Tuesday, December 30, 2008

6 months at lightning speed!

Whoa! Where did the last 6 months go? I know that time definitely seems to go faster when you have kids, but now that I have two 4-year-olds, two babies, and a start-up company to keep up with, time has never moved so quickly. Yes, Franklin and Carlton are six months old today! I keep remembering a phrase that someone told me when I was overwhelmed by taking care of Cora & Greta. It goes something like this: "for mothers the days are long, but the years are short." How true that is. The four years of Greta & Cora's lives seem to have also flown by, but I know that there were days that I thought would never end.

As I did with Cora & Greta, I took Carlton & Franklin to have six month portraits made. They are not able to sit up on their own yet, so it made things quite interesting. Carlton was asleep when we (Mom went with us) got there, so he wasn't as happy as Franklin, who was Mr. Smiley the whole time, but neither boy cried at all the entire time, so that was nice. I've been working on giving them tummy time and encouraging them to roll over and try sitting up, all the time wondering what I'm doing to myself! In fact, today Carlton rolled over more times than he has total to date so far. He kept rolling from his back onto his tummy and then getting frustrated. Franklin is quite content to lie on his back wiggling and kicking. I try to remind myself to ENJOY these days before they become mobile since they won't stop moving once they're able to. That's Franklin in the light blue and Carlton in the red.

Oh, and I finally started feeding them some baby cereal a couple of weeks ago. Our whole family has been sick off and on for the past three to four weeks, the holidays were busy, and our internet service has been sporadic lately, so my online time has been rather limited. Anyway, I have to say (while trying hard not to toot my own horn too much) that I am SOOOOO happy that someone (not naming any names) invented the Baby Dipper bowl and got it to market before I had to spoon-feed another baby. I haven't gotten the high chairs set up yet since they're only eating a tiny amount of cereal once a day, so I use the Bumbo seats and a little stool as a table, placing a Baby Dipper bowl on the stool and using my hand that's not holding the spoon to wipe their faces or hands or to hold their arms down while I try to get the spoon of food to their mouths. I'll post a couple of pictures from one of our first experiences with the Baby Dipper bowl. By the way, Carlton is much more interested in eating than Franklin is, but Franklin seems to slowly be getting more interested in actually eating than just pushing the food out of his mouth. I know it's early yet, but I'm ready for them to be eager to eat. That's Carlton on the left and Franklin on the right.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jumping in the Leaves on Thanksgiving

So, I tend to post things out of order, but at least they get posted eventually. Though we had cold, rainy weather the day after Thanksgiving, we were treated to a beautiful, sunny afternoon on Thanksgiving day. We were at my parents' house in Glencoe, Alabama, where my dad had already raked up a big pile of leaves for Greta and Cora to jump in after lunch. We had beautiful leaf-jumping weather two years ago, but last year the bad weather came ON Thanksgiving and the leaves weren't as plentiful either. This year we had 13 adults and 4 kids there, so it was lots of fun just hanging out, but by far the highlight of the day was watching Cora and Greta run and jump in the leaves. Here are some of the best photos:

And our shadows started to get really long, so that was about the end of it:

Here's hoping that Thanksgiving 2009 brings another warm, sunny afternoon with lots of colorful leaves for all four kids to jump in! Carlton and Franklin will be 17 months old then!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A monumental day in a little girl's life

This was Cora's first real haircut ever. She turned 4 in October, so it was quite a decision for us and for her to make to finally cut it. She wanted to have 10 inches cut off so she could donate it to a little girl (Locks of Love) instead of 8 inches to donate to a woman (Beautiful Lengths). When the lady first started cutting she had a very solemn look on her face, but when all was said and done she was/is delighted with her short, free-moving hair. While Greta got a little trim (since she wants to donate hers next time), Cora flitted and twisted around the salon enjoying her new hairdo.So, here are some pictures from today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mom-preneur Shop-A-Thon on Tip Junkie

This is going to be a quick post since I've got to get the girls ready for gym class here soon. I just listed the Baby Dipper bowl on the Mom-preneur Shop-A-Thon on the Tip Junkie web site! There are tons of cool items from moms all over the place, so check it out to support moms like me who are trying to run a business and take care of kids at the same time! Thanks!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'.....

Yep, we had some rolling going on here today! That's Carlton and Franklin in the photo above. Both Carlton and Franklin rolled over for the first time. First it was Carlton rolling from his tummy to his back. It was less than 2 hours later and then it was Franklin rolling from his back to his tummy and did it two times! They've been in that "lay-on-my-side-try-to-roll-over-but-that-arm-is-in-the-way" stage for a few weeks now, so they have both finally made it to the point of actually rolling. Isn't it uncanny how twins do things together like that? Now I know that there will be some rolling in bed and likely some unhappiness due to ending up on a tummy (Franklin), so here's hoping that doesn't happen tonight.

