Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

This post mentioned "time" - me time, us time, alone time, our time, whatever you want to call it. And the thing about time is that once you have kids, you still get that alone time... just at very odd hours.  

Like this morning, New Year's Eve, I woke up at 3:57a.m. to the sound of a screaming child.  Eventually I ended up offering this child a bottle and she went back to sleep but there I was sitting on the couch wide awake at 4:15a.m.  Now, I went to bed at 9 last night, which by the way, does NOT happen very often so I felt very rested and actually kind of giddy to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot coffee, a single sheet of monogrammed note paper for making a list, and the funny Dave Sedaris book that everyone has read except me, Me Talk Pretty One Day.

So I am thinking about my New Year's Resolutions and I am not going to make a huge deal about them but I will list a few little phrases that keep streaming through my conscious:

-pray more, like maybe 3 minutes every morning, first thing.  That doesn't sound like a long time but I am talking about real uninterrupted prayer in the still of the morning.
-eat smaller portions taking smaller bites, with smaller utensils, have you ever seen how huge our silverware is?
-take more walks and lift weights, start yoga or pilates not just to be a part of the trend but to feel good
-do something nice for others, volunteer, donate money to a charity, invite my neighbor over for dinner
-get off the gossip train at work, how petty and ridiculous is gossip? mind my own business
-read more, a book a month?
-do more creative things, paint, write letters instead of emails, make a card for someone instead paying for one
-use my China and crystal a lot more, like maybe Sunday dinners.
-make a bigger deal about people's birthdays

I think that is about it for now.  It is a good starting point at least.  I am sure that more resolutions will be born as the year progresses.  Oh, and I have this really cool square, fat, leathery journal, like the size of a stack of coasters, and each time I do something that falls into these goals I am going to write it down so I can look back over the pages this time next year and feel pretty good (or bad) about how much I stuck to my resolutions.

Oh and did you notice my blog banner and title updates?  Why not?  I hate the way this sounds but my blog isn't only about my precious babies anymore so I did a little changeroo... Look in the background of the picture, see that China plate?  Does posting this picture count as using my China for the first time in 2009?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Keh

The other night, Jason posted about some of the highs and lows in 2008 and his expectations for 2009.  In his post he wrote about his grandmother who past away this year.  I was so moved by that section that I decided to do the same and share some of my favorite memories with my beloved grandmother who passed away in May of 2006.

Her name was Laura Kelly.  I was named after her.  She forbade my sister and me to call her anything "Grand-" so we called her by her middle name.  Except, when you are two years old words don't come out right and "Kelly" was pronounced "Keh" and the name stuck our whole lives.  Keh lived in the same house she was born in Hayneville, AL her whole life, except for a few years she lived and worked in Birmingham when she was employed by the Board of Education.  My sister and I loved, I mean really loved, going to spend the night with Keh.  Her house was full of old knick knacks that she let us be free to explore.  One of our favorite games to play was "train station."  Mere and I would used ticket stubs from the laundry mat and an old gadgety stamp that made this wonderful ching noise when you pushed down to mark the day of the week and date.  I also loved to play salon with Keh.  She would let me put curlers in her hair and bright red Elizabeth Arden lipstick on her until it ran out.  She would also let us wear her satin nightgowns to bed when we stayed.  We slept in my mother's room under an electric blanket that smelled like powder and moth balls.  

She would wake up at 4 in the morning when it was still dark outside and sit at the kitchen table drinking coffee and smoking Pall Mall 100's.  Her kitchen always smelled delicious - like hickory smoked bacon, hot grease, and cigarettes.  She let us help her cook but when it came time to eat the portions she gave to us seemed so small.  Once when I was in 6th grade she pinched the back of my chubby arm and told me I eat too much.  It hurt my feelings but I loved her so much that it was easy to forgive her instantly.  My grandfather, "Big Daddy," was a quiet man.  He was a WWII veteran who "never was the same" after he served 4 years in Europe.  My mother has the box of letters he would write to her all of the years he was away before he came home and they got married.  I remember thinking how cool it was that my grandfather had been to the Fiji Islands and had spelled out the word "Fiji" in bold letters across the telegram so secretly tell her where he was without breaking any rules about giving away the military's locations during their mission.  Another reason "Fiji" was cool was because it was the place you could be thinking of to stump your class mates during a game of Mapquest... no one ever knew where Fiji was because it was this little tiny island off the coast of Japan or Australia, I'm not sure.  Big Daddy always let us tuck him in bed at night and would give dollar bills and a stick of Juicy Fruit gum as party favors when it was time to go home.  And Coke Classic was always served in a glasses with a few cubes of ice and sweat around the glass, makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Keh would walk us down a dirt road behind the house the led to the family cemetary.  She showed us her mother's grave, her siblings graves, and I distinctly remember seeing a tiny headstone with a cracked blue angel sitting on top and thinking to myself, "babies die?"  We would also pick up pecans and carry them in our t-shirts and shell them when we got home.  One day walking back to the house I stood up from bending over to pick up nuts and saw a black man riding bareback on a huge black horse.  He tipped his hat to us and probably said something like "hi how are ya?" my grandmother said something like "fine just fine" and my sister and I still laugh about my response looking back up at him, "Whoa..." was all I said.  I don't think I had ever seen anything so random and so huge and a big black man on a big black horse just walking down this country dirt road.

Keh lived to be 89 and up until the last 48 hours of her life she was comfortable and completely sane.  Nick and I went and visited her at Baptist East one afternoon.  I took socks to her because she complained about being cold at night.  The next afternoon Mama called me at 9 at night and said, "She's gone."  I knew that she wouldn't live forever but nothing can prepare you to lose someone so special as a grandparent... especially someone so perfect that was responsible for so many treasured memories. 

One last thing about my memories of Keh... and I always think about this one at Christmas time.  For all of the years of my youth Keh would come to Montgomery for Christmas dinner.  When I got to be college aged and she was too blind to drive my sister and I would ride to Hayneville to see her.  While we waited at the red light at the intersection where Hwy. 82 meets the Southern Blvd. and I65  South, I would roll down the window and give a plate of hot biscuits and sausage to the homeless people under the bridge.  We never felt threatened.  We felt good about it because while they couldn't be with anyone in a house on Christmas, at least they had a hot breakfast that day.  Keh was glad we did it because she wouldn't have eaten all that food anyway.  So I miss doing that too.

I have her old furniture and a diamond ring that she left me.  She made it to my wedding but I hate, really hate, that she didn't get to meet Harper and Lily.  At least I have the family cemetary to go back to see her.  Maybe next Christmas we will go see her and take hot biscuits and sausage just in case someone needs a hot meal.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Advice Works...

When you are a parent and you ask for help you get a lot of helpful hints and a lot of "trust your gut" advice... the best you can do is hope that your decision a.) is a combination of both and b.) works.

I was getting a little agitated (to say the least) at how fussy and angry the babies getting as the days went on especially at night time.  Many of you have heard and SEEN how upset they would get starting at 6 until about 9... especially if Nick was out of town.  After having lunch with one of my favorite moms yesterday and swapping notes and comparisons of our babies days we concluded that my babies crankiness has been due to OVERTIREDNESS.  I guess because they aren't "newborn" anymore I just assumed that meant that naps were a done deal and cribs were only for bed time.  Boy was I wrong.  After just one day of intentional napping my babies are entirely different.  I'll start with yesterday's afternoon nap in bed at 3 till 4.  Bottle at 5, bath at 6, bed at 6:30 - NO CRYING.  This morning they woke up on their own at 7 and had bottles at 7:15, played on the floor until 8:45 when I noticed that Harper was drowsy and sucking her thumb.  I scooped her up to go and rock and she immediately started fussing - so I put her in her crib and she was out in literally 2 minutes for about an hour.  Lily went to bed about 20 minutes later and they slept until 10.  Bottle at 10:30, played until 11:45, napped in bed from 12 till 1:30, bottle at 2, Target from 2:30-3:30, bottle at 4, watching TV from 4:30 till now 5:19.  Bottle will be at 6, bath at 6:30 then bed.  Fingers crossed they will go down as easy as last night.

I had no idea that napping frequently in BED during the day would be so healthy.  Before yesterday I would think, "keep them up during they day or they won't sleep at night" - so far from the truth.

