12.22.2010

Aaden's Crazy Life

Oh gosh how I love creating these quick movies. Enjoy! video

12.03.2010

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Bold Bright Wishes Christmas
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

11.28.2010

If You Heart Our Kiddos

If you heart our kiddos, and want to see what they are up to, here are November pics. I wish I could load them all here, but of course that won't happen due to time. So for now... here ya go!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2096623&id=1467876466&l=e755ad4251

11.24.2010

The Baby Is Here!





Our Nephew Jayson Alexander arrived yesterday at a whopping 8 lbs. 15 oz. and 20 1/2 inches. He is gorgeous, and Sister In Law Monica did wonderful. My heart melted when I held him and then again when Aaden waved "bye-bye" to Jayson. I am excited for Monica and Mike to learn the joy of being parents, and also excited that my boys will have a cousin so close in age. I can just picture sleep overs, and family events where the boys will swim, and climb trees.

While sitting in the waiting room, watching pregnant women come and go, all the feelings of my not so normalcy came flooding back. I became rather envious of the normal women. Women whom want to get pregnant than do. Women who have a normal pregnancy with no bed rest or fear of their children dying every day. Women who want people in the room while in labor, I didn't because I didn't want anyone else to witness my babies possibly dying. Women who get to have their babies in their room with them. Women who got to hold their babies after birth. Women who got to breastfeed after the birth. Women who got to cry happy tears after the birth, when mine were more a combination of happy and worry. Women who get to go home with their babies. I mourn for that sense of normalcy I never got and probably never will.

Nothing can erase that empty void in my heart, the void is NOTHING like the void I had before N & A, but still just a little painful, something I will always slightly mourn and will ALWAYS remain a memory.

A great quote from Drea last night "I know this is going to sound selfish, but I want you to have another. I want for you to be 100 bazillion percent complete!" Got to love my Drea. Lately her and are so in sync and she knows just what to say to make me smile.

Got to also love cute calls from the Hubs. Gabe wanted to know what was up with my reaction to Mindy the Nurse (whom was a friend of his.) She had a baby a few months before us and mentioned she was ready for another, then asked us if we were as well. Without even a blink of hesitation or a moment of silence, I blurted out YES! Gabe's head shot around to me like a cannon ball. While we had discussed this we were still on the fence some days. Today was not one of those and I think the days are gone where I will ever be on the fence again. Gabe said he could see it in my face as I watched and held Jayson that I want another baby, that I want just one baby, and a chance to try to have a normal pregnancy and make N & A big brothers. He was giggling as he was saying this to me, it was pretty cute. So, it is safe to say we are for sure on the same page and he can see that my desire is in fact strong, a few weeks ago he told me he would be happy either way. Another baby, or just having the boys he felt blessed. I felt the same, if that is how it works out, but my deep desire would love to give it another go. If it doesn't work out, then it wasn't meant to be as I will NOT go through another full IVF cycle.

So, it won't be soon, but eventually we plan to try again, and on our own at first. I have an OBGYN appointment next month, so I will talk with him and go from there. I would like for the boys to be a bit older if I did have to go on light bedrest. At an age where maybe they were in beds vs. me lifting them into cribs. Only time will tell.

11.18.2010

Seven Down

SEVEN down and lots more to go, but hey... it's a start.

I owe much of it to a few new combos that seem like I am cheating when I am really not.

#1 - Hot Pastrami Sammy (3)
(1) Sandwich thin
(1) Pastrami
(1) 1/2 slice of swiss cheese (still searching for a whole slice for only 1)
(0) Dijon mustard
(0) 2 tsp. saurkraut

#2 - Chili Dog (4)
(1) Hotdog thin (yes, they make them)
(1) Hebrew National 98% FF hot dog (1,000 times better than a FF Ball Park)
(1) 1/8 C. Shredded cheddar cheese
(1) 1/2 C. Dennisons 99% FF chili
(0) Onion

I also love Kashi Chocolate chip cookies for 2 pts.

In other news... baby Zachary Ellis was born, just two days past his due date and what a doll. I cannot wait to start watching him once a week and getting my baby fix.

Speaking of baby fix, our nephew Jayson is due in just 10 more days. I am thrilled for my Sister In Law Monica to experience the joy of Motherhood, and for Mikie to be a Father. Along with baby Jayson will be a visit from Mima, we have not seen her in 4 months. If baby comes early she might even be here for Thanksgiving and for the four day weekend.

Lets see, what else is new? The oven lock arrived, as did our second set of closet door locks. Hoping they last a little longer than the first. The boys DO NOT like the oven lock, but after a few tries have moved onto the warming in drawer.. grrrr. Bathroom doors and our bedroom door are always closed now.

These little buggers are into EVERYTHING. Last night I went to the garage to look for something. A few minutes later through the dog door out pops an empty two liter bottle, and then some paper. Noah had pulled these things from the recylce bin and dropped them onto the garage floor. Daily I will find books, toys, garbage, and cups in the garage. Noah has yet to go through the door himself, but Aaden is a pro. While switching laundry over the other day (seriously only 2 minutes) I turned and there was Aaden right behind me. They LOVE the garage, which is sort of my fault as I turned it into a sort of parking lot. Little tikes car, wagon, riding cars etc. for when the weather is bad.

