Life with Twins

Posts tagged ‘fun’

Cleaning, Playing, Blogging

What do these three things have in common?

Hopefully I will be doing them all this week since I have off for Mid-Winter break!

There’s a couple of lunch and dinner dates in the mix too.  My main goal is to clean out my basement which I already started today by getting the drywall pieces out of there and out for the garbage.  That’ll be while the kids are napping (fingers crossed).

While they’re awake there will be lots of playing!  Including having them play sweep and mop along with me while I really sweep and mop.  🙂  Maybe dusting too.

I’m also hoping to post a couple of times to kind of catch up on stuff and get back into the swing of things.

I’m back to running too, so I’ll update about that as well.  🙂

So…..see you soon!!!

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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

I have a Confession…..

NOW: I love Christmas.  There, I said it.

Prior to Thanksgiving I was pretending to be one of those people that dislikes the Christmas decorations being up in the stores already.

So, when Thanksgiving was over, I could finally give in to my true nature.  Phew, what a relief.

Then, I started reading/hearing all kinds of people complaining about Christmas in general…..especially in regards to Santa Claus.  So, I’ve been debating about this post for a while, but I suppose it’s my right to give the other side of the debate.  I don’t think anyone is “wrong” in their beliefs, just like to give my opinion too!

I love Santa.  I believe in Santa.  I truly do, at 30 years old.  Does Santa magically drop presents down the chimney for Tim and I?  No, not technically.  But I believe in him as the spirit of Christmas.  The idea that my twins will wake up on Sunday morning and be in awe of the fact that not only are there presents under the tree……but the milk, cookies, and carrots are mysteriously gone.

I know it’s a lie.  But I suppose I lie to my kids all the time.  Not big lies.  But……when there’s blackberries going bad in the fridge and there’s new bananas on the counter and they ask for bananas and I tell them they’re not ready to eat yet so they’ll just have to make do with blackberries.  Could they eat the bananas, yes.  But I want them to eat the blackberries first.  But they won’t go along with that line of thinking.  So, I tell them the bananas aren’t ready yet and they suddenly become perfectly happy with blackberries.  Just an example.  But I digress.

I try to explain as much to my kids as possible.  Even if anyone else would think they’re too young to understand.  And I tell the truth; I don’t blow them off with a simple answer.  It gives me credibility for when I do stretch the truth.  Plus, I’m a firm believer in asking questions in order to learn.  Even when I have a group of 22 children in front of me all day….each with their own set of questions.  That’s my job; to answer them.

Back to Santa.  Early in November, Will and Ariel saw a commercial featuring the man in the red suit and inquired about it.  I, being the over-explainer, immediately went into a detailed description of Santa, with his sleigh, reindeer, and sack of toys coming down chimneys on Christmas Eve.  I was excited.  Even back in November.  As a result, we they have been talking about Santa for almost two months now.  Not incessently.  But occasionally.  And more so now that the big night is almost here.

<It’s hard to put joy into words.  I think it’s much easier to express negative emotions, so this post might get rambly.  I apologize in advance.>

Santa is magic.  End of story.  Obviously I’m excited because this is the first year where the twins really get what’s going on for Christmas.  If nothing else, they know what presents are for and they are looking forward to recieving some, I’m sure.  But they are also excited about the tree, the ornaments, the decorating, the driving around looking at Christmas lights, the snow (what snow?), the shopping (yay, my kids like to shop!) the making cookies, the holiday movies.  I could go on and on.  

They are just full to the brim of excitement and positive emotion.  Same way my 2nd graders at school feel.  And I like to think that it’s coming partially from me.  They are excited because I am excited.  And I allow myself and them to give in to the excitement.  I don’t pretend Christmas isn’t coming, I embrace it.  And every year I get the same question from my 7-year-olds at school…..is there a Santa Claus?  They are at the brink of not believing.  Others have told them it isn’t true.  But they trust their teacher.  Maybe more than they trust their parents.  Because their parents might tell them the truth if they ask.  Plus, when they’re being egged on by 20 other kids, this seems like the perfect time to inquire.  School is for learning, right? 

And I don’t lie.  I tell them yes.  There is a Santa and I believe in him.  Let me make this clear; I am not lying.  And that’s part of the magic.  They know I’m not lying.  And so do my twins.

