Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nuzzler

I loveloveLOVE how Courtney will just lean against me and relax her full little body weight on my side.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Morning Beautifuls

Our mornings are pretty lazy around here. Even if Brian didn't leave before the sun came up, I doubt I'd have the energy to get my workout in anytime before noon. It's like I'm more tired in the morning after a long night of childcare than I am in the middle of the day. So the four of us just hang out in our jammies and make faces at each other.
My three buddies
Eventually I do get around to cleaning up the mess you see in the background of the photo... but then it just gets messy again. So what's the point? Like right now... it's 9pm, everyone is asleep, so I should go to bed... but they're all just going to start taking turns waking up soon. So what's the point of me even going to sleep?!
24 hour pajama party here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

From Brianna's mouth lately...

- "Daddy, turn the light ON! You can turn light on, or go to TIME OUT! It's your choice."
- "Mommy, you my mother. Daddy is my sister."
- "Bennett, you're not my sister anymore!"
- "Mommy go in your cage."
-"C'mon puppy - let's go to the Promised Land!"
- "I ready to go on airplane and see Nonny now!"
-[pointing to junk food in a vending machine] "I think that not good food for you. I think it not make your body move."
- "Bennett, you would like some bird seed?"
-"Hey Bennett dude give me knuckles"
-"Waaah! Waaah! I need a binky right NOW!"
- "My tummy hurts from food."
- "I changed my mind!"  [not said in the correct context - just randomly exclaimed]
- "Mommy, you been a good girl. You get treat."
- "Oh Courtney, don't cry. You can be happy. Just TRY! Give me a smile, will you please?"
- Me- "Brianna will you please hold my hand?"  Brianna- "No thankyou. I will hold my own hand."

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Daddy sit and rub my back!"

Brianna commands, Brian obeys.
Even if it means he has to sit and watch Leapfrog AGAIN with her.
If she had said, "Daddy, go swim through shark infested waters to bring me a seashell!" he would have done that too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Progress

Courtney wore a dress to church for the first time!  Bennett was still in his jammies. But I decided that I had enough time to at least get Courtney dressed up. Actually, I'm lying... Brian got her dressed! I was working on Brianna, and I asked him to go get Courtney ready. He responded, "she's ready - I have a blanket and diaper for her." Then I told him no, she needs a dress. Brian's face looked blank for a second - like it hadn't occurred to him that our new daughter would ever wear anything but jammies all day every day. These little milestones we're hitting with our babies are fun. But very few and far between. It seems like it's that way for infants - their new accomplishments are more spread out. But as they get older, they start making more progress and changing daily. Like Brianna - she's learning new things every day. Every hour, sometimes. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't laugh (or frown) at something new she tries or says or does. But manymany days go by where Courtney and Bennett do the exact.same.things. they did the day before and the day before. Am I making sense?   Anyways..
This photo was taken in the mother's lounge at church. I fed Courtney, then laid her on my lap for pictures. It was my excuse to stay in there longer, because I really didn't want to go back out and deal with crazy Brianna anymore. She hasn't learned to whisper very well, so she often yells out some pretty funny/embarrassing things during sacrament meeting. I still just shake my head every time I try to imagine what it's going to be like in a couple years when I'm trying to corral two 2 yr olds and a 4 yr old during worship services...
Maybe I'll just set up camp in the mother's lounge the whole time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blurry.

It would be a lot easier to take decent pictures of my children if they all were NOT CONSTANTLY MOVING.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I never finished cleaning the bathroom