Right now our worst struggle is the kitchen table, man that Aaden is a stubborn little acrobat. No matter what I do, he figures out how to get on the kitchen table. He moves the chairs and pulls himself up. Then he stands on the table and does a little dance. Although NOT funny, it IS funny.

Meals are becoming different too, Noah is getting picky. When he doesn't like something he will throw it on the ground or put it on Aaden's tray. However, if he doesn't like something today, he might like it tomorrow, so I have to keep trying. I have learned that food order matters. If I serve them a meal with meat, starch, and veggie. Noah will eat the starch then throw the rest. So now they get veggies first, then the meat, then lastly the starch. If they eat well they get 2 organic animal crackers at the end of the meal. Aaden most times will refuse anything YOU feed him off the spoon, while Noah still prefers that sometimes. They have a mind of their own. Aaden is a GREAT eater, which you wouldn't know by the size of him, and Noah is a poor eater, which again you wouldn't know by the size of him.

I am loving the kisses and waves. Even better is when they kiss each other. I am going to try super hard to get that on video this weekend. Have I mentioned I love my boys and my life? I CANNOT wait for Christmas time and for our family of four to start new traditions. We plan to start pulling out some of the decorations this weekend. Awww Christmas music and making memories with my three boys, I CANNOT wait.

11.17.2010

11.16.2010

My Grammy

I know that numerous times I have mentioned my Grandma on this blog, but for some reason I feel like she deserves some more credit in a post today. My Grandma is and will always be my inspiration. She is intertwined in every ounce of me, she has taught me so much. She has been a woman whom I have always looked up to.

Six and a half years ago, shortly after Gabe and I got engaged, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, at that moment I could see my world crashing down. She had amazing doctors and with prayer and those doctors her cancer was cured with surgery alone. Shortly after she climbed to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite and now watches our boys EVERY Thursday. She is my biggest inspiration and a women I am proud to know.

Growing up as a kid my stable family life came about 30 minutes from home at my Grandma's. It was there that I saw how to clean the house during the day, follow a Weight Watcher diet, grocery shop, bake, and prep dinner. Then at 5:30 P.M. I met Papa on the corner after the "van pool" dropped him from the city. Him and I would walk hand in hand to the dinner Gram and I prepared. We would sit at the table, say our dinner prayer, and then grub on our amazing dinner and chat about the day. I saw Grammy and Papa kiss when he came home, Papa do much of the dinner clean up, and then our yummy dessert would be served in the living room. If it was Wednesday I was to play in the "sewing room" during bible study class, then when class was over I could come out and enjoy dessert with the classmates. My Summers at Grammy and Papa's will always be remembered. The neighborhood was amazing, one of those out of a movie. I had friends I made in that neighborhood which will never be forgotten and will always remain friends, we came home when the street lights came on, and we walked to the he swim center a couple days a week. Sunday was never without church and Friday was always dinner out.

My childhood had three sides, and in essence I believe that made me who I am. I had this life that came straight from the burbs and a movie. With toenail painting, books, amazing friends with great families, cooking lessons, garage play, 5:30 dinners, prayers before dinner, pizza in the living room, and a tuck in and prayer before bed. I also have seen the bachelor pad, with a fun Dad who loves to hunt, the Dad who worked hard, and the Dad who didn't put his first born first. I have also seen the Mom who would give her daughter ANYTHING. A Mom who had a baby and marriage a little too young. The Mom who would sacrifice anything to be sure her daughter had the shoes, jeans, activity or item she wanted. The Mom who wanted nothing more than for her daughter to succeed. The Mom whom would make payments to the Gram for the special scooter the daughter wanted for Christmas. The Mom who would work three jobs. The Mom whom was cool, the Mom whom wanted to show me that things come from working hard and NOTHING should be handed to you. The Mom who made me feel like I could tell her anything. Like in 8th grade I couldn't wait to get home to tell her I played tonsil hockey with my crush/boyfriend.

While my Gram showed me the life I want my boys to have, my Mom and Dad showed me what it was like to have hard working parents whom are also like friends. Not to say that my amazing Gram isn't and wasn't my friend, but when I hit about 13 the conversations then leaned toward my Mom. At that point my Dad had moved out of state and that is when it was just Mom and I, where her and I went through those teenage years alone. The years when I wanted her to leave me alone, but I know now it was only because she cared.

I have come from three extremes and they all helped to mold me into the woman I am and the Mom I want to be. I want for my boys to know all those sides of me. I want to thank the Gram for showing me that life and marriage do work and that the wonderful home life isn't just for the movies, it is what I strive for. I love each and everyone of my mentors, but my Gram holds an amazing place in my heart. I will NEVER drive past "The Cherry Tree Store" without thinking of my amazing Grandma. That is the store we used to meet half way at to trade me between Mom and Gram. I pray each day that Gram sticks around for another 15 years so that the boys have the pleasure of spending more time with her. I want for nothing more than for her to teach them even half of what she taught me and I want them to remember her and all her amazing qualities.

