Monday, March 31, 2008


I haven't written too much about what the kids are up to these days. They've been doing really cute things.

Madison absolutely loves it when you jump out at her and scare her. Her whole body flinches and then she squeals with laughter, runs away laughing then comes back for more. I say "BOO" when she comes around the corner then "I'm gonna get you" as she's running away. We do it for so long and I laugh so hard I usually end up having an asthma attack.

Today baby Max came over for a visit. The kids have some matching outfits so we attempted a photo shoot. At one point we had all three of them on the couch in their bear suits (Max's was a hand-me-down from Jackson). Max was in the middle and Maddie and Jackson were on either side of him. They wouldn't stop looking at each other and laughing! It was such a crack up.

Also today while Max slept on my chest (AHHHHH) M & J were playing peek-a-boo around a door frame and laughing hysterically.

Madison quite literally doesn't stop walking all day long. She is constantly on the move clutching a toy or binky in one or both hands and sometimes also in her mouth.

Jackson STILL has no teeth. He really isn't interested in walking or even standing unsupported.

Eating has gotten a lot better. They are both willing to eat just about anything I put in front of them. Just today I started putting more than one piece of food on their tray and they did ok. Before they would put ALL of it in their mouth so I had to dole it out in individual bites. One day last week they both decided they were going to use sippy cups for their intended purpose rather than a chew toy. Just like that. They started sucking. Now they love to drink milk out of their sippy cups. Some of our staples at meal time are eggs, rye bread/toast, plain yogurt, zuchini pancakes (frozen and they LOVE them), black beans, grilled cheese, banana, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, sweet potato (although they both boycotted that today). I'm trying to work in whole wheat pasta but so far they haven't been a fan. I'll keep working at it though.

Sleep is finally (knock on wood) back to normal. No more tantrums or crying for 45 mintues at bedtime or naps. No more waking in the night (as far as I can tell). They've been going to bed around 9 and waking around 8:30-9. This is what I've been waiting for!!!

We had our first poop incident in the tub last week courtesy of Madison.  Jackson was already out of the tub so I only had to rewash her.

Photo contest

I'm finally getting in on a photo contest at the Twinkies. Please take the time to go on over and vote for Jackson. (click on the word Twinkies to go to her blog and vote)


I finally figured out where I want to store the rest of my photos that I don't post here. I was having issues finding a place that didn't have limits and no fees (I'm very cheap). Then I realized that I can just use my professional proofing site that I already have. Turns out it's much faster to upload to because it doesn't store the huge original file.

So If you're looking for pictures of Madison and Jackson in folders by month click here and bookmark it. You don't need to login, just click "continue".

I'm working out some other albums for friends and family.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

At 8pm we turned off all our lights.  We lit candles around the house.  It was bathtime for bonzos so I brought candles and a flashlight into the bathroom and they had a nice candlelight bath.  It's 10:45 now and we haven't bothered to turn the lights back on.  We may even make some sort of habit out of this.  If nothing else it will help our electric bill.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Grandma came back to our house after we had lunch after the park on Monday.  I dragged her around with us on Tuesday too.  We went to lunch again, ran some errands, and visited my friend Melanie who had her first baby 2 weeks ago.  I got to hold her and she fell asleep on my chest until we had to leave.  That left poor Melanie (recovering from c-section and sleep deprivation) to look after my two terrors who were trying to get into everything.  No, they weren't that bad but she did have to keep an eye on them for me.  Alice is a very sweet and cute baby but she's giving her mom and dad a hard time crying a lot.


My Grandmother came out from western Mass to visit for Easter.  So on Monday I picked her up at my parents' house and we took the kids to the park.  It was cold so we didn't stay too long.  This wasn't their first time in swings but it was the first time that they enjoyed it.  They were laughing out loud and Jackson kept looking at Maddie and laughing.  There was another baby on the swing next to Maddie and she couldn't take her eyes off  him.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Second Easter

Our second Easter was quite a bit easier than the first. We started off in Gloucester as usual with Jackson catching a 20 minute nap on the way (none for Maddie). They were both pretty clingy when we first got there. After an hour or so they were running all over. Jackson was crawling all around the living room playing with toys and Madison was continually walking back and forth from the kitchen to the living room to get a bite of some one's cookie. I brought Maddie outside with me while the older kids hunted for eggs. Some of the kids were nice enough to give Maddie an egg.

