Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things: My Favorite Posts Of 2008

This week, I am wrapping up 2008 with some reviews and awards. Each post will contain information about twinmama's picks for the year, so stayed tuned for a new topic each time.

On this final day of 2008, I wanted to share with you all my favorite posts from this year. Some of them are mine, but some of them are yours, too! For everyone that reads my blog, I am truly appreciative and there is a big reason that I hang out at your place, too. I am addicted to all of your blogs and enjoy reading about what is going on in your neck of the woods. So please accept my humblest gratitude (grovel, grovel) for sharing in my little world here in twinland.

Now, let the Bringing Up Twins list begin!

1. Our Walk (8/15/08) I think this post was the first time that I finally got into the groove of writing on my blog. I loved the experience of strolling around taking in the sights of my present and reflecting on my past.

2. They Won't Stop Dripping! (9/3/2008) This was my funny little way of categorizing various forms of snot. If you missed it, you just have to go check it out. Next time you have a round of colds in your house, then you will be prepared.

3. Thanks, Dad (12/15/2008) I received my highest number of comments on this post and I have to admit that I cried all the way through writing it. Although it was a recent post, it was one that I really liked.

Now. I have received a few awards over the past few months and I am so thankful for those! I wanted to do something special and do a "Bringing Up Twins" award, but I didn't think that anyone would want a BUT award. instead, I am offering my favorite posts from some of my favorite blogs and at the end I will tell you what you all won. (Hee Hee, brace yourself.)

1.Me....pregnant again? This HAS to be a joke, right? (12/11/2008) Helene at I'm Living Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor is a mother of TWO sets of twins. (That is four kids to those that are mathematically challenged.) Her posts are amazing, so it was really hard to pick just one, but this post literally had me holding my breath and about as nervous as you can get. You just have to read it to understand what I mean.

2. Tales from the Shower (9/2/2008) Jen at Happily-Ever-After-Land is so creative and hilarious. Her take on what it is like to take a shower while your toddler is on the loose is so on the mark! She has a humorous style to her writing that makes every post an enjoyable read. This post made me laugh so hard that I just had to show it to twindada who got a kick out of it, too.

3. Barbie vs. Bratz (11/21/2008) I struggled with what post to pick of Kim's at The Mommy Machine. She has an amazing sense of humor and very witty. She has four daughters and the youngest are twin girls, so she lives in the world of pink, too. Her comparison of Barbie and Bratz dolls had me laughing out loud - check it out!

There you have it! It was hard for me to just pick three blogs because I have a ton of favorite blogs that I frequent. I am looking forward to more entertaining and informative posts from my blogosphere posse.

Now, do you want to know what you all above won? Well...if you stroll on over to Bringing Up Twins you will notice this page is not available. Well, that is because I own it now! Whoo Hoo! I am the proud owner of I couldn't believe that it was available, but alas (there is that word again), it was and I snatched it up before someone else got the chance.

I know you are thinking, "okay, twinmama, what does this have to do with me?" Well, here is the vision. Come mid-late February after I have wrestled twindada to the ground to get it all set up, I plan on going live with my new site and saying goodbye to ole blogger. With the new site will come the same old posts you have seen from me along with some other features that I will talk about down the road. So, winners, you will receive a placement on my website!

Okay, it is not as exciting as you thought, sorry. We run on a very low budget here, we have twins, what do you expect?

So that is my wrap up for the year. Thanks for checking it out and a very blessed New Year to all of you!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things: 2008 Memorable Moments

This week, I am wrapping up 2008 with some reviews and awards. Each post will contain information about twinmama's picks for the year, so stayed tuned for a new topic each time.

So now you know all about my favorite gear, let me stroll down memory lane and give you my favorite memories for 2008. These are times over the past year when the twinfamily experienced highs and lows - all of which make a year memorable.

1. The girls' first birthday. I don't know if it is a twin thing, but when Peanut and Jelly Bean turned one year old in February, I felt like this huge weight had been taken off my shoulders. I certainly knew that we have, oh, well, a lifetime of worry and challenge waiting for us as parents, but getting through the first twelve months was a blessed moment. I remember the first three months of the girls' lives were pure utter hell (sorry, I just can't sugarcoat it) and then life just got a little easier going forward. By six months, they were getting to be fun with their little personalities blooming. By twelve months, we saw tremendous change as their learning went into high gear. The girls' were retaining words, saying words and able to bring us things that we asked them to find. Going from helpless little blobs of spit up and poo (trust me, I do miss it sometimes) to active little sponges was wonderful.

2. My Little Coaches. Back in the spring, I obtained my one of my two favorite items of all time - my double jogging stroller. (What is my other favorite item? My Kitchenaid stand mixer. You know, one to make the cookies and other one to burn off the cookies. It's the circle of life, right?) The girls and I got out on the open, cough, sidewalk and started running. It was a great time and the girls really liked it. I think when I would slow down or walk, they would start kicking and getting fussy, so I would have to start running again. I was forced to workout. How wonderful is that? Our new home doesn't have sidewalks, but we do have a bike path nearby so once we get another car, I can get back out there will my little ones. Looking forward to it.

3. Slamming Of The Doors. At the end of 2007, twindada and I decided that I would start to look for full time work. We figured as the girls were coming up on their first birthday that it was time for them to go into daycare and for me to resume my career. I have to admit that I was not all for this, but also knew that we wanted to buy a home and felt this was the only way for us to make that happen. I was, of course, willing to do whatever it would take to provide for my family. I have a pretty good background so within a couple of week, I had two really good job leads. When January hit, I started having interviews at both companies and both would have been excellent opportunities. I went through several rounds of interviews at each and went in with full force telling them that I was ready to come back to work and that I was eager to advance my career. However my heart was heavy because I knew that I really wanted to be home with my girls. I didn't want anyone else to have the opportunity to be with them everyday because having spent a year at home with them I knew how wonderful it really was. I continued to pray that God would work out everything somehow, but it didn't seem like things would work out the way that I wanted. Both job leads took considerable amount of interviewing and both managers would give me positive feedback, so I just knew that I was going to get one of those opportunities. After several months into the process, I heard back from one of the places they were hiring someone else. I was surprised, but not upset at all. In fact, I was relieved. And then in a matter of 48 hours, I receive word the other job was frozen until the end of the year. My response should have been concern, but instead I thanked God and was so incredibly relieved again. I talked to twindada about what had happened and when he said these words, I just knew my prayers were answered, "I think someone is trying to tell us something. I haven't felt good about this either." So, sometimes when doors to opportunities are closed, we are sad about this and question why God would let that happen, but I truly believe these doors were not just closed, He slammed them shut! Both were leading to promising positions and for both to be stripped away so quickly and abruptly, I just knew that He was answering my prayers. I do work from home now part time, but I get to stay home with my girls and I thank God for that.

4. Our New Digs. I think that if I went back over my posts, there are probably a lot of instances where I have complained about all the moving and remodeling that is taking place at our new home. Putting that all aside, trust me, I love my new home and I am very thankful for it. I know that God was at work on making this all happen because the market is not so hot right now, but He is faithful and knew this was our goal, so again, thank you God. On the outside, our home looks tiny. When we first drove up to it, I thought there was no way we could all live in a shoebox, but looks can be deceiving. This house is like Snoopy's doghouse. Looks small on the outside, but inside has more room than we can possibly use right now. (Except the space we do want to use in being remodeled - but I am done ranting about that!) What I love about it is that it is a home for us to grow in. So many of the homes we looked at were very nice and move in ready (so-to-speak), but we would have already outgrown the space before we moved in. We are a six person/beast household after all. As the girls grow up they will have more room in this home and if we decide to have any more children, then we will have space for additional members, too. (No, I am not implying anything. No babies right now!)