When I was little Santa filled my living room with presents.  And my sister and I always made sure to say “Thank you Santa, wherever you are!” while we looked up at the ceiling (because North is up), after we were done opening our gifts.  We were grateful.  Were we grateful to the wrong person?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Because even though it was technically my parents’ money, and technically my parents (mom) who went out and did the shopping, and technically my parents (mom) who stayed up late into the night wrapping……it was Santa who brought those gifts.  And my parents heard the thank you and took it as their own.

I don’t even remember finding out that mom and dad were buying the gifts all along.  I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I vaguely remember mom telling me not to tell Melissa, 5 years younger than me, and still going strong in her Santa-belief.  I think I kind of felt like I was just in on a secret, not a lie.  How fun it was to keep this secret going year after year…..until eventually most of  the presents were just labeled “from mom and dad”.  But never all.  There were always a couple from Santa.  Even though we “didn’t believe” anymore.  And the pile?  Didn’t get any smaller.  Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were not rich.  My dad worked two jobs so that my mom could stay home with us, and then later when my mom developed back problems and “couldn’t” work (that’s another post for another day).  They were probably living paycheck to paycheck.  But I never would have known it come Christmas morning.  Was I spoiled, yes.  But was I taught how to be rich in Christmas Spirit and thankfulness, yes.

I guess I’m lucky too because there are a lot of factors that don’t make me see “playing Santa” as a chore.  I love shopping, and shopping for the perfect gifts that I know will make my kids’ eyes light up is so rewarding.  It’s not work.  And I loved wrapping this year.  I picked out two different sets of paper and made sure Will and Ariel each had the same amount and wrapped and wrapped.  And the “leftover” gifts that didn’t have a “match”?  They are from mommy and daddy.  And in a third type of wrapping paper.  It was like a puzzle!  Making sure that they each had the same amount of gifts wrapped up.  (That reminds me, I have to figure out somethings to unwrap and rewrap so they each have a gift for each other). 

I guess it just boils down to this; I have fond memories of Christmas and of Santa.  I want my children to have fond memories of Christmas and Santa.  I want them to share in the Christmas Spirit and be merry and cheerful.  Everything Tim and I do with them is an experience that will shape their whole world as they grow up and I guess I just want them to have this wonderful, joyful Christmas/Santa experience.  Even if it is a lot of work.  And technically a lie.

I’m lucky too, in that I have the means to be able to do all of this work to build up the lie.  It’s worth it to me.  Because I love Christmas.   And because I believe in Santa Claus.

Happy Holidays Everyone!  Enjoy your time with yourself, your friends, your family, your joy. 

And your presents…..I know I’m looking forward to opening up my one-piece footie Cookie Monster pajamas from Tim!  (They just better be waiting under the tree and not being saved for my upcoming Birthday!)  This is now.

THEN: (A short one): The twins were born on a Sunday.  I was allowed to stay at the hospital until Thursday morning.  You might think that’s strange….whoever wants to stay in the hospital, right?  But I was glad because that was where my babies were. 

On Wednesday night, before Tim left to go home, I was sobbing.  I thought my heart would break.  He even climbed into the tiny hospital bed and held me.  I had been holding in all of my negative emotions for almost a week….even before they were born.  But now, on the eve of my homecoming, I broke down.

I didn’t want to go home the next morning.  I couldn’t leave them.  It was “bad enough” that they were being taken care of by “other people” but now I got to go home and they didn’t.  It wasn’t fair.  All of my other fears came out….basically…..what if they never came home?  I cried and cried and cried.  And he held me.  And he cried a little too.

A nurse came in.  I stopped right away.  I couldn’t be weak in front of her, she’d think something was wrong.  I told her I was just afraid to leave the twins.  But, she was trained to deal with crying, new moms.  She was afraid it was something worse; I could see it in her eyes.  She left and I knew that she would be sending people to check on me up until I left the next morning.  And maybe even watch me when I came back to visit the twins.  It might be post-partum depression.

I got angry.  Did I not have the right to get a little sad?  After all we had been through?  I was keeping it together and upbeat for a long time!  Didn’t I have the right to cry a little when I didn’t know what I was facing and how long I would have to face it and didn’t know what was going to become of my babies, but just knowing I wasn’t able to be in the same building with them 24/7 anymore?  I just wanted to cry a little.  I just wanted to be held by my husband who was the only one who even came close to understanding.  Was that so wrong?  That was then.

