Be My Valentine!
No one is safe!  Not even Stella!
O’Neal on the attack
Trey on the attack!

Mammaw and the boys
Trolley funny business

The Chattanooga Choo Choo

We have had a good start to the new year. The boys truly love holidays. O’Neal is constantly asking me which one comes next. At this point he knows that after Valentines, the Leprechaun is coming for a visit, then the Easter Bunny. I have said it before, holidays are a big deal to me. Say what you will about most of them being commercial… I don’t buy up every valentine or Easter egg, but I do love the excitement that my kids have with each coming holiday. I guess I remember how excited I got during the holidays and birthdays. My parents did an awesome job of making us feel special, I just want to pay it forward to my kids. It really doesn’t have to cost anything. Funny thing is the most talked about holiday in my house is St. Patrick’s Day. Last year it cost me maybe 2 bucks, and the boys remember every detail. The excitement on their little faces was priceless! I used green food coloring to color the milk, squirted a few drops in the toilet to make the water green. Put on green lipstick and accused the leprechaun of messing up my lipstick and some green jelly beans on the table with a clover note from Louis the Leprechaun. That Leprechaun and Santa are running in a tight race! I need to tell Santa to stop spending on the toys, that all he needs is food coloring to get the boys excited ;) I told them that we were going to try to trap him this year and O’Neal protested. He didn’t want the Leprechaun to get stuck, if he did , he would not get any jelly beans! Hilarious!

For Valentines/President’s day weekend we went up to Chattanooga with my parents. The Friday before we left Atlanta got 4 inches of snow. We all had a blast playing in it! Needless to say the boys picked up my saying right before a snowball was pelted their way “you are going down, down to Chinatown!”. They loved chasing us and throwing back at us. As good parents should, we showed no mercy! It was a full on attack from both sides that led to a boat load of laughter! O’Neal’s guttural laughter was almost a little criminal when a ball of snow came our way. It melted the next day and we headed up to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. We spent one night in the train car hotel and the next in a normal hotel room. The boys thought the train car was cool, but were irritated that the wheels were “locked”. The hotel was neat. The lobby is the original train station terminal. They had an early 1900s New Orleans trolley that rode around the property. The boys were very excited that they got to ring its bell! We also went to Ruby Falls, amazingly the Mcrotten bros did awesome. It was a mile long walk in the caverns to see the falls. All in all it is getting more and more fun to travel with them. I am sure that there are a lot of good times to come! Can’t wait for Spring!


Fun in the leaves!Time for Cake!Toy Story Cake and not for profit actorsThe Partay tableKids table2009 Bauer ChristmasCarriage Ride in Central ParkTrey and Uncle CritterBilly Elliot!  Awesome show!!Dinner before the show!Christmas in NYCBreakfast with the charactersBuzzlight yearMickeys Very Merry Christmas PartyDisney WorldDumboLove you PlutoNight on the town, Epcot that is…Pappa Papparazzi!  I’m your biggest fan I follow u until you love me!The Boys with tha MouseThe Boys and MinnieStitch has met his matchWhale Riders!Wild AnimalsThe Evil Emperor Zurg

Infamous Garbage TruckChristmas MorningChristmas Craziness in EllijayShaving like daddyJa,mn with daddy

Mommy’s little Bakers

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  This holiday season was truly a magical one at the Maison de Williams.  It was the best one yet!  The boys were bouncing off the wall the entire month of December waiting for Kris Kringle to slide down the chimney and bring them toys.  They asked Santa for “Green Garbage Trucks”.  After they asked Santa, he looked at me and said “they asked for Green Garbage Trucks” with a hint of disbelief.  “Yes, Santa they want Garbage Trucks!”  Santa delivered and then some.  The boys bolted down the stairs to see what Santa had left them.  O’Neal blurted out “OH MY GOD” when he saw all the presents under the tree.  OK, I definitely not proud of what he said.  Guess I need to sweep up in my language department still.  Trey bounced up and down and said “Santa has been here!  Santa has been here!!”