We were there for 4 hours (no naps for either kid) then we headed to Salem to my aunt's house. They both snoozed for 30 minutes in the car. As soon as we got there they were tearing the place apart looking for stuff to get into. They had some birthday presents to open and Easter baskets from Grandma. We visited for about an hour and a half and then headed home. We only live about a 7 minute drive from my aunt's house but the entire way home Madison was grunting or squealing and Chris would imitate her. Then she'd immediately make a different noise and he would imitate her. They went back and forth the ENTIRE ride home. You could tell she was smiling and laughing. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants!

Bedtime was actually very good that night. They both went down at 9 with no fussing. I thought with the bad nap day it would be a bad sleep night but it was very good. They were up at 7:30 though which is a lot earlier than usual.

The previous two nights Madison cried for 45 mintues then Jackson took over for 30 minutes but we stuck to our guns and just left them. It really is the only thing we can do for them. I mean if we could hold them to sleep when they cry like that and put them down asleep I might consider doing it (even though I know it's a bad habit), but getting them up just means we'll have to put them down awake again and go through the whole cycle again. I do wish I/we could go in and soothe them but the sight of us leaving the room makes them hysterical and the screaming is 10 times louder and heartbreaking than before.

So tough love mode it is. It sucks but it really is the best thing we can do for them.

I still feel guilty that we don't have the monitor on during the night but not guilty enough to turn it back on. I don't think I've ever gotten up in the middle of the night since we turned it off a few weeks ago (we've been up late with them but nothing after they fall asleep). But I worry that I won't hear them. Like this morning at 7:30 Chris got up. I heard him get up and when he opened our door I heard the babies crying. How long had they been crying? I don't know. Is that bad?

Too funny

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flashback to school days

This sounds familiar...

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

This is funny too...



The kids' schedule is so messed up!  They are refusing to go to bed before 11 pm and are getting up at 10 am.  It definitely started when we turned the clocks ahead.

Last night the went to sleep at 10:45 for Chris.  After I got home, Chris accidentally dropped the remote on the granite countertop making a loud enough noise to wake both of them up.  We let them cry for a little while but we know they don't fall back asleep when they cry in this particular way.  So we spent from 12:30 to 2 trying to get them back sleep.  At one point we decided to put Jackson in his crib and let him cry and take Maddie to bed with us.  She wanted nothing to do with sleep.  She just wanted to sit up and look out the window.  Then she started clapping!  It was SO cute!  At 2 we finally just put her in her crib and the two of them cried themselves to sleep.  I think it took about 20 mintues and I was feeling horrible about it.

Jackson's been getting harder to go down for a nap too.  He really cries hard but only for about 5 mintues.  I just wish it wouldn't be so hard on him.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Eva tagged me for a meme.  I'm not going to tag anyone else because everyone I know has already done it or I think wouldn't want to.  So here are 7 facts about me!

1. I work at the same company as Chris, in the same department, and even do some of his work. We work opposite shifts though.

2. I was on an episode of "Ask this old house" during it's first season. We had a drippy bathtub faucet and I wrote into the show. I was shocked when someone named Chris Dick left a message on my phone. I thought for sure it was a joke. But it wasn't and a week later the crew and Rich Trethewey were filming at my house. Chris (my chris) wanted nothing to do with it so it was all me! It was a lot of fun and Rich is a really great guy. We were cracking each other up and had to reshoot many scenes. The thing that surprised me about this seemingly unscripted show is how the director told me what to say for the most part. I was able to embellish but he would prompt me to ask questions of Rich that I never would have thought to ask. The director also wanted me to call Rich by name. For instance "Why is the faucet dripping, Rich?" which is so horribly un-natural that I refused to do it. I find it hard to watch these shows now because it's so distracting to me to know that they are being prompted to say what they are saying.

