Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pinterest Fail.

I have a serious Love/Hate relationship with Pinterest. And I will now tell you why. I have had Pinterest for a very long time. (@apstribling) Before loads of people out there. Meaning, I have collected lots and lots of pins. But I haven't been on it for a while now. I love it for ideas, though.

Specifically, I have been looking for a new centerpiece for my dining room table. Pinterest is great for that! Or, like right now I am looking for ideas on making Josh and Jules their own personalized Easter basket. Again - great for that! And since we have been looking for a new house for what seems like 15 years, lol I am constantly repinning kitchens and decorating ideas.

However, all these toddler crafts and toddler idea pins are for the birds. They look really awesome and so I re-pin them, but then I totally get let down. For example - one that I repinned was called "50 activites to do with your toddler" - awesome, right? So, once I went back and looked at it, they were the dumbest activities! One was "read a book", another was "color", and yet another was "go for a walk". Really, people? If I am that bad of a mother where I couldn't recognize these activities for myself I would be in dire straits. Some of the ideas are ok, I suppose, but honestly, most things I have repinned are mommy blogger posts that I really should have never repinned int he first place, so now I have to go through and see which ones I want to keep and which ones to delete. Which is a pain when you have tons of pins.

Most people say that Pinterest is a crafty's artists paradise. I guess, if that is what you use it for. I use it mostly for fashion ideas, recipes, photography, and decorating, so I disagree with that. Plus, most people can't do all those things anyway. (not even going to put the whole crafty handprint ornament debacle on here)

So, here is my Pinterest fail this week. I saw SO many pins about DIY toddler finger-painting! It was described as "no mess!" "re-usable!" "non-toxic!" "keeps them entertained!" (this was the selling point for me!)

There are lots of recipes out there. I mixed hair conditioner and food coloring. You can use lots of different thing. I put different colors in ziploc bags and taped them down to my kitchen table. Then I encouraged my artistic toddlers to get in the chair and finger paint until their hearts were content.

Time used to put together super-easy-crafty-Pinterest-art-project: 20 minutes
Time toddlers were engaged: 2 minutes.

Pinterest Fail.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Baby Einsteins

I wish I could take credit for my babes' brains. Yes, I know they are half me and half Jake, so I guess I could take some credit. But, I honestly have no idea where both of my babies have received such smarts.

Sure, Jake is smart, and I am smart too, but man...these babies constantly amaze me. Seriously! When people see then they praise ME and if I have anything to do it. Ummm. no.

I am not sure if its normal or not, but because this is essentially my baby book for them, here is what they are doing at 2 years and sigh...two month:

They can both count well. Jules can count all the way up to 20, and Josh can for sure do up to ten, sometimes more. They started learning it going up and down the stairs. And I honestly count with them all the time (can you take three more bites of pasta? Can you go get Mommy two books?, etc) They are learning also to count using their fingers, and it's super cute. Jules especially looks like a Star Trek fan when she tries.

They know all of their letters. ALL of them. It's so nuts. And they can mostly sing the ABC song, and it's their favorite. They so far only knew capital letters, but the past couple of weeks they have been learning lower cases, and they know them pretty good too. We have worked a bit on this. We do ABC's every day, and in the car we do them. We also make it a game using our foam tiles in the playroom. I say "go find E!" and they both scamper to the E. So cute. This week, my nanny decided to start working on them with knowing words and what letter they start with. Jake's sister got them easels from Ikea, So she has been writing the letter, the word, and drawing a picture. They LOVE it. We are only in the beginnings, but they can tell you "what word begins with A - apple!", "What word begins with B - ball!" - We have made in to E so far. (E is Baby Emma, lol!)

They know all their colors. Most, anyway. When they color and ask for a certain color to color with, and you try and trick them because you can't find that color, um, that just simply won't do.

They know songs! This one is crazy too. They can now sing along with me when I sing to them. They don't know all the words, but it honestly shocked the crap out of me when they start to sing. The other day I was singing Santa Claus and all of a sudden they pop in with "Santa Claus is Coming to town!!"*

They are just little people, which is freaking me out. They love going to the pantry and getting "snack" - and they will do it over and over again, and go themselves and pick stuff out that they want. You can ask them questions about what they want to do, or what they want to eat, and they'll tell me! Crazy! Jules loves picking out her outfit every day (and, ahem, Josh's) - Josh wants to pick out his shoes, every. day. They want to help me cook every night.

*aside to this story - over Christmas, for some reason the three of us got attached to three songs: Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Claus. really not any others. It became a game to when I would start singing one, they would immediately giggle and demand one of the other three. We did this over the holidays constantly. It was too funny. I would barely get 5-6 words in on a song and they would jump up and down and yell out to start the other. So, some of those songs still linger still, which is super sweet. They love those three songs :)

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's Talk Poop, Shall We?

We've all been there, I know. I have heard the horror stories. I was that mother who said, "Oh no - not my kids. They would never do such a thing". And then I ate my words.

My kids (well, especially the female one) likes to wait until naptime and nighttime to go #2. She has always, always been a nighttime #2er. She wakes up each and every morning with a diaper that would kill flowers. (I warned you about this post). And since we have potty trained, she now like to save her day #2 for her naptime. I don't know why she is doing this. I would much rather go in the potty instead of in my diaper  and sleeping in it - wouldn't you??

I should have learned my lesson the first time it happened. I heard two little toddler upstairs giggling when they should have been napping. I though, "oh, how sweet- the two twins up there giggling and laughing at each other. They love each other so much". Yeah right. Oh how naive of me. And I should know better. I am now a seasoned mom, with surviving years one and two with twins. So, when I went up there and it looked like an elephants barn, I should have been more prepared with what I saw. What I saw would have scared you. They were naked, diapers off, and poo EVERYWHERE. On the walls, on the crib, on them, etc.

So, like I said, I should have knows the first time this happened. But, no. It happened again yesterday. Them giggling. Me (this time) "OMG GO TO SLEEEEEEEEPPPPP!".

Them still giggling, no napping. I finally went up there to find a super happy little boy and a giggly little girl. Clothes were on this time. However both their hands looked like they had been working in clay all day. Yep, you guessed correctly. They were both putting their little toddler hands down their diapers, pulling out you-know-what and smearing it everywhere. Josh had just controlled his to his crib only.

Jules, on the other hand:

picture this: Jules, lying on her back hands covered. Then - "Look Mama!! Washee Face!! Washee Face!!" Again, use your imagination and just guess what she was doing. She was giving herself a homemade mudmask. And instead of being irate, I started laughing uncontrollably. I mean, it was the most hysterical thing you have ever seen. She was sooooo excited and proud of herself.

Washee Face!! Washee Face!!

I wasnt sure whether to put this on the blog or not. But I also know its the stories like this that you really don't want to forget, because they really grow up so fast, and these little awful things they do are what make these toddler years the hardest and best. (and will be 16 soon, and can use this again then, no?)

Face of a guilty boy.  "Sorry Mama. It's wasn't my fault, I pwomise" = Josh. Yes, Joshie. I know who the instigator was.

There is really no moral to this story other than I am officially in the club. And I am so far from perfect and my kids are so very far from perfect as well. And messy. And gross. But they still crack me up and are adorable and I love them to pieces. And they immediately got the bath of the century.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Steppin Out Saturday - St Pattys Day and Spring Cleaning

How much do you love St Patrick's Day? I don't know what is is, but man! I love this day! I will go ahead and preface this with a warning that the babes were very much in a picture taking mood today, so I VERY much obliged, natch.

On Jules: Dress: Tea
On Josh: Shirt: Yo Gabba Gabba//Shorts: Polo
Hand Holding: A gift sent from God to make mommies die.

I triple dog dare you to find a cuter boy on the planet.

He was all out the pictures on Saturday!! YAY! Seriously - how sweet is he? And, yes, I totes agree he looks like a little girl here. HeHe. Must get that haircut soon.

Little cutie pie!

Saturday morning the babes and I went to a couple of more consignment sales, but they were just eh. I am pretty picky when it comes to consignment sales. And I have come to the conclusion that church sales aren't the greatest. They aren't picky when it comes to what they allow in their sales because they just want as much money to go to their church, so the stuff isn't super high quality like other sales. But, I still got a few things.

Um....can we say Afro?

Little model posing

The babes and I then went to the park on a FABULOUS sunny day here (mid 70's! hello!). Then there was an after-nap issue concerning some poop (yes, I said it - that beauty will have to wait for another post). I then spent the majority of the afternoon changing out their winter/summer clothes (how is it already possible that we are doing that??)
She's hysterical

Josh wants to join in on the fun! They liek pretending they are "in jail". Hmmm. Maybe we should stop playing this game. Don't want them to actually enjoy it.

Closet full of spring clothes!

This boy now owns more shorts than Jake has probably even owned. I have a problem.

Then Jake and I got to get out on a fun date night with basketball watching and St Pattys Day Fun.
YAY for St Patty's Day!

