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."