Monday, August 31, 2009

That number

I saw THAT number on my scale again. You know, the number that you see and think the scale must be broken or that someone must be on the scale with youl. So, I decided that I really need to lose weight. I registered for the Maryland Race for The Cure (on October 18th) so I have to be ready for that. I don't run though. I'm just not a runner. I can walk to the brink of running (4 mph, I think), but running just kills my knees. :) So, I've started my workouts again (ARGH) and started watching what I eat. I love fruits and vegetables anyway. :)

The good news is that the kids still eat well. They always eat fruits and veggies. I think that the twins could eat a pound of strawberries, each, if I let them. Will, on the other hand, would eat junk food all day. He's 8 and barely weighs 50 pounds...he's growing taller though. I really need to go through his dresser and see what pants still fit him.

Well, I am going to go rest since I worked out today. If you want to sponsor me (or my team - Mamas for Tatas) for the Race for the Cure, visit
My Donation Page. Thanks!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Been out of sorts..

I've been out of sorts for the past few days...hopefully I'm on my way out of the funk that I've created for myself. I'm sure I'll be writing about it soon...no time now, the twins are fighting over something...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We went to dinner...

Someone should really stop me sometimes. These kids are not meant for eating out...or maybe I'm just not doing it right. Ok, sometimes they are just fine. The food comes out fast and we are all able to eat without too much being flung across the dining room. Tonight was just not one of those outings. Will went to a friend's birthday party. While we were there, we figured we grab a bite to eat there at the Stars and Stripes Grill at the Putt-Putt Family Fun Center. Ok, so it's not the Outback, but the food was pretty good. The service was ok. The server was very attentive. My major issue was that it took a long time to get food. It's hard enough to entertain 1 child for a while. The twins were particularly rambunctious this evening. Probably because it was somewhere new. They seemed to like the food, what they didn't toss on the floor anyway. They were pretty bored after that. At least the server was pretty cool about it, even provided some plastic cups for entertainment. I cleaned up as much as I could. Well, we made it through just fine, but then we played around with big brother Will while he spent some tokens in the little games. By the time we finished, it was almost their bed time. So, we said our good nights and headed home. We skipped baths and got dressed after a quick wipedown. These poor kids. It's not like they don't get bathed. It's just so hard to bathe them separately. I mean, there are two of them. So there are nights (like when AF is visiting) I have no desire to run a bath, bathe/diaper/dress one, then bathe/diaper/dress the second, and feed them. Thankfully, there is usually someone around to assist (Yeah Tom and Bryan - and even Will and Grandma too). I just start to wear down around 5 pm so bath time sucks. :) Oh well..it's late and I'm tired. It's way past my bed time. More later!

It's hard!

I worked for 14 years at the same job. I started working when I was 16 years old (at least). I've fried chicken, did gate security for the Rennaissance Festival, pulled cable in the crappiest of buildings, been a babysitter, and waited tables. I've planned Telecommunications for new buildings, documented an entire campus full of voice and data (over 250 telecomm closets in 40 buildings), dealt with electrical contractors/architects/engineers, and activated hundreds (if not thousands) of network connections. But the single most difficult job I have ever performed is the one I am doing right now. I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM for those in the know). Now, being a SAHM is difficult enough, dealing with the everyday tasks. Throw in twins and an 8 year old, and it's damn near impossible some days. I don't think I've left the house for any remarkable amount of time for at least 16 months (which is about the time the twins were born). Ok, I did spend several hours a day at GBMC when they were in the NICU. It's been at least 8 months since I've had my hair cut (and highlights, at least a year). I am about 1 month overdue for my blood donation. I have been very lucky to attend a couple of sporting events (which have been at night), thanks for my Mom and Tom. I vaguely remember a Basket Bingo about a year ago (maybe a little less). I think I've avoided grocery stores for the past few months because I can't fit both little boys in a single cart. I do most of my shopping at BJ's just because they have the double cart. Thankfully, they send coupon books and have some good pricing. :) Otherwise, I have to wait until someone else is home to run out. My husband doesn't work "normal" hours. He's not home every night to help me with the kids. Luckily, I have wonderful friends that are happy (or they are very good fakers) to come over and help me out. During the summer months, I think they use me for the pool in our backyard. I'm still not sure why they show up when the pool is closed. It's certainly not my cooking. That's a whole different story. I'm not a very good menu planner. I could plan telecommunications for buildings 3-4 years in advance, but to remember to take chicken out a day ahead of time is really pushing it. I have totally lost track of time...some days I don't even know what day it is. Early on, I had to keep a daily sheet of inputs (milk, vitamins) and outputs (well, you know) just so I wouldn't overfeed/underfeed a baby. Now, it's much easier to see who eats what (Thank goodness). I have so much more I want to write, but I have too much to do now. More later.. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I couldn't think...

of something to review today or yesterday, so I'm going to write about my kids again. :) Sorry if that gets boring, but it's never boring for me. Maybe I'll write something for Twinstock (http://twinstock.org/) while I'm at it. I am the queen of multitasking. Ok, queen is stretching it a bit, but I don't think I do anything without multitasking, so I must rank somewhere. :) Sometimes it takes me like 5 hours to finish a blog. I start it, then comes feedings and cleanings (sometimes for me, but mostly for the kids). Then I get sidetracked and do something on Facebook or read a book or empty a dishwasher. Then I finally get back to it, which involves editing. Anywho..back to my kids. :) I don't usually dress them alike. Among normal reasoning (they are different, why not dress them differently and we don't always have two of everything), I figure if I can quickly tell them apart, it's useful. Dylan is usually always in blue or something with blue on it. Kieran is usually always in green. There are exceptions to that rule. Today, for instance, Dylan has a blue, green, and yellow stripey one piece and Kieran is in brown. If my Mom is here, she dresses them alike. Her reasoning is that people won't ask if they are twins if they are dressed alike. We've proven that wrong time and time again. They could have "Yes, we are twins" on their shirts and people would still ask us. I don't get it...like I'd be offended by someone saying "Oh, what cute twins!". It's not like they are asking me if I am pregnant because I have a belly. Or saying, "What a cute little girl" when they are both boys. They are twins, for pete's sake. They shared my uterus and a bed in the NICU. As of right now, they aren't offended by being called brothers. So, yes, they are twins. No, we didn't plan on having twins. I wanted a girl to round out our family. ONE girl. I answer every question with a smile. But the question that really gets me is the "are you going to try again for a girl?". My answer is "NO!" or "Not a chance in hell" or "I tried for one girl and got two boys, I figure someone is trying to tell me something". I think 3 kids is plenty for us. I wasn't expecting to have three, ever...so I think we'll quit while we're ahead.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The biggest mess







Well my twins are still small, so we haven't hit the OMG messes yet. Saying that, we've had some messes. Our biggest one to date is the Birthday Cupcake incident. :) Amazingly, we really didn't have a big celebration for their first birthday...we were having the family up for Easter the next weekend. So, to celebrate their actual birthday, we gave them little yellow cupcakes. At first, they weren't sure. They touched the frosting and tasted it. Once they got a taste for it, it was all over. Kieran took the cupcake and mushed it up. Dylan was a little more deliberate. He picked over the icing a little bit at a time. The end result was frosting everywhere...eyes, ears, hair, etc.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Will!

Click here to view this video

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Click here to view these pictures larger

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Click here to view these pictures larger

I love our Nikon D50, but...

First, the story: It's just so big that grabbing and going is a little inconvenient. And with a set of twins and an 8 year old, I'm all about convenience. If I could shop in 1 store, I'd do it. But, I digress. So, I started a quest, a quest to find an inexpensive, yet good camera to throw into my diaper bag for those on-the-go shots that we usually capture on the cell phone camera. So I went to the Internet to see what I could find. My requirements were small, inexpensive ($100-$150 range), and quick shutter speed. I became extremely spoiled with the Digital SLR. So, I made a list and off I went to Best Buy, Target, and BJs to test out these cameras. I liked the Nikon CoolPix and Kodak M1033. Then Bryan sent me a picture of the FujiFilm Z33WP camera at BJs. I went online and looked it up and was impressed. It had a relatively quick shutter speed, reviews were good, and it came in pink. :) So, onto dealnews.com I went. I found a deal, but by the time I got off of my butt to buy it, it was sold out. So, off to BJ's I went and paid $159.90 for a green one (I was outvoted by the 3 boys).
And now, the review. It's cute, it's small, and it's green. I love the video feature. I love the fact that it's waterproof. Yes, it's waterproof up to 3 meters (or almost 10 feet). The pictures are pretty darn good. The shutter speed is pretty good too. You can catch action shots without missing anything. It's easy to understand and to use. It has a timer and many mode choices (landscape, action, night, underwater, etc). The best part is that it has this scene recognition mode, which makes the best determination for what you're doing. I don't like to mess with buttons or changing anything. I like to just point and shoot. :) I haven't had any of the pictures printed on Shutterfly or at Target, but they look the same on the web.
The only con that I've found is that I needed to buy the sililcone case for it. I was afraid of scratching the lens cover and the screen. The case was $9.48 on Amazon. Oh, and it sinks like a rock. They do have a kit that includes a floaty strap and a case (along with the silicone case) for $19.99 on Amazon too.
There are few pictures above. The first one is the video (taken with the FujiFilm Z33WP) of my oldest dunking his head under water. The next picture was taken with the Nikon D50 and the last one is Will in the water with the FujiFilm Z33WP. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I feel the need...

To write about my kids today. In between cleaning the house, I just wanted to write about them and how they came into the world. So, let's start with Will. Will couldn't have been a more planned baby if I could have picked his birthday. The pregnancy on the other hand was anything but normal...or at least for me. I didn't know what it was going to be like. I saw my sister who had already had one baby and was pregnant with her second one. I figured it was going to be the same. Non-eventful, 9 months, ending with several hours of labor, then a baby. Yeah...so about 7 months in, I wasn't feeling well and I ended up going to the doctors office. They told me that I was having contractions (not that I felt them) and I should go to the hospital. Well, several hours later, they had stopped the contractions, but told me to go home and stay in bed. I went to the doctor 10 days later and he released me from bed rest, but told me to take it easy. So, I did. about a month after that my water leaked, and I ended up in the hospital again and this time, I wasn't going to leave pregnant. :) We went in at 11 AM on Monday morning. After several tries at induction, and 19.5 hours later, I was wheeled into the OR and out came our first son. Along with William came a softball size polyp that had developed. I never made it past 3 cm dialated and the reason was this mass that was blocking the way. Will was a peanut...just barely on those silly charts through most of his few few months. Then at about 9 months, our pediatrician was concerned about his fontanel closing too early. Off to a neurosurgeon and x-rays. After working really hard to make sure he was seen in a reasonable amount of time, everything was fine. Will had a semi-normal childhood...or at least to us he did. He was 3.5 when we moved, and 7 when the twins were born.

Yes, I said twins. Their birth story is a little more "exciting" for lack of a better word. We finally decided to have another baby after a while and conception apparently isn't that difficult for us. Yeah! I was secretly hoping for a girl. One girl. Yeah...so before my doctor appointment, I wasn't feeling all that great. I had to constantly eat. If I didn't eat, I felt nauseous. All the time. I just figured it was because I was little older and maybe it was a girl. So, at 8 weeks, I went to the doctor for my first prenatal checkup. We went through the normal stuff...how I was high-risk because of my previous pregnancy, and because I was of Advanced Maternal Age (the dreaded AMA). Dr. Willard (God Bless her heart) brought out the office sonogram and started looking for the baby. Well, we heard the heartbeat and then on the screen, there were 2 black spots. You know when you ask a question that you already know the answer, well, I asked "Why are there two?". In the seconds that followed, I started crying and asking if it was a joke. Yeah, so needless to say, there were twins. And they were confirmed about 4 days later with a full on ultrasound. They were about the same size and everything looked ok. So, if I wasn't high-risk before, I was then. Everything went ok. I was under an extreme amount of stress at work, but nothing out of the ordinary (except some spotting at week 11). Then on a Sunday, 6.5 months in, I started having contractions. I tried everything, I drank water, I rested, then I called the nurse. They sent me to the hospital. We called Tommy and said hopefully we'll be home shortly. Yeah...after several doses of tributilene and boluses of magnesium sulfate, my contractions weren't stopping. Early on, they gave me a steroid to help the development of their lungs, and called the NICU. Once they determined they couldn't stop the contractions, they called the NICU, gave me an epidural, and prepared me for yet another c-section. I got to see them before they were whisked off to the NICU and they did sort of cry, but honestly, it was like I was watching from above my body. I can remember a lot (probably not everything) and it's still a little strange thinking about it. Dylan and Kieran entered the world very prematurely, born at right around the 3 lbs each. They both needed some help with breathing and Dylan wound up on a ventilator for a short period of time. They grew and got stronger everyday. They had some setbacks, but considering their birth, they are amazing. After two months in the NICU, they came home. They are barely on the silly charts, but I don't really expect that to change. They are wee compared to most of the kids that I see, but they are healthy. I still look at the pictures of them in the hospital and know how lucky we are that they came out of it relatively unscathed.
So, that's the story of childrens' births. :) More about them later!