SO THANKS! all you moms who commented and consoled.  I can breathe easy knowing that they are happier on this revised nap,eat,play,nap schedule.  

My mom always says, "we didn't know about schedules when we were bringin' y'all up" or "we didn't have Bumbo seats when we were bringin' y'all up."  Does anyone else's mom say that sort of thing?

PLUS between H&L they ate an entire jar of baby green beans!  

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Wrap Up

Well it's a good thing that every year I say, "This was the best Christmas ever."

Christmas Eve my dad, his new wife, and my younger siblings came over for heavy appetizers and gift swap.  Nick and I were giving off of a very very small budget... actually we didn't budget for Christmas because there simply isn't any money in the account for anything other than the bills which has to last until January 31st.  (still in the mess of not getting paid during my maternity leave.)  We used gift cards and cash received from our anniversary to buy relatives "something" to open because we knew they would have something for us and the girls - oh and because it is the season of giving right? (post to come about this - the New Year Resolution post).  I explained that this year would be our "freebie" Christmas of giving a framed picture of the twins - something everyone wants and needs right!?  I vow to sock away some cash every month until next Christmas to cover the cost and to make a bigger deal of birthdays this year because the truth is I really do like giving gifts (who doesn't like receiving) but when it all adds up cost wise and you realize you just don't have it it can steal the joy.  So I really appreciate everyone for being so grateful for what little we could give. 

Christmas morning the M's came by for breakfast and gifting followed by Nick and my first holiday meal at our dining table using our china, crystal, and silver.  I must say we did do a really good job.  Pork tenderloin, squash casserole, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, rolls, and carrots (still full).  By 2pm the house was quiet again and Nick, the babies, and I cuddled up on our bed to watch, Finding Nemo.  Random I know but we wanted something animated, colorful, and longer than thirty minutes in case we were able to sneak in a snooze.  About that time my sister and mama called to ask it it was alright to come by for a little while, "Absolutely" was my exact response.  Short and sweet describes their visit but I'll take what I can get.  We had to miss their official celebration the night of Christmas because with two infant babies it just isn't practical to be away from home anytime after 6pm.  

Favorite gifts?  
-my very own copy of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
- a two stranded bracelet with beads spelling out Harper and Lily
- a Lavender and Vanilla oil burner
- one pink Bumbo seat, one purple Bumbo seat - now maybe the girls can really be on their way to actual gross motor milestones like sitting up.

When we will take down the tree?
-probably tomorrow.  I think that this Christmas went by faster than any other Christmas before.  It really does seem like yesterday we were putting it up.  The question on everyone's mind... where will the couches go NOW

Today
- lunch at Chappy's with the Huntingdon crew
- visit from my childhood friend visiting from DC

Next point/question:
Does anyone ever get the "blues" after a day like Christmas, especially when it is so gray out?  It seems like mentally I KNOW there is no reason to be blue but it's like, when all of the hype and commercialism goes away it can be a real spiritual test to keep the meaning of the season in your heart and efforts. It is 9 am now, the day after, and the babies are playing on the floor, Nick is snoozing on the couch (of course) and I am on the porch with the dregs of Christmas Blend and I just feel like there is nothing to "do."  We really must take more advantage of the double stroller and blessing of "off time" instead of feeling like, "now what?"  I sound like a kid sad that the Disney trip is over instead of ecstatic of the fact that we got to go.  I have always been this way...  I have always enjoyed anticipation more than the outcome.  It is not because my expectations aren't met, they were exceeded this year and every year, but I guess that the gloom of "back to the grindstone" sets in and as the mommy it is my job to keep things interesting, clean, and happy.  You know what I mean? 

Also,  I hear stories and see pictures of other babies our kids' age (and younger) and am reminded that they are ... behind.  I was told to expect this but it just makes me kind of sad.  They are 7 months old now, not rolling over, not sitting up, not eating baby foods, and have laughed once.  I am ready to be able to chase them and giggle with them and read to them without them dozing off or squirming to lay on the floor and look at things.  I feel this guilt like it is my responsibility to get them to accomplish these milestones.  I feel like there is more that I could be doing to help them but then I know that there are other babies FAR less stimulated and loved on than mine and they turn out and grow up.  Isn't there some sort of preemie mom counseling or literature that could help me out and give me some peace of mind?

(I promise there wasn't a pea under my mattress last night, I am just being honest)

Signing off now... about to go intervene on the snooze fest and rally for some tummy time!

Merry Christmas, be thinking of some resolutions to share!  I am jotting and journaling a few of my own.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ok Moms More Questions for you...

It is the day before Christmas Eve and Harper has a really really gross runny nose ( I am being polite since what I really want to say is really snotty nose).  She slept from, what did we say 8:42pm last night until 6:45 this morning.  I changed her diaper and then brought her into our sunlit den and realized her nose was almost completely sealed shut from dried... you know.  So I ran some hot water and moistened a rag and went for the ole' nasal aspirator -which she hates.... but y'all I am not kidding I aspirated so much mucous I don't know even how to give you an accurate description.  I aspirated A LOT of clear yellowy mucous.  NO fever, NO decrease in appetite, no real mood changes.  WTEFY book says there is nothing you can do for a common cold except hope it doesn't get worse. 

So here was on the 23rd of December and my message to the phone nurse started something like this, "I know it is the day before Christmas Eve and I know this doesn't sound like an emergency, but...."

I really don't want to have a miserable feverish baby on Christmas with no options other than the emergency room.

Welcome to parenthood in Winter!
Does all of this go away in Summer?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Crying it Out

is it child neglect to put your babies down at 5:30p.m. (because they fall asleep in your arms) then again at 6 (after rocking and falling asleep) then again at 6:30 (after a bedtime story) then again at 7 (more rocking) then between 7:30 and 8:42 let them scream their heads off in their beds because they aren't hungry, they ARE tired, and you just don't know what to do?

We go through these periods where H&L go down so easy, bottle, rock, bam, asleep all is right with the world and then all of a sudden we will go through a week or two when the children cannot me consoled.  I wonder if they are about to cut teeth because not matter how many bottles we offer their hands are in their mouths but they do not want pacifiers.  

Tonight is the first night I said, "Let's let 'em cry it out" and it is... painful.  Lily cries so hard she gags and Harper does this cooing trembling cry that breaks my heart.  Everything I have read says that when a baby reaches 4 months they have to learn to soothe themselves and put themselves to sleep and to run and pick up every time she cries is only teaching her that crying works.  We have the sleeping through the night thing down. ONCE they are out they are our for 10-12 hours.  It is the getting to sleep that seems hard... NO... it is staying alseep once you put them in the bed.  They can be OUT COLD in my arms but the minute they touch the mattress the eyes POP open and screaming competition begins.

Tonight I put them in bed for the last time at 8:30pm and let them cry it out.  It is 8:44 and they are quiet but the crying went on for about 2 hours.  (No it is NOT colic, I am sure).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

150th Post

Doesn't 150 posts sound significant?  Like I have really made a commitment to something and stuck with it.  There are 150 other things that I wish that I cold commit to accomplishing 150 times!

Today is Saturday and the first day of my two week Christmas break.  I have never been so excited about a break as I am about this one probably because I have never had children on Christmas before.  LAST Christmas day I was 6 or 7 weeks pregnant (I think) and I distinctly remember sitting down at the dinner table at my parent's house, taking two bites, and running to the restroom to throw up (morning sickness).  Later that week as we traveled to St. Louis to celebrate New Years with Nick's family I had a similar but MUCH WORSE episode at Aunt Nancy's house.   

Work Christmas party last night.  Nothing to say about it other than the wings were delicious and I won one of my favorite things in Dirty Santa: shower gel, lotion, and bath salts (no body splash :(  

Today we will be at home and hopefully get a few chores done.  My sister and her friend plan on coming by to deliver Christmas gifts and then at two I have a haircut.  Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE haircuts.  Some gals like shoes, or purses, I love haircuts.  The minute I realize I need one I am pretty obsessed the thought of it until my appointment is made and I am sitting there.  I was lucky to get an appt. today.  Thinking about going for my regular short angled bob then maybe letting it grow out again.

