Monday, November 30, 2009

That's all folks!



It's the end of November. And I freakin' did it! 30 posts in 30 days! I am super proud of myself for keeping up with it and actually finding things to post about. Perhaps some of you were bored to tears, but some people have told me they actually enjoyed the month and hearing about the happenings in our little piece of the world. Thanks for reading everyone! Blogging is a funny thing like that. People read and they know all about what is happening here, but I rarely know what is happening in the lives of others because they either have no blog or they have a much neglected blog (Nikki T, I am looking at you!!).

I hope that I can continue to post somewhat regularly on the blog, as I do enjoy it and it is a great way to document our lives. It's the modern day baby book!

Adios November and hello December. Be gentle to us, OK, Old Man Winter? I would like to put my request in for a warm and not too snowy winter. Wait...do you hear that? It is the universe laughing at me!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Almost there!

November is almost over, which means NaBloPoMo is almost over, too. I totally completed this challenge. After today's post and tomorrow's post, I will have achieved 30 posts in 30 days. I can't believe I did it! Wahoo!

Today was a better day. I want to say that of course it was, as it could not have been much worse than yesterday, but I don't want to tempt the fates by saying something like that.

For the first time, Jordan and Taylor refused to nap today. They stayed in their cribs for over an hour before we finally gave in and let them get up. At first they were quiet and naps seemed imminent. But then they both pooped and yelled for us that they needed their diapers changed. After that, it was nothing but jumping on the crib mattresses, throwing everything in the cribs onto the floor, and talking and laughing. While it was annoying as hell that they did not nap, listening to them laugh and talk to each other was pretty cool. When they are getting along and playing together or talking to each other, it is pretty dang awesome and it makes me so happy that they have each other in this world.

I took the kids to the park for a few hours so that Penny could watch football in peace and then Penny had the kids for a few hours for dinner, baths, and books so that I could have some time to myself. I enjoyed getting my crafty on by working on some Secret Santa gifts. Very fun and it felt good to spend some time doing that stuff. I might try to do more of that on a regular basis between now and Christmas. There are certainly enough fun things I could make for people!

And, just like that, the 4-day weekend is over and we are back to the grindstone tomorrow. As my dad used to say, another day, another dollar...no, make that 50 cents! Taylor's pink eye is a little pinker today than it has been because some moms (whom I will not name here, to protect the guilty parties) forgot to put the medicine on all weekend since her eye really was looking fine. Well, now it is not looking so fine and I hope the 4 doses of meds that we gave her today help enough that she can go to daycare tomorrow!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We could not catch a break today.

We got up this morning with plans of a late breakfast/brunch at a place where we had a restaurant.com gift certificate. You have to spend at least $35 to be able to use the $25 certificate. No problem. We figured we would get out of there and only have to pay about $10 out of pocket. Awesome! Turns out, the place is super expensive (menu online did not have prices. Should have suspected something then!) and the service SUCKS. We ended up paying almost $30 out-of-pocket, which means that our breakfast (2 adult meals, one kid meal to split, 4 drinks) cost over $50. Are you effing kidding me? Wow. We will never go back there again. Because the service was so bad, we were late getting out of there, which put the pressure on for getting to our next destination.

We showed up in Burlington a few minutes after 12, and the Santa Parade was supposed to start at 12. We worried we might miss it. We had been talking it up to the kids so much, that we were worried they would be so disappointed. So, we found parking and hurried to where it was supposed to be. Huh. Why are there so few people around? We asked a crossing guard and he told us that the parade already happened...YESTERDAY! WTF? Are you kidding me? Our AAA magazine had the parade listed for today at noon. Oh well. Thanks for nothing AAA. (Well, except for when you came to our house yesterday and towed the car out of the mud. Thanks for that!)

So, we walk around the marketplace area. It is nice and sunny, so we have a walk around, and try to stop for a hot chocolate break with the thermos we had the forethought to bring. The thermos kept the stuff so warm for over 4 hours that Taylor burns her mouth and her Thermos brand stainless steel sippy cup leaks all over her. Awesome! Jordan then throws up outside of City Hall after a brief coughing fit. Wow! This day really rocks!

We then decide to head inside the mall, where we saw Santa setting up earlier. What? You don't think a kid who just puked should go and have pics with Santa? I totally disagree! There was no line, so we figured we might as well get some pictures taken of the kids with Santa so that all is not lost of the day. On the way there we pass a dude making balloon sculptures for kids. Our kids love them and want some. Only problem? The guy charges $3 per sculpture and we have no cash on us, so we have to pull the kids away from him with no balloon animals. God, this day really rocks!

We get to the Santa area. Huh. Where's Santa? Oh, he is on a break and will be back in 30 minutes. Seriously? Are you freakin' kidding me? There is really nothing to do and there is no way our kids can stand there for 30 minutes, in the rapidly growing line. (The guy who will be taking the pictures tries telling us that "30 minutes isn't really THAT long." Really, dude? With 2.5 year old twins who are already SO DONE? OK, then why don't you stand in line with them?) So, we finally admit defeat and decide to head home.

Have you had days like this? From start to finish, we seriously COULD NOT CATCH A BREAK! Nary a thing went as we expected or in our favor. Although, given the season, if I had to pick something to be thankful for, I think I could actually come up with a few things:

1) We were there for less than 2 hours, so parking was free
2) Jordan chose to puke outside, rather than inside the car (his favorite spot for puking), so we did not have to clean the car and the car seat of copious amounts of vomit. Unfortunately we (and by we, I mean Penny) are experts at cleaning puke out of the nooks and crannies of Jordan's car seat with Q-tips. Now there's a visual I bet you could have done without!
3) Verizon was sponsoring FREE miniature horse drawn buggy rides for kids around the square. Our kids took a little ride and had a blast!

On a day like today, I say this: Thank God for small favors.

Can tomorrow please be a better day? PLEASE???

Friday, November 27, 2009

The day after...

We had a lovely Turkey Day with friends and family. Everyone brought delicious additions to the meal and everyone went home with leftovers. My Nana's stuffing was a hit as always. I allowed myself to be off of South Beach yesterday. The plan was to be back on it today...The plan changed shortly after I woke up. The new plan is to get back on track ASAP. It is hard, but I am worth it. I can do this because I am strong and I have more power over food than it has over me, dammit! (I always think convictions sound stronger and better if you add "DAMMIT!" to the end of them, don't you?)

Anyway, the dishes are all done, the dishwasher is emptied, and our bellies (and the fridge) are full. Leftovers for dinner tonight, baby! Oh, and my low carb, no sugar pumpkin cheesecake was really good! There are leftovers and I am happy about that. I would definitely make it again.

Today we made an impromptu trip to some stores for some Black Friday action. We went to Toys R Us and Bed, Bath, and Beyond...both with the kids in tow. Since we did not go until almost 10 am, I expected things to be less crazy. I was right about BBB, but dreadfully wrong about Toys R Us. The line wound through several aisles and half way around the store. Holy crap! But, we got some good deals. I combined the sales with several coupons I had. God, I love coupons and can hardly buy things these days without them! Anyway, we got some stuff for J&T and some gifts for others. We spent $148. But, the sales and coupons saved us $118! So, if not for the sales and coupons, we would have spent almost $300! Awesome! We picked up a few deals at BBB, and that place was almost deserted, which was great. Jordan and Taylor were AMAZING and I was shocked at how patient they were. It could have been so much worse!

And now the kiddos are napping. And we are chilling out. Tomorrow there is a Santa Parade in Burlington, so I think we are going to hit that if the weather holds up. Sunday the moms are going to try to take turns having some much needed "Me Time."

Oh, and two other highlights for the day are:

1) The VUE got stuck in the mud in the driveway and we had to call AAA to come and tow it out.

2) Friends from Iowa did some big Black Friday shopping, including a very early a.m. trip to Target. They picked up a dual screen portable DVD player for us for the car, which was a door-buster on sale for only $88!! (We live in a very sad state with no Target!!) How amazing is it that someone would pick up something for you at that ungodly hour? Thanks so much Kate and Trish! Our road trip to Long Island in a few weeks will be so much easier, all thanks to you guys! You rock my world!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day with friends and family. I have so much to be thankful for today and everyday. If you visit the blog today, please leave a comment with what you are most thankful for this Thanksgiving! I am most thankful for my wife, my children, and our legally married life in the wonderful state of Vermont. And all my extended family and my friends are pretty darn awesome, too, and I could not get by without them!

Enjoy some turkey TV!!





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sick Day

I am home with Taylor today, aka Madam Pink Eye. It is a mild case and she is already on meds, so it should be fine for tomorrow. But, never a dull moment. I am attempting to work from home as much as I can, but it's a challenge. I will go in to work for a few hours this afternoon when Penny comes home early.

A scene from my kitchen:

Taylor: What 'chu doin', Mama?
Chris: I am unloading the dishwasher.
T: Can me help?
C: Sure, you can help.

She helps for a few minutes...

T: We usin' teamwork, Mama.

OMG, did my two-and-a-half year old just use the word "TEAMWORK" correctly in a complete sentence? She most certainly did! Wowsers! Will wonders never cease? And by the way, where did she even pick that word up? It is amazing to witness vocabulary develop!

And now I need to get to cleaning and cooking. Big day with friends and Penny's family all here tomorrow. Gonna be a full house. Everyone brings a part of the meal, though, which makes it a lot easier on the hostesses with the most-estes. I guess you could say we use "TEAMWORK" to get our Thanksgiving day done, and done right!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being Thankful

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I am thinking about things I am thankful for, especially as compared to others. As you (I) go through life, it is hard not to compare myself to others. And I notice that I am mostly comparing myself to others who have more and feeling bad for myself. I am turning 35 in 1.5 months and there are certain things that I thought I would have in life by now, that just aren't there. Most of them revolve around money. We do not have a lot of money in the bank, we do not have our own house yet because of our debt to income ratios (Thank you very much student loans!), and we do not have money for a lot of extras.

But, we do have jobs that are dependable and allow us to get by with our basic needs met. We are incredibly lucky to have come out on the other side of infertility with not one, but two children. "One of each," people say, "You are so lucky!" And, dammit, yes, we are lucky. I need to remind myself about that as I go through my days and my months and my years. Others are not so fortunate, and I cannot take for granted the gifts that I have been granted. We have everything we really need. Well, maybe not enough "me time," but the basics are all taken care of. Working in the mental health field also provides me with many reminders of how lucky I am. In the past two years, we have gone on 2 trips to Disney World. Now, if that ain't lucky, I don't know what is!

It is much too easy to complain about things and feel bad for myself and to get caught up in the bullshit of everyday life. It is hard to remember the good stuff, when you are faced with 2 year old tantrums, kids rejecting you, saying they only want the other parent, and long, hard days of parenting. There's the dirty house, the bills to be paid, the bib and high chair tray cleaning THAT NEVER ENDS, the dishes that are always piled in the sink, etc, etc etc. But in the long run, I need to ask myself, "Do most of those things really matter?" The answer, of course is "No, not really."

My mom sent me a magazine article about the top 6 places to live in the United States. Our town was #3! We do live in a very nice area of VT and we are lucky to live here, even if there is no Target or Trader Joe's in this god forsaken state. (For the love of all that is holy. Please, TARGET, COME TO VERMONT ALREADY!)We live in a state that allows Penny and I to be legally married and offers our family all the protections that comes along with that. This is HUGE and we are lucky to have this right bestowed upon us in VT. Now, while I enjoyed the magazine article and enjoyed reading about our little town, I was dismayed when I looked down and saw where the article came from: AARP Magazine. Whatever. We (and the Baby Boomers) are very happy here...most of the time!

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Taylor, Jordan, and Penny
2) Having a warm house to sleep in at night (even if it is a rental!)
3) Having more than enough food and clothing for me and my family

What do you do to keep it real and remember to count your blessings on a regular basis?

Monday, November 23, 2009

So much to do

So, I have a confession to make. I am addicted to the Internet. It's bad! And it is causing a snowball of wee problems. The kids go to bed at 7. Penny and I then cook dinner, do dishes, etc. We eat dinner either both in front of the TV or her in front of the T and me here at the computer. I read blogs, I follow and participate on a very active message board, I email, I facebook (and play Bejeweled Blitz and Cafe World), etc, etc. I spend a lot of time following couponing blogs that give tons of amazing deals and tips of free samples. I have saved tons of money doing this, but it is very time consuming.

I crave this time of the day when I can do whatever I want, without interruption. I stay up too late as a result of not wanting it to end. And then I am too tired to get up and exercise before work. And on and on and on. I also know I spend too much time on here in general, including on the weekends, and that Penny is not too wild about it. It easily sucks me in for hours, so I can see her point.

Also, my Internet time is cutting into time that I really want to spend on other things. Things like scrap booking, my business as a Creative Memories Consultant, knitting, sewing, reading are all suffering because I am online for many hours each night.

I have thought about setting a timer and trying to limit my time online to one hour a night. That way, I would spend time doing the things online that I felt were most important (like serving my Cafe World food. I mean, you don't want it to spoil!), like blogging and catching up with friends. And then once the hour is over, I would need to force myself to log off.

So, in the name of logging off at an appropriate time: It is 10:19 pm. I am now logging off to go and read my new library book: Commencement. It is written by a Smithie, about the Smithie experience. Bring it on!

How about you and your Internet use? Any feelings of being on too much? Guilt, exhaustion, etc? Tell me your war stories and how you have dealt with the draw of the Internet.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Being able to have fruit on Phase 2 of F
2) A 3-day work week and a 4 day weekend to spend time with family. May it be restful (HA!) and not too stressful!
3) A good and reliable job that pays me enough to support my family, even if we do have to squeak by and be very careful with spending. I am thankful for the affordable health care that the job provides, too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rough one

It was a tough weekend at our house. I don't know if the kids are on the edge of some developmental milestone, or it's a growth spurt, or what. But we had about one cajillion tantrums here over the weekend, and frankly, I am looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. How pathetic is that?

We did not have any big plans this weekend, so we were looking forward to spending time at home, relaxing, etc. What it turned into, instead, was tantrum fest USA. The lack of planned activities did nothing for the moods of Taylor and Jordan. And, it did not help that Penny and I were trying to get through as much of a gigantic to-do list as possible, in preparation for hosting Thanksgiving at our house on Thursday.

The one highlight of the weekend was going to the library yesterday. Other than that, it feels like we spent a lot of time comforting crying kids, dealing with time-outs, and trying to figure out ways to entertain the little tykes. Inevitably, the TV went on as we tried to clean things, vacuum things, wash and fold things, and on and on. The house is quite clean. I scrubbed the hell out of our disgusting tub after I put the kids to bed. But, I fear that the lack of planned activities, coupled with no outside time, and too much TV on Saturday, maybe have caused our difficult weekend. I dunno, maybe it was a combo of all those things. Or maybe they were just being 2.5. This age is HARD!!!

And now, it is almost midnight, so I better hit post and get this in before the clock strikes 12.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Phase 2 of South Beach starts tomorrow. Give me some fruit, dammit!
2) Going back to work tomorrow means back to a predictable routine.
3) A full Creative Memories schedule for January. Now, I just need to make my quota for December and I will be able to get to a very fruitful January!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bed Time Sweetness

Tonight as I was putting Taylor to bed, I said to her, "I love you. You're my best girl."

And she replied, "You're my best mama. I love you!"

Oh, swoon! Is that the cutest thing you ever heard?

Other noteworthy things about the day: we went to the library, Penny kicked ass getting some house organizing and cleaning done (She cleaned the stove and the microwave! Give that woman a medal!), and the kids took very decent naps. Also, My Creative Memories Team is doing a "hot potato challenge" this weekend. Every time someone from my team calls me, I have to book a Get Together with a customer for January in order to pass the potato on to someone else. The (very lofty) goal is to book 6 get-togethers in January each, so that you can get the year off to a great start. I have 5 GT's booked already! I have calls and emails out to a few other people, so this number could still go up. A lesson learned for me today was that it was not as hard as I always make it in my mind. I really need to put more work into my business, and make it a more lucrative endeavor.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Kids who slept until 8 am!
2) Free offers online that allowed me to get 100 photo holiday cards for only the price of shipping ($6.40)
3) Having enough commitment to the SB diet to have made it to Phase 2 (starting on Monday. I did it!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Satisfied

We had a lovely evening of dinner and board games (80's trivia and Pass the Pigs)with some friends tonight. The kids went down very easily and slept the whole time we ate and played with Megan and Jean. We even ate a Phase One South Beach dinner! I have lost 10 pounds on the South Beach diet. And today I wore a pair of pants to work that did not fit 3 weeks ago.

It's Friday, it's payday (even though there is very little left after paying the rent and other bills) and I am satisfied!! Most of the chores are done and the shopping is all done for Thanksgiving. Bring on the weekend, baby!

I am taking part in a Creative Memories challenge this weekend, where I am on a team and we are aiming to schedule as many Get Togethers for the month of January as possible. I hope I can do my part and get some folks to schedule! Wish me luck! Anyone want to sign up with me???

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nature cures all

After a very rough morning with Jordan, I was so pleased to be able to take a 45 minute walk all by myself in the woods. The silence was blissful and it really helped me to regroup for the day. We have some amazing trails literally across the street from our house and they go on and on for acres. It feels like you are far away and in another place, but you are really just in the woods across the street. I am so glad I did it, because I was in a foul mood and I feared the day would be ruined.

I have Thursdays off and the kids are at daycare, but I find that there is SO much to do that I often feel overwhelmed and even put upon. I usually do dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, and take the trash to the dump. The day goes by way too fast and sometimes I don't even feel like I got much done. I always want to get enough done that Penny feels like I contributed, but I also try to take some time for myself (which Penny supports). We really try to give each other "me time," either away from home or for a few hours on the weekends, but it literally never seems like enough.

I just think that 2.5 years of sleep deprivation and just everything that is involved with parenting twins has really taken a toll on us. So even a weekend away does not seem like enough. And then of course I feel guilty for craving more time away from everyone.

Jordan has been very challenging lately with epic tantrums that make me want to tear my hair out. The screaming drives me bonkers and he often prefers Penny, so even when I go to him to try to comfort him (when that seems appropriate and necessary), he pushes me away and says he wants Mommy. I am usually not good enough for much when it comes to Jordan's needs when he is upset. This is tough and makes me want to withdraw. We usually just let him do his thing if he can do it safely, i.e. at home on the floor or in his crib. God forbid we are out and about when this happens, as it is a fit of epic proportions and then we have to try to buckle him in to his car seat. OMG, what a fiasco!

People I know with older kids say that 3 year-olds are worse than 2 year-olds. If that's true, then I want to start going backwards, rather than forwards. Where do I sign up for that? Some days I really want my snuggly babies back!

But, deep breath in, deep breath out. One day at a time. Thank god for walks in the woods and the support of Penny, friends, and family.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Walks in the woods.
2) Feeling good off of sugar and on the South Beach Diet. Down 9 pounds so far!
3) Having the luxury of a day at home alone to get chores done so that my family can have more fun together on the weekends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So wrong on so many levels.

If it's wrong to wish for something eventful to happen during your day so that you have something to blog about, then I don't want to be "write." Get it? Write? Oh, I am too funny!

I work late on Wednesday nights because I co-lead a Stress Management Group. When I got home at almost 8 pm tonight, Penny has dinner going full steam ahead and both kids were in bed, nice and quiet. Awesome! Dinner was chicken with a cheese and tomato sauce that tasted very much like lasagna, and spaghetti squash. We cooked that squash and we cooked that squash and it just did not seem to be getting done. But then it was finally done. And we knew it was done when it EXPLODED IN THE MICROWAVE! By the time I got into the kitchen, the microwave had smoke (maybe steam?) pouring out of it. The squash was fine...well, the parts I did not have to scrape off the walls and ceiling of the microwave were yummy anyway! And as soon as it happened, I thought, "I am SO gonna blog about this tonight!" DORK!!!

Penny relayed a conversation she had with Taylor on the way home from daycare today that is definitely blog-worthy as well. (Blog-worthy is a lot like 'sponge worthy' for your Seinfeld fans out there!)

Taylor: Mommy, you a girl?
Penny: Yes, Taylor, Mommy is a girl.
Taylor: Mama a girl?
P: Yes, Mama is a girl.
T: Jordan boy. No girl.
P: Right. Jordan is a boy.
T: Me a girl?
P: Yes, you are a girl.
T: But why I no have boops?

For some reason, our daughter is obsessed with breasts, or as she likes to call them "boops." Penny then has to explain to our little miss that girls get boops when they get older. Somehow I thought it would be several years before I had to have talks like that with J&T!

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Dinner very close to being done when I got home
2) Very verbally gifted children who can tell me what is on their minds
3) A regular 4 day work-week that allows me to get stuff done for the house and the family on Thursdays

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blogging is hard!

Remember that Barbie that had everyone up in arms because she said things like "Math is hard!" and "Science is hard!" ? Well, I feel like that Barbie right now. "Blogging is hard!" This NaBloPoMo thing is harder than I anticipated. During the day I might have some ideas for posts, but then I forget and then it's after 11 pm before ya know it and I am once again in front of the computer wondering what the hell to write.

Jordan's pink eye is improving, but he might be coming down with something else. He was SUPER cranky this evening and had a low grade fever. I hope he sleeps OK tonight and does not wake up with his eyes fused shut! He also did not nap at daycare today and screamed bloody murder all the way home. Penny left me a voicemail message as he was screaming to make sure I knew how good of a time she was having.

We were all supposed to go to a neighborhood dinner tonight. Once every few weeks one of the neighbors makes dinner for everyone and we are all invited. I love these dinners, as they are free, healthy, prepared dinners that do not involve having to cook or clean up. We have hosted a few times and it is really fun. I think we are up again soon. The only down side to these dinners is that they are on week nights, so it is east for the whole night to go by and it be kiddo bedtime before ya know it. We try to get home before meltdown city!

Taylor and I went to the dinner alone tonight, as Jordan was in no mood to go out again. Before Taylor and I left, I bribed Jordan with cookies to let us put his eye drops in. It worked! He got his drops and his two cookies. And I got to leave without a huge song and dance. Taylor was super charming and everyone was pretty much smitten with her. The neighbors only see the kids once every 1-3 months or so, depending on how often the dinners are, so there are always big changes. They were particularly impressed with her ability to play on her own tonight while mama ate her dinner, and with how much she was talking. We first brought the kids to these dinners when they were 3 months old and we were brand new to the 'hood. So much has changed in the past two years!

South Beach is going well, but it is a daily struggle to resist sugar and carbs. I have lost 7.5 pounds so far (in just over a week!) and feel great about that. It is awesome to have a friend who is doing the same plan. We really support each other and help each other through the rough times. We are planning a South Beach friendly Thanksgiving. And even our book group has agreed to eat South Beach friendly food! This is all so helpful! I plan to stay on this for the long term and hope to lose a very substantial amount of weight over the next year. One meal at a time, one day at a time!

And now I have to go and wait for my pictures to finish uploading on Snapfish. If they can all get uploaded by midnight, I can get 100 free prints! Awesome. Except it is taking FOREVER and I am not sure I am gonna make it. Hopefully I do not fall asleep on the keyboard as I wait!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Do you need some laughs?

If you are in need of some laugh therapy, please check out these websites ASAP.

http://www.postcardsfromyomomma.com

http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com

And of course, the classic:

http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com

Do you know why I needed some laughs this morning? Because I awoke to screams of "My eyes! My eyes!" coming from Jordan and Taylor's room. Jordan's eyes were fused shut with goo. Well hello pink eye, my old friend! Welcome back!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Married...again

On 9/1/09, it became legal for same sex couples to get legally married. Vermont was the first state to pass the same sex marriage bill into law without a law suit. The Vermont legislators saw an injustice and they put their money where there mouths are and they did something about it. I have never been so happy to live here as when the news was announced!

We had a Civil Union in 2004, but wanted to get married as well for the additional legal protections for our family. So, on 9/11/09, the 5 year anniversary of our Civil Union, we got married in a very short and sweet ceremony, peformed by our friend and coworker, Wanda Miller, who is also a minister. The lovely albeit short ceremony was at the Women's Peace Park in Montpelier and was attended by two guests: Penny's sister Cindy and her niece Jessie. They brought us each a red rose for the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, we celebrated with some very festive wedding eclairs.

