Tuesday, October 30

Lint Roller Art (also entitled- easy sticky art for toddlers that doesn't involve glue, thank goodness and amen.)

I really enjoy giving Ava and Molly little projects to do.
They love coloring, stickers, and do-a-dot markers.

Today, I wanted to do something fall-ish/thanksgiving-ish
to match the rest of my fall decorations and decor.

confession: I left my fall decorations in the garage because i-just-didn't-feel-like-getting-it-all-out-this-year-thank-you-very-much. thanksgiving project + toddlers = decorations!    

Anyway, I wanted to do some sort of turkey project and decided on a turkey mosaic design 
because I'm fancy like that. 

confession: not really fancy. I just didn't feel like cutting feathers. Straight lined rectangles were easier.

Here is where my dilemma lay. 
Construction paper + glue = really, really sticky. 
Add two toddlers to that mess and you are basically asking for an emergency bath before sundown.

I thought about double sided tape but knew I'd need a ton of it.

Then I started wishing there was such a thing as sticky paper....
and suddenly I realized that it did exist. It lived on my lint roller!

I taped two pieces onto a piece of paper
and taped a little turkey body on the paper, too. 
Voila! Easy for toddlers to stick paper to and easy clean up for mommy!

I think Lint Paper Art is here to stay. 
It worked really well!
I showed them how to put it on the sticky part of the paper
and they really started getting the hang of it and did it all by themselves!

Both girls really enjoyed it. 
Molly was bobbing her head and started saying "Stick a stick a stick a stick a"
and my little Ava was all business as usual. Give her a job and she'll get er done.

on a side note: 
I can't tell you how amazing it is to me
how different my girls are 
and how I love them exactly the same 
for exactly who they are. 
Not a drop more in either love bucket. 
I feel pretty special to be their mommy
and am so proud of how much they learn and do every day!

Speaking of being proud of them,
I taped those pictures right up on my cabinet
and keep going into the kitchen to look at them.
None of my other fall decorations would hold a candle to these pictures...

...even if they had made it out of the garage. 

Wednesday, October 10

Easy Cheesy Winner Dinner

I love this baked ziti recipe.
I found it when we first got married
and I was still just learning my way around the kitchen.
It's easy, we've eaten it a lot,
but it's still a winner
and great for leftovers.
oh. and ava and molly could probably eat this whole pan themselves. in one day. not even kidding.

It's hard to mess up.
Just remember to not add the mozzarella cheese topping
until after it's cooked for an hour.

Oh... and the best part?
You don't have to boil the pasta beforehand
and you don't need special no-boil noodles.
Just dump your ziti right into the cheesy sauce goodness bowl
and it will cook in the oven.

I guess you could add a vegetable...
but I like my baked ziti untainted.
I'd rather eat a side of green beans
and enjoy my ziti just the way it was intended to be.

So here's the details:

1 jar of your favorite sauce (I used a basil red sauce from Cucina Antica I got with a living social deal)
1- 1.5 cups of water (I did about a cup)
1 15 oz container of Ricotta
2 cups of mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan (I didn't have this so I left it out. Still tastes good and hey... saves a few bucks without sacrificing much)
8 oz of pasta straight out of the bag/box (They say ziti, I used Trader Joe's whole wheat fusilli- just as yummy)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Set aside one cup of the mozzarella.
Dump everything else into a medium sized bowl.
Stir stir stir.
Dump the mixture into a 9x13 pan.
Cover said pan with tinfoil.
uncooked fusilli in there! don't worry! it will cook!

Cook for 55 minutes.
Take foil off,
add the last cup of mozzarella cheese,
and bake for another 5 uncovered.
uncovered and cheese-ified.

Let sit for 10 minutes.
Eat. Enjoy.
get into my belly now.

Easy, right?
Here's the official link....

Sunday, September 23

A & M

Dear Ava and Molly,

Today you are 16 months old.
16 months!

You are growing faster than time flies
and time. is. flying.

Ava- today, when we said "Night night" to you,
you said "Night-night Da-Da".
I never knew two word sentences could make me so proud.

