Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cort the comedian...

Here is my favorite conversation with Cort from this week. By way of background info, I had been begging Cort to wear these new, cool shoes I bought him. He was complaining that they were too big the last time he tried them on and I urged him to just try again and see how they fit. I finally got through to him and he disappeared into the mud room to try them on. From the other room I heard him excitedly saying how well they fit and how perfect they were for today and how good they looked on him. Then he came back into the kichen…

Cort: Carter and I are asking some girls something today and you have to look really good to do that.

Mom: What are you asking them? (trying soooo hard to suppress laughter!)

Cort: (shyly) I’m not telling.

Later Cort disappears to gel his hair and comes back carrying my bottle of mouthwash.

Cort: Can you open the mouthwash for me? I want to look really good. Really good. (pause) Today’s just a special day and there’s no reason.

I thought I would split in two I was trying so hard not to die laughing and keep a straight face. You can bet I was aching for him to get home from school so I could ask how things went and what, exactly, he and Carter were up to. Come to find out Cort was telling one of his classmates that she was pretty and Carter was having Cort be the go-between to ask another girl if she’d be his girlfriend. I’m sure glad Cort had the new shoes, hair gel, mouthwash combo going for him on such a BIG DAY!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Santa's Lap





This must be some kind of record! Somehow we were able to get a picture of each of our five kids on Santa's lap and all of them were smiling. I doubt Jake and Emmy will be so eager next year! I guess I have to admit that I just LOVE the 2nd Christmas picture with Santa. The first year they are always too young to resist very much but by their second time around they are downright hilarious--screaming and clawing and scrambling for their parents. I love it. Anyway, here are the traditional photos (thanks to the ward party, we avoided a painful trip to the mall or wherever else it is you can go these days to sit on Santa's lap and have your picture taken!). Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fall Photos...

Here is a little bit of what we've been up to lately:


PAINTING MACY'S ROOM...WE PAINTED IT LAVENDER WHEN WE MOVED IN LAST SUMMER AND NOW I FINALLY GOT AROUND TO ADDING THE SEMI-GLOSS STRIPES THAT WERE PART OF MY ORIGINAL PLAN. I LOVE HOW IT TURNED OUT AND AM TRYING TO TALK MACY INTO SWITCHING ME ROOMS STRAIGHT ACROSS! :)


COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS LEADING UP TO THANKSGIVING. THE KIDS HAD SO MUCH FUN ADDING THEIR OWN TO THE WALL. I THINK CORT HAD BYU OR SOME DERIVATIVE OF BYU UP THERE SEVERAL TIMES. THIS IS SOMETHING WE'VE DONE BEFORE AND WILL DEFINITELY TRY TO DO EVERY YEAR.



DROWNING IN BABY GEAR! IMAGINE TWO HIGH CHAIRS, TWO EXER-SAUCERS, TWO BOPPY PILLOWS, TWO BOUNCY SEATS, TWO INFANT CAR SEATS AND OODLES OF STROLLERS OF ALL SIZES AND CONFIGURATIONS.


LAUGHING AT CALEB. HONESTLY, THIS PICTURE PROBABLY NEEDS NO CAPTION. WHAT BETTER ENSEMBLE COULD BE THROWN TOGETHER THAN HIGH HEELS, COWBOY ATTIRE AND NO PANTS? HOT STUFF.


COLLECTING LOTS OF NOTES AND ARTWORK FROM SWEET CORT. THIS ONE IS A FAVORITE AND A CORT ORIGINAL (ie. no help from mom or dad writing it or coming up with the phrasing). I LOVE HOW HE TELLS ME IT'S "BEN NICE" HAVING ME IN OUR HOME. HILARIOUS AND SO ENDEARING.


MOVIE NIGHTS!! WE'VE BEEN WATCHING THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS SHOWS THAT WE BOUGHT ON DVD YEARS AGO (RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER, FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN, ETC.). THE KIDS ARE LOVING IT.


SITTING UP AND SOOOOO PROUD! THE TWINS ARE MUCH HAPPIER NOW THAT THEY CAN SEE WHAT'S GOING ON MORE EASILY. THEY LOVE TO SIT ON A BLANKET FACING EACH OTHER AND FIGHT OVER TOYS SET DOWN INBETWEEN THEM. IT IS HILARIOUS TO WATCH THE FIRST OF THESE BOUTS OF SIBLING RIVALRY START UP. THEY ARE VERY AWARE OF EACH OTHER AND IT'S FUN TO WATCH THEM START TO INTERACT (AND SQUABBLE OVER RATTLES!).

We are doing well! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Classic Cort Comments



Just thought I'd share a small sampling of the gems Cort has shared with me this week. I swear, the kid is hilarious.