5. My Entry to the Blogosphere. One day in July, I was cruising around on and a forum thread caught my eye about blogging. I thought, "hmmm..I like to write. I wonder what that is all about." Next thing I know, I have created my blogger account and "Bringing Up Twins" was born. Within a couple of weeks, I attempted to start two other blogs, but then I got real and scrapped those and focused my efforts on this blog. Overtime, I found other blogs and made some connections, joined some clubs, learned what the heck "twitter" was and now I have a little posse of blogging buddies that I really admire. Yes, I am talking to all of you. You all rock! I talk about you all more than I do anything else in my life to my husband. I usually start my conversation with him like this, "One of the blogs I read, well, she does this and this and this and that really works for her so I think that I need to try that." or "You have got to read this and this, her blog is so funny!" or "I wish that I could meet some of my blogging buddies, I think we would have a lot of fun together." I love to say that I am a blogger and it has opened up so much creativity and joy in my life that I was missing.

6. Our Major Fault. Not everything can go perfect in a year, right? I think that is realistic to say that with joys comes challenges and we definitely experienced our fair share this year. We did some things right while we did other things way wrong. However there was one that twindada and I both feel that we failed at and it was this: Keeping God first. Sometimes we did okay at talking to Him about what was going on in our lives, but many times especially over the past six months, He has been sidelined quite a bit from our perspective. We stopped going to church and I stopped my daily devotionals. Although I do stay consistent with evening prayer, I didn't give Him my first everyday. Despite all of this, He continued to protect us and bless us, but I think back at how much easier it could have been if we would have given the controls to the Lord and rely on Him to make the decisions. After all, He knows best.

Looking back over a year at accomplishments and challenges really helps to put to perspective what is working in our lives and what needs some adjustment. I know some things that I need to do next year, but I also know that it is impossible to predict how the new year will turn out. That may make it scary, but it also makes it pretty exciting.

One more day of 2008, people! Bring on the new year - we will be ready.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things: The Gear That Kept Us Going

This week, I am wrapping up 2008 with some reviews and awards. Each post will contain information about twinmama's picks for the year, so stayed tuned for a new topic each time.

So how exactly do we keep those babies washed, fed, clothed and entertained? I wish that I could say it was my amazing charm and talent that keeps Peanut and Jelly Bean in tip top shape, but alas I would be lying...did I just say 'alas'? Okay, so here are my top favorite items that got us through the year...

1. Keeping My Sanity - There are strollers and then there are jogging strollers or "joggers". And yet again there are double jogging strollers. Not all strollers are alike and certainly not all jogging strollers are meant for running. (That is kind of strange, isn't it?) But if you like to run and have two itie-bities to travel with, then the BOB Duallie Sport Utility stroller is for you. It has a 16 inch, stationary front wheel, serious off-roading tires, emergency hand brake, comfortable child straps and well, it just looks sweet. I chose red, but it also comes in blue. Buy one today.

2. Cleaning Up After the Little Ones. How many messes are you cleaning up? I clean up a ton of whatever on a regular basis. I started searching for a product that I felt comfortable using around the girls that would eliminate the mess, but also seem safer. That is when I discovered Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Cleaner. It is awesome. I use it to clean their booster seats, toys, potty chairs, door handles, kitchen counters, anywhere. It eliminates germs, but it safe to use around children, pets and spaces where food is prepared.

3. Keeping Those Bottoms Healthy. There are a ton of diaper rash ointments on the market and they all do a pretty decent job at eliminating red tushes, however I was turned on to a product that few people that I know at least have heard about it. It is called Resinol. The active ingredients in the ointment are petrolatum (skin protectorant) and resorcinol (topical analgesic) and the inactive ingredients are lanolin, calamine, corn starch and zinc oxide. Most brands only contain one of these ingredients, but Resinol has them all. Since it contains calamine, it can only be applied four times a day, but healing begins quickly. No prescription is needed, but you may have to ask your pharmacist to order.

4. A Place For the Kiddos To Eat. Thank you, Fisher Price Space Saver High Chairs. I have recently retired these high chairs, but for over a year and a half they have been essential for our family. They fit directly onto an existing chair, so they do not take up any more room than necessary. I have two concerns about these chairs that I hope that someone at ole' F-P could address: Make the cover machine washable and also make the cover fit over the sides of the seat so food can't slip underneath. Other than that, a good alternative for the cramped kitchen.

5. Keeping Them Busy. When Peanut and Jelly Bean were 12 months old, I pulled out the Baby Einstein Alphabooks box and let them open it and explore. An hour later, yes, you heard right, they were still playing with all the books. This product is amazing! It is a cardboard box containing 26 individual alphabet books. In each book there are three pages with a word on each page and a picture or photograph of the word. To this day, the girls love to sit and look through these books and the fact they come in a box is a total bonus. God love the friend who bought them for the girls!

There you have it, folks! I could go on, but then my list wouldn't be very special now, would it? I hope that I have given you a little glimpse into our past year and I hope next year that I can tell you the Baby Bjorn potty chairs rock, too. (But we will see, we are still in testing mode here at the twinfamily house.)

Stay tuned for my next installment!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Week In A Nutshell

I hope everyone had a wonderful, healthy and safe Christmas! It is a blessed time to reflect on Jesus' birth and sacrifice with our loved ones.

I clearly fell off the face of the earth for the past week, which is like a month in the blogosphere. Where did the time go? Oh yeah, I was shopping, cooking and catching up on everything that I have been procrastinating on for the past month. This year was a little off for us over here in twinfamily land. With our new house still in the midst of a remodel, we didn't really have a lot of places to go with Christmas decorations which is kind of annoying because we have a decent size house now, but quite a bit of it is not live-able space until we finish up our projects. (I asked Santa to refinish the hardwood floors this week, but I guess he doesn't do that kind of thing. Oh well.)

In addition, some kind stranger gave us another present - a wrecked car. Twindada's car was hit from behind coming home on a busy interstate. Thank God, he was not hurt, however we can't say the same about his car. It is an efficient car for his very long commute, but it is very old, so we expect the insurance company will just total it. We weren't planning on buying another car right now, so we will be down to one. Joy!

The girls had a good time opening their gifts. They got a lot of stuff, so I bagged their old toys. I figure down the road, I can switch the toys out again and they won't get bored easily. We have Dora merchandise everywhere. One thing that I personally was excited about was the girls got potty chairs! Hurray! We have been using them for a couple days and Peanut has gone twice in the potty. I was pretty pumped about it. Jelly Bean patiently sits there, but she hasn't figured it out yet. I know she will. It's a whole new concept (for me, too), so we just have to keep working on it.

So, that is what has been going on in our world here. Sorry, this is probably my lamest post (rant) ever, but I wanted give you a reminder and announcements and let you all know that I am alive.

Next stop? New Year's! Bring on the appetizers, snack food and booze!

(Okay, this is my house, clearly we all celebrate differently!)

In the meantime, chew on this and I will be back next week with better quality material:

* Don't forget about Twinmama's Lifestyle Challenge! I will kick things off on Sunday, January 4th, 2009. Also, next week I will give you some more information to help you prepare for what is to come.

* Next week, I will bring you some 2008 reviews and awards to wrap up the year.

* Next year, besides TLC, big things are on the move. I don't want to spill it all just yet, but let me give you one little hint: I need to find some blogo-sized cardboard boxes!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm A Mean Mom

The other day I had a conversation with someone who was explaining to me that another mother was having a hard time with her child. After much frustration, she would just give in and give the child whatever he or she wanted. She said, "I just want to make my child happy."

My immediate response to this was, "You should never do that!" Immediately, we started laughing because of what I said. It sounded harsh and funny for me to even go there, but perhaps there is some truth to me saying this.

Now, I absolutely love to see my children happy. I can't wait for Santa Claus to swing by and to see their little faces as they open their presents. (We are having a Dora the Explorer Christmas - so much of what they are getting is Dora that they will probably not like Dora anymore!) And I love to watch twindada play with them and watch them giggle wildly as he gets on the floor with them and flies them through the air or they use him as a big play gym. I can't wait until this spring when we can go to the zoo and see all the baby animals. I know that will make them very happy and because of that, I will be very happy.