I love you Grammy!

11.12.2010

Done

Hey lookie here... a blog that is NOT about Weight Watchers and food.

How do you know when you are done having kids? How do you know when your family is complete? Do you have an acutal feeling of completion? My gutt says that if I am even questionning it, that means I am NOT done.

When the boys were born, I was ready for another one. We agreed to wait until the boys were 12 months and then we would discuss it again and maybe get off of BCP. Well, 12 months came and went and we joked about how different 3 month old twins vs. 12 month old twins were. I was NOT ready for another baby a couple months ago, and often times just thought that maybe we were done because oh my goodness sometimes this is a hard job.

Now here we are at 14 months (Happy 14 Months Buggie Boos), and I am thinking about it again. Some days it is a NO way, and other days I envision this sweet little girl as part of our family. Had the boys been Addyson & Noah I often wonder if I would feel complete. I would like to experience a singleton pregnancy, I long for a daughter to take to ballet class, I want the boys to have a little sister to protect, but then on the other hand I have been SO blessed why rock the boat?

Gabe comes from a family of three siblings sort of, and I come from a family of three siblings sort of. We always talked about three kids. But, how do you know? When is it right? AND when is the right time to go on bedrest, because I have already been told that I would be on some form of bedrest. How will we know when is the right time to make an RE appointment? And then... what if for some horrible reason the 5 frozen bubbies didn't take? Would I take that as a sign that our family is complete? Having the frozen embryos is ALWAYS in the back of my mind, another child is ALWAYS in the back of my mind. I have not gotten rid of my fav maternity clothes, or some of my fav baby items. So I take that as, no I am not done.

What are your thoughts on adding to your family? What ages are best to welcome a new child? Geeshhh, who am I kidding? It could take us a couple years just to get pregnant again.

Zachary Ellis is due today and Jayson Alexander is due in a little over two weeks. Zachary is my new Tuesday baby and Jayson is my Nephew, so for now while I ponder the thought of baby #3 for a couple more months, they will give me a taste and snuggle time with newborns and help me/us to make a decision, because this decision is not just mine, but the Lord's, Gabe's, Noah, and Aaden's as well. N & A already have to share so much, maybe they deserve our sole attention?

Now I will leave you with a video of our little smart tart, Noah:
video

11.11.2010

New Finds

Did you know that wonton wrappers are super low in points?

5 wonton wrappers (1.5)
1 garlic herb laughing cow (1)
Wrap like a little appetizer and bake at 350 for about 5 minutes, YUM-O.

Wonton wrappers can also be placed in a muffin tin to make little boats and filled with just about anything.

Spray the muffin tin with PAM spray, then bake at 350 for about 7 minutes or until golden.



I filled my boats with WW Taco Soup, which is another amazing find.
Check out my 5 point lunch from yesterday:


Weight Watcher Taco Soup has been around forever. I made it a couple days ago, my favorite way to eat it is served over a bed of lettuce.

TACO SOUP
Ingredients
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 lb. ground turkey or extra lean beef
1 medium onion
1 (1 oz.) package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning Mix
1 (16 oz.) can pinto beans
1 (16 oz) can chili beans (either hot or regular)
1 (16 oz) can whole kernel corn
1 (8 oz) can Mexican-style tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can diced tomatoes (any flavor)

Brown meat & onions and drain.
Mix Ranch & Taco seasonings into meat.
Add rest of ingredients, undrained to mixture.
Simmer 1 hour.
2 Weight Watchers points per cup.

I often omit the corn and this time I swapped the chili beans for black beans. I also add a couple cup of water as well. In my boats I only use 1/2 cup of soup.

While making this soup the other day I had all three boys, and the soup simmering on the stove. Jack was snacking in the kitchen and my boys were wandering. I went back to the boys room to get a load of laundry and I hear Jack "eeehhh ggeeeehhh!" I grab my load and head to the kitchen to see what is going on. Aaden had opened the over door and was standing on it reaching his fingers towards the burner next to the one cooking the soup. It freaked me the heck out. I can no longer walk in the other room while the boys wander. I have ordered an oven lock, it should be here in a couple days. AND cooking is only to be done on back burners from now on. Yesterday I went to the bathroom, I was gone about 2 minutes when I came back I found Aaden standing on the kitchen table throwing mini pumpkins, and gourds down to Noah who was then throwing the pumpkins around the living room as if they were balls. I have moved the decorative Fall display from the table and have done what I can to detour him from the kitchen table.

Last night I made an Asian Chicken salad. I grilled up some terriyaki chicken, and baked up a few won ton strips. I made a dressing with FF mayo, soy, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar, splenda, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.



Here is this mornings breakfast:
High Fiber English Muffin (1)
Morningstar (veggie) sausage patty (2)
Low cal American cheese (1)
Tea (0)

11.09.2010

Shrimp


This is last nights dinner. It was A-MAZING!

I found it from my "new" favorite website Gina's Skinny Recipes. Her site is FANTASTIC, a new recipe everyday of course with the point value.

