bags. Then they decorated a cookie with black icing. Lily did it quickly and then gobbled it down. Madeleine spent a lot of time getting the icing right and then decided not to eat it.

Their favorite part of the party was the trick-or-treat parade. All the kids lined up, and they trick-or-treated from mom to mom around the room marching. They got to go through the line multiple times, so it was extra-special. They have reenacted the parade many times at home since.

Lily was not interested in a group picture this year. We could only get her in the picture if we agreed she could make her "bat girl" face.

Monday, October 13, 2008


We had our three-year checkup today

  • 31 1/2 lbs (70th percentile)
  • 37 1/4" (60th percentile)


  • 29 lbs (30th percentile)
  • 37" (50th percentile)

Both girls are right along their growth curve.

They had their eyes examined using a symbol chart today. It was kind of neat to see how well they did. They did very well, and Eric and I were kind of shocked since the bottom line they looked at seemed kind of blurry to us.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

...no not really, but we took the girls to the airport for the first time.

They're opening a new terminal and had an Open House today. It was okay. They claimed there would be kids activities and lots of airplanes to watch, but not so much. The only "activities" I saw were mascots walking around. We only were able to see planes on the ground, and the girls were confused at why they were driving on the ground.

But in a break from this week's hunger strike, they ate some chicken and rice samples and some corn chowder soup from the caterers there.

When asked what their favorite part was, they'll tell you Stormy the Pig.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Madeleine: "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
Lily: "She's acting like a baby!"

(Not wanting to eat dinner)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beautiful Butterflies

Last night we stopped at the KFC on the way home to pick up dinner. I had promised the girls biscuits if they cooperated and got in the car at day care.

They like to go inside and wait rather than go through the drive through, so Lily was playing in the parking space next to the car while I buckled Madeleine back in.

"Look Mommy! A beautiful butterfly!"

A brown moth has landed on the ground near Lily. I think he's sick or something since he's landed so close to her and doesn't seem to be bothered by her attention. I go back to buckling Madeleine.

"Mommy! I build him a cave!" Lily has built a cave around the moth with cigarette buts she found on the ground. I make a mental note for extensive handwashing.

I get Lily into the car next, and Madeleine screams that it's her turn to see the butterfly. As I'm heading over to her side of the car, a minivan pulls into the parking space, crushing the moth and the cave.

And no one ate the KFC but Daddy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Birthday Girlz

Some pictures from their party at daycare today.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

All Aboard!

This morning we went to the New Hope Valley Railway in Bonsal, NC. I hadn't been in 19 years, when my father's Kiwanis Club took us on a trip.

The girls aren't super-crazy about Thomas the Train like many other kids their age, but they love to watch the Amtrak train board at the Cary station each morning on our way to daycare. They spent 6 months reading the Polar Express every day, so I looked forward to a trip to the railroad all summer. Finally, the weather and the time slot cooperated this weekend.

It took them a while to warm up to the train. It was pretty crowded, even though we got there early. So we sat in one of the uncovered cars. The volunteers were all super-nice and loved to talk to the kids about the trains.

The ride lasted about 45 minutes. The girls loved making a "seat belt" out of our hands as they sat on our laps. Back at the station we had hot dogs (the girls just ate bun) and danced to a band they had playing in the gazebo. We checked out the garden trains one last time before heading home.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Party Girls

Today was the girls third birthday party at Planet Child. As expected, they had a wonderful time. We got there around 9:30 when they opened, and they were so excited, they ran off in all directions. I kind of lost track of them during play time because I tried to mingle with our guests, but I think they gravitated toward the grocery store and the kitchen for the most part.

A little after 10 am we headed to the party room for cupcakes. Madeleine got to ring the bell this time. We sang once for Lily and once for Madeleine. I was worried Maddie might get upset with Lily going first, but she didn't mind. My favorite part was when it was Madeleine's turn, and Lily sang to her too.