The type of "happy" that I don't like is when parents give in to their kids to the point where it is turning them into brats or putting them on a path to an unsafe or unhealthy life. I don't think that it is wise to always allow your child that extra cookie (for example) every time they ask for one. This type of indulgence is setting the child up for a) thinking they can have anything they want at anytime and b) creating unhealthy eating habits.

I am all for picking our battles. I know that as parents there are times when we just break and can't deal with the whining one more minute so sticking a cookie in the child's mouth is the best option at that moment. I get this. I have been there before and know that I will be there again...probably sooner than I would like.

However it's important to consider a question when it comes to parenting and it is this, "Who is running the show?" If a child makes one peep and every person over 5 feet tall jumps, then the answer is obvious. I have heard of parents who are almost afraid of their kids and don't want to see them cry or freak out. Just watch The Nanny on television. I sit there in amazement wondering how parents could let that child get that bad. I know that all families have struggles and kids go through stages where they are unruly and difficult to correct, but I also know that issues have to be dealt with and not ignored which seems to be the common thread for all of the families on this show.

Sweeping things under the rug and allowing a child to get away with anything won't make them happy for very long because they will get bored. If a child is always getting a cookie, then next time, they will know they can cry and get a candy bar or a car or whatever. Of course, it is okay to give our children things, but it needs to be justified or because we think they deserve it, not because they told us they want it and want it now. When we give a child something they don't deserve, not only do they not give anything in return, but they actually lack respect for their parents.

So, I am a mean mom, proudly speaking. My kids are quite young and already the testing of the waters has begun. Peanut asks me all day long for a cookie. She is very sweet about it and I could really indulge her and give her one each time she asks, but we wouldn't have any left for the rest of the week! So, instead, I tell her "no", but then at designated snack times, she is allowed the cookie she waited patiently for all day. Some parents are probably thinking, "Oh, c'mon! It is just a silly cookie! Give it to her!" Well, I say that withholding that silly cookie until it is time to enjoy it is far better and tastier than the 10 cookies she would possibly shovel into her mouth all day. And it is far better for me and twindada that she understands there are rules and we expect her to follow them.

It isn't a perfect science especially with very young children. They are by the very nature of being babies the most egocentric beings on this planet. They truly believe that the world revolves around them. No other child or adult comes close to importance in their eyes. That is why setting ground rules for what is tolerated and what is not is essential for a twin parent. I don't solely love Peanut. I also equally love Jelly Bean. What I do for one or don't do for one, I have to do for the other. I work really hard to be fair to the girls and treat them equally as this is an important part of my mission as a mother of twins. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fall short, but I keep a conscious effort to try.

Being a mean mom means loving my children enough to know the difference between the child that cries who needs something and the child that cries who wants something. I really don't let crying bother me too much. I have had many times over the past couple of months where one of my girls has flopped down on the floor for a good old fashion tantrum and I just walk over and make sure that toys are out of her way and she is safe and then I let her do what she has to do. I don't respond or even let her think she has an audience. In seconds, the tantrum is over and she goes back to normal play. No biggie. Life goes on. And she still didn't get what she wanted.

It's working now...will it work in the future? Hard telling...but one thing that I have learned over the past 22 months is stay consistent. If something is clearly not working, then of course I re-direct my efforts to better ways of dealing with the issue. I do consult moms that I respect and ask for advice, ask my doctor (she rocks) and then I remember who I am dealing with and tailor it around that personality type. However if I don't stay consistent enough, there is massive confusion. Children don't "magically" know the ground rules like you and I do. And we didn't "magically" know them when we were their age either. We were told what is expected of us and it became ingrained into our heads to the point that it is common knowledge for us, but to a little one this is whole new stuff. That is why children test and why when children are shown the boundaries respond better than those who are given a free-for-all.

So, again, I am a mean mom. I love my kids, I want them to be happy, but I won't compromise their development by giving into their every indulgence. When my girls are older and someone asks them to describe their mom, I would love to hear these 3 words - tough, fair and loving.

Tough - "Mom was strict sometimes, but she was reasonable, we respected her and know she did it for our advantage."

Fair - "We never had to worry that Mom loved someone more than the other. She gave her heart equally to us both."

Loving - "She loved us more than her own breath. She cuddled us, kissed us and made sure that we knew how special we were to her every day."

I love them enough to know that the proper placements of "Yes's" and "No's" will only help them to grow into healthy, well manner adults.

Isn't that what we are trying to do anyway?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanks, Dad

In October, it had been 15 years since my Dad died. I typically tend to ignore the fact that my Dad died in October and get through the month without any sad recourse. However around this time of year, all of those emotions come flooding my heart and force me to consider the fact that he isn't here anymore.

I always thought that every year it would be easier to deal with - that if time heals all wounds then I should not be sad anymore. Life goes on. And I thought the sting of not having someone in my life anymore - even a person who gave me life - well, I would eventually just move on.

In some ways, I guess I have. I got through high school, graduated from college, found the love of my life, did well in my chosen profession and then had two very wonderful little girls who I now get to stay home and raise. I haven't let grief stop me from being the very best version of me because Dad didn't raise me like that.

Mom and Dad both always told me and my brothers that we could do anything that we set our minds to. I think this is very sound advice because it builds up a child to know he or she can be anything, but there is one condition: You must work hard for it and believe in it. Without this, it is impossible to really persevere at anything. I think this advice is so incredibly amazing because in everything that I have ever really wanted to do, I have succeeded. And I know it's because my parents taught me to not ask for hand outs or expect that I would be perfect at everything. (This is something that I am concerned younger generations don't quite grasp with the "give me, give me right now" attitudes.) Instead my parents have always lifted us up to believe that hard work produces good results and to strive for the very best versions of ourselves.

I asked my Mom last weekend what Dad would think of the fact that we named Peanut after him. Her real first name was my Dad's middle name. She said that he would have loved it. It was a bold move naming a child after someone that I miss dearly because I have a daily reminder of my Dad. I try to imagine what my Dad would be like with all of his grandchildren.

Dad was a hard working man. He worked his tail off to provide for us. We always had what we needed and a few things that we wanted. It was a modest upbringing, but one where I never felt like I was neglected in anything with the exception of one: My Dad's time. He worked so hard to make ends meet for us that he was literally spent by the time he got home from work. As a working adult, I now understand this. If he wasn't working, he was fixing something or helping someone else out. He was always on the go.

When he got sick and ended up in the hospital, he had a moment of realization where he told my mom that things were going to be different. He was going to spend less time working and more time with his family. I remember being so excited thinking this was huge for our family - we would actually go on vacations and he would be around. And then one day during a routine procedure, he passed away.

All of those hopes that this was merely a turning point in his life and not the end of his life were gone. He had realized the one thing that was the most important part of this thing called life, but it was too late. We were left devastated and broken. Something that I don't think any of us have ever really gotten over.

I remember at his funeral as we were driving to the cemetery, this little voice called out to me. It said, this is the end of the first chapter of your life. Tomorrow begins chapter two. It is time to make some decisions about how you are going to live YOUR life. And so at that moment, I knew what I was going to set my mind to. I was going to college.

Now, I didn't make the very best decisions in chapter two. I became quite the self destructive type because of my grief. I turned from God and I shook my fist at Him and decided that I would follow my own path. I would go my own way and it didn't matter if it hurt me or not. I was already hurting.

Luckily, God had other plans for me. He helped me to dodge a huge bullet in marrying the wrong person. He pulled me away from people who were out to hurt me and take advantage of me. He gave me direction on how to find my profession and make a good living. And then he gave me the gift of a husband and children.

