Category Archives: Home

PETA will not be pleased

Last night, I decided to celebrate fall and make my favorite spaghetti sauce (despite the fact that it was reasonably warm yesterday).  A tasty, hearty meat sauce (no, that’s not why PETA will be pissed), that just begs to have garlic bread to scoop up whatever the pasta doesn’t hold on to.  Mmm.  We were about to take the kids up for bed, while our visiting friend hung out downstairs.  I decided to turn on the broiler to heat it up while we did bedtime, so the garlic bread would be ready for a quick toasting as soon as we were done.  Mmm.

We’re upstairs, pulling the kids out of the tub, when M and I both looked up and said “what’s burning?”  It was not unlike the smell when something you previously cooked and spilled in the oven starts to burn.  Yet somehow even stronger and more unpleasant.  M went down to investigate, friend was already opening windows.  Smoke was coming out the back side of the stovetop, near the clock and instrument panel.  Not good.  And the burning smell was so sharp and strong that it made you a little sick just to catch a whiff, even upstairs.  Blech.

What, you ask, would cause my otherwise relatively new and perfectly functional stove to combust in such a manner?  Well… um… I have a suspicion.

Remember my post a few weeks ago about our small, uninvited visitor?  I haven’t seen him in a while and he hasn’t been a problem.  But the one time I did catch sight of him a few weeks ago, he skittered away through the tiniest of slots… in my oven.  I assumed there was a hole through which he got out. I even used the oven a few times between then and now with no issue. Um.  Apparently not so much with the getting out of the oven.  It’s possible I just accidentally set the mouse on fire.

In my defense, it’s possible I didn’t kill him.  It’s possible he crawled in there and was dead already.  Makes the story slightly less cruel, but no less disgusting.

The Sears repair guy is coming tomorrow.  I said my oven was smoking.  I made no mention of the mouse.  Isn’t homeownership grand?

Blech, blech, blech.

But on the upside, no mouse droppings on my counter.  Sorry, little dude.  I didn’t mean to…

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Filed under Home

Ikea Excursion

Today marked my second trip to Ikea with kids in tow (unless you count the time I went while pregnant and looking for cribs).  This time, however, I did it all by my lonesome.  Yes, I have a majorly independent and stubborn streak, why do you ask?  Well, as the kiddos are moving from babies to toddlers (and because we gave our remaining exersaucer to Mommy, Esq.), it was time for something new in the play space.  I wanted a kid-sized table and chairs.  While they’re still a bit small and young to sit in the chairs reliably, I figure it’s a good thing to start.

The reason this is a big-ish deal is that the Ikea in Massachusetts is really not anywhere close to me.  It’s about an hour away, which is obviously no small matter when you’re dragging along two toddlers.  This requires a plan.  The plan was to leave around 9AM (aka morning nap time) with the hopes of them sleeping in the car on the way there.  Then, hang out in the store, do our shopping, and return around 1PM (aka afternoon nap time), with the same goal in reverse.  M helped me in the morning get a bag packed with enough snacks for a small European country, and we were all set.

Well.  Sorta.

For one thing, there was rush hour traffic that extended further past the city than it really should have, so it took an hour and a half instead of an hour.  But that ended up being a good thing, since Rebecca didn’t fall asleep until at least 9:45.  But, eventually she did fall asleep, so both of them got a nice little rest before we got to the store.  Then, I realized the main flaw in my plan: I did not have 2+ hours worth of stuff to do in the store.  Having already looked online and decided what I wanted, I pretty much just walked in and found it.  And then… um…  Well, it wasn’t crowded, so then I let the kids hang out in the kiddie section for a while.  Then a snack, then a walk so I could ogle the kitchen stuff, then another snack and a diaper change, and more playing in the kiddie section…  I was killing time.  Not what I had expected, though I should have.  Anyways, we ended up having an early lunch (Daniel dug the meatballs and mashed potatoes, Rebecca only wanted applesauce), and they got downright cranky.  Wanted more freedom than I could give them.  So, we got our pallet of brightly-colored, some-assembly-required plastic (and my $1 fro yo), and away we went.

This, by the way, was the part when I fully questioned the choice to go by myself.  You know me, I’m all about doing things on my own. It’s not always easy, but I’ve got practice and I don’t shy away from taking the kids places.  Well, this was an occasion when I wish I had a third arm or something.  Mostly when it came down to the cart and all of our stuff and getting it to the car. Ikea has many delightful things, but a cart with two seats just ain’t one of ’em. But, hey, we made it.

