Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Until we return. . .

Well, I’ve successfully used up almost all the perishable food in the house (and consequently have about six meals in the freezer prepared for when we come home to a house with no food). And I have made who-knows-how many packing lists. (Toys/activities for flight, food for flight, baby clothes, baby extras, my clothes, my extras. . .you get the idea). And last night I had the mandatory, pre-travel dream (twice) where we miss the flight, so it looks like we are as ready as we’ll be  to get this show on the road. Please enjoy this selection of videos while we are with our families for a week and a half of cousin/aunt/uncle/grandparent/parent/sibling heaven.

If only I could get as much joy out of running around a chair over and over.


This went on for a few minutes straight. This also often happens in the car. Thank you, children.


This reminds me so much of a video of Melody and me at this age (you know the one, Mel). I love that Alex is completely unaffected by Ruby’s rudeness.


I love Ruby’s creative play in this, but I mostly added it because KC was involved in the filming of this video. A very rare occurrence.


One of our favorite pastimes/distractions lately.


We like to fit in one or two dance parties a day. The babies are more than enthusiastic every time the hear the music start.


Here goes nothin’!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Does this help?

People naturally have a hard time telling the boys apart. They do look rather alike, though I can tell who’s who from any angle or any noise they make, but that’s part of being their mom. But I understand how it might be hard for others. I try to dress them differently most of the time (I actually regret buying the few matching outfits they have. I like when they look more individual, even if it’s just different colors of the same shirt.), and put Bennett in more of a blue color scheme if that is an option. His shoes are also blue. But I also point out to people that Alex is and always has been a bit on the chubbier side. His nursery leader uses that hint. In fact, that’s the technique I sometimes relied on when they were newborns that looked much more alike than they do now.

But I have come up with one more way to help people tell them apart, by giving them different hair cuts. I love their little baby boy curls more than anything, but Bennett seems to be able to pull the look off a bit better. And with Alex’s cheeks taking over, I thought he could use less poofy helmet to help balance that out. Here’s the result. He’s a bit too handsome for his own good, if you ask me. They both are. I am in for it.




I actually cut Alex’s hair twice in the last few days (the pictures above are after the second cut), since it wasn’t short enough for my liking in these pictures below, but still, don’t you you think it helps set them apart a little bit more?IMG_1764IMG_1779IMG_1783

Is it bad that a picture where they are so sad makes me so happy?IMG_1761

This should be especially helpful with our upcoming travels to Utah! We haven’t been there in over a year, and they have changed a bit since then. I don’t mind helping when people ask who’s who, but maybe this little difference will make it even easier on those that haven’t seen then in quite some time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Glorious Relief


Funny how mid-to-upper 80 degree days can feel like relief, but around here, we’ll take it! I’ve had a serious itch to take these kids out and about where they can run free and enjoy the traces of good weather we’re having. And I’m so happy to resume our morning walk habit I try to keep up when the weather permits. Call me old or boring, but I love a good walk to start the day. I crave it. And remember when I said I wouldn’t take them around the neighborhood myself due to the, oh, 120+ pounds I have to push around our very hilly neighborhood (our house being at the top of one)? Well, since KC can’t always join us, I got desperate enough to try. And although I resemble The Little Engine that Could at times, it always feels great in the end. The babies are always absolutely delightful (which I’m sure is partially due to the bag of cheerios they each are given). Fresh morning air is just what my body and mind need sometimes. And it’s especially fun when you have such great company.







I can already smell some hints of fall on the cooler mornings. We are sure to spend a lot more time outside as soon as that wonderful season begins. I’m giddy just thinking about it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I’m sure we’ve all heard of the “one-ingredient ice cream” idea going around. The one where you freeze banana slices and process them into a smooth, ice cream consistency. I actually love it, and have also made it with peanut butter and Nutella, and loved it even more. But looking at the variety of frozen fruit I had in the freezer this afternoon (I purposely buy more fresh fruit than we can eat, and when it gets past it’s prime, I freeze it for smoothies, smoothie pancakes, etc.), I thought I’d add a little pizazz to this easy treat. I turned it into a four ingredient ice cream, and I'm very happy with the results. If you want to do what I did, just go like this: Put a couple sliced, frozen bananas, one cubed, frozen mango, and one sliced, frozen peach in a food processor. Pulse a few times, until it looks a little crumbly. Add a little skim milk and turn it on low until it comes together into a nice, smooth consistency. Scrape down the sides as needed, and if you need to add more milk, go right ahead. I think I used 1/4-1/2 cup. It’s amazing how smooth and creamy it becomes. Eat it immediately, or let it sit in the freezer for an hour or so before you scoop. Freezing it longer than that makes it a bit hard without any fat to keep it soft.


