For Tony's birthday, we watched some football, had crockpot roast, mashed potatoes and cake. Can it seriously get any better?? (especially the cake part--- It was a chocolate swirl two teir cake with chocolate coconut icing and coconut flakes and toffee bits throughout. It was pretty yum-yum.)
I have a video of Avery saying 'happy birthday da-da' but it won't let me upload it for some reason. I'm really sad about that. It is so cute. But, oh well. Here are some photos instead:


Ashy (in a lovely outfit designed by herself) and daddy doing 'touchdown'!

We all wish daddy the bestest year yet!



That is the theme for today. I said this over and over again, in a quite defeated tone, and I do not know where to start. Here is just a sampling of what my trials have been lately:

1. The girls keep stripping their clothes off. They do it to either:
a) themselves,
b) each other or
c) all of the above.
Which, in and of itself, is not that big of a deal EXCEPT for the fact that as a result of the 'stripping' their diapers come off as well. And they are not potty trained yet. Nor do they see a problem with peeing/pooping/whatever else-ing everywhere...then playing in it. I know. Gross. I began with keeping them out of snapping outfits. Pants and onesies are out of the question. I even tried putting pants on over the outfits or even under them. Yeah right. That was figured out in a day. I switched them to zippers, but they figured that out too. So, I put them in only snap-crotch outfits with snaps on the back neck. Eventually, they figured that out, too. I then decided to sew up the snap crotches. Diaper changes were harder because the whole outfit had to come off each time, but I was willing to do it if it meant I didn't have to change two cribs at least three times a day (that's 6 sheets and mattress pads for those of you keeping track). Problem solved, right? Well, guess what?? They figured that out too. If they pulled on their sleeve, the neck snaps would pop and they could shimmy out. GAHHH! I decided to try zipper outfits again, except I turned them around backwards. They have to be one size bigger because instead of cutting the feet out (which I did do in some outgrown outfits) I turn the feet around backwards, too. This worked fine until they just stood in front of one another trading unzipping favors. I was pulling my hair out at this point. Finally...I had to do something drastic. Do not report me to social services. I promise there is no restricting of movement and there is no torture involved...it just looks really bad. Here it is:

That's right. When in doubt, go to duct tape. We always said in jest 'we should just duct tape them closed'. Well....be careful what you say folks. We call this their 'silver backpacks' or their 'space suits'. I know it looks horrible, but people, you need to know I am at the end of my rope!!! It is seriously my only option besides sewing their outfits on. Then un-sewing every diaper change and re-sewing. Not going there....yet...don't hold your breath. They have been able to undo 'old' duct tape (I try to lift up just the very center part over the zipper to unzip for diaper changes. We've gone through too many rolls to waste tape on every diaper change. They've figured out how to wiggle under there and un-tape enough to unzip.) We are still new at that so maybe they'll lose interest. Yeah, right....

2. (YES, we are only on TWO!!) A couple weeks ago our darling daughter, Ashleigh, decided she wanted to join her sister, Avery, in her crib. Their cribs are in the middle of the room, back to back. So she just hopped over and climbed in. I took a picture but I can't locate it at the moment. I'm sure you can imagine. She only did it the one time and that was weeks ago. Well, yesterday, again, my darling daughter, Ashleigh, decided she wanted to take her climbing a step further and climb OUT of the crib all together. I could hear some unusual noises (non-naptime noises) like a weird 'tink-tink'-ing sound. I realized that sound was plastic hangers 'tinking' against each other. And the hangers are WAYYYY out of reach for anyone in a crib...So I jump up and rush in there. Oh the mess. I was too mad to take a picture. But let me try and describe what I found. I will start with the fact that our home is two bedrooms. So we have crammed 5 people's ever-growing belongings into every nook and cranny possible. The girls' room was also the guest room (we moved the extra bed out a couple months ago for more space) and it is also my craft room/miscellaneous room. I have bins of gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons, etc. etc. for crafting and all of that. So after she climbed out, Ashleigh decided to pull out various sizes of gift bags and they were strewn about. They were surrounded by three emptied boxes of thank you cards and envelopes....scattered everywhere. There were piles of (previously folded) clothes and costumes and blankets and stuffed animals...and AAAAACCKKKKKK!! We've never needed that room to be 'baby-proofed' before. Besides, where would we put all of it anyway?? So I had to add cleaning up the room to the list of my normal-everyday-barely-able-to-do chores, including things like actually feeding them...ugh. I dread that. I know that sounds horrible. But they are so messy and of course I feed them really messy things like pasta and sauce. Anyways...I had to scurry and somewhat baby proof the room in the time between them waking up for a nap and when they went down again all while trying to feed them and clean up all the other necessary blahs involved with almost 2 year olds. I called Tony nearly in tears and he told me later to just get out what would kill them instantly. LOL. So scissors and needles and other poky crafting items...sewing machine...outlets...ugh. So I kinda did that as best as I could with the limited space and storage utensils I had. I tried putting them in the same crib for naps today and they cried almost an hour but have finally settled down. I will let you know what I come up with next. I'm thinking toddler beds pushed together kinda like one gigantic crib. I'll have to be crafty to cover up the gap between and make it so they can't just climb out. But that's for another day.

I think I'll stop here since this post is already a novel. I'm sure I've already lost readers. :) But I needed to vent. I seriously don't know how to fix it. Any of it. But we'll come up with something and be OK. We always do....


First Trip To The Park...

I know, I know. You think I'm crazy that we just had our first trip to the park a couple weeks ago. But I tell you, chasing three in a large open area is not my idea of fun. Also, I had to wait until they were out of the 'lets put everything in our mouths' stage...well, at least two of the three are out of that. Ashleigh will put anything in her mouth. I don't know how to stop that. But, I digress. We had a great time. Here are some pictures of the fun:


<<<<< Five GLORIOUS Years >>>>>

Yes, we've now been married for five years. And yet, it feels like longer.... :D

No, truthfully, it is weird to think we've been married five years. In that short span of time, just like in all marriages, we've had ups and downs, tears and laughter and we've acheived the greatest thing ever imaginable together---raising our three beautiful daughters.

I can't imagine Tony not being in my life. He's a great influence on me, like helping me to come out of my shell and to enjoy the little things in life. I am happy and content even to just sit on the couch and watch TV with him. He makes me laugh, he's the greatest and most helpful dad and he is my best friend and the one person to whom I can tell anything.

{{Thank you, Tony, for 5 wonderful years together. I look forward to experiencing more of life's great challenges and adventures with you. I LOVE YOU!!!}}


Using Stanley for Evil....

The girls have figured out how to push Stanley the Snail (referenced here) around and use him to climb up and reach places they aren't supposed to. Here are some photos of the action:

Because of this little trick, they got into the bag of teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy clear and black rubber bands I use for their hair. A bag of about 500. Not kidding. Literally 500. ALLLLL over my living room floor. They are SO easy to find....not! And OF COURSE they did this as I was getting dressed and about to leave the house---yes, getting dressed AND getting them in the car, pretty much simultaneously. I was overjoyed, as you can imagine.

Clear AND tiny. Bad combo.

Oh, and did I mention this was the SECOND time this happened?....today???? Ahh, yes, it was. Apparently I didn't move it far enough out of reach the first time. Yay for me.

And, boy, am I glad I'm not still finding rubber bands every day........


Fun With our G & G

My parents came in to town last week for a visit. The girls took to them right away and they had a grand 'ol time together.

We hung out at the house, we went to the fair and all had a bbq at nanna and papa's house.

Thanks for coming to see us! Here are some photos of the visit: