Prior to this blog, prior to marriage and prior to the twinsanity that I now call my life, life was quite different for me. When you visit this blog, you won’t find me writing much about my life pre-twins – I hope that’s okay. Why? You ask. Because life with twins changes everything and my life pre-multiples is now just a dizzy, distant memory. And while it’s true that life years ago may have been a little more glamorous, the life I live now is a whole lot more rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I’m glad you’ve stopped by...there’s a really strong chance that I won’t offer anything extraordinary here, but by the same token there is also the possibility that you will experience a taste of the adventures, challenges and many joys that come with my life with twins. Hopefully that will be enough to bring you back here again.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Being your mom is one of the greatest gifts in my life. I could have never imagined being chosen for such an awesome task and blessing. You are God's greatest blessings to me each and every day. As I write this letter, you are 3 years old and while at this time in your life, this letter means nothing to you, my hope is that someday, when you are much older, you will read this letter with far greater understanding. I write this letter to help capture and someday recreate a memory of a time in your young lives when you stood up alongside your mommy and daddy as well as thousands of other Americans, of all ages and walks of life, to let your voices be heard.
Although you are just a young toddler right now, your daddy and mommy would never dream of missing a chance to take part as a family in an important effort sweeping this great country of ours in this year 2009. Let me take a moment to explain the awesome movement you are going to be apart of at just 3 years of age. In just two weeks, a nationwide rally is taking place in more than 150 cities across America. WOW! These rallies are known as the "Tea Party Protests" and emerged during a time in our nation's history when citizens and 'average Joe' Americans came together in a peaceful movement to protest outside of their city halls and local government offices. Why, you ask? Well, there are several reasons that thousands of Americans joined across the country and in their hometowns to participate. Here are just a few of the reasons:
At the end of 2008, our country faced an economic crossroads where the Congress and Presidential administration tried to spend its way out of economic turmoil. As a country, we were being told that we had to bailout failing firms and businesses with taxpayer dollars and that if we did not do this, we would let loose a cascading failure of the entire economic and financial system in America and around the world. As a result, Congress and the Presidential administration began to require that millions of Americans pay, with their hard-earned money, the bailouts, stimulus, and a whole host of personal spending projects.
Consequently, a growing number of Americans became highly disappointed with a Congress and Presidential administration who...
1. Voted for a several hundred billion dollar spending bill without reading it in its entirety.
2. Are spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a hefty debt to you as well as your future children.
3. Want to take your future wealth and redistribute it to others. This was a dangerous precedent because it meant that no matter how hard you worked, how successful you became, your wealth and earnings would likely be disproportionately redistributed to those that the Congress and Presidential administration deemed fit.
4. Aim to take money from many an American family's budget to pay for their own budgets.
5. Run up trillions of dollars of debt and then sell that debt to other countries around the world.
While these reasons seem fairly complicated to you now as I write this letter, someday when you read this, you will better understand what was at stake in 2009 -- Congress and the Presidential administration were embarking upon a process of forcing passage of a $3.6 trillion, high-spending, high-borrowing and high-taxing budget that would affect future generations of Americans, much like yourself, for years and years to come. Essentially, it was a time in American history when spending by the government was irresponsible and when the expectation was that American taxpayers would foot the bill for such irresponsibility.
It is against this backdrop that, as a family, on April 15, 2009, you girls will join mommy and daddy and some of their friends and families at a "Tea Party" in your hometown to peacefully say "NO" to the out-of-control spending from the government. You may never read about the magnitude of this movement in some of the media, but let me tell you, tens of thousands of Americans in hundreds of American communities will gather together at "Tea Parties" such as the one you will participate in with mommy and daddy. It will be a gathering of ordinary Americans who believe in preserving American values and principles like faith, freedom, personal responsibility and smaller government. It will be a privilege to have you there with us, and an awesome opportunity for our family to send a powerful message to our government.
I share all of this with you in this letter, in part, because I know a day will come when you will enter the world as young adults and young women. My greatest wish for you is that you will always find wisdom, happiness and contentment in your lives. It is also my desire that you will always stand up for what you believe in your hearts to be right and of value. You will face all kinds of things, people and experiences in your lives and I pray that our Heavenly Father will bless you and watch over you all of your days. I pray that you will keep your cheerful spirits and I pray that God will grant you discernment to always make wise choices. Believe me, you will need your spirit and your discernment as there will be many who may try to take it from you or who try to squelch both your spirit and your discernment. Never let that happen!
