Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

January 3, 2012

The time is flying by faster and faster each day. The things the girls do make me laugh, cry, and go crazy. They are becoming quite the little ladies. For the first time ever we woke up in our own beds on Christmas morning. The lazy little girls work up around 9:15 or so to find that Santa did indeed find our house and left them presents. A few weeks back when they were being naughty I threatened them that Santa would bring rocks instead of presents as I figured they would not know what coal was. Neither was disturbed by this thought. A few days later after reading a Christmas book I asked them what they wanted Santa to bring them. Brynn looked me in the eye and said “Rocks, so I can be naughty.” Sigh…this is the story of my life. Many times over the days ahead we had repeat conversations about her wanted rocks for Christmas. However, both girls received the Dora dolls that they asked Santa for when they saw him the day after Thanksgiving.

We hosted Johann’s family for Christmas or I should say in the days leading up to Christmas and then his parents stayed with us until the day after Christmas. We had a blast watching the kids play, and after they would finally crash at night the adults played cards and talked big. It was great to see everyone and be together. We went to the Christmas Eve candle light service where both girls proceeded to scream at the top of their lungs and throw temper tantrums because they wanted to hold the candles without help. I was informed afterwards that our children were not the only ones screaming, but they were the only ones I could hear.

Johann had the week between Christmas and New Years off of work. He made the most of each day doing super fun things with the girls while I worked. They went shopping, out to eat, made gingerbread man cookies, watched movies, and played non-stop. During a staff meeting the chiropractor that I work with showed me his phone. He had received a text message from Johann asking him when he was going to send me to chiropractic school so he could be a stay at home day. This has been Johann’s dream…but I don’t see that happening real soon considering the girls would be in school by the time I finished chiropractic school, not that I checked it out or anything. 🙂

This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with my family at my brother Kirk and sister-in-law Tammie’s house about 2 hours away. There were 25 of us staying at one house from Friday until Monday. My Aunt Cyndy flew in from Colorado to surprise us putting us at 25. The kids were wild, crazy, and had a blast. I believe I can repeat those same words and say the adults had almost as much fun. On our way home we met up with some friends for lunch. These friends are just starting the adoption process so it’s great to be there and supportive of them during this long process. Plus the girls absolutely adore them.

This is going to have to sum it up for now. These late night are going to catch up with me sooner or later. I just got a new computer and I haven’t figured out quite how to get my pictures on it so pictures will have to follow! 🙂


We are still here

November 14, 2011

Yes it has been several months since my last post. Where do I even begin to try to catch people up on our lives. You can always friend request me on Facebook where I am much better about sharing the crazy wild daily happens we encounter in the lives of 2-year old twins.

Not only are the girls speaking in full sentences but they are having complete thoughts and too good of memories. We went trick-or-treating on Halloween and now as we walk past each of the houses they tell me who was at each one. For example one of our neighbors was dressed up as Elvis and singing and had a creepy hand that walked across the floor. Each time we pass their house now the girls talk about it. Tonight they told me they wanted to stop at Banana’s house. Banana is another neighbor who happened to have a bandana on her head. The girls thought that was a funny word and her new name is Banana. They are constantly repeating things we say, some good and others I am not so proud of. The other day I asked Brynn if she wanted some more fruit and she responded, “Heck yah!” That is so something I say, she even had the inflection in her voice down and obviously used it in context.

At the end of May we started chiropractic for the girls in hopes of avoiding tubes in their ears. I am proud to say that since we started chiropractic care they have not had a single ear infection, started sleeping through the night more regularly, and have only had minor colds! We are SO loving this. I am currently working with a chiropractor as his assistant 10 hours a week and then do personal training and teach classes in a studio adjoining his office 20-30 hours. I will insert here that I am also loving my job.

I am only working 4 days a week. I currently take off Wednesday so that I can spend it with the girls. I chose Wednesday because we go to school Early Childhood Family Education classes at the elementary school that the girls will eventually go to. They love seeing their friends, doing art, story time, playing, and we cannot forget snacks. The first hour we are together and then the last 30 minutes I leave and to be honest I don’t think they even notice. They are such fun loving kids. They constantly are saying Hi to people when we are out in public and make friends easily and are as far from shy as you could possibly get.