Molly- you really needed your Mommy today
and just wanted to be with me
and that's okay by me
because I always want to be with you and your sister, too.

Little girls,
you are cautious and fearless all at the same time.
you are lovely and sweet and rock at cuddling.
you love bath time and play time and bed time.

It makes me sad but also proud
as I notice your wispy baby hair disappear into curls
and your once toothless smile turn into a teethy grin
and your first little "big-girl" shoes start to fit a little too tight.

And something compelled me
to stop the movement of the evening chores
and write this letter to you.
Paper and ink (or whatever the medium) helps make life slow down
even just for a minute,
and I needed that tonight.
I needed to slow down before the busy week began
and write this to you.

And tonight, I'm going to get you out of your cribs when I go to check on you
and hold you tight,
and smell your freshly washed soft, wispy curls,
and kiss your little noses,
and tell you how much I am in love with you.

to the moon and back, babies,
and back once more.

Tuesday, August 21

12:37 am

sometimes in the middle of the night when it's quiet,
i stop. i think.
i write.
i steal little bites of a dark chocolate bar.

and i see the gifts.
they are right in front of me.
i get so busy looking ahead
that i forget to look right here.

and then when my world is sleepy and stopped until tomorrow, 
and it's just me with no distractions,
i see them.

books on the floor, left crinkled and opened by little hands.
ava's dolly next to her chair, ready for a new day of patting and kissing.
a clean kitchen and put away dishes (and a husband who lovingly did it).
my soul warmed from an evening of mochas and friendship.
and a trader joe's bag on the counter filled with nourishment and satisfaction. 

yes. as i sit here and decide to let go,  
and give away the worries and guilt and questions to the One who tells me I don't need them,
it's then that i can sit and see that He takes care of me right here
and blesses me with so many things 
that i so easily can look beyond and miss to see.

Tuesday, August 7

Scotch Tape and Eric Carle

Earlier on, 
I found Molly and Ava reading the same book. 
As in, the same copy.
Eric Carle's Opposites
was now not one book, but two.

I started to feel myself getting frustrated.
I like things to stay nice and put together
and Ava and Molly have been in a destructive mood lately.
Food all over the floor, toys dumped and chewed on, 
and I'm pretty sure that they must have a pet beaver hidden somewhere
by the extensive bite marks all over their cribs.

But in all honesty,
when I took a step back and saw the girls reading quietly, 
I realized it wasn't a big deal.
It's just stuff.
Plus they were sharing. 
That is a big deal.

So tonight, 
I'll dig in my junk drawer for scotch tape
and bandage the little wounded book up
and place it on the shelf
but today,
I'm just going to let them enjoy this book apart, together.

Sunday, July 29

Sort of new. Sort of the same.

I'm still here.

I had a little blogging break.
Life has been moving so quickly.
Literally quickly.
Ava and Molly are walking now.
and oh my sweet goodness are they fast.
When I heard the next stage was "toddling",
I kind of pictured a slow waddling walk,
kind of like what I try to do at the gym.
Ava and Molly do not toddle.
They basically do a wobbly-sometimes-resulting-in-falling-run.
Sometimes away from me
(because they have the remote or my phone or 13 wipes they pulled out of the container).
Sometimes to grab a toy that there is a sudden emergency to have
(usually because their sister wants it).
Sometimes right into my arms 
(which automatically becomes my favorite moment of the day). 
And sometimes just to run just because they can 
(which is adorable to watch).

but anyway, I'm still here.
and back to blogging. 
and still writing about life and babies and faith and food.

But I did change my blog name,
changed the url (www.lovetheblink.com- so please change it if you subscribe),
and my page even got a little makeover.

And to explain more and the who and the why about this newish, oldish blog
please read the "about me" section at the top of this page.
and don't forget to have that snack. : )

Monday, May 7

Love the Blink You're In

Blogging hasn't happened in awhile over here.
Life gets busy and the days quickly go by
and then you wake up and your sweet twin baby girls are almost one.
You somehow blink and when you open your eyes,
eleven months and thirteen days have past on by.