The babies are playing on the floor next to the Christmas tree.  Lily is stuck in a half roll and making a very funny grunting sound.  Ali keeps standing in between both of them giving them kisses and wiggling her little tail in the way a dog does when they are excited but know they are about to get in trouble, and Harper is screaching - not screaming as an infant does when unhappy, but screaching - making high shrilled noises just to hear herself talk.  

Wouldn't a Christmas tree be the most beautiful and enchanting thing young eyes have ever seen?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things that make you go Ahhh

Well I am sitting here trying to think of something to write and I looked at the coffee table in front of me.  On that table is a new package of baby wipes... yes wipes. Not just any baby wipes, "calming" baby wipes.

Really?  so it is the WIPES that calms the screaming baby, or in my case babies?  not the bottle, the paci, the kisses and hugs?  WIPES? 

oh ok. Glad I cleared that up for myself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy 7 months Babies!


Lily 6 1/2 months old, 12 pounds

Harper 6 1/2 months old, 11 1/2 pounds
Harper trying to raise her little head up

Lily on her jungle gym

Harper swinging and giving a very pitiful look to me

My baby girls, 6 1/2 months old, Lily on the left, Harper on the right
Dr. visit today and the girls turned 7 months old.  Their eyes, ears, and lungs were all reported perfect today!  Lily weighed 12.8 and Harper weighed 12.1.  They are cooing and screaching so much during the day and early evening.  They love the Christmas tree and watching the lights as they eat their nightie bottle.  Also, we picked up a Baby Einstein DVD this weekend, "Mozart", and they seem to really enjoy it as well.  I do not want to be a parent who lets their kids watch TV all day everyday but at this stage of development when they aren't rolling or crawling yet and don't want to be held all of the time (nor do they need to be held all the time) I feel that a 20 minute video twice a day is acceptable.  Once, in the morning after bottles as I get ready for work and then once at night after their afternoon snack bottle as a "wind down" activity.  Other than that I really like for them to "play" on a blanket with rattles and other toys and of course each other or swing and watch me do something like cook or clean - use every opportunity and task as a "language teaching" time!!!  

Sunday afternoon we went to a NICU reunion/Christmas party at Baptist East.  It was really really neat to see and visit with other families that we met during our NICU days.  Everyone was very excited to see how much H&L have grown.  It was really amazing to see other babies that I remember being so tiny or so covered up by chords and tubes in normal clothes and "filled out" as we refer to preemies that have gained weight well!  Also, it was nice to see the mommies - I told N last night that it dawned on me that another good reason for a reunion is because you never really say "goodbye" to other NICU families... they are there one minute (or month, or two) and then just gone.  Like us, no one really sticks around to say goodbyes to the other families... a few hugs to the doctors and nurses and then you are getting your babies and getting out of there.  Also, when you meet a woman for the first time who has just given birth and then been told her baby has to go to ICU, she doesn't exactly look her best.  Myself included.  So it was very nice and refreshing to see all of the happy HEALTHY mommies back on their feet and dressed and GLOWING that new mommy glow.

That's about it for now on the baby updates!  Keep checking in!  Would love to hear from you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Playmates

Everyone always asks how we do it with two babies.  My answer is simple... patience and timing.  Also, having two babies means that one always has a playmate.  When I need to be loading the dishwasher or balancing the checkbook I don't feel so guilty putting Baby A down on the floor to play because she has someone to play with , Baby B!  The twins have certainly reached the point where they recognize us... they light up when we come to get them in the morning and when we are reunited after a work day but they also recognize each other.  It must be odd in their little minds when they say something to themselves like, "oooh look at that one... it's a mommy face" or "that looks like my daddy face" or "oooh look at that one, no furry stuff on his face" but how queer it would be to think "hmmm, I know I've seen that face before, why, it looks like MY face... i'll stare at it, grab for it, oooh it squeaks like me!"

Nick and I have been on a Scrabble kick lately.  Last night I asked him, "Are you at peace with the fact that you are at a point in your life where you get in bed at 8p.m. on a Saturday night and play Scrabble with your wife?"  "Absolutely" he said.  I am pretty sure if I polled most 30 something men in our day and age they would be far less interested in playing scrabble in bed, twister maybe. (sorry)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Trees

Oh Tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum...

First,  Christmas trees should be real!  I just don't understand the plastic tree!?  Think about it ... PLASTIC TREE... tell me a more huge oxymoron.

Our tree went up Saturday and in all it's tacky lights and home made Christmas ornaments glory it is amazing.  The smell of Frasier Fur hits you right when you enter the house and the ambience while sipping coffee and watching CNN at 5 am can't be beat.  When I think of cozy I think of a 9 foot pine tree in my living room with 100 little stories to tell our children hanging from every branch.  

"This is the ornament your Daddy and I bought at Cade's Cove on our honeymoon."
"This is the ornament I made in first grade when I was a Brownie and so proud to have my picture taken."
"This is your Daddy's first ornament, 1978, what is "Precious Moments?  Oh just a little collector's cult popular once, I'm sorry the little boy's huge eyes freak you out."
"This is a rocking chair ornament that your Auntie Mere and I used to play with until Moomps and Pa made us hang it back on the tree and go to bed."  
"This is the ornament I bought when I went on a mission trip in South Dakota... that's Mount Rushmore... spin it around, the president's are wearing Santa caps!"
"This is my favorite Wedgewood ornament, see how the lights shine through the glass and make it look extra pretty?"
"This is the ornament the nurses made for you when you were 42 days old and still living at the hospital... see how tiny your footprint was?"

What are your favorite Christmas tree memories... speak up "Sparky" if you are reading this... was it when Uncle Lewis lit the first tree ablaze or was it when the squirrel flew out and attacked your entire family?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Office

(It is December third!?  I am so glad it actually FEELS like winter!  Thanksgiving Day was a typical November day in Alabama - warm and sunny but the mornings of December have all been white, crisp, and cold.  I will enjoy bundling up before work over the next 3 or 4 months but by April I am usually tired of bundling and ready for Spring... I, like most people think that Alabama isn't such a bad climate to live in because we actually get to experience changes in seasons.)

Work is still going really well.  I have a larger caseload at my base school this year which keeps me mostly in that building and comfortable - as opposed to being a junior high setting and pushing my way through the halls in between classes.  At my elementary school I have my own office/therapy room with a computer, a phone, a microwave and fridge, and Christmas music.  One thing that really adds to the enjoyment of working in an elementary setting is doing crafts with my kids.  Nothing fancy, just construction paper, dull scissors, and a glue stick.  I must be doing something right because non speech impaired kids ask me all day can they come to my room!?

My friend Sully that retired last May is living it up at home and it is different at work without her but I have gotten closer with a few other gals.  One is the music teacher and it has been really rewarding to pop into her room during Christmas Program practice.  After the kids practice their lines and caroling we play a word game - something educational - like a spelling bee or "Around the World."  It gives me a chance to get out of my little room and be among lots of kids at once.  

Being at work has been good for my health also - I have already bragged about this to a couple of folks but my news is blog worthy I think.  Since starting back to work 4 weeks ago I have lost 10 pounds!  Drinking lots of water, not snacking and replacing one meal a day with a salad, and walking the halls from 3-3:30 before I am dismissed have all been the key.  I still have a long way to go and have not gone down any sizes but can notice a few subtle changes in the way my clothes fit and certainly in my self esteem.

The truck is finished warming up now so I need to scoot on down the road.  Have a happy hump day everyone!

Friday, November 28, 2008

This is Our Day

Disclaimer:  I did not draw this cartoon and I do not take credit for it I just like it and wanted to show it off.  I have been accused of copy right infringement before on my blog so here is me saying Dave Carpenter I like your cartoon is all.

"Thanksgiving Day.. a first for many new things" my toast began at the dinner table.

