Tanaka Farms 2016

We picked up an extra pumpkin this year at Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch! And a cute one at that.


Our trip to the pumpkin patch this year was pleasant enough, although, (SPOILER), the only truly content one was Meredith. Samantha and Amelia decided they were not putting up with any picture taking shenanigans that day and adamantly refused my requests pathetic pleas to smile at the camera. “FOR GOODNESS SAKES!” I kept yelling. “I BIRTHED YOU, I WIPE YOUR BUMS AND FEED YOU THREE SQUARE MEALS A DAY… THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS FREAKING LOOK AT THE CAMERA.”

Despite my frustration, the twins knew that they had me right where they wanted me and alternated between being cute and laughing whenever I didn’t have my camera out and looking away/frowning/screaming when I did have the camera. They can be positively diabolical sometimes.

I get that it’s nice just enjoy the moments without recording them ad nauseam sometimes, but what they failed to realize is that it’s not easy getting three three-and-unders dressed, pottied, snacked, packed, and out the door, coordinating napping, pumping and mealtime schedules in between. In other words, this was our one family fall pumpkin patch trip and I would stop at nothing for that quintessential fall picture. I mean, objectively speaking, is that so much to ask? Apparently, yes.

I eventually just threw up my hands and walked away from them all in a huff, storm clouds and lightning following me. That seemed to get their attention and the girls tried to make up for it by being sweet the rest of the trip. I agreed to put away the camera and stop forcing smiles and in turn, they agreed to stop smacking each other and use hand sanitizer. Sometimes I feel like I’m negotiating with terrorists. But I’ll take it.

The girls placed votes for their three favorite scarecrows.

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Meredith was thrilled she got to go on her first trip to the pumpkin patch.

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In uncharacteristic fashion, Meredith was screaming during the entire wagon ride around the farm. We thought she would love the bumpy ride, but she seemed scared, poor thing!


Pumpkin cannon. img_0262

My, how they’ve grown.


On a playdate with Grace to the patch, last year.


Can’t get over Amelia and Grace’s cuteness last year.


Kisses for the baby.








The cutest pumpkin in the patch.


Flashback to the pumpkin patch last year with Noah. I’m seeing a trend in moods for Samantha.


They couldn’t resist having fun sticking their heads through the various photo ops.

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Meredith thought the whole poking her head through a pumpkin thing was hilarious.  img_0280

Samantha was just not having it– even for Dora.


We finally got Samantha to smile by switching places with Amelia. Apparently, all she wanted to do was be the red pumpkin?


After waiting an eternity at the food stand for some sketchy tacos and hot dogs (note for next year– pack a lunch), the twins picked out pumpkins for themselves and Meredith. At first, they scanned the field for the biggest (and, hence, most expensive) ones they could find , until we revised the criteria to be limited to what they could pick up themselves.





The three amigas.


We went home with a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins, pumpkin bread and pumpkin butter, which never fails to get everyone in better spirits.

Lots of love,



Meredith 8 Months

Meredith’s 8th month was full of firsts and fun!


Samantha, Amelia and Meredith at 8 months. Meredith is really looking like her own person these days. It’s so fun comparing these three– they are so different! If you’re in need of a laugh, check out Samantha and Amelia at 8 months here.  Good times (and I can’t believe Samantha was crawling so well by her 8 month birthday– Meredith isn’t even close)!


Unfortunately, there will probably be no more milestone block pictures with the correct numbers on them as Meredith loves to occupy herself eating/swiping/throwing them during picture time.


Who, me?


Meredith is HUGE and sported 12-18 (and sometimes 24) month clothes. She started dropping the 3rd nap (Hallelujah!) and slept 11-12 hours at night.



Firsts included Meredith’s first bike ride, first trip to San Diego, first time swimming in the pool, first Utes game, and, sadly, her first time rolling off the bed! Good thing she’s a tough one. img_2435 img_4778

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Meredith started eating finger foods regularly, and my time spent cleaning increased exponentially. Guess it couldn’t be worse than the twins at this age.



Meredith ate Cheerios like there was no tomorrow! She also loved sweet potato, squash, pasta, avocado, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower.

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Meredith devoured 8 pieces of pita bread at Panini Cafe and I was so afraid she was going to get so constipated! I don’t know where it all went, but she was fine. Note the seven tons of basmati rice all over the floor. Understandably, bus boys flee when they see us coming into restaurants.


Meredith’s excursions also included visiting Great Grandpa, co-hosting Allison’s baby shower, chilling at the beach, going raspberry and apple picking, swinging (ALL THE TIME), playing at home, and hanging out at the park with sisters. Meredith also goes along for the ride to the girls’ gymnastics, dance and soccer practices and can’t wait for the day she can join in.



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Now that Meredith is more mobile and interactive, Samantha and Amelia have a blast playing with her and keeping her entertained. She is absolutely bored to tears when they are at preschool and looks at me like, “WHERE IS MY ENTERTAINMENT?”

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Meredith and Maple enviously watched the big kids roast s’mores at the pool.


