Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Foot

Tonight we were watching River Monsters on Animal Planet and a commercial came on for a show called Finding Bigfoot. Gracie asked what a Bigfoot is and Emily said, "It is a big giant foot that stomps through woods and scares people!" I would love to live inside her mind!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I didn't inhale...

My 4-year-old son Harrison, who we affectionately dubbed Hashbrown, often goes by the name Hash. This was not an intentional nickname at all, and I have tried to curb it's use, but the name Hash has held on for over 4 years now and I don't see it going anywhere.

Hashbrown and my 9-year-old Emmy were just playing a spelling game. Hash would spell something and Emmy would have to tell him if it was a real word or not. For example, he would say, "Em, how about Q-D-V, what does that spell?" And she would tell him something totally over his head about the use of vowels, and he would try a different group of letters.

After a long string of non-words, Hash said, "How about P-O-T?". Emmy jumped up and down and said, "Yes Hash!!! That's it!!! P-O-T is a word, it spells POT!!" And Hash said the words that I pray he will never utter again..."Oh my gosh, I LOVE POT!!! Pot is great!!!" OMG... I can see it already, no one is going to be allowed to hang out with him in high school because he is "That boy named Hash who loves pot!!!" Maybe I should start calling him something more socially acceptable...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No Bull

Tonight Harrison and I were watching the Phillies game. It was in extra innings and the announcer said "it's now a battle of the bullpens!" Harrison looked at me and said "Oh good, they are going to bring out the bull pets! I can't wait to see them!" I just smiled at him and told him that the announcer just meant that the game was going to be won by the best pitcher. He said "Oh man, I thought the game was just about to get interesting! I would have like to see pet bulls instead of no hit baseball!". Me too Harry, me too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wonder Twin Powers... Activate

When Doug and I were young, we would often talk about having a large family.  We both have only one sibling and we both loved the idea of being surrounded by the noise, chaos, and constant love of a large family.  We exchanged our wedding vows and became husband and wife in the summer of 1998, and within 5 months we were happily expecting our first baby, or babies as it turned out!!!!  Well- we asked for it and we got it... we started our family off with a two-for-one special!!!  Our identical twin daughters were born prematurely in July of 1999.  They were very tiny, but strong and willful.  I knew as soon as I held their tiny hands in my fingers that they were going to make our lives so rich and that we were blessed to have such little miracles.   

As is the challenge of all mothers of multiples, I am always faced with huge questions about what I should do about keeping the girls' identities intact while I allow them to be twins.  I do understand that the girls are individuals, but I have learned over time that they love being together and I have decided to let them be together as much as they choose to be.  They are in the same class, they are active in the same sport, and they are pretty much inseparable.   Although they do spend most of their time together, they are VERY different girls.  

Caileigh (on left)  is our first born and she is the typical oldest child.  Caileigh is a perfectionist.  She sets her goals high and she pushes herself so hard to achieve them.  Caileigh is never satisfied with the status quo, she is always working to make things better.  Caileigh is a caretaker and she is so helpful with all of her siblings.  Caileigh is an excellent student, hardworking and eager to please.  Caileigh is sweet, but she definitely has a wicked sense of humor.  She loves to play pranks on her dad and she is really witty.  

Annie is our sweetheart.  She is naturally caring and quiet.  Annie is also as intelligent as Caileigh and they both are straight A students.  The difference is that things come pretty easily to Annie, she doesn't know why she understands things and she can't explain them- she just gets it!  She makes me laugh because she is a little clueless about common sense things, for example... when I asked her to name something made of iron, she thought for a long time and replied "an ironing board?"  Ha ha ha ha!!!  Sooooo funny!!!!  She is pleasant and a joy to be around- my sweet little Annie. 

I cannot discuss the twins without broaching their favorite thing to do.... CHEERLEADING!!!!!  

It all started when the girls were two years old.  I was flicking through the channels and I went to ESPN and the UCA All Star Nationals were on.  The twins were immediately hooked!!!!  They declared at that moment that they were going to BE cheerleaders.  They started tumbling at age 3 and they starting cheering in Kindergarten.  

Annie and Caileigh now cheer for our local Rec program and they are All Star Cheerleaders.  Last year they went to Nationals and it made me so proud that at age 11 they had accomplished a goal that they had set for themselves at such a young age.  