A first as parents for me and for Nick.  We had lunch at my parent's house  - the traditional turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes followed by peach cobbler.  The girls did pretty well.  Any place other than home is a gamble for a good time because they don't have their swings, toys, and usual floor space and naps.  They get sick of being held and tucker out pretty early so we were back at home by 3:30.  I have affectionately nicknamed their "Poppy" (my dad) "the baby whisperer" as he is usually pretty good at cooing along with them and easing their fussiness.  Once we got home and the babies were napping I snoozed on the couch while Nick played with my hair and watched a History channel special on the White House.  Just as I fell asleep I had this vivid dream of Harper asleep in the red chair across the room, rolling to the edge and falling off... I GASPED so hard that I woke myself up and Nick exclaimed, "What was that?!"  I told him the dream and we both leaned off the side of the couch to peak on the actual sleeping baby in her car seat on the couch in the living room.  I think I had been thinking before I fell asleep, "I hope it is ok to leave her in the car seat on the couch..."  I am pretty sure their is a warning against that on the safety apparatus to prevent such horrible dreams from coming true.

Later in the evening after the girls went to bed, Nick and I curled up on the couch with Guthrie's chicken finger plates (ugggg) and watched one of my favorite movies of all time, Legends of the Fall.  We were in bed by midnight but woken up by 2 am to soothe a hungry baby.  They are around 13 pounds each now and reaching the point where a bottle is not enough to carry their appetites through the night.  However, they aren't enjoying rice cereal from a spoon yet either so for now we just give the extra feeding and hope to be sleeping through the night again soon.

Baby updates - well the ear infections have led to upper respiratory infections for both girls suggested by wheezing.  It isn't that bad... their feedings are still on the increase and they feel well but it is something we are watching.  Every 5 hours they have to sit on my lap for 10 minutes and breathe through a nebulizer.  Surprisingly to me, they tolerate it really well.  Lily is almost rolling over from her back to her stomach.  I have peeked in on her in bed and found her on her side several times and if she could get that one arm out from under her stomach she would be lying face down.  Which brings up a question... if a baby naturally chooses to sleep on their stomach is it ok to let her do it and not worry about SIDS?  Harper is just a few days behind Lily developmentally so she is just now discovering her voice by "razzing" and singing to herself in her crib.  Also, they have both figured out how to push the button that plays music on their tummy mats so that is fun to watch them be surprised.  Sometimes Lily will lie very still and just stare in amazement at her ands as she flexes her fingers and makes a fist.  Smiles are everywhere but not quite laughing yet.

It has been tradition that Nick and I go and find the Christmas Tree on the day after Thanksgiving but with the rain today and a few visitors expected it might be moved to tomorrow.  Today my dad, sister, and brother will stop by and visit for a little while.  Will is a marine stationed in North Carolina so this will be his second time to meet the girls.  The last time he was here they were just home from the hospital and about 4 pounds each so I am excited for him to see how much they have grown.  Also, high school friend Celeste and her husband Shea will come by to see them - and us :)

I dont' know if it is the massive rush of sugar that's been in my diet the past three days or the rain or all of it but I am TIRED.  It takes a lot of effort to even walk from end of the house to the other.  I pretty much feel like I could curl up and take a nap at any point in the day.  I would like to being reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the third holiday season in a row but I just know the minute I get nestled on the couch and start I'll fall asleep which would be awesome if I didn't have so much responsibility around the house.  Maybe I'll get in bed an hour early tonight and do that.  For those of you that don't know, Harper's name was chosen because I was reading TKM when I found out I was pregnant and loved the name so much that it was either Atticus for a boy or Harper for a girl.  I'm sure there are a lot of people glad that we had a girl.  But there are lots of names that would sound "weird" if they weren't so common... consider your own name... say it slowly about five times and it sounds weird!  You have just heard it so many times that it isn't unusual.

Big game tomorrow.  No big plans.  Plenty of invites to Iron Bowl parties but it just isn't worth the packing involved to half assure that the girls will be happy in a crowd of people.  Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable people can get around a fussy baby - much less two.  I don't like when people who aren't around them regularly see them fussing because it makes them think they are bad babies and my babies are SO NOT bad babies.  They are actually really really good they just like our home and our schedule - who can argue that?  HA... speaking of fussy babies, Barry Manilow is singing in concert at Rockerfeller Plaza in NYC and they just showed a family trying to soothe a less than 6 month old baby screaming his head off with a bottle... "Uh... parents... I'm pretty sure that hunger is not the only reason your infant baby is crying while you jam to "Islands in the Stream" in the snow in a crowd of 300 in the city that never sleeps!!!"  WOW.

That's all for now.  Happy Black Friday.  Did any of you go out to shop?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for...

Just a few...
being loved
nick- his commitment to me and our family and that he has never once judged me
harper- i love that she is so patient, i can tell already she will be a good listener, and that she really observes her surroundings 
lily- i love the way she smiles so big when i go to get her in the morning and she will sit so still on my lap with her head buried in my chest not needing any entertainment, just to be with me is enough
my health, my home, our things
my job and the benefits it provides for my family, including the time I get to spend with them
repaired relationships 
my friends, blogs, text messaging, and facebook (it is so nice to touch a few buttons and read and see my friends when we can't be face to face)
a new spirit of hope in America
Christmas music starts today, tree tomorrow
warm comfort food 
flavored creamers and coffees
soft clean pajama pants and long sleeve tees
scented candles
OK...this is where my list of things i am thankful for starts turning into things I love because the truth is there are the essentials in life that I am so thankful for and then there are things I don't need or deserve but have and am so thankful for so I'll stop.  That's a whole other blog...













Thursday, November 20, 2008

Schedules

I have been mocked before for putting my babies on such a tight schedule.  If people only knew how beautiful our families' schedule is, how much we look forward to it, and how fast it will go by.  I think about it every day.  

We wake up at 5, make bottles, and coffee, turn on MSNBC, and are quiet during the dark hour of the morning.  The sun comes up at 6 and I get ready for work.  The girls "play" on their blankets and tummy gyms in our room while Nick watches the news or irons our clothes.  I leave the house at 7:15 and on my way the windows to the truck I drive are down and my coffee mug is warm.  I listen to NPR on the way and I see beautiful homes and beautiful trees and I feel cold and windy.  I leave early enough that I can enjoy being "that guy in the right lane on I85 going exactly 70 mph.  

I get to work on the side of town where the houses are not beautiful and in most situations there is no schedule and no structure in the home.  My job is amazing.  In fact, I LOVE going to work every day.  I love the organization, I love the new black ink pens, the paperwork, the parent conferences, and most of all I LOVE working with my kids.  I think last year I was really really affected by hormones and "the rut" we all enter at some point when we haven't had a break.  I always felt impatient.  My temper was SHORT.  I was way too hard on myself.  I let myself feel defeated every day knowing that these kids needed so much help that I didn't know where to start.  But now, I pick a skill and go with it.  They are happy and having fun and when it gets too hard, we do something else and I make a note of it.  "...has trouble answering comprehension questions, can't list 5 fruits, forgets to capitalize and punctuate."  One thing I used to take for granted is that kids, no matter how educationally challenged they may be, remember things about me.  Almost every child I teach has asked "Where my baby?"  "Where Nick?"  "You still got dat dog Ali?"  And they all beg to see pictures of my babies.  They ooh and ahh and say they are so cute.  It is flattering and a little scary because it means that KIDS LISTEN.  They may not be able to retain counting by 5's and 10's but they remember the day I cried in Mrs. S's room after confessing my fears about money and having twins on our break.  As the kids filed in and I hurried to wipe away the tears they looked at me and almost every one wanted to walk up to me and give me a hug.  I swear to you, one little girl cried with me.  She didn't know why I was crying, but it made her sad.  Isn't that the definition of empathy.

I get home and have one hour to spend with my husband and children before putting them to bed.  At 6pm the house is quiet again and Nick and I compare notes on how our day went.  We eat a good hot meal and get in our warm bed and I REST.  The next day, we start over.

This will not always be our schedule but for now it is as good for me as it is the babies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Humor

Did anyone see SNL last night?

I just watched it and I rolled my eyes several times because I was just... like, shocked at some of the skits considered funny.

The digital short with Andy Sanberg and Paul Rudd.  I usually like the digital short but this one was awful.  It showed each one of them laying on a couch being painted by the other, NUDE.  You see everything with the fuzzy effect on the private areas.  

The college guy comes to dinner with friend and family.  The family is overly expressive and kissed each other probably 50 times to show their affection, freaking out the invited friend of course.  Scene ends with friend and "Dad" acting out a 5-7 open mouth kissed and basically being all over each other.

Finally, the pink gay cat on the Weekend Update standing up for his rights to marry the little green martian, I get it, but it all just leaves me saying, "really? that's funny?"