You want honest reviews of stuff...

Well, here goes...

Starting today, I'll review stuff. I don't get out to movies, so don't expect it (please, I have twins...I'm happy if I get a shower). I'm going to start with something that apparently is controversial (Thanks, WBAL), Infant Swimming Resource - Survival Swimming. Let me start at the beginning. I have 3 kids, an 8 year old and (2) 16 months olds - all boys. There is a pool in our backyard (it was there when we moved in). There is no feasible way to put up a fence to just cover the pool area. When the time comes (probably in the next few months), we will begin with sensors/better locks on the doors and possibly a sensor in the pool. Basically, we will take every precaution to prevent the little ones from falling in without us knowing. Yes, this includes parental supervision. I am pretty vigilant about keeping an eye on my kids...saying that, there are times that I am the only adult in the house...and I have to use the bathroom. We have a room blocked off with gates and it's relatively safe (as safe as it can be with two toddlers). As we all know, it doesn't take but a second for them to find something they aren't supposed to be doing. And these aren't the steadiest of walkers yet.
Things aren't perfect in this world, otherwise accidents wouldn't happen. Children wouldn't get hurt. Knowing we had a giant water hazard in our backyard, I started looking for ways to protect the kids. I looked at the Mommy and Me classes at the local swim places (where Will - the 8 year old - took lessons). Not only was it more expensive, but I have a small problem when it comes to those courses. There is nothing wrong with the course itself, but I only have 2 arms. It may not sound like a real problem, but when you have 2 kids taking a course at the same time, it's a real kicker. So, a friend of mine (on Chesapeake Mommies) mentioned that she was enrolling her kids in the ISR program and the instructor would hold the lessons in a residential pool. I had done some research on it a while ago, but I did some more and finally contacted Sara. Arrangements were made and a few weeks later, she showed up for the lessons in our backyard.
Now for the review...ok, not so much a review as my experience with ISR.
First, there is a bit of paperwork to do before they accept you and then, every day (except the weekends), you have to fill out these BUDS (Bowel, Urine, Diet) sheets. It gets a bit tedious, but since I am with the kids everyday, it was relatively simple. Second, the lessons are about 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week. We were extremely lucky considering we used an outdoor pool, we only had to reschedule 1 day due to weather.
Ok, here's was my honest experience:
I'll have to admit, I cried the first day (and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, you get the picture). To see your kids struggling while someone else is putting them in the water took a lot out of me. To say that they screamed just doesn't cut it! Boy, did they scream. They wailed! I kept waiting for the police to show up at my door and take my kids away. It took all of my willpower not to jump in the pool and pull them out. She never dropped them into the water or hurt them in any way. Sara explained everything she did and she was very patient. After a week, I questioned my decision. After two weeks, I thought my kids would never learn. I mean, I saw some improvement, but I thought for sure they'd be floating like Miles (the little boy in the ISR video on their site). My kids were sinking like stones. Dylan tried to sit up and Kieran grabbed his feet. After the second week, I truly thought about stopping the lessons and going to Mommy and Me. I talked to Sara and she convinced me to stick it out. They were still VERY upset about going into the pool with her. As the next week came and went, I started to notice a little more improvement and while they were still crying, it seemed to be more of a "tired" cry then "I'm so pissed off right now" cry. We still had the neighbors checking in on us (and the occasional BGE guy looking over the fence), but they seemed to understand what was going on (or at least they hadn't called CPS just yet). Here we are in the 6th week (yes, it has taken the twins this long to grasp floating) and Kieran is beginning his lesson in his summer clothes with Dylan not far behind. They float like champs. There is the occasional screech, but nothing like the beginning.
It makes me wish I would've have recorded the earlier lessons to show the difference between their first week and their last. I am poolside at every lesson. I am the one that hands the kids to Sara and takes them from her when they are done. I have seen a remarkable difference in not only their performance, but their demeanor as well. Both still cry at the hand off, but there is less crying during the lesson and none after. If you think that this will make the babies afraid of water, you're wrong. My kids come down from their afternoon nap and point at the pool. They love the water. They are not even a little bit afraid of the pool. They love baths. This is what makes me very confident in my decision to have them in this course. It's just like everything else that has made them cry since they were babies (doctors, canulas, CPAP, shots, Nanny, Pop-Pop, nap/bed time, and the 1000s of other things that I won't mention)...they will not remember these things (or that they were afraid of them), but they will make them stronger. To those who are against the ISR program, you are certainly welcome to your opinion. As for the opinion of the AAP (or the one doctor from the WBAL interview), my kids are not drown-proof, but they certainly have the skills to help if they ever did fall into a body of water. I will NOT rely on the skills they've learned in place of parental supervision. I will NOT rely on the skills they've learned in place of every other safety measure I can take as a parent to protect my children. Just as I pay for insurance and hope I never have to use it, I hope I never have to see my children use these skills in a real-life scenario.
To all of the naysayers that say they will never enroll their children (even IF they had them), I have only one thing to say...Never say never.
To those who are thinking about enrolling their kids the ISR program, do the research. I'm not going to lie, it's extremely difficult to watch your children cry, especially when it was you who made them do it. If it helps, think of it like a vaccination. It hurts when they get that shot and they cry, but in the end, it will prevent an illness, just as the lessons might save their lives. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I would go through the crying and the BUDS sheets and the disruption of the schedule again and again, if it adds a layer of protection to my childrens' lives.
And that's my honest opinion. Take what you want out of it...:)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You mean...