I will always be proud of you. I am proud to have you standing alongside me and thousands of other Americans, when in just a few days, we all join our hearts and spirits together to participate in a very important moment in the history of our great country. You will be young American patriots taking part in the 2nd iconic tea party of its kind in all of American history. The very first tea party protest took place more than 200 years ago in 1773 when the original American patriots put their lives on the line to object to taxation without representation by their government. This original tea party became known as the "Boston Tea Party" and remains a key symbolic event in American history. Paige and Taylor, you are now taking part in the 2nd iconic "Tea Party" in America! Thanks for being apart of it with your mom and dad and know that YOU MADE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION to this rally even though you were just a small child.
Monday, March 30, 2009
While our eggs didn't turn out to be priceless works of art, the fun we had together certainly was priceless! Since we're still a couple of weeks out from Easter, I'm sure we'll be doing this little project again and again as we lead up to Easter...after all, the eggs only keep for so long before you just have to toss 'em; so, it's pretty likely that in a couple days, we'll be doing and dyeing more Easter eggs at our house. Here are just a few pictures I took today as the girls stood at the counter stirring their dye and coloring their eggs.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Last week, the twins and I made a cake together...a yummy, moist and delicious cake...then topped it off with trimmings fit for the Easter season. Paige and Taylor helped to place the little candied Easter eggs, baskets and bunnies atop the cake.
This week, we'll be decorating and dyeing Easter eggs together. Then, next Sunday, we'll be attending a 10,000 count Easter egg hunt at our church. The girls will love it, I just know it...I can't wait to see them running around with all their little friends in search of as many little Easter eggs as their baskets will hold!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Today, it was a twin trick on somebody else, but how about when the day comes when the twins play tricks on mom and dad? Or, better yet, how about when the day comes when the twins will start to figure out that they can play tricks on their friends, boyfriends, etc? Their trickery could truly be endless! How fun it is to be a parent to twins!!!! I am one lucky mom!
Have a good weekend, everyone!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Perhaps you've heard of it...certainly if you're a reader of Twinsantiy, you've heard about this movement...it's the "Tax Day Tea Party", the "Nationwide Tea Party", the "Re-Tea Party" as this grassroots revolution has come to now be known by all of these names! While April 15th is expected to be the primary event for the "Tea Party" of this generation, many tea parties have already been taking place across the country for several weeks now. One such tea party in Orlando, Florida recently attracted more than 4,000 participants!
Well, as avid readers of Twinsanity know, we're getting in the revolutionary spirit in our home as well and just today, we mailed 50 tea bags to The White House symbolizing our "peaceful protest" of the increasing taxes under the new President and Congress. Later this week, we'll begin preparations for the live event that will be taking place in the California State Capitol on April 15th. We'll be there! And, don't you worry there will be plenty of pre-event and post-event coverage of our involvement in the "Tax Day Tea Party" to feast your eyes upon right here at Twinsanity, so be sure to check back often.
In the meantime, here are some fun photos of our tea party mailing activities from our homefront today, along with a few captions to coincide with the photos:
It started like any typical toddler tea party would, with cookies and tea of course!
Taylor pretending to make tea, dipping the tea bag into her tea cup.
Toddler tea party advances to tea party activism, beginning with the opening of all 50 tea bags!
Paige applying herself to the tea party activities - removing each of the tea bags, setting aside the tea bag sleeves to be mailed later.
Paige begins stuffing an envelope for The White House with the emptied tea bag sleeves.
Envelope stuffing continues...
Taylor and Paige continue to stuff their envelopes full of tea bags while taking great care to remove the tea bags all the while keeping the tea bag sleeves neatly intact. How precocious of them!
Stuffing envelopes continue...
In the end, we mailed 2 separate envelopes with 25 tea bag sleeves in each envelope to The White House. I had to do 2 separate envelopes because each of the girls wanted their "own" mailing. I also removed the actual tea bags since all current recommendations for this symbolic protest by the "Tea Party" organizing groups was to REMOVE the actual tea bags and just to mail the individual tea bag sleeves instead. So, that's what we did.
Please note: If you are planning on doing your own symbolic tea bag mailing to The White House, please be advised that you should remove the actual tea bags and ONLY mail the individual pocketed sleeve in which the tea bags are stored. Again, due to security measures at The White House postal receiving facilities, do NOT mail the actual tea bags.
On a related note, it's exciting to see so many of my friends and family participating in this grassroots effort. From the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between I've heard from so many of my friends and family about their own grassroots activism in their communities and about their own tea party participation from tea bag mailings to The White House to their peaceful protests in their own cities...it's great to see so many people of all walks of life and of all ages being apart of this movement!
Finally, if you are still undecided about attending a "Tea Party" in your neighborhood on April 15, check out the posted video and web site at: http://www.officialtaxdayteaparty.com/index.html
Be sure to WATCH THE VIDEO entitled "Taking America Back" featured on the web site as well...it'll likely make you say to yourself, "I'll take a little ol' school ACDC music to go with that tea!"