We do have a lot of 2 almost 3-year old attitude going on in our house. I think Johann sometimes goes a little crazy living with three females. Arianna still has a really hard time doing anything that requires sitting. She is constantly moving and is the hardest person to hold because she’s always wiggling, talking, bouncing off the walls. Brynn is still big into music, dancing, and all girly things. Despite their differences they do play pretty well together, fight like only sisters can fight, and constantly worry about the other one if they aren’t together.

Below are some fall/Halloween pictures. We also had some family fall pictures taken and I have included two of those! Hope this blog caught you up on our lives.

Brynn & Ari carving pumpkins


Sisterly Love

A & B Mermaids

Hippie Tree Huggers! Sherry & Brynn....Johann & Arianna

Out of the mouths of babes

August 16, 2011

The girls are talking in sentences and putting together so many complete thoughts it amazes/scares/impresses/embarrasses me at the things they come up with and say. In the past week I have been told I looked like Rapunzel on Tangled and should throw down my hair for Brynn to climb up on. Ari has shh’d me and told me I don’t need to yell, while yelling at her sister for drinking the bath water for the 100th time. Brynn told me she was stronger than me while holding my 4lb dumbbells next to her ears. Ari was upset with Brynn and I for singing along to a song she didn’t like.  I said to her “Ari, don’t you like this song?” and her response (slightly annoyed with me for even asking) was “NO, Mom is sucks.” This is one of those not so proud embarrassed moments but as a horrible parent I cannot help but laugh about it. I didn’t let her see I was laughing and just said we probably shouldn’t use that word. 🙂

This morning Ari told me she was moving out. She wasn’t upset it was just totally random while eating breakfast. I asked her where she was going and she said to college. Super proud moment. I said “Are you taking me with you or are you going alone?” She said she was taking me with. I asked her then where we were going and she said “U-Conn.” Johann has been telling the girls since they were days old that they were going to U-Conn to play basketball so I guess they are listening.

When you ask the girls their names Ari will tell you that her name is Ari and Brynn will tell you her name is Sissy. Also this morning Brynn fell and on Ari while running. Brynn said “Sorry Mommy.” Ari said “I am not Mommy!” Brynn replied “Oh yah, sorry Sissy.” Ari- “I am not Sissy. I am Ari. You are Sissy.” They do call each other Sissy all the time but now Brynn thinks that’s her name. Give it a try next time you see them.

In case you haven’t heard the paternity test came back. I am the girl’s mom. They choose lettuce over pizza and running shoes over high heels! 🙂

Brynn & Ari- My little runners!

Two totally different personalities

July 22, 2011

People often ask us how we can tell the girls apart. I really don’t think they look that similar. Yes they look a lot alike but they have different face shapes, Ari has double dimples on her right side, Brynn has two birthmarks (shin and chest or not readily noticeable), Ari is about 1.5 inches taller and 3+ pounds bigger. Despite that they are completely different personalities. Case and point this morning I said the same thing to both girls at different times and got two totally different responses. Ari walked down the hall and I said “Hi Princess.” She responded with a scowl on her face “I’m not a Princess Mommy!” A couple seconds later Brynn walked down the hall and I said the same thing to her. Her response after batting her eyes and smiling ear to ear “Hi Mommy.”

This last week when we were at Bounce World Ari saw the basketball hoops. She quickly went over, grabbed a ball and with perfect form including follow threw shot the ball and almost made it. Brynn came over next to her and with both hands threw the ball as hard as she could over her head to hit the edge of the backboard. This weekend we are going to a Princess Party as part of our towns summer celebration. I think my friend Holli (has 4 boys!!) has been looking forward to this day for years as she is going with us. I’ll let her go with Brynn while I take Ari and perhaps find a ball game to play! 🙂 Two little girls with two totally different personalities.

B & A with cousin Hailey at the farm. Hailey is 6 months older!

Summer Time

July 20, 2011

It finally feels like summer and actually the amazon would be a more accurate term this week. With temps well in the 90’s and heat index’s approaching 120 we have been doing our best to stay cool, hit the swimming pool, sprinkler, and when too hot to be outside enjoying out ball pit in the basement. The girls LOVE being outside and the water.  They will play for hours. They are practicing walking on their hands in the water while their legs float behind them, blowing bubbles, and jumping into from the side.

