Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Me and my babies


This is how my kids like to pose for the camera. And I'm okay with that.



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Monday, November 29, 2010

Best gift ever

This past weekend, my wonderful sister-in-law offered to give us our Christmas (and my birthday) gifts a little early.  She got Keith and I tickets for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  I have to say, they put on an awesome concert.  We had pretty good balcony seats - 3rd row - so we got a great view of everything.



Fire! I love pyro at concerts.


I'd really like to make this a yearly thing with Keith. Although, he is the guy who sat next to me, barely moving throughout the performance.  (But he barely moved his head at Slayer either - he just doesn't show his excitement at concerts!)  The man next to me was more my people, I told Keith.  He actually seemed to enjoy himself. ;)  Anyway, I am so glad I got to see them again.  It really got me into the holiday spirit!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Visitor of the Amphibian Kind

This weekend, Colin brought home a special friend from school to spend time with us.  Hermie the frog! 

The two of them (and Connor and Keira) had a great time together. 

Colin and Hermie got haircuts and rode in an airplane:


Had breakfast at Nana's: (Not the best picture because his eyes are closed - which he did on purpose -  but his smile is so cute!)

Racing cars down the make-shift ramp:


Best buds:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happiness is...


Happiness is breakfast on the couch while watching Playhouse Disney.


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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Chirstmas Card Dilemma

When I first had Connor, I made our Christmas cards.  But once the twins came along, we barely had time to put up the Christmas tree and wrap the presents, much less worry about what I was sending out to family and friends.  I was delighted to find that Shutterfly makes this process easy-peasy!

I had used Shutterly in the past for photo books (because who has time to make a baby book when you've got twins???) and calendars (which make my office at work seem more like home).  As I looked at the other options on their site, I smiled when I saw the variety of holiday cards that they offer. 

The thing about sending photo cards - which is what I like to do - is trying to get a nice family shot, where all the kids are looking at the camera AND smiling.  At the same time.  Which is near to impossible with a four-year old and two-year old twins.  The nice thing about Shutterfly is that I am able to choose a format that allows me to use various pictures of the kids. So I can take 3 single shots, where each child is smiling, and put it on one beautiful card.  Because that's what the grandmas love the most - happy pictures of the kids!

I'm in a deabte over which card I should get.  I've narrowed it down to three:





Which one do you like the best? After letting me know, check out Shutterfly's site for more great options!

Disclosure: I was not given any monetary compensation for this post.
Shutterfly is going to provide me with 50 free cards for writing this post.
There is still time to participate in this promotion if you are interested. 
Click here for more details!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oh Crap....

This morning, the twins were in our bed, and I was trying to change a messy diaper on Colin. Keith and Connor walked in, so I gave the diaper to Keith.  He took one whiff and said, "Ewww....". 

Connor looked at him and said, "Crap."

Right after Keith said to him, "We don't use that word.", Keira says, "Crap."

Then I say, "We don't talk like that."

I look at Colin who has a mischievous grin on his face.

And hear him say, "Rap". Which is what "crap" sounds like when you have a pacifier in your mouth and can't stop grinning.

And all I can think is, Oh Crap.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This-n-That

When I got home from work, the kids saw the turkey pin I had on my coat.  They got really excited because they know we get to go up to Gigi's (my grandmother) house for Thanksgiving.  I'm trying to find an easy art project we can do this weekend so that the kids can make a centerpiece for Gigi's.

Last night, I went to my abs class.  I left to one child screaming for me.  That's normal.  I got home, and Keith told me that Colin quieted down a few minutes after I left.  Keith even went back in to check on him after he put Connor to bed, and Colin was happy in his crib.  I went upstairs to check on the kids, like I normally do.  No wonder Colin was so happy and quiet.  Kids that are naked usually are.  Pajama pants and diaper thrown haphazardly on the floor.

