Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prayers Needed

A few days ago, I was directed to a blog of a little girl, Layla Grace, battling cancer. I could go on and sum up their blog - but I'd rather just direct you to it. I'm sure she and her family could use any prayers you could spare in these final moments..

http://laylagrace.org/

Seriously?!

You would think three weeks of being sick would be punishment enough, right? I had bronchitis and a sinus infection at the same time. Just as I'm finally starting to feel better, my ribs started hurting. And by hurting, I mean debilitating, throbbing pain, plus swelling. So I called the triage nurse today, because three days of random pain isn't fun - and she said it is highly likely that I've broken a rib coughing! I'll go in tomorrow for an x-ray to make sure that it isn't too serious (like, poking organs), but other than that, there is nothing they can do.

Do you know how hard it is to pick up a toddler with a broken rib? I have NO idea how I'm going to get the girls in their cribs tonight. Catapult? Ladder? Who knows.

Anyway, make sure you head over to my giveaway blog - and if I have enough time, I'll post another guest blogger entry.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Giveaway

Hop on over to my Giveaway Blog for a totally awesome $30 gift card to Bazzle Baby!

She Walks!

You guys hit the nail on the head - Natalie took her first steps with a walker yesterday. This is huge progress for her! We were playing in the playroom and I saw her stand up at the stroller, look surprised that it moved, and then moved out into the hallway with it. I had to run and grab my camera, throw in a memory card, and pray the battery held out long enough to tape her. She only took a few steps before my camera died - but she ended up walking more all night long.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

So Proud!

Can anyone guess why I am SO PROUD of Natalie?!

Decisions, Decisions

Ok, so CSN Stores is giving me a product of my choice to review, and do a giveaway, and I am having a hard time choosing! I really don't want/need anything for me or the house, so I figured I'd get it for the girls. I found this cute book sling and picnic table. Which would you choose? Or is there something else from one of their many stores that I should get instead? I was also thinking of a new kids bedding - I might redo the girls' room this summer.

Guest Blogger

My guest blogger today is Julie from Farber Family Adventures - click below to visit her blog.
Farber Family Adventures


I am going to bring myself back about 8 or 9 months. I was sitting in my OB's office with my husband who was crossing his fingers to hear a 3 letter word. I was crossing my fingers waiting to hear a 4 letter word. I knew I wanted to hear that my baby was healthy and had 10 fingers and 10 toes but honestly, why were we really here? "I see girl parts. Yup!". And the tech wrote on my baby's ultrasound snapshot: G-I-R-L. My husband smiled. He wanted a boy, but was just a little scared to have a girl. I, on the other hand, went shopping for pink frilly items and baby dresses at the first free moment I got after that appointment.

I am not sure I have climbed off of cloud 9 even 4 and a half months after Hailey's birth. Being a mom has been difficult, but I don't think words can express how "worth it" it is even through those tough moments. My little girl continues to surprise me every day. Her accomplishments, while so typical, are amazing. The first time she rolled over, I was sure that she was the only baby to ever do that. I wonder, is every mother in such awe by their little one?

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Here is something I wrote on my blog when Hailey was 10 weeks old:


"You know how moms are biased about those things. Is it bad that I honest to God think that she is the most adorable baby there is? Is it also bad that I have convinced myself that she is the most advanced child? It began as a joke when she "held" her bottle at 6 days old and now I truly have myself believing that I have a genius on my hands.
Here are some examples of my craziness:
Case: Hailey holds her neck and head up
Mom: Hailey is as advanced as a 4 month old! Nah, 6 month old!

Case: Hailey lifts her head and upper body while on her tummy at the doctors
Mom: Hailey is ready to crawl, perhaps walk

Case: Hailey is cooing
Mom: She'll probably start talking soon. I'm pretty sure she already
said "Mama".

Case: Hailey smiles whenever we sing the ABCs
Mom: Where is the pre-school paperwork? She's going to get a full ride
scholarship into Sidwell."

