Life with Twins

Posts tagged ‘DVC’

Crazy Planning a.k.a. 180 days til Disney!

NOW:  We are in the midst of planning our trip.  This is probably the most-planned trip we’ve done….although not by much to be honest!

We are DVC members so we are staying in a suite, using our “points”.  For more information on how DVC works, leave me a comment or send me an email!  It’s the most awesome thing we’ve ever done…..and it’s not just for traveling to Disney places either.

Anyway.  Our “home resort” is Animal Kingdom Lodge so we can book a vacation there up to 11 months in advance.  So we called back in August and booked.  But we didn’t really want to stay there.  We love it there, don’t get me wrong, and we have stayed there before and it’s beautiful and wonderful!

But for the purposes of this trip, we really wanted to stay at the “new” Bay Lake Towers.  It’s a new DVC resort that’s connected by a walking bridge to the Contemporary Resort.  So, it’s EXTREMELY close to Magic Kingdom.  We usually spend the majority of our trip in MK anyway and with the twins we figured that would definitely be the case this time more than ever.  Plus, the Contemporary is on the Monorail so it’s convenient to get to some other resorts where we wanted to go for dinner (Polynesian and Grand Floridian) as well as easy to get to EPCOT.

We can’t book at different DVC resorts until 7 months in advance.  But we didn’t want to end up with NOTHING, so we booked at AK Lodge just to be safe because we had the 11 month advantage there.

In December, I was able to call and transfer our reservation to Bay Lake~YAY!  It was kind of a pain because you can only move 7 days at a time, and then our other 3 days I had to call the next day and the next day and the next day.  During work.  Oh well.  It was nerve-wracking but I got the job done.

Then, you can make Dining Reservations 180 days in advance.  You used to have to call day after day after day, but now they let you make your first 10 days of reservations all at once starting 180 days from the day you check in.  So that was good news.  This is an advantage of staying at a Disney Resort.  Also, they have a new online reservation process that starts at 6 am.

So I had called and they calculated 180 days for me and I could go online or call January 11th.  Tim and I skipped exercising and set the alarm so that we could go online starting right at 6 AM.  Well.  The first reservation we got just fine.  The rest?  Nope.  Wouldn’t recognize our Resort Reservation number.  I had to rush to get ready for work so that I could call the reservation phone number at 7.  I wanted to be all ready in case I got stuck on the phone for a while.

Good thing.  I was mostly ready by 7, and called.  I was on hold for a short amount of time, but then the time it took to make all of our reservations, give her all my information, and get all of the confirmation numbers took almost a half-hour!  By then, the twins were up and calling for me, my dad was showing up, my hair still wasn’t done, my coffee wasn’t poured.  These kinds of little things stress me out a little.  And I was already worked up because I was stressed I wouldn’t be able to get a reservation at the places we wanted.  I don’t know why; we’ve NEVER had an issue.

Plus, I still had to call Victoria and Alberts.  But there’s is a separate line and it didn’t open until 9 AM.  And I still had to stress that I wouldn’t get THAT reservation!

You all may be thinking we are crazy.  And we are.  But, it’s who we are and it helps us keep our sanity.  In some ways.  Once, we planned a trip a mere 2 months ahead of time.  Boy, that was stressful to the millionth degree!

I get all the reservations, complete with confirmation numbers and I double-check them all online.  My dad helps me get the twins ready so that I can do my hair.  Plus, I had to go to the bathroom……why is it that nature calls at the MOST inconvenient times?

At 9 I called V&A…..the most faniciest restaurant in WDW.  At first I couldn’t get through so I left a message, but kept calling and calling anyway.  See, we really wanted to sit at the Chef’s Table.  And there’s only one seating for the table a night.  And we really wanted it on that certain night because all the other dining reservations were already in place and I didn’t really want to have to change everything around again.  But, I got through, and got what we wanted.  YAY!!!

Plane tickets are bought, room (2-bedroom suite for us, kids, and my dad) is reserved, dining reservations are made.  Now, the packing lists will begin!  You think I’m kidding?

Wanna know where we’re eating?

Chef Mickeys – Contemporary resort – buffet dinner with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto!

Tuttoo Italia – Italy pavillion in EPCOT

California Grill – very top floor of Contemporary resort

Mama Melrose – Hollywood Studios – Italian food

The Wave – Contemporary resort

Crystal Palace   – in Magic Kingdom – lunch buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet!

Victoria and Alberts – fancy schmancy!

Ohana – in the Polynesian resort – they serve food off of GIANT skewers

Chefs de France – France pavillion in EPCOT – best escargot I’ve ever had!