Tonight I also have to start back on my injectable medicine for my Multiple Sclerosis, Betaseron. I went off of it in April 2007 when we decided to try to have another baby (not babies, but what can you do?). It's been rather nice not to have to give myself injections every other night for a year and a half, but it's time to get back on the meds since that's all the doctors can do for now. So, tonight starts the every other night ritual of self-administered injections until the pending oral medication is approved. I can't wait for that day!!!!

To end on a happy note, here is another recent picture of Franklin and Carlton. Yes, it wasn't long ago that we had weather warm enough to wear shorts and short sleeves!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thinking like a four-year-old girl

It is absolutely fascinating to see the world through the eyes of two four-year-old girls. Hans, Mom, Dad, and I continue to be amazed at the ways they express things that they want to describe, but don't know the correct word for. They usually hone in on some words they know that are similar, but not quite the final word. The latest was when I was going to draw a picture of Thomas O'Malley and Duchess from "The Aristocats" for Cora. She asked me if I was going to draw the "handsome thing" on Thomas O'Malley. At first I didn't understand what she was talking about, but then she pointed to the collar and bowtie that he has on and I knew what the handsome thing was and, yes, I did draw it.
Greta's most memorable phrase of late was when Mom was riding with the kids and me up to Greeneville, TN, for my grandmother's funeral. That day happened to be one of the super-foggy days we get here sometimes in "the valley" (that would be the Tennessee River valley). We were talking about fog, so it wasn't that Greta didn't know the word for the white stuff all around us, but she expressed it in her own astonishingly artistic way: "the fog is a blanket of white." Mom and I just sat there looking at each other for a moment in awe of what just came out of the mouth of a just barely four-year-old girl. Greta loves to look at art and notices details that we adults don't usually see. She loves the Maxfield Parrish prints we have on the wall in our guest room. We have several of the ones in the collage below, specifically, the ones on the four corners and the one on the right-hand side in the middle.

Both Greta and Cora enjoyed watching and dancing to "Singing In the Rain," especially the very artistic scene with Cyd Charisse and the famous "Singing In the Rain" scene where Gene Kelly sings and dances in the street. They have tried to duplicate the flowing dresses and streaming scarves like the "green lady" (Cyd Charisse).

It's fun to watch the girls dance since they've not been taught any real dance moves. Sometimes we have "The Cora Show" and "The Greta Show" where we put on a CD and let them dance however they desire. Greta's style is smoother, more like real dance moves. Cora's is a bit wild with her long arms & legs flapping maniacally. That's Greta at the top and Cora at the bottom. Fun times!

And, yes, I'll write something about Franklin and Carlton in the next post....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

OK, so step back in time a bit now. Greta and Cora turned four years old on Wednesday, October 29th, though their birthday party was at The Little Gym on Saturday, the 18th. In all (other than the adults), there were 8 sets of twins there! One set was 5 years old, 5 sets were 4 years old, 1 set was 2 1/2 years old, and Franklin & Carlton were 4 months old. The kids all had a ton of fun running around playing on the gym equipment and playing some "organized" games with the instructors on hand. This was the first birthday party we'd gone away from home for and we will never again have one at our house! It was SO much easier to go somewhere else and let them worry about coordinating everything including the clean-up! I did have to bring the cakes (we got one for Cora and one for Greta) and the goody bags for the guests, but that was it!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Um, Greta....

OK, so now I'm going to post a picture of Greta from July 4th eating a cupcake to celebrate the birthday of the USA. The reason for posting it is actually to enter in a contest to win a $500 gift card from Prego on the 5 Minutes for Mom blog. So, here is Greta (with all of us in the background saying, "Um, Greta, do you realize that you have a TINY bit of red icing on your face?"):

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Yes, we made it through Greta and Cora's birthday on the 29th and I'm now worn out after a day of Halloween activities, though we did not go trick-or-treating in neighborhood after all. I helped get the girls ready to wear their costumes to school and then worked a bit on Baby Dipper stuff in the morning between feedings for Carlton and Franklin. Then I got the boys in their cute little velvet pumpkin costumes and picked the girls up from school to take them trick-or-treating in Hans's office building where all of the companies had their doors decorated and were offering candy to kids whose parents work in the building. Cora dressed up as Cinderella and Greta dressed up as Snow White. They got tons of candy this afternoon and were so tired that we didn't bother going out in the neighborhood tonight. We also think that they were way overdosed on sugar after the day full of treats. We don't know exactly what they had at school, but at the office they had a few cookies & brownies. After we got home I let them each eat one piece of candy and then they shared another one, so I didn't think it was that much. Boy, was I wrong! They were completely frazzled by 6:30, much earlier than usual, and then had trouble getting settled in for sleep. Note to self: continue monitoring the sugar intake! It's amazing how just a small amount of sugar affects them! I could eat an entire bag of candy without any adverse effects except maybe an upset stomach. If they eat anything sweet, they're almost guaranteed to have an energy spurt about 30 minutes later. Here is a picture of all four of them. That's Greta holding Carlton and Cora holding Franklin:

Carlton and Greta, Cora and Franklin

Cora as Cinderella, Greta as Snow White

Friday, October 24, 2008

One generation gone

Yes, my father's mother, my Nana, or my kids' Grand Nana died on Sunday evening. She basically fell asleep in her recliner and did not wake up. The nurses at the nursing home in Gadsden, AL, found her nonresponsive with no pulse and not breathing. At the hospital they were able to get her heart beating again, but she did not breathe any more on her own. Dad made it there in time to hold her hand and tell her that it was OK to go on. She was 90 1/2 years old, so this was not at all a shock to our family. For the funeral, our whole family loaded up and drove about 5 hours to Greeneville, Tennessee, almost to North Carolina or Virginia. Yes, Huntsville is only about 25 miles from Tennessee, but Greeneville is at the far eastern end of the state. The weather was absolutely perfect - sunny and about 65 for a high and the fall leaves in the Appalachians were beautiful. Nana would have loved to have seen her old homeplace with us, but it is good for her that she doesn't have to live the way she's been living for several years now. She has been telling us for some time that she was ready to go on. I'm happy that she got to know Cora and Greta well enough to be able to tell them apart and at least got to meet Franklin and Carlton one time. Greta and Cora handled the whole thing very well, but I'm not sure they really understand that we won't go visit her any more. They enjoyed dancing and singing for her as she squealed with delight about her "little fairies." So, if you're wondering where I've been for a few days, that is at least part of it. Things continue to be as hectic as ever with our normal lives and then add to it that Cora and Greta's birthday party was last Saturday (I'll write a post about that soon) and they turn four years old on Wednesday the 29th. The good news is that they are starting to behave a little better. The threes have been the more terrible age than the twos were for them!

Monday, October 13, 2008


OK, so I messed up the formatting on the previous post. I wanted to post a lot of photos and keep it relatively short, but it is not as easy to do as I thought it might have been. Oh well. I'm sorry for the truncated words down the middle of part of it. Next time I'll do a better job, but I'm too tired to mess with it any more tonight.

Tate Farms

We (my dad, Hans, and I) took Greta and Cora to Tate Farms Cotton Pickin' Pumpkin Patch today. Mom stayed home with Franklin and Carlton so we didn't have to drag them along with us. It was actually quite warm here today, about 83 degrees, but was a beautiful, sunny, and breezy fall day. I couldn't believe how much Cora and Greta remembered from last year's visit - the hay maze, the corn bins, and the bunnies. This time we went with their preschool, which turns out to be a much better deal than paying to go on our own. For a school group admission, you get a free ride on the big tractor-pulled hay-filled wagon out to the pumpkin patch and you get to keep any pumpkin you pick out as long as you can carry it yourself. So, we came home with 3 pretty large pumpkins and 2 girl-sized pumpkins. Dad took his home, but our four are in the picture in the bathtub after their bath in bleach water. Now we need to get a pumpkin carving kit! It has been ages since I carved a pumpkin, but I know that Cora and Greta will have a blast! The other pictures show each girl jumping out of the hayloft in a barn, Hans & the girls in the hay maze, each girl buried in the corn bin, a view of the Appalachian foothills behind the vast cotton fields at Tate Farms, and the girls posing with some of the various fall displays set up just for photo ops. What a fun, but tiring day! And that was just with one set of twins that are able to run around! It will be fun again next year when Franklin and Carlton are 16 months old, but oh, how crazy will it be?!??!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Worn out from a day with all 4

Yep, I stayed home (basically) all day with all four kids. We did leave the house to take a walk, which ended up being more frustrating than anything. Hans advised me to let Greta & Cora take the wagon with them and said that they would take turns pulling each other in the wagon. Well, that lasted about the first 1/4 of the walk. After that one would pull the wagon and the other walked. Then about halfway through guess who ended up pulling the wagon? That would be Mommy, the one who was also pushing the twin stroller! That was NOT easy, particularly on my wrists since I could just barely steer the stroller with one hand. Otherwise the walk was OK and at least got us out of the house on a nice day.