I just collapsed in exhaustion on the couch.... but then decided to drag myself over to the laptop to attempt to record the last few hours of typical-morning pandemonium I just survived. In case someday I wonder, "how in the world did I make it through those early days?!"  or "what did I DO all day?!" this post might help jog my memory.
So... here goes.
Starting at the beginning.... I "woke up" at 8:15am. I put those words in quotes because I had been up 5 times during the night. Three times to feed Bennett (with one poo diaper change in there), one feeding for Courtney, and once to respond to Brianna's "HELP ME MOMMY GO POTTY! HEEEELLPPP!"  Brian left around 7 or 7:30, but amazingly his departure didn't wake me. He's good at being veryvery quiet. Or maybe my body subconsciously knows that I don't have to wake up for ANYTHING other than childrens' noises. Brianna came bounding into bed with me at 8:15, asked to cuddle with me (which of course I gladly obliged), but 30 seconds later started the chorus of begging for breakfast. A chorus, because her noise woke Courtney who also wanted breakfast. I grabbed the baby, held her while I quickly got food out for Brianna, fed the baby, changed the baby, other baby woke up, fed and changed him, realized I was starving and fed myself, then realized this was my CHANCE - everyone was content, so I got on the treadmill. But of course as soon as I started, Bennett started his fussy-TIRED cry, so I had to put him to sleep. Then Brianna for some reason decided to take off all her clothes then complain she was cold. Got her dressed. Then finally...I ran while watching Toy Story, Brianna watched with me, and Courtney hung out in her bouncer chair staring at her mommy attempt to get a good workout. I did 40 minutes, 30 of them at 8mph, which I was really proud of. My standards are low these days. When I got off, dripping in sweat, I wanted to jump in the shower but Courtney was squirming. I checked - yep, a yellow LAKE in her diaper. So I grabbed a towel to go under her while cleaning her up. Bennett woke up  (probably because the movie/treadmill loud noises stopped), and Brianna tried to go get him out of his bassinet. So I had to stop mid-change with Courtney, help Brianna gently get Bennett out of bed, put Bennett in his chair so I could finish with Courtney. She started her fussy-tired cry, so I had to get her to bed. I also had to change her outfit because it got a little messy, so I started it in the laundry along with the rest of the overflowing dirty laundry basket. Keep in mind here, I'm still dripping in sweat and reallyreallyreally wanting a shower. Bad. I'm also half naked, thus horrified when the doorbell rings. I grab Brianna as she starts her excited sprint to the door. I tell her we can't go answer it because mommy's not dressed. She's extremely put out. I prayed the door was locked in case it was a friend/neighbor (because most of them know they're free to just walk in anytime). Courtney got to sleep, Bennett was hungry. Brianna was bored and starting into her 'give me something to do or I'll start making messes' mode. So I put on another movie for her (and felt guilty about it), fed Bennett and he got a weird look on his face. Probably because his milk tasted a little salty. I told him - sorry bud, but if I showered first then I'd have to listen to your hungry-cry, which always makes me sad and slightly panicked. Finally, I put him in his chair in the bathroom (so I could protect him in case Brianna decided to attack him with too-rough tickles and smothering kisses) and showered. My bathroom was embarrassingly dirty. So as soon as I was done and the bathroom was steamy, I got out the Lysol and did the fastest bathroom clean I could manage. Brianna saw the squirt bottle and insisted she had to help clean. I took Bennett OUT, so he wouldn't inhale the cleaning stuff, or get sprayed by Brianna's "helping." The phone rang. I would ignore it, but it's Brian's phone he accidentally left at home. Finish call, back to bathroom. Cleaning efforts thwarted by my "helper," who of course just makes things harder, but I still have to let her help because I can't bare to burst her bubble. Courtney wakes up. She's hungry. The bathroom is half done. I can't leave Brianna alone in their with the Lysol. So I quickly thank her for her fabulous help, put the cleaning stuff away, get Courtney, feed her while sitting next to Bennett tickling him (because his new-found belly laugh is just the most awesome thing ever and I love seeing/hearing it). Fortunately Courtney only eats for 5-10 minutes, because I really needed to get dressed. Our house dropped to 60 degrees because I turned the heater off before working out. Halfway dressed, Brianna starts asking for food again. I throw on the same pajamas I wore the night before and take her into the kitchen. Our gourmet lunch? Canned soup. With extra veggies chopped up and thrown in. Brianna helped chopped everything with her plastic knife. We listened to talk radio while doing this. The babies just sat around. I felt bad about that - I feel like I should constantly be playing with them so they don't feel ignored/neglected. But Brianna and myself must be fed. Bennett did his hungry cry. I go to the couch to feed him. Rush Limbaugh comes on. He annoys me. I endure listening to him because I don't want to try to walk around while feeding Bennett - it makes him pull off, then get sprayed and we have a mess. TMI, TMI. Whatever. But if you're reading this far, you're probably one of the people who have very low standards for the "TMI" label, and can handle reading just about anything I'm willing to write. Finally... both babies are tired, I swaddle them both tight, turn on the ocean noises, and then fall asleep with minimal crying. Brianna eats and goes back to her movie and falls asleep watching the Wiggles (which means she's REALLY tired, or REALLY bored, because she usually dances along with that movie).  And me... like I said before. Collapsed on the couch. Now typing this. And I think I hear a baby waking up.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

creepy

This giant spider at the grocery store during Halloween made Brianna cry.
And since I'm such a good mom, I laughed at her and took a picture before comforting her.
Then I handed her sone plastic shovels from the clearance shelf and told her to kill the spider.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Smith time