 Chef mickeys breakfast – Again.  This time for breakfast

Raglan Road – Irish-style pub in Downtown Disney

Le Cellier – Canada pavillion in EPCOT.  Home of yummy Beer-Cheese Soup

Tony’s Town Square – Magic Kingdom – Italian

OK…….so maybe it’s less of the Type A personality…..and more just super-duper excited!!!!!  Either way……it’s planned!  All we do now is wait.  And save money.  And pack (No, not yet.)

Speaking of beer-cheese soup – check out my husband’s venture into the Blog World!  The first recipe he’s going to blog about is the very one from the Canadian Pavillion in EPCOT – yummy beer-cheese soup!  This is now.

THEN: I prepared myself to go home on Thursday morning.  The first thing I wanted to do was take a shower.  I hadn’t had one since the previous Thursday.  I had asked…..but before the delivery none of the nurses were “sure” if I was allowed to take a shower or not.  After the delivery it wasn’t an option at first because of the surgery.  I had gotten permission to take one Thursday before I left.  First I had to walk all around the floor of the hospital trying to find the darn place.  I either hadn’t gotten good directions or I wasn’t really listening.  I finally got to the room, set my things down and turned the water on.  As difficult as it was to manuver myself; it was probably the best shower I’d ever had in my life.  I felt a million times better and cleaner and happier and even a little less sore.  By the time I was done and back in my room though, I was exhausted!  Luckily I had about an hour before my discharge time when my parents would come get me.

They forgot to order me breakfast.  I thought it would be in my room when I got back, but no such luck.  I called a nurse and she wasn’t sure what happened but arranged to get some food up to me as soon as possible.  I was starving!  It wasn’t exactly what I would have wanted, but it was fine.  The hospital food wasn’t as bad as sitcoms would have had me believe.  I watched some TV and I was ready to go.  I was nervous though and anxious.  First thing I wanted to do when my parents showed up was go down to the NICU.  I would have gone earlier but I really really needed that shower and my late breakfast.

I forced myself to be patient and finally it was 11:00.  My dad came up to get me and my mom was waiting down in the NICU already.  I didn’t have to take a wheelchair out because I wasn’t leaving the hospital yet.

I walked (shuffled) down to the NICU.  I went to see my beautiful babies.  I suddenly really wanted my parents gone, but of course I didn’t want to upset or offend them by asking them to leave.  I went to Will first.  He reflexively grabbed my finger with his hand as all babies will do.  He sighed in his sleep and listened to me talking to him about what had happened that morning.  He still had his CPAP machine on and because of the mask, he couldn’t open his eyes very well.  I didn’t even know what color they were.  I listened to the steady beep of the machines and listened to the nurse update me on his status.

I walked over to Ariel after tearing myself away from my son.

“Do you want to hold her?”  Shock.  “yes” I breathed, so quietly because I wasn’t sure I had heard the nurse correctly.  But I had.  She carefully set me up in a comfy rocking chair right next to Ariel’s heated bed.  First, she had to clip Ariel’s feeding tube to my shirt because it was time for her to “eat”.  She maneuvered the cords and wires so that they didn’t get pulled out while she was in my arms.  Then, she handed me my daughter.  I couldn’t breathe.  I was afraid to breathe.  She was finally feeling like mine.  I could actually hold her.  She had to be VERY VERY VERY wrapped up in blankets because she was no longer on her heated pad, which was helping her regulate her temperature.  But I could see her hand.  Her hand couldn’t be covered because of the IV needle in it.  So I stroked her hand.  And her head, which had to have a hat on it.  Again, to help keep her warm.

It was surreal.  The nurse had to help put her back right after she was done “eating” because the very act of digestion was making her very tired which meant her body was maintaining it’s own temperature even less.  She needed to get back to her heat.  And sleep.

The best thing for them was sleep.  Their fragile little bodies used up too much energy doing anything else.  The nurse told me not to be surprised tomorrow if I came in and was told Ariel had lost a little weight…..just from me holding her.  When they slept, they grew.  So sleep was the best thing for them.  And frequent family visits of course.  Talking to them.  Letting them know they were loved.

I felt so guilty after holding Ariel.  Because I couldn’t hold Will.  It’s not like it was my fault or my choice.  I guess I just felt bad for him.  And a little for myself too.  But I was also on cloud 9 after finally getting to hold Ariel.  Like she was real.  Like she was really mine.  Like she was a real baby.  It’s a little dramatic, but true.  And it made me feel a hell of a lot better about going home later that morning.  That was then.

William

Ariel

Advertisements

Work or Family; can’t it be both?

NOW:  I love my job.  I wouldn’t give it up, unless I could stay off until my kids were in school and then just go back.  But that’s not how it works with teaching.  At least not here.  We have two incomes to pay the bills.  Yes, we do have some luxuries – two new cars, DVC so we can go on vacation, two state-of-the-art grills in my(Tim’s) backyard, a Zoo Membership.  But all of these things benefit our children also. 