1. As we were bustling about getting ready one morning I told the kids to hurry and get their jobs done because Grandpa and Grandma Mason were coming over. Cort paused and looked at me and then asked incredulously, "Are you sure Grandpa's coming over? He's kind of a lazy dude." (that was one I particularly enjoyed sharing with my Dad!)

2. I called over to Cort's friend's house to check in on him and make sure that he wasn't getting too hungry (since the lunch hour was approaching). Cort came to the phone and I asked him what they were doing. In a dramatic voice he whined, "Jonah's playing the computer and I'm just sitting here watching him!" I suggested that maybe he should come home for lunch and take a break and then maybe they could get back together later in the afternoon. But, no, Cort insisted he wanted to stay. I said, "Well Cort, I don't want you just sitting over there watching Jonah play computer." To which he replied, exasperated: "I would go and do something else but I'm stuck here on the phone!!" Good point.

3. And then, the best for last. Today in Fast and Testimony Meeting our whispered conversation went something like this:

Cort: Are you going to bear your testimony?
Molly: No, not today.
Cort: Why not?
Molly: I just don't really feel like it today, Cort.

Ten minutes later

Cort: Are you going to bear your testimony?
Molly: No, not today.
Cort: Why? Why not?
Molly: The spirit tells you in your heart if you should bear your testimony and that's how you know if you should.

SHORT PAUSE

Cort: The spirit is telling me to tell you to bear your testimony!

I got quite a chuckle out of that and was mercifully saved from being commanded via Cort to share my testimony as Elder Nelson stood to bear his testimony and close the meeting. I think he did a better job than I would've done anyway! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THIS could happen to you....



The perfect caption for this pictures is THIS could happen to you! TWINS! Our good friends from our Muncie, Indiana days, the Torries, stopped by this past week for a quick visit. The Torries paved the way into the wonderful world of multiple births and had boy/girl twins just a few weeks after we moved away. Their twins, Brooklyn and Colby, are standing at the very back of this pack of children and are just days younger than Caleb...2 years old now. We hadn't seen their kiddos for quite a while so it was especially fun now that we have a set of boy/girl twins of our own to let the kids run around wild while we caught up and exchanged experiences on the rigors of raising lots of little people simultaneously. Between the two couples we had 9 children under the age of 7 scampering around our basement (one of the Torrie's boys was asleep upstairs on our couch and didn't make the photo). Good times! Thanks for coming to see us Torries!

On another note: You know when you have a conversation with someone that you know they probably don't remember at all, but for some reason what was said really sticks with you? Well, I had one of those conversations almost exactly 6 months ago with my brother-in-law John. The babies were tiny tiny and John was in town for their blessing day, seeing them for the first time. The baby of John's own family had relatively recently turned one and talking about that darling little boy I said to John something along the lines of: "I bet seeing these tiny babies makes you SO glad that you have all of this behind you. Don't you love knowing you never have to go back through some of these stages again?" I guess I was expecting him to say yes and go on and on about how great it was to have certain baby stages and challenges behind you "forever" but his answer has stuck with me for a long time. Instead of what I expected he commented that: No, it was actually kind for sad to him to think that he wouldn't experience those things again. He acknowledged that it was fun to watch their kids grow but that he loved every little stage and accomplishment.

Fortunately, or unfortunately (not sure which) my personality is such that I tend to relish checking things off, getting things done and going going going as fast and as hard as I can (even when I shouldn't...Spencer reminds me of this frequently). I worry that sometimes I may not enjoy NOW for what it is, instead of working and looking forward excessively. That conversation with John stuck with me and thanks to his advice, I have tried to enjoy "every little stage" of the twins lives to date and can't believe how fast they have grown and changed. It makes me teary just thinking about it. These pictures show how they've grown up in just 6 1/2 short months--it is unbelievable. Thanks John, for lots of things, but particularly for helping me appreciate every day.

FROM THIS:


TO THIS:


Friday, November 16, 2007

Addendum

Word must've somehow gotten back to Emmy about what I wrote about her in my last post because the very next day she started rolling like crazy. Amazing what a little peer pressure can do, eh?!? She also wanted me to tell you that she is doing really well sitting up all of a sudden too. A little slouchy, but sitting up nonetheless. WE LOVE YOU EMMY! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Six Month Update

I feel like life is coming at us at about a million miles an hour these days and there has been no time to post! So...as a meager attempt to keep you all up to speed on our lives, I'll include a little 6 month update I wrote for the twins' baby book. Then at least you'll know what Jake & Emmy have been up to! :) You can safely assume that the rest of us are just chugging along! This afternoon we have Cort's first SEP conference (parent-teacher conference) and both Spencer and I are planning on going. I'm sure that's a bit of overkill to have both parents attend, but hey, Cort's our first child...we don't want to miss a thing! I'm sure my the time the twins are in school we'll be drawing straws to see who HAS to go! :) Here's the update:

This month Jake has really been rolling around like a maniac. He will go and go until he hits a solid surface and then wails to be rescued. Emmy, on the other hand, has decided that rolling is altogether WAY overrated, and we can’t get her to budge off of her back or stomach, depending on how she’s set down on the floor! I’m sure it will come in time when she is duly motivated by watching her brother crawling around the room! Neither baby is sitting up unassisted yet but both are getting close. It will be nice to have them be able to sit up and see us without the assistance of so much gear. And the thought of them crawling? Dreamy! Maybe by Christmas…

Both babies love toys to play with and like to taste everything they touch. Jake can be particularly aggressive in this regard and has, on countless occasions, attempted to prove once again that neither Emmy nor her clothing are edible. When I set them down on the floor in close proximity to each other I often hear, “Mom! Jake’s attacking Emmy!” which is a fairly accurate description of Jake’s attempts to either roll up over the top of his sister or pull some part of her face or body off for a taste test! It is pretty darn cute (if you’re not Emmy, I guess!).

Speaking of food, the babies are well into solid foods now and loving their cereal or fruit and vegetable meals following nursing. Emmy finally got the hang of the spoon and Jake’s been a champ from the get-go. I feed them simultaneously (bite for one, bite for the other), and Jake often grunts with displeasure when he has to wait his turn while I’m giving Emmy a spoonful. What can I say, the boy loves to eat!

The exact DAY that the babies turned six-months old, the woman next to me in church commented about Emmy’s darling teeth. TEETH??? I had no idea. A closer inspection ruled that yes, Emmy indeed is cutting her two bottom teeth simultaneously and Jake has two poking through on the bottom as well. Man! The things you miss when you’re distracted by three other needy kiddos! Thanks to the aforementioned teeth, I slept for 3 hours last night and spent most of my time pacing the upstairs with a poor, suffering Emmy. Ugh. But, I’m sure they will be cute once they break through all the way!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Highlights

I don't know what the Halloween equivalent of the Christmas "Bah-Humbug!" is, but it probably applies to me. I don't know why I don't really dig Halloween but I guess I'm coming to grips with the fact that I don't. For some reason I don't really get into the "spooky" decorations, although I love "autumn" decor, and getting everyone into and out of their costumes for the family party, the ward party, the school party, and then finally for the actual trick-or-treating wears me out! SIGH. So, that said. We had a really FUN Halloween. Seriously. We did. Sure, I grumbled a bit while I carved a pumpkin franctically all by myself at 5pm on Halloween night and was a little frazzled trying to get everyone to inhale some pizza just moments before throwing costumes on for the umpteenth time and heading out the door. But, once we were on our way, the kids had a BLAST! :) We took the whole crew out with us for a good 2 hours of trick-or-treating fun. Cort, Macy and Caleb were HILARIOUS and had such a great time. Jake and Emmy were so content strapped to Spencer and me in the Baby Bjorns and all bundled up for the walk through our neighborhood. It was a beautiful night to be outside and we had so much fun. I may not be the biggest fan of Halloween in general, but I do have to admit that kids in costume are pretty darn cute. Here's proof:







There isn't a picture of Caleb because he has an issue with being photographed (remember the Lake Mead post?!?!). Anyway, he was a puppy dog and a super cute one, at that!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

(Some of) The Richards in Disneyland!




This week has been a memorable one for us! Wednesday through Saturday, Spencer, Cort and Macy were in Anaheim, California for the kids' very first trip to Disneyland! Although the timing for Disneyland wasn't the best for our family this year (again, remember that three of our kids are under 2 years old...yikes) Spencer's family had planned a reunion, of sorts, and how could we miss the chance for our oldest two kids to have that kind of an experience with cousins?! So...early Wednesday morning, Spencer, Cort and Macy sped away in the always sleek, speedy and reliable red Honda Civic (Spencer would add: "chick magnet" to this list of descriptors, presumably becauses he drives this pathetic piece of metal and is trying to feel better about it)to make the drive while Caleb and twins and I "took one for the team" and stayed here at home to tend to the home and hearth.

As a side note, I definitely drew the short straw on this one folks, and I plan to hold this over Spencer's head for years and years to come. He owes me BIG TIME! haha Of course I'm kidding. But anyway, as much fun as it was to care for three babies for four days with no help or back up during the day or night (sarcasm, sarcasm), I don't think it held a candle to the magic of watching your kids experience Disneyland for the very first time. I was just plain super bummed not to be able to be there. Maybe next time...