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Samantha and Amelia are awesome with Meredith and treat her like their own little dolly. Seriously, they get 5 stars all around. It’s cute to see how nurturing and caring they are with her, and they’ve become so much more responsible and grown up as a result. Their favorite thing is to tell all the kids at school (and strangers at the park) that they have a “baby sister named Meredith who is 8 months old.”   Out of the blue, sometimes they’ll say, “I LOVE my baby sister!” and I melt into a puddle.


“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth…because I’m happyyyyyyy!”


I find it hilarious to contrast Meredith with the girls at each stage.


Thinking back to the first year, I always tell people all I remember is 365 days of crying, but I do sometimes wonder if I’m exaggerating about how hard it was. Looking back at pictures confirmed my memories! It was rough!




Occassionally, the twins were in good moods. Like every 1 out of 250 pictures.


No one ever accused Samantha of being skinny.


Samantha the Grump at 8 months.




It’s hard to believe I used to have nothing else to do but chill at the park and watch these two play. Now Meredith is the one observing the chaos.


Good times at the park!


Like the twins, Meredith enjoys the outdoors and wiggles her whole body when I put her in her stroller or Ergo because she knows an outing is coming. She’s just like Bandit!


Meredith started completely rejecting purees this month and pretty much grabbed the spoon out of my hand whenever I would try to feed her. She would either attempt to feed herself, or demand finger foods. Let’s just say it’s been an epically messy month. Bandit was not complaining.



Meredith loves to engage with people and makes friends wherever she goes. The teachers at the girls’ preschool remarked one day at how it brightens their day to see her in the morning. Whenever I walk or jog with her. it’s funny to see the smiles on bikers or joggers coming the opposite way– for a split second, I always think they are saying hi to me, when I realize that Meredith must be giggling at them.  img_0331

Still no teeth or crawling this month. Meredith’s preferred mode of transportation was rolling. Nighttime sleep took a little bit of a downhill detour once she started rolling all over the place in her sleep and woke up disoriented.


Still, I can’t complain. She is a sweetheart and full of personality. Love you, Mer Bear!


Lots of love,


Preschool Happenings

Samantha and Amelia officially started their first day of separate classes for fall preschool the week after Labor Day. They had a week break between summer and fall, so when we returned, we kind of started all over again as far as separation anxiety at drop off. The twins were screaming and clinging to my legs, but, as per the usual, by the time I made it to my car, they were all smiles as they waved goodbye from the gate. Every week got progressively easier and now the girls don’t even come to the gate to wave goodbye when I drive out of the parking lot… tear!

First day of fall preschool! The school requires uniforms during the normal school year and I wasn’t sure how uniforms were going to go, but the girls actually love having special “school clothes.” I’m loving that it makes deciding what to wear so much easier. I edited their school name out so it didn’t show up online, but the embroidery is super cute!


The fall marked the first time the girls would be separated into their own classes. I was nervous, but decided separating them now would make it easier than later on. The other factor was that I wanted the girls to be treated as individuals instead of a unit, and being in separate classes would make this so much easier for them to blossom and for the teachers to get to know them. I figured the alone time would be good for them, too, since they are together 24/7!

They play together on the playground at recess before and after the morning session, so the girls still get to see each other before going to their separate classes. The first day, Samantha had a hard time and kept asking Miss Holly where Amelia was. She was upset a few times the first week, but once the teachers showed her that she could look over the little half wall that divided their classrooms and see Amelia anytime she wanted, she was happy. Amelia was pretty much fine from day one! The teachers tell me they like to peek over the wall at each other, wave, and then go back to their stuff. Melts my heart! I am so happy they have each other at school to have each other’s backs and comfort one another.


When we go home for lunch, the twins usually gab on and on to each other about what they did in class, which kids they played with, what the snack was, and which kids were “naughty” and had to be moved to different tables! It’s hilarious hearing their conversations and it’s been nice that they have a sense of ownership over their classes. I’ve really seen their individual personalities blossom so much the past month.

Their favorite thing to do is talk about what they teacher said in class and they are always comparing… and sometimes making things up.

Amelia: “MY teacher says to keep your hands to yourself.”

Samantha: “Well, MY teacher says I DON’T have to keep my hands to myself!”

Their conversations are priceless.


Back to School Night was a fun opportunity to talk with their teachers and see their classrooms more in depth. Samantha and Amelia were excited to show us the crafts they had been working on and the pictures posted of them around the classroom.

Samantha won an award in Miss Holly’s class for being a “Good Circle Time Citizen” (not sure what that is, but she was proud!) and Miss Becky told me how surprised she was when Amelia was able to guess the ending of a book they were reading in class. When she asked how she knew, Amelia told her it was because she had made an educated guess based on the book’s cover. I guess all those pre-reading skills I used to teach the junior high kids have been trickling down?

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Their favorite parts of preschool are the crafts (obviously) and snack time. Samantha especially loves her class because one of the teachers sings and plays the guitar, and she always tells me what they sang that day, her favorites being Yankee Doodle and My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean. They always eagerly inform me at pickup what they ate for snack, who the Helper of the Day was, and whether they had any projects in their cubbies to take home. Both were really excited to be the Helper of the Day for the first time and be in charge of bringing the snacks (they opted for yogurt parfaits their first go around), and bringing their Share Item. The girls picked one of their Shutterfly baby picture books and told their class all about how “Sammy was born first and Amelia was sitting on top of her!”