And now Jordan and Taylor have moms who are legally married. While there is still much work to be done on a federal level so that our marriage can be recognized federally, this is one significant step forward and I am very greatful to live in state where it is possible. Thank you Vermont!

P.S. The pics are out of order, but blogger is being weird and I am having trouble editing the post and moving the pictures around. You'll get the gist of things, anyway, I am certain!











Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tough times in the land of 2.5 year olds

Times are often tough here in the land of 2.5 year old twins. And, by the way, wow! The kids are now 2 and a half. In 6 months they will be three. I am seriously blown away! But 2.5 is hard. The tantrums, most often displayed by Jordan, are wicked. The screaming in the car is enough to make me want to drive into oncoming traffic just to make it stop. And the throwing of one's self to the ground (most often the kids, not the moms!) and flailing and wailing, especially when displayed in public, is just, well, lovely. Really, really lovely. Sometimes Penny and I have to tag team when it feels like the one dealing with the tantrum is about to blow and needs a time-out. That's when I feel so lucky to have a partner with whom I am sharing this parenting stuff. I can tag her in, and take a time-out so I do not tear my hair out or scream in frustration. It is so hard not to take things personally, especially when said tantrums involve some kind of assault (kicking, hitting, pulling hair, etc.), regardless of whether said assault was purposeful or not. It is during these times that I think of my friends who are single parents. I bow down to them, I salute them, and I stand in awe of them. Sometimes I can't (or don't want to) handle my two on my own for even an afternoon. I can't imagine flying solo ALL THE TIME! We manage the tantrums with time-outs for moms and kids, using sticker charts and other rewards (bribes!) to encourage and reward the behavior we want to see, and planned ignoring of negative behaviors. All of this works relatively well...except when it doesn't. Like anything else in parenting, it is a work in progress.

In other news...Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away! Holy crap! And so begins the whirlwind to the end of the year. Penny is having knee surgery at the beginning of December. Then we are going to my brother's house on Long Island for a long weekend to visit with the Parker clan: mom coming from FL and other brother and his girlfriend coming from MA. Christmas comes early for the Parkers this year. And then Christmas proper will be upon us. Happy New Year and all the jazz. Welcome 2010. A few days later, and holy crap I am turning 35. Wow. Mid thirties. As close to 40 as I am to 30. Advanced maternal age. (Not that I am really thinking about having any more babies, but, well, that offer of extra sp*erm mentioned by Eryn in the comments a few posts ago sure got me thinking. Penny just keeps slapping me upside the head every time I bring it up.)

We had a nice morning at the library today. Jordan and Taylor are finally at the place of being interested in picking out books and sitting while we read ENTIRE books to them. This is new and very exciting for me. I have been looking forward to this time for a long time. Today Taylor wanted booked about fish and Jordan wanted boooks about Dinosaurs. The kids took an awesome nap when we got home (2.5 hours!!), allowing Penny and me to catch up on the 3-part CSI crossover episodes from last week. Penny baked cookies with the kids in the afternoon, too. I have managed to not eat any and stay totally on target with my South Beach-ing. I am so proud of myself. Nary a morsel of BAD carbs or sugar have passed my lips in 6 days! I agreed that Penny could make the cookies with the kids, as long as she packaged them up and put them away so I could not see them or be tempted by them. When I gave the kids one each with their dinner, I inhaled deeply into the bag. I am pretty sure that sugar inhalation is allowed on South Beach.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) A loving and competent co-parent
2) A pantry where cookies can be tucked away, out of sight, out of mind
3) The public library, especially on a rainy and cold Saturday morning

Friday, November 13, 2009

Disney Picture Post

Too tired to be coherent, so I give you a post of Disney World pictures. (A very small sampling of the over 400 pictures we took!) Enjoy. Maybe tomorrow I will have something interesting and/or important to say. I have my doubts!











Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why?

Please go to google and type in "why" without the quotes. You will not believe the suggestions. My personal favorites are the first one and the last one.

Anyone have any thoughts on why those ridiculous things come up? Could they possibly be the most popular "why" queries that are posed to google? If so, I am horrified...and unbelievably amused and entertained.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Will power...or should I say "won't power?"
2) A productive day of chores
3) Thursday night TV...even if I did fall asleep on the couch during Grey's. Boo!

Three cheers for a three day work week this week! And TGIF tomorrow. How is it possible that Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks? That is insane, especially with how warm it has been here. It hardly feels like November...not that I am complaining. I am happy to put off the snow for as long as possible, even though I am looking forward to the kids being old enough to play in it this year. And speaking of being old enough, recently Taylor and Jordan have been talking about Santa and how he brings presents to kids who are good. When Jordan was having a tantrum in the car this evening after Penny picked the kids up from daycare, Taylor said "I being a good girl. Santa bring me presents. Jordan, no presents." This of course made Jordan furious and he wailed even louder. Oh how I love this age! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quote of the day

Taylor was watching me get dressed. As I put on my bra, the following conversation took place... (with toddler language intentionally left in)

Taylor: (pointing to my bra) That not yours shirt, mama?

Me: No, it's not my shirt.

Taylor: What is it?

Me: That's my bra.

Taylor: That keeps yours boops warm?

Me: Yes, Taylor, that keeps my boobs warm.

God, she is hilarious! And the way the toddler mind works is just fascinating!

Penny and I went out to dinner with some other twin moms tonight, and left J&T home with their favorite sitter, Corrina. All went well and we had a nice (albeit short) night out. Oh, and Jordan pooped on the potty while we were gone. He poops on the potty regularly at daycare, and now at home, for Corrina. He will not poop on the potty at home for us. What the hell??

Have you heard of the website restaurant.com? If not, you should check it out. They regularly have sales on restaurant gift certificates where you can buy a $25 gift certificate for $2 - $4! We happened to have one for the place we went tonight that I bought for $2! Some restrictions apply: has to be eat in, has to be at least 2 people in the party, you have to spend at least $35 to use the $25 off, an 18% gratuity gets added at the end of the meal/onto the total bill, and most of them can only be used at dinner. All fine with me. There are a number of restaurants in this are that have certificates available. So, tonight our bill for the two of us was about $37 with tax and tip. We threw in the gift certificate, and another $12 in cash and we were good to go. So, for $14 we got $40 worth of restaurant experience and food. Add the $30 we paid the babysitter, and we got a night out for a total of $44. Not too shabby!

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Restaurant.com
2) A third day of South Beach that went well, including a restaurant meal!
3) Good weather that allowed for a one hour walk with the kids and my SB buddy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A vow to make a daytime post tomorrow, maybe even with pictures!

These late night posts have got to stop. Tomorrow I am off for Veteran's Day, so I am going to post during the day when I have more brain power. I am tired and fried right now and cannot think of a damn thing worth posting about!

I made a delicious dinner tonight: pork chops with a soy sauce and garlic sauce, acorn squash, and "mashed potatoes" made out of cauliflower. It was so yummy and we both enjoyed it.

We are looking forward to our day off tomorrow. I am going to take the kids and meet a friend to go for a walk, while Penny has some alone time. We are going out to dinner with some local twin moms and leaving the kids home with their favorite babysitter, Corrina. She's our favorite, too!

And now, I hear Jordan coughing in his sleep and fear that a wake-up is imminent, so I will sign off for now. My poor, poor boy is back on the nebulizer treatments due to cold-induced asthma. Thank god he is so much better about the treatments now. Old routine: One of us holds him down while the other one dances around doing the hokey-pokey trying to entertain and distract him. New routine: Jordan sits on the couch, holds his own medication up to his face, and watches TV while doing his treatment independently. Wow! What a difference that change has made in all of our lives!

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Veteran's Day holiday. Thank you to vets everywhere.
2) Day 2 of rocking the eating plan, drinking water, walking and saying eff you to sugar!
3) An awesome babysitter who loves our kids, and is affordable, trustworthy, and 100% competent.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I did it!

It is time to go to bed, but I wanted to write about my great day today. It was day #1 of the South Beach Diet. I stayed 100% on plan, and even took a walk at lunch time. Yeah! I am so proud of myself. I found some candy in my desk from Halloween and some in my purse from the scrapbooking retreat. I dumped it all into the community candy dish at work and never looked back. Go me!