So here is the recipe from last night. I cut the recipe in half because Hubs wasn't home and the boys had already had dinner and were almost ready for bed, however that didn't stop Aaden from snagging four bites off my plate.

Cilantro and lime make this simple shrimp dish outstanding. Serve this over rice or with a salad. Shrimp is one of my favorite skinny foods to cook with. It's packed with protein, low in calories, and cooks in minutes which is great when you need a quick delicious meal.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz • Points: 4 pts
Calories: 197.3 • Fat: 4.1g • Protein: 35.9 g • Carb: 2.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g
2 tsp olive oil
2 lb shrimp, shelled and deviened
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
salt and pepper
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot
http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/03/cilantro-lime-shrimp.html

So as you can see for 6 oz. of shrimp it is 4 points (and YES I ALWAYS weigh EVERYTHING.) I served this over 1/2 cup of TJ's frozen brown rice, if you have not tried this rice you don't know what you are missing. It comes in a box and inside are three bags. You poke a hole in the bag then microwave for 3 minutes, I always add a few sprays of butter. So, according to the package 1/2 cup would only be one point. Could that be? A full serving of one cup is 3 points, but if you half the nutrition facts it comes out to one, or I could be safe and just half the points of the full serving, which would make it 1.5. So either way still AMAZING.

Dinner was so yummy that I decided to share the other half with Hubs, so he will be eating that for lunch today.

Weekends are a bit harder, well Saturday was harder. Friday was fine, we had the Hernandez Clan over for dinner (well they brought much of dinner, thanks Drea) and to watch Toy Story 3. We had salad, BBQ chicken breast, Rice A Roni (which actually wasn't too bad in points), and baked beans, which isn't bad at all due to all the fiber. Oh and a bag of one point popcorn during the movie.

Saturday breakfast went great, 4 point sammy. Light high fiber english muffin toasted (1), egg beaters (1), two slices of ready crisp bacon (1), one slice of low fat american cheese (1). Then off to the mall we went so Hubs could get a new phone case. We decided to eat at Applebee's because after all they have low cal options on their menu. I must say going out has to be my downfall. I walked in and I wanted mozerella sticks so bad, then a burger, then buffalo wings. Grrrrrr. So, I have a "go to salad" I like to order there, Santa Fe Chicken Salad. I looked it up on Dottie's Weight Loss, and for the full order it said 16 points. Okay so the half is 8? Great! I still get to have one of my favorite salads. I ordered an iced tea and the salad and Gabe jumped on and order the same, swapping the iced tea for diet soda. A moment after the waiter walked away, we found the nutrition chart on the table and threw the numbers in the calculator via my iphone. GULP! 20 points!!!!!!!!!! OH WAITER! Yes, we called the waiter over and had him cancel our order. He handed us a menu and stood there while we looked, crap what to order what to order? Gabe opted for a small steak off the WW menu, and I saw some sort of shrimp asian style wrap with fries, so I swapped the fries for broccoli and we were back in business. After he walked away, Gabe popped my wrap numbers in the calculator then wouldn't look at me. What? What? How could shrimp wrapped in a tortilla be that bad? Turns out it was, it was deep fried shrimp along with some yummy creamy sauce, and a WHOPPING 16 points, at this point I just said forget it. The wrap came and it was SOOOOOO good. I ate all the broccoli then only ate half the wrap, I could have eaten it all, but honestly I was content with just the half, and having something that yummy was worth it, I opted for a 2nd glass of iced tea and was proud I was able to have an 8 point lunch out. So, meals out will be few and far between. Well.....they already are, but will be even fewer. Oh and by the way the boys were great at Applebee's. Probably because they got to have grilled cheese.

Today I am off and have Mr. Jack for 12 hours. Jack is my former babysitters son. She took a full time job so I am helping her out one or two days a week. She is due with baby boy #2 in 3 days. So, soon enough I will be watch Jack and Zachary Ellis, which will help pay for the days the boys go to the new sitter, but also fill my baby fix... I cannot wait! Later today I am meeting my friend at a park for a picnic and we will let all the kiddos play, I wonder how many activity points I can earn chasing after 3 kids?

11.04.2010

Another Day

Breakfast (2)
Low Sugar Maple Flavored Oatmeal - 2
Hot tea - 0

Lunch (7)
Mini Frozen Burrito from Whole Foods - 3
Salsa - 0
Whole wheat and Flax seed tortilla chips - 2
100 calorie pack guacamole - 2
Crystal light - 0

Dinner (11)
4 oz. filet mignon - 5.5
Salad with low cal dressing- 1
1/2 potato - 1.5
Olive oil spray and seasonings - 0
3 oz. Langoustine bites w/ spray butter- 1
Glass of wine - 2

Snacks (6)
Wheat savory thins - 2
Laughing cow cheese - 1
Skinny cow ice cream - 3 (later tonight)

Total: 26
+3 Activity points

(4 remaining)

Lunch


Dinner

Weight

In order to succeed at a diet, something just has to click. For me something has to happen, a comment from someone or dreading seeing pictures of yourself with your kids. For my Hubby it takes a challenge. For me, I have to do it FOR me, and I have to be READY.