This episode is actually a famous one.  The other segment they filmed was at the home of Kevin O'Connor who they liked so much they offered him the job of host for the show! He's been the host ever since. If only I had known they were looking maybe I would have called Rich by name more often :-)

It's funny because not everyone I know knows I did this and occasionally I'll get a phone call, "I just saw you on TV!!"

3. I got Tiger Woods' autograph (along with lots of other pro golfers) which is REALLY hard to do. Apparently he only signs autographs for kids because he knows the adults will just sell it on ebay. Not this adult.

4. I can't wear contacts because I have a vagal response to things touching my eyes. When they are in I immediately feel the overwhelming urge to go to sleep. I literally can't keep my eyes open. My only way to not wear glasses would be lasik which I desperately want but of course can't afford.

5. My absolute dream is to be a full time photographer but I can't get clients without paying big for advertising (craigslist doesn't work).

6.  My favorite TV shows (past and present) are, Lost, Heroes, American Idol, six feed under, L Word, opra's big give, How I met your mother, two and a half men, til death, rules of engagement,  my so called life, Tila Tequila, Lipstick Jungle.

7.  I am extremely stubborn and will pretty much do the exact opposite you ask of me.  And I absolutely hate to be asked to do something before I got a chance to do it on my own.  That sends me into complete tantrum mode.

One year check-up

I forgot to post about it.  It was on their actual birthday.  They only got one vaccine (varicella) because something about regulations changing and they wanted to wait to see what they were before giving them the whole slew of shots they were supposed to get.  Then she informed me that they needed to draw blood for the lead test.  Why does no one tell me these things before hand??  I was totally taken by surprise and I got all hot and anxious and nauseous when she said they'd have to draw it from their hand.  Luckily Nana and Auntie were with me so I was able to leave the room.  I just couldn't stomach it.  I could hear Madison SCREAMING for so long from the waiting room.  It was just torture for both of us I'm sure.  Then they took in Jackson.  I heard him too but he wasn't quite as bad as her.  The nurse said she wasn't even sure if she got enough blood from Madison and I might have to take her to the hospital to do it again!!!  They took a nap as soon as we got home and they were pretty whiny when they got up.

So anyway, they're perfectly ear infections.

Jackson's stats:  Length 29.5 25%  Weight 20lb 15%  Head 18.25  50%

Madison's stats: Length 28.25 25%  Weight 17lb 5%  Head 17.5 25%

One more I forgot to post

Let's see how many captions we can come up with for this photo.  I'll start...

"You wanna repeat that, please?"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

12 Months

Dear Madison and Jackson,

This year has been an utter whirlwind. I think that all the time spent taking care of you has made the time go so fast. I haven't had a chance to stop and let it sink in that I have two babies. The days just keep flying off the calendar like leaves off a tree and here you are, an entire year old.
This past year was the hardest and the most fabulous year of my life. Taking care of newborn twins is not real easy. Keeping a marriage together while taking care of newborn twins is next to impossible. Taking care of myself while trying to keep a marriage together while taking care of newborn twins...well, quite frankly, I deserve a medal. As my medal I will accept all the amazingly fun memories of our first year together as a family, all of your smiles, all of your giggle fests, all of the snuggles, kisses and hugs that have made every sleepless night worthwhile.

This past month was pretty boring since my car was being fixed for the past 5 weeks. Your car seats can't go in daddy's wrangler so you were stuck at home unless someone was nice enough to come and take us out. However, the consistency of being at home got you both in a great routine. Jackson got better about sleeping through the night and going down for a nap. You would both wake up around 7:30-8 and by 9:30-10 you would both go down for a nap with only minor fussing. You would sleep until 11:30-12 and have lunch while Daddy was home. We would play and play and play until 3 I gave you a bottle then at 4 you would sleep until 6. Daddy would feed you dinner then a bottle at 8 and bed at 9. But that all changed last weekend when we moved the clocks ahead. Now you're up til 11 at night and get up at 10am. I'm loving the change however I can't imagine how it happened. We only moved the clocks ahead ONE hour but it messed you up by two! The first night Daddy called me at work and said I had to come home to help him because you were both up and screaming when he tried to put you to bed. The next night was the same and after that he learned to just let you stay up. Over this past weekend we tried to put you to bed at 10 every night and every night we had to get you back up. You just wanted to be up and playing. So we tried again at 11 with success. Strange but true.