Now, that being said, there are some jobs (NOT teaching) that expect that you should just abandon your family if you want to get ahead.  Last year, for the twins’ first birthday, they wanted to send my husband for training in Virginia Beach.  He informed them it was his kids’ first birthday and he couldn’t miss it.  They said that they had missed plenty of birthdays, and especially the first birthday; the children won’t even remember!  Think George Banks from Mary Poppins.  Luckily, Tim has watched Mary Poppins enough to know family comes first and did the training at another time.

Last night, he had to work late.  He’s salaried, but he still has a certain amount he should be getting done and it doesn’t always fit into his 8-4:30 schedule.  Other people stay late.  All.  The.  Time.  Every day!  Even if they have kids!  I suppose maybe their kids go to bed later than 7:00, but still.  I guess it’s harder for me to understand because I don’t have that kind of career.  Tim doesn’t stay late that often because he wants to come home and see the kids (and me, I suppose).  Every so often though, he has to stay late to catch up.  So I was alone with the twins for the evening. 

I was outnumbered.  4 to 1 (you gotta remember the dogs!).  And it was thundering, so Biscuit counted as extra dogs because she did not want to leave my side.  She actually did not want to leave my lap, but I was standing, so she didn’t have a choice.

I did not get many pictures before dinner.  In fact, there are none.  At one point, Ariel was screaming “POO POO” at me….so I checked her diaper.  Nope.  She kept it up, “POO POO, POO POO”, potty?   I couldn’t really say no.  I’m trying to teach her the potty is a good thing.  At the same time, Will really was poopy.  Ariel sat on the potty.  I changed Will’s diaper in the bathroom.  Biscuit was trying to climb in my lap.  Griffin was barking from the living room because the twins had moved the dogs dishes in the doorway and he was trapped.  And I had pots of steaming veggies on the stove top.  Will ran away after his diaper was changed and brought Ariel some books to read on the potty.  He is just SO SWEET, right?  Then he, along with Biscuit, kept trying to climb over where I was blocking the doorway to the bathroom so that they could get in there.  Patience is a virtue.

I was also on my own for dinner. 

Ariel and Will were served sweet potatoes, peas, and blueberry waffles (previously frozen).  I’m good with the microwave and toaster. 

I made myself a veggie burger; added cheese and ketchup and mustard.  We didn’t have any rolls so it’s just on White/Wheat bread (it’s Wegmans brand – it’s like White whole grain or something).  I did toast the bread in the toaster.  I’m high-tech.

I only got to eat half of it though.  Two weeks ago, we fed the twins veggie burgers and they wouldn’t touch it.  When Mommy eats it and they don’t have it, it’s a different story apparently.  So I had mostly bread.  I also warmed up some “stuff”.  It’s mock pierogi to all you Polish people.  (I am Polish, but my mom makes it, and she is not).  We nicknamed it Stuff when I was really little. 

There are many different ways to make Stuff.  All of them bad for you.  My mom’s is the worst.  But it’s like the perfect food.  I was going to ask her to make it on Father’s Day for our cookout, but Tim said that wasn’t a good idea because it’s SO BAD FOR YOU.  So I didn’t ask.  She made it anyway to surprise me.  (I was secretly thrilled!).

It consists of noodles, sauerkraut (see, I am Polish), mushrooms from a can, ground beef (although she probably used 90% fat free – that’s healthy, right?).  And this time – drumroll please – 2 boxes of butter.  No, that is not a typo.  It was made in a big crockpot.  But still.  2 BOXES of BUTTER.  Even in small portions its hard to justify eating this.  Except that it’s so good.  And nostalgic.  I threw the rest of the leftovers out.  I felt so bad, but I knew it was the right thing to do. 

According to the Wii Fit – I lost 2 lbs today!  I had supposedly gained 2 yesterday, so that’s a wash.  This is now.

THEN:  The psychic.  Do you believe in psychics?  I didn’t.  My MIL had gone to one in November 2008.  The psychic apparently knew that her son (Tim) and daughter-in-law were trying to get pregnant and having trouble.  She told my MIL to tell us to not worry.  (Oh, OK, that will work, thanks lady I never met).  She said we’d be pregnant by Valentine’s Day.  As much as I didn’t believe, I didn’t want to believe, and I didn’t want to hope and wait for Valentine’s Day like it was some kind of deadline.  I hoped she was right.  I hoped it was sooner.  I hoped Valentine’s Day wouldn’t come and go with nothing to show for it. 