This morning, Keith took Connor to his mom's for the day, and the twins went to my mom's house.  They were happily eating breakfast before we left.  The thing is, on these rare moments, I get a glimpse of what life with two kids is like.  It's calm. It's peaceful.  It's not loud at all.  Keira was very helpful getting Colin his coat and hat. Then we packed up the miscellaneous items that Keira always wants to bring with her whenever she leaves the house. She put her bag on her arm, gave Colin a bag for his frog (Hermie the frog is visiting this weekend from school), and we headed out.

Normally we are an extended rear-facing family (the twins are two years, 5 months old), but in mommy's car, only one seat is RF.  (The other is FF for Connor.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writing Workshop: Meeting an online friend

Mama's Losin' It

Today over at Mama Kat's, one of the prompts is to write about "That one time you met your online friend in real life (was it everything you thought it would be?)"

After Connor was born, I joined his birth board at Babycenter. There, I was able to talk with a lot wonderful women who were going through the same thing that I was.  They gave great advice and really helped me out with my first-time mom questions.  As the group grew, we broke off into separate groups, although the main onesstill existed.  Some of those women are my best mommy friends even today. 

One of the groups I was a part of actually branched out to another website.  We were able to really get to know each other and bond over many things.  One of my friends, Cathy, was traveling down to where I live for work.  We decided to meet.  I remember being nervous, wondering if she would like me.  It was like getting ready for a blind date.  ;)  I picked her up at her hotel and we went to eat at Red Robin.  The thing is, it was like we had always been friends.  We had great conversations.  The fact that we had been never chatted in person before didn't seem to matter.  I had a great time meeting her and hope that we will be able to meet up again sometime.  Perhaps a great Castle meet-up?

I have also met another on-line friend IRL, but this one is a little funny.  All through my pregnancy with Connor, my mom talked about how she worked with a woman, Judy,  whose daugther-in-law, Molly, was pregnant at the same time I was.  In fact, I remember specifically after Connor's birth, my mom kept saying - you know, Molly already got her thank you cards out, and you still haven't sent yours yet. 

I kind of got tired of hearing about this Molly. ;) 

Anyway, on my July birthboard, a group of us mommies branched out by birthdates.  So there were a few of us, who all had babies born around the first part of July that chatted quite frequently.  I ended up emailing one of the girls something, and when she responded, I saw her last name for the first time.  Then it clicked!  For months, I had been chatting online with a Molly.  I guess we never mentioned what states we lived in, or it may have been clearer quite sooner.  Or perhaps I will just blame mommy brain! 

Anyway, this Molly was the same Molly that my mom knew!  Not only that, she lives like 10 minutes away from me! Now we meet up for dinner every so often.  In fact, we are due for another dinner quite soon!

My online mommy friends are some of the best friends I've ever had.  Babycenter does a wonderful thing, bringing together mommies from around the world to chat about their lives.  I've got friends all over the U.S.,  in Canana, and even Tanzania!  We still keep in touch on facebook these days, which is a little easier now that our July babies are no longer babies, but pre-schoolers! I really hope that I am able to meet more of my online friends as the children grow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prematurity Awareness Day


Today, November 17, is Prematurity Awareness Day.  According to the March of Dimes:

"Every year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States. The rate of premature birth has risen by 30 percent since 1981.  Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death worldwide. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities."

I had one of those babies.  Well, technically two. My twins were born at 36 weeks, 6 days, via a planned induction.  I did not have to have a c-section.  I did not plan for either of them to have an extended stay in the NICU, but it happened.  I was told I was having full-term twins and that there was nothing to worry about.

After a very easy birth (I even got to hold Colin immediately after I delivered him), and both babies nursing for me, we prepared to leave the maternity ward and head to my regular room.  However, Colin's temp was one degree too low.  They checked his blood sugar.  It was one point lower than they preferred.  They tried to get him to take a bottle. Didn't happen.  In retropect, I should have tried to get him to nurse again.  Or tried some kangaroo care. Oh well. No point worry about that now.
Keira came home with me. Colin spent fourteen days in the NICU.  There is nothing in the world like leaving the hospital without your baby. Nothing at all.  Those fourteen days were a blur of sleepless nights with Keira, traveling to the hospital to see Colin, and spending time with Connor.  Connor developed severe separation anxiety because I was gone so much.  (He turned two 13 days after the twins were born.) 