You can get free stuff for blogging? I was reading an article the other day that said that some mommy bloggers write just to get free stuff. Sheesh..who knew. I just write to get things off of my chest. If something comes along and I love it, I write about it. Mostly I just write about what bothers me because it's really my only outlet. No one really listens to me. Or I don't feel like dumping on someone. Or I don't feel like hearing the advice or comments that follow. Either way, I just write...or clean...or grumble under my breath. Most times, it's all three.
As for things that I can't live without (besides my kids), disposable diapers, milk, and Chick-Fil-A Sweet Tea. I live by a few sayings and one of them is "Opinions are like..., everyone has one". When I think my opinion matters (or someone cares to hear it), I'll add it. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I love my kids...

I really do. Early on, as a new mom, I wasn't so sure. I mean, I loved Will. But I went back to work and I felt guilty. I enjoyed my job. I kept telling myself that I would enjoy the time that I had with him more. I thought that something must be wrong if I had to tell myself that. I mean, I had to tell myself that quite a few times. I'm not really a big baby person. I like to hold them, but I'm pretty active. So having this little being that you had to tote around wasn't all that fun. Then, things became really crazy and Will was in school. I stopped having to tell myself that I would enjoy him and actually started looking forward to leaving work and going home to him. When we decided to have another child, it didn't take long. Then, we found out it was twins. I was absolutely mortified. I don't know what shocked me more...the fact that we going to have another baby or that there were two of them. Alright...it was the fact they were two, who am I fooling? Then, then came early...extremely early. I had to leave a job that loved to take care of babies, which aren't my favorite things.
Initially, it was difficult. I wasn't used to being in the house for weeks at a time. Or not showering every day. Menu planning wasn't (and still isn't) my strongest suit. I usually don't pick something to eat until it's way too late to defrost something. Laundry sucks. Dishes suck, but dishwashers rule. Moms rule. Dads rules (but only part of the time). BJ's Wholesale clubs rule (well at least their carts do). But 16 months later, I finally found out something that will help me open my eyes in the morning. We are only here for a short amount of time (if you put in into perspective). God was good enough to grant me these kids, so why shouldn't I take advantage of the time I have with them? I'm not going to worry about all of those things that I normally worry about and I'm going to go out and have some fun. It may take me a little bit to re-learn things, but I'll make it my goal. I want my kids to enjoy life and experience as much of it as they can. I want them to be happy and have no regrets. I love them...they are my life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I have twins and they might actually like each other...

Here I sit while my kids (the little ones) fight over a toy. It's very interesting how they interact. It looks like Dylan may be the instigator of the two. Kieran is more laid back, not that he lets Dylan take over. He, initially, will not fight for the toy until after Dylan already has it. That's when the fight begins. I took a video of it for fun (it's posted on http://theadairs5.shutterfly.com/) and it's amazing that 9 times out 10, that's what happens. Generally, they play together and sit and read books together. They like to rearrange the playroom (aka foyer). My OCD (self-diagnosed, of course) forces me to put it back to what I like. Of course that doesn't stop them from stacking up the toys so they can stand on them to try to escape. I guess they are smarter than I think they are. :)
Once they figure out how to team up, I'm in trouble. :)