On Moi:
Dress: Old Navy//Belt: Target//Shoes: Aldo

Family Pic! No, Jake isn't wearing green. He did wear a green shirt eariler when he played golf though. And that mess on Jules' face? Orange M and M. She likes to lick the outside off and spit out the rest. HeHe.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Weekly Project 23 - Bow Ties

On Josh: Shirt and Pants and Shoes: Gap//Bowtie:

Dear Josh,

Mommy bought you two bow ties, and you wore one to church last Sunday. It is definitely your look. Being a twin, you are constantly wanting what Jules has. Jules gets to paint her toes and fingers pink. You, not understanding, and not wanting to be left out, get "shiny" toes. (clear polish, lol). You don't understand why you can't wear bows and pigtails in YOUR hair like Jules. It's so hard for Mommy to say that girls do some things, and boys do another. (silly, really). But, now you have your bow!! Now you can wear your bows as well, just like Jules. And you loved it. It was so very, very precious on you as well, like most everything in life. Your sister Jules is my super-smart-spunky-hysterical-cute one, but you my darling boy are my sweet-magazine-cover-model-perfect-beautiful-take-my-breath-away-handsome son.



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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Just Write - Kids Fashion

I was one of those completely over-excited mommy-to-be's. Because I experienced infertility, I felt like the entire time I was pregnant I was looking forward to having a baby in my hands. What would the baby look like; what would the baby act like - those were constant thoughts in my head. Would the baby look more like me or Jake? Would it  have more my personality or Jake's?  WHEN CAN I START SHOPPING?

Add to that when I found out I was having twins!! Oh my - I was in excitement overdrive. Then add again to that - when I found out I was having the perfect set of boy and girl twins.

I am a southern girl. And most southern girls love to have a house full of monogrammed things, and kids wearing smocked, monogrammed outfits. I was that mother. I have the house full of  monogrammed things. I was going to have the boy and girl twins that matchy-matchyed each and every Sunday to church. Jules in her sweet smocked monogrammed dress and Josh is his JonJon and knee socks would be the talk of the nursery.

And then they came out of my body. My kids aren't the smocked kind. They just aren't. It isn't their personality.  Josh is too much of boy to wear such things. Are they cute on other boys? Sure! But I have found his  fashion look to be teenager-frat-boy trapped in a baby's body. Honestly. I have dressed him (and her) in a smocked outfit only once, and that was for their 6 month pictures.

Jules is also not a smocked dress kind of girl either. Far from it, actually. She is a smart spunky fashionista. She even loves picking out her own clothes now. I thought I would love her in sweet smocked dresses, but they are just not HER! She loves bright colors, and fun patterns and honestly, teenager type clothes in a toddler body (hmm, that sounds familiar).

Maybe it's me. I love shopping for clothes for them, and they are my little dolls. And smocked things just aren't much fun for me. I love fashion, and love different things for them to wear. And, I'm sorry but when I saw that they make little mini-me Polo zip sweaters in Josh-type size that match his Daddy's, well, they had to resuscitate me because I died.

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Josh and Jules: the Concert Experience

For those that don't know, my babes LOVE to dance and sing. I sang all my life. And I have sung to them all of THEIR life. I will never, EVER forget the exact moment when they sang.

We were downstairs in the kitchen. They were both sanding next to the door at the patio. I was doing my usual singing to them some random song. And out of the blue I said "You guys sing to mommy!" And OMG - it's like they had been waiting their entire life for an invitation. I couldn't believe it. They had never sang to me before, or ever sang period! Clearly, all they needed was a little prompting, because out came lots of babbling of sounds. (this is when they were little too! Not talking much yet!)

So cute. So anyway, my babes love to sing and dance, and it's the cutest thing you have ever seen. So, without further adieu, here are two videos of them. The first is of the ABC song and Ring around the Rosie. The second if of them singing Wheels on the Bus! They dang babies are the cutest little nuggets in the world.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Our Week in Phone Pics

This week gave us some pretty decent weather in Nashville, after all the tornado mess from last week.

Some fun we got into this week:

trying fried pickles for the first time, yum! - park time with Josh, Go Vols in the SEC tourney - headed out for errands; Jules with baby Emma, Josh with George and his purse of cars - night night Josh - Zoo time, more park time - even more park time - crazy Josh hair - night night Jules - consignment sale - driving our car at Lowe's - Jules posing in her cute outfit

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Steppin Out Saturday - Zoo, Choo Choos, Consignment and Dinner Dates

What a super fun weekend at Casa de Stribling! I got pretty bummed during the week because the weather forecast was 5 straight days of rain. However, it ended up being sunny and beautiful. My mom also came in town so it was also a weekend of babysitters - woohoo! Friday I went out with my girlfriends to a much needed fun girls night dinner at Cantina Laredo in the Gulch (super yummy, fyi).