My husband had pulled away from God, too. He was questioning the bible and it's legitimacy, but he grew up with God-loving family members as I had. We made a lot of of bad decisions together, but God never gave up on us. He worked on us until there was nothing left of our stubbornness and we humbly fell before Him.

Lately I have been thinking about the advice my Dad gave to me. When I was little, I used to think that it meant that if I want to be a doctor or a lawyer or any other profession, with hard work I could be. And perhaps that is what he meant, too. But now, as I sit here in my home with my little ones, I have a whole new appreciation for this advice. For it doesn't just fit how to approach a career, but how to approach life.

I am setting my mind to being the very best mother and wife possible. And I know it takes more than luck to accomplish this. I have to set my mind to being there for them, loving them, disciplining them constructively and most importantly, setting them on a path to make the best decisions for their lives. A path that is not all their own, like I stumbled down. But a path that God prepares and holding His hand,they are able to set their minds to do what may seem impossible for Him.

This time of year, I miss my Dad. I miss him because of the time we had and the time that we didn't have. But I remember this time of year is also a celebration for my other Father. My Lord, who came into this world as a sweet little baby only be hung on a wooden cross short years later to His death. My Father who I have never hugged in a physical sense, but lives forever and loves me enough to redeem me and never give up on me.

During chapter two, I felt fatherless. I felt cheated and alone. I had a father, but he was no more on this earth, but in heaven now. It was a dark time in my life, but thankfully, I was saved to move into the next chapter of my life. And in this life, I have a Father. He loves me and I love Him. He will never leave me.

Just as I am setting my mind to be the best mother and wife, I am going to be the best child of God, too.

That is the least I can do for my Dad.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quit Your Whining!

This week, I hereby designated our house a "NWZ". This stands for "No Whining Zone." Peanut and Jelly Bean have decided that even when there is nothing to be upset about, they will whine and fuss. They could be smiling and still whining at the same. It is getting under my skin...but thought I would give it a whirl once and see if it made me feel better. And since it isn't socially appropriate or legal for that matter for me to stand in the middle of the grocery store and have a tantrum, I am going to have a blog tantrum...

Wahh! I have to get out of bed because Peanut and Jelly Bean are up and are yelling, "Mommy!" I want to change my name! Wahh! I have to change two sets of diapers, change their clothes and carry them downstairs for breakfast. Booo-Hoooo!! They actually want to eat breakfast, why can't they fix it themselves? How hard is it to pour some milk and grab the cereal...why do I have to do it? I want to go back to bed....wahhhh....

Sniffle-sniffle...I just want to drink a cup of coffee and relax for a bit before I start my day...but instead I am re-filling sippy cups, making sure that little girls are playing nice and trying to teach them something constructive for the day....

Everyone is settled for now...I could relax now, but I should really do some work...wahhh!!!

I finally get to put in some work and then a poop cloud hits the room. Wahh!! I have to change a poopy diaper....

...WAHH! I just put away the diaper supplies and 5 minutes later, the other girl has a poopy diaper...

Booo-Hooo! Life is so unfair! I have to feed them lunch now...they have to eat again? Wahh!!

Nap time...but wait, no it isn't my time. It is work if I can, then dishes, laundry, sweeping, moping, picking up to do. WAH!!

Give me two hours to get some stuff done...please...I need that time...but wait! Peanut wakes up only after an hour...I try to sneak out of the room with her, but then Jelly Bean wakes up immediately and gets mad because I am leaving her behind....sobbing...

More diaper changes, sippy cups, playing, watching Noggin....wahh! Why can't we ever watch what I want to watch on TV? WAAAAH!!

Now it is time to make dinner, there is nothing to hooo...figure out something while girls are occupied by Noggin...the song on Wow Wow Wubzy drives me crazy! Wah!

Dinner is okay, but the girls won't touch it....sniffle sniffle...

While the girls are eating, I make myself a plate and eat wishing that twindada was already home and we were eating together, but he has an hour and a half commute, so that isn't going to hooo...

Time to wash dishes, twindada arrives home safely, eats his own dinner and plays with the girls while I clean up the kitchen...once I am finished with the kitchen, I go to run bathwater for the girls. I have to give them baths now! WAH!!

The crazy little girls are splashing me with water. Wah!

Their clean sleepers are downstairs in the dryer...wah!

Finally get them to sleep...whew...

I can finally relax. No wait, I still have more work to do. I will be up late. And then I can sleep for a little bit and do it all over again the next day. WAHH!

Wow, I kind of feel better...maybe I should have that tantrum in the middle of the grocery store...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wash Your Hands!

This week, December 7th through December 13th is National Hand Washing Awareness week. Didn't know there was such a thing? Well, neither did I until recently. It is amazing to me that we have to have a week dedicated to teaching people to wash their grimy little paws, but if that is what it takes, then I am all for it.

There is an art to washing your hands. Some people think a little water trickled over their nubs will do the trick, but that just isn't so. Others think that applying strong anti-bacterial soap to their hands is essential to eliminating germs and this isn't true either. Multiple studies have found there is no difference between the amount of bacteria cleaned off hands from anti-bacterial soaps versus plain soaps. Yet, over 70% of all hand soaps are marketed as anti-bacterial. Avoid these because there is concern over-usage of anti-bacterial chemicals will build up a resistance to these types of products. Also, many people get extremely dry skin from anti-bacterial hand soap.

Here are the steps for washing hands correctly:

1. Have the following supplies available when you wash your hands: mild hand soap, paper towel, nail brush and water source. (Okay, this last one should be a no-brainer for us, but since some people don't wash their hands, I wanted to be a little more specific.)

2. Turn water on to a comfortable warm temperature.

3. Apply soap and rigorously rub hands under the water. It isn't the amount of soap you use that cleans your hands, but rather is the rigorous rubbing that will wash away the bacteria. Don't forget to do this step, it really works.

(Pay attention to between fingers, tops of hands, bottom of hands and WRISTS. Yep, wrists! You know that transitional part between your arm and your hand? They get dirty, too, and are a major source of germs for most people because few take time to actually wash them.)

4. Turn off water. (See, I am eco-friendly!) Take nail brush and focus on scrubbing your fingernails. Focus on the nail bed and underneath your nails. A lot of nastiness is left under fingernails and few consider cleaning them out. Don't believe me? Well, how many diapers have YOU changed today? How were those chips this afternoon? Ewwww....

5. Turn water back on to rinse and rigorously rub hands together again. Don't forget to rinse off those soapy wrists!

6. Grab paper towel and dry hands. Use paper towel to turn off water, too.

7. In a public restroom? Take another paper towel to open that germy door.

Just one word of caution to you anti-bacterial gel users: If you decide to carry anti-bacterial gel with you to use between diaper changes or after you shake someone's hand (yeah, I have seen this) remember to keep the product AWAY from your little ones. This gel contains enough alcohol in it to cause sickness if your child consumes it.

Easy, huh? Then why don't more people wash their hands?? What is the problem?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

TLC Coming January 4th, 2009!

As previously posted, in 2009 Bringing Up Twins is kicking off "Twinmama's Lifestyle Challenge" on Sunday, January 4th, 2009. Here are the details once again:

1. Every Sunday, I will post my one new challenge for the week. It will be a small thing that I am either giving up, a habit that I am trying to adopt or a modification to perhaps a previous challenge that needed tweaking (though I hope this is rare.)

2. Challenges will start officially on Monday and continue indefinitely. Even though there is a new challenge each week, the idea is to build on the challenges. Therefore, week 1 challenge continues even when week 2 challenge begins. I am trying to build habits and make small changes that will produce effective results for overall goals.

3. Bringing Up Twins readers are invited to participate in the challenges each week or follow their own challenge. I know my goals may not be the same as others, so if you would like to be a part of TLC, but don't like the challenges, by all means, create your own and go for it!