Whirlwind Weekend

NOW: We had such a flurry of activities and emotions going on this weekend! 

Saturday morning started with our normal swim class….although we were running a little late because Tim and I got up and exercised and then had to pack up the car for tree-hunting. 

We met our friends, Katie and Erich, for breakfast, and then we were on our way to the Field Of Dreams Tree Farm!  YAY! 

I had put the twins in boots because of the mud/snow and so they were very excited to be going outside.  Apparently BOOTS = OUTSIDE.  Makes sense.  When we got there, we were happy to see a small layer of snow on the ground.  This meant we could use our sled!  YAY!

We bundled the kids up in snow pants, hats, mittens, and scarves and plopped them on the sled.  I volunteered to pull them for a little while.  Big Mistake.  Why did I not realize that it was uphill?  I told Tim I shouldn’t have bothered getting up to exercise that morning, this should have counted.  Oh well, a little extra workout never hurt anyone, right?

So I’m pulling them up the path and we come to a fork in the road.  Now, let me tell you, we have been going to the same Tree Farm for the last few years now.  I knew we always went straight at the fork.  Tim insisted we go left and seemed so sure of himself that we all agreed.  Big mistake.  

Luckily the twins were THRILLED to be in the woods.   I pulled them on the path for a while, but then we decided to go off-roading a little bit.  By that time they decided to get out and proceeded to trip over every tree stump they could possibly find.  Not to mention getting stuck in brambles and hit in the face with tall weeds. 

Ariel was dantily moving each and every branch out of her way as she walked.  Oh my goodness, we were going  to be here all F%$#%ing day if this continued.  Will was just plowing through. 

We convinced them to let us pick them up.  I kept reminding Katie that she was the one who pitched the idea of bringing them.  Of course, she grabbed Ariel, and even taunted that I had to carry the heavier one.  Bitch.  🙂

So now I’m plowing through the brambles, trying not to trip with the boy in my arms who honestly now weighs at least 10 times as much as his normal 27 lbs.  Probably because he ate 1 and 1/2 pancakes, a piece of bacon, a scrambled egg, 2 pieces of toast, a sausage link, and had a full cup of milk with breakfast.  And some of Katie’s waffle.  Plus, his jacket and snow pants have to weigh like 20 pounds each I think.

 And he’s insisting that HE wants to pull the sled.  So, I have it draped around my arm, but then also draped around his arm so that he thinks he’s pulling it.  Of course, he also keeps wanted to manuver himself to peer over my shoulder and constantly reassures me “sled still there mommy.”  Ok, thanks bud.

We get back to a path and I practically drop him.  He probably would have bounced, but I might have would have felt bad.

Now, here’s where we realize for sure that we do not normally go left at the fork.  To the right of our path there is a very scary-looking foot bridge that I have never seen before in my life.  Tim now insists that we should have listened to him and gone straight at the fork.  I almost strangle him, but I still need him to cut down and drag a tree to my car.

Well, we have to cross the bridge now, he says.  Um.  No F-ing way.  It is over a small creek, no railings. and there’s a big sign that says “slippery when wet”.  No way.

Well, we had to.  Katie and Erich went first, with the empty sled.  Tim and I each carried a child.  It wasn’t really slippery.  But it was a little scary for someone who is afraid of heights and has a 2-year-old in their arms.  But of course we were fine.

All this while we were looking for trees, but Tim finally spotted one that might work for us.  It was 10 feet tall.  BUT, there was a big gap in the middle…..so we took the top half of the tree! 

Katie and Erich found one soon after we did.  We made our way back up to the front.  Luckily, we only had to drag the trees a short distance and then the workers came and got them with a four-wheeler, so we just had to get ourselves up front.  By now, the twins were done wandering, and just sat in the sled all the way back.  We paid for our trees, got some hot chocolate, and ate some yummy cookies Erich had made the night before.  It took some time to get the tree secured to the top of my car, but then we were on our way home!

Twins fell asleep for about 15 minutes on the way home.  🙂  We got them out and fed then lunch while we set up the tree and they watched safetly from their high chairs.  Then, we put them down for nap.  Will cried for a while, as usual, but then was quiet.  Ariel was talking to herself, as usual.  I left to do a little shopping.

Tim called me. 

Tim: Guess what else we need to buy for Christmas gifts?

