Saturday, March 11, 2017

Resolution Destroyed

My resolution for 2017 was to write on this blog twice a month. I was doing good...for like 3 whole weeks. I haven't been back here since January 21. What happened?!

LIFE. I have been running on all cylinders since then. Jeremy has been traveling a lot. I have even been out of town once in that time. Teaching in both locations is in the "busy season" of grading, projects, etc. The time I have free from work, I find myself cleaning, cooking and playing. I don't get a free moment where there is NOTHING to blog. Hence, my resolution is destroyed.

But I am here. Still. I am still going to try. Hang with me as I find some kind of balance.

(My brain is so cluttered that I just took 45 minutes off in the middle of writing this to grade some college students' projects. I. Can't. Stop.)

Before this post gets off the's some toddler spam. My beautiful nearly 4-year-olds! Gah!

We went to the Globetrotters! So fun!

My mom went too!

Daddy-Daughter Dance

We got this dress especially for her date. You will see that this is now the only dress she wants to wear. Ever.

While Daddy and Harper had their date. I had my date with this guy. T-Rex Café.

My buddy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Ice Cream Date!

We have had crazy, wacky weather this winter.

February and 70's at the park with ice cream


We found this cute little donut shop where the kids could create their own donut masterpiece and watch it get made.

Church pic. And that dress again.

Dress for success day at their school. The dress...again.

Jeremy has been in 2 different states in just this week. So I was a bad mom and we did Chick-fil-a one night earlier and then they got to experience their first happy meals too. We have always been too cheap...even for McDonald' get them their own happy meals. They will now be expecting them now! Also, they call this place "Old McDonalds" which is just the cutest.

I posted this video to my Instagram. Max got this Marshall toy from my niece for Christmas. It does so many different things that it's crazy. We never had cool toys like this. One of the commands has Marshall dancing. These two just joined right in and followed his commands. Ha!

Till next time! Hopefully soon!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

One vs One

Since I have only known the life of parenting twins, I don't know what it's like to just have one baby/one kid. People have always said "What's it like to have twins?" or "How do you do it?" My response is always: It's all I know. I don't know any different.

I got to see what life was like with one kid today. It was pretty awesome for lots of reasons.

I was recently inspired by a fellow twin mom. They split up their twins for one-on-one dates. I then realized Max and Harper only have outings with each other. We have never taken them away from each other for one on one time unless one of them was home sick. So...I took Miss Harpy Harps and Jeremy took Maxy Doodle.

Jeremy took Max to breakfast for some breakfast burritos. M LOVES burritos...any kind. Then, they hit up the local Target to get some special cars. Max is obsessed with the Cars movies. It started when he was 2. But then he took a break. It wasn't until he saw the trailer for the new Cars movie coming out this summer that it reinvigorated his love of everything Lightning McQueen. His number one gift he wanted from Santa were the little race cars from the new movie. He got to pick out 2 more race cars from Target. He is thinking it is the best thing ever!

Daddy and son day also included some extra cookie snacks, the local indoor play place and lunch. They both enjoyed their time together. I can't wait to spend my time with Max next week.

Harper and I had a great time too! This girl loves her donuts. And this mama love her coffee. So the only possible place that we could start our date was Dunkin Donuts. Just across the parking lot is this amazing cookie bakery...just cookies. But the best! So we picked up some Monster cookies and a couple of their cutesy ones too. She wanted the kitty, but she wanted Max to have the dog.

We had some time to kill before our next stop opened, so we went shopping of course! Harper picked out a new princess tea set. I think we had 4 tea sets now...but the girl needs options!

We then went to a kids' painting class. It was so cool and actually a great place for a birthday that's a possibility. They have open studios on Saturday mornings. Today, they worked on Matisse flowers. Then, they got free studio time to play and explore. Harper made friends and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

We ended our date eating her favorite! She got her very own pizza and a little cup of gelato too. It was around lunch time that she began asking about Max. She said that she wanted to share her pizza with Max and wondered what Max was doing. So sweet.

Finished art project going on the fridge

After getting home from our dates, Max and Harper clearly missed each other. They really are so close. However, it is so important for them to develop their own identities too. I think they enjoyed having their special time with Mom and Dad just as much as we did.

