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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Frigidaire affinity Washer and Dryer have arrived! (bring on the laundry)

They are red.
They are large.
They are high-tech.
They are freakin' beautiful and I don't care if people read this and feel sorry for me because I'm so pathetically excited about a new washer and dryer.

Frigidaire is in 'da house!

Here is the story I did to document day.

Off to sort and wash,

Product provided by
Mom Central and

Friday, June 19, 2009

Twofer in their First Horse Show at Potomac Horse Center

M & L lookin' darn cute before their 1st horse show

Riding at Potomac Horse Center

As you may know, the Twofer have been taking riding lessons at Potomac Horse Center since September. It's a great place to start riding because they offer lessons as early as age 5 (Twofer have been asking since age 3!) and they are #1 in terms of safety and instruction. They offer a number of 'client shows' each year which are a great way to introduce kids to competition and showing horses.

Here are the details you need to know:
1. They were excited to sign up for the show...but then not very excited to participate the day of the show.
2. They looked darn cute in their white
shirts and braids/pony tails
3. L got a 2nd Place and M got a 3rd Place!
4. This was their first ever know, where not everyone wins.

L- 2nd Place with Pumpkin

Here are the things you don't really need to know but I will tell you anyway
1. They did NOT put them in the same class (whew!)
2. I'm not sure they even knew it was a competition.
3. Afterward L was upset that s
he got 2nd place (the red ribbon) and not 6th place (the pink ribbon).
4. M handled the whole getting third while her sister got a 2nd place really, really, really well.
M - 3rd Place with Minnie

First competition = food for my neuroses

The neurotic me was thinking this could be a nightmare. The logical me realized this is something they have to learn NOW. Not everyone wins. Not everyone gets the same color ribbon. Some days you will perform better than other days. But going out there and having fun DOES matter because in the end, that's what you take home - a smile.

Here's a short video showing them hanging with their friend Jenna before their events, and then L walking and M trotting.

You might also like:
First we learn to ride a horse, then a bike

Feeling proud,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Twofer Review Diane Birch's Debut Album: Bible Belt

THANK YOU @DianeBirch and @steviegpro for coming up with music that is wooing my twins away from Hanna Montana and High School Musical!

I kiss the ground you walk on.
I throw roses in your path.
I fan you with very large palm leaves and feed you grapes.
I, in a word, owe you.
(Whatev, 2 words.)

Bible Belt is the debut CD from Diane Birch and has a great mix of music that we all enjoy. The girls ask for Rise Up every time we get in the car. I think it's the line, "Rise up little sister...", where they think Diane is talking to them. God help me if they take it seriously and start a revolution in my house...but worse things have happened.

Video of Twofer rockin Rise Up

I loved that song but it's now theirs and so I had to find a new one. My new favorite is Photograph and the surprise ending with the gospel choir is AWESOME! But I also love Valentino and Nothing But a Miracle.

For those of you who want to hear some track's to Diane's debut CD Bible Belt go here: Diane Birch Media page (ALSO see video, and read the lyrics)

If you want to purchase the album AND donate $1 to a great cause click on this little widget below:

Want your own widget to help raise money? Go to Discover and Donate Diane Birch.

And if you want to hear me sing karaoke on the road trip to BlogHer (thanks to the page with the lyrics) stay tuned!

Monday, June 15, 2009

For My Dad - Happy Flag Day!

Lavender Fields in Provence
Painting my dad made for the Twofer before the were born.

Here's what I did today:
  • 5 loads of laundry
  • Went for a run while Twofer road their bikes
  • Cleaned powder room, kitchen & vacuumed
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Took the Twofer to their end of year Daisy party
  • Cleaned some more
  • Did about 2 hours of work

Here's what I did NOT do today:
I did not cry...yet. I did not really think about how today is the 6th anniversary of my dad dying.
And by 'think' I mean having those flashbacks to the final moments in the hospital, holding his hand, by brother's and my mom's while we watched him officially die.
I did not think back on the fogginess of the funeral week.

It was foggy for so many reasons one of which is the fact that our twins were only 3 weeks old. That, my friends, sucked.

So, today I put myself to work. Consciously? Unconsciously? For lack of respect?
No, I think I just had a lot to do.
We're going to the beach in a few days.
I have lots of work and laundry and packing to do before we go.
And my dad was not the kind of person that would have wanted me moping around the house.
If anything, he would want a big party.
Maybe at the 10 year Dad. OK?

As I wrote the title of this post I felt like I was going to cry.
But now I'm ok.
And if I could go back to myself 6 years ago I would tell myself that you will feel better.
You will be able to look at pictures of Daddy and not cry.
You will be able to think back on the early days with twins and not feel completely cheated.
You will find friends who also belong to the WTF Club... whose members have experienced the irony of a joyful birth so close to a tremendous loss.
And you will be able to reflect on June 14th for what it represents - a day to remember Dad and the Flag (as a marine and war veteran I'm sure he's loving that).
But, six years later you will probably still cry.
As I am now.
But, it feels good to remember.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

How will the Frigidaire affinity washer and dryer measure up?