Special thanks to Spencer's parents for planning and making possible such an incredible memory for our kids and their cousins! They will be talking about this for YEARS to come. We love you Grandpa and Grandma Richards!



A direct quote from Cort captures his sentiments about the trip--after reading the Disneyland slogan "Where Dreams Come True" he turned to Spencer and said, "Dad, my dreams really DID come true! I never knew it could be this great!" So, so cute. Here are a few pictures of their trip...Cort's all time favorite thing was getting chosen at the Jedi Training Academy to fight the "real" Darth Vader. You can see from his face how seriously he took this! Apparently, no smiling is allowed when you are fighting Darth.

He keeps telling me, "Mom, a Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." which is a direct quote from the bottom of the Jedi certificate they gave him at the end of his training. Hilarious.

Macy of course loved the princesses but has talked most about Splash Mountain. "Mom, we got SOAKED!"

And, yes, Caleb the twins and I survived our four days alone together and Spencer treated me to a delicious hour and half nap this afternoon so all is well and forgiven. :) Now...we are looking forward to Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

All I want for Christmas is...


Since this post is about mothers, I had to include a somewhat recent photo of my own Mom. Honestly, isn't she one hot mama?? Okay, on with the blog...

This week I enjoyed a way-too-rare girls night out with my mom, sister Jocee, cousin Katie and aunt Peg. We met at the Dodo (where else, for a GNO??) in Gateway and laughed and laughed and laughed over smoked turkey sandwiches and warm barbeque dipping sauce. It was pure heaven. The conversation was so entertaining and it felt so good to smile after a really rough day at home with the crew. It was extremely therapeutic and I'm already scheming as to how I can get this group together again next month for another night on the town.

Among several of the things we talked and laughed about was how each of us so desparately needs and wants a "Mom!" Now, of course we have one but the ones we have are no longer willing or able to do what we want and/or really need! Now, as full grown adults and mothers ourselves, we desparately need and want and, dare I say ACHE for, the mother of our infancy and childhood. You know the mother of whom I speak. She's the one who races around preparing meals to our liking and worrying that we've had enough to be completely happy and satisfied. The one who pulls the blinds, fluffs the pillow, and searches out the softest, warmest blanket before tucking us in and then being on guard for the duration of our nap to ensure that no one makes a peep to disturb our rest. The one mother who cleans up after us when we're done with whatever it was that was entertaining us, does our hair over and over until it's perfect, racks her brain thinking of what she could do for us that would be fun for a particular holiday or upcoming event. In short, the mother who is consumed with US, with OUR needs. Come on, this would be the LIFE! Each one of us at dinner that night is a mom, albeit in different stages of the adventure. But with all of our varying life experiences and challenges we could all agree...what we each want for Christmas is definitely a MOTHER! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Google amazes me again!

My great friend Amy just introduced me to something called Google Reader, which monitors the websites or blogs you "subscribe" to and lets you know when there have been updates to those sites. Maybe I'm the last person on the planet to hear about this feature, but I love being able to see at a glance if anyone has posted to their blog. If you haven't seen it before, check it out at http://www.reader.google.com/.

My brother-in-law John works for Google and probably knows about a lot more cool things Google Reader can do. Any tips to share John?? :)
Here's a quick parting shot of Jake and Emmy enjoying the swing in our backyard. Hilarious.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Couldn't have said it better myself...

What follows is an excerpt from the book “Twinspiration” by Cheryl Lage, that I read and loved when I was expecting Jake & Emmy. I love her thoughts here and can't help but wonder if Spencer and I are involved in the "extreme sports," "cross-country marathon" or "decathlon" of parenting. Read on and you'll understand. Either way, aren't most of those activities for people who are slightly NUTS?!? NUTS. Yes, finally a fitting description of us. Enjoy...

“Women who have two children closely born will regularly tell
you, “…I know how you feel.” While that comment is notoriously annoying for many twin moms, try not to take offense at the assertion. No, I don’t believe anyone other than a twin mom can actually “know how it feels.” Raising multiples is the extreme sports of parenting.

Our fellow parents with children born within a narrow, yet non-twin, span of time may have only half the difficulty during any single newborn developmental challenge, but their healing refractory window is almost entirely absent. The duration of each stage goes on twice as long. Stair-step families are the cross-country marathoners of parenting.

What of those families who have a singleton and then twins? Or twins, then a singleton? (MOLLY'S COMMENTARY: Or, heaven forbid, 3 stair-step children and THEN twins?!?!) You are the decathletes of parenting! Lend your empathy to all new parents you can. Your perspective should be universally respected.”