Well I am ready and I am full force ahead. Back a few years ago I joined Weight Watchers, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. It brought me to a healthy weight to be able to do IVF and have the most success, but most of all I was confident and proud of myself.

A couple weeks ago Hubby started a weight loss challenge at work, they each paid $50 then after 8 weeks, the winner gets a huge chunk of money. For Hubby he likes to compete, me it takes something else. Don't get me wrong Hubby also wants to do this for himself and the boys, but the challenge kick started him. When he first started, I just wasn't ready yet... it took me a couple days, I just wasn't ready to give up some of my favorite foods, but then as I began to help him and explain Weight Watchers my feelings of scoring the best meal for the least points, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day I succeeded, and not to mention that rush you get when you step on the scale and the number goes down. I was hooked!

Here I am hooked again. The last time I started this program I weighed 222 pounds. I eventually got down to 152, this was the day I started shots for IVF #1. I remember that day well as it was the lowest I could recall since 11th grade. Do I weigh 222 now? No I do not. I don't have near as much to lose, but I am not 152. I would love to get down to 150, but for now my mini goal is 160. When I started WW 1.5 weeks ago I weighed 184, I am happy to report that this morning I was 180. So I am on my way, 20 to go for my mini goal, which I hope to reach by Christmas.

Being back on the plan has given me this rush of excitement. I am thrilled to be eating right and exercising. Yes, that's right I have been walking on the treadmill in the mornings before the boys get up. I too am loving that, as it is sort of a "me" time.

So now that I am so into this and have found so many amazing food finds, I want to share them somewhere. What do you all think? Should I start a 2nd blog about this journey? Should I share it here on this blog? Does anyone know of someone who blogs about WW? I love WW, to me it just makes the most sense. I can have WHATEVER I want, just can't have whatever I want for EVERY meal. The boys and I walked to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's yesterday. We were gone for almost 3 hours. They did great, it was 9, so they ended up falling asleep around 10:30 in the stroller, so I kept on searching the stores for finds. And finds I DID find. Hubby was SO thrilled when he got home to see the great meals I had planned, and the great snacks I had found.

So, here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: (3)
Low fat flour tortilla - 1
Egg beaters - 1
1/8 C of low fat cheese - 1
1/4 of salsa - 0
Black coffee - 0

Lunch: (7)
Alverado Street bun - 2
Morningstar Veggie Burger - 1
Low fat cheese - 1
Tomato - 0
Lettuce - 0
Pickle - 0
Mustard - 0
Baked potato chips - 2
Apple - 1
Iced tea - 0

Dinner: (14.5)
Sandwich thin - 1
Swiss cheese - 2
1 oz. Deli ham - 1
Morningstar veggie chicken patty - 3
Mustard - 0
Mayo - 1.5
Lettuce - 0
Tomato - 0
Broccoli - 0
20 organic fries - 2
1 tsp. Ketchup - 0
2 glasses of wine - 4

Snacks: (2)
WW Smoothie bar - 1
Crackers - 0 (YES I DID SAY ZERO!)
Blue cheese Laughing cow - 1

TOTAL: 26.5
+3 activity points

So, I guess I should have eaten a little more, since I technically had 3.5 left.

Here is a picture of my lunch:


So what do ya'll think? Is it worth starting up a WW blog? Would any one really care? Would you want to see some WW updates on this blog? I would read a WW blog because I love to hear about great food finds. But, do I really have the time? Part of me thinks it might help to keep me more motivated, but the idea of creating a new blog sounds draining. Input please!

11.03.2010

A Good Effort!

So, because I have been such a slacker at blogging, taking pics, and taking video.. I made a point of recording our evening and editing the video. Taking a few pics and editing them... and VOILA! Here I am blogging and sharing them with you. Here is our Wednesday evening. And NO they don't get away with this kind of stuff, just wanted to share with ya what the boys are "truly" up to.











video

11.02.2010

Halloween

Yes, yes I am being lazy. I spend any free moment I get on the computer scrapblogging, so... if you want to see Halloween pictures, follow the link. I promise I will blog soon.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2096344&id=1467876466&l=44c56f6830

10.22.2010

Wow You Have Your Hands Full!

So here's the thing. Maybe I do have my hands full, but how do you respond? EVERY time I am out with the boys I get this. Sometimes it is interchanged with "wow you must be busy!"

So ... how do I respond to these people? They are stating the obvious and while I love that they are acknowledging my boys and I and realizing things aren't a walk in the park, my question is.. how do I respond? And hey I am darn serious right now asking y'all this because I get it almost daily and I would love to have a response. I mean seriously... what do you say?

Random woman "wow, you have your hands full."

Me "uuumm... yes, yes I do."

I mean come on.. what am I supposed to say? What does she want to hear?

(1) Sure do
(2) it's a challenge, but I love it
(3) This is nothing compared to the struggles of infertility
(4) I wouldn't have it any other way
(5) Eh, it's not too bad
(6) Hands are full as is my heart
(7) Oh, I left my other four at home today, this is a piece of cake
(8) Thank goodness for help
(9) I owe my sanity to my non-existent nanny
(10) ... give me your best response readers...