And in that blink,
somewhere between the eyes closing
and them opening back up,
you have loved two little people deeper than you knew possible,
two little people that you grew inside your belly,
and from when they arrived into the world,
went from two six and a half pound peanuts
who only knew how to cry and nurse and sleep,
to two twenty one pound almost toddlers
who feed themselves and take steps and call you mama.

And if something could be taken away from that blink,
something to carry into future blinks,
it would be to love the blink you're in.
to embrace the every day.
to live in the here and now.
to not worry about the house selling
and the weight you want to lose
and the future goals and if the house is clean
and the next thing on the to-do list.

Because in time
all those things can come to be
but it's in the now
that now happens.
and it's gone in a blink.

And I'm not hinting at regret
about how I spent the past eleven months and thirteen days.
I spent many a sweet moment
savoring that beautiful baby smell,
cuddling their little warm bodies close to mine,
and kissing their soft, chubby cheeks,
recognizing that it goes by quickly
and telling myself... "remember this".

But the tendencies to let life take me in,
to be swept away by the busy and the stress,
and letting the ordinary become mundane,
are always pulling and nagging.
to do more. be more. and clean and fix and plan.

Yet it's in the ordinary...
somewhere in the oatmeal eating and cheerio grasping,
the chubby thighs and tiny toes,
the one legged crawl and wobbly stands,
the start of curls in the back of their heads
that you notice while you read story after story,
and the little cries for mama as they reach their small arms up...
it's in those ordinary moments
that joy is found.
that love is present.
and life is truly lived.

Of course, there are days with
too much crying and "Where is Daddy?" and "Is it really only noon?"
and those days are not fun by any stretch of the imagination,
and there is no guilt in a mommy time out
as you kiss your sweet babies' cheeks goodbye
and they enjoy an afternoon with their daddy
while you eat Reese eggs and take a bubble bath and walk around Target
without a diaper bag and a stroller and a cart and two babies and your coupons.

And one of the greatest things to remember as a mother,
to believe in the deepest part of your core,
is that your best today is enough
as you teach and love and give
to the little people you grew inside your belly
and take care of as they grow outside in the world.
To recognize that mistakes will be made,
the house will not always be clean,
the vegetables will go bad while the Oreos are eaten,
and the only squats done all day will be the ones you do
when you pick up fallen peas and bananas around the high chairs.
but that's all okay...
because if you look closely,
those same moments
are filled with cheerios and chubby cheeks,
little ones finding their voice with mamas and peek a boos,
tiny toes and little socks,
new teeth smiles and squeaky giggles.

And all of those sweet, simple moments
during the first 353 days of life shared between a momma and her babies,
will be as quickly gone as they came,
and the greatest thing you can do
is let tomorrow be tomorrow,
your best be enough,
and enjoy today, today.

Love the blink you're in.

Tuesday, February 21

7x7 Link Awards

I was linked to this fun challenge by a fellow blogger whose posts make me laugh and make me feel normal, as I relate to her twin-mommy-hood-posts. I took the challenge and it was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy!

1. thank the person who nominated you
Thank you, Devan!! I love that in some way we are friends, even though we have never met. I would like to think that if we lived in the same area, we would be real-life-hanging-out-friends instead of cyber-world-friends as we go through twin girl adventures together. 

2. share 7 things about yourself 

1. I am kind of obsessed with food and dieting, which though they sound similar, are the exact opposites in my brain. Chocolate food, buttery food, cream cheesy food, nutella food, peanut butter food, fun dip and smarties food, and white kit kat foods equals happy and dieting equals sad. I am in a perpetual state between swearing off my happy foods and shoving them down my throat. 

2. I have wanted to be a mommy since I could say the word "mommy". And I never thought I would be one of the people who struggled with getting pregnant. But guess what.... I struggled with getting pregnant. During the year plus of trying to conceive, my husband broke his neck and should have died, a bajillion people I knew got pregnant, I ate my feelings in the form of oreos and milkshakes, and I cried a lot... but as I look back, it was a beautiful chapter in the story God is writing for my life. I fell into the arms of my Savior and started to truly let Him carry me because I was too tired and broken to walk on my own. I felt the Peace that passes all understanding. I learned to slow down and find the beauty in my circumstances... or more importantly, to trust that the beauty was there, even if I couldn't see it myself. 

