Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bath Time

Just a couple of cute little pictures. I took videos, too, but some "private parts" were exposed. Not sure about posting that on the internet? I'll try again later.
Either way, these kids are CUTE!
(The flash must not have been working, thus they're a little fuzzy. Sorry.)

Babies' First Ferry Ride

( Grace on top; Liam on bottom. Yes, that's a seagull about to enter his ear. . .)

Took the kids out for a lazy Sunday drive this past weekend, more to test their limits in their car seats than anything else. Drove down to Tacoma, up the narrows bridge, then took the Southworth Ferry back to Fauntleroy. They did great! Liam is a great sleeper in the car--just not at night. Grace likes to "talk" in the car--hardly ever sleeps--but sleeps great at night. Too bad we couldn't get them to do the same thing at the same time. Oh well--makes for some very entertaining moments.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banana Bread

Kind of been craving it lately. Not sure why. Need to make some soon, I'm afraid. Here's the recipe I always use--comes from my mom, of course. LOVE IT! Turns out so moist and delicious. . .I've actually known people to fight over it before.

Makes 3 loaves (freezes well, but also makes a great gift!).

3 c. sour cream
4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter, softened
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. salt
5 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three nine-inch loaf pans well and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix sour cream and baking soda, then set aside. (Don't try to cheat the bowl size--the mix needs room to expand; will almost double in size.)

Meanwhile, cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add vanilla and bananas and mix well again. Add sour cream mixture to banana mix, and stir well. Then, incorporate flour and salt until no lumps remain, but try not to over mix.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Start testing at 50 minutes, but it may take longer. Test about every four minutes afterwards until done.)

Let finished loaves rest in pan for 10 minutes then remove to baking rack to cool completely before storing.

* I've made regular loaves, mini loaves, and muffins out of this mix. Just need to adjust baking times. Can also add toasted walnuts, chocolate chips, etc. It's all good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Saint Joseph, SELL OUR HOUSE!

So, the house has been on the market for a little over a month now, and no offers. For those of you who've been over, everyone who's toured says they love the house, but can't deal with the noise from the highway. Ugh.
I was complaining to my (Catholic) friend Lyndsay about it, and she told me I need to bury a statue of St. Joseph in my yard. Huh? She even called the local Catholic book store to see if they had "the St. Joseph statue that helps sell your house." Yes, they replied--they had five different models.
We went to pick it up today, and I'm thrilled to hury up and get home to bury it. We have a tour tonight at 6:30pm, and another Saturday morning so far. We also just dropped the price yesterday, so something's got to work in our favor! I'll let you know how it goes. . . .


1. Ask St. Joseph to intercede for you before the Lord for your requests, including the selling of your home.

2. Bury or place Saint Joseph's statue on the property.

3. Bury the statue upside down with the feet pointing heavenwards. Some face it toward the home; others face it away, towards the new home. The location varies also: near the "For Sale" sign, in the back yard, in one corner, or in a flower pot for condo owners. (I'm leaning towards planting it in the garden, facing towards our house.)

4. When your house sells, make sure to bring the statue with you to your new home and place it in a place of honor as a reminder to thank God.

"Dear St. Joseph, God the Father chose you from all men to be the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus. You cared thoughtfully and wholeheartedly for them while on Earth. It was through you that Jesus first learned of His Heavenly Father's gentleness, compassion, protection, and provision. So close were you that He was known simply as the Carpenter's son.

We now ask your help in these our requests. Please intercede before our Heavenly Father for His protection, provision and peace. Help us sell our home and find a new one, suitable for our needs.

Grant us harmony and grace in our home, and may we be ever hospitable to family, friends and neighbors.

Finally, when our life on this earth is over, bring us safely to our heavenly home, where at last we shall enjoy eternal joy with you and all the family of God. Amen.

May you be blessed! Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us. Saint Joseph, Patron of a Happy Home and Safeguard of Families, pray for us."


Was I really THAT pregnant?!

My friend Jen just sent me this picture that we took on a quick jaunt up to see the flowers in Skagit Valley this past April. I was just lamenting at how I couldn't quite remember what it felt like, or what I looked like. This photo certainly reminded me. How I couldn't bend over. I couldn't turn while sitting. How swollen I was. . .how much I loved carrying my two little lovelies. How glad I am to see them smile and laugh at me in the mornings now. . . .

September Trip to Idaho

We were originally going to drive to Idaho, but seeming how our dear little Grace has made it pretty apparent that she's not a fan of being in her car seat for any length of time, combined with some frequent flier miles--flying seemed like a much more logical choice. Every one kept saying, "Oh, it'll be so easy. They sleep the whole way. Blah, blah, blah." Well, it wasn't horrible. But my children don't sleep the whole way of anything. Especially the girl. WAY too much to see and do. Oh well--I'd give them a three out of five for traveling skills so far. We'll keep working on it.

