Friday, July 31, 2009

I heart wooden toys, figurines, etc.

I was introduced to a wonderful shop by the lovely Amy of The Progressive Pioneer. It is called The Wooden Wagon. The Wooden Wagon sells natural wooden toys (& figurines, ornaments, etc.) from Europe that remind me of the many lovely things that filled my grandparents' house. Even though I entered a giveaway that Amy is hosting for items from The Wooden Wagon, I couldn't stop myself from ordering some Christmas ornaments for my kiddos! Check it out!

photos courtesy The Wooden Wagon

Friday, July 24, 2009


We reached a milestone this week: I removed the gate at the bottom of the stairs that was installed 2.5 years ago when the girls started crawling.
A&O at 18 months
While we were in Cleveland this past weekend we stayed with friends; friends who have older children so they don't have barricades throughout their homes. Within 15 minutes of arriving A&O noticed the staircases and were drawn to them. They must have gone up and down 50 times, just because they could. When Kevin and I were chatting with our friends and all was too quiet on the kid front, I found A&O on the landing of the staircase with pillows playing house with stuffed animals and barbie dolls. They loved it!
Once we returned home I thought about the reasons I still had the gate up (the main one being that I could move around the house knowing the girls were secure in a childproofed area) and realised that it just wasn't really necessary any longer. We still have a gate in the girls' bedroom doorway and another keeping them out of the kitchen/basement stairs area. I may be a couple of months before I feel I can remove those!

This whole "growing up" thing is moving way too fast!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Favorite Thing!

We drove to Cleveland this past weekend to visit my lifelong best friend (I think we're going on 40 years of knowing each other!) and my college roommate. This was a real test for us since it was by far the longest car ride we've taken the girls on. I'm happy to say all went well.

We left our house so we could drive a while and stop for lunch just about when we thought we would start hearing "are we there yet?" After eating a picnic lunch and stretching our legs we whipped out the world's greatest invention: Potty on the Go by Fisher Price. This thing is pretty compact (yet substantial), easy to use and comes with a handy storage bag that holds everything you'll need for a potty break. Since we have a mini van we can discretely have A&O use the potty almost anywhere, never having to worry about finding a restroom. I am also a bit of a germ freak and hate taking my girls into public restrooms because they are rarely clean and they seem to touch EVERYTHING!

Potty on the Go was particularly handy on our return trip when we stopped for gas, coffee and a potty break. We had one little person who was "having trouble going" and she ended up sitting on the Potty to Go in Tim Horton's parking lot for about 30 minutes before "things" got moving. I was so thankful that I wasn't stuck in a restroom stall holding her on a toilet that whole time!

If you've got little ones, I would highly recommend this portable potty chair!

photo courtesy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Falls & Fun

Each weekend we try to do at least one fun outing, but that has been so hard to plan lately because it has been raining way too much this summer. Fortunately we live in a region full of summer festivals, not to mention major places of interest, so when the sun shines, spur of the moment planning almost always leads to fun, Fun, FUN!

This past weekend was no exception. With a major rain storm forecasted for Saturday morning, I kept my usual date with my favorite grocery store and did the week's shopping. Got home, put groceries away, fed the kids and then settled them for nap. As soon as the kids woke up the clouds broke up and as the sun started peeking out Kevin and I were bouncing afternoon ideas off of each other. Twenty minutes later we were in the van and headed for Niagara Falls, USA!
By the time we parked on Goat Island (part of Niagara Falls State Park) and started walking, it was gorgeous out! We walked up to Terrapin Point and got a close up view (a little too close for my comfort with two active three year olds!) of the powerful rapids and the Horseshoe Falls. Every so often the wind would kick up and we would get pretty wet from the spray, or mist, of the Falls (I was soooo happy I accidentally left my camera at home)! We walked along the park paths enjoying the views and the fun of people-watching tourists from all over the globe. We ate dinner at the Top of the Falls Restaurant and headed home happy.

The sun welcomed us Sunday morning so we hopped in the van right after breakfast and headed back to Niagara Falls, but this time we remembered our passports, so we crossed over to the Canadian side to the Butterfly Conservatory. We had never been to any place like this and were surprised at just how many butterflies there actually were fluttering all around us (and we had to be careful of where we stepped because they were on the ground, too!). Both girls were pretty frightened at first, but relaxed a bit as they saw butterflies landing on other children. So many beautiful butterflies! We exited the Conservatory, walked slowly back to our van through the lovely Botanical Gardens and made it home in time for lunch.

Quite a bit of fun for not having any plans!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Girlie Girls!

When I was pregnant Kevin and I decided we did not want to find out the gender of the babies before they were born. This added such a fun element of surprise for us but it drove everyone else crazy! I REALLY believed I had two baby boys on board. So much so that Kevin and I only had boys names picked out.

Being the youngest of four girls with no brothers, I can easily say that I am much more comfortable around girls than boys. Because of this, and my deep feeling that I was having two boys, I was terrified about how I was going to handle my little baby boys. Obviously the most important outcome was that I had two healthy babies, but I was so completely surprised and thrilled when the Doctor delivered my precious baby girls. I think someone up above knew that it would be hard enough on me to care for two new babies, so they wouldn't throw the whole foreign male bit into the mix!

It has been so much fun watching our girls develop their own likes and dislikes. They are so different, yet they are so alike. Some days I think I have two daring tomboys on my hands and on others they couldn't be more girlie!

Today was a girlie day. Yesterday my sister painted A & O's toenails for the first time and they LOVE it! They spent much of Tuesday looking down admiring their feet (very funny to watch!). This morning I came downstairs to find them in their dress-up shoes, with toes peeking out, "going shopping". They looked so darn cute!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rock-a-bye Baby

It has been a long week. Full of fun, but long.

Up until a week ago Kevin and I were putting the girls to bed in our usual fashion (both of us on the floor in their room until they fell asleep). Unfortunately, the amount of time we had to be in their room had been increasing over the past month or so, from 20 minutes to over an hour. So... last Sunday, after 60 minutes on the floor, Kevin stood up and announced, "I have work to do. I can't stay in here any longer" and walked out. Both girls sat straight up in their beds, looked at me (I was stunned) and O said, "Mommy, you go too!" (stunned even more!). An hour and fifteen minutes later they were finally asleep.

Since that night Kevin and I give our Goodnight kisses and leave the girls' room. There have been many trips back up the stairs for reassuring hugs, potty runs, random questions, etc. The process is getting better but between the girls' new bedtime independence, some major late night thunderstorms and Independence Day weekend events causing later naps and bedtimes, the girls are at least 7 hours short on sleep for the week. For the most part they are doing better than I would expect under the circumstances, but when 'the moments' come, Look Out!

I'm all for fun, but I'm looking forward to a quieter week!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Birthday to our great country! Celebrated with a parade last night, picnic this afternoon, and possibly some fireworks tonight. Enjoy your weekend!