Bramell, Party of Five: 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sweet Holiday Tradition

I know a lot of families do this, but our Christmas PJ tradition is one of my favorites! We let the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve, which is their pajamas for bed.  This makes for really cute photos on Christmas morning.  And, what's funny is that Big Sis was so excited to open that first gift---she didn't even remember that it would be pajamas! 

Here is our 2011 photo:

And 2012:  (not sure why it's so blurry)

We had a great Christmas at home. I'll have some pictures up in a few days. Santa really got it right this time--the kids love their gifts and have even been sharing!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gingerbread House Building

Before Big Sister's school let out for holiday break, they hosted a gingerbread house-making night for students and family. Dad stayed home with the little ones, so I got to take a crack at my construction skills.

Here's what we learned:  

--Neither of us have very good construction skills

--Other people cheated by bringing in their own gingerbread house building kits

--Sometimes it helps to just let your house crumble and start over

--It's always fun to call in extra help!

Big Sis hard at work.  See that focus!

Our "extra help" that came to our rescue.  My friend Keisha, who is always up for a creative challenge!

Mama and Big Sis with the final product.

Surprisingly, we got this done in the one hour time frame we were allotted.  Also surprisingly, the gingerbread house made it home without falling down.  Once home, it was all we could do to keep Boy Twin from taking it apart, piece by piece.  We sure had fun and got messy.  This was my first attempt at making a gingerbread house...I think it turned out great.  Nice teamwork and great kindergarten memories!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our first Advent Calendar

I've been wanting to get an Advent calendar for a couple of years, but realized that most of the cute ones were not cheap. Then, I thought about making one but I was too busy being pregnant and then busy having infants to look after.  Not sure what happened this year, maybe just the sheer luck of being stuck at home for the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Luckily, I've become acquainted with my new friend Pinterest, who made this project very easy and manageable for me.  I'm also lucky that I have Big Sis around, who never turns down a chance to use glue and Sharpie markers.  So, off we went to Hobby Lobby for our crafting extravaganza.

Instead of giving the kids candy every night leading up to Christmas, I chose to write special activities on each card.  Some of them are:  look at Christmas lights, drink hot chocolate after dinner, make a Christmas craft, etc.

We are having fun with it! And Big Sis is really enjoying the countdown to Christmas.  And the best news? We can use it year after year!  Score.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Twin Tuesday: Our Jingle Bells Rock

Funny how I get the best twin nuggets on Tuesdays. I had nothing planned to write for today, and it just happened all by itself.

Just as I am complaining about how much these kids fight, they shock me with this.  Tonight, as we were sitting at the dinner table, Boy Twin says: "Sister pretty. I love her."  I could have cried. Then, as if she understood the compliment, she went over and squeezed herself in the chair beside him. And they hugged. O-M-G. Adorable!

We've been listening to a Christmas CD in the van on the way to daycare every morning. They have definitely decided which songs are their favorites; Miss Bossy will scream her request from the back seat like I'm a DJ or something.  Out of 12 songs on the disc, we actually listen to about four of them.  Today:

Girl Twin:  I want Jingle Bells Rock.

Boy Twin:  No Jingle Bells Rock!

Girl Twin:  I want Jingle Bells Rock!

I start playing Jingle Bell Rock and Girl Twin starts singing along.

Boy Twin:  TOO LOUD!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Santa

Taa-Dahhh!  Presenting the 2012 Bramell kids photo with Santa.  Yeah, pretty much a spot-on wordless description of my children.  In case you need the interpretation--

 Big Sis: "I'm only here because I left something off my letter that I already mailed."

Girl Twin:  "Just give me the candy cane, dammit."

Boy Twin:  "I wonder if I can climb up there?"

Seriously, we waited in line for the mall Santa for about 45 minutes. For this.  You only get one photo with your own camera, and I sure wasn't going to buy their overpriced photo packages to get 65 copies of THIS.  Actually, I'm quite pleased with the overall experience.  Nobody cried, the little ones sat in his lap and both even talked to him and nobody cried.