This past week our friends from Canada joined us. They made the 855 mile drive with their four and half and almost three year old. The four kids had a blast playing all week, spent a day together at our day care, had time with just the dads, just the moms and even a couple of babysitters for a good balance for all of us to enjoy our time together.  It’s so fun to see the kids actually playing together now. We were with them just nine months ago in Grand Forks and the kids all played but not quite like they did this time. I think everyone had fun and I cannot thank Layli and Clay enough for making the trip all the way here. I know it’s not easy traveling with little ones!! Love you guys!

We continue to expand our vocabulary and they amaze me at the things they are finally getting. Now listening and following directions are a completely different subject.  I love listening to their conversations which are typically half English and half their own language. I love watching them play together and fight but they have such a unique bond that it is so neat to see. The other day while having a snack on the way home from the pool Brynn finished her’s before Ari and wanted more, which I did not have. However, Ari was quick to hand some of her’s to Brynn and said “here sissy have mine.” Anyone who knows Ari knows how much she likes her food and to share is a pretty big deal.

Every night before bed we always read a bible story, say The Lord’s Prayer, and list special people we want to pray for. This typically includes close family, friends, their birthmom, and anyone who might be sick or having a hard time. The girls are now listing people themselves. For the first time the other night after listing some special friends Brynn said their birthmom’s name and Ari repeated it. It was super special and brought tears to my eyes. They have never met her or even seen a picture but they hear us include her in our prayers and they get how very special she is to our family and we could not be complete without her.

After prayers has been a challenge for us. Bedtime struggles started in January and we continue to struggle each night going to bed. We have done the same routine since they were six months old so it’s not like we changed anything. They were doing well even with the big beds for two months and then things went downhill. We keep trying different things but these girls are just night owls and always have been it’s currently 9:45 and they have been in bed for about an hour  When it comes time to wake up in the morning they are bears unless we let them sleep until 9. On days they go to day care it’s a fight to get them up. The other morning Ari after being fully dressed, teeth brushed, hair done, and sat on potty she told me she was going back to bed and did that. I found her two minutes later in bed, hugging her bear, under the covers while I was battling Brynn  to get ready. 🙂

We did make a trip to ND over the 4th of July. Not surprisingly we almost didn’t make it yet again. On our attempt to be 2 hours closer by leaving from my brother’s house Brynn got car sick and threw up in the car. We ended up turning around and going back home just to be sure it wasn’t a bug we shared with everyone else. By doing this we ended up in stop and go traffic for about 60 miles! To avoid that on our return home we left in the evening and got home at 2 am, well worth it because the girls slept until 9. 🙂

Brynn, Andri, Rowan & Ari. Our attempt to get for kids on a bridge.

Posing in the tractor I spent so many hours driving.

Talking Maniacs

June 10, 2011

In the past few weeks the girls have started talking in full sentences. Their conversations between the two of them make me laugh as I will understand about 80% of it and then they start talking in gibberish. They get super excited about the little things in life such as splashing in puddles, riding their bikes, and when Daddy gets home from work. They love to “introduce” me to Daddy by saying “Look Mommy. It’s Daddy!” They fight like sisters, hug like best-friends, and are constantly worrying about where or what the other “sissy” is doing.

My friend Jenny was watching the girls for us one night and when I got home Brynn was sitting on my lap. I asked Brynn if she had fun with Jenny. While rolling her eyes, shaking her head, and with the most attitude inflection in her voice Brynn responded “Mommy, Jenny is ridiculous.” While trying my hardest not to laugh I asked her what she meant by that. All she could tell me was that she’s just ridiculous.

They are both super loving and give lots of hugs and kisses. This morning when leaving the house we received huge hugs, kisses, and I love you’s. This is a pretty standard goodbye for the girls. Although, if it involves the boyfriends Ben/Ryan some knuckles are usually included after the I love you’s! I am good with that, you can’t have it too serious with boys at this age. 🙂

Our summer will consist of trips to the pool, bike rides, walks, sandboxes, parks, and just being outside in general. The LOVE water. They ask daily for a shower or a tubby and will spend hours in there if we let them. The showers are a new thing. They take one together, sing and dance while in there. Speaking of singing they have three favorite songs that they sing to including: Tim McGraw’s Felt Good on my Lips, Taylor Swift’s Mean, and Black Eyed Peas I’ve got a feeling. They dance like mad and sing at least the chorus of each of these songs. It is super funny. They know that Daddy can play them on demand with his phone so they are often requesting music. While at home they will point to our speakers and ask for music if it isn’t already on.