Everyone has a lot of laundry, I know that.
But we have the dreaded ladybug.
The thing may look cute on the outside but it's a huge, bottomless pit of dirty, stinky, moldy, icky, bacteria-thriving laundry.

The ladybug is what we use for the girls' laundry and they fill it up 1-2 times a week. It measures 21 inches high by 17 inches wide. When filled it weighs about 25 lbs.

Here's a quick video showing how much laundry fits in the ladybug and how much of the ladybug fits into my current washing machine.

Please ignore my messy laundry room. I'd like to see yours!

I weighed and measured what was left after shooting the video and I measured another 10 inches (high) of laundry weighing approximately 12 lbs (I lost my helper so this is an approximation).

I can only say, I hope the Frigidaire affinity washer and dryer can hold more!
What do you think - how much more of the ladybug will the affinity hold?


Product will be provided by:
Mom Central and

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Summer Survival Guide for the part-time work-at-home parent

Because I don’t work full time, out of the office (because I do feel like I’m working full-time as in all the time!) I don’t like to pay for the Twofer to be in camp all day, every day. It’s expensive and I don’t need that much coverage. I have found a few part-time or half day camps and they will go there a few weeks this summer but not 5-days a week. Therefore I try to come up with a plan for the days they are at home and I’m at home trying to get work done. Here is what I have found to be helpful:

1. Join a pool

There will be days they just hang around in front of the TV for the morning. If the TV is the sitter for the day I will feel less guilty knowing we can go to the pool in the afternoon where they will get exercise and fresh air. Plus, my pool has Wi-Fi so I can bring my laptop and check email during adult-swim when the kids are not allowed in the pool

2. Start now scheduling weekly play dates

I'm already talking to friends in the neighborhood to see if we can trade-off having each other's kids on Thursdays. I'm going to talk to another friend about swapping afternoons where one of us can take all the kids to the pool for a few hours. On the days the play dates are at my house I may not a lot done, but my kids will be worn out and will play quietly after that. And I’ll know ahead of time the day I’ll have NO kids at my house and so I can schedule important calls and meetings on those dates.

3. Develop a schedule

The day is easier to handle when I know ahead of time when I plan to be working. I schedule it out the day before if not a week ahead.
Usually I do something like this:
8-9am breakfast
9-12 work
12-3pm break for lunch and play or pool time
3-5 work
5-8 dinner and bed routine
8-10 work

This is just a rough schedule I have so the kids know when I’ll be done and I set limits and make time for fun.

4. Break the day up into chucks

The best way to get work done with kids around you is to break the day up into smaller chunks of time. It’s much easier to come up with several activities that are each about an hour, than it is to look at 5-8 hours of time. I like to look at the day as morning, late morning, lunch, break, late afternoon, evening.

For example, my girls are still young and enjoy the 'homework' they get from school. I purchased a few work books and activity books with word games, math games, mazes, etc. that will keep them occupied for at least an hour each morning. Next I’ll suggest a board game they haven’t seen in a while. Then I’ll send them to the basement to explore their dolls and jump on the moonbounce. Finally I’ll have them come up and work on a craft that hopefully doesn’t require too much parental assistance. Last, but not least, the TV will go on for a half hour before lunch if I need it. I like to save the TV for the late afternoon whining or fighting that always happens when everyone is just a little too tired.

5. Utilize places with free Wi-Fi

The best thing is to schedule at least an hour outside of the house with the kids just for a change of scenery. So many places offer free wi-fi and our local library is my first choice. My kids love books so they will spend hours going through the shelves and playing with the puzzles. Other areas near me like downtown Rockville and Silver Spring have included a Wi-Fi signal in their redevelopment. And there’s always snuggling up in a booth at Panera Bread – me with my laptop, the girls with their coloring books.

What are you doing to survive and even enjoy the summer with your kids?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cross Post & Coupon: Kajeet perfect phones for Kids and Parents!

Full post is available at Twofer Thumbs Up but I wanted to pass along the savings to the readers here as well...

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Enjoy the savings and enjoy the summer knowing your kids will work hard to earn their Kajeet dollars!


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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney

Goodies from the In-Room Celebration (read more below!)

You've already seen how I'm a complete sucker for Disney Magic.
But what made this trip extra special is that the Twofer turned 6 our first day at Magic Kingdom. We had planned this to take advantage of Disney's "Free on your Birthday" promotion thinking th
is was a real twin discount!

What I quickly learned is that a birthday at Disney is more than free admission. In fact, if you pay your admission (as we di
d because we bought the dining+room+park tickets package) there are other very cool options to choose from!