As a very wise friend once said, this will be a memory that makes you a stronger parent. 

And it did. 

Not that I would want to live through it again.  Colin's hospital stays this past year are hard enough for me, I don't need to be reminded of that NICU time (which I am, every single time I drive to the hospital.  I'm filled with what-ifs: would he have these respiratory issues? would he have had the brain bleed? would he have low muscle down and speech delay (would Keira have the issues with her LMT?)

With how chaotic our lives are, with all the not-so-great things that have happened to us lately, I don't care about any of it because all I know is that now I have three healthy-ish, happy children at home with me.  I thank God every day for my three little blessings, even when they are driving me crazy.

Please check out the March of Dimes to see how you can help in the fight against prematurity.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Treating myself

As a treat to myself
(mainly because I found the money Keith gave me for Mother's Day....
6 months later...),
I bought these:



What makes you happy?  Join Leigh and play along!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Re-cap

Yesterday, Keith took the kids to his parents' house for about an hour and a half.  This was after our early morning trip to Urgent Care for Colin (pink eye, viral rash-thing due to always being sick).  Anyway, that 90 minutes allowed me to pick up the house and get it looking pretty nice.  One thing we did was rearrange the living room, in anticipation of putting up the Christmas tree next month.  Keith's next project (at our house) is to build - well it doesn't really have a name.  What we need is a place by the backdoor for the kids to store their coats, winter boots, and backpacks, as well as have a little place on top to put some bins I am getting to keep their school paperwork in.  It's going to be like a bench, but with cubbies underneath for the boots, and hooks behind the bench for coats.  So I hope he can have that done soon - as soon as I decide if I want it painted or stained, the dimensions, and such. 

Last night, after dinner, the living room was surprisingly still clean.  Connor looked around and said, "Should we keep it like this or get all our toys out?"  Guess what my answer was??? ;)

Keira is all about her babies lately.  She has a few different dolls that she takes care of.  She feeds them, puts them to nap, and changes their diapers.  Although, she insists on using her own diapers for her baby dolls.  This would be fine, but her dolls seem to have some stomach issues, because they poop all the time.  She gets the box of baby wipes (when we forget to hide it from her), uses about 5-10 wipes on her doll, puts a brand new diaper on the baby, then throws out the old diaper.  The perfectly good and still usuable on a human diaper because the only one who pooped in it was a doll that doesn't really do that sort of thing.

Colin is still working with his separation issues that he gets every time he has been in the hospital.  Which means, I cannot leave his side. Until this morning.  We were at my parents' house.  I told him I had to leave for work. He came over and hugged me and was getting sad.  I said, "It's ok, Bumpa (my dad) is here for you."  Colin literally pushed me out of his way to run to Bumpa. Well then, crisis averted.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Lists #2

My sister wants to know what I want for Christmas.  I hadn't put a lot of thought into it this year, since Keith and I decided we weren't going to exchange gifts this time.  We gave each other the gift of a new sewer line and a large clump of dirt, gravel and clay pipe in our front yard. ;)

Unfortunately the things I do want - grey boots, new jeans, chunky turquoise ring - are all things that I have to specifically pick out and try on.  I'd love to ask for gift cards, but then I also need to ask for a babysitter to watch the kids so that I can actually leave the house.  And if I am asking for a babysitter, I'd also like to throw on a housekeeper as well. 

 As I started thinking of what I wanted, I turned to my amazon wish lists for ideas.  Then I had to scrap that idea because then all I would be getting is books for Christmas.  Oh wait! That would actually be perfect.  Although then I would need that babysitter again to watch the kids while I read all day.......  Ideally I'd like a giftcard for Amazon to get books for my kindle, but I don't know if they have that.

