Monday, June 30, 2008

On Your Market! Get Set! Swim!

Tom and Abby like to race around the house. It's funny to hear Abby get so excited to begin the race. She exclaims as loudly,

"On your market! Get set! Gooooooooooooooooo!"

Today was the first day of swimming lessons. We are booked four days a week for the next four weeks with swim lessons, so I hope the kids like them!

We showed up to the pool just in time to walk down to the water. Tom and Abby's teacher was Miss Katie. I'm not sure they'll have the same teacher each day, but I hope so. They seemed to like her.

Abby jumped in right away. The pool is 2.5 feet deep, so her face and tips of her shoulders are just above water. She even dunked her head (completely on accident) twice! Tom sat up on the pool's edge for quite some time. Eventually he did figure out that the whole class was having fun with pool toys and he needed to join in!



Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sticky Saturday

Last night we had a lovely dinner with the in-laws and friends at one of my favorite local restaurants, Thai Basil. Tom and Abby enjoy this place and we even have our "own" table tucked back in the corner of the restaurant. I highly recommend any one of the three restaurants they have in the area, if you're ever stopping through Sacramento. Don't be afraid to ask them to make any dish extra hot and spicy! (If that's your sort of thing.) You won't be disappointed.

After filling up on dinner much to my surprise a trip to Coldstone was in order. The twins both opted for cones with sprinkles. As Tom got down to the cone portion of the treat he stood there, looked up at me and says, "now what?" I told him it was time to crunch the cone! He enjoyed every last bit. About three times throughout Tom's cone experience he asked to be wiped down to get the stickies off. He came away nearly flawless, not a drip on him.



Not so much for Abby though. She probably had ice cream between her toes and boy did she enjoy it!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Death of the Hydrangea

It's a good thing I'm a little better at taking care of kids than I am at taking care of plants. This was a gift from Mother's Day and to be honest I tried, very hard, to keep this thing alive. But alas the curse of the black thumb prevailed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Movie Madness!

Yesterday was a big day in the Telford household. I took the twins to a real live movie theater for the first time ever! And the best part, it was free!

One of their "Little Critter" books talks about a movie theater and all the good stuff that goes along with it like popcorn and candy. They were looking forward to the whole experience including the big screen, loud volume and of course, popcorn! Tom and Abby haven't had popcorn yet because the AAP recommends no popcorn before age 4. Of course I wanted to spoil them, what's a movie without popcorn anyway?

So we get to the theater and and the first stop is concessions, because who doesn't like popcorn and soda first thing in the morning? Much to my surprise the theater did not sell lemonade, as if lemonade wasn't bad enough, they only had soda. Then the teenager at the counter says, "we have Icee's too." Alright, hook us up!

So there we were, quite a sight, with two kiddie popcorn plates, two kiddie drinks, two kiddie candies, two booster seats, two stuffed bears (don't ask), three sweatshirts and a mama coke. Now my free movie total is up to $14.50.

We were there early and had about a half hour to eat...er, I mean, wait. The twins kept asking, when Shrek III was coming on.

Well the movie finally started and the twins had fun. Tom kept handing me popcorn kernel skin. You know, sometimes you feel the skin of a kernel in your mouth. Well he was sitting on the other side of Abby, so two seats away, and every once in awhile across came his arm and he'd hand me the kernel skin. Yum! Then in the middle of the movie they talk about babies. Tom speaks up and says, "MOM, WHEN WERE YOU A BABY?" I whisper, "a long time ago." He says, "OH, WHEN DADDY WAS A BABY?" My reply, a very soft, "yes." "WHAT TUMMY WAS DADDY IN?" I quietly lean across Abby, "he was in Oma's tummy, now, shhhhh." with my hands to my lips. "OH." It actually wasn't that bad because there were many babies and kids in the theater but I guess we need to work on theater manners!

All in all, the twins did awesome and they had a good time. They stayed in their seat the whole time and I think they can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Banking Institution,

Why is it so wrong for a girl like me to have cash in her wallet? Literally, cold hard cash...in...my...wallet.

I'll set the stage.

So two weeks ago Paul noticed some extra charges on our checking account. He called, they removed them but told him, "cut up both your ATM cards. I'm sending out two new cards."