4. I will share my previous week's results with you all and invite you to do the same. When I post the new challenge on Sunday, I will share my results of the previous week's challenge and any other highlights to past challenges as appropriate. You are free to make any comments about the challenges. Also, if you create your own challenge, I would love to know what it was. It may become a future challenge for me, who knows!

Have you thought about it? Are you in? So, for $19.95 a month, you can be part of this amazing program...Ha! Did I get you? There are NO fees, commitment cards, raising your right arm and promising your first born, nothing. Just join when you want to or read along while I try to make some positive lifestyle changes to get inspired (or laugh at me, it's okay, I am sure it will be humorous.)

So, get ready for 52 little ways to help make 2009 the best year ever! Remember, the challenge starts Sunday, January 4th, 2009! (Hmmm...wonder how many times I can say that....)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Work At Home Mafia Contest!

This blog is not a work at home opportunity blog like some, but since I am a work at home mom I just had to mention the contest that started today at Work At Home Mafia. (Please note the actual address is this, but it is undergoing some site maintenance currently.)

Between today, December 5, 2008 through December 12, 2008, if registered members write 10 posts on the site, you are entered to win 1 of 12 prizes! There are some seriously good stuff over there and I know all of us would love a little something for ourselves or to help with Christmas shopping! If you are not a registered member, it is easy and free to become one.

Prizes are:
$100 Visa Gift Card
Ipod Shuffle
Brother - Fax/ Phone/ Copier
$50 Walmart Gift Card
SwissGear SA9367 Computer Backpack (Blue)
Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Gift Basket
LeapFrog® Tag Reading System
Iron Man DVD
Sex In the City DVD
$25 Amazon Gift Card
$50 Gift Card
$25 Cash via paypal

Sounds good, huh? Well, after you have spent ample time reading my blog, then head over there to get yourself set up to win some good stuff.

And since we are on the subject, let me share my favorite work at home websites (beside the one linked above) for all of you out there that may be looking for some opportunities:
Work At Home Mom Revolution

At all of these websites you can find legitimate work at home opportunities as well as some scammers, so please do your research before applying to a position. There are some great opportunities for those looking for a telecommute job, but like anything on the web there are always those out there wanting to spoil it.

Good luck and happy Friday! we will return you to the regular scheduled programming...a la...twins...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Here are a series of scenarios for when to use the word, "No."


twinmama: "Jelly Bean, eat your green beans."
Jelly Bean: "Nooooo!!"


twinmama: "Jelly Bean, please do not climb up on that shelf."
Jelly Bean: "Nooooo!!"


twinmama: "Jelly Bean, time to take a nap."
Jelly Bean: "No."

Discussing Aspirations:

twinmama: "Do you want to be a teacher when you grow up?"
Peanut: "No."
Jelly Bean: "Nooo..."
twinmama: "Do you want to be an astronaut?"
Both: "No!"
twinmama: "Do you want to be a lion tamer?"
Peanut: "(silence)" (...should I be worried?)
Jelly Bean: "...nooooo" (She had to think about it...)

Out of the Blue:

Jelly Bean: "NOOOO!!"

(Nothing happened. No one said a word to her...She just got really mad.)

Disciplining the Dogs:

Peanut: "No, no!" (As she shakes her finger at the dog...yeah...I really need to re-evaluate my discipline style....)

Twinmama sneezed:

twinmama: "Excuse me."
Jelly Bean: "No."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Twinmama's Lifestyle Challenge (TLC)!

Do you need a little "TLC" next year? Are you ready to make resolutions for 2009 and are hoping you can keep them? Are you optimistic that next year just HAS to be better than this year?

I think there are a lot of people that are going through tough times right now. Some people will attempt to make New Year's resolutions while others will say, "Why bother? I never keep them anyway!"

No matter what camp you fall into when it comes to New Year's resolutions, allow me to give you a third, intriguing option. For about two months, I have been pondering a way to kick 2009 off with smart, healthful decisions and making changes to my life that will help me to be the best version of myself. Then it occurred to me that if I chronicle this journey, I would put myself out there thus making it REALLY difficult to slough off. Well, I am all about a little self-inflicted pain.

Then I thought, "Wow, if I post my journey, maybe others will want to come along for the ride."

And that is where you come in.

I am not suggesting that my loyal readers NEED to make any changes, by all means, I already know you are all perfect because you have impeccable tastes seeing as you read my blog. (Tee Hee) I just know as mothers we are quite the busy folk and usually we are the last people that we tend to take care of between the husbands and the children. I have not taken care of myself the way that I need to do for a very long time and I am ready for a change.

I am also not suggesting we come up with a list of New Year's resolutions and all of us try to muddle through them until we fail about early February. Personally, I think that resolutions are a joke and usually people bite off way more than they can chew and are destined to fail. I know that I have purchased a many gym memberships in January and by February, I never take out my gym member card ever again. (But, I still am required to pay the monthly fee that I contracted myself into. Nice, huh?)

What I am suggesting is in making very small lifestyle changes that can benefit our health, emotional well-being, our finances, our families, our faith, our hobbies or professional endeavours. Tiny little "tweaks" if you will, that will help to adjust our lifestyles and help us reach our goals in a much less painful way.

So here is Twinmama's Lifestyle Challenge (TLC) plan:

1. Every Sunday, I will post my one new challenge for the week. It will be a small thing that I am either giving up, a habit that I am trying to adopt or a modification to perhaps a previous challenge that needed tweaking (though I hope this is rare.)

2. Challenges will start officially on Monday and continue indefinitely. Even though there is a new challenge each week, the idea is to build on the challenges. Therefore, week 1 challenge continues even when week 2 challenge begins. I am trying to build habits and make small changes that will produce effective results for overall goals.

3. Bringing Up Twins readers are invited to participate in the challenges each week or follow their own challenge. I know my goals may not be the same as others, so if you would like to be a part of TLC, but don't like the challenges, by all means, create your own and go for it!

4. I will share my previous week's results with you all and invite you to do the same. When I post the new challenge on Sunday, I will share my results of the previous week's challenge and any other highlights to past challenges as appropriate. You are free to make any comments about the challenges. Also, if you create your own challenge, I would love to know what it was. It may become a future challenge for me, who knows!

So, are you in? Okay, you don't have to decide right now. I will give you time to think about it. And you can jump in at any point next year, I am not going to make you sign a gym membership contract, I promise. Also, I will write multiple posts on this subject throughout the month of December to get everyone geared up. (So eat up those Christmas cookies now! Game over in January! Ha, just kidding it won't be that bad, I promise.)

I plan on starting the challenge on Sunday, January 4th, 2009. Mark your calendars!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

MDA: Milk Drinkers Anonymous

Back in August, our pediatrician asked me how many ounces of milk the girls were drinking daily. After a moment of calculating the sippy cups throughout the day, I came up with a number over 32 ounces. She politely asked me to lower the amount of whole milk they were drinking down to 24 ounces a day since whole milk is fortified with vitamin D. Excessive amounts of vitamin D can raise the level of iron in the blood and can be harmful. I agreed.

Well, we are still working on limiting their milk intake. I haven't been very diligent in making this happen. The last few months have been so stressful with the move and my jobs that I haven't been following doctor's orders. Unfortunately, my little duo love their milk. They could do a "Got Milk?" ad anytime of the day because they usually have a sippy cup in one hand and are getting into trouble with the other. I do mix water into the equation throughout the day, too, and they don't get to drink fruit juice or soda.

As a result of all the milk drinking has come two little ones who don't want to eat during meal times. I am not unwise to the fact that whole milk is the culprit. After all, whole milk is filled with a good source of protein and fat. One full sippy cup of that stuff and who really would want their dinner? I tried a little swig one time and oh my...I drink soy milk and skim milk if I have to drink cow's milk. That stuff may as well have been heavy cream to me...