So, those are some of my responses. What about yours? What have you said? And if you are one of those to make that comment, what do you expect to hear in return?

10.15.2010

The 411

So here's what's up! After reading some of your A-mazing comments from some A-MAZING people I decided to keep this blog up because of you girls. This is where I started, to lose this would be like losing a huge part of me and where I came from. I am infertile, and sadly I am sure that will never change, I am a twin Mom and thank the lord that WILL never change. Now I need to find a way to balance both of those worlds in one blog. Polar opposites somehow combined into one. I need to find a way to connect to my other twin Mamas or Mamas to small kids, but also be sensitive to where I came from and who else might be following.

So the plan is to keep it A-GOING, I can't leave you girls and I want to stay a part of your lives and you in mine. I went back and forth about making a 2nd blog more geared to the Mommy side and kept away from the real world (minus Drea of course) where I can vent about laundry, dishes, mobile babies, and real life events, but uh yeah, where in the world will I find time start a 2nd blog and keep it up to date? I can't even keep up with this one. And beyond that give me a break, going private sucks. I am so bad about checking in on private blogs where you need a password or have to be logged in, and the lack of comments bites on private blogs.

I am going to continue blessing your eyes with pictures and videos of our wonderful creations along with brief updates on our crazy lives. Ocassionally I may throw in some stories about some of the struggles we go through, but the REAL vents will happen via gmail chat with my Drea and during a glass of wine with my Susie and oh of course with the Hubs. So, the dirty laundry won't be making its way to my blog, it will stay piled up in our basket at home, every once in awhile I piece might fall in, but for the most part this blog is about being a Mommy to MIRACLES, and while it isn't always easy it IS A-MAZING and fullfilling.

Why am I doing this? Because I can! This IS my blog after all, and the goal is to share our life with good people. So if you aren't good people, and you don't have anything nice to say, and you don't want to read about what it is like to be a working Mommy to twins, then by golly stay the heck away. Just as I have the freedom to write and share, you have the freedom to go away.

Now, onto what REALLY matters:

THE BUGS! MY AMAZING ANGEL BUGS! MY OH SO SMART BUGS!

Hi, bye, Mommy, and Daddy are big time in our house. So are the waves hi and bye, the all done sign while in highchairs, baths, and changing tables (which BTW Aaden, thank you for letting Mama know you are "all done" at the start and all through diaper changes, I get that you don't like it but, eh the other option is rather smelly.) Aaden now tells us when Noah is all done, he points at Noah in the highchair and does "all done." Thanks for watching out for your bro kid.

Last night Aaden dropped his cup and it rolled under the couch (I was in the kitchen) he came to me grabbed me by the hand then brought me to the couch then got down and pointed under the couch, holy moly there it was... his cup I had given him 5 minutes before! What a smart tart!

A few nights ago the boys were down for bed, I heard a small bark from the dog. I went into the boys room and there was Phoenix protecting his babies. Noah pops up and says "dog out!" then lays back down for bed. Noah has also been caught saying "shit!" Yes, I am a horrible Mother I know. I dropped something the other day while him and I were in the kitchen, and yes I said it, it just slipped out and then BAM the parrot copied me. I will pay MUCH closer attention to what I say from now on.

I have started a scrapblog, I am 77 pages in and am LOVING IT. So far it's free, but once I order the book it is obviously going to cost, but what is cool about it is I can share it as a link and on Fac.ebook. So, I hope to be able to share it here too. The book will be from September 12, 2009 to September 12, 2010 full of digitally scrapped pictures. I plan to make a book each year and stay up to date on it for year two, I may also start sharing my pics on here scrapped, because DUH so much cuter. Do people even say Duh anymore? Obviously next years book won't be as large as the first year and thank goodness because it's $1 a page to print. I am still debating on if I will add all the pages, another option is to print them myself and bind them myself, but a hard copy book would be awesome, so we will see.

Now I saved the best for last:

WALKER #2 - PRINCE NOAH BEAR
video

**** Okay okay just because I can't resist here is a sneak peak of the one year book:

http://www.scrapblog.com/viewer/viewer.aspx?sbid=2814739

10.11.2010

A Blog

A Private Blog?

Oh how the sound of it is better and better each day. Why did I start this blog? To fill in friends and family about the progress of our IF journey. What really happened was I met a group of friends that will last forever, friends I had things in common with, friends who's journey's have inspired me, and friends who have lifted my spirits and got me through the hardest time in my life. It also allowed me to document my journey and share my feelings, and to someday show my children.

Did I start this blog for the same reason I want to blog now? Nope! Do I wish my blog wasn't shared with "real life people?" Yup! Do I love my real life people? Yup, but how I wish I could just say what I want without random anonymous comments or wondering if, just maybe a real life person might read this and commenting. Well the obvious answer is to quit blogging, but if I can tell any person going through infertility any piece of advice it would be to join a great IF or IVF group online and to blog your experience. I will never ever regret blogging. However, I think I need to blog in another area and separate from people in real life, because while YES I did have many of my dreams come true, I now have new things to express which may offend people still on the journey, or if I blog about struggles, it may make me sound ungrateful, which by god I am NOT, I thank the Lord almost hourly for my miracles.