A week and a half later (can you imagine going a week and a half without an ATM card???) Paul gets his card in the mail. No card for Tara. The next day he calls our bank to see what's up. Oh, they never sent my card. I have to call them myself. Would have been nice to know 10 days ago before you lied and said you were sending it!!

Fine, I'll call. I'm super busy, on my way out of the house, but I'll call while I'm driving. I have with me, no account number and no ATM card. That's ok, it's my account. My social security number or birthday or address or husband's info oughtta clear the security, right? WRONG! The questions they asked were excruciatingly specific.

Banker:
When and how much was your last deposit?

Me
Um, I can't answer that because I didn't know I had to study my statement before getting in the car to go to dinner!

Banker:
Ok, how about your last Bill Pay transaction.

Me:
Oh, um..you see my husband does all that, so I wouldn't have a clue.

Banker:
Well, I'm sorry ma'am but I can't help you today. You'll have to call back tomorrow when you can answer those questions. OR stop by our branch and go inside to request a temporary ATM card and a new permanent one.

Me:
Thanks for nothing.

Fair enough. I'll just go inside. Well a whole day past and I didn't call the bank from home because I had every intention on going into the bank (weird I know). Proud of myself, armed with my checkbook, I head to the bank Tuesday afternoon, once again, on my way out to dinner, no time for a long drawn out convo. Just file the request, give me some cash and I'll be on my way.

So I show up in flesh and blood. I have my California Drivers License. I have my checkbook, with checks which conveniently has my name and address on them. I have a random credit card, not issued by my bank, but it also has my name on it.

First I ask for $60. Then she asks for my account number. I whip out the checkbook and ask, can you use these numbers on the bottom of the check? She says, is that your account number? I tell her, I don't know, it's your bank check, you tell me! Satisfied, she does some writing and typing.

Ok, now I'll need to see some ID she says. No problem. Hand over my handy dandy drivers license complete with a photo of yours truly. Then she asks for the ATM card. Lady, I just gave you my checkbook, why do you need the ATM card you told me to cut up two weeks ago? Then she starts with the questions...again. When was and how much was your last deposit? Blank stare. When was and how much was your last ATM transaction? Um, yeah, since I haven't had a card for two weeks, I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to answer that!

Then she goes on to tell me, since I don't have my ATM card she'll have to speak to a manager. What??? I have my drivers license, I answered some other, apparently easy not so-security questions, and I have a checkbook with my name and address on it. But that's not enough forms of ID. Short of a DNA sample, what else could I have possibly given her??? Are you kidding me?

She ends up giving me the $60 because it "wasn't a lot of money." but says if I need more money I'll have to bring more ID. Then she goes on to tell me she can't request a new ATM card or issue a temporary one without sitting me down with a banker. Ok, seriously, I'm late for dinner already, I don't have this kind of time today.

So I struck out again. At least I have (some) cash in my wallet but I still don't have an ATM card. Oy ve!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

News Bulletin!

I got to meet one of my very good buddies, Shawn, from the CF Chat Room today in Sacramento. We went to one of my fave mexican restaurants, Ernesto's. Yummy food and ultra good company was had by all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Errands

I usually don't run multiple errands with the twins in tow, but today I did. And it went fairly well.

Our first stop was the Cosumnes River College. The hot summer tip in EG is to use the Junior College for swim lessons as opposed to the Park District. It's not only cheaper, but safer and more friendly. The Park District apparently hires high school students and from what I've heard through the grapevine the lessons seem unorganized not to mention less safe because the water is above any toddlers head. But at the college they have a more shallow pool and a net blocking the little tikes from wandering into the deep end. The class size seems smaller and the instructors are older, college age. So I booked the twins for two sessions back to back, that's 4 weeks, half our summer!

Tom was completely enamored by all the kids in the pool as I was filling out the paper work for my two 4 year olds. (shhhhhh! don't tell... you have to be 4 to sign up for the lessons.) Abby was sitting on my lap crying the whole time. Her brother had knocked her over on in the parking lot and she had quite the scrape on her knee. Of course I had nothing in my purse, no band aides or ice packs, seriously, do I look like Mary Poppins? But the lifeguard gave us a band aid. It wasn't enough, as she cried "owieeeeeeeeee" for about 45 minutes. Poor thing.