Well, being as it was not actually nap time yet, something crazy happened…. the kids stayed awake.  In the car.  For an hour on the highway.  About halfway through the drive I realized they weren’t falling asleep, so I shifted into “keep them awake” mode.  I passed snacks (man, that will be easier when I turn those carseats around), I sang songs, I made silly noises for them to mimick.  And lo, they stayed awake.  We got home, played in the yard for a few, assembled some plastic chairs, and up they went.  And they actually took their afternoon nap, which is a rare occurence these days.  Not half bad for a crazy trip across the state.  And when they woke up…

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Filed under Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Toddlers

Fat lot of good she does me

My dog, Winnie, is a Miniature Schnauzer.  She has her good points.  She’s small, she’s super friendly, plenty of energy without being insane or yippy.  Having her around means I don’t have to clean up the floor every time I feed the kids. She doesn’t shed, is good for people with allergies (i.e. my beloved, M), and when she gets shaggy (see below), the groomer gives her a haircut and all is well.  She’s really a very sweet dog.

She’s been very good with the kids, even if she hasn’t become all maternal and protective of them and instead seems like she would prefer if they weren’t around.  She’s sort of cat-like in that way.

Speaking of cat-like… Miniature Schnauzers are in the Terrier family.  Bred to chase small vermin.  She’s supposed to be a goddamn ratter.  So imagine how pleased I was to find her lounging on my couch, while my countertop is littered with mouse droppings.

Eeew!!

OK, I know, a kitchen counter isn’t exactly the same as mouse holes in a field.  But I doubt Winnie would do any better there, either.  But couldn’t she just chase them if she sees them?

Not sure what to do about this new dilemma, but I suspect it means traps of some kind, completely purging my kitchen cabinets, and tiptoeing around in fear of a very, very small animal.  Bleh.

C’mon Winnie… earn your keep, would you?

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Filed under Freakin' out, Home

Our House (in the middle of our yard)

Alright, so I know you all remember the saga of the birthday present my mom wanted to get for the kids, right? Well, she would not be swayed, and was dead-set on this being their present.  So she finally ordered it online, shipping charges be damned, and it arrived about a week or so ago.  Yesterday, good friends of ours came over with their kids to help us set it up.

It’s quite a multi-purposed structure.  On the inside is what appears to be a store, complete with cash register, safe, and security camera. I guess they’re worried someone is going to try to rob the plastic playhouse?

The outside is totally schizophrenic.  The front facade is red brick, with a bell on top, and you have the choice of decals to decide if it’s a school house or a fire house (M, without hesitation, said it was a fire house).  (I only realized after the fact that there was another set of decals in French – missed opportunity!)  Also, um, the two men involved just started putting it together before reading the instructions.  Hence, M inside the tiny house with a screwdriver, after the fact.

One side of the exterior is a gas station, which includes (oddly) a phone.  A phone that just hangs on the side of the structure, but isn’t actually connected. A cordless fake phone. On the outside of an outdoor play structure. We pretty much lost it within an hour.  (In the picture, it should be to the right of Daniel… but it’s probably in the bushes somewhere.  Maybe the security camera caught it?)

The opposite side is a market, complete with an ATM.  And an arrow, directing cars… is it a drive-thru and I somehow missed that?  And the back…  Opposite the “fire house” facade?  A basketball hoop. And possibly a soccer net. And numbers, presumably for a game that I’m not actually familiar with.

It’s odd, it’s as though someone thought of every imaginary play space and just threw it all into one structure.  But hey, who am I to complain?  It’s cute, and hopefully the kids will enjoy it for any number of years. Thanks, Mom! There’s still some debate as to where exactly in the yard it will live, but we’ll figure it out.  Just in time for winter, probably…

Oh, and in true toddler form, the box it came in was equally well-loved as a toy by our fellow twins and playmates.  Thanks to Rebecca and family for coming over to assemble and play!

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Filed under Birthdays, Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Toddlers

That Un-Sentimental Feeling

One part of my big de-cluttering effort is to get things ready for my twin club’s semi-annual sale.  This will be my first time selling, but of course, also my first time with a critical mass of stuff that I’m done with.  Last night I started going through the first pile of outgrown clothing.  It’s incredible how much there is.  Easily four big Rubbermaid totes full.  My initial sorting criteria is simply “eligible for fall sale” and “not eligible for fall sale.”  As the sale is already large and packed to the gills, the request is for only season-appropriate items.  Swimsuits and tank tops just aren’t going to sell in Massachusetts in the fall.  So anything short-sleeved, summer-y, or stained from the months of prune-juice-influenced spitup goes in the “ineligible” pile.  I say “eligible,” because I haven’t yet put price tags on anything, and reserve the right to keep some of my favorites.

Here’s the interesting thing: as much as I look at some of these shirts and things and say “oh, I loved this one, she was so cute in it!”…  I don’t find myself with any real pull to keep any of it.  Maybe it’s because we’re most likely done having kids, and even if we aren’t, I’m not going to store it all on the off chance that we have another kid three years from now.  Maybe it’s because much of it, while super cute, was purchased on sale from Old Navy, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting a ton of money.  Maybe it’s because I’m just not into hand-me-downs.  Maybe it’s because I have nearly 5,000 pictures from their first year and nearly every outfit they wore is well-documented.  Or maybe it’s because they’re just clothes.