Every year, I have such high hopes for a beautiful Santa photo. After five years of Big Sis not wanting anything to do with Santa, you'd think I would just give up.  We have one good photo of Big Sis with Santa.  And it's not really even very good. It's just not worth the struggle.  Maybe next year...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Twin Tuesday!

There is something going on with the twins that has caught me off guard. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised, but I just wasn't expecting it.  It seems that they are having a hard time being together for 24 hours a day.

In talking with their daycare teachers over the past few days, I've been told they are really fighting a lot at school.  This means they are hitting, scratching, yelling and wrestling with each other.  This is standard at home, but at daycare they are usually angels. Girl Twin is being really bossy to her brother (not shocking) and his reaction has been crying at school. Yesterday, they had to be separated while eating lunch.  The teacher said that Boy Twin actually acted relieved but Bossy Pants cried about it. *snicker*

I know my kids love each other. While they really don't show affection for each other much yet, they are very aware and concerned about what the other is doing at all times.  For example, just yesterday, Boy Twin slept part of the night in our bed.  When Girl Twin woke up in her own bed, she came toddling into the kitchen to ask me, "Where Bubby?"  Another example: their teacher has told me many times that during nap time that the kids must have their cots next to each other to sleep. Girl Twin has even been known to stroke brother's hair during nap time.  See? She is sweet sometimes!

This got me thinking about how much time they have spent apart.  Aside from one running errands with me, or a couple of days at Grammy's house, I can't think of any.  That's probably how Fergie feels about eating the same dog food every day, twice a day, for the past five years.  Maybe that's why she refuses to eat sometimes.  Maybe the twins are just finding a way to refuse to play with each other.

Of course, I can't say that I'd enjoy spending 24 hours a day with anyone either, really. Well, except for Adam Levine maybe. But that's for another post, and don't tell Lee.  Except, I think he already knows.

Anyway, I'm sure that this is a common problem for twins, and probably even for siblings in general. Has anyone out there in bloggy land experienced this? Got any advice? I try to split them up for "special time" as much as I can. Sometimes I'll take one to the store and leave one at home. Or, we try to have a "girls day" and I'll just take my girls somewhere. I want them to each feel special and not resent being twins, or feel like a package deal.  This parenting stuff is hard to figure out...

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Christmas Elves

Our Advent calendar activity the other night was to take a photo by the Christmas tree.  I assure you, getting all three kids to sit still and look at the camera was definitely a small Christmas miracle in itself. I got several pictures of open mouths, tongues out and booties shaking.  This is the best shot of the bunch.

Merry Christmas from us!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Righting a wrong in the kitchen....and pie!

If you are a regular visitor here, you may remember back to this post in October when I shared my family's "recipe" for dressing.  Well, I made my second attempt at it for Thanksgiving since we were stuck at home without the real cooks in the family. 

Here's what it looked like:

I'm overall happy with how it turned out.  Actually, on Thursday, it kind of sucked. I got it too dry again! But I was determined not to let it beat me.  So with leftovers on Friday, I added some broth and heated it up. Lee let me know real quick that it was "almost perfect" this time! YES! Sweet validation. 

After our fantastic turkey dinner, we got to have this glorious pie!

I've heard it called a Kentucky Derby Pie, or a Derby Pie, but all I know is that it's delicious with a capital D.  I used a Paula Deen recipe for mine. It was my second time making it, and this was just as good as the first time.  A couple of tips, though:  the recipe makes two pies (I gave one to a neighbor) and you MUST eat it warm with vanilla ice cream.  Give it a try!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bringing home the bacon!

I've just wrapped up my giveaway of a Dallas Cowboys Gift Box of delicious ham and bacon from Petit Jean Meats.  Here's what it looks like:

The winner of this basket of tasty meats is my friend Keisha, blogger at Big Pitt Stop. She loves, loves, LOVES to cook, so I know she will enjoy whipping up something great with this prize. And coincidentally , she's a Texas girl, so this Dallas Cowboys package is right up her alley.  