Anyway, I don't think our perspective should be universally respected by any means, but her analogy is cute. Recommend this book to anyone you know who is expecting twins. They won't be disappointed. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

San Diego Spectacle

We're back from a week long get-away to sunny San Diego, California and we had such a great time! Now, I should clarify upfront that this was NOT a vacation (at least not for Spencer and me)...this was definitely a trip. Those who are confused about the difference between those two things obviously don't have children! :) ha ha But either way, it was so fun being together and the kids had the time of their young lives on the beach, boardwalk, pier and back every day. As much fun as it was to leave town and have Spencer with us from sun up to sun down for seven glorious days in a row, it is amazing to me how wonderful it always is to come home. We are happy to be back in our own beds and are ready to launch back into the regular routine first thing tomorrow morning. But first, a few photos of the trip:

The title of this blog includes the word "spectacle" because that is the only word I can think of to describe us as we were out and about this trip. I swear, we were turning heads everywhere we went. My mom complained that we could never really get anywhere on our nightly walks on the boardwalk because we got stopped every 3 feet by someone googling over the babies (Spencer is still half convinced it was actually him there were googling over) and then gasping as they realized that all of the little people trailing us belonged to our family. It was hilarious. Here's a shot of us on one of those BEAUTIFUL boardwalk strolls....





And the BEACH!! Here are just a few shots of the fun the kiddos had playing in the sand and water...I swear, little kids are born for this kind of thing! They jumped over waves, chased and fed the birds endlessly, buried Cort in the sand, built all kinds of sand castles, and Cort and Caleb even boogie boarded on Spencer's back. How any of them dared get in the water without wetsuits is still a mystery to me. Brrrr!! What a great week!













Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What's on my mind...

Things I love...
1. The way Jake and Emmy hold hands while they are nursing. Sure, it's just because babies grab onto anything and everything when they are small and they just happen to be in very close proximity to each other while dining. But still, it is absolutely adorable and they've done it since the day they were born. Ohhhh...I just LOVE it.

2. That Caleb (who just turned 2 in July) is doing AWESOME on his potty training. Okay, better said, he is potty trained! On just the second day of training he did his "little pushes" (#1, for those of you who are unfamiliar with our potty training lingo!) every time all day and his "big pushes" (a.k.a. #2) once on the potty. No accidents. Since then he has had a handful of accidents but hasn't been in diapers at all (except for at night) and has even told me he needed to go and used the potty while we were out running errands. Way to go Caleb! Yahoo! Now...down to just TWO in diapers. Beats THREE!

Things I don't like...
1. When Spencer is moonlighting and doesn't get home until late (2-3 nights a week), I obviously run around like a crazy person trying to put the kiddos to bed alone. Once I get everyone bathed and brushed and in jammies, I usually send Macy to wait for me in her bed while I tuck Cort and Caleb in in the basement. Inevitably, no matter how quickly I try to go, she falls asleep before I can get there. It breaks my heart every time and I wish I could kiss her and say prayers together and tell her how much I love her and what a wonderful daugther and friend and helper she is to me. I miss those chances to sit on the edge of her bed and talk, just the two of us, for a moment. Sometimes I am spread too thin and miss important things. It makes me sad just writing about it....

2. The way I often have to expect/demand Cort, my oldest who's five, to act twice his age just because having one more person demanding my constant attention would put me under. Sorry Cort. Thanks for so being patient with me and such a mature little guy. You're an amazing big brother to all the little people who follow you in our family. We and they are lucky to have you and I definitely am NOT trying to make you grow up any faster. I'll always want you to be my little guy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

August photo moments...

Macy took this picture of me while she was photographing everything in our home with the digital camera. I wasn't exactly thrilled about having my picture taken, sitting on the floor, mid-day, spit up on each shoulder, wrestling babies and trying to keep Caleb happy. But hey, it's the first picture of me AND my babies in a while and maybe I'll be glad someday to have captured this "real life" moment with the twins.



Macy, Caleb and the twins watching "Wonder Pets" on Saturday morning. The best thing about twins is you never have to share the baby!



Me and Cort outside our home on his first day of kindergarten. What a handsome little man!



This is a shot of Jake rolling for the first time earlier this month. Emmy couldn't be shown up by her big brother and also rolled over for the first time later that same day. One of their first "firsts" and they did it together! So cute!




I don't know who is happier about Cort riding the bus to AND from school this year...me or him? Tough call.



Video proof that babies are easier than toddlers...



video



Caleb got soooooo mad every time I tried to take his picture on this trip. I don't know why, but the devilish side of me couldn't resist chasing him around the boat teasing: "Say cheese Caleb! Say cheese!" . Hence the above video clip.... He was NOT amused.





video



We took the twins with us to the Richards cabin up near Oakley for the first time over Labor Day. We only ended up staying overnight because Cort was sicker than a dog and we had to get back to do some home improvement projects, but we had a pretty good time. The mountains are so gorgeous in September. We've got to get back up there soon...