Me: What?

Tim: Bed rails.  And Guard Rails.  Guess who just climbed out of the crib?

Me: Oh my gosh, is HE OK?!

Tim: Oh yes…..he’s fine…..SHE’S the one who climbed out!!!!!

Never would have guessed it.  Even Tim, when he heard the THUMP, went running into Will’s room and found him sound asleep.  It wasn’t until a couple seconds later, when he heard Ariel wailing, that he even figured out what had happened.  She was on the floor.  Crying, but fine.  Tim was a little shaken up. 

Then when he did go get Will, he discovered poop paintings again.  Poor Daddy.  He had a rough couple of hours.  So he was a little stressed. 

The next morning, there were more poop paintings.  So Tim had Will jump in the shower with me to get washed off.  I helped him clean up his room, and he went and got Ariel while I got dressed.  She’s screaming at the top of her lungs when he walks in; “NOOOOO, WANT UPPY MOMMY!!!!!!!”  So our morning started off a little stressful also.  Then they were fighting during breakfast, and dumping food on the floor.

We decided to call Mema and Papa to see if they’d babysit while we got some shopping done.  We just needed a break.  I put the lights on the tree while Tim entertained the twins with Elmo Saves Christmas.  Very cute movie!  They loved it.  Then, while we were out we started looking into our options for big-kid beds.  I’d rather change them over while I’m at home a little, so we were originally going to do it February break.  Looks like we might need to do it a couple months early.  I know she only fell out once, but I really don’t want to risk it now…..knowing that she knows that she can get out.  She’ll get over the scare in a few weeks, I’m sure. 

After finishing our shopping, and then going to a nice dinner at a new restaurant in the mall, Gordon Biersch, and having a beer, we went home refreshed.  And ready to put the ornaments on the tree with the twins.  We put Muppet Family Christmas in because we had watched it already, so we didn’t have to pay super-close attention and answer a million questions.  But they loved it the first time so we figured it would serve as an OK distraction while we put on some of the fragile ornaments.  Everything worked out very well.  After a while, Will started to get a little crabby because he was tired and Ariel wasn’t content with the stuffed ornaments we had deemed ok for her to put on, but we were almost done by that time anyway.  I love sharing all of these traditions with them now that they kinda understand what’s going on!  This is now.

THEN: My children were born at approximately 3 and a half pounds each.  Pretty good for 31 week twins actually.  When I was wheeled up to their incubators in the Dogwood room, I thought they were the smallest people I had ever seen.  They were so fragile-looking that I was almost afraid to touch them.  But I was their mother and I couldn’t be afraid.  Besides, Tim and our families had, and they were fine.

I went to see Will first, because he was closer to the door.  His lungs were a little more underdeveloped than his sister’s, so he had a CPAP machine and a mask on his face to help him maintain his oxygen levels.  It wasn’t helping him breathe, just making sure he got what he needed.  Other than that, he was hooked up to monitors in three different places.  A clip was on his foot, monitoring his heartbeat.  There were two different needles in his hands.  And there was a feeding tube down his throat.  He couldn’t open his eyes because of the mask.  He was so beautiful and precious and little.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, but I had to see his sister.

She was hooked up to all the same machines, except the CPAP.  She had been on the CPAP for a couple hours when she was first born but that was it.  I thought the’d be enclosed, but instead they were on heated platforms, surrounded by blankets.  They only had diapers on, so that they wouldn’t get too warm.

They couldn’t eat, that’s why they had the tubes.

They couldn’t regulatre their body temperatures, so they had the blankets and the heated pad.

They had to be monitored at all times and couldn’t be held yet.  All I could do was lightly stroke their backs or touch their hands and feet carefully to let them know that Mommy was there.   Finally.

That was then.

Being Thankful

NOW:  I’m sitting here trying to think of what I’m thankful for.  In a creative way.  I’m thankful for so much, but it’s all kind of cliche and boring.  Family, friends, health, job.  That about sums it up.  But, expressing what you’re thankful for seems the thing to do these days, so here goes nothing……

I am thankful first and foremost for my husband, Tim.  He is my everything.  Sometimes I get so caught up in living life I forget to think about how I got here in the first place, but it’s mostly to do with him.  I am thankful for his sense of humor, his love, his daddy-skills, his cooking skills (Thankful mostly because then I don’t have to cook!), and for making me want to be a better person…..but still putting up with the parts I’ll never change.  He is my best friend and my soulmate. 