The other night Nick and I watched three episodes of the Cosby Show back to back.  Tell me a show these days that compares to this good clean fun that can make you laugh with out shocking you and grossing you out.  No, I'm serious... does anyone have any?  I would love some good funny tv.  The Office I know, anymore?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Nigh Fluff

The survey that Nick and Stephanie and Jason did was fun to read so here is mine.

My favorite birthday?
I feel kind of bad saying this but if I am being completely honest I would have to say it was my 23rd birthday.  I had graduated college and was back at home in Montgomery and went out to celebrate with some friends.  While we were out I looked over the bar and saw an old crush of mine.  When I was 16 he was 26 and it was totally inappropriate for us to crush on each other but we flirted innocently.  Well he looked shocked, like I was still 16 and asked what was I doing in a bar!?  When he asked how I was etc. I said I had just graduated college and was out celebrating my birthday blah blah blah and we ended up going back to my apartment (no hanky panky so get your minds out of the gutter) and dancing to songs like Lionel Richie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" till 4 in the morning!  There have been more sentimental birthdays that were more important but that was a really fun birthday that is fun to share! (sorry Nick, love you!)

My favorite way to spend the day off?
One word: relax.  Up at five to feed the babies, flavored coffee, watch the Today show, cook a yummy lunch, go on a walk/stroll, do laundry, read, maybe take a nap, spend time with Nick... basically just enjoy my home and my family.

My favorite song to turn up and sing to?
"Let My Love Open the Door" by the Who? 

What TV show will cause me to ignore my husband, children, friends until the next commercial?
THE BACHELOR AND/OR BACHELORETTE. Sorry I have no excuses... I LOVE this show.  I love watching all the nerves and desperate attempts to be memorable and the drunk slutty girls that never fail to be from Alabama.  Just good.

When was the last time I cursed at the TV?
Again, being completely honest here... tonight when Nick and I were watching the news a Sarah Palin clip played showing her mouthing off about something and I said, "uh, she's such a b*%$." Sorry... not really.

What will I most likely let my kids get away with when I am tired?
Sleeping in the bed with me, although this will be an eternal topic of controversy between me and Nick... he says no way no how and I say, oh Saturdays are special why not?  At least in the mornings during cartoons and sugary cereal... what could be better!?

Aside from major milestones, the best moment of my life?
Hmm, this is a three parter... so best three moments of my life.  NO I am going to stick to the question.  I would have to say that the moment the ultrasound technician said, "There's two" and Nick and I cried and held each other shaking was the best moment of my life.  Other amazing life moment's like saying "I do" and holding the babies for the first time were unforgettable but those moments were preceded with anticipation and halfway knowing what to expect.  I was shocked and could never have expected the explosion of emotion that I felt, emotionally and physically, when I saw that I was carrying twins in my womb.

Am I an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert.  I talk to strangers, I volunteer for social situations, I greet people in the parking lots whether or not it looks as if they are interested in me or not.

Biggest pet peeve that I see from other drivers on the road?
People texting while the drive.

A fashion item or statement that I really admire but can't pulloff?
Anything with high heels.  I love tall boots, strappy sexy sandals, pumps, but I just can't do it.  I have to wear flats for comfort and also, my claim to fame statement around Nick is "I just can't wear a heel without feeling like a drag queen."  (this does not apply to heels with dresses).  I mean heels with jeans, skirts, etc. basically anything other than a black pump with church and work clothes.

If I could go to college again and major in anything and follow through in it with a successful career?
I have said Nutrition for a while now but I think I will always long for my masters degree in my current career field, Speech Pathology.  The 5 month maternity leave gave me time for space and spiritual Q&A and change and I am actually really passionately loving my job now.  I also would really love to explore some form of counseling too though like addiction, couples, or children's, particularly abused and neglected children.

Hope this helps you get to know me a little better!

Tag:
Jackie
LJM
Lindsay M.
Anna




Monday, November 10, 2008

Hard to Believe These Are My Children

Friday night we spent the night with Mary Tyler and Steve at their new house.  She has a very nice camera and hopefully so will we (when we just come across 6 or 700 dollars... every penny will be worth it one day but until then, could you just stop by every day and take more photos like these?  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
-Me & Steve after he played a practical joke on me, scaring the daylights out of me!
-Harper during tummy time
-Beautiful Lily 
-Sweet Harper
-Harper & Nick

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Picture Post

I saw someone do this on their blog and thought it was a good idea.
-Go to the 4th photo file folder in your computer
-Post the 4th picture in that file
-Tell the story of the picture
-Tag for friends.

Ha HA. Ok this is funny.

This was September 30 of 2006 when Nick and I drove to Auburn to get tattoos together.  Not matching.  I chose the Fleur de Lis because I love the look of this symbol and also for it's religious symbolism, representing the Holy Trinity.  The artist's name was Melvin and we didn't have much to talk about because as you can see in the background of the picture the "Dave Chappelle" DVD was running the full hour.  The first five minutes of the tattoo worried me about whether or not I would be able to make it through the rest of the session but half way through my endorphins were really flowing and it actually felt like a deep tissue massage.

What is really crazy is that here we are 2 years later with a child name "Lily" and I did NOT plan her name from my tattoo, lol.  It really was coincidence.  Well when it dawned on me and Nick one night that I have a "lily" tattoo and and "Lily" child we google image searched "Harper" and the first picture that came through was the "Lion Rampant" symbol which... you guessed it, is what Nick got tattooed on his shoulder that day in Auburn.  CRAZY.

I tag:
-LJM
-Jackie
-Laurel
-Jason

Monday, November 03, 2008

What This Election Means to Me



A good friend assigned our little circle of friends a homework assignment... not to be graded not to be judged. "What Does This Elections Mean to You" he asked.

This post is not to persuade anyone because by now, your mind is probably made up. This post is to simply put down a few reasons why this election is important to me and why I believe Barack Obama is the best candidate for the President of the United States of America.

Let me say first, that I have not memorized each policy proposal and I can't "put up a good fight" over policy either. I didn't major in Political Science so I may not have all of the quotes and citations that I should in order to justify my beliefs. However, I have issues I feel very deeply for and I believe in the power of prayer and discernment and these are the tools that I used in making my choice.

My first heart's cry for change is for our children, particularly the ones with "no hope." For four years I have worked in the Special Education department on the west side of town... the poor side..."the ghetto"..."the wrong side of the tracks," a Title I, free meals elementary school and I have seen poverty at it's worst. Everyday, I have seen students ranging from Kindergarten through fifth grade walking down the hall after breakfast on their way to class with muffins stuffed in their pockets and a half chewed biscuit stuffed in both cheeks because they had to eat in a hurry and worry about having food later. So they take what's left over or what their buddy doesn't eat and hope that the teacher won't make them throw it away. I have let a little boy sleep in my room because he was so tired from being up all night in the emergency room with his mother after her boyfriend cut her arm and threw her down the stairs. He watched it all. Last year I took a 7 year old little girl to the nurse's office because she was complaining that her foot hurt. When the nurse and I examined her foot we saw an open wound so infected that the center of the cut was throbbing as the surrounding skin tried to protect the rest of her foot. The smell was awful. She had a bright red line under her skin that ran up her leg... staff infection. She explained that a couple of months earlier (that summer) she was chasing the ice cream truck and stepped on a piece of glass. She was not taken to a doctor or the hospital - no insurance. She said she didn't want to tell her mother that it was still hurting because her mama's boyfriend tried to push a needle in the sore to get the pus out and that it hurt so bad she didn't want him to try it again.  And perhaps the most haunting situation I have encountered was when I was obligated to write a report for DHR to report that a first grade boy had seen his crack addicted mother feeding her 2 year old son dirt and making him sleep on the floor because she didn't like him and "always gets mean to him when she drink that clear stuff out of that clear bottle." Poverty, single parented homes, drug and alcohol addicted parents, teen pregnancies and STDs... it needs attention and it needs real efforts.
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/poverty/#strengthen-families

Another big issue that means a lot to me and to our planet's future is the environment, clean air and water, land and wildlife conservation, and more efficient energy sources. No one can deny that we are taking so much more from this beautiful Earth than we are giving back and we need a clear cut plan with measurable goals, time lines, and accountability.
http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/EnvironmentFactSheet.pdf

And the third issue, perhaps the most important of them all... where does faith belong in America? So many arguments between Republicans and Democrats, especially in the Bible Belt land, stem from the moral issues and controversies (you know the ones I'm talking about). For me it isn't even about whether I am FOR or AGAINST these things. I am FOR people that have issues and decisions to to make... as we all do. People that have empty spaces in their hearts and voids to fill. If we keep fighting our own religious battles here in America it will eventually divide us completely. I am not saying that we should all just throw our hands up and say "to each his own" because to say that would almost suggest that no one should care for or after another and that is not the way we should be living. The truth is we have to live together and work together, and make laws together, and help one another, and disagree with each other but agree to somehow find a compromisable commonground if not for us for our children, and their children. Ok, I am probably starting to ramble so PLEASE take time to read this speech given by Obama called "Call to Renewal Keynote Address" June 28, 2006. It's amazing, I think anyway.

