The Best Part of Waking Up

When you dream of having children, you imagine sleepy Sunday mornings full of cuddles, with everyone snuggled up in bed, talking and giggling as you all decide what kind of pancakes you are going to make from scratch for breakfast, and what kind of great adventures you will have that day.  In your head it looks something like this:

Don't they look happy and cozy?

Don’t they look happy and cozy?

And sometimes, it really is that great.  I mean it.  Sometimes the sun is shining and the birds are singing and everyone wakes up happy.  Sometimes the girls climb up in our bed and we all snuggle and talk before going downstairs, where I make gluten free blueberry pancakes for everyone.  And it is wonderful.

Today was not one of those days.

Today started with Laurel crawling into our bed at around 5:30am.  Ellie was already in between us, as she usually is, because she woke up in the middle of the night and I was too tired to put her back in her own bed.  (This is called co-sleeping through laziness, by the way.)  Luckily, Laurel wanted to lay in front of Chev, on the edge of the bed, so Chev wrapped her up in her arms and we all went back to sleep for a bid.  A very little bit.  At around 5:45am Laurel decided she wanted to sleep in the middle of the bed.  The problem, of course, is that Ellie was already there, and unlike so many of my friends’ twins, our girls do not co-exist in a sleeping state.  This is what followed:

Laurel wiggles down between Chev and Ellie, trying to push Ellie out of the way.  Ellie wakes up and whimpers, then sticks her feet against her sister and her back against me and SHOVES.
Laurel:  No Ellie!  No kick-a me!
Ellie kicks her.
Laurel kicks her back.
Laurel:  Sissy, NO!  I no likes it!
Ellie grabs one of Laurel’s “buddies” (Did I mention that Laurel sleeps with an entourage of four stuffed animals?) and tosses it of f of the bed.
Laurel: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!  Dat’s my Merida!
Laurel smacks Ellie and climbs over Chev (who has actually been asleep up to this point), to retrieve her Merida.
Ellie stretches out with a contented sigh.
Laurel climbs back on the bed and body slams her sister.
Laurel:  ELLIE DAT’S MY SPOT!!!!!!!!
Me:  For the love of God, will you two please knock it off??
Ellie sits up and grabs all of Laurel’s buddies and throws them off of the bed.
Laurel starts jumping up and down, screaming incoherently, then manages to fall, knees first, into Chev’s back.
Chev:  AAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!  Oh my God, my back!
Laurel:  hehehehehehehehehe
I sit up and grab Laurel.
Me:  Laurel, that isn’t funny.  You hurt Mommy.  Say you’re sorry.
Laurel:  No!  I can’t!
Me:  Yes, you can.
Laurel:  Stop talking to me.
Ellie crawls over to Chev and gives her big hugs.
Laurel lunges out of my arms, and onto Chev, where she tries to pry Ellie off of her.
Ellie:  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!
Laurel:  MY MOMMY!!
Chev:  Everyone get off of me!
Me:  Oh my God, come on, all of you.
I scoop up both girls and carry them down stairs, where they get cold cereal and gluten free freezer waffles. Chev nurses her wounds before joining us.  I start counting them minutes until I can leave for work.

Happy Sunday, folks!

Ellie is an "H is for Hell" and Laurel is a "Snow Angel."

Ellie is an “H is for Hell” and Laurel is a “Snow Angel.”

A Brave Obsession

My name is Morgan, and I have a birthday party planning addiction.

For the girls’ first birthday, we did a farm theme.  I made 40 cupcakes that looked like various farm animals and set them up around an old toy barn of my brother’s, that I made my mother dig out storage just for the occasion.

You don't want to know how long those cupcakes took to decorate.

You don’t want to know how long those cupcakes took to decorate.

For their second birthday, we did a honey bee theme.  I made honey vanilla cupcakes with little sugar bees on top, bee themed games, and hand fans for all of the guests.

Pin the bee on the hive!

Pin the bee on the hive!

This year Chev and I had agreed on a Little Golden Books theme.  A Shy Little Kitten picnic, Color Kittens sidewalk chalk area, a Saggy Baggy Elephant conga line.  You get the idea.  I had it all planned out, and was just waiting for Chev’s tax return to start buying supplies.

The tax return appeared, like magic, in our checking account three days ago.  Which is the same day that Laurel, out of nowhere, announced that she wanted a Merida birthday party.  Um…what?  Since when do toddlers have opinions about their birthday parties?  Who told my kid she could make such an important decision?  Good-bye, Pokey Little Puppy.  Hello, Angus the Clydesdale.

I don't own this picture.  Please, Disney, don't sue me.

I don’t own this picture. Please, Disney, don’t sue me.

After the initial shock, I did what all normal mothers do…..I checked out Brave-themed parties on Pinterest.  And made a new board.  And started pinning everything in sight, from cellophane wisps to cardboard swords to PVC bows with dowel arrows.  Suddenly I didn’t mind that I have to completely re-plan their party.  Because, lets face it.  I LOVE planning parties.  If only I had the budget to support it.

On July 27th, there will be wisps leading up the walkway to my parents’ front door, which will be sporting a tartan wreath.  Come inside and choose your clan and put on your Merida hair headdress, then meander over to the kitchen where you will find Angus’ Horse Feed.  Imagine, if you will, a cardboard trough filled with popcorn, surrounded by smaller bins filled with lovely things to mix into your popcorn, like peanuts, raisins, M&Ms, and pretzels.  Fill up your plate with carrot and celery arrows, broccoli trees, and tomato boulders.  Try some of the King’s Private Reserve (lemonade) or some water from the Fire Falls.  Then head outside, where the real fun awaits.

Archery!  Yes, that’s right, all of the kids will get a PVC bow and three dowel arrows, and compete in an archery contest.  (Bows and arrows double as party favors.  Parents are going to LOVE me.)  Visit the Crafty Carver and make a bear claw necklace.  Add your own artistic flare to Queen Eleanor’s Chalk Tapestry.  Build your own castle in the sandbox.  Run and scream and have a blast.

Don’t forget to look for the birthday girls, in their kilts and sashes that were made for them by the awesome people at  And join us for some ice cream cake before heading home with your goody bag of Merida stickers, tattoos, and chocolate Teddy Grahams (for the wee bears).