I am thankful for my twins.  It’s hard to believe there was a time in my life when I thought I didn’t want kids.  Now, sometimes I believe I was put on this earth to be their mommy.  It’s a full-time job….and it’s definitely WORK, but it’s also the best job in the world.  Even if I forget that sometimes….like when Will’s walls, crib bars, sheets, and stuffed animals are all painted with poop when I go to get him in the morning.  But when I think back….especially when I’m doing a “THEN” post…..well, it just helps me remember how much I need them.

My friends….they are just always there for me, or just there to be with me, or just there to talk to me.  I am so lucky to have each and every one of them.  Even when they are so drunk they spill gluten-free beer all over my husband’s white Sabres jersey.  Oh yeah, I’m also thankful for Stain Stick.

I think in this economy, most people are thankful for their jobs.  I am. 

My family.  And Tim’s family.  They are just so great and helpful.

But I am more thankful that I love my job.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.  I would hate to be stuck in a job just because I had to make money, and I know that’s how a lot of people’s lives are.  I am blessed to be working in a good school, with good people, a good principal, and pretty good kids. 

Can I take a minute to be thankful for ridiculous things?  I am thankful for the yummy risotto my hubby made for dinner last night.  I can still taste it, and that’s a good thing.  I am thankful for my new salad spinner.  My old one broke after a good 8 year run, and I don’t think I could have lived without one.  If you don’t have one, you need one.  It’s the only thing I like to do in the kitchen!  I am thankful that International Delights already started selling their Pumpkin creamer so that I can stop spending $4.50 for pumpkin lattes.  And thankful for the coupon in the paper last week so that I could get an extra bottle.

There are lots of other little things I’m thankful for too; Disneyworld, Disney characters, and Disney movies, books, TV, baby wipes, my hair straightener, pizza, crayons, play-doh, my Fraggle Rock snuggie.  The list could go on and on. 

I guess I just am thankful for a lot.  And I know, even when I’m feeling not-so-thankful, I can use one of the many things in my life that make me happy to remind myself how lucky I truly am.  This is now.

THEN:

I am thankful to the nurses and doctors who took care of me and my children when I couldn’t.

I am thankful to my breast pump. 

I am thankful to my support group, made up of family and friends who love me.

I am thankful that I got heartburn that ended me up in the hospital, because without it, the outcome might have been a lot worse.

I am thankful that my children were relatively healthy and that, with the help of modern medicine and science, they could become stronger and healthier.

I am thankful for my husband taking extra time off of work while I was in the hospital, while the twins were in the hospital, and once the twins came home.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.

That was then.

Morning Routine (no-twin-Tuesday)

I’ve done it.  I’ve accomplished something marvelous.  It might only be temporary, due to any unforeseen circumstances but the fact that it is currently happening is nothing short of miraculous.

Tim is getting up early with me and exercising.  And likes it.

I have been trying to do this for a long time.  Even when we would have an event planned in the evening and we would know we weren’t going to exercise he would refuse to get up early. 

But we’ve been slacking off as of late and I decided it was time to try something new.  Not only were we skipping days, but we were so tired by the end of the day that we weren’t putting a lot of effort in when we did exercise.

So, last weekend I broached the subject again.  I said we’d have more time at night to just relax.  One of the reasons I didn’t like exercising after the kids were in bed was because that only left about 2 hours before we went to bed.  So, we’d get ready, we’d exercise, we’d shower, and we’d have maybe a half-hour before I was falling asleep on the couch.  Plus, I was just plain exhausted after working all day, dealing with twins while trying to start dinner, and then playing after dinner. 

So he agreed to try.  YAY YAY YAY!!!  Last week we got up every morning.  Well, he was on death’s door Thursday and Friday so he skipped, but whatever.  And this week we are still going strong!  We even got up Saturday morning before swim class. 

I feel like I have more energy in the morning, both as I’m exercising and then after.  I feel like it adds more time to our day….which it really does because we’re getting up an hour earlier.  Plus, I don’t feel so guilty making evening plans because I still get my workout in.  I also think it is helping me control my eating again because I can’t tell myself that I’ll just work it off later.  Nope, too late, you already exercised for the day.  I also read an article about morning workouts that said you need to give yourself at least 3 weeks to readjust to your new schedule.  So as of right now, that’s the plan.