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Today’s doctor visit brought new personal meaning to me of the familiar expression “labor of love". Oh, we’ve all heard that expression at some point throughout our lives referring to those acts we do, often for others, because of love. For the past 3 years, I have come to refer to Paige and Taylor affectionately as my little “labors of love” because in certain seasons of our lives together to this point, we’ve faced some difficulties to be sure, but even the most difficult of tasks over the past 3 years have seemed easier to me because they have been done as part of the “labor of love.”
Well, today, a new irony on this expression has come to bear fruition in my life. After having some recurring neck / shoulder pains in recent months and after self-treating these pains myself at home have proved futile, I finally decided to make a doctor appointment to have my neck / shoulder looked at…well, following an in-office exam, the doctor confirmed that I have developed an “injury” to my neck and shoulder that is, in his own words, “likely due to a culmination of the daily management of twins for the past 3 years, but more specifically the management, handling and care of a special needs child.”
And, I couldn’t disagree. I have found over the past 1-1/2 years, the sheer weight of a toddler, when combined with the repetitive therapy activities that I do regularly with Taylor, the continuous lifting and re-positioning movements required by me to help facilitate more appropriate, more normal movement patterns for Taylor, plus just the sheer handling of Taylor on a daily basis, from getting her dressed, to helping her achieve pottying, to getting her undressed, to bathing her, etc. has begun to take its physical toll on me. On more than one occasion as I have been helping her balance and shift her weight from one leg to the next while dressing or while getting in and out of the bathtub, I have felt a shot of pain in my neck and shoulder, but just continued to push through it. Well, it seems that it’s finally beginning to catch up to me. And, yet, I would not change anything about what I am doing for Taylor on a daily basis, or what I have done to this point in time. She and Paige are my “labors of love”. As a mother, when you have a special needs child who is not solely independent, by no fault of her own, and who is unable to rely on her own abilities, then you do what you have to do regardless of the toll that it may take upon you...
I left the doctor’s office today with a Rx for anti-inflammation of my neck and shoulders, plus get this, a regimen of physical therapy exercises for me to do at home to help re-build and repair my neck and shoulders. That's right - physical therapy exercises. Oh, the sweet irony of that…that the “labor of my love” in helping Taylor to ambulate and to achieve her own motor abilities through the many at-home physical therapy exercises I’ve done over the past year with her has resulted in me needing physical therapy now as well. How ironic. So, for now, I will continue to do all that I do and need to do for Taylor – she is my “labor of love” - but I will also begin to take some time to care for myself too and if that’s physical therapy for me too, then she and I will do our physical therapy together because after all, we are on this journey together and that’s what we do as we labor in love.
Monday, March 23, 2009
MONDAY - Well, today is 1/2 over already...so let's move right to Tuesday.
TUESDAY - Doctor appointments will keep the girls and I running the roads tomorrow.
WEDNESDAY - The day will consist of multiple physical therapy appointments and speech therapy appointments. One speech therapy session for Paige. Two different physical therapy appointments for Taylor. We will be running the roads ALOT on Wednesday (thank God for those drive-thru Starbucks for days such as this).
THURSDAY - More therapy appointments for the girls. More running the roads. More drive-thru Starbucks to keep me running on my highest octane. Mike is also going to be out of town for client meetings, so I'll be taking advantage of the opportunity to get together with one of my good girlfriends and her little daughter whom the twins and I haven't seen in a really L-O-N-G time. Can't wait to see her again...should be one of the highlights of our week! The twins always love spending time with my friend's daughter...
FRIDAY - Well, yes, more therapy appointments for the girls. More running the roads. More drive-thru Starbucks. But, we're working on some more fun-time for me and the girls for Friday as well. It seems that it is the season for many of my friends to be getting pregnant again, so the twins and I are planning on getting together with another one of my girlfriends. She too, has a little girl, the same age as Paige and Taylor, so it makes for a perfect playdate...plus, I really want to see my preggo friend. She's about 4-1/2 months along now and I am just thrilled for her that she is pregnant again!!!!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Taylor, Mike and Paige...moments before they leave for a NBA game.
When I read through some of the statistics that exist on single-parent, fatherless homes, the only logical conclusion to me is that there is no doubt as to the importance of dads. Studies have suggested that children with involved fathers are more confident, better able to deal with frustration, better able to gain independence and their own identity, more likely to mature into compassionate adults, more likely to have a high self esteem, more sociable, more secure as infants, less likely to show signs of depression, less likely to commit suicide, more empathetic, boys have been shown to be less aggressive and adolescent girls are less likely to engage in promiscuous sex.