Thursday, September 6, 2007

From Spencer

Hey all. I've just read Molly's latest post (yes, a few days late, but better late than never). It's a great post. I've actually been thinking of writing about the same topic for a while now because, like Molly, I also get asked all the time how I do it (refering to raising five kids and juggling our lives) . . . Oh wait, come to think of it, I never get asked that. Now I'm starting to wonder why not. Is it because even though I think I'm doing it, I'm really not, and you folks don't want to point that out by asking how I do it? Is it because you all already know the answer ("you're married to Molly and she's got you on her back my friend")?

Regardless, Molly's answers to this burning question are pretty much what I'd say, except she missed the one about doing it to please your spouse and perhaps score some favors (a little golf time, one night a week out playing hoops, quality spousal recommitment, renewal and refill the tank time, etc). For the most part though, it's because we love what we do. We love our kids so much. Molly has been known to say how much she loves motherhood, and I couldn't be more grateful for that. I love fatherhood. I love nothing more than being with my family, playing with my kids, holding our babies. I am incredible blessed with a wonderful family, and fortunately, one that takes a lot of work and responsibility and effort and time and sweat and tears and pain and struggle because those things make me appreciate and love my family even more. One of my favorite things to do each night is to go into the kids' rooms after they're asleep and lay my head on their pillow, feel their soft cheeks on mine, and tell them I love them. I get tingles on my arms every time I do that. They are so special!

Our lives our never dull. This week has been as crazy as ever. Yesterday our neighbor's house got hit by lightening and suffered major fire damage. We grieved for them and their loss, and we were reminded how fragile and freakish life can be. We are grateful for our home, even though I've seen more of it lately than I'd care with painting pretty much the whole upstairs and now finishing a basement room (anyone want to help me tape and putty dry wall this weekend?). Cort was sick over the weekend and now Caleb has croup. I've spent a little more than my fair share of time dropping the kids off at the pool. For those of you who took that last sentence literally, let's just say I have become well acquainted with King John; I now have white porcelain tattoos on my backside; I've been doing a little plumbing lately; I . . . am probably going to get in trouble for these references by my significant other so I'll stop there. And in case there are any readers who still don't know what I'm talking about, give up.

The highlight of our weekend was the BYU game. Well, it was one of the highlights. We also spent a really nice evening at our family's cabin. The mountains were so beautiful and the clean, crisp evening air really made me excited for fall. We're looking forward to our first real family vacation in quite a while in a few weeks when we head down to San Diego. Right about now I could stand to sit on the beach and veg. Or, more accurately stated, I could stand to run along the beach and into the water chasing kids and trying to prevent drowning and digging myself out from under the bury-Dad-in-the-sand hill.

Well, I've got to run. I have now fulfilled Molly's request to update the blog, and in reference to an above comment, hopefully this kind act on my part will translate into some special favors later on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How do you do it?!




I think the question that I am asked most these days (hands down!) is "How do you do it?!" The "it," of course, refers to my current life situation. I have newborn twins. I have a needy but adorable little guy that just turned two. I have an almost 4 year old and a 5 year old. I have a house to care for, food to prepare and a husband who probably feels horribly and woefully neglected most of the time. Sigh. But, let me tell you the "it" is everything to me and I love it! How do you do it? You just do! It's all I know...and "it" is enough for me. There....does that answer your question? :)

Here are some answers to a few more of the burning questions that I get asked all the time as a busy, new mother of twins:

Were you on fertility? Absolutely not. I guess we learned I am a double ovulator! :)

Do you nurse them both? At the same time? How? Yes, so far I have nursed them both and yes, at the same time. It is quite an interesting thing to behold, to say the least, but thankfully quite easy and convenient. Thanks to the EZ 2 Nurse twin nursing pillow I learned about online, I can nurse both babies in the "football hold" simultaneously and it is a completely "hands free" operation. You just have to bolt the door and hope that no little neighbor friends wander into the living room while you're nursing. All that full frontal nudity can be shocking! :) And the one big con: it's a show you DEFINITELY can't take on the road.

How do you go anywhere? The short answer is: we don't. Or at least we rarely do. It really is quite an ordeal to load and unload five little people into carseats so I rarely take everyone out without another adult to help out. Grocery shopping with this whole crew? Forget it. I run errands when someone can watch the kiddos at home. Now that school, soccer, dance, etc. are about to start, my homebound bubble is about to burst and we'll have to get out and about more I guess. I'll let you know how that goes....I'm nervous about it.