Last week I don’t feel like I was any more tired than usual because of this new routine, but this week I’m feeling it a little more.  But that’s more due to our busy weekend. 

We stayed up late Saturday because we went out to dinner and then spontaneously decided to catch a showing at 11 PM of The Rocky Horror Picture Show……complete with props!!!!   I was so excited!  It was a lot of fun, but it has sure taken it’s toll on me as far as being tired.  Friends of ours and Tim and I decided to visit a restaurant called Tantalus.  AMAZING!!  The only bad thing was that the menu was enormous….and everything sounded so good!  It was hard to decide.  We started with a seafood appetizer and I had a glass of red wine.  Then, I tried a cup of their Apple Pumpkin Goat Cheese Soup.  I wished I had ordered the bowl instead because it was SO yummy!  Then, another glass of wine.  For dinner, I had a pasta dish called The Tuxedo.  It was linguini, and linguini infused with squid ink.  Then it was mixed with a spicy red tomato sauce, chunks of tomatoes, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and anchovies.  I’m not normally an anchovy person, but I sure was with this dish!  To end the meal, I tried their hot apple cider “kicked up” with a shot of Van Gogh Caramel Vodka.  It was heavenly. 

After dinner we were walking across the brick street to a small bar to finish watching the Sabres Game.  On the way we passed by the local Theater…..which was showing Rocky Horror that night.  We went in and inquired about props, found out they were allowed, and left the boys at the bar while we ran to Tops for supplies!  When we got back we rounded them up (not too hard to do because the Sabres game was done) and invaded the theater.  I have ALWAYS wanted to do this movie in the theater with the props and my experience was not disappointing.  It was SO SO SO much fun.  And as my friend said……it was one of those spontaneous things we used to do more often before I had kids.  Which was not meant in a bad way at all, and was very true! 

I spoke to Tim about it afterwards.  We don’t get a lot of nights out where we can be spontaneous.  Usually we get a babysitter for a specific event, we go to the event, we go home.  This was such a nice night because aside from dinner, we had no agenda.  We could have done basically whatever we wanted.  And we did.  What a treat!

Then Sunday we carved pumpkins, and yesterday we went out trick-or-treating. 

So, as I’m writing this, I am exhausted.  The last few days were exhausting.  Work was exhausting.  Kids are exhausting.  I’m ready to get a good night’s sleep (and it’s only 4:00) and start fresh…….with my morning workout!!!!!!!

It’s the Renaissance!

NOW: Ok, so this is kinda my No-Twin Tuesday.  But it is a little late.  Sorry.  I’ve just been so behind, and it’s hard to get everything done when my only free time is naptime.  There’s a lot I’ve wanted to do this summer around the house and I just kept putting it off and putting it off and now it’s August.  So the blog has gone by the wayside a little bit.  I started typing this yesterday, but my internet went down.  So there you have it.

Last Saturday, my dad and I went to the Sterling Renaissance Festival.  We go every year, and have been going every year together, just us, for a few years now.  In fact, that’s been his birthday present for a while now; tickets for the festival, and a gift certificate for either breakfast, gas, or dinner.  I love that this time is reserved every summer for just my dad and I.  No one else around us really loves it as much as we do, which works out just fine in my opinion.  Perhaps one day we will start bringing the kids – but then we’ll have to go twice, once with them and once without. 

If you’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival, I highly recommend going at least once.  It’s a pleasant escape from reality.  It’s so much fun watching the characters throughout the day as they interact with each other and the guests.  The shows are always great and the food is excellent! 

My dad and I almost always stick to the same shows.  We started this year with Johnny Fox (it’s a stage name…..his real name is John Fox).  He’s a sword swallower.  For Real.  It’s funny because we practically have the show memorized, but we still cringe or laugh when appropriate.  The mark of great entertainment.

We like to make sure to see all of our favorites, so the majority of our day is spent sitting and watching shows.  Some people choose to wander more, and catch more impromptu performances, but we’ve never done it that way.  We headed over to Dangerous Dan next.  We don’t see him every year because his show freaks me out a little.  He’s an acrobatic performer and balances on high tables, ladders, etc.  I don’t like heights, even when it’s other people.  And he acts as though he doesn’t know what he’s doing so that scares me even more.  I know it’s just part of the show, but I still get nervous that he will fall.  My dad got picked to help him out with a trick this year.  He’s standing on the right.