When we dress ourselves....

Cousin Trevor's 2nd Birthday Party

Illness Strikes in 2011

April 20, 2011

Illness has finally struck our house. We had a very healthy winter and now that spring has arrived and we still have winter weather the girls have missed day care twice now in a short time span due to fevers. This last week was chaos. Ari had a little fever on Saturday but then was fine the rest of the weekend. She woke up on Monday morning with a very low fever and I decided to play it safe and just keep both girls home for the day. After a does of Tylenol I could not keep her still. Both girls ran and played hard all day long.

Tuesday came and I sent them both to day care. Brynn at this point was the only one at day care that had yet to be hit by this “bug.” At 3:00 as I was getting on the bus for a track meet I received the call saying she now had it. So Daddy left work as soon as he could to rescue her, or maybe I should say rescue our day care mom from another sick kid! Wednesday meant another day at home with mom. Both girls were doing really well all morning playing as well as sisters play. Then I received a phone call from day care saying all the other kids had been to the doctor today and almost all had ear infections and or strep throat. So in a matter of 15-minutes I had both girls packed up and in the car on our way to Express Care. It is a a 35 minute drive and since it was nap-time both girls fell asleep almost instantly. When I arrived to Rochester I decided to fill gas and take my time since they were sleeping. Well when I arrived at Express Care at 1:05 I found out the closed at 1:00 for a mandatory meeting from 1-3:15! UGH!!! So I hurried across town to the second location arriving at 1:20 to find they closed at 1:15. I did not want to wait around with two cranky toddlers who had naps cut short and weren’t feeling 100%. I called our doctor to tell her what happened and asked to be seen. It turns out we could be seen at 2:10…I’ll take it.

I was mostly concerned about Arianna, as she had been much more moody than normal but wanted to have Brynn checked too since we were in. Both girls ended up with right ear infections! I will admit I was shocked and really expected them to say “virus” as this is technically only the second one for each of them. Arianna was put on the z-pack due to her allergic reaction last Easter to augmentin and Brynn was put on amoxicillin in hopes that she does not share her sister’s allergy. We have 3 days left of Brynn’s medicine and are holding out that she doesn’t wake up with hives on day 9 of 10 like Ari did last Good Friday.

We had our two-year pictures taken and neither girl really wanted to participate very well. Arianna was moody (perhaps she had an ear infection then too) and the best picture we have of her she has a basket on her head. Brynn wanted to have her picture taken but wanted it of her dancing. If nothing else they were entertaining during the quick session.

Princesses A & B

Brynn...isn't she beautiful!

Ari with her basket on her head...goofy kid!

Terrible Twos times Two?

March 7, 2011

I don’t think I have ever gone two months without giving an up-date. But as you can imagine life is a little busy with two two-year olds. The girls turned two last weekend and two years ago today we arrived home as a family of four.

A few things have gone on since my last post. Besides the girls turning two the biggest thing was that we took a 7-day vacation without them. It was amazing. Thanks to Johann’s sister Jennifer and her family, who stayed at our house and took care of the Princesses along with their two children. Everything went wonderfully well, including us returning home just hours before the most recent blast of snow in Minnesota. We enjoyed a Caribbean Cruise with 5 other friends. It was hard to be away from the girls that long but just made us appreciate them that much more upon our return.

One of the biggest semi-accomplishments since my last post is that Arianna accidentally went poopy on the potty. I say accidentally as our day care mom noticed she was pooping so was quick to get her to sit on the potty. Then when Ari stood up and saw the poop in the potty she repeatedly said how “Nasty, ucky, ewey it was! I totally agree with her, it really is however it would be so wonderful if she thought it was fun to go poopy on the potty! 🙂

The girls are both really big into playing with babies, putting on diapers, feeding them, and putting them to bed.  It is really sweet to watch them play with the babies. They also love playing in their ball pit and cooking in their kitchen and mine. Every Saturday morning they help Daddy make homemade waffles for everyone.