We haven’t stopped since Halloween.  The week after Halloween, we had our fun filled annual trip to Disney with my brothers, sister in laws, niece and nephews, and my parents.  The boys were adrenaline junkies!  They rode Thunder Mountain 4 times in a row at night!  Good thing I like roller coasters!  After our return we celebrated cousin CJ’s 2nd birthday Toy Story Style!  He is getting to the age where he wants to hang with his “big” cousins. Lord I hope he doesn’t pick up any of their bad habits!  On Thanksgiving we spent time with the Atkinson family, The Garretts, and Grandma Vi.  The boys love spending time with all of their cousins.  We then headed south again for our annual Bauer Christmas.  As always, fun was had by all!  After a small break, the Bauer women, and family friends headed to NYC for “record” snow filled Christmas weekend getaway.  17 Southern women taking over NYC!  It was a lot of fun!!  Christmas morning we opened the boys presents, then spent the day with Uncle Tommy and Uncle Larry.  We had breakfast, lunch, and a lot of snacks together!  After that we headed to Ellijay for dinner with my family.  We have had so much fun, but I can say I am beyond EXHAUSTED and my pants are begging me to return to healthier eating and to go back to the gym!!!  Looking forward to our last trip of the year to DC!  Sorry for all the pix, it has been a long time since I posted last! :)

1st Movie

Apple Festival fun

Breakn’ the iceMe and my boysEye balln’Happy FacePouty faceSmoochesSmiln’The pouty familyBuzz and Woody

We have already started busy season in the the Williams abode.  Lots of fun things are around the corner and have already passed…  Took the boys to their first movie a couple of weeks ago with my parents.  Not very often there is a G rated movie out there for them to see.  We saw Toy Story in 3D.  They loved it!  We went on a weekday after school.  We were the only people in the theater!  Bonus!

We went to the Apple Festival last weekend with a bunch of our friends.  All the kids had a blast together!  It was adorable watching them ride their big wheels around the Ellijay Motor Speedway (mom and dad’s wrap around porch).  They are at the age where they love board games.  They played Break the Ice several times.  They are growing up so fast!  When we came home, it was another rain festival here in Atlanta.  We played every board game known to preschoolers and watched every Halloween related cartoon.  The boys loved It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  O’Neal howled in joy when Snoopy would laugh.  Just like I used to do when I watched it as a kid.  Yes, I know scary!  He is me with testosterone.  I am in so much trouble.  He and I had a ton of fun making faces and taking pictures on the bus ride back to our car from the Apple Festival.  Enjoy!

O’Neal kissed a little girl in school today.  It was so darn cute, I asked him why he did it and he said “because I love her”.  Then he shocked Josh and I at the dinner table and cited the entire Pledge of the Allegiance out of the blue.  Funny how quickly they are learning things.  They are so excited about Halloween.  We decorated the house with spiders and pumpkins.  Ever since, they are running around singing “Pumpkin Halloween”.  We have practiced trick or treating several times.  They knock on the door and practice saying trick or treat and thank you when they get their treat.  This year it is going to be a good one!  I can’t wait!

 River Fun!

Homely Little FolksHot Rodn’ O’NealLet’s Race!Trey Milkn’ ButtercupO’Neal Milkn’ ButtercupWagon RideTrey the Hill BillyRacing Brothers!Tractor TreyO’Neal SlideTrey SlideRiverReading with BobbaElla and Uncle JoshPickn’ with big Cousin Evan

We went to the mountains again this weekend and spent time with the extended family.  A couple of weekends ago the 4 of us went alone for a family retreat.  We all had a nice time picking apples and relaxing in the hills.  This time we went up Saturday and met aunts, uncles, cousins and such.  There was a total of 17 people up there, crazy, but fun!  We all made a trip to the Hillcrest Orchards down the street from my parents mtn. house.  We picked some more apples, the boys milked a cow, raced some John Deere tricycles, went on a wagon ride and watched some cute little piglets race.  That afternoon we walked down to the Cartecay River with all the kiddos.  The boys walked to whole way there and back.  Big deal for their little feet to walk that far with all the hills.  It wore us all out!  Poor O’Neal had his meltdown of the century after all of that.  Poor little guy just lost it.  Needless to say he was in bed VERY early today!  It is so cute to watch all the kids play together.  It is funny how the little ones look up to the older ones.