I always have a turkey leg for lunch, we split salt potatoes, and my dad had a chicken shish-ka-bob with rice.  Yum!  A lot of Renaissance Fair is about the eating.  And the beer!  But my dad doesn’t drink since he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, so I don’t get beer either.  It’s too bad because I really wanted one this year but no big deal.

We never miss Emery Fleet and his Rat Extravaganza.  This is my favorite show.  Again, the jokes are the same every time.  Every show.  Every year.  But we still laugh.  Every time.  I even bought my own pet rat to take home this year.  It was free with every $10 donation.

This year we tried someone new.  A hypnotist.  We left after 15 minutes of his show.  It was just boring.  We would have left sooner but we kept hoping something would happen.

We went to an early dinner so that we could catch Don Juan and Miguel’s Weird Show.  They have four different shows throughout the day but the last one is called the Weird Show.  It’s basically always the same every year, but they do some different jokes.  They whip things and sword fight, too.

We never ever ever miss the Final Pub Sing.  We even bought the CD a few years ago so that we could learn some of the songs and sing along because it seemed everyone else but us knew the words.  🙂

So it was just so relaxing and fun and nice.  What a great tradition.  This is now.

THEN:  I knew I had to stay in the hospital at least until Saturday afternoon because they wanted to monitor the proteins in my urine for 24 hours.  On Saturday morning, the texts started coming.  Tim had gone to the draft the night before and of course, had told all the guys what had happened and that I was in the hospital.  They, of course, went home and told their wives.  The wives, my friends, started texting me as soon as it was appropriate in the morning.  I’ve said it before.  I am so lucky to have such a great group of friends.  It made me feel so loved to get all of those well-wishes and concerns and thoughts and prayers.  Then, because so many people had found out what was going on from word-of-mouth at the draft, we figured we better let a few other people know, those who weren’t there.  Steve and Mariah were out of town, and we also let my friends Melanie and Deanna know what was going on. 

I still wasn’t really worried.  I figured I would just leave and be on bedrest starting that night.  No problem.  So even though I was touched at the outpouring of thoughts from our friends, I didn’t even feel that it was justified.  I was fine, I knew everything was going to be ok.

Tim’s sister called that afternoon also.  She’s always so helpful, and wanted to know if anything could be done around the house that I didn’t get to do because of being stuck in the hospital.  At first I brushed it off, but then I suggested the laundry.  She was going over there to let the dogs out and feed them anyway.  So she does a couple loads of laundry and then decides to take a shower while she’s there.  After her shower she goes back down to the basement and finds…..a flood of dirty water.  The stationary sink had backed up and between the washer pouring into it, and the shower going…..it had overflowed.  She didn’t know what to do!  She was mortified that she had tried to help and I was going to come home to this.  So she called her dad who suggested just calling us.  It had happened before, so I told her just to call Roto-Rooter.  She was so upset that she even had to call and bother us.  It actually was better this way.  She and her dad took care of everything.  If I had been home, I would have had to deal with it!  I told her that and she laughed and felt better.

What a mess this was.  By Saturday night, they still didn’t really have any answers for me.  Other than I was going to have to stay in the hospital at least one more night.  The proteins were still high, my blood pressure was fluctuating – high sometimes, almost normal other times.  The contractions that I couldn’t feel had basically stopped.  They also had given me two shots – steroids, so that if I ended up delivering, it would help the babies’ lungs be better developed.  I asked if there was anything bad that could come of getting this steroid if I didn’t end up delivering, and they said no.  I was absolutely convinced that it would not happen.  I felt fine, and they all seemed to think this was no big deal.  I suppose they deal with it all the time.  They moved me to a different floor, actually the maternity recovery area, because I was staying more than 1 night.

I sent Tim home again that night.  He was exhausted and I wanted him to stay with the dogs, check out the basement, and just sleep in his own bed.  Honestly, I thought I’d sleep better if I was by myself. 

And actually, he was supposed to work the next day.  He was going to try and call his boss in the morning to take the day off, but just in case he had to go in, I wanted him to be home to sleep that night.  It actually was more peaceful to be by myself.  Even though nurses kept coming in every hour and I was up by 6 am.  I still felt that I had slept better than the night before.  That was then.