3. I was *shocked* when I found out I was pregnant with twins. With a capital "are you freaking serious??". You would think someone that does fertility treatments who is also a someone who googles their brains out about every single thing would somehow think that twins could happen. But the doctor said it was unlikely that I would get pregnant on the first round of treatment and so I never even imagined I would get pregnant times two! But you know what? It was perfect. I'm glad I hadn't thought of it. The surprise was incredible. Dan and I started laughing and my heart was full of joy. I had prayed and yearned for a baby for so long and God blessed me with two! 

4. I kind of wish I had the talent to be on Broadway. My "acting days" (definitely and absolutely this term should be taken loosely) of high school are long gone and my singing days never really arrived, but my days of listening to and belting out the Miss Saigon and Wicked soundtracks in the car and in the shower are certainly here to stay.

5. It took me forever to come up with Molly's name. Since before we even decided to start trying to have a baby, Dan and I knew that if we had a girl, it would be Ava, and if it was a boy, it would be Jack. Never did I think I would need two girl names at once- what a fun challenge!! And so the search for a name began. Molly was Lily, Julia, Jenna, and Evelyn before she was Molly. And then while watching America's Next Top Model, there was a contestant named Molly and it just clicked for me. No- I didn't name Molly after someone on ANTM (not that there is anything wrong with that). It just gave me the idea. I still didn't commit 100% because obviously I was having name committal issues but sure enough, in the end, my sweet little baby B was named Molly.

6. I am a bonafide tv junkie. I watch way too much- nap time, dinner time, after baby bed time.... that tv is on. Sometimes I think I should turn it off and enjoy the quiet but usually, I don't. Even while doing chores or making dinner- I'm usually watching tv. Unless I'm vacuuming. That proves to be a little too fancy for me. But don't think I've thought about inventing a vacuum with a tv on it. That would be awesome. Kind of like those treadmills with tvs on them... those make me feel like maybe I'm not the only one obsessed with the tube.

7. I am petrified of the dark. I'm the girl who sleeps with the lights on if Dan isn't home, thinks that the $40 that goes to our security system every month is the best money we spend, and thinks that hiding under sheets and blankets protect me from "bad men". Darkness is almost as scary as dieting. Almost.

3. share 7 of your blog posts, in the following categories:
most beautiful: this one about awarding a pulitzer prize or this one about God testing my faith, because God taught me so much during that time in my life and there isn't much in life as beautiful as that. also this one about my mom... no explanation needed. <3

most helpful: mmm, i have a couple helpful posts you might be interested in: a warning about the laffy taffy looking stuff at the dentist, and why painting your bathroom is a bad idea

most popular: my post about the gym (shout outs to the scarf wearers) and big foot's brother from another mother (still traumatized). oh- and this was the most viewed Ava and Molly post

most surprisingly successful: my very first blog post!! i was nervous to start but i'm glad i did! 

most underrated: I was shocked that I apparently birth beavers but not many other people were. what are you trying to tell me?

most pride worthy: this post about Flipper because after I wrote it, I actually did learn to dive!

4. nominate another blogger

Michelle (ready. set. go!)

Thursday, February 9

31-33 Weeks!

more pictures!!! 
these are some of my favorites. 
and remember, 
next week starts weekly uploading!
and this isn't some flaky promise
like all my diet and exercise promises are. 

speaking of dieting, 
i am a failure. 
i love food so much. 
i'm still trying. desperately. 
but i'm afraid that possibly my every day scarf wearing 
might be here to stay. 

ok. i know you are all tired of hearing 
about my chubby issues.
picture time.

31 Weeks
someone had a minor crying crisis directly before this picture. can you guess who?

loving molly's ballerina pose.

another crying crisis. look at molly's sympathetic face. presh.

32 Weeks

33 Weeks

love these cuties.

Tuesday, February 7

28-30 Weeks

Here I am,
catching up again on weekly picture uploading.
Starting next week,
I am going to start posting them every week again.
Week 38 starts weekly uploading!