So, what do you think? Am I a crazy infatuated mother? I have to assume that ya'll are just as crazy about your children...I just might take it to the extreme. I promise, for my daughter's sake, I will leave my stage mother traits at the door!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wipes?

I spent 10 minutes searching the house for the wipes - apparently, the girls wanted them "warmed"





The fashionable way to wear jammies - like a cape

Guest Blogger

Heather from 3 Under 3 is my guest blogger today. Her adorable identical twin girls were born a few weeks after mine, and she was my labor buddy. She also has a 3 year old - a true Super Mom!



Someone asked me if I had been watching any of the Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, TV has fallen by the wayside. I know everything that has ever gone on with The Imagination Movers and can translate Curious George speak with ease, but Olympics? Not so much.

However, I have been competing in some events that should make it to some sort of parental Olympics.


1. Trying to change a 16 month-old's diaper. Bonus points if you can keep the other 16 month-old from taking the wipes and eating them while trying to keep someone's hands out of the poop.

2. Breathing treatments! This includes the chase to catch the toddler before the treatment, trying to get very active toddlers to sit still for a good 10 minutes, and of course keeping the other toddler from disconnecting the oxygen tubing during said treatment.

3. Wiping runny noses. I get that their noses are sore from the constant running and wiping, but wow. This now includes hurdling toys to catch toddler and cat-like reflexes to keep up with the quick head turns while wiping.

4. Trying to cook a healthy, delicious, allergen-free meal while two 16 month-olds try to climb up your legs and a 3 year-old yells, "I don't want chicken. I just want cheese and strawberries. NOW." Bonus points if you can keep your kids from throwing said meal on the floor during dinner. Gold medal if they actually eat the meal.

5. Administering medication to a toddler without wearing any yourself or having to mop the floor afterward.

6. Spending 15 minutes dressing a 3 year-old in multiple layers, snow pants, hats, gloves, scarves and boots to go play in the snow. Only for the child to come back in 5 minutes later saying they are bored and want hot chocolate.

7. Trying to shovel the entire driveway while two 16 month-olds nap and a 3 year-old throws snowballs at you.

8. Bath time with three young children. Bonus points for not having to towel up a thin layer of bath water off the floor afterward.

9. Getting the 3 year-old off to preschool in time. This entails bottles of formula and diaper changes for the twins, breakfast for the three of them, making sure Charlotte is dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed, giving two breathing treatments, and wiping up spilled apple juice. Oh, the kicker is to do it all in 70 minutes. Bonus points if you can actually get yourself dressed and teeth brushed prior to leaving. Gold medal for getting the wheezing 16 month-old to the pediatricians also.

10. As a parent, just trying to get seven straight hours of sleep.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wish List Wednesday



I'm saving up my swagbucks to buy a photography backdrop stand from Amazon. Right now, I drape fabric from my kitchen island in front of the sliding glass window. Except Audrey has figured out how to pull said fabric down, and wear it like a cape.

I also want a faux wood mat to use, along with a piece of white moulding.

I'll also need a plethora of seamless paper or fleece fabric to use as backdrops.

And finally, I'd like for the internet at work not to suck so much. It took me about ten minutes to finally pull up a picture of Gavrilo Princip to show my class. Almost every other page I go to looks like this:

Want to play along? What things do you want? Write a post, grab the Wish List Wednesday button here:




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Party in Natalie's Crib

Last night, I took my cough syrup with coedine and settled into bed around 9 pm - hoping for a long, restful night's sleep. But Natalie had another idea - she had a party in her crib last night.

3:30 AM
Natalie: "Audy? Audy? Momma? Momma? Puppy? Puppy? Tiggle Tiggle (the cat)! Gampa (grandpa)? Baby? Duck quack quack?"

Apparently, she was looking for other guests to invite to her party. So she decided to sing.