The winner of this giveaway was chosen at random, in a very scientific manner.  All the names of entries were hand written on slips of paper.

I recruited an able-bodied assistant (and her assistant) to help me.

One name was chosen from all of the entries.

Don't forget, Petit Jean offers many varieties of gift boxes which make great gifts during the holiday season. Visit their website to check them out.  You won't be sorry!

Disclaimer:  I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club.  Through this affiliation, I get to try out products, and give my opinions on new products and branding for the company. My opinions are my own and honest reflections of how I feel. I was given product for this giveaway, so that I could also give away the gift box on my blog.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Twin Tuesday!

This Tuesday caught me by surprise. I didn't have a story prepared or a post scheduled. So, we're going on the fly here. And it's getting late.  But I do have a few tidbits to share this week.

  • The kids have a new game they like to play. One kid will pretend to be asleep while the other screams, "WAKE UP!" in the other's face. It's really kind of funny, but gets old quick. They do this in their car seats, sitting on the couch or anywhere else the mood strikes.
  • I had to take Boy Twin to the doctor last Thursday. He woke up in an unusually bad mood and kept saying "ear hurt."  Once I investigated, I found a swollen lump just under his right ear. That's what worried me.  So, I gave him some Tylenol and off we went to the pediatrician. Turns out it was a tiny ear infection, in its very early stages. The doc said he was surprised the boy even felt it. He gave us some of the pink stuff and sent us on the way. Once Girl Twin got sight of brother taking medicine, she immediately developed a pitiful fake cough.  "I sick," she kept pleading with me.  Pitiful.
  • Boy Twin got a note sent home from daycare last week....a good one, for once. His teacher tells us that he's doing very good in his lessons. He can now identify a circle and a triangle! She said, "He is a very smart boy."  Proud mama!
  • Girl Twin can count to 10 all by herself, which I think is pretty fantastic!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Did someone say BACON?

This time of the year we are all looking for creative and unique gift ideas for our family, friends and loved ones.  Do you hate shopping for the person who has everything?  Do you try to think of something unusual, that shows you really put some thought into the gift?  

Look what I have here! This is a Petit Jean Bacon & Ham Gift Box that will knock their socks off! As many of you know, Petit Jean is an Arkansas based company that offers many excellent products from bacon, to hams and sausages.   

And YOU could WIN one of these unique food baskets right here on my blog!  This particular package is specially branded with the Dallas Cowboys team logo.  If you want to see this, and other Dallas Cowboys branded products, you can click HERE.  This would make a perfect gift for the Dallas Cowboys fan in your life. And, if you aren't a fan? Doesn't matter! The delicious ham and bacon is reason enough to enter this giveaway.

This gift package includes:  (1) package of Sliced Smoked Ham
                                          (1) package of Sliced Peppered Ham
                                         (1) package of Hickory Smoked Bacon
                                          (1) package of Hickory Smoked Peppered Bacon

I have been thinking of what you might do with this gift box, and here's my list--
  • A teacher gift. Trust me, they get enough candles and apple trinkets to last a lifetime.
  • Great for a family member who doesn't live in Arkansas; introduce them to the goodness of Petit Jean Meats.
  • Makes an excellent hostess gift during your holiday travel.
  • Perfect for a holiday gift for your boss.
  • Or just keep it for YOURSELF!  
My family tried out this very same gift box around Thanksgiving. I was so thankful to have something besides leftover turkey to eat! We had ham sandwiches for lunch and bacon for breakfast for several days.  I personally love the peppered bacon, but the kids preferred the plain hickory smoked variety; the little ones couldn't handle the spicy flavor from the pepper.  

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:  You must leave a comment on this post.  Tell me what food is a must-have at your holiday dinner table.  Also remember to leave me your name and email address so I can contact you if you win! Deadline to enter is 9:00am on Saturday, December 8th.  Winner will be chosen at random from all comments left on this post.