Cora and Greta are counting down the days until they are four years old (10/29) and when their birthday party is (10/18). I made them a paper chain with a link for each day (with the day of the week and the date written on each link) so that they can remove a link each day. The link for their birthday party is specially decorated so they can easily pick it out of the chain. Since they had been gone for a long weekend with my parents, we had several links to remove today, so that was exciting. I also gave them some coins to put in their piggy banks and then we went through all of the coins in our coin jar to look for the state quarters that are missing from our two U.S. state quarters maps (I only bought two a couple of years ago!). I also gave them each a pad of small sticky notes, so our house is now decorated with little purple and pink sticky notes scattered around on the walls, some with words and some with scribbles or drawings. It was a really exciting day around here! I should mention that neither Franklin nor Carlton were particularly fussy today, thankfully. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fussy boys

Well, only one boy right now, but Franklin and Carlton do seem to tag-team me so that only one is fussy at a time, so there is not too much time when there is NO ONE fussing. Hans and I are making the mad dash to try to get to sleep while the sleeping is possible. Greta, Cora, and Carlton are asleep, but Franklin is still quite fussy. He had an extra bottle beyond Carlton (believe me, we tried to get Carlton to take that last bottle so he'd sleep longer!) and had three extra burps, but no luck. He's now sitting in a swing and I'm listening to the incessant lullaby song the swing plays. By the way, the boys had obviously arranged that yesterday was Carlton's fussy day and today was Franklin's. I suppose I shouldn't complain too much, though. They are only waking up once during the night now at just 14 weeks. They tend to get fussy around 5 p.m. and the "witching hours" continue until bedtime around 8 p.m. These days they usually sleep until about 3 or 4 a.m., which is pretty good! Of course, the doctors tell you that babies are STTN (sleeping through the night) if they sleep 6 hours. Not by MY definition! And, if they are up at 3, they usually wake up again around 6 or 6:30, which I consider still to be the middle of the night. Cora and Greta get up around 6:45 or 7, though, so there's no more sleeping once that happens. Oh, I miss the days when I could sleep in as late as my body would let me. 8, 9, 10.... Aaaahhhh! I thought I should post some pictures of happy boys (Carlton, left, and Franklin, right). And I should go move Mr. F. from the swing to the bed since he's been quiet for a little while now. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nicknames for kids and pets

I've always been one to give things nicknames and it has translated now even to my kids, sometimes without much of a real explanation. For instance, I had a cat named Rocky as a kid. I called Rocky "My Wabulwy." Who knows?!?!? I call our curent cat Brady "Squidge." Growing up, my brother, sister, and I had lots of nicknames (all meant fondly) for our parents. Mom was things like "Bonkabalaba" and "Blob." Dad started out as "Dadlet," which then morphed into "Didlet," "Piglet," and "Pig" or "Piggy." So, what do I call Greta, Cora, Franklin, and Carlton? That would be "Greta Padetta," "Cora Fedora," "Frankalino," and "Carltone." Of course, now if we ask Greta and Cora if they are Greta Padetta (or as my husband says, Greta Rosetta) and Cora Fedora we are answered with a resounding "NO! I'm just Greta/Cora!" Oh, and the nickname for each set of twins: Greta and Cora are "The Weebies" and Franklin and Carlton are "The Weeboys."

Monday, October 6, 2008

This crazy online world!

So, now I'm on Facebook and Twitter and have a blog and a web site, too. Plus I'm on a couple of moms' message boards. So many things to do and so little time. I apologize if I don't get to post blog entries every day. For those who don't know me, you'll learn (if you keep reading my posts as I go) that I like to think things through very thoroughly before proceeding. I do get a lot done considering what I have to do for the four kids, Baby Dipper, and everything else around the house. My sister asked me if I get up every morning with a very optimistic view of how much I will get done that day. My answer was "yes!" Reality generally proves me wrong, but I still start each day on a positive note.

My parents took Greta and Cora with them to Georgia this past weekend to visit with my brother, Shawn, and my sister, Melissa, and her husband, Adam. Uncle Shawn gave the girls fishing poles and they had a blast fishing, swimming, and boating at the lake. So much so that they don't want to come home! They're actually now at my parents' house in Alabama, but it is so much more fun than our house since they have more fun stuff to do than we do here at home. That's Shawn showing Cora & Greta how to hold a fishing pole and Greta with her big catch.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

OK. First entry...here goes...

Well, I have been realizing for quite some time that I need to blog. I need to blog for my friends and family who live far away. I need to blog for Baby Dipper to get the word out about the Baby Dipper bowl to those who would enjoy and/or benefit from using one. I need to blog to get things off my mind and off my shoulders. I started posting some things directly on the Baby Dipper web site, but I think this new blog will be much more functional and fun. I thought the title My Double Life would be appropriate for the TWO sets of TWINS I have and the double roles I have as a mother and an entrepreneur. I'll post more as I have time, but with 1 husband, 2 sets of twins under the age of 4, 3 start-up companies (1 of which is mine), 2 cats, and 1 household to run, the numbers add up to me not having much spare time. Please bear with me as I get going on this. In the meantime, here's a photo of Greta holding Carlton and Cora holding Franklin to tide you over until I figure things out.