You stopped formula a couple weeks ago. I just couldn't bring myself to buy anymore so I switched you to whole milk. You made the transition with no problem. You both love it and it hasn't seemed to cause any problems with your digestive track.

The playroom, living room, and kitchen are all open and babyproof so you both just roam around all day. You are always in the same place together. If one goes in the kitchen, the other follows behind. I'd say both of your favorite thing to do is look at the microwave. It's so funny!

I really can't believe how lucky I am that you two particular beings were brought into my life. I couldn't ask for anything better and what I hoped for doesn't even compare to you both.

In general, my favorite memories so far are all of your firsts. I was always so excited for your first Easter, your first time on the beach, your first smile and it was so important for me to document it all. Thanks to this blog I was able to do that and I am so glad I took the time to do it all. Of course I will continue documenting your life here with pictures and stories of all the firsts that are yet to come.

Dear Jackson,

Anytime I imagined having children, I must admit I always imagined having a girl. People would always say "It won't matter if it's a boy or a girl, you will love them to death". Even up until the last day of my pregnancy I didn't believe them. I actually worried that I would favor my daughter. That worry vanished the minute I heard your very first cry. I now know that parents don't see their children in terms of gender. They see them as their pride and joy and the most incredible addition to their lives. I can't imagine not having you in my life. You fill my world with love.

You wear 12-18 months clothes and size 6 diapers. Today at your doctor's appointment you weighed 20 pounds. It took you a year but you quadrupled your birth weight! You still have no teeth!!!! Every time Nana sees you she sticks her fingers in your mouth to see if any have sprouted. Your hair seems to be getting to be a little bit lighter brown and your bangs are really growing long. I'm always pushing them off to one side. Your face is so precious. It's just such a perfect baby face.

One thing I don't think I've written about is your obsession with lint. If there is something on the floor you immediately pick it up and put it in your mouth. You don't swallow it, you just chew on it. But god forbid you eat a pea. You're still giving me a hard time about eating food not from a jar but you're getting better. You love grilled cheese, yogurt, sweet potatoes in a jar, banana, grapes (you finally ate them for me today), garden burgers. Last week I gave you real sweet potatoes, pasta, and raspberries and you wanted nothing to do with them. You also don't like the sippy cup.

You do the cutest thing. If the gate to the bathroom is down, you crawl REALLY fast toward it laughing as we chase you. You just love to go where you're not allowed. You love it when daddy plops you on the couch. He counts to three and even at the sound of "one" you start laughing. Then Madison laughs when you hit the couch. You're very ticklish and I love to make you laugh!

Your sister has seemed to do everything before you...rolling over, crawling, growing teeth, walking. But you finally did something first! You started clapping!! Just the other day you were sitting on the floor and out of nowhere clapped your hands. You look absolutely adorable doing it too. Now whenever someone says "Patty cake" you put your hands together.

My favorite memory of you is one day during your first month I was feeding you while your sister was sleeping. I had finished feeding you and you fell asleep in my arms. I used to play the song "Wintersong" from the Wintersong CD by Sarah McLaughlin on my computer on repeat during those first months. So this one day I was singing it to you and staring at your face and I was so overcome with the love I felt for you that I was sobbing. The song is actually a really sad song about a mother who lost a child. For me it reminds me to be thankful every day that I get to have you in my life. I am so blessed.