Disclaimer:  I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club.  Through this affiliation, I get to try out products, and give my opinions on new products and branding for the company. My opinions are my own and honest reflections of how I feel. I was given product for this giveaway, so that I could also give away the gift box on my blog.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Branson Trip in Photos

I didn't take many photos on this trip mainly because it was a beautiful day and we were having too much fun to stop for pictures. Also, we split up a lot of the time so we were all scattered around the park.  Enjoy our photos!

And, if you are looking for a great Christmas activity with the family, Silver Dollar City is our pick! It's expensive, but worth it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Twin Tuesday!

Who's been playing around on Pic Monkey again?  Guilty!  Look at what I did:

Last week I told you about Boy Twin and what shenanigans he's been up to.  This week, it's Girl Twin's turn in the spotlight. Being in the spotlight is where she likes to be; in fact, her new nickname is "Sassy" these days.  I'm afraid that she has inherited her mama's smart mouth, which I know I'll regret for many years to come.

Don't believe me?

Me:  Girl Twin, come over here so I can change your diaper.
Her:  NO!
Me:  Come over here NOW!
Her:  (With hands on hips) You have to say please!!

Me:  Girl Twin, what do you want Santa to bring you?
Her:  Presents.
Me:  What kind of presents?
Her:  Christmas presents!!

Last night, playing chase with Boy Twin:
"Bubby, get my butt!"

Monday, November 26, 2012

November wrap-up

As I've been thinking about Thanksgiving over the past couple of weeks, I've had this song pop into my head more than once--
Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

This is one of my favorite songs to sing in church.  I've already written about many of our blessings, but here are a few more to end our month of thankfulness.  

I'm very glad that my kids have two great-grandmothers. I've had fun teaching them about how we are related to everyone in our family. You know, "she is MY mom, but SHE is her mom....." and so on. I'm not sure they really get it yet anyway.

This is my Nanny. My kids totally adore her and she's crazy about them!  We don't get to see her often enough, but they are always talking about her. When anyone sneezes, you'll always hear, "Nanny says scat," followed by a giggle.  And lots of random "Nanny's silly!" comments.

This is my Texas Grandma. I'm so excited that she got to meet my kids for the first time this month, on our recent trip to Brinkley. You might also remember, this was the same trip as the infamous bathroom incident.  As an adult, I haven't seen my grandma as much as I should or as much as I'd like to.  Being separated by distance is a pretty hard thing once you start having your own babies. Note: I'm not sure what's going on in that picture above, but I LOVE IT!

This is my newest favorite photo of my kids.

I am also thankful for our photographer, Kim, who I'm happy to call a friend. She owns Sweet Portrayal, and has done our photos since the twins were born. She also understands that, as a mom, getting kids clean, dressed and wrangled for a photo can be exhausting and overwhelming for me. She has been so encouraging to me (more than once) when I  know we need family photos but I just cannot muster the strength to get it done.

Because of Kim's work, I have a new appreciation for the beauty of  photos done right. (Poor Big Sis, her baby photos cannot hold a candle to the twins').  Kim is a special person with a creative spirit and such a generous heart.  She has blessed my family with each beautiful photo she has taken.  And now, I'm sure she will be really embarrassed by my gushing over her.  : )

Thanks for indulging me. And don't forget to count your blessings, too.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Over the past month, people have been writing about things they are thankful for all over Facebook and on blogs. I didn't jump on the bandwagon, like I have in the past. Why, you ask? I think it's simply because most days I am just thankful for weird things.  I'm thankful to get Big Sis to school before the tardy bell. Thankful to get to work with two of the same shoes  on. Thankful to make it through another day without losing my mind.