The twins are such good girls and they make us so proud every day!!!!  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Facebook Flashback

A friend suggested that I archive all of my Facebook posts so that I could get a hard copy of the statuses that I have posted both as a memento and a resource when I finally get around to writing that book...   I was reading through some of it early this morning and it made me cry because I was laughing so hard.  I have decided to share some of it here

*Gracie (age 5)  "Harrison, you don't know anything.  You can't tough the kittens when they are in the glitter box, it's where they get themselves all clean and sparkly!"

*Emily(age 8) and Harrison(age 3) were playing a board game called  "Girl Talk".  Emily asked Harrison "Which boy do you like and why... details, we want details."  Harrison replied, "I like Obi Wan Kenobi because he has a cool lightsaber and he is a great Jedi master."

*Harrison "Mom, what kind of food do they have in juvie?  I just want to know what Grace will be eating when she goes there."

*Gracie and I were reviewing her sight words from school and we got to the word "we".  Grace was struggling to identify it, so I told her what it was.  She got very sure of herself and said "No Mom, that's not how you spell it, it's wii."
I then decided to do word families with her.  I asked Grace to put a letter in front of "an" to make different words.  She said "With an "m" it spells man."  I said, "Good, now try it with an 'f'."  She replied, "Mom!  You said I'm not allowed to say F words!!!"

*Harrison "Mom, are you dead or a lime?"

*When I asked Harrison why he was so tired this morning he said "I'm not wearing my Star Wars underwear so the Force is not strong with me today!"

Welcome to my crazy world!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Wacky Wonderful World Of Emily

Emily... my sweet little original girl.  Emily was born just two short years after we had the twins and she was honestly the best baby I had ever seen. After having multiples, any singleton probably would have seemed like a piece of cake, but Emily was a very patient and quiet baby.  Content is the perfect word to describe her.  Emily was just happy to be alive!  This is how I always describe Emmy... she is just naturally happy and mostly easy-going.  It is not easy being the middle child in our crazy family!  Emmy has two wild younger siblings and identical older twin sisters who are not super accepting of Emily's alternative taste.

Emily is definitely an original!  She is a chameleon with her wardrobe,  a hippie-chick one day and a goth princess the next.  She doesn't ever follow the latest fashion trends, and I actually don't think that she is even aware what is in style.  She dresses like she wants to dress, she does her hair however she wants, and she doesn't listen to music or watch TV shows because they are popular.  She really takes time to listen to music and she likes music in various genres; Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Def Leopard, AC/DC,  Dixie Chicks, and showtunes... she listens to everything!!!!!

Emily loves to read graphic novels, she enjoys playing instruments, and she loves to write.  Emily is also drawn to animals- something that I find fascinating.  Whenever she comes in contact with an animal, it is like there is a magnet pulling them together- a mutual attraction and instant bond that comes so naturally. She is very kind and nurturing and I get great pleasure watching her smile as she scratches a dogs belly or softly handles a newborn kitten.  The connection that she has with animals is magical to me.

Emily is as passionate about art as she is about animals.  Emily loves to paint and draw.  She will spend hours in her room drawing cartoon characters with very intricate details and writing elaborate stories about their adventures.  Emily has won a few art awards, but she honestly couldn't care less about the awards or accolades... Emmy loves the process of art.  She loves seeing her visions come to life and she creates things just for the sake of the creation, not for anyone else to see.  I have gone into her room and found stacks of pictures, each one better than the other.  They are usually crumpled up on her floor, waiting to be tossed in the trash when I decide that I can't take the mess anymore.  When I ask her why she lets her beautiful creations get ruined she just says that she was finished with them.  She has moved on to her next project.

When Emily was in Kindergarten, she had to write in her journal about what she wanted to be when she grows up.  Emily wrote, "I'd like to be mermaid or the Secretary of State", and this sums up Emily in a nutshell.  With her vast interests and her creativity, who knows what Emily will become, but I do know that it will be something GREAT!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


We had a great dinner tonight, so I though that I'd share the recipe...


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, cut in 1/2 through the bone
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, sliced into large strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups cooked Northern white beans
  • bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tomato, sliced very thinly
  • Garlic Bread Crumbs, recipe follows
  • baguette, sliced, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse and dry the chicken well and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, add the bacon and slowly render the fat. Remove the bacon to a plate when crispy, pour out HALF the fat, leaving the 1/2 the fat in the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken on both sides and then remove to a plate. Add the onion,celery, carrots and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce by half. Stir in the beans, bay leaf and thyme. Nestle the chicken and bacon into the pot. Add the chicken stock, cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the lid and top the cassoulet with sliced tomatoes and the Garlic Bread Crumbs. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer. Serve the cassoulet with baguette slices.
Adapted from a recipe by Melissa D'Arabian