It was a great trip--Ashley's (my sister--the oldest) family was there as well, so that was fun. They live in Bloomington, IN, and since kids are everywhere now--real visits have come few and far between. And Todd's (middle child) family lives in Boise, so we got to spend time with them, too.

One of the most important things while we were there, was that my (maternal) grandfather--the twins' great-grandfather, a retired minister, was able to perform their baby dedication and baptism ceremony at my folks' church. The only way I can describe these kids is--they are a total gift from God. We wanted children--even one--so badly, and after all the sadness we went through to get this far, and how blessed we feel now--it only feels right to "give" them right back to the One we were blessed by. Liam wore Sean's Grandpa Joe's baptism gown, and Grace wore my mom's gown that my great-grandmother made for her. I'm such a sentimental sap--I can't even describe how awesome this was to me.

It was hard not to cry, of course. Well, at least I tried to hold it back. Liam and Grace both let it out when Grandpa touched their heads with water. Made for a lot of laughing. It was especially moving that so many of our extended family members were there to support us, too. My cousin Joy and her family, including her little guy born three days before ours, were even there. (They live in Minnesota.)

As we had just listed the house for sale the day before we left, I extended mine and the twins' trip to two weeks there. Sean went back home after a week--had to return to work. So, while he got five nights of uninterrupted sleep, I can say I managed two babies. My awesome mom had to get up a couple times at night to help, but I really did do it on my own a few times.

(There is a mom in our multiples class that is "alone" to raise her twin boys--bless her. I have absolutely no idea how she can do it. On that note, I'm still waiting for Sean to realize just how lucky he was for those five nights, and come doting on me with jewelry, spa days, etc. But then I keep having to be appreciative for the countless nights he gets up with me to feed babies--there are a lot of men who don't see that as their responsibility. . . love my man!)

Any way, the trip was full of lots of visiting with countless friends and family, and I enjoyed it all. Was great to see my old friends Tami and Cindy (and their families) that I grew up with. The Vehlows have always been like second parents, etc., etc.

We got my mom a quick turnaround plane ticket to help me get home, and all ended well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Fall Photos

It's amazing how productive one can be on her lunch hour. Even more photos.

Five months and counting.

I took them in for a weight check, and Liam weighed 14 lbs. 15 oz. Grace was 11 lbs. 12 oz. The difference is very, very real once you hold them both.

So, for this photo session, my dear friend Kathryn had come over to help with the kids for the day. I told her I needed some help with taking their five month pictures--she was in. She suggested stuffing them inside hollowed out pumpkins, and I figured--hey--why not? So, after a mad dash to the store to find appropriate sized pumpkins and hollow them out, we cut leg holes surely big enough to fit small babies inside.

We took extra precaution to wrap their thighs in saran wrap to prevent any sticking, I lined the pumpkins with towels to help protect against the cold, and we stuck their legs through 4-gallon-sized trash bags that we could pull up around them to keep them dry.

It didn't matter. At the first "dip" of Grace into the pumpkin, she emitted very loud wailing noises. I thought, well, before we put the "screamer" in, I should cut both pumpkins' leg holes a little bigger. It didn't matter. Liam was also just as angry. Probably more so.

So, after much consoling, hollowing one pumpkin out entirely, removing potentially harmful bags (of which Liam certainly did try to insert into his mouth), and dressing children in festive fall clothing, the following photo session did occur. We didn't even bother trying to put Grace into a pumpkin on round two. . .she's so sensitive. . .such a baby. . . .

Four Month Old Photos

Yes, yes, they're a little late. Better late than never. I did take these on their four-months birthday, though. (Friday, Sept. 4th)

I cannot believe how unbelievably stinking cute my children are. Holy cow.

Seriously--three months?

Wow, I knew the blog was outdated, but I didn't realize how much until looking this morning. Not even sure who reads this or how often, but sorry for the delay.

I returned to work part time on October 6th, and it's been a "different" adjustment. We found a nanny to watch the kids at home--bless her--and they both seem to respond really well to her. What a relief--with all the flu bugs and such going around, I would be extremely paranoid if my kids were in daycare. We were warned when they were both in the hospital, that due to their prematurity and Liam's underdeveloped lungs, that they'd be more prone to catching RSV, flu, colds, etc.

I am really liking getting up to take a shower every morning and dress in real clothes, other than my standard uniform of the summer--sweats and t-shirts. I do believe Sean likes the change too. ;0)

I still need to get better at getting myself together every morning, but this month has allowed me to really figure it out before I return full time in November. I thought I was doing okay today, then had a bad commute. Draw bridge, train, and a broken down UPS truck on the viaduct. Hmmmm. . . .I guess there'll be those days.

Lucky for me, I get my monthly massage tonight. Hope I don't fall asleep. Or hope I do?