But in the spirit of fun and wishful thinking, here is my wish list if money wasn't an option:


 



Also, these would be nice. 
True Blood: The Complete Second Season (HBO Series)
Season Two

The Heart of Faerie Oracle

Ok, enough about me! Now I need to get back to figuring out what the kids are getting from Santa this year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Believing

"Believe" - Trans Siberian Orchestra

Regretful for the things you're not
And all the things you haven't got
Without a home
A heart of stone lies bleeding

And for all the roads you followed
And for all you did not find
And for all the dreams you had to leave behind

I am the way
I am the light
I am the dark inside the night

I hear your hopes
I feel your dreams
And in the dark I hear your screams

Don't turn away
Just take my hand
And when you make your final stand

I'll be right there
I'll never leave
And all I ask of you

Believe


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Building up my holiday spirit

I just had to do it.  I didn't mean too..... but I needed a little something, a little pick-me-up. 

So.............

I broke out the Christmas music.  Don't tell my husband, he will make fun of me.

I know, I know... it's too early.  Way too early...

But I needed some holiday spirit. 

And some calming music. 

Don't tell my sister, I just made fun of her last week.

I had bought a CD at Kohls a few weeks ago.  It was $5. 


Now, I love love love this group.  Their music is amazing.  And not only that, Keith surprised me with tickets to see them live last December when they came to Chicago.  BEST. SHOW. EVER.

We are on a tight budget this year, so I know we won't be able to go again... but I am putting tickets to TSO on my Christmas list for next year.  This year, what money isn't going towards Christmas for the kids is being put into the "let's pay off the stupid sewer pipe line repair and then landscape our front yard because the company trashed it with their digger"...

Although Santa, if you are reading this, they are in town on November 26. ;) 

Or you can drop this in my stocking:

The Christmas Trilogy (3CD/DVD)

Ok, now I swear I'm putting the Christmas music away until the day after Thanksgiving. ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Sweets...

Tonight at dinner, we were about halfway done with our meal.  All of a sudden, Colin starts saying: "Hands! Hands!"  I look over and he has his hands folded.  He was reminding us to say grace.

Connor and I were in his room saying prayers, when I hear Keira yelling from the nursery: "HEY! AMEN!"  I guess she was feeling left out.

As Connor turned over to go to sleep, he said to me, "Mommy, I really like you very, very much."  What a sweet boy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ahhh......

Don't know if that is a sigh of relief or stress.  I'm on a short blogging hiatus this week, as I mentally recuperate from Colin's hospital stay (third time since March).  He was hospitalized on Tuesday for viral pneumonia and reactive airway disease.  He is home now, hopped up on steroids and albuterol, so while he doesn't act sick, he really is.

This is the third time in 8 weeks that he has been on steroids for this sort of thing.  We meet with the doctor on Saturday to discuss possible maintenance of this issue.  However, the ped said we are in for a long winter based on his health history. 

Prayers and healthy thoughts are appreciated, as well as wine and a gift card for a facial.  Those last two are for me, not Colin. I'm hoping my husband takes a look at my blog. *wink, wink*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happiness Project: Love


One of the few pictures of Keith and I. 
Taken on Halloween,
the day after we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. 



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Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Re-cap

Yesterday we had a Halloween party, then took the kids trick-or-treating around our neighborhood.  It was the twins first time t-o-t'ing.  I'm not convinced they "got it", but they had fun.

The group before we headed out

Here we have Dora the Explorer, Buzz Lightyear, and Daphne Blake


Scooby





Colin was supposed to be Handy Manny (hence the gloves).  However, he has taken quite a liking to his Uncle Tommy, and wanted to be Tommy for Halloween (hence the camo jacket and jeans).  I don't know where the rain boots came from.  I'm just happy he is happy. 


First house.
 Being thankful:  I'm trying this on facebook.  For the month of November, I'd like to comment on what I am thankful for.  Today it was for a wonderful Halloween weekend, as well as a great time with family.  The kids loved having everyone over.  They are always so happy when we have a full house of family.  Or "guests" as Connor calls them.