Our next stop was the pediatrician. I signed the kids up for a new doctor and I needed to have them copy our shot records. This sent the kids into a panic as they heard the word shot and doctor in the same sentence. "But WE don't need any shots???? Do we?" Of course not (today), don't be silly. That's what I should have said. But instead I told them when they go in after their birthday they will get a flu shot. More water works from Abby. She doesn't want a shot today or EVER!

After the 20 minutes it took to photo copy two pages...we were (finally) off to our next stop, Mervyn's. We set out to buy sandals for the twins. Abby found some right away, Dora sandals and she was tickled pinker than a pig when SHE had sandals just like mommy and Tom did NOT! We had to leave empty handed for Tom because they had one pair in his size, black Nike sandals. Booooring!

It was past lunch time and getting closer to nap time but Tom really wanted to find some sandals so we made a stop at Target. I heart Target. I think we all know that. Now, I had never been to their little food court before, so I decided to check it out. I found a sandwich for myself, yogurt for Abby and Tom settled on chips. Are you surprised. We also bought a chocolate chip pretzel. Abby wanted a big fat salted pretzel but the ones they have in the display case are FAKE! The only kind they had was chocolate chip. She claimed she wanted it, so I bought it. It went over as well as a lead balloon. Blech.

Abby saw some kids playing chase at the store, while mom was busy with other kids in the cart. She says, "oh, that boy is running! We don't run in the store. No we don't. Because it's not safe." I'm so proud. We found the shoe aisle and the Lightning McQeen sandals were all the wrong size. Poor Tom. Struck out again. Just as I was about to give up, there they were, the perfect size, the only pair, and it was Thomas the Tank Engine! Not only that, but they light up to boot!

So off I left with my two happy campers. They finally got to their nap at 2:30, which is rather late. And here I sit now, doing my afternoon treatment late and my evening treatment early so I can go out on a date with three hot chicks tonight.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Jewels!

I've been dying to blog about my new necklace, but I wanted to wait until it arrived so I could photograph it for you at the same time.

On Memorial Day, a blogger I read about was doing a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser, donating a portion of the sales that day, and that day only to CF Foundation. So of course I couldn't pass up an opportunity to order myself some custom jewelry, since I don't own anything with Tom and Abby's names on it yet.

Lisa Leonard is the name and she has quite a variety of custom necklaces and other jewelry to choose from. I chose the Mini Open Circle Necklace described under the Something Simple category. And if you're interested in her necklaces but don't see exactly what you're looking for, she'll help you create your own jewelry like she did for Tricia.



Why did it take so long to get here you ask? Don't even get me started about the lovely institution that is the USPS. And then there are the lovely "neighbors." You see my house and a house on the street behind us share the same house number. Granted we are on two completely different streets, but apparently this number sequence is very confusing for our postal carriers. They delivered my package to the wrong house! And I patiently waited for over 10 days. Finally I contacted the jeweler. She confirmed the shipment and had a tracking number. Then I contacted my local post office. It turns out there was a substitute carrier on our route the day it was delivered. So even though the package had MY name and MY address, it went to the wrong house. Brilliant! Not only that but our "neighbors" held onto the package for 8 days for reasons yet to be uncovered. Gotta love the suburbs.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Natalie!

Today was only 104 degrees, so we decided not to waste the good weather and celebrate outdoors. Our very good friends threw a birthday party for their 1 year old daughter, Natalie. Now Natalie's mom works full time and she has a one year old to take care of, but somehow, she managed to put me to shame today! She went all betty crocker and hand made three desserts for this big birthday bash. There was a butterfly cake, bug cookies and bug cupcakes. I don't even think I could go to the store and order a spread as beautiful as she made today.



Tom dug the park, literally. He told me maybe someday when he gets bigger he'll work on a 'struction site because he's good at diggers now!