Rescue HeroesDapper Dons

Batdude!My boots onCaverns in VACool Do!!Motorcycle cop TreyHershey, PADoes his breath stink?Mayport FerryLaney Dressed upBOOM BOOM POW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Policeman and spideySpidey in the Barbie JeepSt. AugustineMuscle menO’Neal at 4th ParadeMommy and DaddyCookie MonsterCookie Monster deuxFamily pic attemptFlower boysHandsome dudesMeggie and TreyBoys with Father GabeTrey 4th of July ParadeGreat Great Uncle JackThe Bride and GroomTrey bear sleepingLil Boot sleepingVisit to see Delphine in Fairfaxles amiesCousinsSistasParade spoilsSanta and The CowDouble Trouble at Lurray CavernsJuly B-daysCutest Kiddos Ever!!

Here are some of my favorite shots from this summer!  We had such a good time, trips to the beach, Shannon’s beautiful wedding, visit to see Delphine and Patrick, and the Sullivan family and a ton of dress up!  It has come to an end, but these pix will last forever!!

 Tantalus Drive Overlooking Honolulu

Black Beach

Blow HoleCrater LakeCrater LakeHorseback riding in mtns of Northern Big IslandJosh paddle boardingJosh and the giant leaves!Josh and The VOLCANO!!!Luau fun!Acting Nutty“The IslandNewest Piece of the USSomewhere OVER the RainbowThe Smooch!If you like Pina ColadasYUMMY!Coconut Island, HiloSub at Pearl HarborSweet RideTop of the World!! You can do it!View from top of Diamond HeadView From Fairmont Orchid LobbyWaterfallWaterfall #2Waterfall#3Black Sand Beach TurtlesAloha Mommy!

So here are several pix from our trip, since some of you that read this are not on Facebook.  Josh and I had an absolute blast!  Horseback riding, Snorkeling with Sea turtles, and Active Volcanos OH MY!!

We flew into Hawaii on a Thursday afternoon and stayed to the following Friday night.  We spent two nights in Waikiki/Honolulu and saw all the sights on Oahu.  We visited Pearl Harbor our first day.  It was incredibly sobering.  After that we headed up the Oahu coast up to the North Shore.  All I can say is stunning!  The beaches were gorgeous and the sea turtles were plentiful.  We went to a quiet beach where they film Lost, you can see the Island in the background in one of the pix.  We got to spend some alone time with two sea turtles.  It was pretty funny a Pit Bull walked past us and proceeded to urinate on one of them…  Josh and I reacted appropriately, like little school children.  We laughed so hard we cried…  Protected sea turtles that humans can’t get too close to and a dog wee wees on it, priceless.  Poor Josh had already seen everything, but because of the small amount of time we had in Oahu, I made him see everything in two days!  We even hiked Diamond Head.  It was spectacular at the top, so glad we did it!  Waikiki was neat, but way too touristy for me.  That Sunday we flew back into The Big Island and spent the night at the Volcano House.  We woke up the next morning to breath taking views of the Active Volcano, Kiluea Crater.  We spent the whole day touring the volcano sights.  We did a 4 mile hike on the Kiluea Crater Lake.  It was pretty tough, glad I’d been working out!  We saw lava tubes and walked across a lake of hardened lava.  That night we walked out about 3/4 of a mile on very uneven hardened lava to view the lava flowing out to the ocean to create new land.  It exploded like fireworks when it hit the water, very cool!!  Josh and I both were equally impressed and man did my legs hurt that night.  We estimated that we walked about 8 miles that day on uneven surfaces.  We then spent the night in Hilo.  It was very interesting…  It was like walking back in time.  The town was built up with the hopes of tourists flocking to it, but it never happened.  We drove to several waterfalls and saw the Botanical Gardens.  It was like nothing I have ever seen.  I am not typically one to get into flowers and vegetation, but wow!!  We then headed for an incredible drive to the Kohala Coast.  There would be a beautiful waterfall on one side of the road and the other side was the vast blue ocean.  Monday we checked into the Fairmont Orchid, in my opinion Paradise :)  We were there because Josh was awarded a Top Achiever.  Naturally, I am super proud of him.  He is awesome at what he does!!  It was his company’s way of saying thank you.  I must say they did an extraordinary job.  They paid for us to fly there and four nights at the Orchid..  During the day was free time and all the nights except Tuesday we had dinner arrangements.  We did a Luau Tuesday night.  It was really impressive, loved the lava flows (pina colada with strawberry puree).  One of the nights the company had arranged a picnic next to the ocean with a band.  We showed up and picked up a picnic basket, blanket and bottle of wine.  NICE!!  We flew home that Friday on the red eye and got home Saturday afternoon.  We were super excited to see the little monkeys.  I think they missed us.  They did not want me to ever go back to Hawaii!  Keeping my fingers crossed, it is Monte Carlo next year!!