But this week something happened. I was having a particularly rough week; yelling at the kids a lot, being crabby to the hubs and being overwhelmed at work.  Even my blood pressure was skyrocketing! I blame most of this on that self-imposed need to be Super Mom, Super Employee and Super Everything Else. It sucks. We were planning to round up the troops and head across the state to spend Thanksgiving with my family, but The Universe had other plans. The transmission on our family vehicle went out earlier in the's in the shop and likely will be until the end of next week. That means today, Thanksgiving Day, our family of five is home cooking, eating and celebrating alone. And you know what? It was fantastic! We slept in till 8:00am, cooked a feast and watched some TV.  Sure, I missed my family today.  But I also didn't have to pack a suitcase for five people and travel 4-5 hours across the state with a kid that has to stop at every public restroom along the way. I got to relax a little, hang out at home and take a long walk with my kids. Sure, it will cost a small fortune to repair our van, but we'll manage.  Not the best timing with Christmas coming up, but we'll manage. I have three more glorious days off work to stay home and be with my family. I'm going to remember how lucky I am and enjoy every minute of it.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And the winner is...

Lindsey, from Tennessee, is the winner in my very first blog giveaway!  She just scored a $150 shopping spree to Country Outfitter, an online western wear retailer.  This is a company based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, just down the road from me. Lindsey can use the money for anything from boots, belts and handbags to any other kind of apparel on the website.  Someone in her house is sure to have a merry Christmas this year!  Congratulations Lindsey, and thank you to everyone who played along and entered the contest.

Stay tuned to the blog for your chance to win a new giveaway coming up in a couple of weeks, from another great Arkansas-based company.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Twin Tuesday: Who Pooped in the Pool?

The face of trouble.
This is a story about our dear, sweet little Boy Twin.  Today's lesson:  do not turn your back on him.  We spent this past weekend at a condo in Branson enjoying the beautiful fall weather.  Saturday morning, my sister and I took the kids to the indoor pool to play before heading to Steal Your Dollar City.  My kids are like little fish; they love the water!  We went back and forth between the pool and hot tub, and played a mean game of beach ball toss.

As we were gathering up our things to leave, I caught Mr. Mischievous throwing a handful of the landscaping rocks into the shallow end of the pool.  I was already dressed, so I couldn't go in and get them.  I tried to get Big Sis to do it, but she couldn't figure out how to stay under water long enough to retrieve them.  I figured it was not a big deal, scolded the kid and sent the little ones out to the playground with Aunt TP.  Meanwhile, I took Big Sis into the locker room to dry off and change.

As we came back into the pool area, I noticed that the other families who had been in the pool were about to leave.  I guess the pool was not fun without us.....yep.  As I walked over to our table, all 10 people in their group start yelling at me, "Don't get in the water! There's poop in the pool!"  It took me all of a second to realize that those brown rocks Boy Twin threw into the water looked like perfectly formed poop logs on the bottom of the pool.  I quickly explained to the parents what Boy Twin had done.  The mom gave me the "I understand because I have four kids" look, and they all jumped right back in with a big joyful splash.  I, however, grabbed our bags and got the heck out of there.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 1 Challenge: Thankful Me

This week I'm participating in another Blog Challenge with the ladies from Arkansas Women Bloggers. We are celebrating the things and people we are thankful for in the ThanksBlogging Challenge.  Today's topic: Outside the Walls.  Take a photo of something you are thankful for and use a new online photo editor to dress up the photo.

I'm thankful for this dude. He is my hubby and he's totally going to shoot me when he sees this, by the way.  I am so thankful for a great husband and loving dad for our kiddos. I knew when he changed the twins' diapers before I did that he could handle this. I knew when he could feed and rock two babies at once that he could handle this. I know it when Big Sis says, "I want daddy to tuck me in" that he can handle this. He's not perfect, but he's mine.