Abby was less than pleased about the heat. My little wilted flower stuck to my shadow the whole three hours at the party. I don't think she really knew why she was so crabby. She carries the wonderful Linehan gene where if she sticks her big toe outside in a heat wave her skin turns pink. Not sun burned pink, just flushed. But all was much better once she had some butterfly cake and a nap.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Got Drugs?

It always amazes me to see someone walk away from the pharmacy with just one bottle of pills. To give you an idea of what you might expect at the pharmacy and what I experience I made a simple list of comparisons.

At home, you have a medicine cabinet.
At home, I have a medicine closet.
You might pay the equivalent of a fast food lunch bill at the pharmacy.
I pay the equivalent of a small car payment at the pharmacy.
You carry your prescription(s) out in your hand.
I attempt to carry mine out using both my arms and eventually surrender to using a shopping cart.

So Tuesday, it was quite a sight when I took the twins with me to the pharmacy. We had just finished their preschool promotion ceremony and they really wanted a set of helium balloons. So where else to go? But the grocery store! Our grocery store has a flower shop and inside the flower shop they sell helium balloons. They also have free helium balloons that advertise the name of the establishment. Tom and Abby go nuts for these free balloons! It's better than candy. Also, my pharmacy is just inside the grocery store so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone.

First stop, balloons! Oh, how they get so tickled waiting for their balloons to fill up. Abby is always dressed in pink, so without asking the balloonist always fills up a pink balloon for her and EVERY TIME she says with anticipation, "I hope that pink balloon is for me!" And Tom well, he only wears red, so usually he ends up with a red balloon, but sometimes he asks for blue, shocker, I know!

After the balloons were settled we headed to the pharmacy counter. They weren't quite ready for me, as the delivery had just come in, so we rounded the aisles looking for orange juice instead. After we picked up the orange juice Tom decided he wanted to ride IN the cart. As if the cart wasn't heavy enough, Abby decided to jump on the bandwagon as well. We went through the grocery lane check out to give the pharmacy some more time and then headed back for pickup.

Much not to my surprise I now had two huge grocery bags full of medicines, syringes and needles. Yum! I somehow squished them into my seemingly shrinking cart with two kids, two balloons, two bags of prescriptions and two bags of food. I'm thinking now is not such a bad time to teach the kids how to dangle from the sides of the grocery cart as I almost needed more room!

But we made it. And without incident... this time.

Life sure did seem a lot simpler when they were lighter and smaller.... circa 2005.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day Two of No TV

I rely on TV to babysit the twins more than I like to admit. We didn't let them watch TV until they turned 2 years old but since then it seems to have just exploded around here. And it's all my fault. I try and stay within the AAP guidelines of 2 hours a day or less, but sometimes they watch two DVD movies and that's THREE HOURS!

On Monday I had a knock down drag out fight with Tom trying to get him on the potty (with no success) into a diaper and into bed for his nap. He wanted to watch another TV program and just was not having it. Lucky (or unlucky) for him, he gets his stubborn personality from me so when I say time out I mean it. When I say it's nap time, there's no discussion. It's rare we have these tantrums and I have to remind myself he is only 3 but it still frustrates me and I think the culprit is television. I find when they don't watch TV they are much happier campers. As if they weren't happy enough! If you've spent any time with the twins you will see they are generally happy well adjusted 3 year olds. But every once in awhile....watch out!

So today is day two of absolutely no TV. They continue to amuse themselves together and I really haven't had to change my routine too much. Instead of watching TV, they are playing (as they do everyday, even on TV days) There have been little to no tears and we are doing rather well. It just takes a little more time for me to organize activities and help them with reading, stickers, coloring, painting and building. Since I live and breathe for these kiddos, I really don't mind! But everyday Abby is asking, "what day is it?" Because I told her maybe on Saturday, she can watch some TV. It's unfortunate she is punished because of Tom's behavior, but really, putting them on TV restriction isn't in itself a punishment at all. They'll thank me for it later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Promotion!

Tom and Abby celebrated their promotion to the "4 Year Old" program at preschool today! All the children sat on a "stage" that was a backyard patio and faced about 25 adults. The kids put on a quick show which consisted of two songs with hand motions. Abby participated. Tom, not so much. But then again, are you really surprised? That little girl has no fear, not even stage fright.