Dear Madison,

You are such a big little girl! You took your first steps about 3 weeks ago and as of a few days ago you are a full time walker. You rarely crawl anywhere anymore. It is so adorable to see such a little peanut walking around holding onto to toys. You will walk from the kitchen through the living room to the playroom and back again over and over and over again. You are so proud of yourself and we are so proud of you!

You wear size 3 diapers (I finally bought you your own size because I realized it was a LOT cheaper to do it that way) that I write a little red M on so we don't mix yours up with your brothers. You wear 6-12 months clothes. You have 8 teeth. Your hair continues to be red and it is getting so long. You even have ringlets in the back. It's been getting pretty wild lately and I have to use a barrette to tame it. Today at your doctor's appointment you weighed 17 pounds...still in the 5th percentile.

My second favorite memory of you was the first time you gave me a kiss when I asked for one. My favorite memory was when you gave me one when I didn't ask. Both times absolutely melted my heart.

You are a very good eater still. You love grilled cheese, yogurt, bananas, grapes, garden burgers, applesauce. You are more willing to try something than your brother.

I always knew I wanted to have a little girl and I just can't tell you how blessed I am that you are what I was given. I can't imagine a more perfect little girl.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

First Birthday Party

The party was a lot of fun.  We had 28 people in our TINY house but it really didn't seem like that many.  The first hour of the party was spent trying to get the kids to nap.  I had planned the time of the party based on their nap schedules that had been very consistent for over a month but of course over the last week they developed a nap that is at 1pm which is exactly when I scheduled the party for.  So they had a hard time going down and just cried and cried.  Chris's aunt Judy suggested we open her present which was an aquarium for their cribs.  It totally did the trick and they slept from 2-3.  While they were sleeping we socialized and had pizza.  When they got up we got them in their high chairs and sang happy birthday and gave them cake.  They didn't go as crazy as I thought they would.  Jackson would only eat it if Auntie fed it to him on a fork.  Madison ate hers gently.  After we got them cleaned up and out of the high chairs they were acting strange probably because of all the people.  They really just wanted to be held.  One funny story was when 3 year old Nichole was leaving her mommy said to her "are you going to miss the babies?" and Nichole said "no, they're going to miss me, mama."  That got quite a few laughs.  
After most of the people had left we started opening presents.  They got so many nice gifts!  They have enough outfits to last them through the summer now as well as some new toys.

This cake is made by the same lady that made our wedding cake and countless other cakes for me.  It's always a hit.

Jackson started to cry when we first put him in the high chair.  We hadn't even started singing yet either.  I think he was freaked out by that many people looking at  him.

Madison started to come out of her shell as people started to leave.  Papa was making her laugh.

Madison is a full time walker now.  It's amazing to me how fast she caught on.  She can even get up to standing without pulling up on something.  This lawnmower was a favorite toy.

I can't believe that a year ago right now I was on my way to the hospital in a horrible snow storm to give birth to my amazing children.  I can't believe my babies are a year old.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This is Madison's party dress for Sunday. I tried it on her to make sure it fit ok. I couldn't get the hanger out of her hands without a full blown tantrum so it's in all the pictures.

Jackson had a rough day yesterday. You should see the other guy. :-) I have no idea what happened to his chin. I really don't know what happened to his eyebrow and cheek either except that he was crawling we heard a thud and he cried a LOT. I THINK he landed on his eyebrow and scratched himself with his fingernail in the cheek on the way down. Auntie says he was in a bar fight.

This morning Jackson got himself in this basket. He just sat there and chilled out for a good 15 minutes. I managed to get a smile out of him. He's wearing a bear suit. SO cute!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rough nights again

The last two nights I've been up with babies. As usual it's Jackson waking up. The first night Maddie was spared but not last night. I didn't get much sleep.

The last couple weeks have been great. Sometimes I'd hear someone crying from the other room but it would eventually stop. But the last two nights he's gotten more and more upset and is obviously not going to calm himself down so I have to go get him. There is no such thing as consoling him and leaving...that just makes him REALLY angry. The minute I pick him up he falls asleep in my arms but if I put him down he wakes up and screams again. I did that 4 times the first night. After an hour I was pretty aggravated so I was just going to let him cry but Chris didn't want that so he got up, got him to sleep, put him down and he stayed asleep and slept til 9am!

Last night I just put him in bed with Chris because Maddie was awake too and I couldn't deal with both of them. I took her to the living room and fell asleep with her on the big chair. I woke up some time later to find her wide eyed staring at me. I put her back in her crib awake and didn't hear a peep from her until 9am. Jackson slept the rest of the night in our bed and woke up at 8.

He does seem to be getting a cold which is what fouled up his perfect sleeping habits in January. Hopefully it doesn't get too bad.

Edited to add that last night was even worse. He woke up around 1am. We tried everything to get him back to sleep. I finally gave him some motrin and brought him to the couch and he fell asleep sitting up around 3. We woke up at 8 when Chris got up.


Yes, I know I've been slacking. At least as far as posting pictures of the kids is concerned.

I've been busting my butt getting the house ready for their party this Sunday. I'll show you my to-do list.


make video of photos containing both babies from first year (done)
start painting kitchen trim (done)
take care of twins (done)
work 6-12


make video of photos of madison from first year (not done)
pick up car (still not ready)
clean bathroom (done)
design and order thank yous (in progress)
finish painting kitchen trim (done)
order photos for a gift (not done)
take care of twins (Auntie did it)
work 6-12


make a video of jackson's photos from the first year
Gia and Max over for a visit
clean living room
second coat kitchen trim
pick up car?
bring trash out for pick-up
take care of twins
work 6-12


make video of belly/shower photos
voice record monthly letters for video
clean kitchen
take care of twins
work 6-12


clean bedrooms
burn dvd of all the videos I made
paint living room trim
take care of twins
work 6-12


clean playroom
touch up bathroom
second coat living room trim
bring kids to my parents' for an overnight


pick up cake
get baby shower gift for friend

Piece of cake right? I'm gonna need a serious vacation.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Madison out of the bath.

When Jackson holds his bottle he won't straighten his fingers.  He keeps them in a fist.  He's always done it.  I've started giving them half formula and half milk in their bottles to get them off of formula for their birthday.  We're going to feel like we won the lottery not having to buy that can anymore!  Oh yeah, and I messed up his hair out of the bath.

Jackson driving Auntie's car.

We went to a going away party for cousin Erika.  She's moving to London!  We made sure Madison was wearing the tube onesie we bought for Olivia in 2005 when we were there.  Madison is lucky enough to get Olivia's hand-me-downs.  The front says "Angel" and on the bum is another tube logo that says "way out".  Above is Madison walking to Papa at the party.  She had a sweater on over the onesie but it was HOT in that house!

Over the past few days Madison has become obsessed with photographs of people.  It started when I had a picture of Nana up on the computer.  Madison saw it and beamed a huge smile and let out a great laugh.  Every time I would point to the picture and say "who's that?" she'd laugh and smile all over again.  I tried to put her down but she immediately cried for me to pick her up again.  So I did and she gave the same reaction.  I then put her in the playroom away from the computer.  She cried and pathetically crawled back to the computer.  Since then she loves to look at the pictures we have in frames around the house.  Above is her looking at a picture at Auntie Paula's house with the real live Nana.

In other news, Jackson can throw a ball really well.  He consistently threw a ball to me while he was sitting in Grandma's lap.  It was funny because we were going crazy over him because we were so impressed but he had a look on his face like, "I don't know why you think this is fun.  Training to be a baseball star is serious work."

Also, Madison surprised us tonight by looking at things we asked her about.  When Chris asked her where mommy was she looked right at me.  When I asked her where Daddy was she looked right at the picture of him on the table that we had been looking at earlier.  I had pointed out that Daddy was in the photo.  I tested her again later and she still looked at the photo.  Silly girl.  Then we asked her where Jackson was and she looked right at him!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Yes, it's 4:15 am and I'm still up playing with Photoshop.  I CAN'T SLEEP!!