** I used Pic Monkey for the first time on this photo.  Awesome tools! Will be using it again for sure.**

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gorgeous Fall Outing

I guess we have somewhat of a fall tradition around here; we've been visiting a pumpkin patch since Big Sis was a little thing. We have tried out several in our area, with our favorite being the one in Pea Ridge. We took the twins out there last fall, but they were too little to remember it now. This year, we opted to try a new place that was much closer to home. Not that we don't love McGarrah's, just that Big Sis's class took a field trip there at the beginning of October. I'd read about Farmland Adventures, so we decided to check it out. Two thumbs up! Not much of a pumpkin patch, but this place scored super high marks from us on everything else: a giant corn maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, pig races, a tractor-pulled wagon ride and the corn boxes, a la sand boxes.  The corn was the kids' favorite, by far. We had to drag them out of there!

For the record, you pay one admission price and everything else is included.  Some places will nickel and dime you to death for every activity. It was a beautiful, warm day and we ended up staying there for FOUR HOURS! Insane, I know. But super fun!

Boy Twin was in corn heaven!

This was so cool because it's so much cleaner than a traditional sand box. Genius!

We dumped kernels from their diapers, shoes and pants pockets.  Boy Twin let us bury him, which was really fun.

Silly Big Sis!

Girl Twin was the bravest one! She petted and fed the goats and sheep.

Baby piggies! Girl Twin also squealed with delight.

Pony rides for the big girl. Little ones wouldn't have any part of it.

My sweeties at the end of the corn maze. We got through it in about 40 minutes, and they were so good.  Hubby wanted to come back after dark for a more challenging maze, but he didn't. There's always next year....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Twin Tuesday!

The little kids really enjoyed Halloween decorations this year. In fact, "decorations" is the word I have heard coming from the back seat most often in the past few weeks. They both insisted that we drive past some nicely decorated houses every time we've been out and about.  But, sadly, they were disappointed this week when they saw that most houses have taken down decorations now.  We all went out together last night to take ours down--I let them say a proper "good-bye" to the witch that's  been hanging in our tree.  After hugs all around, she went back to her Rubbermaid home in the garage.
Rest assured, I have told them to just wait a couple of weeks and Christmas decorations will be out in full force.  Get ready, Boy Twin is going to lose his mind with excitement when he sees Christmas lights in the neighborhood!  He is so funny.  I can't wait to see what the holidays will be like now that they are a little older and talking....should be very entertaining.
Oh, and curses to the marketers who've already sent the toy catalogs to our house. All three kids have been looking at them non-stop. Big Sis has gone through and circled everything that's pink and/or has a Disney princess on it.  Girl Twin points out all the babies.  And Boy Twin excitedly points and yells, "Ideman" at every Spiderman toy.  Maybe we better start applying for Christmas loans now....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yes, This Happened

You see these kids?

2012 Halloween costumes

They sure are cute, but don't let them fool you. They aren't so innocent; they know how to push my buttons. And, apparently, they know how to attract lots of attention in public restrooms. 

If you are thinking about having children in the near future, you might want to stop reading now. Here goes. *Sigh*

Due to a death in the family, we decided to make a mad dash across the state for a very quick visit with some of my dad's family that we haven't seen in many years, most of whom had never met my children. This was also a day trip with no overnight stay. Possibly mistake No. 1? The traveling was actually pretty painless, but the dinner stop, not so much. 

Because there's only so many chicken nuggets a mom and dad can take, we opted to stop for a "real" dinner on the way home. Possibly mistake No. 2?  We chose an Italian chain restaurant in North Little Rock because the kids usually eat spaghetti pretty good and we needed an easy stop. Yeah, right.  Thankfully, we were seated in a corner booth where we would disturb the least number of other diners while my children took turns standing in the booth and crawling underneath the table. The kids' food was served first; as any parent knows, this is usually a smart move to occupy little hands as quickly as possible. The downside is that by the time the adults' food arrives, the kids are finished and getting restless. The parents then have approximately six minutes to eat before the kids are swinging from the light hanging low over the table. Ahem, Boy Twin.

To give hubby the maximum opportunity to chew his food before swallowing it, I got the bright idea to take all three kids to the bathroom by myself.  Possibly mistake No. 3? Let me just paint you a picture of the next, oh, 20 minutes of my night. 