Finally this week I decided that it was time to enroll my girls in twinmama's Milk Drinkers Anonymous (MDA) program. I am limiting their milk intake to around 24 ounces a day (3 or 4 - 6 ounce cups). The rest of the time they receive water as normal. The trick to it is they cannot have this milk at mealtime. If given a plate of food and a sippy cup of milk, they will down the milk and then pick at the food. Instead, the milk is staggered between meals and they are served water at mealtime. The only exception to this rule is they are allowed to have a cup or two of milk at breakfast along with their cereal and fruit. This is usually the only source of protein they have in the morning.

The first day there was a baby backlash. I started the day off with a 6 ounce cup of milk along with their breakfast. When they finished this cup, they were offered another cup of milk to drink. At lunchtime, they were given water. When I gave them their cups, they both immediately began drinking. As soon as they took a couple gulps, they realized what it was and sat it down. Peanut tried to hand the cup back to me giving me a look like, "I think you gave me the wrong cup, mom. Try again." Jelly Bean just got really ticked and tried to hand me the cup. When I refused to take either and walked away, sippy cups hit the floor. There were howls of disapproval and cries of frustration. I calmly got their food and laid it down before them. Some food was brushed away as they protested, but again, I calmly got my plate for lunch and my water and sat down at the table with them to eat.

At some point when they realized that twinmama wasn't going to give in, they both started picking at their lunch. After a moment or two, I calmly got up and picked up their sippy cups and placed them back on their trays. They both ate their lunches and had some water. I couldn't believe it. Peanut was always a good eater until lately, but Jelly Bean is horrible about eating and for her to eat her entire meal was proof that their milk drinking habits were getting in the way of them having other important food.

After lunch, they typically play and then settle in for an afternoon nap. After their nap, I allowed them their third cup of milk along with a little snack. They chugged their milk down. Once they finished, they both handed me their cup and said, "More?" while doing the sign language for the word, too. Instead, I got them some water. Again, there was a revolt. Water cups hit the floor and babies flopped on the floor next to the cups sobbing. You would have thought that I was starving these children.

A little while later it was dinner time and we got to experience the lunch stand off all over again. Again, they threw fits over the tasteless liquid that was presented to them, but both girls did decent jobs eating their meals. After dinner, they can have a sippy cup of milk as long as it isn't too late. I stop giving them liquids an hour before bedtime to avoid leaky diapers.

It has been almost a week since I began their "treatment" program and both girls are eating better at meal time. They are getting a healthful and fulfilling amount of whole milk to supplement their diet, but it is not their entire diet. I blame myself for allowing the girls to have too much milk. It was just too easy when one of them would cry. I knew that a sippy cup of milk would calm a crabby baby and I used that method way more than necessary.

I have been thinking a lot about this and I am glad that I am changing this habit. Knowing myself, this is something that I need to do, too. I have often used food as a crutch for a bad day or a sad moment. Sweets are my weakness, but they are also my nemesis because I know they are not healthy for me. I turn to them when I can't seem to cope with something. I have made whole milk into the girls' crutch when they are sad and can't communicate to me what they need.

This has to stop. For all of us.

So, last week, I set out to make my girls' diets healthier. This next week, I need to do the same for me. Time to drop the crutch and find healthful ways to deal with the blues. I want my girls to be healthy and make good decisions so they live enjoyable, long lives.

And it would be good if I do the same so I can see it all happen.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

There are a lot of uncertainties in the world right now. There are so many people out of work or close to lay offs. People are having money trouble and don't know how they are going to keep their homes. I know that we are concerned about our jobs and hope that we can continue to have the security of steady paychecks.

Despite all of this, this is a day to not dwell on the future or even lament on the past. Today is a day to count our blessings. Look around you. Look past all the worries and find the people that are with you on this very day. We have all made it to see another Thanksgiving Day. And in that, we should cherish this very moment.

No matter what the future holds for us, twindada and I are together and we have two very special little girls. Three Thanksgiving Days ago, they were merely a dream. A pipe dream to even think that I would get pregnant much less have twins. Two Thanksgiving Days ago, they were in my belly. I prayed for them to come into this world safely. One Thanksgiving Day ago, I prayed that we would survive the first year with twins and we did. This year, the girls are so much more fun and we look forward to spending time with family that we don't get to see very often. I am going to focus on today and enjoy it for what it is.

I hope you do the same.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Case of The Lurking Poop Cloud

It was a boring afternoon. No cases had come my way. I sat in front of my laptop, cruising around on my favorite blogs. Thank God for creative mothers out there to entertain, enlighten and inform me. You know who you are.

Being a detective takes considerable work. I have had to solve mysteries every day since becoming a mom. My most recent case was the missing sippy cup. It was clear that one was missing because twinmamas don't have odd numbers of anything. So, when I was washing sippy cups that had stacked up in the sink and realized there were five...well, that put me into my super sleuthing mode. I got my magnifying glass out and searched the house.

I scanned the playroom for the obvious spots, but my nemesis - the psyche of 21 month old babies - was making sure that I wouldn't discover it. I looked under the couches, the toy shelf and in the toy bins. No sippy cup. As it got late, this private eye called it quits. The case would be there for another day and it was. After breakfast the girls were playing in the room and as I tidied up the kitchen, I happened check in on the girls only to find the missing cup now in the hands of Peanut while she drank the day old who knows what that was still inside it. Never figured out where it was found, but it was promptly confiscated and taken in for questioning. It never confessed.

So, on this day while I was sitting around commenting on my favorite blogs, I was taken back by a cry from a damsel in distress. A moment later, it was followed by another damsel in distress crying. I got up and went upstairs to check on my little duo, but before I could hit the top step, the strongest, gaseous fume smacked me in the face.

It became quite evident the reason why the damsels were in distress. I was now in distress. No man or beast could breath in the presence of this bio hazard. The dogs wouldn't even come upstairs. I made my way to the girls to find them both hanging over the edge of their cribs. I stopped to check out the crime scene before I entered it. Nothing looked suspicious or out of ordinary, just some stuffed animals. Wait! They are all just stuffed animals, right? It does smell like something died in here.

I knew this was a hot case and it had to be resolved quickly for everyone's sake. I decided to inquire who the poop culprit was by asking, "Who poo-pooed?" Both girls stared at me with blank expressions until Peanut grabbed her diaper and said, "Poo Poo." Ah, ha! I have found the guilty party, this case is solved!

However during the diaper change, I discovered that she must have been a decoy because there was no poop to be seen. She was willing to take the fall for her sister, that was big of her, but now I could get her on accessory to releasing a lethal odor. That carried a harsh penalty of having to endure a diaper change while she wanted to play.

Next, I picked up Jelly Bean and decided to interrogate her. "Did you poopy?" I asked. She looked at me, but wouldn't answer. This is highly suspect because she knows more words than Peanut so she probably could answer. She was playing hardball with me. So, I inquired again and she looked at me and gave me her most maniacal laugh, "Heh, heh, heh!" It was at this point that I realized that I had the right lead to the source of this offensive odor.

I prepared myself for the changing of the toxic diaper, but I really should have called in a HazMat team. It was going to be big and a doozy. As I pulled the diaper off, I suddenly found absolutely nothing in the diaper...what?

The case was building now. If neither baby had pooped in their diaper, where did the poop cloud over the room come from? I knew that I would have to investigate further, but fortunately I didn't have to. As I began to wipe Jelly Bean clean, I see a little poop kernel fall from her bottom. It was tiny...but the deadly source of all the nastiness that was in the room.

"That's it?" I looked at Jelly Bean. She giggled as I wrapped up the diaper. I immediately removed it from the area and took the offensive diapers to the trash can outside. The case is solved and clean air fills the upstairs once again.

So another mystery is revealed. As a mother, I am often trying to figure out how to do something for my kids or how to make a situation or routine better. I think this does make me have to put on my detective's hat and solve the case. Often, I learn what works and what doesn't work and how to approach a certain situation.