The only issue with the Helper of the Day was that Amelia was scheduled a week before Samantha, and Samantha threw a complete fit all day long about not being the Helper that day. She understandably had no concept of scheduling, and how long a week later for her turn would be, but I guess it’s better they learn early on that they’re not always going to do everything together! Samantha was overjoyed when her day finally came and was beaming from ear to ear at school.



While Samantha and Amelia are emotional with the transition at dropoff, Meredith absolutely loves dropoff and pickup time. All the kids rush over to her to say hi and we’re usually detained 10 or 15 minutes while the teachers take turns talking to her. She eats it up! Two of the teachers have told me that Meredith makes their day every time they see her– she is so cheery and bright! Meredith is frightfully bored with me at home the three mornings a week the girls are at preschool and can’t wait to pick them up.


A few weeks ago, I volunteered in Amelia’s class to help Miss Becky out with a few class projects. I assisted the kids with some finger painting for a class plate they were making and we painted paper plate Frankenstein monsters. Amelia looked surprised when she saw me, but interestingly, wasn’t clingy and pretty much ignored me the whole time, until it was her turn to come to the projects with me. When I peeked over at Sammy in the other class, she was quiet and very reserved in class, just like Amelia. They were COMPLETELY different in class than the loud, crazy tornadoes they are at home.

It was so fun seeing what she does in class and meeting the other kids– they are adorable and I had fun working with them! We sang some Halloween themed songs and Miss Becky taught the kids about the life cycle of the pumpkin in addition to their normal routine and our art projects– a fun day!


Since Samantha and Amelia’s classes are separated by a little half wall, I kept peeking over to see what Samantha was up to in her class. I thought for sure she would see or hear my voice, but she didn’t realize I was in Amelia’s class until she saw me come out at recess. It was tantrum central and nonstop tears for the rest of the day.

Amelia didn’t rub it in too much. Although I tried explaining I would come into Samantha’s class another day soon, she was cantankerous throughout the day at home.”I WANT YOU TO COME TO MY CLASS!!!!!”  #twinlife.

Lots of love,


(No) Sick Days

The last two weeks of September were not our finest moments of 2016. First, the twins came down with a cold that wasn’t severe enough to curb their energy levels too much, but was bad enough that I kept them home from preschool for a day and we pretty much stayed at or near home for the rest of the week while they recovered. I like staying home, but there’s something about being forced to be at home that makes everyone go stir crazy. Let’s just say the days were long!

After a week of being constantly informed that, “I HAVE SNOT! I NEED A TISSUE!” Samantha and Amelia slowly regenerated to normal energy levels (read: bouncing off the walls) and desperately needed to get out of the house/back to their regular scheduled programming. Just when they were on the upswing, Meredith and I caught the dreaded disease and felt miserable together. Cue another week of chicken noodle, tomato, and potato leek soup on repeat.

As everyone knows, there ain’t no sick days for momma, so I dragged my pitiful self around, trying to keep the twins alive and Meredith comforted. The poor thing needed to get a nice steaming next to the shower every few hours because she was so congested. Still, she was remarkably happy for being up all night and sneezing all day.

Jake was the sole survivor and entertained me by texting memes during the week, while I alternated between feeling very sorry for myself and thinking, “C’MON, SNAP OUT OF IT!”




Despite being holed up at home, it gave us an excuse to cuddle up and watch movies, read books, play board games and just hang out. If it weren’t for the coughing, congestion, and general sense of doom and gloom, it would have been quite pleasant!

Lots of garage playroom time.


The twins generally felt well enough to play at the neighborhood park for twenty minutes, after which they were cranky, achy, tired, and in dire need of chicken noodle soup. Either that, or I ran out of tissues and we had to go home.

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Something on my face? Who, me?


One benefit of having no agenda for the day was that the girls had to use their creativity skills to keep busy.

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Our saving grace while I was feeling sick was having a little bit of rest time while the girls were at preschool. Meredith, of course, was bored to tears, and was always so happy to pick up the twins!


I call it, “Maniacal Baby Troll Doll Murders Berries.”


When we were too tired to go to the park, but getting cabin fever inside, we caught up on some much-needed gardening. We harvested buckets of tomatoes, green peppers, and zucchini, which unfortunately didn’t fare that well due to a caterpillar invasion. The twins helped me catch them all and we drowned them in soapy water– without remorse.

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After the girls had gotten over their cold, but while Meredith and I were in the beginning stages of feeling horrible, I dragged myself out to take the girls to their gymnastics evaluation. Not sure what they did to earn their medal, but they were proud! Ever since they watched Team USA during the Olympics, they have a renewed zeal for gymnastics and tell me it’s their favorite class.

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All dressed for Game Day one weekend.




So many simple moments hanging out together… maybe the end of September wasn’t that bad after all?

Lots of love,