Look at these kids again. Know that I could never make this up.

Upon entering the bathroom, the kids all start to yell "Echo! Echo! Echo!" because I guess it's fun to hear your voice bouncing off the walls. I'm sure the other ladies in there loved it just as much.  Next, I take them them into the stall with the changing table inside. I already know that Girl Twin has done number two in her diaper because she sat under the table for five minutes while I ate. I put her up on the changing table when Big Sis decides she needs to go. At this point, I also realize that I'm dangerously low on wipes and Girl Twin has done a big job.  Bis Sis gets her pants down to reveal a nice dirty shart in her underwear--fantastic! I'm taking care of Girl Twin, so instruct Big Sis to take off her pants and undies and stay put until I can help her.

During this chaos, Boy Twin is trying to open the lock on the stall while continuing to yell "Echo!" out to the three or four ladies waiting in line.  He then picks up Big Sister's flip flops and throws them at the walls over and over. And into the stall next door. I'm trying really hard not to yell; I mean, I don't want to cause a scene. I'm pretty much hissing at this point.

Once Girl Twin is changed, I'm able to get my hands on the boy. I spanked him for throwing the shoes. Yes, I did. Sue me.  Then he sat in the (dirty, germ infested, public bathroom) floor and threw a fit. I didn't care; at least he quit with the shoes. When I turn my back to trash the dirty underwear, the now-mad boy enlists his evil twin to help him dump out the contents of the entire gigantic diaper bag into the floor. At this point, I'm sweating buckets and about to cry as I throw it all back into the bag.

After Big Sis was clean, I got Boy Twin up on the changing table. Surprise! The trifecta, as we lovingly call it. It was a big one, too. And guess what? Only one wipe left in the package!

I got it done and rushed them out of the stall. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone staring at us as we poured out of the stall we'd occupied for what felt like most of the night. As I'm washing them up at the sink, a lady who I recognize from near our booth says, "Wow, you got to bring them all in here by yourself?" Then, I swear to God, all three of them turned around and gave her the sweetest, most angelic smiles I've ever seen. Like they had no idea why their mama looked like she'd just finished last in a marathon in the middle of July.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Finally Time....Boots!

I'm so glad that it's finally my turn to give away some boots! If you have been paying any attention at all, you've seen many giveaways just like mine all over Facebook and Twitter.  I got this awesome pair of boots for attending the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference.  And one of my blog readers will now have the chance to win a $150 shopping spree to spend with Country Outfitter on the boots of your choosing! If you are not into boots, just take a look at all the other fantastic items they sell, including apparel, handbags and belts.  Also keep in mind that we are coming up on the holiday season and boots make a great gift for someone special.

I have these Ariat boots in 
Brown Oiled Rowdy and I LOVE THEM! They are so comfy and versatile.  

So, let's get to it!  How do you enter to WIN the $150 shopping spree from Country Outfitter? It's just two easy steps.

Step 1:  You MUST click on THIS LINK and submit your e-mail address to Country Outfitter.  You may receive some e-mails and special offers from them at a later date.

Step 2:  Leave me a COMMENT here on my blog to let me know that you completed Step 1.  This will also  let everyone else know what kind of competition they are up against.  ; )

Deadline to enter this contest is Friday, November 16 at Noon (Central).  A winner will be chosen at random and announced the following week.  Good luck--I wish everyone could win!  

Disclosure:  Country Outfitter, a retailer of Ariat boots, gave me these boots to review.  I did not receive any  monetary payment for my participation in this giveaway.  I actually own and wear these boots, and my opinion is my own.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's Twin Tuesday....errr, Thursday!

Yeah, well stuff happens. I was away for work on Tuesday, so we're having a Twin Thursday this week. 