No matter what I say I feel ungrateful. And YES I do know I might come off that way because while I was struggling with IF I saw people sound ungrateful, mostly in real life, but also on blogs, and I wanted nothing to do with them. How could someone complain about poop, lack or sleep, pregnancy, money, or a normal Mommy life? It hurt me to hear it, and here I am doing it. Believe me I never thought I would, but I can't sit here and talk about IF much anymore other than the fact that I beat it, and I was blessed, and I want anyone going through it to never give up.

So it only makes sense that I find a new crowd and a new group of friends, and while I hope to remain in contact with some of you whom have become a part of my life, I also hope to meet people with whom I can talk about how tight money is, how my kids scream for now reason, packing diaper bags, or my job. My job in which I am made to feel bad about because I am no longer there full time. My job which I love to pieces, but yet nope I am not willing to work 40+ hours a week, so I get made to feel guilty. Making me feel bad doesn't make me want to work more, it only makes me feel sad that I am not supported. I worked very hard to be a Mom and I stayed with my employer for the last 11 years because I believed I would be supported as a Mom and would be supported working less hours when the time came, but well.. things don't always happen as you plan. For me, I would give up anything to be able to be with my kids two weekdays, and while I didn't think it was going to be huge deal, well, I am reminded of it daily and my lack or time in the office. I could blog and blog about this, and it is yet another reason I am ready to go private or move. I am thinking of just writing in a diary and keeping this blog up just for some updates and pics, because I do believe that maybe some people truly do care about our life and can find hope in our story.

In new news, my sister in laws baby is coming soon, Noah is close to walking, Aaden is too smart for his own good, Noah gives you a kiss when you ask and we are in need of sitters. More... more ... private stuff. Our sitter found a full time job and I am totally happy for her and I think it is for the best. We found a new sitter, whom I have known since I was 5 and I have high hopes it will work out great. Speaking of sitters... ugh to night and weekend sitters. I guess I never imagined we wouldn't have a chance to go out as a couple. I was that girl who ALWAYS watched kids for free, just because. I loved to be around them, I loved to help out, and I wanted the experience. I can think of 5 kids I used to watch for dates, nights, and overnights for free. As my BFF always tells me "you need to find a Tiffany!" Well I guess they don't exist. Or if they do how do you ask? I have sort of asked a couple people, but no go. I never thought it would be hard to find a "date" sitter paid or unpaid, but it is. Gabe and I have yet to see a movie together since bedrest days. Well my Mom offered, which is crazy of her because she also picks up about two full work days out of the month for us, but regardless we are taking her up on it and are going on a date day to the movies this weekend. Have we been out? Yup, a couple times when my Mother In Law was here (thanks Mima) and a couple times when my Mom helped, but most of those times we were with other people. So, now we are going to a movie and lunch alone next week and we are super excited. Today is out 13 year dating anniversary so we have kind of planned to celebrate that at the same time.

So, that is that. I have been lagging on blogging so I will probably just update randomly and keep the "spills" on a private site or in a diary. I do know that no matter what I cherish those friendships I made, and I hope that maybe this blog will give someone else hope that dreams of a family DO come true. Where do you go when you just want to vent? No where? This was supposed to be a sort of diary. So I do regret where it has gone. I need a place where I can vent, a place where I can spill my gutts, a place where I can talk about money problems without being judged, a place where I can discuss struggles with no one IRL knowing. A place where I can treat my blog sort of like a BFF where no one negative can comment or make me feel like crap. Do I feel like crap enough? Yup. Do you Mr. Anonymous need to make me feel more crappy? While struggling with IF did I think other peoples petty problems were ridiculous? Yup! So if you think my petty problems are, I don't blame ya because I thought that when I became a Mom things would be roses, I would have no reason to blog other than sweet stories and pics. Well.. life and problems do still go on, but I AM BLESSED and will never forget that or take it for granted.

9.29.2010

Money

Okay seriously, who ever said money doesn't buy happiness isn't fully correct. Correct in the sense that family is happiness, but if I didn't need money so bad lord knows I would be cuddling and playing with my little love bugs every chance I got, oh and I'd hire a house keeper that does laundry.

Times are tough for everyone and we have not escaped that. I am at a place I swore I would never be again. We have credit card debt... GASP! We worked soooooooooo hard to pay off some old debt about 6 years ago and since then we never carried credit card debt. Well, here we are again, and I must say it is NO where near as bad as before.

Before we had kids our finances were pretty cushy. If we wanted to go out to dinner, we wouldn't think twice. Did we randomly pick up and go on vacation at the drop of a hat, no. However, if we saved for a couple months, off we would go. We never really lived paycheck to paycheck and if we really wanted something we would save for a bit then get it.

Now fast forward $30k in medical bills, 28 weeks on disability pay, a mortgage which sky rocketed to $3,400, cutting my hours at work, and oh.. um two children. Not to mention not sacrificing as much as we should have been.

Over the course of two years we have managed to fall slightly off the wagon again, the wagon I swore I would never be on and here we are. I must say it isn't all too bad, but it's NOT where I want to be.