Natalie: "A B C D E F G M O P S T" - her own rendition of the alphabet

When singing didn't work, she resorted to theatrics.

Natalie: "WOW! Ohhh, wow! Mmmmm, yum. Whoa-ee! Yeah!"

The Wow-ing went on for about 10 minutes before she started to kick the wall next to her crib, and I was fearful she'd wake up the Grump sleeping in the crib next to her. So I went in and got her a sippy, and she finally went back to sleep.

Let's hope she sleeps better tonight!

Guest Blogger

My guest blogger today is Natalie, from One Pork Chop. Our girls are around the same age, so we've been blog friends for quite some time. Her blog is pure comedy gold, you really need to check it out. Plus, she has some mad photoshop skillz.

Bath time is always an experience in my house. Now that my child is no longer confined to her bath seat, she’s free to explore the depths of our household tub. She splishes. She splashes. She soaks everything within a 2 mile radius. She’s learned how to squirt water from her bath toys and giggles when her bath doll pees on the floor. She likes to stand and slip a little so she can give me a heart attack. Then she falls on her butt and further soaks our drywall. I’m sure we’ll have mold soon.


Her latest antics, however, are a bit...shall we say, concerning. And, let's be honest, repulsive. Vomit-inducing repulsion.

My child has started using our tub as a toilet. Yes, I’ve got a tub crapper on my hands.

I'm not talking about rabbit turd craps, people, I'm talking enough crap to fill a size 4 diaper. Enough crap to warrant a Hazmat suit. Enough crap to send smelly poo vapors through our air vents, outside to our neighbors’ homes. I just know the HOA is meeting about the broken sewer main that must be by our house.

I scream, I cry, I call for help, but help never comes. Instead, "help" (aka Joe) stands outside the bathroom door laughing and mocking as I reach into the forbidden poo abyss to rescue the Babyruth floaters that are bobbing up and down in the murky tub water.

I pull Anna out of the tub. She stands there dripping water on our cold tile floors as the sweat beads form on my forehead and the vomit rises in my throat. She points and laughs and farts for good measure.


Here’s a visual of how it goes down in my house:

When I signed up to be a mom, I never agreed to this. There must be some hidden disclaimer that I forgot to read in my parenting books about tub poopers. I feel as though I’m entitled to some sort of compensation – perhaps money, a new car, definitely NOT a lifetime of chocolate.


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guest Blogger

Please welcome my second guest blogger, Abby's Mommy. She wrote an article on being a working mom - and boy, can I relate!

When this past September rolled around, I was frantic. In just 2 months I would deliver Abigail but my mind was still on preparing for a long-term sub. I don’t teach high school English to just your average students…I teach at an Alternative high school. I have 12 advisory students who I work with closely, not to mention all the neediness of so many of my other students. I worried more about the students’ well being in lieu of preparing curriculum.

There are the students who took a year to warm up to me. There are the students who don’t always have money to eat. There are the students who are recovering addicts. There are the students struggling to be accepted by their peers. There are the students with volatile behaviors (not too many…but enough to keep you on your toes). There are the students going through pregnancy along with me.

When I started at this school I was 150% devoted to these students. I made time in my day to listen to their crying complaints. I made time in my day to talk them down from getting into fights. I made time in my day to continuously encourage them to keep on going despite all the failures they faced in the past.

But now I have my Abby. I was supposed to already be back at work, but once she was here I couldn't fathom leaving her at 3 months old. So the decision was made for me to take 2 more months off of work. And now as my back to work day is getting closer…April 12th…I’m afraid of how it will turn out.

I used to have such a passion for teaching, but now I have a passion for being a mommy. I’m just worried about how my work life might turn out. Before, I was one of the first ones to get there in the morning to stake hold of the copy machine. Before, I was one of the last ones to leave as I busily helped students. Before I would spend hours at home preparing curriculum and grading papers (teaching English is heavy on the grading papers area). And now I think about what my daily schedule will bring….