I was able to talk to Harper and give her my 100% undivided attention. I can never do that. Either Max wants to also have some attention and talk time or I have to worry about what the other one is getting in to. Life as a one child Mom is so different. I didn't know what to do with my other hand. My head didn't have to be on a swivel. I could just watch, talk and be in awe with my one sweet girl.

Next weekend, our daycare is having a Daddy-daughter dinner. So Jeremy will get some Harper time. I plan on taking Max on our own little Mom and son adventure.

I think we both realized that we need to do this more often. I can't believe we have waited this long!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Dealing with Stress

Everyone has to deal with an amount of stress at one point or another...(or all points in varying levels). Some people deal by crying (sometimes me), throwing fits (sometimes me), or lashing out at loved ones (sometimes me). I am guilty of all of these ineffective stress relieving tactics.
However, I, for the majority, deal with stress internally. On the outside, I smile, nod and pretend that life is my oyster. Internally, I am freaking the F out! I have a hard time saying "No" when asked. I have the tendency to bite off more than I can chew. And I definitely invent the majority of the stress in my life.
This week has been A WEEK. Whew! I first of all promised to you, the blog world, that I would write to you more often. Much to my chagrin, my weekly Friday night alarm alerted me to WRITE. So, I am now hoping this self-inflicted stress turns into therapy. Bear with me...ya'll are my free therapy.

I begin my adjunct courses on Monday. Like three days from now. They are all online through the learning interface, Blackboard. For some flipping reason, I have not been granted access to set up said courses until today. TODAY! I have spent hours on the phone with Human Resources, my department, the university's technology one can figure out what the hell was going on. It was so freaking frustrating!

Now, I get to spend my ENTIRE weekend (except for right now) building two courses I have never taught before. Luckily, I can build as we progress but the majority of the course needs to be done before I can release the site to the students. Oy!

Let's add in the fact that we started back to regular school (at the middle school) this week. And let me tell hasn't been a pleasant start. I didn't realize how much I did NOT miss them until today. Again, oy!

[Insert loud, obnoxious sigh that I would roll my eyes at if it came from my husband.]

Now, let me paint back on my smile, perfect the nod and go back to pretending that life is grand. Deep down I know that my life is pretty flipping fantastic. But the stress I put on myself is making it difficult.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Our year in review

I do one of these Flipagram videos every end of the year and also one for their birthday. Here is our video for 2016.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Parents + 3 year olds= Insanity

Three-year-olds are just...awful. I mean this in the best and most honest way. I love them to pieces but year 3 is hard. Three-year-olds have attitudes and opinions. They have tempers and out of control emotions.

The problem is that I, a 33-year-old mother, have the same issues: attitude, opinions for days, a temper and out of control emotions. The mix of all of us together is a walking hormonal nightmare. The only true difference between my 3-year-olds and me is that 1) I can drive. 2) I can drink. 3) I don't throw myself onto the floor of the produce section of the grocery store.

However, there are windows in the day where three-year-olds are just the absolute best! Their genuine love of everything. It is always "the best ever" and they "love you soooo much". They tell the greatest stories. So great that I am never sure if the story is fiction or not. I hope fiction...they can get crazy! All of their songs come with hand motions...even the songs they make up in their head. They believe in magic, imaginary friends, peace, love, hope, and me. 

They really are spectacular little people. I didn't really mean that they are awful earlier...but parenting got real this year. We can legit screw up our kids now. I feel like before age three, they have no recollection on what the hell we've done or said to them. Now they will remember all of our mistakes and missteps. They will officially need therapy from their childhoods. It is quite the pressure. 

Raising one 3 year old is challenging. Raising two 3-year-olds is impossible! Ha! They couldn't be more different from one another either. They really are opposites. 

Max is the particular one...some may say OCD. He loves to cheat at board games. Hates to lose...whether that be a game or racing to his bedroom. He screams when he is upset. Like scream-screams. Not little toddler tantrums. Like he is summoning demons from deep inside...exorcist style. Like a Gremlin being fed after midnight. He has broken this mama's heart with phrases like "I don't love you" and "You are a mean mom" and "Get away from me". 

But he is also the most loving boy ever. He loves me hardcore. He snuggles and rocks with me every night. He dances to songs in his head and has some pretty good moves. He knows every word to every song on the radio. (This may not be a great parenting move by us.) He is SO smart. I don't mean because he is my kid. He really is a gifted child. We joke that he is our future engineer. He is a self-anointed "Puzzle Master" as he can put together large puzzles meant for someone twice his age. This is most likely the reason he is also in more trouble at school and home than his much calmer sister. 