What do you do when both babies are crying? This actually doesn't happen as often as you would think. During those rare moments when both Jake and Emmy are really wailing...you just pick one! It's that simple. Then try to pick the other one first the next time. It's not rocket science folks. :) Thankfully these little twins are good, good babies. I can see how it could get ugly in a hurry if you had two very needy bambinos.

Do twins run in your family? Spencer and I both have some cousins that are twins and my great-grandmother is a fraternal twin. Whether or not that pre-disposed us to bear twins, I'm not sure. Either way, if they didn't run in our family before, they do now! :)

Are they identical? Honestly, this one kills me. Having boy/girl twins you'd think you wouldn't get asked this but I assure you you do. And more than once. Nope. Jake & Emmy are not identical. But they both are darn cute.

Do they sleep at the same time? For the most part, yes. They are falling into a good little routine and they tend to stick together. Sometimes one will take a great nap and the other will refuse to sleep longer than 45 minutes, but for the most part they sleep simultaneously During those first few sleepless months, when one woke up (usually Jake) I would just wake the other (Emmy) and feed them both at the same time to avoid getting up a million times a night. It worked for us!

How are you doing? WONDERFUL!! I feel so, so blessed every day. The babies are beautiful, healthy and content. I have a wonderful husband and great kids. I am surrounded by incredible friends and family and I feel supported in every way by the people around me. We are doing so, so well and are grateful for all that we have.

DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS THEY ARE DYING TO HAVE ANSWERED? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some recent photos...





The top picture is of Cort, his cousin Peter, and little Caleb--playing baseball in the backyard!
My sister Amy brought back these darling bibs for the twins from her vacation to Disney World in Orlando--thanks Amy!
Macy "reading scriptures" to the twins. She's even got them all tucked in. There's nothing Macy loves more than a captive audience!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lake Mead


This past weekend my sweet husband Spencer stayed at home with the twins while I went to Lake Mead (outside Las Vegas) with the older three kids for some boating fun with the Mason family. We stayed on a houseboat and boated our guts out for three days, which was a total blast for the kids and a good break from the routine for me. But...any mother of newborns can relate to how hard it was for me to be away from my babies! Cort, Macy and Caleb did surprisingly well on the drive down there (6 1/2 hours) considering it was their first real road trip. All I can say is: Three cheers for the new DVD player we had installed in the car 2 weeks ago! What an awesome little invention! :) Once we got there, the kids had a great time riding the wave runners, riding on the tube behind the boat, jumping off the top of the houseboat and swimming nonstop 24/7 in the lake with their cousins (the water was incredibly warm!). I got to try wakeboarding for the first time, skiied a bit, and took some awesome rides on the tube with my sister Jocee. All in all, it was a great trip. Thanks to my Mom for all of her hard work in organizing and planning everything for us! I did, however, learn something about myself and that is this: I am no longer a houseboating kind of gal. Bummer. I'm not sure when I crossed over from a carefree child to a stick-in-the-mud adult who painfully longs for her pillowtop mattress when forced to sleep on a bench cushion that is about as comfortable as "sleeping on an airport floor," as my sister so aptly put it. But, nonetheless, it happened. This is a painful realization for me because I pride myself on being relatively "low maintenance" but I realized on this trip that the whole port-a-potty deal, flies everywhere, 115 degree heat with no A/C deal doesn't really bring out the best in me! If I'm going to pay roughly $1500/day for accomodations, I'd prefer they have a few more amenities. :) Sigh. But, the boating, on the other hand, was the BEST! No complaints at all, just longing for more! It had been way too long since we'd been out boating (this was our first time on the water since before we were pregnant with Cort--six years ago almost!) and I loved every second of it. Anyone with a boat can feel free to extend the Richards clan an invitation to hit the water (hint hint)! I just want to be able to go home to a hot shower and a good night's sleep at the end of the day...

On another note, althougth I missed Spencer and the twins terribly, it was nice to be able to have Caleb be the "baby" again for the weekend and to dote on his every whim and whimper. Which, for those of you who know Caleb well know, can be a full-time job! :) It was also nice to come home to a new, fresh coat of paint in a FABULOUS color in our great room and kitchen area. Props to Spencer who did the work himself while we were gone. What a husband! I'm a lucky gal.


Now, it's back to the routine. The twins are falling into a more predictable routine and Caleb is napping like a dream (again, thanks to the gypsies threat!). We are happy and well and ready for school to start. Kindergarten, here we come!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"The gypsies are coming!"


I just finished reading my good friend Amanda's blog which, incidentally, is hilarious and a must-read for basically everyone. Anyway, in this most recent post she talks about how we inadvertently "damage" our children as we raise them and the repercussions of that. She admits threatening her children, on occasion, with putting them in a basket on the front porch for the gypsies to come and collect. Now...there is something I can relate to! :) Let me explain...

