Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Weekend

We didn't do anything out of the ordinary this weekend, but just want to remember a typical summer weekend...

We went swimming at the neighborhood pool!

R&R were not really into playing in the baby pool.  They just sat on the step and stayed close to us.  We thought they were just scared.  We took them into the big pool and they loved it.  Interesting.

While I was putting away clothes upstairs, R&R found a rubbermaid bin of baby toys I had packed away.  They loved playing with all the toys, but mostly wanted to play "in" the storage bin!

We spent some time at the park...

And got new water bottles!  I let R&R each pick out their own.

We made oatmeal raisin cookies together.  Rhys loved stirring, and Rhett loved pouring.  Teamwork!

We took some great naps...daddy even let Rhett take about 20 stuffed animals into his bed!

We ended our weekend with a wonderful fellowship night with our small group from church.

Rhys enjoyed a very large cheese stick!

After all the other families left, we stayed and played with the Kirkland twins.  The kids had a blast climbing and playing in the sand.  We enjoyed the good food and conversation.

Sure do love our summer weekends together!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Grocery Store Workout

Going to the grocery store is a workout.   This weekly experience requires a mother to be at the top of her game, both mentally and physically.  I suggest wearing tennis shoes.

A shopping experience can quickly go from this:

to this:

It is definitely a workout.

Why I consider grocery shopping a workout:

1.  The workout starts with a mental task.  You pull into the parking lot and your child begins asking for the special "drive car" know the cart that the grocery store owns exactly ONE of.  You start explaining to your child that there is only one of the "drive car" cart, and you will have to look for it, but that you will probably not be able to ride in it this time, maybe next time, etc.  The whole time you are explaining this, you are circling the parking lot frantically looking for that filthy, food-borne-illness-covered "drive car" cart.  Meanwhile the child begins to cry.  As you continue to drive down row after row, the cart is no where to be found.  You must tell the children that they will have to settle for the regular cart, but promise that you will look again next time.  Now you have 2 crying children.  This begins your workout.

2.  We live in Texas.  It is hot.  Especially in the summer.  The unloading of children in the heat makes you sweat and burn additional calories.  This is the warm-up of your workout.

Once you walk through those sliding doors, and the cool air hits your face, you smile because you almost forget that you are about to workout.

3.  Time to throw in some strength training, focusing on the arms.  You now have to hoist your 30 pound children into the front of the cart and get them securely strapped in before they realize they can walk in the store.  Timing is everything, here, people.  Gotta be quick.  It takes muscle.  

4.  It's cardio time!  Goal:  Move through the store as quickly as possible, getting all the items on the list, and do so before your children start to freak out. 

*NOTE:  If you are shopping with multiples, you must allow time for the stares, stops, and questions that occur in all stores, including:  
"Are they twins?"
"I bet you have your hands full!"
"Do you have twins in your family?"
"Are they identical?" (um, no)
"Did you want to have twins?"
"Do you always match their clothes?"
"My neighbors pet rabbit had twins!"
And this list could go on and on....

If you are in a hurry, and with multiples, my best advice is to keep your head down and do not make eye contact with anyone.  It is fun to visit with strangers, though, and I love meeting new people, especially when they come up and tell me they are a twin, how great being a twin is, etc.  Okay, back to the workout...

5.  Interval training.  When trying to get a good workout in, interval training is the way to go.  It is where you do an activity at a high intensity for a period of time, followed by a low intensity exercise for a period of time, and then repeat.  The grocery store is the ideal place for this to happen.  Your high intensity training occurs when you sprint down the cereal aisle, carefully grabbing that box of cheerios, while your children scream "I want dis!" as they point to every sugar-filled cereal on the shelf.  Now it is time to do a low intensity activity.  I usually give my kids a snack at this point, and then I can casually walk through and read all 500 yogurt flavors,brands, and labels before actually choosing the same one I buy every week.  It is relaxing, people.  And low intensity.  And definitely what my workout needs from me. 