It’s little more satisfying than a smoothie, when you are in the mood for a guilt-free dessert. And I might add that the kids looooved it. After his first bite, Alex smiled and said “Ah cwean!” (ice cream). I guess I could put this in their mini cones from now on, and they wouldn’t know the difference. Next time I might try adding a few toppings, or try a new fruit combo altogether. But I think the bananas are key for the creaminess though, so I’ll always keep those in the mix. Give it a try. I think you’ll like it.

While we’re on the topic of food, this weekend, the kids had their first taste of German Pancakes, aka Hootenannies at our house, (a not so guilt-free food). I think Ruby liked them. IMG_1672IMG_1680

I never know where to aim the camera with entertainment in so many directions.

This is nothing special, just a little clip of the babies with their beloved “bakees” . They snatched them out of their cribs when I was gathering their pajamas. I think they were a tad excited to have them while they were out of bed.

I love evenings with the babies. They are always happier when they are just fed, and with their clothes off. Aren’t we all?

This gets me in the mood for a video post. Coming soon. . .

Friday, August 05, 2011

Plugging away.

It’s been pretty much same-old, same-old over here. You know--the kids stomping crackers into the carpet and spilling milk every five minutes, toting heavy toddlers to and fro in 102 degree weather just to stay sane, babies crying over ridiculous things like not being able to get a sock on but cry louder when I try to help them, some Roseola here and some colds there, watching Nemo and “Doie!” over and over and finding myself laughing at the same parts every time, having to fight to get kids dressed, a never-ending gigantic pile of laundry, about a dozen diapers a day, vegging in front of the Bachelorette, kissing chubby cheeks all day and still not feeling like I can get enough—that kind of same-old.

But really, things have been going well in our little home. I’ll go through some highlights that have made me happy lately.

  • Ruby calls both of the boys “Bit” (Bennett). For instance, once she was up from her nap before them, and when she heard one of them wake up, she looked at me excitedly and said “Des Bit!” (There's Bennett). Or she’ll hand one of them a toy and say, “ Here Bit. Oh das nice.” She always likes to acknowledge when she’s being nice. She also knows when she’s doing something that’s naughty by saying “Da naw nice!” (that’s not nice). But does she stop? Ha! Someday. Still, my girlfriend has me wrapped tightly around her finger.
  • I have a true cuddler in Bennett. That boy knows how to melt a mother’s heart. In church last week, he was feeling shy, and was wrapped around me so tight that even when I attempted to pry his arms off of my neck, his legs held fast around my waist. He also crawls onto me anytime I am still for more than a few minutes, or follows me around the house holding onto my legs until I pick him up. But it goes both ways as I try not squeeze him too tight when I hug him every time he comes near me.
  • Alex is a chatterbox. He talks to people on the phone as if they’re having a genuine conversation. He even has laughing breaks mid conversation. Sometimes he’ll just spout off random words like this, “One, two, bus, K, Ruby, rectangle, giraffe, bye-bye, see ya, hahaha.” I love when he looks me right in the eye with a straight face and just says a bunch of gibberish. I hope he always wants to have these serious conversations with me.
  • Ruby has officially learned to put on her own pants and some shoes (though she’s been and expert at taking off her clothes for weeks now). She hates when I dress her, and usually runs the other direction when I come at her with a simple t-shirt. But she LOVES to put them on herself. Yes, she gets very frustrated when it doesn’t work out (like when she tried to put on her swimsuit over her head), but yesterday she came into her room for naptime with her pants on perfectly, excepting the little help she needed to get them over her puffy bum. And because of all this drama, she’s usually seen only partially dressed, or only wearing a diaper these days.
  • There are a few things that Bennett says that make me laugh every time. Sometimes he just goes around the house saying “ooooOOOOkay” making his voice go really high on the last few Os. He has another version of ‘okay’ when he’s upset or nervous (like when he can see that I’m getting the bag ready for us to leave the house and he wants me to take him outside first). He’ll just cling to me and say, “okayokayokayokayokay” over and over, really fast, with a distressed tone. And if he hurts himself, or sees that someone else is hurt, or is even just in the mood, he’ll say an adorable “ Oh sawy” (sorry) in his cutest little high voice.
  • Alex loooooooves to dance. He dances at the mall play place, he dances in nursery, he dances in his car seat, and of course he dances through the halls of our home from the the time he wakes up until the time she goes to bed. And he has got some MOVES! The shoulder action is what gets me. I love seeing my baby get his groove on while he watches for my approval and tries to make my laugh. And for the record, they all love a good dance party. (Bennett’s favorite move is his right foot stomp. It’s intense.)
  • There are a few books they have become particularly fond of. We always leave most of the words out and listen for them to fill in the blanks (which also works well with the songs they love). Sometimes I even catch them reading (or singing) them on their own, having memorized the book well enough to say most of the words on the page. I love that I have little ones that no one else would be able to understand, yet I know almost every word they’re saying. That’s how you know you’re really a mommy.
  • They are also all obsessed with signing the alphabet. The can each do quite a few letters, but they each seem to have a favorite. Ruby appropriately loves R, Alex prefers P, and Bennett is often found signing an F. They can also repeat back any that we sign to them. It gets a little distracting in church even if we’re trying to be discreet. Hopefully they learn to whisper soon. They also never tire of counting. They know up to 15 pretty well, and then go straight to 20. They can even be found counting with their little fingers up to five. One way to cheer everyone up is to get out our number and letter flash cards. They have a blast shouting out what they see as I flip through the deck. Colors are also a fascinating right now. They love the song from Signing time, “Do you know the colors of the Rainbow”. I just wish it wasn’t stuck in my head all the time.