For the past few months, getting our two-year-old Caleb to take a nap has become more difficult. His little body still desperately needs the daytime rest but, for whatever reason, he has gotten infinitely harder to put down and often he will come up the stairs bawling hysterically only 45 minutes to an hour after I've put him to sleep. Any mother knows this is one of the most frustrating aspects of parenting---sleepy, grouchy children that won't sleep when you offer them a warm, cozy, darkened room and an open invitation to nap! Are they completely nuts?! I fantasize about opportunities like that. I digress. So anyway, I've tried a number of tricks to get him to sleep all of which have worked but for limited lengths of time. Our most recent tactic is a throwback technique used by my parents in the early '80's--oh yes, the threatened visit of the terribly scary, always mysterious gypsies (in our house pronounced "jippie-ohs"--who in the world knows why). Speaking of permanantly damaging little children through our parenting styles, I'd like to know if anyone can quantify the damage done to little Caleb as we tuck him into bed saying "Hurry hide! The gypsies are coming! I can hear the bells on their wagons. They'll take you far, far away and make you do all their work and teach you to be a pickpocket if they find you! Quick! Hide! Don't get out of your bed or they'll take you away." This technique is multi-functional. It not only puts Caleb down for a nap but it also gets him to bed faster than a speeding bullet at night, coaxes him to eat his food when nothing else will, and basically solicits obedience in any number of situations. If I reach for my cell phone when he's being a turkey and tell him I'm going to call the "jippie-ohs" to come get him, I can get him to do whatever I want. I like to think that deep down he knows that we aren't really serious and that he is always perfectly safe in our home and under our care. Maybe I'm wrong and the repurcussions of all this will come out in one of Caleb's counseling sessions years down the road. But either way, for now, where the rubber meets the road I have no other choice but to endorse on occasion: THE SCARE TACTIC. Hopefully harmless....definitely effective. Anyone else have any true confessions?? :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

rebuttal to 'Call for Shopping Help' post

It's Spencer again--Please, please no one reply to my dear wife's post from earlier today. The last thing we need is porcelain blue bedding. What she meant to say is we want COUGAR blue bedding with beautiful little 'Y's tastefully splashed across it.

On a more serious note, I'm sitting in the Layton Instacare right now working (typing a few words in between seeing patients) and I want to get a few thoughts out there to the general public. First of all, if your nose is runny, it's not an emergency. Wipe gingerly from left-to-right, take an aspirin, and call your regular doctor in the morning. Or better yet, suffer through your cold like the rest of us and guess what? Within a week or so you'll feel all better.

Second, if you find your infant child face down in the bathtub and you have to resuscitate him with mouth-to-mouth, don't come to the Instacare several hours later. Go to the ER immediately. Don't even wait around to kick your own hinie for being the idiot that left that infant long enough to get in that predicament. The hinie kicking will come later, after the child is found to be OK, by a loving spouse or friend from the child protection agency.

Third, if you're hooked on narcotics and need a fix, don't come in to the same Instacare you've already been three times in the last week. Chances are, we'll have a record of those visits and know you've already gotten more than your fair share of fix.

Finally, if you're dealing with a medical issue that has been going on for SEVERAL MONTHS and is NOT getting acutely worse TONIGHT, don't come to an Instacare. Chances are if you've waited this long, you can wait a little longer to get in to your regular doctor who knows and loves you and can better deal with your long-standing problem.

Wow, wasn't that an upbeat post? Of course the above is filled with a little sarcasm, but truthfully, I really do love what I do, and I'm happy to help, even if you just have a little cold. I have been very blessed with a profession in which I can serve others. I love it!

And don't forget not to reply to Molly's post.

Call for shopping help!

So...I am dreaming of a new bedroom set. Better said, I'm dreaming of dousing the entire contents of our master bedroom in kerosene, tossing a match, and glowing with delight as all of that junkie furniture goes up in flames! I doubt that my red-hot fantasy (get it? haha) will come to fruition anytime soon, but I am starting the worldwide search for some new bedding. I want to do our bedroom in a porcelain blue and brown color scheme (trendy, I know, but also super cute). Anyone have any places they've seen cute bedding or accent pillows recently? I'm woefully out of touch with the retail world! Thanks! Hope to get some comments back on this post. Without some help/feedback, I may never get the show on the road! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Highly Anticipated Triathlon Photos!




We participated in the Cache Valley Classic Triathlon last Saturday with our good friends from our neighborhood, Matt & Amy Johnson. These pictures are pretty hot stuff! Enjoy!