6.  Now it is time for some stretching.  This happens when your children begin to drop things out of the cart.  A stuffed animal, snack cup, water bottle, the rock they found in the parking lot, etc.  Bend over, pick up dropped item, and continue shopping.  This will get you a good stretch in your hamstrings.  If you feel you need an additional stretch (and I always do), go down the cookie aisle and find your favorite cookies.  Quickly place them in the basket and hide them under the other foods, all while keeping your kids occupied so that they don't notice the cookie package.  This takes some dexterity to be able to configure your body in such a way to hide this purchase.  Once you have completed this stretch, you will feel very accomplished.

7.  It is time to head to the checkout.  Take a deep breath.  It is the finish line of the big race, and will take everything you've got to finish.  Swatting hands away from the candy/magazine/gum/books/gadgets will take some practice, and you can do it with a smile all while unloading your groceries (by category, of course) onto the conveyor belt.  

8.  Groceries are bought, your children are still alive, and it is time to head back to the car.  It is time to start the cool down of the workout.  At this point, you will be feeling some fatigue, but happy that the hard part is over.  You load your children and the groceries and head home.

9.  Arrive home, unload groceries and children, and then patiently let them "help" you put them away.

Congratulations, workout complete!

It is now time for the children to take a nap.  Get them all settled in with their favorite blankies and lovies and bears and water bottles and trucks and snugglies and everything else they insist on taking into their bed with them (or is it just my kids?)

At this point you should sit on the couch and relax for a minute.  Be proud of your workout!  After all, you burned 850 calories!  Now, where are those cookies?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer at Sugar's!

My sister and her family moved to Saranac Lake, New York, several months ago.  Since my bro-in-law had a 2 week conference out of state, my sister, Brandy and niece, Landry, came to Texas for a visit.  We all met up at Sugar's house for some summer fun!

Aunt BB had gotten Rhys this cute chef set, but look who had it on most of the time!

Playing "cook" with cousin Landry.

R&R weren't feeling great when we arrived, and this led to a very early morning wake up for this mommy.  In an effort to let the rest of the house sleep, we laid on this mattress and watched cartoons for a couple of hours until the sun came up.

The twins both loved playing with Landry, but Rhett was just smitten with her.  Here he is sharing his "bubbles" (cheerios) with her.

We had to go to the store while we were in town, and got to see Brenham's new HEB.  Check out their awesome Blue Bell display case!

My mom got the kids this fun sprinkler ball to play with, but they didn't really know what to do with it. They preferred to just drink water from it.

Going to Sugar's is so much fun!  She always has the best toys!  Rhys was in heaven driving around this little pink car.  Thank goodness Sugar didn't mind pushing her around the cul-de-sac over and over again.

Real men drive pink cozy coupes, right Rhett?

So proud to have a big water bottle!

We also got in some fun pool time while we were there!  My niece Landry loved the water!

Rhys did not.

Ha!  Actually, she was running fever this day and just didn't want to have anything to do with playing.  She did enjoy getting in the pool most days we were there, but she was very cautious.

Rhys sure did love all the beach chairs!

Rhett loved everything about it!  He liked wearing his floaties, his hat, and "playing wah-wah" with Uncle Sean.

Playing hard every morning led to some pretty awesome naps!  One day Aunt BB got Rhett up after his nap and he fell asleep again on her!

On Saturday, several of my mom's family came over to spend the day with us.  My best friend, Jenny, and her family joined us, too.  We had a great time!

The kids took a popsicle break!
 Jake, Rhett, Zoe & Zach

 Tim and Rhett play with Nonna and Zach

 Rhett says, "more, more"

 There is Uncle Sean playing with the kids again!  Thanks Uncle Sean....we appreciate you!

Rhett loved the water being poured over him.

 Sweet Zoe enjoying the water

 Rhys giving it a try from the side

 watching the big kids play!

 Of course Piggy had to join us

 Kyle and Jake floating

Caydee and Jenny visiting (and tanning!)

 I'm not sure who took this picture (TIM!) but some heads are cut off....sorry Uncle Don and Sean

This one is better!

After swimming, we all enjoyed a yummy dinner together and sat around outside visiting and laughing.

 Rhys, Easton, Jake and Rhett having dinner together

 Caydee and Sean

 Rhys and Zoe walk the babies

Sugar reads to Rhett

Zoe sharing songs with Rhys

We had such a wonderful few days with Brandy and Landry and were sad to see them leave.  Thanks Sugar for a wonderful time!

Sugar and her "Sugar Babies"