I attended my book club meeting tonight, where my friend and I brought our own South Beach friendly dinner components to share, so that we could stay on plan. I passed up a potato curry dish, rice, cheese spread and crackers, wine, and chocolate chip cookies and apple cake. (And then I brought cookies home for Penny and I managed to not eat them all on the way home! I did not even eat one!!) Having my friend there to support me really helped me stay on track and not want to stray. After the meeting, we talked about our plans for tomorrow and how to stay on track. I then came home and made my lunch for tomorrow. Planning ahead helps so much. As my dad used to say, "Plan your work and work your plan." Another quote I like is "Failure to plan is a plan to fail." This is so true for me when it comes to making big changes in life.

Here's hoping that day #2 is as great as day #1 and that I can keep up this momentum with support from my friend. One meal at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. I can do this!

Oh gosh, I have not been posting things I am thankful for. I gotta stop posting late at night, 'cuz my memory is just shot.

Things I am thankful for today:
1) New local friends/twin moms in my book club that are fun and supportive
2) My ability to be vulnerable and put myself out there
3) The South Beach Diet

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Home again, home again, Jiggity Jig.

I got home safe and sound, despite the check engine light being on the whole way home. But then it turned itself off at night. What the hell is with that? Now, do I bring it in ASAP, or do I wait and see what happens. The budget says to wait and see, but I worry we might cause bigger problems if we do that.

I got home around 1:30 pm and the kids were so happy to see me. They ran to me and hugged and kissed me. It was so sweet! Penny was happy to see me too, but for other reasons! Ah, the sweet relief of the other parent arriving home after a weekend away! I gave Penny some relief and took the kids to the park for a few hours, so she could watch her blasted football in peace.

The evening was a whirlwind of activity and I will post more about that tomorrow.

Some funny tales from the road: I stopped at a rest area as I crossed the VT border. I passed a woman waiting for someone to come out of the restroom. As I passed, the other party must have come out, as the first woman said, "What'd you do? Fall in?" Now, is there any dignified way to answer this question? There are only a few things that cause you to be waylaid in the bathroom, and none of them are particularly ready for prime-time, if you know what I mean. If I was the second woman, I think I would have had to answer something like: "I was taking a giant dump. Is that ok with you?"

And I also saw a bumpersticker that I thought was particularly poignant. On a pick-up truck with several bumper stickers which I would never affix to my car, I saw this gem: The background was the confederate flag. And it read: "You can't fix stupid." Touche, Mr. Pick-up truck, touche! The other one I liked on that truck, which was so tasteful, was the Red Sox's mascot, the Green Monster, urinating on the New York Yankees logo. Now that, my friends, is what we call classy. So, you can't fix stupid, but can you fix trashy? How about tasteless?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Scrappy

I am in CT and the scrapbooking is wrapping up. Saturday night already? Wow! That went by fast. We are cleaning up the scrap room and getting ready to hit the hotel bar for a drink. I have had a fabulous time catching up with friends and meeting some new folks. (Elissa, are you reading? I know how you hate the word "folks!")And now I am trying to get this blog post done ASAP so I don't miss a day.

I finished one album and got the Disney 2009 album 1/2 way done! I could have gotten more done on that one, but I have only printed half the pictures so far, so I did not want to fill the whole album with only 1/2 the pictures.

Tomorrow: farewell breakfast with friends. And then the 3.5 hour drive home. The check engine light came on yesterday while I was driving here. Please let me make it home safe and sound, without breaking down. When I drove to MA for the Creative Memories regional convention a few months ago, I was driving the Saturn and the check engine light came on, too. Now, it's the van, and the same light is on. FUCK! Our cars clearly hate lower New England. And I hate car repairs and the bills that come with them. OK, let's be frank. The repairs don't really bother me all that much. It's the effing cost that comes along with them. I always feel suspicious of the mechanics and worry that I am being ripped off.

Tomorrow evening I need to go shopping for all the South Beach necessities. And then Monday it is back to work, with a whole new plan of action.

Friday, November 6, 2009

And I'm off...in a few hours

I am heading to CT in a few hours. Yay! I just have to pack my scrapbooking stuff. This is a bigger task than you might imagine, and I wish I had not left it until the last moment. I have to basically pick which pictures and stuff I want to work on while I am there. And hope that when I get there, I have what a I want and need, in order to scrap the photos that I brought. Who knew crafting could be stressful, right?

Kids are at daycare and Penny is at work. The house is quiet and I almost wish I was staying here to enjoy the quiet. But, I got my book on tape (CD, really, but book on CD sounds silly!) and I need to print directions and get on my way.

This is a lame blog post, but I did not want to leave it until tonight and have to do it at the hotel. I know there is a computer I can use there, and I will have to use it tomorrow night for blogging, but I thought I would get this post out of the way before I left. And then I will post on Sunday after I get home. I have never had to plan for blogging before. I just ignored the blog for months on end and all was good! Ha Ha!

I will disclose in this post that next week there are some big things happening here. I am embarking on a new and very serious journey toward getting my weight and my eating under control. I am terrified of making this disclosure online, but am forging forward. What does not kill us makes us stronger, right? A local friend and I are doing this together and it involves meetings, journalling, the South Beach diet, and being accountable to each other. We are considering getting together regularly to exercise, make menu plans, have "weigh-ins," and maybe even cook or grocery shop together. I will likely use the blog to process how things are going and try to be honest both about the successes and the struggles or failures. I need to embark on this journey for my health, my family, and my life. Enough is enough.

On that note, I will sign off. Given that the new way of life starts on Monday, I am looking forward to a weekend of indulgences with friends in CT. No doubt there will be plenty of wine, carbs, and sugar. Ye-ha!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

5 days in...

And I nearly blew it today! I was upstairs getting ready for bed and all of a sudden it hit me. It is 11:22 pm and I have not made a blog post today. Holy crap, I almost messed it up just five days into the 30 day deal-io! Whew. I am safe now because here I am...writing a post. The NaBloPoMo police will not come to arrest me. But it could have been worse. I could have actually been in bed when the thought occurred to me that I needed to write this. Being all warm and cozy and then having to leave bed would have been much, much worse!

Tomorrow I am off to CT for a lovely weekend of scrapboooking with one of my nearest and dearest friends in the whole world. We are so excited to have the whole weekend for nothing but crafting, eating, drinking, and shootin' the shit. Did I mention drinking? It is going to be glorious. I am thrilled that Penny's sister will be staying at our house for the weekend to help her, so that Penny does not have to fly solo for 48 hours. Thanks, Cindy! The kids are so excited that their "Cinny" is coming to visit them tomorrow! Oh how they love their "Cinny!"

Whenever one of us goes away for the weekend or for any period of time, I get so nervous that something bad will happen. Penny and I always have a conversation about being careful when driving, etc, etc because there is this terror of something awful happening that would leave one of us to raise the twins alone. How morbid, right? But I can't shake it. And I think it stems from our cross-country move when the kids were 3 months old. I flew to MA with J&T and my friend, Lisa. Penny drove with the pets and her brother. And I remember when she left us to start the drive, the day before we were flying out. I totally had a panic attack (which was not all that uncommon in the early days of newborn twins and sleep deprivation). And I was crying and saying to her, "You better be careful because I CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU!" I was terrified that somehing would happen to her and I would be left to raise infant twins on my own. But she made it, and everything was fine...well, except for the sleep deprivation. That seems to never really end. Ok, it has gotten much better, but there are still occasional nighttime wakings and boy do I hate 'em!

While I relish my time away with friends, coming home is also great. Seeing Penny and the kids when I get home is great. Seeing the kids excitement when they see me walk in the door is amazing. And even getting back to the routine after being away is something that I look forward to in a way, knowing that we are all back under one roof, together and safe.