I don’t want to kick myself down the road, wishing I had kept some of this stuff.  Kept it, maybe, just so I could pull it out of the attic every now and then and marvel at how tiny they once were and see if there’s a little whiff of baby scent still on there.  But then what?  I still have my bouquet from my wedding, but it’s just sitting there in a box in a closet.  I’m never going to do anything with it, but haven’t been able to make myself throw it away.  Will I be the same way with the baby clothes, or shouldn’t I just bring them to the twin sale and donate whatever doesn’t sell?  Let someone else marvel at how adorable their child is in that little shirt.

So, we’ll see what happens when I actually put a price tag on these little things.  I’m sure there will be some that I keep, but I think the most are getting passed along.  I don’t even much care about making a lot of money, I just want to free up the space.  Like anything, it’s a little bittersweet to be done with some of the “baby” stuff.  But at the same time, would I really go back if I could?  Not a chance.  Let the tagging begin.

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Filed under Home, Reminiscing, Secret society of twin moms

Out of sorts

I’m just not feeling 100% right now.  The last few days have felt kind of out of control.  My house is cluttered and messy.  The kids are clingy and screamy.  M is home sick.  Naps are being skipped.  Things are buzzing around in my head, but nothing quite wants to become a real blog post.

I think de-cluttering my house will be a major improvement… as soon as I can find the energy to do it.  My twin club’s sale is coming up, so that’s a major incentive to go through all of the old baby clothes and gear.  I also need to do a major clothing purge of my own, to get rid of the piles of things that I haven’t worn since well before I got pregnant, not to mention all the maternity clothes.  I can’t keep them around on the outside chance that I might have more kids at some point down the line.  If I do, I can just get a new pair of jeans.  Seriously.

But all is not lost.  In between screaming and tantrums, the kids are pretty funny these days.  Today I slid Rebecca down the slide on our swingset, and she thought it was hilarious.  Then, she realized she could climb back up.  It took her a few tries, but she kept going right back to it, until she climbed all the way to the top.  And Daniel just never stops talking.  He’s so expressive and has so much to say… I just wish I knew what it was.

Going up?

Going up?

Almost to the top...

Almost to the top...

Daniel goes for a ride on his car.

Daniel goes for a ride on his car.

(Thanks again to Snick for letting us have M&R’s old toys… they love them!)

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Filed under Child Development, Home, Toddlers

I need a vacation

It’s been a rough couple of days over here.  It started with the whole Toys-R-Us debacle on Monday.

Tuesday was not a ton better.  It started off with a bang, as the dog decided to find poop in the yard (not her own), eat it, and then throw up all over my first floor.  Delightful.  I’m so glad I took that 6 years to convince M we should get a dog.  I then had to go to the doctor for my foot.  We still don’t know what’s wrong with it, but now it hurts more than before.  The doctor said he’d take an x-ray and see me back in 3 weeks.  Lovely.  I’ll limp until then.  Had a nice lunch with a wonderful friend of mine who is 30+ weeks pregnant with her first baby, despite Daniel throwing his sandwich all over the floor.

Daniel then completely skipped his afternoon nap, and was not a happy camper later in the afternoon while the plumber was here (again!), trying to make my bathtub drain properly.  But I had my monthly twin club meeting last night, which was lots of fun (and blog-tastic, with Mommy, Esq.36 weeks pregnant, c-section on Monday!!! – and Nancy in attendance).  I stayed entirely too late, but it was worth it.  Until I got pulled over on the way home.  For a damn expired license plate.  So guess what I got to do all morning today? Yay, RMV and unpaid Boston parking tickets.

Hopefully, though, this is all just to make me appreciate the upcoming week even more.  Because on Saturday morning, we leave (at the crack of dawn) for a week in Virginia Beach with some dear friends and their two kids.  We rented a house on the beach, how cool will this be?!  One 10-month-old, two 12-month-olds, and one nearly-3-year-old.  And anywhere between four and six adults, depending on the day.  Sure, the trip presents some new logistical challenges, since it’s the first time we’re not primarily staying with family who can shop ahead and all of that.  But I think it will be great, and if not totally relaxing, at least lots of fun.  And if we can get the stars to align just so, I might even be able to meet up with Cheryl!  Blogosphere and real world collide!

Now, I just have to do laundry… and make a grocery list… and pack… and make a reservation for the dog at the kennel….  oy.

In completely unrelated, but incredibly cute, news… Rebecca is getting a big kick out of playing peekaboo by herself:

Where's Rebecca?

Where's Rebecca?

There she is!

There she is!

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Filed under Home, Illness and Injury, Out and about, Secret society of twin moms, Toddlers, Travel