We opened presents while we were there. I'm never sure if this is a good idea to do or not. But I let all the parents know what we were doing and gave them permission to go play immediately if they wanted.
We stayed until a little after 11:30. A number of our guests were reluctant to leave, so that always makes me feel good that I made the right choice for the party. The girls still mostly played with each other rather than other kids. Maybe that will change more in the next few years. The other kids were mostly children of our friends, so I had a great time catching up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while.
Afterwards we went to lunch at Sunset Grille with the grandparents. The girls weren't interested in eating, but that may be due to the fact I let them have two cupcakes each at the party. But I did make three trips to the bathroom with them.
Madeleine did ask afterwards why none of her friends or teachers from school were there, and I explained that we were having a school party on Monday. She seemed very concerned that they were missing out on the fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3 Year Pictures

We had our annual pictures taken today at Portrait Innovations. We've been going there since the girls were three years old, and I've been impressed every time. I end up spending a fortune, but I like that you get a CD of low-res pictures along with your order that you can use to email to friends, etc.

We've taken pictures there at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Two years was by far the worst picture-taking experience I've had. They were everywhere and not wanting to cooperate at all. The shoot took almost an hour, and I was totally exhausted at the end.

So this year, I was hoping for better. I made a 9am appointment on a weekday and took half a day off work. The place is a zoo on the weekends, and of course, appointments run late. This way we know we're on time and not waiting around.

This year I was comfortable in their eating and playing skills at home that I dressed them in their first "outfit" prior to leaving the house. I hadn't done that one before, and it worked out well.

Then I only brought two outfit changes with me. I think we'd done three in the past, and that was just too much. They're having pictures done at day care next week, so I can do an additional outfit then if I really think it's necessary.

The second outfit was really just a change of shirt. I kept the jeans/shoes the same.

Daddy came with us. That's always a big help. We were able to get the girls changed very quickly.

Because it was going so well, we actually had a family picture taken this time. Unfortunately, my hair looks like I've been in a tornado without a comb. It was equally bad in all pictures. I'd blown it out too, but I guess with all the morning activity, the friz factor went into overdrive.

We were done in about 20 minutes. I think it was a world-record. They took 74 pictures. Eric took the girls to day care while I stayed and reviewed the pictures and the packages with the photographer. That way the girls aren't waiting for me to make up my mind.

And then the best part is that the photos are done in 20 minutes. I went next door to Party City to pick up some birthday party supplies, and everything was waiting for me when I got back.

I had an extra hour to myself, which I used to go home, fold, and put away laundry.

Monday, September 22, 2008


On Sunday we went to the Caniac Carnaval at the RBC Center. Last year we had tried to go, but got there just after everything ended with the girls nap time and all.

So this year we got there bright and early when it started. Most of the people were standing in the autograph line, so we headed for the giant toddler inflatable area. I was worried some of the activities were too old for the girls, but they soon got the hang of the ladders and slides and were on their own.

They played some floor hockey and had a snack of Dippin Dots ice cream. Lily tried it right away, but Madeleine was suspcious of something that was clearly not ice cream. Lily talked about how "chocolaty" it was.

The big surprise of the day was - Lily loves motorcross! They had a display of the flipping bikes, and she was so excited. Madeleine thought it was too loud.

Molly and Darren showed up around 11:30, so they joined us in the toddler area.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Lily: Madeleine, can I have your pudding?
Madeleine: You go girlfriend.
Mom and Dad: What?
Madeleine: Miss Briana says that.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bad Mom Alert

The girls have been wearing sandals most of the summer, but lately Lily's been wanting to wear her sneakers more often. Most of the shoe offerings have been size 6 for Lily and size 7 for Madeleine. Lily mentioned her shoes were too tight the other day, so I thought I'd take out my home measuring thing and check her out. It looked to be about a 7, so yesterday we took a trip to the Stride Rite store.

According to their expert measurements, both girls should be wearing an 8. I felt horrible and told the guy in the store that. He tried to make me feel better by saying that their shoes have probably stretched along with their feet, so it would be hard to notice.

So anyway, I bought two pairs of shoes each, which is a ton of money in Stride Rite-land.

I've also decided to do a massive sock upgrade. They've been still wearing 12-24 m socks. I got some from Stride Rite and Old Navy this weekend and have the huge pile of too small ones ready to go out.

Other than that - we got a hair cut from JJ's Kids Cuts this weekend as well in anticipation of our 3 year photos. We also attended Cary Celebrates Sunset at the Ampitheatre on Saturday afternoon. The girls enjoyed the activities, which included hula hooping, story time with Cookie Mouse, face painting, and an obstacle course.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Halloween Costumes Arrived Today

Now they both like the Bat Girl outfit the best. So we switched after a little bit.