3 Things I am thankful for today:
1) The feel of a new haircut
2) Crafts that I enjoy and that keep me feeling like myself
3) Chocolate fondue that I heard through the grapevine is being served this weekend


Hopefully when I come home on Sunday, I do not come home to this:



This picture was taken a few weeks ago. The first snowfall of the 2009/2010 winter season was in mid-October. Zoinks! Are we in for it this year or what?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Big kids hit the playground







The local community family center is near our house and they recently relocated to a new fancy schmancy location. This new building also has an amazing playground that is open and available to the public on the weekends. One of the best things about this playground is that it is fenced in. This makes it very easy for a mother of twins to take her kids to the playground on her own and not worry about kids running out in the parking lot or running away unnoticed. They also leave all the bikes and trikes out over the weekend for the kids to ride. The first time we went there and saw all the bikes left out, including about 10 Kettler trikes, I had a very "you know you're in Vermont when..." type of moment. I could not believe that such great (and expensive) bikes were left out 24/7 and no one ever stole them! California mentality much? I mean, we leave our doors unlocked during the day when we are not home, so maybe I should not be that surprised. But, our house also has the very tough and menacing BEAR at the ready to attack if intruders were to invade...unless said intruders knew Bear's name and brought her some treats! And then? I got nothing!

Anyway, the park is amazing and I love taking the kids there. We are often the only ones there, so J&T have the run of the place. Jordan shocked me a few times ago by getting on one of the Kettler bikes and just riding off. No practice necessary! This kid is seriously gifted in the physical skills department. He got the pedals and how to ride the bike automatically, with no instruction! I was amazed, I was shocked, I was saddened. How did my baby become such a big boy?

And speaking of big kids, Taylor went over to the climbing wall and climbed right up! This is amazing, especially for her, as she tends to be the more clumsy of the two. She often does things first (talk, walk), but Jordan usually excels at those things before Taylor does. But, she climbed right up that climbing wall, without even falling or faltering once!

I can't believe that my babies will be 2.5 years old in a few days. Seriously, how did that happen? One of the bad things about having twins is that, yes, we have two kids (and we are eternally gratefulf for this!), but we only got to experience everything once. I guess that kind of goes both ways. When other people have their second kids, I love the idea of having twins, as we only had to do he serious sleep deprivation thing one time. But, when other people have new tiny babies, I am so jealous! I feel like I want to experience that again, but we never will! :( The other day I told Penny that I kind of had baby fever. You know what she told me? Take some Tylenol and get rid of that fever! So cold, right?) I mean, we totally can't afford another child, financially, physically, or emotionally. We are tapped out with our two darlings. But when I see pregnant women or women with their tiny babies in their fancy carriers and wraps, I get twinges of jealousy. I wish that I was able to have the experience of a singleton, to know what it is like for 2 parents to manage one baby. I wonder how different that experience would be for us, versus the twin experience that we had. But I can wonder until the cows come home, cuz it ain't never gonna happen. And I will never accidentally get knocked up...unless, hmmm, a vial of donor sperm happens to fall from the sky exactly when I am ovulating and exactly when I am laying on my back in the middle of the street....naked, with my legs in the air. Not a pretty picture, but, hey, it could happen. As they say in the NY Lotto: Hey, ya never know! All ya need is a dollar and a dream!

Three things I am thankful for today:
1)Being lucky enough to have gotten pregnant at all
2) Having a wife that supports me in going to CT for an amazing scrapbooking retreat with one of my best friends from college...in two days!
3)Having two of the cutest kids alive

Is there anything that you are dying to know? Please post any burning questions in the comments section and I would be happy to address almost anything.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training








Potty training is happening slow and steady in our house. You might be able to imagine the fun of potty training...now multiply that by two and imagine all the fun we are having at our house right now! The kids are very into their big kid "unnawears," AKA Pull-Ups. Some days they use the potty enough to keep their unnawears on all day. Other days they pee in the Pull-Up right away. Since their ability to stay consistently dry is unpredictable, and Pull-Ups are even more expensive than diapers, we start the day with each kid in a Pull-Up. They can keep it on for as long as they stay dry. Once they pee in the Pull-Up, we put diapers on them, unless we are feeling lazy. While they are more expensive, Pull-Ups are great because the kids can pull them up themselves and we can stop having to lay them down on the changing table to put on diapers. While Penny can manage to diaper the kids while they are standing up, I never quite mastered that skill.

Potty training has brought on a lot of funny moments, as the kids explore their own bodies and want to know what is going on with our bodies and their sibling's body. They are fascinated with who has a pe*nis and who has a "gina." I know, I know. The correct term is vu*lva, but we went with the former and never looked back.

Jordan always wants his privacy and does not want Taylor in the bathroom when he pees. However, when you try to prevent him from being int he bathroom when Taylor is in there, LOOK OUT! Prepare yourself for a mega-tantrum! Jordan is infamous for his tantrums. He loves to throw himself down on the floor and wail away like someone is pulling out his toenails. When we aren't tearing our hair out as a result of this behavior, it can be pretty entertaining, in a "why did we have kids again?" kind of way.

Taylor loves to be naked and dance around the house. She does this little naked dance, where she shakes her booty and pumps her arms, while running around, saying, "Naked, naked!" She is such a little imp and definitely gives us a run for our money in a much different way than her brother.

A blog I read has a "30 days of Thanks" thing going on, to go along with NaBloPoMo. Seems like a cool idea, so I am gonna do it, too, but I have a few days to catch up on.

11/1/09
1) Friends who live in a great Trick or Treat neighborhood.
2) A heaping bowl of Halloween candy
3) A loving Mimi who sends warm Halloween costumes that are perfect for Trick or Treating in VT

11/2/09
1) Two days out of the office at an interesting conference, which was paid for me by my agency
2) Free breakfast, lunch, and snacks at said conference
3) Safe, reliable, and affordable daycare where I know T&J are well cared for and loved

And today...
1) A new pellet stove that keeps us warm at night
2) Only getting 3 voice mails at work while I was out of the office for 2 days
3) Yummy chicken and pasta for dinner, made for me by my lovely wife. (Oh yeah, did I mention we got legally married? Well, we did...on the 5 year anniversary of our Civil Union (9/11). Photos of our "quickie" wedding to come sometime this month. Hey, I can't post everything all at once! I gotta find 30 things to post about. (Well, just 27 more, actually!) And if I gave you all the good stuff all at once, would you keep coming back?)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Recap




So, this was the first year that we truly dressed Jordan and Taylor up for Halloween. Their first Halloween (at age 5 months old), they wore orange and black fuzzy sleepers. At that time they went to daycare 2 days per week, so they wore their Halloween "outfits" to daycare. Their second Halloween, at age 1.5, they wore some very lame costumes to daycare. Jordan was a "farmer," with overalls and a flannel shirt. And Taylor wore her Piglet sweat suit. Hey, at least the hood had ears! I don't even think we have a picture from that year. Trick or treating before this year seemed silly, as even last year the kids could not really walk from house to house and we were not too into them eating candy. This year, though, they are almost 2 and a half and we said let's go for it. I struggled with wanting to be the cool mom that makes costumes for kids, but then also facing the reality of being constantly short on time (due in some part to a Facebook and Bejeweled Blitz addiction). So, we went with the store bought costumes, but I have definite aspirations of making costumes in the future. We bought a witch costume for Taylor and a vamprire for Jordan. And then my mom sent us matching fleece pumpkin suits, which were super cute and also warm. They were much more comfy for the kids, so they wore the pumpkin costumes to daycare on Friday, and again for trick or treating on Saturday. They wore the witch and the vampire costumes to the Green Mountain Multiples Halloween Party that we went to, as well. While I love the cute pics of the kids posing a whole lot, I also love the above pic of Jordan tantrumming on the floor in his pumpkin suit. Priceless!

Trick or treating was fun, but now we have a ton of candy, and that poses its own dilemmas. 1)I don't want the kids eating all that, and some stuff is probably too hard and/or dangerous for them to eat. Charleston chews and toddlers don't seem like a great match. 2) I don't really want to eat all the candy myself. And when it comes to a huge bowl of candy on the counter, well, let's face it, self control goes out the window. I am thinking of having Penny take it to work where she can either pass it out to staff or clients, or she can eat it all herself. She has more self control than I do, and a smaller ass.

Over the next 30 days, I am hoping to write posts on my new love of couponing and all the deals I have been scoring, a journey I am shortly beginning to hopefully get said lack of self control with food under much better control, parenting joys and challenges, and my new venture as a Creative Memories Consultant.

Stay tuned....if not for my witty posts, than at least to see if I can actually write 30 posts in 30 days!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How fitting!

