Tag: twins

A day at the park

Friday was the last day of summer vacation around here. Kids start back to school tomorrow. So Friday, Nina and I loaded up all the young ones, packed snack bags and juice boxes and headed to the park. Yeah. It takes two vehicles. Five car seats.

But anyway, so we get to the park and unload everyone and the fun begins. Actually it wasn’t that bad with the older ones (Landon, his friend Tyler, Emma, Ava, Paisley) because they don’t need someone to push them on the swings. And even Aiden and Ivy played super well together. No fights. No pouting. A lot of “Iby! Ballo me!” from Aiden and “A – come hera naw!” We’re pretty sure Ivy gets that Cajun accent from her PawPaw David who spent part of his childhood in Cajun country. Of course David doesn’t speak with a Cajun accent and Ivy doesn’t watch Swamp People so who knows.

At one point Aiden grabs my hand and excitedly tells me to come watch. He leads me to the BIG slide. You know the one three stories high encased in a bending, twisting tube? Yeah, that one. Of course my natural thought is that he’s going to slide and I’m going to have a heart attack. But noooo. He climbs up on the end of it and climbs up the slide like a monkey, disappearing inside the tube thingy and then popping out at the top. Yeah. I might have clapped. I’m not sure. You lose thought processing ability after holding your breath so long.


Fun for All playground at Hagan Stone Park

So, this playground is massive and steel grid-like walkways connect one play station to another. Of course because of the angle of the slides, the walkways angle upwards—slightly. Our poor little Ireland must have thought it was something like 180 degree angle because she was terrified to walk on them. She held onto the handrail until her pudgy little knuckles were white. Bright white. While holding on to the handrail with a death grip, she shuffled her little feet along at a pace similar to a snail’s. Only slower. She was, however, very happy grounded so her day at the park wasn’t a total traumatizing event.

Back to the grid-like walkways. Remember, this playground is massive. There are three walkways that intersect and the center actually forms a triangle. You’re not supposed to play in the triangle. I mean, I didn’t see a sign or anything saying “Stay Out” and apparently neither did Casey.

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Yes. You are seeing right. Casey going where no man has gone before.

So I’m trying to inch Ireland along on the walkway and look over and Casey’s in the center of the triangle. And won’t come out. Nina’s on the side trying to coax him over to the side where she can grab him. He’s having fun running in circles. Nina’s running alongside the outside yelling for him to come to her. He’s running around having fun. I think, I’m not sure, Nina may have dropped to her hands and knees and tried wedging herself under the walkway like her son did. I’m kinda laughing. Okay, I’m about to pee in my hands. And then…I think Nina and I spotted it at the same time…the empty, shriveled up CapriSun on the ground. With the straw sticking out. With random germs  all over it.

Imagine those old slow motion videos where people move at about the same pace as Ireland on an elevated walkway. The outstretched hand, mouth slowly opening shouting “NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo”

Casey had his mouth washed out with soap before he can even talk.


Great expectations followed by reality


Sweet Paisley making a wish

Every once in a while someone will post a funny card on facebook comparing expectations and reality. 99.9% of the time, the cards are an exact take on this crazy thing we call life.

Case in point, my Easter weekend. I’ll admit, it was pretty darn silly of me to have fantasized about the perfect dinner where we eat on fine china, drink fine wine from crystal goblets, dab at our well-fed mouths with linen napkins, and my grandsons all wear ties with their button-down shirts while the girls wear beautiful spring dresses and white patent leather shoes.


Well, for one, we can’t all fit at a table. Two, no one wants to spend the entire afternoon washing the fine china so our plates of choice tend to be from the disposable line. Along with the silverware. A truly fine wine makes us all shudder so we prefer the real fruity, sweet, and cheap, kind.  If we used a linen napkin, it would be to wipe up a spill before the Hi-C stains the counter top. As for the ties and spring dresses…oops…I’m back now…fell out of my chair laughing.

I think it kind of started a few days before Easter. My daughter Nina and I had all the grandkids outside playing on the super-duper playset. It’s two cedar playhouses with swings, slides, rope climbing, all connected with a cross-walk bridge. Beautiful day – let’s play outside! Before long, Ivy and Aiden were crying because they wanted the baby swings which were meant for the twins. Casey loved the swing; Ireland, not so much. She is NOT an adventurer. If she’d had more teeth than her four she’d have worn them to the gum from gritting them. Every time the swing moved, the look on that poor child’s face was sheer terror. Nina and I purposely moved it a couple times just to see her reaction. LOL. Just kidding. Well, okay maybe we did it just once. So anyway, Ivy and Aiden are still crying, Ireland’s ready to puke, and then it gets worse. Emma and Landon gang on up Ava and Paisley and call Ava a devil child. Ava’s feelings are majorly hurt so she runs to the porch, crying. Emma asks me if I’m taking them home anytime soon. When I tell her yes, she crosses her arms across her chest (she has this move down pat!) and yells in Ava’s direction “Good. I don’t want to stay anyway!” Nina overhears Emma and scolds her for being rude. Emma is mortified her Aunt Nina has scolded her and takes on a look similar to Ireland’s in the swing. We decide we’ve had enough “fun” time for the day and start herding kids inside (it’s worse than trying to herd cats!) You have to carry the twins or they’ll turn on you and head back to the playset just as you reach the porch. Taking the kids out to play is a two person job – one person can’t carry both twins. So our wonderful, beautiful play day ended with Ivy and Aiden still crying, Emma crying, Ava crying, and the twins crying because they had to come back inside. Great expectations that didn’t quite measure up.