Get out and vote. God Bless America.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fit Friday




September 2008


December 2007


October 2006


October 2005


October 2005 = me thirty pounds ago.

There is this group of moms doing this "Hot for the Holidays" thing and each Friday is Fit Friday where you post little tidbits on your healthy weight accomplishments for the week.  I debated whether or not to post my own but I'll give it a shot.  To not post would really be giving into the "I don't want to set myself up for failure" attitude.  So here goes.

Quite simply this week I had a talk with Nick.
I told him what I like and what I don't like about myself 
and we talked about what I need to do.
It is nothing fancy and no new revelation.  It is the same steps that everything else is talking about which is:
-be a more conscious eater
-eat real food
-eat small portions 
-exercise
-drink water

Today I prepared lunch for Nick, Jason, and myself.  We had grilled chicken, salad with carrots, tomatoes, and goat cheese.  The croutons were baked bread pieces from the Publix bakery (rye and italian) and the dressing I chose was a tablespoon of light blue cheese.  I also topped my salad with a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds (lots of fiber).  I took one bite of a halloween sugar cookie for dessert.  I can't give myself too much credit on dessert because had it been chocolate I would have eaten the whole thing.

My mantra is "25 by the 25th" which is 25 pounds by my birthday, February 25th.  That is a lot but not impossible.

That's really it.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boo!

So consider these pictures as me giving you the good news first.

Well, let me say first that I am getting quite irritated at the vast number of people in public that take at look at Harper and Lily and say, "aww, a girl and a boy?"  I'm serious.  Most people are completely oblivious to dresses and pink car seats.  So, Monday night I put big bows on their heads even though this is something I SWORE I would never do.  I think it is actually kind of cute.  Lily is so cute in blue and Harper, well Harper was just as cute the entire trip through Publix but when we pulled up in the driveway and started to unload she looked like this...



And now for the bad news.

The stuffy noses?  Might be an allergy to milk.  We are not sure but after reading GFR post about milk allergies and switching to the "golden formula" we are willing to give it a try.  The babies have had this "snort" phelgmy sounding breathing pattern for a couple of months now... well ever since switching to formula.  It may have been there before due to choking episodes when they were really young but now they hardly ever choke but the snort has gotten much worse.  So bad that tonight they screamed bloody murder about it from 5:20p.m. until 7:10 p.m. when they finally were so exhausted they fell asleep... mid scream.  It is so sad.  No fevers, no decrease in appetite, no rashes, just a really juicy snort.  So why call it "golden formula" changeover?  Because as if formula isn't expensive enough ($32 per 278 fluid ounces amounts to $320 per month for formula feeding two babies) we now may have to pay $25 for 113 fluid ounces!!!  Holy crap I am just now really doing the math and that is approximately:
(5 feedings per day) x 12 ounces each time = 60 fluid ounces per day
(60 ounces per day) x 7 days per week = 420 ounces per week
(420 ounces per week) / (113 ounces per can) = approximately 4 cans per week
6 cans x $25 = $100 per week
4 weeks in a month = $400 per month on formula.

Yeesh.
 
* if you are reading this post for the second time then you may notice I made a math correction thanks to Pallie ;) 


** OKAY somewhere I keep messing up the calculations.. how pathetic am I?
Yes Emily you are right, $25 x 6 is $150 per week, 4 weeks in a month is $600 THE FIRST big scary number I got so someone work the whole equation and be sure I am right the THIRD time around.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Stuffy Noses Are Not Fun and other random things I have to say

Today Harper had a stuffy nose and the poor thing cried and snorted all day.  With a little plunging and saline drops she should be o.k.

Tomorrow we will travel to Mobile to see friends and have some good ole' fashion hang time.  It is odd that until this past month I have not been to the bay area in a couple of years and now I will have gone twice.

Last night was COLD.  The wind was blowing like crazy and it was wet and rainy.  Today was almost the same and I did not change out of my pajamas... I am not exaggerating at all.

Lately we have been going through Publix bakery bread... YUM.  Seriously I doubt I will ever need to buy any other bread at all... even better than Sunbeam and that says a lot for me.

Yesterday morning I was out of coffee creamer and Nick was not here to run to the store for me so I searched through the pantry and found a single serving of powdered Starbucks hot chocolate, mixed that with my coffee and it was amazing.  Such a nice treat.

Also at Publix I ran into one of the pediatricians that I have met once in my life and she remembered us ( I had the girls and my little sister ).  When I introduced the Dr. to my sister Whitney, W said that Dr. M has actually doctored her before and I though what a concept?  That a doctor can walk through a grocery store and see perhaps dozens of her patients.... people's whose lives they touch and possible change, or save even.

Today I watched Across the Universe for the second time and it was better than I remember.

I will not ruin the surprise of what Harper and Lily's costumes will be this year for Halloween but I am excited to see them all spookified...except they won't really be spooky.

And lastly, chocolate covered strawberries is one of my favorite desserts.

Has this blog changed your perspective on life or what?

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Neck of the Woods

...as Al Roper would say.

Well, Al, a lot actually.

It is a crisp cool Monday morning and the babies are at their "Mims" house for the day after sleeping 13 hours straight last night!  They began getting fussy at 6p.m. last night and were down and out by 6:30p.m.  Lily woke up at 7a.m. and we had to wake Harper up at 7:30a.m. to feed them at the same time.  This is amazing and I keep asking my friend with twins who we call Mims "is something wrong with them?"  She assures me this is a good thing.  I will admit that it is very nice to be able to watch t.v and have a glass of wine with my husband at 7p.m. and do other adult things knowing that the babies are safe and sound in their beds while visions of pumpkin spiced lattes dance in their heads...

Saturday... there was a knock at my door and it was Mrs. Linda - mother of Nick's college friend Brian - who had been out yard sale shopping and said she found an Expedition Jogger Double Stroller  for $75... she talked them down to $30 and the stroller is ours!  

Sunday afternoon was the PERFECT afternoon for a stroll.  I bundled the babies up, put on my tennies, and went walking.  It was 4:30p.m. and there were kids playing in their yards, neighbors mowing their grass, and even a Fall block party in a nearby culdesac going on.  As I strolled, I looked down at my two gorgeous daughters, I breathed in the fresh air, I felt the sun on my face, I tasted the Burt's Bees on my lips and I literally said out loud, "I am living my dream."  My dream was never to be a woman with a successful career or even someone who travels the world - although I do have the privelage of working towards these things also.  My dream, as cliche as it may sound, was to marry a God loving, sexy, and romantic man, have a home that always smelled good, and raise children that could one day say, "Mama, you make me proud."  So far, I have accomplished two of the three.

I would like to get a haircut today but the salon is closed on Mondays.
I will have lunch somewhere delicious with  my God loving, sexy, romantic husband.
I will go with this man to Walmart where
I will purchase all the little things you list on your fridge to get next time you are at Walmart like 
  • ziplock baggies
  • swiffer stuff
  • cascade
  • lean cuisines
I will stroll the babies again at 4:30p.m.
I will start The Memory Keepers Daughter before I go to sleep tonight.
I will be back at work in exactly 2 weeks therefore
I will cherish these days where strolling and reading are the most complicated things listed on my list of things to do today.  You can hate me if you want to but I will say that I genuinely wish the time off for every expecting mother that I have had these past 5 months.  And if you only have 1 day to yourself, do something you love.