Another photo text from my brother in Seattle. Another smile on my face.
Aren't they cute?!   :)
I seriously can't wait... just a few more weeks until we're in Washington and I get to see my parents, some nieces and nephews, and possibly 80% of my siblings.  YAY!  If only we could skip the plane ride... I really don't want TSA patting down my children and stealing my nail file. Gotta love big government, keeping us safe from.... our constitutional rights.... (I won't get into a political soapbox, even though this current issue really upsets me. I've been listening to a lot of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck talk radio lately :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Toughening them up

My poor babies can't just lay on the couch in peace... Brianna-the-blur has to rush in for five seconds of loving harassment.
 





She hugs their heads, wiggles them around, kisses them on their eyeballs, smothers their faces, and occasionally makes them fold their arms and tells them they need to pray.
Good thing babies are resilient, right?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

rollin'rollin'rollin'

Right after the deed. Pretty happy with herself. Mommy not so happy.
Courtney just did something! Not sure if we can say she rolled....  she just swung her right leg over and over until she got onto her side, then slowly fell onto her tummy. Then she was stuck on her tummy with one arm trapped under her, and flipped herself back onto her back!  I sat near her just staring in shock and horror.
Raise da roof!
She needs to stop this immediately. I will not have mobile babies! It's kinda cute and fun for a second... and she seemed excited about the view change... but I'm seriously dreading the day I have to start keeping two crawlers/walkers safe from hurting themselves and putting crap in their mouths.
I'll do everything I can to discourage physical development.
I might have to break out the duct tape. Or start wearing one on my back and one in the front all day long.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playdates

This may not sound like a big deal to most of you... but I have made another leap into "normalcy" that I'm very proud of.
The past week we've scheduled playdates with friends almost every day.
I've either invited one of Brianna's friends over, or we've gone over to someone else's house.
Going to someone else's house is harder, because I have to get in the car (too cold to walk) with these two:
Oops - camera caught Courtney poorly belted. Don't turn me in.

Although it seems like a huge effort for me and requires a lot of planning and a well stocked diaper bag, I like getting out and going to friends' homes. It makes Brianna's day and helps the time go by faster until my right-hand man returns home from slaying the dragons.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sibling care



I came in the living room and found Brianna sitting in the bouncer chair next to Bennett, reading to him.

Kinda melted my heart.

yaawwwnn... Brianna reads the same books overandoverandover
And made me feel a little guilty, because I don't even read to him yet. 
I'm busy just trying to keep these kids alive.

Thank you Brianna for the reminder - the babies are getting older and need more than milk and clean diapers!

Friday, November 12, 2010

my buff nephews

My brother Dave in Seattle just texted this to me.  It made me smile.

For the record...

BENNETT AND COURTNEY GAVE US THEIR FIRST GIGGLES!! Seriously, I think I may have shed a tear of joy. They were the sweetest sounds ever.
I'll try to get a video. But it's hard to hold the camera and do the ridiculous song-and-dance required for them to laugh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ONE THOUSANDTH POST

I don't often look at my "dashboard" homepage, but fortunately I did recently and noticed that I was about to hit the big 1,000! I would think perhaps congratulations are in order for such a milestone... but maybe I'd be congratulating myself for being a ridiculously compulsive blogger and having the numbers to prove it?!  :)
Whatever. I like blogging and that's why I do it. I could use the excuses that it's my scrapbooking, journaling, soapbox, keeping-in-touch-with-people tool... but really - I just like blogging. I enjoy writing. I enjoy playing with pictures. I enjoy sharing what's on my mind. Not that I'm exceptionally talented at any of those things... but it doesn't matter. That's another aspect of blogging I enjoy - it's not graded. It doesn't matter if I do lame or pointless or superfluous posting. Although... ironically, I do care veryvery much if I have an error in my post. I pride myself on being an excellent speller. I'm extremely judgmental towards those who misuse their/there/they're and your/you're. There, I said it. I admit I'm a conventions snob. I really am. Thus I'm extremely embarrassed when I go back to an older post and see a thoughtless error. Please people - if you see one, tell me. I won't be offended at all; I'll be very grateful. I just realized another bullet point on my why-I-like-blogging list: a forum for my rambling! Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I'm a rambler.  Soooo.... what else to say on this momentous posting occasion... I'll share my stats. I just noticed that Stats tab on blogger only about a month ago. Clicking on it and seeing the info presented was very eye-opening for me:
Pageviews this month by country:
United States - 1828
Ukraine - 56
Russia - 32
South Korea - 33
Canada - 27
Denmark - 21
Latvia -12
Ireland - 10
China - 9
Netherlands - 9