First, I want to brag on my babies.  No, I want to SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS....they are both using the potty! Did you just hear the angels sing? Yep. They are both going #1 in the potty on a regular basis, but still lacking in the #2 department, which is very normal.  I don't know what we've done differently this time, but they are getting it way faster and easier than Big Sis did. As you might remember, Big Sis was was THREE and A HALF before we got her can read about that HERE.  It was a horrible experience with her and we have totally dreaded it with the twins. We haven't pushed them, haven't forced them and haven't set alarms to make them sit on the toilet every hour. Maybe we finally got something right.  We were at a restaurant Monday night and Girl Twin even asked me to take her to the potty---and it was successful!

Little Kids, Big Funnies

Boy Twin: 
He is so funny when you tell him we are going somewhere.  He says, "I go?" When we reply with yes, he proceeds to go through the family roll call.  "Girl Twin go?  Big Sis go?  Daddy go?  Mommy go?  Fergie go?"  It goes on forever.  Sometimes you can just say "I'm going to do xyz" and he will ask, "I go?"  Yeah, go ahead and go clean that bathroom.

Girl Twin:
The other night we were at the dinner table. I can't remember what we were eating, but Girl Twin started dancing in her seat like her pants were on fire. "Tummy hurts! Tummy hurts!" she said over and over. She gulped down her juice and stuck out her tongue. I was very confused by this.  So I asked her to show me where it hurts, and she pointed to her tongue!  The spicy food was burning her tongue, not her tummy.  Ha! Guess we need to work on our body parts some more.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Name in Lights (Kinda)

If you are from around here, you may have heard about this nifty resource called NWA Motherlode; it's a blog about all things for families in Northwest Arkansas---community events, information, fun giveaways, recipes and much more. I've been a subscriber to the blog since it started a few years back.  They probably know my name from entering EVERY SINGLE GIVEAWAY that they post.  And I'm not the least bit bitter about not winning that front loading washer and dryer set last year. Really. 

I was totally thrilled to meet Shannon, who is one of the mamas and founders of the site, at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference in August. Talk about a gal that shares my love of everything silly and sarcastic....

Anywho, I got an email from Shannon not long ago to see if could feature me in the Five Minutes with a Mom segment last week.  Of course I said yes! Here's the link to my interview if you want to check it out HERE.  'Cuz, you know, I'm kind of a big deal now.  These are good people, so go find NWA Motherlode on the web, on Facebook and on Twitter. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Heart Apples!

Once I got back home with my load of apples from my dad's apple tree, I almost panicked. I think I overestimated just how many apples that we could eat. Don't get me wrong; we eat a lot of apples...but this was a little much. See previous post for the photo of our haul.

Now let me start by saying I've never made an apple pie before. Actually, I don't much like apple pie either. Cooked apples just aren't my thing; I like them juicy and crisp with a little peanut butter. However, I have a hubby who likes apple pie, and I do like to cook, so I just went for it.  

If you have been reading for a while, this next bit won't surprise you at all.  I got my apple pie "recipe" from my mom, who apparently doesn't believe it recipes. Her directions were:  peel and slice the apples, pack them into the crust, add a scoop of sugar, some cinnamon and top with a few pats of butter. So that's what I did.  Oh, and I used a ready made crust from the refrigerated section, because who has time to make one from scratch, really??  And, I was baking during nap time so I needed it to be easy.  My foodie friends are probably rolling their eyes right now.  And laughing at my photos.

Here's what we started with.

My kitchen helper always ready to go! 

Before the top crust goes on.

Ready for the oven!

Finished at last! Isn't she pretty?

After the apple pie and apples for lunch, we still had some apples left for something else. Another pie?  Apple dip? So many things to consider....

I decided on the Apple Nachos from a Taste of Home magazine that I had dog-eared last fall. Yum! These require absolutely NO cooking at all!  You just slice the apples and pour on melted caramels and marshmallows, and top with peanuts and chocolate chips. The kids picked off and ate the chocolate chips; hubby and I took care of the rest. This would be a fantastic addition to a holiday party, but the trick is to make sure you serve immediately or else the caramel gets a little runny and gross.

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