Can I fix it? Yes I already HAVE. I have been working at it and have paid down a large chunk and then finally decided that digging into savings for the other chunk makes the most sense. The debt will be gone next month and the sacrifices I have been making for the last month or so will stay in place. The debt wasn't huge, about one month salary and it took about a year to get that high, we would pay a chunk, but it seemed we just never had enough to just once and for all get caught up. The point isn't how large or small the debt was, it was the point that I SWORE I wouldn't do this.

September was expensive! A move, which then meant bills at two houses, some new things for the new house, My BFFs b-day, another close friends bday, three kid bdays, 3 baby showers, Noah and Aaden's TWO parties, and now Gabe's bday. We made one last splurge for Gabe's bday... a new BBQ, and dinner at Benihana's, which wasn't all too expensive because he had a $30 certificate. We hadn't planned on the BBQ splurge, but when my husband finds something he REALLY wants, it's hard to change his mind. So, when my Grandma gave him bday money early and my Mom and Step-Dad agreed to buy the accessories, I caved and agreed to let him purchase the BBQ for his bday. Only because of the bday money and because our old BBQ which we got when we moved into our last house was charcoal only, making it hard for me to pop outside and grill up a few pieces of chicken. Well, the new one is combo and oh so nice. Now I am trying to convince Gabe to let me put the old one on craig.slist, which is my new favorite thing to do. I have been selling all kinds of stuff to make some money to pay down that bill. I have also been taking things to consignment shops and almost fell over last week when I had $140 credit at a local consignment shop.

Along with de-cluttering and selling I have also been watching a couple kids, which includes my babysitters son on days off or in the evening to work off some of the hours I accumulate with her while I am at work. I have also been budgeting and changing the way I make purchases. I am trying to use cash as much as possible, because for me it is harder to part with cash than a swipe of a card. Since the bubbies are on milk we go through a gallon every two to three days, my new grocery shopping trick is to walk to the store and only bring $30 cash. That way I can only buy what we really need. #1 because I only have $30 and #2 because we are in the stroller or wagon we can't buy too much. This allows our grocery budget to be $300 a month, and then we usually make one Costco trip during the month as well, but now that we aren't on formula, the Costco trips will probably be less. I will only buy produce which is on sale, and will not buy any name brand products or meat that isn't on sale. I have also changed grocery stores and will only use the lower priced grocery store or super Wa.lmart. So far I can really notice the difference and it has REALLY forced me to use the things in the pantry or freezer.

Switching from a gallon of milk every two to three days vs. the can of formula is a huge and wonderful $17 savings every few days. I have also been giving the kids more of what we eat and not buying the expensive toddler foods. And while I totally love Mott's for tots apple juice, I have been buying generic and watering it in half. It then only costs me $1.50 for two times the juice vs. the $4 it would be for that amount of Mott's for Tots. Along with this comes coupon clipping, which I try to use when the product is on sale. I have also been walking instead of driving when possible, cutting back on prescriptions and the use of paper towels and paper plates. I changed the watering hour of our lawn so that the amount of time could be reduced, I try not to use the AC when at all possible, and am also trying to not run the dishwasher as often.

Thank goodness for wonderful friends and family for the generous gifts for the boys bday. We got 4 cases of diapers, gift cards, money for the boys college account, and a WHOLE 18 month wardrobe. Along with some great toys, just the right amount of toys. Their favorites include the wagon, little tikes car, lawn mower from Uncle Chach & Aunt Jodi, a cell phone from Auntie Drea, and we could never forget the CAT dump truck and tractor which are hands down one of their favorite toys. But as for the best thing they got from their party, the two mylar balloons still floating around. Who would have thought? (Oh and YES of course B-day blogs are coming.)

The gift cards came in handy. I stocked up on their shampoo, these darn gerber raviolis in water they love, fruit, wipes, juice, sippy cups, crackers, frozen waffles, tylenol, diaper genie refills (which I might add will probably be my next cut, those darn refills are $6 every week in a half.)

Could we make it without making these sacrifices? Yes, but why?

Could we live like we used to if I went back to work full time? Yes, but why?

I am willing to give up a whole heck of a lot for these two precious days I get at home with my kiddos. The two days I get to feel like a Mommy. The two days I spend cooking, cleaning, running errands, and taking the kids to the park. These days along with an occasional family day are what I live for. No amount of money or comfortableness can make up for the feeling I get just being the Mom.

My two days are something I would make the sacrifices for. I also wouldn't give up the boys monthly contribution to their college accounts, a chunk going into my retirement account, my iphone, my car which makes me smile every time I load my kids in it, and a cheap bottle of wine every few days.

So there you have it. Money can't buy happiness, and money isn't everything, money would make things easier, but why? A little sacrifice is good for the soul and it shows the boys that their Daddy and I work hard for the things we have. Nothing is handed to us and while it would be nice to be at home with them everyday and it would be nice to buy things without much thought. Those are not the values we want to instill in our boys. I want the boys to know we work to have nice things, but we sacrifice for more family time and for our and their futures.