Harper is our free spirit. She marches to the beat of her own drum. Her drum is filled with glitter, rainbows, unicorns, puppies, dolls and dresses. Seriously the girliest of girly girls. She hugs everyone she loves with such force that you know she means it. Her high-pitched voice warms your heart as she says "I love you so much, Mama!" She doesn't know how to run...this was made apparent at our brief 6-week stint as soccer players. She gallops or skips everywhere she goes. This just adds to the girlish charm of the princess. 

However, Harper is no angel (although she played one in a Christmas play). She is very calculating. She is seen by most everyone as the sweet one (mainly because everything listed above). However, she knows how to manipulate even the expert preschool teachers. She definitely has her Daddy in her back pocket. She also has a mean in her hands. She pinches her brother quietly, but if you ever get a glimpse of her face as she does may have nightmares. It's the three-year-old in her really. She can't help the devilish grin (at least that's what I tell myself to sleep at night).

Like the handmade camel and angel costumes?

Go Royals!

The best part of parenting! (and best part of me!)

PS...more rambling parenting posts to come!

I. Am. Back.

Well, hello world!

If I had readers at one point...I am sure you have given up on me by now. After all, who wants to be a follower of a blog that randomly posts pictures of some cute kids once a year?! I have struggled with keeping this blog current really since the twins (now 3 1/2!) were one. It seems like life has been a blur. I always have these great hopes but they fall short in every way.

This is why my main goal for 2017 is to BLOG. Like every week? But realistically I would like to make at least 2 posts a month. I used to love writing. Now, I just veg out in front of Netflix when the kids go to bed. (As I am watching "The Crown" right now.) Writing is therapeutic. I think I need it back in my crazy life.

Of course, life is a lot crazier than it was when I was a regular blogger.

1. I have 2 jobs: 1 as a teacher (for 11 years now) and 1 as an adjunct professor. It just so happens I am teaching two new courses that I have never taught before so there's that added stress...

2. Jeremy has a million jobs too (maybe just 3...or 4? I lose count. He is always busy!)

3. Our kids are HUGE! They are getting involved with other activities and well, just big kids now.

4. What the hell do I write about?! I am a different person than I was when I started this blog 5 years ago.

However, I am reinvesting myself into this space. I may not write about interesting topics. I may not make much sense. But I am going to write. I have even set up a reminder every Friday evening to blog.

So, I come!


Friday, April 8, 2016

The Sickel Twins Are A-growin'

I do feel the blog has become less about writing to you all. Although, I obviously do. And more about writing down the parts of Max and Harper's life that I don't want to forget. The blog has become the baby books that are sitting in their closets collecting dust.

But somehow believe I have written in their baby books more in the last year than here!

Max and Harper are thriving. They are the most beautiful, intelligent humans. (Biased much?) I know I am nearly 3 years into this Mommy gig but some days I still can't believe that I am their mom. I get to be their person.

Their sweet voices when they say "I love you, Mommy" or being woke up at the side of my bed when they have had a bad dream. All they want is me. I relish in those sweet, tender moments. I love them so much it hurts.

However, there are moments that I forget that this Mommy job is the best ever. Two year olds are frustrating little demons sometimes. (In the best way possible, of course!)

Harper refuses to get dressed for Jeremy and it is a struggle with me too. She is so independent. Every morning the struggle is real.

Max loves to now poop in his pants. He has been potty trained since September. Harper---no accidents ever since November-ish. Max hates poopin on the potty at school. Doesn't mind it so much at home. We are SO over this regression. But his teachers are doing a great job at school of encouraging him and he is making improvements week to week.

Both are amazing little sleepers. They have been going down without fights and staying asleep in their beds all night, except for the occasional "bad dream" that they tell me about.

We have had lots of different adventures over the last few months. Here are just a few to share with you:

Park time 
Princess Harpy Harps

Jammy time

Our 2nd dentist visit

Woo-hoo! Shorts!

We love the Spring weather in the winter! 

Nothing says St. Patty's Day like a good ole booger

Valentine's Party

All of my mom's grandchildren

Visiting Grampa

Ready for Opening Day for our hometown Royals!

Hiding in the closet together!

Nonnie and us on Easter

Easter cheesin'
Perfect end to the day.