Thursday, October 16, 2008

Picture Post


Me and Nick on game day.
Ok, this was NOT staged.  I was strolling the babies one morning and of course they were asleep and when I peeked in on them they were snuggling really really close!
Me and my girls.  My how they have grown.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Early Bird Special

The nice thing about having two babies that sleep through the night, finally, is that I get the chance to sleep in 7-8 hour increments.  Is 8 hours an increment?  The past few mornings I have stayed up after the the 5a.m. feedings to enjoy the quietness and stillness of the mornings.  Two of those three mornings I have watched the sunrise from my back porch.  This morning I actually journaled... for the first time since before the babies were born.  It's just nice.

In my journaling and Scripture reading I came across one of my favorite verses, Matthew 5:8, "those with a pure heart: shall see God" and it reminded me of the comfort I drew from it in high school and now the comfort I get from it with Harper and Lily in mind.  They have such pure perfect hearts and every experience, for a while, will be unguarded and unscathed by prior emotional attachments or experiences. 

Then I came across this post and it really drove the point home for me.  

Just for giggles:  Sometimes when I get up really early, like today, I hear a line from the movie Sister Act - the scene where Whoopie Goldberg gets woken up by the little sunflower alarm clock that one of the other shy sisters gives her... the alarm clock says, "Out of bed you sleepy head, Out of bed you sleepy head."  

What is a little chant or rhyme like this that gets stuck in your head sometimes?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Heavy Heart and the Silver Lining...

Someone asked me yesterday, "Do you like being a mother?"  
My response was, "Absolutely.  Being a mother changes the way I see things, the good and the bad."
Everyday when I look at my babies I am reminded of their struggle to survive in the hospital for two months because of their early delivery.  Today, I see their round faces and "fat bottoms," as I have affectionately nicknamed one child praying it won't do more psychological damage than good (!) and I long for the day that their is interaction between myself and them other than the basic steps to care for them.  About a month ago I had lunch with this same friend of mine and heard her almost 3 year old son scream, "MaaaaaaMaaaaaa!" from his room as he was ready to be finished with nap time and wanted her to come and scoop him up.  She doesn't know this but every time I go to my babies cribs I hear that sweet voice say, "MaaaaaaMaaaaa" knowing that someday, to my babies, "mama" will be me.  That is the good I see right now.

The bad is that I also realize the sobering fact that their are millions of unwanted, lonely, abandoned, abused children out there who will never know what love is and will never learn how to love.

A baby comes into this world requiring only three basic things: food, sleep, and affection.  If denied any of these actions the child will either die or grow into a troubled and perhaps lonely and/or dangerous person.  There is a medical term called "Failure to Thrive" that refers to a child's inability to gain weight due to a physical disorder affecting basic ingestive, digestive, and excretory functions of the body.  Also, there is "nonorganic FTT," a term that is used to categorize children that exhibit depression and apathy as a result of poor parenting skills and depression among a caregiver.  This, to me, sounds like the medical name for "what happens when life doesn't practice the Golden Rule."  

This is the bad I see and the bad that I am about to be re-exposed to when I return to work in a school where this is a lot of love, no doubt, and also a lot of love undiscovered that manifests itself in school aged children with the failure to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.  

This morning I charge myself to see the "silver lining" in returning to work... the silver lining is that my children will be cared for and loved by a friend I trust while I spend 8 hours in a building among hundreds of children that need a lesson... on love.
  

Thursday, October 09, 2008

With All Due Respect...

Sometimes this "going green" thing sounds a little silly...

Because, for now, I am a stay at home mom I watch a lot of t.v. and I have seen a lot of popular day time shows giving tips on how to save money and energy.  Some tips are really useful such as using the reusable shopping bags and riding your bicycle to nearby places... although it seems a little impossible when you a.) don't have a bike b.) have twins however there are a few ideas that I have heard of that seem a little ridiculous to me:

1.)  unplug all appliances 
One lady suggested unplugging every basic fixture and appliance when you are not home and/or when you are not using that particular appliance. (Lamps, t.v., kitchen appliances) It may save some dollars on your next electric bill but how inconvenient it is the next time you need light or to see what time it is if you have to bend down on all fours to reach the plug that is nestled back behind the couch or 100 pound dresser.
2.)  trade furniture with a neighbor next time you want to redecorate your home.
Who is up for trading your ole couch for someone else's ole couch... or mattress, ew.
3.)  Brew your own coffee and lattes instead of heading to Starbucks.
I only know of one person that buys enough Starbucks to affect his monthly "mad money" budget and I'm pretty sure I am not going to be able to convince him to give it up.
4.) (and this is my favorite)
Rip up your carpet insulation and use it as wall paper or a cool message board for bills and receipts...
NO!

What is the line you draw on being "green?"  and what are some actual tips you would recommend?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ah rain.    

Soggy blue jean bottoms and squeaky flip flops.  Frizzy hair and cold wet shoulders.  

And, the need for organization and change... 

In my den and living room and kitchen and bedroom and bathroom.  The girls are at their babysitter's house and I have little projects running around in my head.  I am taking advantage of time alone at home today and getting down to the nitty gritty dusty corners in my house.  A friend and I were talking last night and we both agreed but don't really know why new seasons spark such desire for change: in wardrobes, decorations, and possibly attitudes and spirituality.  I guess the galaxy is wired for never settling in any situation for too long.  

Last week Nick and I cleaned out our closets and decided what garments stayed and which ones to donate.  Yesterday I switched around pictures, mirrors, and table centerpieces in hopes to re-admire old pieces in my home while I can't afford to buy new ones.

Most of the furniture and knick knacks in my house are "hand me downs."  When I look around, I can tell you what divorce, death, or donation each treasured piece came into my home as a result of.  For example, my dining room table, china cabinet, and buffet came from my dear sweet grandmother after she died a year ago, or has it already been two?  There is a painting in my living room that my great great grandmother painted over 100 years ago.  The dresser and bedside table in my guest room was my mother's growing up and mine growing up also.  Both couches in my house came from Dad's house after his divorce and the club chairs that have rotated from living room to bedroom to now, the den, were given to me when my mom redecorated her home.  Then there are the drapes in my dining room and the floral print in my bathroom that hung in my bedroom when I was a single gal living in Old Cloverdale.  When I walk in each room in my house I have a memory attached to the pieces that give the room life.  

My family and my things are what make my house my home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fairweather Fairhope

We are in Fairhope, AL staying at the Marriot Grand Hotel while Nick attends the Bishop's Convention through Wednesday. We left Mont. Monday morning at 6:24a.m. and arrived at the hotel at about 9:45a.m. The babies were so good on the car ride down but by 10 were ready for their bottles! We fed them in the room and and by the time we finished it was time for Nick to get to a meeting. So I strolled the girls over to the main Dining Room and ordered an AMAZING chicken club wrap and sweet potato fries and a fruit cup to take back to the room. Our room overlooks the GIGANTIC pool/patio area. I texted LJM that all I needed was her to layout with and a babysitter to watch the babies! Oh well, next time maybe!

There are 100 year old (and older) oak trees everywhere and we are directly on the bay so needless to say the scenery here is breathtaking. We have not gotten to do much sightseeing yet but Nick has the afternoon off today so we are looking forward to strolling around then and maybe doing some shopping. Last night we ate dinner at a seafood rest. on the bay just outside of Mobile. I called a friend of mine from high school and college and he met up with us for beers and fried platters all around... talk about full. The babies slept the whole time...nice. Then to top the night off they slept for the second night in a row from 9p.m. to 5a.m. That is 8 hours people! Which means I slept 7.

So why did I name this post Fairweather Fairhope? It is 80 degrees, HUMID, we walk everywhere, and I FORGOT SHORTS!!! What the heck? Sweating in bluejeans makes me feel like I might die or strangle anyone in my way to an air conditioned room! Hehe, but it surely is not as bad as it would have been here a month ago!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Reconciliation

So now I make up for my poor pitiful me post from last night.