Then there was Saturday before Easter. Landon had a baseball tournament to open the season. It was going to be great and so much fun. I truly do enjoy watching him play baseball. I love the whole crowded community center thing with games going on all the ballfields, kids running and playing, heat from the metal bleachers burning through your pants…ahhh. It’s what families are made of. And all those kids running around – they’re fun to watch. Unless their yours. Hard to watch the game when you’re chasing TWO sixteen-month olds and a two-and-half year-old around very crowded bleachers. An army of three adults and a teenager, and the twins and Ivy still managed to exhaust us. We did try and stop most activity when Landon was batting so when he, inevitably, asked “did you see me get that hit,” we could answer somewhat truthfully. I think the twins have seen their last ballgame (like they really watched it!) until they’re like, oh, maybe ten.

Then there was Easter. The kids never even ate, the twins napped through it, Garey was on call and had to work, and son-in-law Allen spent the whole time outside assembling a gazebo.

Honestly…I was a little disappointed. But then I remembered Nina and I sitting in the theater watching Le Miserable’ (or however you spell it!) and how we couldn’t stop giggling at how pretentious it all was. But yet we text to remind one another that “Duck Dynasty” is coming on.

My family. We don’t own a piece of fine china or a linen napkin. The kids cry, and cry, and fight, and get over it. Sometimes they puke in the swing, sometimes they gang up on one another, and sometimes they stand up for one another.

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Yeah…Ireland is wearing her brother’s pajamas because we live in the real world and sometimes ballet slippers just don’t work

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some things can’t be forced


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. More interesting than a fire hydrant to some.

Spent a couple days at the Outer Banks with the kids and grandkids. Discovered a couple things.

You can take kids to see and experience the wonder of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, but you can’t make them appreciate it. Not until they truly understand the history. Which is impossible for two one year olds and a two year old. And a five year old and a nine year old. They all truly enjoyed running and chasing one another in the open field beside the magnificent structure, though.


Ireland’s fire hydrant



And Ireland was simply impressed with the nearby fire hydrant. Kind of like “I don’t know what this is but it’s the coolest thing EVER!” impressed.

She was also quite impressed with the traffic/safety cone at the NC Aquarium. All the sharks to see! All the starfish to touch! And she waddles right to the safety cone. While Casey played with a stick. And Aiden and Ivy were all about this moving block toy like they have in pediatricians’ offices. “Aiden, Ivy – come look at the big sharks!”

“No, mamma,” They say in unison. Aiden shakes his head while Ivy’s pushing blocks.

To be continued…

Casey’s Big Adventure


Casey and Ireland, off to see Santa

We don’t get out much. Well, let me rephrase that. Nina’s family doesn’t get out much. With one-year old twins plus a two-year old, not to mention the other two under ten, transporting (3 car seats and a booster needed) can be an issue. There’s also the need for the double stroller and an additional person (at least) with stout arms to carry Ivy (the 2-year old). Moving a platoon of soldiers may be easier.

Don’t get me wrong. The twins have been to the grocery store, the doctor’s office, grandparents’ houses, Nana’s, Uncle Garey and Aunt Ellen’s house, the park, and…(insert drumroll)…the mall. Not only the mall, but they’ve been to the mall to see Santa!


Landon, Ava, and Ivy’s picture with Santa. If you look close, you can see Santa to the right, with some random kid on his lap.

Yeah, well, that didn’t go over so well. No pictures allowed. Unless you bought the nifty package. And for two dollars more, you can get two 5x7s! Either the hefty price tag that went along with the picture package or the pain in the patootie of getting the twins out of the stroller was enough to make daddy (Allen) say no thanks. So Landon, Ava, and Ivy sat on Santa’s knee and told him what they wanted. Ivy looked like a cat about to be dunked in water. Ava read her wishes from a list. Landon was too cool to act like he enjoyed it. And the twins watched from a few feet away. Their first visit to Santa and they were sentenced to the stroller. Judging from the look on Ireland’s face, that was fine with her. Only child I’ve ever seen that can arch an eyebrow.

So after we visit with Santa, we decide to brave the masses and actually walk around the mall. Wasn’t really crowded (it’s not a very big mall) so it was a nice experience seeing the babies’ excitement over seeing new things. Like a drink machine. While the caravan was stopped to window shop, from his stroller seat, Casey was checking out a drink machine the stroller was parked beside. I mean he was checking it out. Like it was the strangest thing he had ever seen! He even put his tiny little hand up to it and gently touched it. Then touched it again. Then slowly moved in to lick it and Allen jerked the stroller away. Allen’s a germ-a-phob and Casey has developed this habit of licking stuff. I think in his one-year old mind he’s trying to “give kisses” but hasn’t mastered the physical motions yet. He’s got a couple years to master that skill. If they ever let him out of the house.


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