Pageviews this month by Operating Systems
Windows - 1502 (71%)

Macintosh
- 476 (22%)
iPhone
 -35 (1%)
Other Unix
 -34 (1%)
BlackBerry -
20 (<1%)
iPad
10 - (<1%)
Linux
9-  (<1%)
iPod
7 - (<1%)
Apple
6 - (<1%)
Nintendo Wii
1 - 1(<1%)


A lot of this doesn't make sense to me, as I'm not exactly sure what constitues a pageview. And I have no idea why anyone in Latvia would care what my kids are doing and what I feel like rambling about for the day. But it is interesting that someone is using their Nintendo Wii to look at my blog. Hmph.
Ultimately, none of this matters because I don't care who reads my blog (obviously - otherwise I'd be paranoid and make it invitation-only). Mr. Weirdo in Turkmenijkerstan isn't going to affect my life.  These stats are just... interesting.  Just like my blog and my life. It may not affect you, Reader-of-bcmckell, but it's interesting enough that you made the time to read this entire post, and some of the 999 preceding it.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dramatic rescue

"Oh my baby falled in the water! I will save you baby!"



"Ohh, my poor baby... it's ok now, I have you baby. You ok."

Not making any of this up. The whole event spontaneously began and ended while I sat nearby observing. It was all VERY serious and VERY real to Brianna.
!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brian doesn't "JUST rent cars..."

The Branch Manager is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of his or her assigned branch, with emphasis in the areas of Management of Customer Service and Operations, Human Resource Management, Sales and Marketing/Financial Performance, and Fleet Management and Maintenance.

Management of Customer Service and Operations

*       Manage overall branch operations and supervise the management team
*       Develop overall branch business and operational strategy
*       Oversee the development and maintenance of the Branch operational plan
*       Manage the efforts of Branch employees in providing a high level of customer service
*       Evaluate customer service performance of Branch employees
*       Proactively seek process improvement to ensure high quality customer service
*       Ensure the branch complies with company/group policies, procedures, rules and regulations and all applicable laws
Human Resource Management
*       Supervise and coordinate the efforts of the Branch management team
*       Establish overall training and development strategy for Branch employees
*       Supervise, mentor, train, coach, evaluate and develop staff
*       Provide continual feedback regarding employee performance; meet with personnel to monitor sales goals and overall performance
*       Conduct and/or participate in the recruitment, interviewing and hiring of branch employees
*       Prepare effective and timely employee reviews and oversee the review process
*       Evaluate, document and confer with management team regarding employee performance
*       Administer and/or recommend disciplinary action, promotions, transfers and/or other personnel actions
*       Investigate/resolve employee complaints
Sales and Marketing/Financial Performance
*       Develop overall sales and marketing strategy for the Branch
*       Plan for future growth of Branch
*       Assess and analyze competitive environment and provide appropriate reports and recommendations
*       Develop, plan and actively participate in Branch sales and marketing efforts to increase and improve business
*       Train, motivate and coach employees to increase branch sales by understanding, communicating, and using the 4-step sales process to promote and sell optional protection products, vehicle features and benefits, fuel options and additional equipment
*       Call on existing and potential customers to develop business
*       Accompany other employees on marketing visits for training purposes
*       Manage branch receivables, including negotiating payment plans, collecting difficult accounts receivables, preparing write-offs for uncollectible accounts, and recommending accounts for referral to collection
*       Supervise and train other employees regarding branch receivables
*       Review and analyze reports, financial statements and billing
Fleet Management and Maintenance
*       Develop overall fleet strategy for Branch
*       Plan and oversee management of the fleet

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some days...






Love my kiddos... adore them... but sometimes, when they're all fussy, and I can't figure out why, and I'd give anything for a clone... I have to restrain myself from yelling peace out and hopping on my bike for a nice long ride.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

scars are cool...



right? Or just gross?
How weird is it that I kindof like mine. Even though they represent the clutziest moment of my life.
I think it gives my right knee character.