Taking showers at night…waking up at 5:45am…breast feeding Abby at 6am…leave for work by 6:30am…pump at 11:15am….pump at 3pm…pick up Abby at daycare by 4pm…make dinner…have bath time…pump again…go to bed…repeat.

But where do I make time for my profession? I mean so many people say things like it must be great to be a teacher…you get summers off…you get winter vacation…you get spring break. But let me tell you something…if you worked as many 10-12 hour days as I do because there isn’t enough time in your work day to do your planning and grade because there is always a meeting or a student need or a phone call that needs to be made….then you would need this time off too. Oh and don’t forget the fact that every year you must do classes/workshops to maintain your clock hours to keep your teaching certificate valid.

I just worry that Abby won’t get enough mommy time. I just worry that my students won’t get enough Mrs. B. time. Perhaps this is the time for me to take a step back from my students and my teaching because number 1 in my life is my family. Now I’m not saying I am going to turn into the worst teacher there is out there, but I think I do need to relinquish some things. I’m not going to volunteer to head up projects anymore. I’m not going to be the first one there or one of the last ones the leave anymore. Perhaps with time I will be able to get a good routine going so I can get back up to the passionate standards I have for myself as a teacher. But for now I need to figure out how to get by without losing my mind and maintaining a healthy family relationship.

Some Things Never Change

This was last year - but some things never change. Audrey is still little miss drama queen.




Monday, February 22, 2010

Relief

I might finally have some relief in sight! I tried to get in with my regular doctor today, and the next available appointment they could squeeze me in was next week. Gee, thanks - glad I'm not dying. I ended up going to a CVS Minute Clinic, and thought she did a much better job than my regular doc ever has.

She basically told me she was glad I came in now, or else I probably would have ended up in the hospital with pneumonia eventually. I was given a hefty cocktail of drugs, even an inhaler for bronchitis. Let's hope this finally kicks the sickness out of me. Two weeks is way too long to be sick.

The girls are SO much better. Audrey is almost back to 100% and Natalie isn't much far behind her. Thank you all for the well wishes.

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Busy Mom Workout

Please welcome my first Guest Blogger - Taylor Ryan. Taylor and I both graduated from Clemson, and she just so happens to be getting married to one of my best friends.

Being a mom is a full time job in and of itself but then add in the fact that over 65% of you work outside of the home and it's no wonder that moms rarely get the time they need and deserve to take care of themselves.

But you have to find and make the time. With obesity levels at an all time high, not just you but your kids are in danger. Did you know that studies proof that the most beneficial thing you can do for your child to help them stay healthy is to lead by example?

Being in shape and getting a workout in doesn't have to take hours... it doesn't even always have to take a half hour. For those days when you just can't get a full workout in, here's a quick fat burning, calorie blasting workout to help you on your path to being a healthier you for yourself and for your family.

Fat Blasting Quick Workout

The best part... there are only 5 exercises to this entire workout! And you can do it in the privacy of your own living room if you want. The below workout is a circuit, do each exercise back to back with little or no rest. The goal is to do the workout as many times as possible in 15 minutes.

When you need water get water, when you need to catch your breath do it. Keep track of how many complete sets you make it through and the next time try to beat your number! Always pushing yourself helps you from getting bored and helps your results.

10 Hurpees... Start in a push-up position, from here jump your feet up in between your hands and jump up to the sky. Quickly jump back to the push-up and repeat.

5 Push-ups... go all out and does these like "boy push-ups" or if you need to complete push-ups from your knees.

12 Lunge walks... Lower down make sure your knee is over your ankle. The back knee should come close to the ground but not quite touching.

20 Bicycle crunches... Lay on your back and bring your right elbow towards left knee; then switch with right knee coming up and left elbow reaching.

30 Jumping Jacks.

These 5 exercises make up a great total body workout that will help tone your body, blast fat and increase your endurance and energy.