After the "show" Tom was begging to leave. We got one quick photo of the twins with their teachers. They will have the same teachers in 8 weeks when they return back to school. I don't think there were any tears shed by any of the parents, maybe some from the frightened children though. Not all the kids sat up front, some made their way to mom's and dad's lap. I was proud of Tom and Abby for sticking it out! All three minutes.





Congratulations kiddos! That sugar cookie with sprinkles on top was well deserved!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Finally Father's Day

Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting to talk about Father's Day surprises? Yeah, like two weeks. And in the blogosphere that's an eternity to keep things secret.

So for Father's Day I wanted to take the twins to a portrait studio. Whoulda thunk two weeks in advance was not enough time. All of my recommended studios were booked so I dusted off my Nikon and set out to photograph the twins myself. Since these photographs were to be gifts I thought it'd be nice if the twins weren't wearing play clothes that say things like "LIGHTNING" or "MICKEY" I thought that might kinda ruin the tone of these photos.

So that basically means Tom wouldn't be able to wear red. *gasp!* Short of sedating him for the photo shoot I chose the next best thing. Bribery! Who doesn't love gummy bears at nine in the morning? Unfortunately for me this sent my wild monkey into the giggles and he would not stop doing this:




or this:



or this:



Thank you preschool, where he learned to stretch the sides of his mouth to make his "funny face." About two hours later we did end up with a couple workable photos. And the finished product.... drum roll please....



I love the way the water colors turned out. Tom did the upper right hand side of the matte. He wanted to fill in ALL the white parts. And Abby did the rest. Near the top left, down the side is her "rainbow." I thought the whole project turned out sweet.

And we did get a couple of acceptable solo shots for the wallet too. In my wallet the twins are still babies. Not anymore!





And of course preschool came up with the sweetest Father's Day project as well. Don't you just love Tom's expression? I just about died with laughter when I picked him up from school last week with that card. I was crying! I think we have a class clown in the making. I'm surprised they managed to wrestle him into the shirt and tie!



Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Art of Framing

I plunged into the depths of arts and crafts yesterday. You see, three years ago I received a gift. A gift I had asked for. I received one of those frames for babies where you put a tiny photo of your baby in the frame each month and finally at one year old you put a larger photo in the middle. Lucky for me, with twins, I have two frames and 24 photos to mess with.

So now that the twins are nearing 4 years old I decided it was time to dust the frames off and figure out how to get this project going. It was like signing up a rebellious teenager for scrapbooking 101. I hate it. All the cutting, taping, checking, moving, re-taping, adjusting. Basically my worst nightmare. (No offense Nicole) Add a couple of three year old twins bouncing on the bed, bending my photographs, running around with my scissors, threatening to cut my lifeline, er...I mean, laptop power cord. A barrel of laughs really. I think I was dripping in sweat by the time it was over. And I'm done. There will be no more frames in my house. My children will forever be 1 year old on my mantel. My babies will remain jpeg babies because frankly, it's just makes so much more sense to have a virtual photo album.

To keep with the jpeg tradition, I will try and add photos of my photos later today.

*************UPDATE*************

As promised, the photos!





In other news this evening I learned a package I was expecting has been mishandled and lost by the United States Postal Service. Despite having a tracking number, despite being allegedly delivered to my home on June 7, they have let me down once again. I'm thinking about a boycott. I'm pretty sure they'll miss me once I'm gone.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Powerful










I'm glad the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation uses every penny they can for research but having commercials like this in main stream USA might not be such a bad investment. What do you think?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Heat Wave!

So yesterday went a little something like this.

Around 11:30 AM I put the house in lock down bat cave mode, as I do on most summer mornings. I shut the windows, pull the blinds and turn off all the lights. Then I cranked the A/C down to a cool 76. Three hours later the thermostat till read 79, yet all over the house I felt wafts of warm air. At first I paid no mind, thinking it was all in my head. After all, I'd been folding laundry and playing with the twins all morning. I was hot, not the house. So I took a shower (don't ask why it was 2:30 before I showered), got dressed and started sweating. By golly, it IS hot in here! The thermometer on my kitchen counter read 82 degrees and rising! And wouldn't you know it, we had dinner guests arriving any minute to spend the afternoon with us.