Friday, November 5, 2010

3 months

I've heard/read that the first three months of this twin parenting gig are the hardest.
So now that we've officially survived it, I'm looking forward to everything being easier from now on. Right?! I can only hope...
Not that this has been THAT hard... I mean, I'm alive and well and not too traumatized. I've even been heard to tell people that if we have more kids, we'd want twins again. But that's only uttered in daylight hours. In the middle of the night, when I'm feeding Bennett for the billionth time and I haven't shut my eyes for more than 2 consecutive hours... the thought of doing this again makes me want to cry. If I could have two sleepers like Courtney, though... life would almost be as easy as it would be with just one infant! She's amazing - 11-12 hours each night, with one short feeding around 3am. So consistent and predictable. But Bennett... piggy Bennett... just screams out like he's being waterboarded if he doesn't eat every 2-3 hours. Or sometimes every hour. Oinker. I'd be more upset if he wasn't so dang adorable. By the end of most nights I'm so sleepy that I don't even bother putting Bennett back in his bassinet. He just stays next to me. I'm pretty sure that's when his content little sighs mean "VICTORY! I WON! FEEEEDD MEEE MOOOORREE!" He's noticeably heavier and longer and chubbier than his sister, who still spits up half of her feeding. He's wearing the 3-6 month clothes, she's in the 0-3 month. And I'm horrible about keeping them in gender specific outfits. I just grab whatever's clean+comfy+closest. That's most confusing for Brianna. She often calls them by the wrong name. It's sweet though... she doesn't even care which baby it is. She just wants to hug and cuddle and play with them both. I lovelove seeing her get excited in the morning to greet them, and kiss them night-night before they go to bed. It's amazing to me that she seems to truly love these little people who just suddenly appeared onto her turf to steal away much of her mommy-daddy time. She especially likes being around them now that they smile so easily. It just melts my heart when the sight of my face brings a huge smile to my babies'. I love my "face time" with Bennett and Courtney, where we all just stare at each other and have "conversations." I swear they think they're talking to me. The intonations of their ooooos and aaaahhhhs and their eyebrow expressions really do mimic adult language. Another favorite is when they're thinking about bursting into tears... they just pause, bottom lip jutted out...  and either go into full blow crying, or decide to return to contentedness.
What else to say.... um, they're using less diapers now. Maybe 6-7 per day instead of 10-11. But filling them. Often overfilling them. I do a lot of laundry. And I'm thinking this horrible increase in laundry duty isn't going to get any better for the next 18 years. Oye. And when they start eating solids in a few more months it could get worse and stinkier! Maybe I'll just keep exclusively breastfeeding until they're potty trained, so I never have to deal with nasty diapers. There's a good plan.
What else... I can't even think what there is to say about them, because I just assume I'll always remember exactly what having 3 month old twins is like. How could I forget... it's what I spend every minute of every day caring for. But the first 3 months of their lives is already a blur, so I bet in 9 months when I'm writing their first birthday blog post, the 12 months of their infancy will be a blur too.
Overall... we're doing great. There are moments where I'm overwhelmed and on a brink of having a meltdown, and moments where I have to pinch myself because I'm living my dream of being a mother of three beautiful children.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Warm November

Well, kindof warm. Warm enough to not feel like a horrible mother when I take the babies out on a stroller ride. I just have to put them in a few layers. And make sure they can breath, since that's sortof important.
They don't fit in the same seat anymore! My little babies are growing.

This is kindof a boring post, isn't it? Life is a little boring lately. Not boring... just routine. Very routine. But that's probably a good thing, right? Life is predictable and manageable and enjoyable right now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bowless Beauty

I feel bad because I rarelyrarely put a bow or headband on Courtney. I should, because I frequently get comments from people along the lines of, "how do you tell them apart?! They look identical!" I have to refrain from giving them the idiot glare, and realize that I often think the same when I see others' twins. But MY babies are about as distinctly unique as two people can be, of course, to me.
Courtney seems to strongly dislike having anything on her head. And I'd rather have a happy Courtney than help the visually impaired know which of my babies is the female.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Courtney's happy place

I love this little clip. It's 30 seconds of Courtney making sweet cooing sounds while Brian's rubbing her back. video

Monday, November 1, 2010

1st General Conference

Should've posted this about a month ago...


We really enjoyed General Conference weekend. Our awesome Alabamian neighbors were off partying in Vegas, so they let us use their house and TV. The babies loved being held constantly and even seemed to enjoy the speakers. The monotoned-voiced ones were their favorite.