In an effort to increase posting on the blog, I have decided to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). As of today, I am committing to posting at least one post per day for 30 days. Can I do it? Am I up to the challenge? I am certainly going to give it my best effort. There's lots I want to say and share, so 30 days, 30 posts. I hope people will read and comment and let me know they are out there. This seems like a very fitting challenge to undertake on this post, as this is the 100th post of this blog! 100 posts in almost 3 years is not too impressive, ey?

Happy day after Halloween everyone. I have some super cute pics of the kids that I will try to post later today. This was the first year we took them out trick or treating. They really got into it and seemed to enjoy it.

Happy November!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Am I living the dream?

Last night I went to see Julie and Julia with my friend, Elissa. She is another twin mom who I met here in VT. Her twin boys are a week younger than Jordan and Taylor. We are a lot alike and we really enjoy spending time together. We were thrilled to have a night out together last night! We loved the movie, but we came away wondering how we could find our own special projects with which to become famous. Ok, maybe not famous, but maybe a bit more fabulous!

Do you ever do that? I love going to the movies, but I often come away feeling crappy about my life. Ok, maybe not crappy, but less than, or like something is lacking, and like I want more. And then sometimes I am inspired to do things, like lose weight, blog more, do more stand-up comedy, be more crafty and fabulous, etc, etc, etc.

Today there was a newsletter from Smith in my email box. (By the way, Julia Child went to Smith and there was not one damn reference to my alma mater in the whole movie. I am sure I am not the only Smithie who was pissed about this!) In the email, I noticed a tagline for the college. I am not sure if this is a new tagline or not. The tagline is: Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction.

I like it! It made me smile. Ok, so at one time, Smith College considered me a woman of promise. Shit, since I went there for my BA and again for my MSW, they actually thought that about me twice (Can you visualize me patting myself on the back and congratulating myself?) But, the question is, as I sit here in my office with no windows (did I just admit to blogging at work? That's allowed on your lunch break, right? Right??), am I living a life of distinction?

Is this enough? And if it's not, am I willing to do what it takes to get what I want? Do you ever think like this?

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's summer time and we are feelin' fine.

I have to start with our newest milestone. Jordan pooped on the potty last night! Not a lot (sorry for that gross little tidbit of information), and not on purpose, but he did it! We are in the midst of starting potty training. We offer the kids the opportunity to sit on the potty, and they usually refuse. And we are ok with that. We don't want potty training to be stressful or forced, so we are laying low. Jordan asks to go on the potty more than Taylor, but I think that is more about getting into the bathroom and then asking to wash his hands and brush his teeth, than about really wanting to use the potty. But, he pees on the potty a few times per week, including at daycare, which is great. Taylor usually refuses, or she sits, but does nothing. I think we have a long road ahead of us on this one, but if they are potty trained (or at least a lot closer than they are now) by the time they are three, I will be ok with that. If we are in the same place we are now in about 9 months, I will not be thrilled.

Summer is flying by, but it feels more like winter in Berkeley with all the rain we have had. Not thrilled about that. But, we have made the most of it and have still had some fun adventures. We went to Bristol, RI for 4th of July with my mom, to reinvent the yearly familiy tradition. It was lots of fun and we hope to do it again next year. The kids did really well and even sat and watched the 3+ hour parade with us. Mimi bought them balloons and toys, they had lots of yummy treats to eat, so they were happy!

We also went to visit friends on the Cape for a few days, which was great. Very relaxing. I recently came across the term "chillaxin," which was just what we did when in Cape Cod. We chillaxed with our friends, drank wine, went in the hot tub, went to the beach and spent a day in P-town. Awesome!

We made it to Pride in VT this year. A bit lackluster compared to SF, but it was quaint and we were glad we made it. Lisa and Robin came up from Boston for the weekend to attend Pride with us. We were all proud together!

In a few weeks we are heading to Florida for a week at Disneyworld with Bill and his family. We are so excited to have a week with my brother's family and for the kids to be together. We are all staying at Saratoga Springs in their new treehouses that sleep 9. They are gorgeous!

Will end for now. Have lots of pics to post as usual. Never seem to get around to them. But, with our brand new Dell laptop that we orderded (and that has already been shipped! SQUEE!!), I hope that all things computer and internet related will not only be easier but lots faster. It is time to retire the dinosaur that we bought for Penny to start grad school sometime around 2002.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gotta Love It!

There is a great blog that I have been reading recently called Freebies 4 Mom. There are tons of cool things on there that you can get for free. Check her out at www.freebies4mom.blogspot.com

One very cool freebie that she has listed now is a 50% off coupon for e.l.f. cosmetics. They have tons of cool stuff, for super cheap, that is getting lots of great reviews. I ordered 15 different things for a grand total of $14.45, including shipping! Wow! I have lots of old make-up that I hardly ever wear. Such is the luxurious life of a mom with twin toddlers! I hate to throw things away to replace them, though, as it hardly seems worth it. Well, for under $15, I guess I can chuck some of the old stuff that would likely give me an eye infection if I used it again anyway!

So, go check out Freebies 4 Mom and get some nice new cosmetics for cheap!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet sweet relief!

Want some free chocolate? Well then, go here and get some!

https://secure.realchocolate.com/default.aspx?ar=1

Free chocolate every Friday. Up to 4 coupons per household! I got one a few weeks ago. Already got the coupon and have a lovely Twix bar waiting for me at home in the fridge. And I just got another free coupon today that should be on its way to me in a few weeks! Yay!

No, Mama! Me do it!

I think the day they turned two a button was thrown wherein they began being their lovely "terrible two" selves. And people say three is worse. God help me! If we put them in the high chair, or in the car seat, or in the crib, or on the changing table, you can hear "ME DO IT! reverberating through our house. They want to then climb down, attempt to do said activity ("Me climb up!"), and then either have some success or ask for help. It is maddening and time consuming and yet endearing all at the same time. They are both great climbers and it is so cute to see them do it themselves, little butts in the air. But taking double time for everything is crazy making. I guess we should either 1) just let them climb up from the beginning or 2) go to the time store and buy some more because this takes a long time and I could really use a few more hours in the day!

Mimi is coming for a visit from FL next week and she is staying for 3 weeks! I am thrilled and also nervous. I hope she does not get too bored and that we do not want to kill each other by the end of it. I am so excited for the kids to get to be with her for such a long time. It will be awesome for all of us. And, I know that our house will be clean and we will eat GOOD! My mama is super helpful when she visits and OMG are we ever grateful. Penny and I are going to a B&B in Stowe for one night next week and we are so excited. Mimi says she is up to the task of having the kids on her own (probably for about 20 hours), so we are taking her to task. We are using a bedandbreakfast.com gift certificate that we got as a gift from friends Sarah and Sarah when I was pregnant. We never used it and it never expired, so we are going away and it will only cost us about $50 out of pocket. How freakin' awesome is that? Thanks Sarah and Sarah! Penny and I are also going to go out to dinner, maybe see a movie, and go to a paint your own pottery place in Stowe the next day. All that free time? My god, can you stand it?

And then next weekend my brothers and their people (Tim: gf Cara, Bill: Wife Michelle, and kids Kelly and Will) are all visiting and staying with us. It will be a full house for sure, but I am so excited for us to all be together. It will be Father's Day weekend, which will be hard as usual. But, we will celebrate Bill being a father and we are going to have a joint birthday party for all the spring-summer-fall birthdays (Michelle, Taylor, Jordan, Kelly, Will, Tim, Penny, Bill). That's a lot of birthdays! Hope for good weather so we can be outside with the kids and they can play in the kiddie pools, play house, sandbox, and water table. Bill and Michelle have a little bouncy house that blows up and they are bringing that, too! Awesome!

I have so much more to say, since I hardly ever blog anymore, but I will stop here for now.

Things I want to post about: Disney Trip in September, being a Creative Memories Consultant, trying to buy a house, the new daycare center. And I want to post lots of pics, like birthday pics, funny recent pics, and even pics from Disney last year. I hate to bring up what a slacker blogger I am in every damn post, but if the shoe fits? Ya know you gotta wear it.

TGIF everyone. We are going to a birthday BBQ on Saturday and having a scrapbooking party on Sunday. Oh, and we gotta clean the house for Mimi's arrival on Wednesday. That is a tall order and a busy weekend!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, my loves.