I’m sure the list could go on for hours, but these are just a few tidbits off the top of my head. Things are crazy, things are happy, and things are good. Now for the pictures. Get ready.

Watching the rain.021020I love Bennett’s face in the reflection.016

They loved the prizes that Grandma and Grandpa Robinson brought when they visited in July. We just had to put on Ruby’s hula gear with the new leis. Sorry Alex.179193

Grandparents are always a great source of entertainment.051055

They can’t pass up a good puddle jumping.029031

Bennett also got his first taste of dirt. 039

We could not resist trying out the new Cafe Rio 35 minutes from our house! I won’t tell you how much of that salad I ate by myself.044

Ruby is my child of many quirks:

She makes hilarious faces while pretending to be a baby.066

She puts every article of clothing she can find on her legs (which here includes a Christmas placemat?).003018

When I get her out of her crib, more often than not she brings all her gear with her and carries it around collecting more things as she goes.014

Once I caught her putting on every bib we own. Whatever keeps the girl happy.017041043

Group pictures are so rare, I had to post all the kids sitting with their auntie Lili. Penny’s face!012

Bennett is a lounger. 016

Is there such a thing as diaper suspenders? I might have to start using duct take one of these days.065

Alex is very infatuated with my “haya” (hair). He’ll play with it as long as I let him. I love it,until gets pulled or sat on too much.080082

Bennett tried to use his angelic little face to get out of trouble from the mess they made and the DVDs they broke. They figured out the child lock on the cabinet. Now we have resorted to a bungee cord around the tv stand, as well as the kitchen table. My home is a joke. 099

Sweet sleeping Ruby.056057

And one day I found the boys sleeping in the exact position. It weirded me out a little, especially with them dressed the same, and their blankets in the same place. Twin powers unite!127125

Alex was just minding his own business, enjoying the basket alone. . .108101

until everyone else had to join in. 116

Playing “Darling!”010012

We gave the Annapolis Mall play place a try one day, and it was a HUGE success. We went before the stores even opened (which was also great because we were the first ones there, hopefully minimizing the germ contact a little), and the kids had the place to themselves. 022028033034043

We then hit a couple stores. Thank you Crazy 8 for your lovely TV playing kids shows. The babies ate their cheerios like popcorn as they watched something about dogs while we shopped. 047

Love those little men. 050

I made some sugar cookie dough using egg beaters, hoping the kids would play with it like play dough. Ha. I knew they would eat it, but thought they would play a little. Nope. Every little piece I gave them went right into their mouths. So I did this with the rest of the dough. They loved their “bumbo” or "mumbo" or "ramow" (each as a different version of "rainbow") cookies. IMG_1573

Bennett grabs hold of any blanket he sees. 022024

There you go Mom (or anyone else that is still here). I’ll leave you with that sweet little face. Catch-ups are fun for me too, since I rarely sit and peruse all the pictures I’ve taken in the last few weeks. We’ll see what the kids come up with for our next round of crazy catch-up.