Saturday came along and was the first of my consignment sales!! WOOHOO! (You know how quite obsessed I am with consignment sales) - I got up early and was at the Little Spouts sale by 8am. They are an upscale only consignment sales, so you can usually find some great deals on super cute stuff. Honestly though, they had much more girl stuff than boys, so I just bought Jules a bunch of stuff and didn't really score anything with Josh (which by the way, I am starting to understand why there are no upscale 2T clothes much - boys are so rough on clothes!) - after that I went to the YMCA kids sale, and found just the opposite - much more for boys, and really nothing at all for girls. I racked up for Josh there, and was amazed by all the high end stuff I saw there for him! Good grief, I love consigning.

After that my mom and I took the kiddos to the zoo for our first of many trips there in 2012 (thanks for the membership Aunt JJ!). The past two weeks me and my nanny have begun talking to them about giving our pacifiers to the baby animals at the zoo. We didn't do it this trip, but we did talk about it alot again. (to get them used to the idea) *an aside on pacifiers, since he turned two, Josh is now obsessed with pacifiers and must have one at bedtime. What have I done??? He has gone 2 years without wanting on needing one, now all of a sudden he is an addict. Jeez...

So, anyway, we went to the zoo, and they loved every second. The hands-down best thing ever was we rode the train for the first time. I never have walked up here to the train before because its kind of out of the way, and I have my little routine I stick to at the zoo, but thought it would be fun this time. Can I just say that one little boy thought it was Christmas morning times oh, 1,000,000 when he saw that train and he knew he was going to ride it? He was SO EXCITED. I swear, if they had that train for sale I would have found some way to pack it up and bring it home with me, that's how happy he was. He was giggling and jumping up and down in his seat. It was precious.
Petting the goats at the petting zoo.Not gonna lie, teh babes looked a little riffraff Saturday. And I misjudged the the weather a lot. Jules "might" have been the only pant-less kid there and I won mother of the year. Let's not even discuss her poor hair, bless her heart.
On Jules: Top: CachCach//Skirt: Target//Shoes

She got really tickled when the goat tried to eat her skirt. And then I took probably the cutest picture of her afterwards. And then I died.

Sweet Josh kept trying to climb the wall and go in the barn with the goats.
On Josh: Top: Gymboree//Pants: Target//Shoes: Merrell

Waiting for our turn on the train. Seriously, I have never seen a happier boy.

ChooChoo! It was just our size! Happy boy on the right. They picked the car to ride in.

ChooChoo - peepie Mimi!

Everybody say cheese to Mimi! Or, maybe just this stanger boy, Wyatt, who got stuck on the crazy car with us. Poor guy, lol. Where did my children go?

Saturday night we took advantage of our babysitter one last time and Jake and I went to PF Chang's and sat at the bar and watched basketball and ate dinner. It was nice, fun, and yummy.

On Moi: Top: H and M//Cardigan: White House/Black Market//Jeans: Target//Shoes: Bamboo, from a local boutique here in Brentwood.

Seriously, awesome weekend over here.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Steppin Out Saturday - Science is Fun and so are Date Nights

We had a pretty fun Saturday after a quite rough Friday (had tornado warnings and watches pretty much all day).

We got a year long membership to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville from Aunt Nancy's for the kiddos. We have never been, although I have been dying to (yes, I am that nerd). I was kind of afraid of it being to museum-like and not really for toddlers.

I was so wrong! It's basically a gigantic science-themed play place, and it's huge and it's awesome. I had so much fun, and I'm sure the kids did too :) And maybe Jake.

They had SO.MUCH.FUN

This girl loves, loves her blocks.
On Jules: Shirt: Baby Lulu//Jacket: Oilily//Jeggings: Children's Place//Shoes: can't remember! Just bought them

Those precious curls. I'm not sure her hair will ever grown DOWN. I am 100% convinced she has 10 feet of ringlets in there.

Josh is his usual, mid run.
On Josh: Shirt:Gap//Jeans: Gymboree//Shoes: New Balance tennies

Josh making friends at the Whack-a-Veggie

They both loved this thing. It would go round-and-round. Josh kept pushing it around 100 times, while Jules rode the slide about 101 times. (it is supposed to simulate food in your stomach digesting. Science museums are cool!)

Saturday night Jake's parents came out and Jake and I had a date night. Oh, how I love date nights! We went to a local pub, The Melrose to watch the Duke/North Carolina game. Then Jake had a gift card to Jimmy Kelly's steakhouse, so we had an opportunity for a fabulous dinner, but it was just so-so for sure.
Jake and Josh

On Moi: Top: Banana Republic//Jeans: Target//Shoes: Steve Madden//Necklace and Bracelet: Ann Taylor
Red Lips optional.
Jules is on outfit #2. FYI
Jake is the photographer, so apologies for the blurries.

Oh well, at least we got out on the town. :) Super fun though.

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