Archive | December, 2011

A Christmas Story: Minnesota Part II

30 Dec

The days following Christmas were pretty exciting. We finally got to meet the beautiful cousin Claire, just two months younger than Caroline and Kelly.

We met Adam and Susan at the airport for a few hours of fun on their way back home from Ohio. It was a veritable baby-fest!

The gang reunited...with kids!

Guess the twins?

It's a standoff

Auntie Susan watches as Kelly appropriates Claire's giraffe

We’re looking forward to seeing them again soon.

This was my fifth Christmas in Minnesota — but no snow this time. We took the girls out by the ice, but they were more interested in snoozing.

They did wear their adventurer hats though, just in case of a sudden blizzard.

Caroline the Adventurer

Kelly the Adventurer

When we stuck them in the Baby Bjorns, they were actually quite like Ralphie’s brother in A Christmas Story — their arms just wouldn’t go down…

Jim and I even got to get away for a few hours for an ice skating date.

This month we also got to see some of my other favorite Minnesotans — my brother Daniel and his girlfriend Kassi.

Thank you to all of our family for making this such a special Christmas!

A Christmas Story: Minnesota Part I

29 Dec

I’m delighted to report that we had an absolutely wonderful trip taking our twins to the Twin Cities for Christmas! From start to finish, Minnesota was a blast. (I’ll post separately soon on the joys of flying with babies…)

It was good to be back with Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandma really knows how to play,

and Grandpa has mastered the art of the double-baby hold:

As usual, Grandma and Grandpa’s house was decked to the nines with Christmas gear, including new stockings for Kelly and Caroline.

On Christmas Eve, the girls got to open a special gift – narrated books from their own grandparents. Very special.

We headed to Grandpa John’s childhood home Christmas Eve for a lovely dinner with the family. The girls loved meeting everyone, especially fellow wee ones.

Kelly and Ann's darling Megan

Sandy with Finnegan

We all woke Christmas morning to discover that Santa had been quite generous in his Minnesota bounty for the babies. However, the girls’ favorite thing about opening gifts was the wrapping paper. And eating the shiny ribbons.

Then, the babies got to meet Grandma Barb’s side of the family for Christmas dinner.

Aly and the girls

Rachel and Caroline

With Grandma and Grandpa

Gift exchange!

Most unique gift: Dublin's portrait by the amazing Auntie Lisa

All in all, the girls thought that their first Christmas was pretty special and decided it would be a good idea to have another one next year.

The week just kept on getting better (hint: something to do with a certain cousin Claire). Stay tuned for A Christmas Story: Minnesota Part II!

Hope everyone’s holiday was merry and bright.


Merry Christmas to All

22 Dec

Before we depart for Minnesota, our Rockettes wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

We are so grateful to have you in our lives.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a goodnight.

Can’t wait to share our adventures with you soon!

Sittin’ Pretty

17 Dec

Guess who learned how to sit up solo this week?

These ladies!

We’ve had our fair share of crash ‘n burns, but Kelly and Caroline can officially sit up by themselves for long stretches of time.

Kelly loves the new view.

Caroline is getting the hang of it too.

They’re also starting to rock back and forth on their hands and knees – crawling is soon to follow…

I’m already eating like a racehorse to maintain the energy to keep up with them. I think I’ll be switching to the Michael Phelps diet once they go fully mobile.

A Few of My Favorite Things, 2011

15 Dec

As 2011 comes to a close, I thought I’d sum up a few of my favorite things (and thereby put The Sound of Music song in your head for the remainder of the day…)

Luxury Commodity: Sleep

Song: Coldplay’s “Hurts Like Heaven”


  • Novel: Tie between The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Tiger’s Wife
  • Fluff Book: Mini-Shopaholic
  • Nonfiction: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (a Kneerim & Williams book and winner of this year’s National Book Award)
  • Kids book: Tickle Monster and Dr. Seuss’ ABCs
  • Twins book: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins

Guilty Pleasure: Claim Jumper frozen pies via the grocery store

Baby product: B.O.B. stroller

Money-saver: Amazon Mom free two day shipping

Time-saver: Trader Joes instant coffee

Sanity-saver: Saturday and Sunday runs

Vice: online shopping (terribly convenient for the housebound mom…see above Amazon Mom two day shipping ;))

Pleasant Surprise: The human body is amazingly resilient — capable of bouncing back from extreme weight gain, extreme blood loss, and extreme sleep deprivation. Thank you, body, for all you did this year!

Moment: Meeting Caroline and Kelly on their birthday

What are a few of your favorite things for 2011?

Santa’s Early Pitstop

11 Dec

Christmas came a bit early over at our house this morning. Since we’re going to Minnesota for Christmas and Jim’s camping next weekend, this was our last chance for a “family” Christmas morning at our house.

The girls woke up extra early (pre-6am) in anticipation, and sure enough, Santa had arrived! (i.e. Jim, Jim, went on a shopping binge. I was suspicious when all the Amazon packages began arriving…)

Kelly, being the youngest in the family by 25 minutes, got to open the first present.

The gifts kept on coming. I’ve always wanted a Nativity set, I just didn’t expect my first one to be Fisher Price. Caroline enjoyed her bathtub boat.

The girls were super jazzed about their basketball hoop. They’re learning how to slam dunk.

We considered it an auspicious sign that our Nativity scene came with four Wise Men (one hidden in the background). We’re off to sing “Away in a Manger” now.

Thank you, Santa, for our early Christmas surprises!

Deck the Halls

6 Dec

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here at our house.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

in hopes that the “Bumble” soon would be there:

This past weekend we put up our faux Christmas tree (our first since we’ve been married) and finally got to use all of our ornaments collected over the years. Note that all ornaments must be hung above Dublin’s tail-level, aside from her own special paw-print stocking.

We set the table,

put up one strand of lights on our “Charlie Brown” palm tree and prepared to hit the streets to check out the neighborhood lights:

Surfin’ Santa was ready to party.

We also watched our first movie together since the babies were born, It’s a Wonderful Life. I cried, naturally. “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”

Welcome, Christmas!


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