Taylor Ryan is the head trainer of her women's fitness boot camp in Charleston and her blog, Lifting Revolution is one of the most popular women's workout blogs on the web.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautiful Day

Today has been such a beautiful day. The temperature is around 65, there is a slight breeze. We went outside and played with the Cozy Coupe cars with Grandpa. I hate that even though the weather is nice outside, my grass looks completely dead. I can't wait for spring, flowers and green grass!





Audrey hanging out with our neighbor Tydre, and giving him 5.


Afterwards, we went grocery shopping. I must say, it is SO NICE with my new car! There was plenty of room in the back for groceries. The girls also love their cup holders and toy storage compartment in between them.

Question of the Week



What are your best tips for traveling with multiples?

■ Did you find it helpful to travel at night?
The girls have gone on three trips. One to Charleston, one to Myrtle Beach and one to Michigan. The two beach trips we travelled during the morning, and they took their morning naps in the car. The trip to Michigan was great on the way up. They were 10 months old and slept most of the way. The trip back from Michigan will go under "things I wish to forget in life" category. It was simply miserable. By the time we got into North Carolina, it was late at night and they cried almost the whole state. Because it was dark and they were crying, I had a hard time focusing on safe driving. So no, I don't think traveling at night is the best for me. I'd rather go during the day so they could either cat nap, or be entertained.
■ Did you bring a pack'n'play for each child? What were the sleeping arrangements?
Yes. Let me give you this wonderful piece of advice - GET A SEPARATE ROOM. For real. The two times they slept in the same room as us (at my Aunt's house in MI and in our hotel in Charleston), we had to lie in bed really still the moment they went to bed, or else the girls would wake up. And even then they knew we were in the room with them and wanted to play. The two times they had their own room, they slept like little angels. I also think I am going to invest in Peapod beds now that they are a little bigger. They are like inflatable mattresses that zip up like tents.
■ Did you try to preserve your kids' schedules as much as possible?
It was easier to do this on our Michigan trip, because we were visiting family. They napped and ate at normal times. At the beach, however, they napped in their stroller and ate at off times. But you know what? Life goes on and they were perfectly fine.
■ Any tricks for getting your kids to sleep in a new environment?
Bring their loveys, crib soothers and blankets!
■ Do you have any "special" toys that you brought with you to avoid a meltdown?
Does my cell phone count? Lol.
■ Are you more lenient with your kids on trips than you are at home?
As in, did I let them eat cotton candy at the beach? Why, yes I did.
■ What items do you find indispensable for travelling?
Booze. Just kidding. Take only the necessary items. You can always buy diapers, wipes, formula, and food wherever you go. Pack lightly - because unpacking with twins is a biatch.

Sunday Funday

The girls are starting to feel better, which is great. Me, on the other hand - I'm probably going to go back to my doctor tomorrow. Two weeks is way too long to feel icky.

I made the girls breakfast this morning. I usually try to cook a good breakfast on Sundays. We had hasbrowns, biscuits and cheesey eggs. I really would love to find an excellent french toast receipe (though I maintain my dad makes the absolute best french toast ever).

They are climbing all over the place. Audrey has taught Natalie (who still doesn't walk), how to climb on the chaise lounge using their Pottery Barn Chairs. I usually put things on the back of the chaise lounge (the remote, my cell phone, my book), so they can't reach them. Guess it is time to find another hiding spot.





Don't let the cuteness fool you - Natalie has 14 teeth and likes to chomp

The girls have just gone down for a nap, but I think we might head to the park later. The weather outside is fabulous - in the 60s!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Car!

Woo hoo for my new car! I am now the proud owner of a 2007 Ford Freestyle. It seats 6, with a fold down back row. Perfect amount of storage for the kiddos. The interior is almost brand spanking new. I really got a good deal on it - I talked the dealer down $4k from Kelly Blue Book. Bonus points because it isn't a van, but it does get good gas mileage.




 
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