And I have learned from this kids really need to potty train...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Images of Mother

I received this forward email recently that contained little tidbits and quotes about moms. Something really got to me about the piece below. Take a look...

The Images
of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She 's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

Could this stab me in the heart any more? It was interesting because when I read it, I didn't immediately think of my own children. I thought about my relationship with my own mom. I am blessed to still have her in my life and she has done so much for me and my family. I think about how I was when I was a child and I know that I went through a similar progression like above. Right now, I am definitely in the "35 Years Of Age" category. I call my mom when I need advice on the girls or if I need someone to cheer me up. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and I will forever be grateful for that.

I hope that I can do the same for my girls.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tears & Irony

Yesterday was one of the scariest days of my life. It started out as a pretty normal day, but around mid morning, Peanut went into complete hysterics. I thought she was just tired, so I put her and Jelly Bean down for a nap. Jelly Bean settled in for a snooze, but Peanut got even more upset. She turned bright red and cried so hard that she made the most horrible grinding noise in the back of her throat. Typically I will let them fuss if they are refusing a nap because they will usually settle down. However just after a few minutes, I picked her up and brought her back into the playroom. I took her temperature and it was completely normal, but went ahead and gave her some Tylenol in case she had any pain.

I tried rocking her to sleep, but she wouldn't settle down. I figured she just wanted to play, so I put her on the floor and turned on the TV. She would just walk around aimlessly bawling. Every once in a while, she would start cough and gagging. This went on for some time and finally I picked her up again. Even though I was holding her, she still couldn't calm down. She continued to cry really hard and at one point threw up white foam all over the both of us.

By this time, I was starting to go from concerned to worried. I stripped her out of her soiled clothes down to her diaper, wrapped her in a blanket and held her on my chest until she fell asleep. I figured at this point that she must have had a sick belly and would feel better after a snooze.

She seemed better after she slept for about twenty minutes, so I sat her down and got Jelly Bean up for lunch. As soon as I put her in her high chair, she completely lost it again. I quickly got her out and tried to give her something to eat while I held her. She pushed away the food which is completely unlike her.

Now I have gone from concerned to worried to scared. Her screams wrenched in the back of her throat and sounded like she had just had a shot at the doctor's office. I called the pediatrician and they immediately told me to bring her in, but I knew that I couldn't handle both kids with Peanut in such bad shape.

I called twindada. I broke down while telling him what was going on and begged him to come home. Of course, he hurried out of there, but he is working an hour and a half away right now, so now we just had to wait. Her appointment wasn't for a few hours. (I should mention we are in between pediatricians since we moved, so her old pediatrician is who we are using until we get one here. This pediatrician is an hour away.) By the time that twindada got home, Peanut was not better.

We decided to scrap the hour's drive to her pediatrician and just go to the emergency room at the nearby children's hospital. We arrived at the emergency room and after registering Peanut was taken back to have her vitals checked. Her temperature was 102 degrees and they gave her some medicine. Once we got back to a room, the doctor checked her ears, throat and chest. Everything checked out okay. He decided to order chest and abdominal X-rays and also put on a catheter bag to catch urine so they could check to make sure she didn't have a urinary tract infection.

The X-rays were not fun. Of course, it doesn't hurt, but it is simply torture for a 21 month old to have to lay still. If she wasn't mad before, then this certainly did it! I had to hold her arms and she kicked wildly to the point that the tech had to have someone else take the pictures and she had to hold her feet.

We returned back to the exam room and I started giving Peanut water and graham crackers. By this point, she started to return to the normal Peanut that we know. Now we were just waiting for her to pee and then we could leave. We were now in the emergency room black hole known as "waiting."

Meanwhile, twindada and Jelly Bean were there with us, of course. Twindada kept having to walk her around the hospital because she didn't like hanging out in the exam room with us. Hand in hand they would walk up and down the halls stopping to look at the fish aquariums, the Christmas tree (yes, they already had it up!) and all the toys and pictures that a children's hospital would have on hand. After we got home, twindada admitted to me that he enjoyed the one on one time with Jelly Bean and that she was really good and cute. This makes me feel good that even though he doesn't care for them all day long like I do (somebody has to be the bread winner around here), that he really cherishes the moments that he has with them and enjoys taking care of them. He's a good, involved twindada.

Finally, Peanut peed. They hurried off with the sample and came back to say that it was normal. I was happy that everything they checked came back fine, but of course now I was questioning why we were even there. As moms, I think it is so easy to feel foolish for some of the decisions that we make even if they weren't foolish. The doctor probably could sense my embarrassment and quickly told me that I did the right thing by bringing her in. He said after an hour of crying without the ability to sooth is usually a red flag that something may be wrong.

I know how Peanut was yesterday and it scared me. She is a pretty laid back kid and to have her inconsolable for almost 4 hours almost drove me to call an ambulance. Of course, many irrational thoughts can present when that level of stress takes over someone especially when they are caring for someone who can't tell them what is wrong. On the drive home, I thought about whether I would have done the same thing and the answer is, "yes." I did feel a little funny after all the tests came back normal and she seemed content after a couple of hours there at the hospital, but knowing how bad she was and not knowing if there was something wrong or not put me into action mode. I would have done the same thing because my possible embarrassment is nothing compared to a possible problem go unaddressed. My child's health is more important to me than people's perception of my decision making ability.

Have you ever stalled making a decision about your children because you were afraid what others would think? There are probably mixed responses to this question. It probably really depends on all of our personalities. I generally like the approval of others even though I think that I really despise this about myself. I shouldn't worry about others, but it just comes naturally for me to want this. However yesterday it was about Peanut and her only.

We were given our diagnosis - fever caused by viral infection. The reason for crying was unknown, but probably just a response to the fever. The doctor gave us some basic instructions and told us to call our pediatrician if she has any other symptoms. I am happy to report that this morning, she seems to be doing okay.

So, we are drinking lots of liquids and giving her...(cough)... Motrin.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mama Mafia Strikes Again

A word to all companies out there: Don't anger the womenfolk. If you want to sell a product, the best advice is to suck up to the person making the buying decisions. In most families, that person is dear ole Mom. And because of this, we have serious leveraging power to make or break any new or old product out there.

This weekend was a perfect example how the Internet is used in social marketing. The drug maker Motrin released a new ad targeting Moms who wear their babies in slings or carriers. It was supposed to be edgy and satirical in a sense, but they got the presentation way wrong. Instead, it made baby wearing a fashion statement instead of a well known way to comfort and bond with your little bambino. (And I might mention this is a global practice, not one limited to those who have access to Bjorn products.)

To even suggest that baby wearing is a fashion statement is completely sickening to me. My immediate thought was that Motrin was trying to compare baby wearing to those clueless, vain actresses on the red carpet who carry around a rat dog as an accessory.

Babies are NOT accessories!

Another serious flaw with their whole message besides the fact that it is offensive, is that slings and carriers are able to help parents physically. Instead of having to carrying a little one around in your arms all the time, these devices will allow the user to proportionately distribute the weight of their little one and provide LESS body strain. Thus making this argument that Moms out there need Motrin pretty much useless.

Didn't quite think that one through, huh, Motrin?

Over the weekend, there was a serious backlash from Moms around the Cyberworld including youtube videos like this. Twitter Moms went crazy over this and I know I am not the only blog out there writing about it. News and opinion travels fast in this day and age, so companies need to be more in tune with this form of advertising.

So, it begs the question - are Mamas more organized than we think? I mean, we are the largest organized gang in the world! If we don't like something, it will go down. If we find something that we absolutely love, it will probably be one of the best selling products on the market.

Companies beware - Mama Mafia is watching.

And one thing that you can be sure of - we will tell others.