Jordan and Taylor are 2 years old today. My oh my how the time flies. We had a lovely birthday party with friends and family, that even included a bunch of kids. Last year's party was all adults and the kids were only 1, so they hardly knew the difference. This year, we had other little ones and it was more chaotic, for sure! I wondered if we should have had some games planned. We did not have any games, but I think it still went well.

We had a cute animal theme and gave out cute goody boxes. Our friends and family were incredibly generous and the twins were blessed with an abundance of awesome new stuff. Thank you everyone! I made cupcakes for the kids at the party. Jordan blew out his big "2" candle, but Taylor needed a little help. She wanted to grab the flame, but did not quite grasp the concept of blowing out the candle. Oh well. Next year, maybe. I also made an awesome rainbow cake that came out looking very psychadelic and very cool! We took lots of pics, so I will get some up later this week. I know what you are thinking...promises, promises. No really, I will get the pics up. I want to get back into blogging and this is just the time to do it.

And, so I always remember the kids at this age, I want to write a few things down here about each of them. Unfortunately, this is the closest we get to a baby book. Lame, right? Oh well. Such is life with twins. Anyhoo...

Jordan is pretty advanced in his physical skills. He likes to run and climb and can jump with both feet off the floor. Jordan is often heard saying, "No help! Me do it!" He is stubborn and obstinate and willful and he gives us a run for our money! We are learning ways to work with him so that we stay sane and he feels like he is getting a chance to try things and master them in his own way and in his own time. Imagine how tough this is when you are trying to get someplace, anyplace, quickly. Jordan is also so so cute and loveable and, once he thinks it was his idea in the first place, he loves to give hugs and kisses. His little "Wuv you, mama" just melt me! Jordan finally recognizes that he is named Jordan and not Taylor and he sounds so cute when he says his own name. He has learned how to climb out of the crib, but does not do it on a regular basis. I think we are on the verge of toddler beds. Jordan is learning about the potty and sometimes asking to go on it. We are making progress. Jordan loves to eat fruit, cheese, and all things sugary and carby. He loves yogurt and spaghettios and applesauce and berries.

Taylor is a little imp and a ham and she loves to test us. She gets a gleam in her eye when she knows she is doing something she is not supposed to, but she knows she is going to do it anyway. She tries to keep up with her brother, but is not quite as skilles physically yet. She can climb up into her high chair and surprised us all by climbing out of her crib and meeting Mommy in the bathroom on Easter morning. Penny from the bathroom: "Chris? Did you take Taylor out of her crib?" Me: "No. Why?" Penny: "Because she is standing in front of me in the bathroom!" We did not even hear a sound as she slid stealthily from her bed. See what I mean about her being an imp? Taylor loves to snuggle and looks to us for kisses to make it all better when she gets a boo-boo. She wakes up slowly in the mornings and likes to rock with mama as she wakes up. I am only too happy to oblige, as her warm sweet-smelling body comes alive for another day...except on those mornings when she is not so sweet smelling! Taylor loves macaroni and cheese (but only from a can. EW!). She also loves bananas, grapes, and berries, and yogurt, and toast (but not the crust. Where do kids all of a sudden learn not to like crust?) She likes chicken nuggets, especially when there is ketchup for dipping. She also loves popcorn, which, unfortunately, she refers to as p*o*r*n!

These two kids are amazing and make us laugh all the time. Both kids have really started talking a lot more recently and they say new words all the time, some of which we did not even know they knew! When they see us at daycare pick-up, their eyes light up and we know we are doing something right as we navigate the world of parenting. We laugh when they say funny things, like when Jordan called Taylor "honey!" the other day. But, we also remember the heartache of 27 months of trying to get pregnant. Today, on their birthday, we remember how very lucky we are that Taylor and Jordan found their way to us eventually. Happy 2nd Birthday, monkeys. Mama and Mommy love you so so much! We hope you have many many hours of fun in your new playhouse with the slide (that took an UNBELIEVABLE amount of time and people to put together) that we bought you for your birthday. Thanks to Mimi for chipping in on this, to make such a cool gift possible!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Birthday Eve

It is the night before the twins' 2nd birthday. Techincally, their birthday starts in 40 minutes, as it is 11:20 pm on May 9th, 2009. I am the only one awake. The kids are asleep. Penny and the pets are asleep. Our friends and their toddler are asleep upstairs, too. The cupcakes are baked and cooling. The house is clean. We are ready for the party tomorrow. Well, I still gotta bake the rainbow cake in the morning. No problem! :) Look for pictures later in the week.

We had a hard week here this week. It was the 11th anniversary of my dad's death, and I was kind of surprised how raw my emotions were about it, even still after 11 years. I think they might always be like that, perhaps more dull as the years go by, but right there under the surface, ready to bubble up whenever I give them any attention. I still miss him so so much. Our red bird is back again this year. We are still calling him Bill, and now the kids do, too.

The kids are starting at a new daycare on Monday. It is a home center that will save us $700 per month! We cried this week about the end of the kids' time at their current center, as they are so loved there. Jordan and Taylor clearly loved it there and we are sad to be taking that away from them. We are sad to leave the amazing women of Playcare behind, as they so clearly adored our children. But, it is time for a change, even though it sucks to be changing for a financial reason. We can't continue to pay more for daycare per month than our rent, when we are struggling month to month to pay the bills. The new place is great, although a little more out of the way. Healthy meals are included and the space is really great. There are only 4 other kids there right now, so the numbers are low, too. J&T went there for a 1/2 day visit last week. The provider made them cupcakes for their birthday, and sent them home with framed handprint art for us for Mother's Day. Wow! We were impressed. So, think of us on Monday. I hope the transition goes well and none of us are any worse for the wear.

And now, I must go to bed, to rest up for the big day tomorrow. My babies are turning two years old tomorrow. I am somewhat stunned. How did this happen? Really? Have we been doing this mom thing for two whole years already? Sometimes it seems as if they were just born and sometimes it seems as if they have been here forever.

I will leave you with the text from the post I made almost exactly two years ago today, at around midnight on May 9th, 2007. We had no idea what we were in for!

**Hello everyone. It's a big day for news here!

Last week I had an amnio to check for lung maturity of the babies. Not sure what they measure, but a level of 55 indicates lung maturity. Our results came back at 54, whch they told us means that our babies' lungs would finish maturing this week. Yay! Both babies were still head down at the amnio.

I saw my OB today. And, after finally being head down for a few weeks, including last Thursday when I had the amnio, the babies are breech again! The OB and I were shocked when we saw both heads high up in my abdomen on the ultrasound! Also, my blood pressure was a bit up and I had protein in my urine. (I am not really sure what protein in the urine means, other than that it is not good. But, did they see some pork chops or chicken breasts in my urine, or what??)

Since the babies were measuring 6 and 8 lbs (at the last ultrasound on 4/25), they scheduled me for a C-Section THIS THURSDAY MORNING! We have to call in tomorrow evening to make sure the scheudle has not gotten too crazy. If things are a go, we have to be at the hospital on Thursday morning at 7 am.

Penny and I are scrambling to get the last minute things done. Holy Cow! We are gonna have two babies in less than two days! And we are gonna be moms by mother's day! Unreal! We will post news when we can after that. Watch this space for pictures and news. We will try to post as quickly as we can, but know that with a C-Section, we will be in the hospital for about 3-4 days.**

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good News in VT spurs a return to blogging!

Well, this blog has been sorely lacking in posts and activity recently, but I want to make a concerted effort to change that. So, on the day after VT made history, I have made a pledge to revive this blog!

Yesterday VT became the first state in the country to have Same Sex Marriage legalized by the Legislature! After being approved by the Senate and the House, the bill went to the Governor who, unfortunately, vetoed the bill. Boo Hiss! The bill went back to the Senate and the House for veto override votes. It was a landslide in the Senate, but VERY close in the House. The House needed 100 votes to override the veto and the final count was 100 to 49! Phew! Close call! We are thrilled to be living in this state at such an exciting time. We had a Civil Union in VT in 2004, but are now planning to get married sometime this fall to further secure rights for us, our kids, and our family. We will likely have a small ceremony and then maybe a big BBQ with friends and family to celebrate. Stay tuned!

Thank you Vermont Legislators for your bravery and your commitment to equal civil rights for all. Our family is proud to be Vermonters today! Check out how happy we were at Disney World in September... We are even MORE happy today, if you can even imagine that!