Birthday celebrants get special treatment at Disney

If you decide to spend someone's birthday at Disney be sure to a) bring evidence like a driver's license or stamped birth certificate and b) TELL EVERYONE.
We told the folks during check-in and receive our first (yes, we got more than one) surprise bouquet of balloons in the roo

We told the folks at the park entrance and they issued each girl a special birthday button that also had their name on it. This button alerted the staff and other patrons who promptly shouted "Happy Birthday L! Happy Birthday M!" as they walked through the park. Disney characters look for people with these special buttons and make a point to come over to them during the parades. AND, each girl received a separate dessert during lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table with a candle and lots of chocolate goodness (FREE and tasty!).

Birthday Options if you choose not to go for free

First thing we did upon entering the park was head over to guest services (same people who gave the girls their buttons). I presented their birth certificates and told them we had already paid for our park tickets but had heard there were other options. Here they are:

1. Birthday no-return Fast Pass!
Deets: this is the golden ticket o
f Fast Passes. Basically it's a separate card that you can insert into the Fast Pass machine and in return you get a ticket that allows you to get in the Fast Pass line immediately! No return means you don't have to come back to that ride in an hour or later. You get right in the FP line and for us that meant no more than a 10 min wait!

You can only use the Birthday FP on 6 rides and they give you a list of two groups to choose from (pick 3 rides from each group). However, the list had all the rides we wanted to go on at Magic Kingdom so we were thrilled. Plus, we could still use our room key to get 'regular' Fast Pass t
ickets (with return times) which we used in the early morning. Also - the birthday Fast Pass is good for up to 5 people including the birthday celebrant. That means most families can enjoy the benefits.

2. Gift card good at any Disney hotel, park or downtown Disney gift shop!
The gif card value for a child ticket was $63
.00. This was a terrific thing to have because we knew we would not have to say NO all weekend long to every item they picked up in every little shop. Not only did we not have to say NO, we didn't have to feel the pinch of the wallet coming out when we did say YES!

TWIN Discount Alert: Because we had twins we opted for one of each - one birthday Fast Pass that covere
d our entire family, and one $63.00 gift card which, if you continue reading, ended up being a treat for ME!

Disney Florist and the "In-Room Celebration"

OK, here is the 'sponsored' po
rtion of this post. It was not my intent because all of my other Disney posts have come straight from me as I surprised the girls and then planned the trip. However, I did reach out to the Disney staff and explained that I was going to be down there covering the Free on Your Birthday with my twins, and that I've been generating a lot of interest from my readers and Twitter friends, and was there anything else I should look into while I'm down there? (pretty much that exact run-on sentence too)

It was then that I was offered the In-Room Celebration to help us celebrate the girls 6th birthday. HOLY MOLY ON A CANNOLI!

This package consists of 5 huge, bright-colored boxes stuffed with goodies and left as a surprise from Mickey and the Gang (Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto).
Needless to say, we were speechless.

The girls, however, were SCREAMING with 11:30 in the evening. Whatever exhaustion they had felt from dealing with the rain, the wait for the bus, and the ride back to the hotel was gone. Just. Like. That.

If you are planing a birthday at Disney all I can say is GO FOR IT. GO for some kinds of in-room surprise, even just the balloons. My kids were thrilled the first day thinking that Mickey had snuck into their room to deliver the balloons. (They were crazed when they got this mega package!) But the surprise is what made it all so special.

And when all was said and done the girls had enough Disney goodies that my husband suggested I spend the gift card on myself. Which I did.

Read more in this series:
Disney Magic: Now I get it!
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise

Enjoying the memories,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A letter to my daughters for their 6th birthday

M and L 1st Birthday

Dear L & M:
With all the excitement of Disney I neglec
ted to actually wish you a happy birthday here on my blog. Mark that as just another example of how your mother is not perfect. But you already knew that.

So let me officially welcome you to your
childhood years. These are magical years. They are magical because you will enjoy magic without worrying who else believes in it. You will enjoy getting dressed up because you love the dress, and not because the other girls are doing it. You will continue to play in the dirt, with worms, and climb trees just because you can. You will discover new skills, have new experiences, and even a few disappointments. And you will learn and grow from it all.

M turning 1

These are years that you will start to test your independence...and my patience. You will say things to me that I don't want to hear (and I will let you know you've crossed a line). And yet I know you will still cuddle with me, let me read you a book, and most importantly, laugh at my jokes.

L enjoying her 1st birthday

I want you to enjoy these years. I want them to be free of stress and drama because I know what lies ahead in the murky waters of the lands they call Tween and Teen. What you learn now will help you navigate those waters. I will do my best to help you grow to be confident, respectful (of yourself and others), and hopefully love yourself for who you are.

Because I love you just the way you are.

M & L on their 6th Birthday

In six short years
you have grown so much. Already I have seen you puff yourself up with bravery to try new things, confront difficult situations, and even learn to forgive. But don't grow up too fast. Now is the time to slow it down, enjoy these childhood days, savor the magic.

Happy Birthday my little ones.
Love forever and always,