Ali Carrie confronted me this morning about how she is feeling snubbed in the news lately.  So a quick update on her.  She is still sweet.  She still loves to doo doo in the house, though not lately.  She loves to roll around in the grass even after a bath and her latest favorite toy is an old pair of Nick's socks.  For the past three nights she and I have been battling it out on our bed with a good ole game of tug-o-socks.  She growls and pulls and I pull back and bite her on the neck.  She loves it so much that at random times in the day, like when I am feeding a child, she will come and put the sock in my lap and sit at my feet staring up at me as if to say, "Ya wanna!?"  Here is a picture of her just after her last scalping, I mean haircut.

Raise your hand if you have a CAT that looks like my Dog ( cue lukesha).

It is Friday and last night was the first official "through the night" sleepfest.  Harper and Lily went to bed at 9pm and did not get up until 4am!  When they started crying I rolled over and looked at Nick and he said, "they haven't eaten since 9."  So we both got up and had them back down by 4:30am.  NICE.  They are both sleeping now in their swings.  Two days ago I erected (???) their playmats and Lily is really into them.  I can put her on her back and watch her gaze up at the flying ladybugs and frogs.  Also, she likes to look at herself in the mirror and kick her feet and wave her hands.  The mat is bright blues and reds and black and whites which is supposedly visually stimulating.  I will be looking for a used double stroller that can be used for the upcoming months until they can sit up on their own.  With the weather being so nice it would be great to be able to stroll around the neighborhood or go places - we haven't been able to do this because the double we have doesn't have any support and they just sort of slump over.  Suggestions or offers???

Tonight we are going "window shopping" around East Chase to get out and about.  I am sure there will be a Pumpkin Spice latte somewhere in that mix.

Saturday should be a great game day.  Alabama plays Georgia in a "black out" game - intimidated?  Not so much.  I really hope we win.

Sunday, Selma?  Visit with Nana and Pops and hopefully trade cars for the early part of the week because we are all going on our first vacation together!  Point Clear and staying in the Grand Hotel Monday, Tuesday, come back Wednesday.  This is a "business trip" for Nick but there will be a lot of free time to sight see and just get away.   I hope to see the ocean at some point and maybe do a little shopping at the outlet malls.  Also looking for some fresh sushi.

For the Montgomery locals:  I had an AMAZING coffee chat with an amazing woman yesterday...kindred spirit if you will.  Along with this chat I savored a Cafe Louisa skim caramel latte in a huge pottery mug.  Cafe Louisa is one of those places I go to (sadly, rarely) but leave asking, "why don't I come here more often?"  I love that each employee has three shades of color in their hair, ear piercingS, hemp beaded necklaces, and graphic tees, and everyone in the place is either drawing, journaling, or Mac-ing.  And there is local art hanging on the wall, for sale.  Just a good place to be.  I wish that our house was in walking distance to this place but you know, the East Side of town has it's perks too, it does!

Well that is about all that I have to post about for now.  Happy Friday.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sometimes You Just Feel Like a Good Cry...

You know, today has just been one of those days when you feel like a good cry would help... for no apparent reason...I just feel a little depressed.

But I think this list of petty bothersomes (if that makes any sense) has something to do with it:

The weather is amazing...although I don't technically know because I don't leave the house.

I am worried about our money running out a month before it is supposed to.  We have an "emergency fund" designated for my maternity leave but right now I am not seeing how it will get us through until I get paid again at the end of November.

Christmas is coming and while it is my favorite holiday/season I am feeling the urgency of buying presents for all of our loved ones and wondering how I will afford it.

None of my clothes fit... that's all I need to say about that.

The days are getting shorter... the sun doesn't come up till 6 ish and sets at 7 ish.

I am not good at being alone anymore and by being alone I mean I feel sad at night when Nick has to go away on business trips.

Poor poor me right? Not really... Will Smith said on an episode of Fresh Prince "all of your problems are just luxeries" ... and he is right.


Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Fall!

It's the first day of Fall and I couldn't be more excited.
The heat and humidity has seemed to let off a little and at certain times of the day it is quite nice to be outside. I love the smell of my living room after the sliding door has been left open for a little while. I know the season is changing when sleeping with the fan on is a little too cool for my comfort. One thing I hate to see is gals a little too excited for Fall and wearing turtlenecks in September... pace yourselves on busting out the new wardrobe, it's not THAT cool yet.

And so I am counting down the days that my maternity leave will end. My first day back at work will be Monday November 3 and I have mixed emotions. On one hand I am a little giddy to be getting back into a work routine and making money but on my other 5 hands I am really anxious. The babies are spending a lot more of the day awake and are doing some cooing and smiling. If they are upset they instantly calm when I pick them up to cuddle and feedings have been much more pleasant. No more choking and we have settled on a formula that minimizes spit up. These accomplishments met paired with longer periods of sleep at night make mothering even more enjoyable. And so soon I will have to drop them off at another mother's home for her to take care of them while I ... essentially take care of other people's kids at school. Ug. It makes me sick to my stomach. I am scared for Harper and Lily and I am scared for me. I fear that missing them will be unbearable but something I will just have to "get used to." I hate it. Having these 5 month with them is an amount of time that the majority of mothers do not get and so for that I am grateful. Loving these little girls is a feeling I can't describe and if you are a mother or are expecting to be one then you know what I mean.

This weekend was good. Saturday we spent the morning and early afternoon in Opelika at my dad, "Sherm-Grandy's" house to watch the Tide take another win. Saturday evening friends from out of town gathered with in town friends for football and food... what better combination? Before our company came I went on a cleaning frenzy and swept the hardwood floors AND polished them too. It is so nice to walk around the house and not be followed by a pack of "dust bunnies." Most laundry was washed and folded and the kitchen is decent. For me, a clean house is half of what keeps my mind sane.

Today I will be finishing a book I have been trying to get through for the past couple of weeks, The Shack. Interesting book - tells the story of Mack whose 6 year old daughter is murdered and three years later he goes to the scene of the crime for a weekend of fellowship and conversation with a black woman (embodying God), an asian man (Jesus), and an oriental woman (the Holy Spirit). Mack seeks answers and the threesome seek his heart and a relationship... not the gushy gushy feel good read but instead, insightful and challending train of thought that makes you wonder and perhaps change your own dialogue in your own times of questioning.

Lily is calling and it is time to feed again...unfortuneatly I did not make time to feed myself between 8:15 and now so now I am hungry. I wish I could catch this pitiful pouty face for all of you to see... not mine... Lily's. Talk about tugging at my heartstrings...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Game Day!

Unfortunately, our house is one divided.  I got Lily.  Nick got Harper; maybe one day she will forgive me.  Roll Tide Y'all!!!

Mama and Lily, her Bama baby.




Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The 4 Month Birthday

The 15th was the girls' 4 month birthday.  We went to the pediatrician and Lily weighs 7.15 and Harper weighs 7.8.  Their reflexes are all developmentally/(adjusted age) on time and they have even started smiling at me a little!  Also, they noticeably recognize my voice.  Remember when they came home at 2 months I took their picture in their rocker?  Compare their growth to now!

July 15, 2008

September 15, 2008


Lily

Harper




Friday, September 12, 2008

Jamma Time

These are some really fun snaps of the girls in their pajamas. I couldn't resist showing them off!

This day I needed to hop in the shower but Harper (your left) would not stop crying. I put them in the bed together and when I got out of the shower I heard that there was NO crying. I peeked into the crib to see this!



This is Harper being whiny and pitiful before her nap. Doesn't her hair have shades of red or what?


This is Lily on the same day in what we call a "food coma" - she had 4 ounces, was FULL, and sleepy.



Ok this is the reason that the Boppy Lounger has a "warning" patch on it that reads, "To prevent serious injury or death: do not allow baby to lie face down or on side in this newborn lounger. Always use on the floor, never place in a crib, on the bed, table, counter, or any elevated surface. Never move newborn lounger while baby is on it. Never leave child unattended." We are always in the same room when the girls "lounge" but we let Harper wiggle in her sleep to see how far she would go. This is as far as we let her go.


This is a picture of the babies in their matching Fall PJ's. October is my FAVORITE month so I just had to grab these outfits up at Target for only $5 a piece! Lily is on your left, Harper is on your right. Doesn't Harper look just like Nick!?!

Graco Lauren Crib = $100
Halloween Pajamas = $5
Seeing the looks on these faces just before bed time = PRICELESS