We just recently had our first bout of illness at our house for the winter. It was a rough couple of days with fevers and coughs, missed day care and work. We managed to get in a lot of snuggle time and movies. The girls took morning and afternoon naps, something they haven’t done since they were about 7 months old!

We celebrated their birthday by going to their cousin Andrew’s birthday party who was nice enough to tell everyone that it was really Ari and Brynn’s birthday. Johann was gone fishing so it wasn’t really their party. We have so many birthdays in both families that we are waiting and will possibly have an un-birthday party for them this summer. 🙂

Ari & Brynn helping Daddy make waffes

Time to clean our room


ND Christmas

January 6, 2011

This year my sister, Laurie, and her family were gracious enough to host the chaos that is our family for Christmas.  For us that meant a 630 mile car ride with two almost 2-year olds. We packed up our Envoy almost to the roof and we were off with a 4 am start and 2 pm arrival (not too bad). Our hope was that the girls would immediately fall back to sleep and wake up about the time we hit Fergus Falls, MN for breakfast. Well they didn’t fall back to sleep until 5:30 am and then were up for the day about 30 minute earlier than we expected them to be, cutting their overall sleep short by about 2 hours. We arrived to Minot about 2 pm so that meant no nap either. All things considered they were good sports and impressed Uncle David with the amount of pizza they could consume for dinner that evening.

My nephew Logan gave up his room for us. The girls and I slept on his full sized bed while Daddy slept on the floor. This was quite roomy considering there are times when the three of us share their twin bed. Speaking of I don’t think I’ve mentioned how the girls now sleep in one twin bed. Long story short Ari had a bad dream one night and wanted to sleep with Brynn. Now they don’t want to sleep in separate beds. Tonight I finally got Ari to tell me that she is scared of shadows…thank you Monsters Inc. I think it is super cute that they share a twin bed. I just wish I hadn’t purchased two of them. Well we actually purchased four as the original ones we bought apparently got went this summer in our flood, but we didn’t realize it until we went to use them. Oh well such is life; onward and forward.

Christmas was chaos but it was wonderful to see everyone. There are currently 24 people (12 kids and 12 adults)  in my immediate family and all but 4 of us stayed in one house for three days. My sister Becky and her family slept in Minot but at Jake’s parents place. On Christmas Day my Aunt Cyndy, Aunt Alice & Uncle Ken, Ken & Judy, and Pastor Mike decided they wanted a crazy Christmas as well and joined us. It was an added bonus that I was able to see a few of my Aunts and Uncle.

While in Minot we were able to take the girls downhill sledding for the first time. They loved it. Actually almost all of the kids did, and the adults too. I had Brynn with me and she kept saying, “More Please. Ready. Set GO Mommy!” We had a great system set up where we would ride down sitting up together. Then once at the bottom she would lay down upside down and I would pull her up the hill. Talk about a lucky girl. I cannot wait to take them again. Unfortunately we do not have hills close to us so we have to plan a trip to go sledding unless we just pull them in sleds while snowshoeing like we did last winter but haven’t had a chance yet this year.

The sad part of the trip is that everyone, minus myself ended up getting sick and we came home a day early. That was kind of sad but it was also nice to be home for one day before getting back into the chaos of every day life. The girls ended up being sick off and on from Christmas until New Years Eve. Now however, I think we are on the upswing.  We had a few really rough days where the girls were beyond crabby. I am thankful day care didn’t kick us out as the one day I know was REALLY horrible just the few hours I was with them in the evening. But looking ahead I think we are pretty healthy as I type….but with toddlers that can all change in a flash!

Ari & Brynn

Our Attempt at getting all the Grandkids

Santa even stopped by for a visit

The Day after Christmas...partied too hard?!

Cutest Babies of 2010

January 4, 2011

Just a quick post and then I promise to try to post some up-dates later this week. Ari and Brynn’s photographer is running a cutest baby contest and they are in the competition but losing badly! Please take a minute to vote for these two adorable Princesses! Pass on the word to others to help them catch-up and win. Not that I am competitive in any way shape or form.  HA-HA.  You can only vote once from each computer. However, if you have a work and a home or multiple home ones or even a smart phone you can vote more than once.

Here is a Christmas photo to hold you over until my next post. Not the best expressions but pretty dresses.

We are family! Johann & Ari, Sherry & Brynn