I feel so fortunate to have a totally AWESOME dad to my children Paige and Taylor. Mike is incredible with his girls; and he’s very involved in their lives. Just tonight, for example, Mike took Paige and Taylor to watch a professional basketball game – just the 3 of them! A little one-on-one time just with their daddy – now, THAT’s special! (I didn’t go to the game because I’m nursing a pulled muscle in my neck from overdoing it at the gym yesterday, but that’s not the point to this post). Kids need their dads! I know Paige and Taylor need their daddy and time just with daddy. So, here’s to my husband, Mike, who makes the best dad to our kids. I thank you for being there for Paige and Taylor. You are more than essential to their little lives! You are like a beacon of truthfulness, common sense, fun and kindness to them; and as they continue to grow up, they’ll come to cherish you more and more every day for being the amazing dad that you are!
Taylor & Paige Have the Coolest Daddy.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
"These are the times that try men's souls." - Thomas Paine
As one of America's greatest founders, Thomas Paine challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy more than 200 years ago. The plain language that Paine used to speak to the common people of America 2 centuries ago is once again being heard around this great country to those who have ears to hear.
As many of the regular Twinsanity readers know, our family is participating in the upcoming Re-TeaParty of America beginning with our symbolic mailing of tea bags to the Oval Office this April 1st, 2009 and then later with our symbolic protest at the California State Capitol on April 15th, 2009 along with thousands of other Californians. Similar "Tea Party" protests are being planned around this great country...if you need information on your own state's "Tea Party" just visit the web site http://www.reteaparty.com/ for details.
I also touched on this Re-Tea Party and our family's participation in a previous Twinsanity posting. You can backtrack to that post by clicking here: http://ashley-twinsanity.blogspot.com/2009/03/re-tea-party.html
Thomas Paine, Founder of America, Self-Portrait
If you can afford to carve out 6 minutes in your day, the following video portrays a common sense, candid Thomas Paine speaking directly to the American people in the trying times of our day in this year 2009. By the end of the video, you may find yourself getting fired up, getting patriotic and getting inspired to be apart of the next American Revolution!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Paige and Taylor discovered their green thumbs today. It was a beautiful Spring day and since all the girls in this house (myself included) LOVE flowers, today seemed like an absolutely perfect day to expose the twins to a little exercise in planting. Ah, yes, the fun of getting your hands in dirt and carefully placing the delicate flowers into pots...it's quite a tranquil experience. Paige and Taylor each got to plant their very own flowers in pots perfectly sized just for little toddler hands and fingers! (Taylor's flowers are pink and Paige's flowers are purple (not quite in full bloom yet) as shown below...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I am one of many mothers whom I know who are undertaking this project with their own children so it's pretty exciting to be apart of this grassroots effort and to be making it a family affair involving our children of all ages! Perhaps you've heard of it - it's the "Re-Tea Party" and ,YES, we're participating in this exciting grassroots movement that is slowly but surely gaining increasing momentum across America. I like to think of it as the 'Tea Party of Our Generation' and look forward to being a part of it!!!!
Rest assured, we will take pictures of our tea-stuffing envelope party that will take place within the next week or so and will post them here for your enjoyment...in the meantime, I encourage you to take a moment to read through just a few of the highlights of the upcoming April 1st initiative presently underway across America. And, if you read, hear or see something that strikes a chord with you too, why not get involved and become this generation's tea party patriot also?!
Watch a couple videos:
TEA BAG WASHINGTON D.C. - APRIL 1st 2009
In 1773, the original Patriots put their lives on the line. With an envelope, a stamp, and a simple bag of tea, millions of Americans can send a peaceful message - our lives have value.
If you’re feeling like ‘Don’t Tax Me Bro’ like I am and like many millions of other Americans, then on April 1st, 2009, will you join in sending the Oval Office a Tea Bag, in honor of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and in anticipation of its nationwide symbolic re-enactment in the summer of 2009?
For more information, go to:
Paige and Taylor started their day off with a tasty bowl of, you guessed it, Lucky Charms. Taylor doesn't like the Lucky Charms cereal, but Paige sure loves the colorful marshmallows and would pop a few into her mouth one by one. After breakfast, the girls and I took Mike to the airport, dropped him off, then headed over to the morning preschool program where the twins enjoyed a morning of listening and dancing to traditional Irish music and making play-doh clover leaf green cutouts. After preschool, I picked the girls up and we returned home where we then proceeded to "search" for our "lucky treasures" in our "pot of lucky gold". We used the Lucky Charms cereal to "search" for little trinkets and treasures that I'd mixed into the bowl. Well, enough of my chatter, let's get to the good stuff - the pictures taken from today!
I hope you enjoyed the pictures...now, I must log off...the twins are napping and I have a lot of stuff to do. Up first, tackling the messy remains of stepped on, thrown everywhere marshmallows and cereal from the Lucky Charms which are spread across our front porch!