Alright- here are three weeks worth of pictures of my little peanuts.
I love them.
Heart bursting over here.
And I need a tissue...
These were taken only a few weeks ago
and already, they look so teeny in these pictures!





Sunday, February 5

Twas' the Nap Before Dinner

Twas the nap before dinner, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The babies were tucked in their beds with care,
In hopes that their mommy would not know what they were doing in there.

The babies were quiet up there in their beds,
While visions of snacks and tv danced in mommy's head.
And so mommy ate her snack and laid down for a nap,
Assuming the babies were doing just that.

The babies came downstairs from their very long nap
And Mommy sat Molly upon her lap.
Suddenly, Mommy exclaimed "What's this I see?"
As she noticed tiny flecks of paint all over Molly.

Suddenly Mommy realized, and there arose such a clatter,
Daddy sprang from the kitchen to see what was the matter.
Away to the nursery Mommy flew like a flash,
Immediately thankful the cribs didn't cost a lot of cash.

With one little molly-pop, so lively and quick,
Mommy knew in a moment she had bitten her crib.
There they were, teeth marks big in size,

Molly's little crib had been beaver-ized!

Tuesday, January 17

yes. i go to the gym now.

ok. I need to start blogging again.
I am behind in posting the girls' weekly pictures.
I need to be better at that.

I also need to be better at blogging, period.
about stuff.
like how many double stuffed oreos i have eaten since the babies were born
(like enough to go around the world at least four times).
and how chubby i am.
like really. it's bad.
like "eat-a-half-of-a-digiorno-pizza-and-a-piece-of-wegmans-sheet-cake-and-some-cheez-its-and-still-feel-hungry-because-my-stomach-is-a-bottomless-pit-of-food-wanting-chub" chubby.

so for two weeks now,
i've been going to the gym.
you're shocked?
i'm shocked, too.
here is my true life experience while i'm there...

picture me.
with my thunder thighs and jelly belly
rocking out to Black Eyed Peas
in my pre-fat workout pants
which my muffin top is rockin.

then picture this.
there are skinny minny girls all around me
going twice as fast, barely breaking a sweat
and looking twice (or more like 10 times) as nice
in their workout clothes.
seriously. they look hot.
and i just look like a hot mess.

feeling sorry for me yet?
well there they are, bouncing about, averaging 10 miles an hour
not even breaking a sweat
while i'm going approximately a tenth of a mile an hour
dripping in so much sweat
that i look like i just came from some swimming/diving attempts
and forgot to change my clothes.

suddenly i have a drink-water-now-or-you-will-surely-die emergency
and i forget to sip slowly and inhale water instead and start choking
while trying to keep cool and carry on.

in case you didn't know, drinking is hard when you are also ellipticalling.
well, it's hard unless you are one of the skinny minnies next to me...
i'm pretty sure they were texting, on Facebook, and smiling
all while taking cute little sips from their water bottles while their pony tails bounced.
meanwhile, i couldn't even manage to drink some water
without almost falling off the machine.

and why am i telling the world this?
because it needs to stop.
i need to stop the madness
and be able to wear my clothes
without a scarf.

yes. you probably have seen me in a scarf recently
and thought i have an obsessive desire to wear scarves every day.
truth be told, i wear them to hide the twin baby belly jiggle
that the babies forgot to take with them when they exited.

i even contemplated wearing a scarf while working out at the gym tonight.
true story.
but i decided the only thing more foolish looking
than a thunder thighed, jelly bellied, muffin topped female on the elliptical
is a thunder thighed, jelly bellied, muffin topped, scarf wearing female on the elliptical.

and so i ventured out into skinny (wo)man land
and got on that elliptical
and jiggled myself all the way over 2 miles.
and even though i almost died
from drowning in sweat and choking on water
it felt good.

and hopefully the miles (and the miles per hour) will go up
and the jiggle will go down
and the scarfs can come off
and the pants can be buttoned.
wait. i didn't tell you the scarf is also hiding unbuttoned pants?
well, guess what, my friends...