O’NealTrey BearLuke DukeKid TableTy Ty and Ella

Scooby jump houseScooby CakeScooby PinataGrabbn the goodsBlow em out!Here’s to 4Scooby PartyMommy and DaughterPoledancer CJElla Bella

Present time!!!!!!Help From Big Cousin EvanWanna Be TwinsTyler zip lineO’Neal Zip LineTrey Zip LineAfta tha party there’s an afta party

You look like a monkey and smell like one too!  Haven’t really pushed this song on the boys, why?  Because they are boys!  What do little boys love?  Anything that smells is HILARIOUS…  They are constantly being punished for saying “poopy” head and “pee pee” head.  They laugh when they pass gas and instantly blame it on their brother.  Where did they get this, is it ingrained?  I know only the beginning right?

On to nicer topics.  The boys turn 4 on Tuesday the 1st and I am still in shock that we have made it this far.  Wow, it has been some kind of roller coaster ride.   They are really little dudes now…  All traces of baby are gone and they are forming the little personalities that will carry on with them through life.  That is a lot of pressure for a mommy to handle. Trying to make sure that their memories of childhood are good ones and that I am not remembered as the witch I sometime feel like I am to them.  Those kids know how to stir up some trouble!  That is the thing with twins, individually they are sweet little boys.  Together they are conspiring partners in crimes.  They bounce bad ideas off one another and see them through to fruition.  On a positive note have noticed a trend in them playing much nicer with one another.  It is like a light bulb went off that “oooh I have a built in best friend, cool”.  Don’t get me wrong, they still fight like cats and dogs!!  I am separating them this year at school.  A hard thing to do, but certainly necessary.  Trey’s speech should improve and they will not be together 24/7.  Trey and O’Neal practice twins speak.  They have their own language together and both throughly understand what the other is saying.  Trey has a hard time deciphering the speech he can use with us and individually with his twin bro.  When his therapist works with him, he speaks so clearly.  When he is with his bro, all signs of improvement go out the door!

Their party was a lot of fun!  They LOVE Scooby Doo and I am thrilled.  Scooby was my fave as a kid.   They watch the same episodes that I watched.  It is a little bittersweet, makes me miss my sweet Bacchus.  I love that dog and still miss her dearly.  I just sprouted a tear just thinking about her.  She was my Scoob.  Whoever wrote and directed the cartoons must have had a great dane! We had a Scooby Jump house and lots of Scooby Snacks.  As always, the boys got way too many toys and presents.  This was the first year that they really loved opening their presents.  We waited till it was only family to open the gifts simply because 4 year olds are so darn honest…  I even did a disclaimer for the family that was there, that I in no way had any responsibility for their reactions…   Good thing because  gift opening can always get interesting with them.  Their parties are always big, but we want to include all the people that helped us to get to this point, friends and family alike.  We have been so blessed with all the help we have gotten from friends and family in the past 4 years.

Summer is coming to an end.  They start back to school September 8th and I am thrilled and sad at the same time.  We have had a wonderful summer.  We have been to the beach, gone to a wedding, gone to visit Delphine and Patrick in Fairfax, Lesley, Mark and crew in PA,VBS, camps galore, and spent lots of quality time with the grandparents and other family counterparts.  I think it will take several weeks to get back in the groove of schedule living.  Starting in October, things start to fly for us.  In November and December alone there will be no free weekends.

I haven’t posted in a while, I know.  I get so behind in my posts that I want to make up for what I missed, then it is too overwhelming to try to go back and start from the beginning.  I will add some pictures later to highlight our summer.  Hope everyone is doing well and is enjoying their last days of summer!

 Smores BABY!!

Here we go!

This is Cool!!!

Wire Walker

Ropes Course!