Update on this post: has issued an apology and is pulling this advertisement. Check out their website for more information. But keep it short, we don't want to give them anymore attention. They need a time out!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not Quite A Love Tap

My little Jelly Bean is hitting me. This week she has been quite frustrated with me and has decided to whack me for everything that I do wrong in her eyes. I am apparently doing a lot wrong because I have been hit quite a bit.

We have been having minor issues with hitting for a little while, but it has mostly been a little hand swipe when a toy is fought over between sisters or a personal space invasion by the other twin. In both of these cases, although I do not condone hitting, I understand that it is a response to frustration with the situation. That is something that I can understand though I do not want my girls hitting each other of course.

This week, Jelly Bean decided to focus her 21 month old diva issues my way and every time I try to get her to do something that I want, I am reminded that she does not want to that by a swift swipe of both hands and a whine to accompany it. What do I want her to do? Oh, you know, let me change her diaper, wipe off her face after a meal, get dressed. You know, really mean things...

Today, as I was changing her after a nap, she freaked out and decided to bat her arms at me and kick her feet as hard as she can. The second before that she was perfectly fine and I didn't think we were having a rift. Apparently, I was quite wrong. She cried and batted her arms at me, arched her back and got pretty much ticked off. I was baffled because we weren't having any problems whatsoever the moment before that.

Later, I asked her to sit down on the couch and she took one look at me and continued to jump up and down. She purposefully disobeyed me because she kept watching to see my reaction. reaction wasn't too great. Inside I was upset, so I picked her up and put her in time out.

Now I really don't think that time out is effective for their age group, but I seriously don't know what else to do. She kept trying to get up and I kept sitting her back down. And she got really mad. She threw herself on the floor and went into a tantrum. I tried to ignore it until it went on for awhile and I didn't want Peanut stepping into the line of fire, so I picked Jelly Bean up and her and I sat on the steps until she calmed down.

Through tears and gasps for breath, she looked at me with complete anger and frustration and I lost it. I started to cry myself. I couldn't contain myself at all. I knew that she was upset and I was tired of all the drama. It really affects me to have my children angry with me to the point that she responds by hitting. Sure, I can make decisions that either child may not like and if they are the best choice for them, I can live with the fact that I may be unpopular. But to have my child hit breaks my heart.

I know they are young and it is probably a phase. I don't like this phase. How about a phase where they won't eat broccoli? Or all they want is a certain toy? Or a phase where maybe they are not minding too well, but they are still fun loving?

No hitting. I hate hitting. And my child is hitting me. I love her and Peanut more than my own breath and all I want to do is care for them and protect them and my reward is a tiny hand pushing me away. It destroys me inside.

Certainly I would never do that to someone else. I would never repay someone who cares for me by turning my back on them. Or would I?

Do I do it every day of my life when I don't pray and thank God for all that He has given me in my life? Do I symbolically swipe my hand at my Creator when I choose to not live the life that He wants for me? Am I shaking my fist at Him every time I give in to the world and let outside influences - worry, greed, stress, anger take over who I am?

My Creator loves me. He loves all of His children. He cares for us. He wants to see the best for us. Sometimes He steps in and sometimes He doesn't. But He was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be close to Him by giving up His son. And there are days where I fail to the be best Christian that I can be by batting my hands at the only One that can see me through these days.

How does God respond? Does He throw up His hands and walk away? Does He leave me to fend for myself? Does He stop loving me?


So I need to respond to my Jelly Bean the way that our Lord responds to us when we aren't making the best decisions. Although I may feel pain when she exerts this independent behavior, I need to stay strong in one thing: I will never leave her. I will always love her. When she feels anger or frustration, I will be strong for her. When she needs to be independent, I will pray for the best choices for her. And when she needs me, I will scoop her up and say, "I love you. I love you. I love you."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Question Meme

It Is Nap Time tagged me for the below question meme. It looks interesting, so I thought I would give it a whirl.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, the name is all mine. My birth certificate says so.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? On Saturday because I thought that I was losing my mind and then twindada reminded me that I have a lot on my plate right now and therefore I am losing my mind.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Just recently I have accepted the chicken scratch that my left hand produces, but typing is way faster.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Boar's Head Sausalito Turkey Breast. I am a lunch meat snob - only Boar's Head. Otherwise, it is peanut butter.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, twin girls Peanut & Jelly Bean!

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I think so, but that would be weird because we would be so much alike. I mean, how exciting is that really?

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? No, not me...


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? and heights don't really get along. So jumping from a high place to my death doesn't sound too appealing...

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? The grown up me says Total. The child trapped in me says Honey Nut Cheerios.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yes, it is important to take good care of your shoes as a runner. (My shoes look quite exceptional right now seeing as I don't have time to do this activity.)

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? During certain situations I think that I am very strong, but not all the time.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Hands down the very best ice cream in the world is Haagen Daz Strawberry. Don't try to challenge me on this. I will not agree.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their smile. I like friendly people.

15. RED OR PINK? Red.


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Dad - I wish he could have met my husband and daughters. My grandma - she taught me how to be a good Christian. My friend, Niki - she was one of my oldest friends and while I grow old, I will always remember the fun, special 20 year old that she was.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I think this started as an e-mail.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? None - naked pigs, baby!


21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW ? Classical music online

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Black (I know, weird, but read my other meme online and you will understand why.)

23. FAVORITE SMELLS ? The smell of my girls after a bath, new puppy smell and the smell of a good glass of wine after uncorking.


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes, she seems like a very nice person. I wish that I could have a cup of coffee and chat with all my readers!

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football (College)

27. Hair Color? Brunette

28. EYE COLOR? Green


30. FAVORITE FOOD ? Seafood, but I really like Italian, Thai, Greek and Indian


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED ? uh...what are movies?


34. Summer or winter? Summer


36. FAVORITE DESSERT ? This is tough...I love ice cream, chocolate cake with white icing, sugar cookies and cherry pie, but not all mixed together. Can I say a sampler platter?

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Back to the e-mail thing.


39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW ? I read my bible. That is all I have time for right now.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't have one

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Nothing, I worked. However twindada watched House re-runs and I could hear it in the other room.

42. FAVORITE SOUND? Belly giggles from the girls.



45. Do you have a special talent? Who knows, maybe I haven't discovered it yet!


Okay, so there you have it. A little more about me. Now, I am going to be a party pooper and not assign anyone else this meme, but if you would like to post it to your own site, let me know and I would love to read your answers.

Okay, breaaathe!

I have officially stopped holding my breath. I am breathing regularly again though it is still too soon to know if it is safe to do so. But I am optimistic that we have turned a corner on all of this "newness" and we are finally coming into our routine.

Back in September, I wrote a sad, almost desperate post that I was not looking forward to the transition for us out of my family's house and into our own house. I don't mind the change so much, it is just all the stress of packing, moving and new routines. And though there are many things that we still need to do, it just feels like we are getting into our groove. I can't believe we have been here for two months.

We have accomplished quite a bit since we have moved into our new house. From a remodel standpoint, we have pulled all the old carpeting out of most of the main floor exposing wonderful hardwood floors that just need a good sanding and sealing. Twindada laid new flooring in the dining room (which is a new addition so it doesn't have hardwood). The dining room, girls' room and our bedroom are painted. The playroom is filled with toys and gets heavy use by my little duo and their friend.

The girls are doing good. They have figured out their schedule here and enjoy the playroom because it has lots of space for them to run and trash with all their toys.

On a personal note, I have started three jobs that keep me very busy, but I enjoy it all the same. It is a good supplemental income for my family and I am proud that I get to stay home with Peanut and Jelly Bean plus support our finances, too.

So, life is going. Our life. Not our new life, just our life. There is something so common, so ordinary, so, well routine about just saying our life. And I love it. I don't want to move anymore. I am tired of packing up and starting over. Instead of running toward something like we have done over the past seven years, I am ready to stand still and enjoy what is in front of me.

Do you know what is in front of me? My God. My babies. My husband. My home.

What a great life, it is.