My second round of injectables was at the end of January.  Mid-January I got a text from my good friend telling me she was finally pregnant.  (A text, I know, I couldn’t believe it either – but she wanted to give me time to digest the news on my own before I actually had to speak to her).  I was so happy.  I’m not lying or remembering wrong.  Happy was my first and strongest emotion.  I was having coffee with another friend and I called Tim right away.  I was so mad she had TEXTED me with this big news.  Was I a little sad for myself?  Yes.  But not more sad that I had been anyway.  And it gave me hope.  If she could try for two years and get pregnant, I could too, right?  It was a little awkward when we saw a bunch of friends towards the end of January.  They all felt sorry for me.  I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me, I wanted them to feel happy for her.  I know they did….they were just concerned about me, too.  That was then.

Less twins, more exercise

Now:  Although I adore my two little ones, I also want to make sure I blog about my exercise and eating. 

Tim and I are both trying to make a lifestyle change.  We are NOT on a diet.  I don’t believe that diets work.  When you’re done dieting, things go back to the way they were…..you eat those foods you gain back that weight.  It makes no sense to me.  You exercise until you lose the weight, then you stop exercising and you gain it back.  No sense.  A lifestyle change, although a bigger change, is somehow a lot more easier to manage.  You’re doing it for the rest of your life, which is a little hard to swallow at first (pun intended).  It takes longer to see results.  But, you’re going to finally lose the weight and keep it off, which is the great reward in the end.  You’re going to discover muscles you never knew you had.  Just look at this bicep!  🙂

You’re going to wear clothes you never thought you’d fit into again, but you do, you really do.  (Why do people, especially women, keep all these different size clothes in their closet anyway?)  I got rid of all of my “fat” clothes recently.  I’m still trying to lose weight……about 15 more lbs. would be good…..but by donating these clothes I’m trying to promise myself that I’m not going to gain that old weight back.

Our main eating goal: smaller portions.  I really believe that in our case we can eat what we want, just smaller portions.  We were terrible on portion control, but we’re getting much better.  Just yesterday, Tim made pasta carbonara, which included whole wheat linguine, peas, bacon, egg white, and an egg yolk on top that gets mixed in after.  I was going to take a photo but I dug in before I remembered.  We also had a large side of broccoli drizzled with teriyaki sauce, and about 4 oz of red wine.  I had read recently that red wine contained antioxidents which help your metabolism so we’ve been incorporating a small glass with our dinner.  Later that evening, on our walk, he asked if I was full from dinner.  I was…..why?  Well, he had only used 4 oz of pasta….total…..for both of us.  Normally he would have served us 4 oz each.  What a revelation!  We can eat half the amount of food and still be full!  Wow.  

Our main exercise goal: At least 30 minutes of cardio, and 15 minutes of combined strength and yoga.  Now that the weather is getting nicer here in Buffalo, our 30 minutes of cardio is usually a nightly, brisk walk with the twins…..either pushing the stroller or pulling the wagon.  We switch off pushing/pulling halfway.  The person not pushing/pulling at the time?  Does hand weights.  We either pump our arms (like in speed-walking), do bicep curls, or tricep curls.  I try to do a little of each as I go.  Our strength and yoga come after the twins are bathed and in bed.  We use the Wii Fit.  We pick a  variety of activities, going back and forth between the strength and yoga choices.  We use the hand weights here too, when appropriate.  We always end with jackknives (crunches) because our stomachs are where we need to lose the most fat.   This is now.

Then: When we first started trying to get pregnant back in the summer of 2007 I weighed about 160lbs.  I had gained about 20 of that on our Disneymoon back in 2004 and hadn’t lost it.  Hadn’t really been trying to lose it I guess.  (Except for a couple of months when I was dieting and eating less than 1,000 calories a day – unhealthy and unhappy).  Tim was about 230.  After our 9th month of not getting pregnant we decided to take the most-given advice (by people who have never been through it) – RELAX.  Give me a break.  Anyway, we decided we could use a vacation so we booked a Disney Cruise using our points from Disney Vacation Club (DVC).  By now, I had gained another 20 lbs from stress and mild depression, and Tim had gained more than that. 

Looking at these pictures afterwards made me really realize how much I weighed and how overweight I really was.  I’m only 5’1″.  While “relaxing” on the cruise, we ate what we wanted and didn’t do too much strenuous activity.  We walked around the ship’s exercise deck a couple of mornings.  But that in no way helped.  I came back another 10 lbs. heavier.   Tim was pushing close to 300.

I almost passed out the night I wore this peach dress because my dress was so tight and then I ate a huge dinner.  I couldn’t breathe.

After we got back and I looked at these pictures…..and thought about how I felt…..and thought about how I was supposed to feel attractive and alluring in order to want to make a baby, not to mention healthy enough to carry a baby for 9 months.  Close to 200 lbs. was too much.  I knew I had to do something.  It was February 2008.  I bought the Wii Fit two months later.  That was then.