The Fam

Mommy and her Crazy Kids

Hangn’ eatin banana breadGet Ready, Get Set, THROW!!

Josh and I took the boys to Stone Mountain this past weekend for our first family camping trip.  Yes, I know some of you are snickering at the thought of me camping.  Grimace all you want, we all had a blast!!  Now mind you, I wasn’t in a tent.  I was in the Taj Ma Pop Up as we call it.  Fitted with an A/C unit and two king sized beds :)   We got there Friday afternoon.  We set up, ate dinner and then most importantly made smores.  Needless to say those were a hit!!  The boys were so excited, they didn’t go to bed until 11:00 PM.

The next morning we used our “Adventure” passes.  We did the kiddie version of the Sky Hike, an adventure course for Preschoolers.  O’Neal said to me, “mommy this is cool”.  Priceless…   It was actually pretty difficult.  Walking on wires,  climbing large rope structures, zip lines, def. not for scardy cats.  Then we headed up the Sky Lift to the top of the mountain.  It was such a beautiful day we could see all around the Atl.  Then we did the Great Barn (a huge indoor play place) and headed back to camp for much needed  naps.  After feeding the ducks, wagon rides, and sipping on Icees we headed back to the Great Barn for more fun and the Laser Show.   The boys thought the fireworks were super cool!  Neither one of them wanted to leave Sunday morning.  A good time was had by all, we will do it again for sure!

I am truly blessed to have two beautiful little boys.  I truly believe that God gave me them to make me see the “other side” of life.  I was such a girly girl that I had no clue what to expect with boys.  It has made me branch out of my “girly” shell on many occasions and for that I am incredibly grateful :)  Also, I think Josh was spared to not have any more drama.  I think he has all he can handle with me :)

 My Lil Swashbucklers

Blackbeard the PirateRedbeard the Pirate

Dress Up time. A couple of Bovines, Santa, and Batman OH MY!!

There has been a lot of Swashbucklin going on at our house recently.  O’Neal and Trey like to pretend that they are pirates.  Their ship is on our playground.  Luckily we have two steering wheels for my little scurvy dogs. They pull up to their pirate lair, then push me down the slide and make me walk the plank.  They love playing with me. If I tell them I am scared they take off their hats and say “don’t worry mommy, I O’Neal or I Trey”.  It is so adorable!

We are having a good summer so far.  The boys had VBS last week and my friend Valerie, her 16 month old twins, and 3.5 year old stayed  with us.  They are moving to Rwanda soon for approx. 3 years. The boys had a good time with their buddy Riley, but got a little disgruntled with “Riley’s babies”.  Trey, Riley and O’Neal  got along so nicely.  I was surprised that the boys didn’t mind sharing…  Hard to believe we had 5 boys under one roof…  We laughed at the fact at the next time that she, Delphine and I got together we would all have 8 sons between all of us.  I am going to miss them all dearly.  I don’t think I could take another good friend moving.

Yes, Santa still makes an appearance daily :)

 Swan Coach HouseShower mania

We’ve only just bejun!

Quelle Surprise!!

Champagne!

CruisnTriple ThreatGirlz

Sweet ride

Our Spoils

The Whole lot of usShopped till we dropped

Wish they would start a reality show for seasoned shoppers, my family would most definitely win hands down…  Saturday we celebrated my cousin Shannon’s upcoming wedding at the Swan Coach House in Atlanta.  A perfect “ladies only” spot for a celebration!  After lunching we headed to our first Marshall’s.  Much to the Bride to be’s surprise we picked her up there in a stretch hummer limo to cruise to as many TJ Maxxs and Marshalls that 4 chauffeured hours would allow.  I think ended up going to 3 TJ Maxxs and 3 Marshalls.  I am having a hard time remembering, it is a little bit of a blur :)  We would infiltrate the stores and would divide and conquer, all 13 of us.   While we rode from store to store we sipped on Champagne and other spirited refreshments.  After a hard day of shopping we ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  Everyone was so whipped that they took their cheesecake home with them.  All I know is I don’t want to see another TJ Maxx or Marshalls  for at least a couple more hours ;)  I am very excited about the wedding, my family does know how to throw a good party!  Best wishes to Shannon!  We are all just thrilled for her and Tony.

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