I frantically called Paul asking him for advice. He said call our utility company to find out if they are "cycling" air conditioners to save power. Well it turns out SMUD hasn't cycled in SEVEN years! Looks like my A/C is just plain broken. I called Paul back to tell him the bad news. He'd already been looking for the A/C company we found a couple months ago, when we were thinking about being responsible hot climate citizens and having our unit serviced for it's annual checkup. The Bell Brothers were booked for two weeks!

But they were quick to offer me a phone number for the company called Air Rescue. At first I thought, oh, no, with a name like "rescue" this is one of those middle of the night, cost an arm and a leg service companies. So asked what the deal was. She said he is actually one of the Bell brothers that started his own business and when "Bell Brothers" gets busy, they refer to Air Rescue. I decided to keep it all in the family and call Air Rescue. So I placed my call about 3PM. The tech says he JUST had a cancellation and he can be over in 15 minutes! What luck! 30 minutes and $229 later we had cool air whistling throughout the house.(stinking broken compressor, whatever that means) I asked the tech if he was a Bell. He said yes, his two older brothers started the company and he was their technician for 15 years, then once they got bigger and busier, he went into business himself. I found it funny that he is the "little" brother because this man was at least six and a half feet tall, I'm NOT kidding! I felt like a midget standing next to him.

I'm just glad to have my A/C back.

Monday, June 09, 2008

T Minus 8 Days to Summer Break!

In a little over one week from now the twins will be promoted to the "4 year old" preschool class in a simple ceremony at school. I can't believe my babies are getting so big! I have a feeling there will be lots of teary eyed sniffling parents in attendance that day!



In other news these...



are still around.

How do they work? I can do a lot with my own hair and with Abby's hair, but these types of bands have confused me for over 20 years. Are they just decoration? Or are they supposed to hold the pony tail? I put some in Abby's hair today, but I'm not satisfied with how I did it. If you have any information on how to use these suckers, please advise.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dirty Laundry

The twins and I wore our brand new I heart Little Italy, NY t-shirts yesterday. They were gifted to us from our NY twins, the Diaz Duo. It is surprising to me how much Tom digs this shirt because it is not red, although the heart on it is red. And he digs the heart.

So this morning when I was getting the twins ready for preschool I asked them what they wanted to wear and Tom said he wanted to wear his new heart shirt. I told him it was in the hamper, it was dirty, he needed to pick another shirt. So he went to the hamper, practically fell in it and pulled out his shirt, took a sniff and said, "it's not dirty mom." So I did what any other respectable mother of twins in a hurry would do. I pulled Abby's shirt out of the hamper too and seemingly satisfied they went to preschool wearing dirty laundry.



Monday, June 02, 2008

Did Somebody Say CAKE?

This weekend was full of celebration. Saturday was Ian's 3rd birthday party! I made the mistake of telling the twins on Saturday morning that "today" was Ian's birthday party. This generally poses a problem if by "today" i mean after their nap. So when it was noon (2 hours early for their nap) and I was trying to get them into bed Mr. Procrastinator pulled out all the stops including the cutest epiphany. Tom says in all seriousness, "Hey! We forgot to go to Ian's birthday party!" So then I had to try to explain to 2 three year olds (again) that when they wake from the mid-day nap it's not actually a new day, it's the same day, and we'll go to Ian's party when they wake up.

Despite having an early nap and being woken up early to get in the car and sit for an hour long drive to the park, they had an absolute BLAST at the party. There were slides and sand and sprinklers and cake! What more could a 3 year old want?





Somehow Abby escaped the sprinklers without getting a single drop on her. Tom, not so much.





Tom and Abby were so excited to give Ian his gifts. I had wrapped them and Tom and Abby decorated the package with stickers and ribbon. Abby took about 30 different stickers and lined them up on the package in one single curvy line that continued from the front to the back. It was darling. She was so proud.



Tom on the other hand found himself too busy in the sand pit by the time gift opening rolled around. I went to go claim him so he could give Ian his present but he exclaimed, "I have a lot of work to do!" Alas, he was too busy and remained in the sand pit.