Monday, August 25, 2008

Mr. Mom is no longer...

Yesterday was a sad day in our was the last day of summer vacation for my husband. And usually, I just tell him to suck it up because most of the world is not lucky enough to have more than two months off during the summer, but this year is a little different. It now means that our boys will no longer be watched by their parents :(

We've been very lucky that we were able to finagle a situation that allowed for the boys to stay home for almost six months, but the transition to daycare isn't any easier for us. While it was incredibly hard to leave my boys for that dreaded first day back at work, it wasn't as hard as it could have been, knowing that my boys were in good hands at home with their Daddy.

But, thanks to my friend Molly, I'm going to try to look on the bright side. We will now be a double income family again ::phew:: so now maybe we can get out of the red and back into the black. It isn't fun being the breadwinner for the summer, especially after not getting a paycheck in over 10 weeks. So here's to looking to some positive cash flow heading in our direction!!

Good luck, Matt on that first day back...I feel the anticipation is harder that the reality. I know our boys miss their daddy dearly, and can sympathize with how sad you must be. Remember, there's less than 10 months to go until you can do it all over again!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Turn

My fellow MOM (triplets actually) Pam tagged me for this little questionnaire a while ago and I finally have a chance to fill it out:

How it works:
1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning.
2. Each player answers questions about themselves
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and post their names, then goes to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the players blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answers

Where were you 5 years ago?
I was living in my very own condo and working at Welch's. I had just recently become engaged in July and was probably transforming to bride-to-be mode and having fun with all the research of weddings :)

What are 5 things on your to do list for the week?
1. Make Baby Food
2. Do Laundry
3. Go Grocery Shopping
4. Walk the Dog
5. Pack for our trip down to the beach

What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
1. 100 Calorie Packs (pretty much any of them)
2. Pink Lady Apples
3. Smoothies
4. Fiber One Oat and Chocolate Bars
5. Ice Cream, always

What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1. Pay off my debt
2. Pay off our family's debt
3. Set up trust funds for the boys
4. Get a fabulous house on a ton of acres
5. Rescue 50 dogs and have them live on said house

What are five of your bad habits?
1. I am Lazy
2. I Procrastinate
3. I don't like to share (only child syndrome)
4. I am not particularly patient
5. I hate to clean

What are five places you’ve lived?
1. Upstate (very upstate) NY
2. Newark, DE
3. Pittsburgh, PA
4. Amherst, MA
5. Winchester, MA

What are 5 jobs you’ve had?
1. Retail Girl at Halmark
2. Ice Cream Cake Girl at Carvel
3. Coffee Girl at Dunkin Donuts
4. Lab Girl at UMass
5. Food Scientist for Welch's

Five people I tag
1. Megan
2. MJ
3. Annie
4. Valerie
5. Aimee

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Baby Food

Well, we have managed to make it through another milestone and remain intact...trying out solid foods!! As new moms know, like anything related to babies, this is a huge decision that is made based on weighing the many pros & cons. When to do it, where to do it, how to do it....there are so many studies and facts and statistics about when and how to introduce baby food, it will make your head spin. And I wonder how much of our taxes are put to silly studies such as "Should babies be introduced to fruits before vegetables?".

There is the mentality from our parents' generation that is wondering why we hadn't started putting cereal into the bottle at 4 weeks to help get them to sleep at night ::gasp:: while the newest information out there states that you should never feed your baby (or babies in my case) cereal until after they turn 6 months old. Some people are so adamant about this that they use the favorite method of the Catholic Church - Fire & Brimstone - when it comes to feeding your baby before 6 months. Oh, the digestive track is too immature, it can cause obesity issues (really, if your baby has a few pureed pears a month early, they are going to get fat??)...blah, blah, blah. And based on all this information overload...I just shut down and decide that when it 'feels' right to try baby food, I will do it. Statistics and news articles be damned!!

So at 5 months, it looked as though Josh was really starting to dig adult food. He would watch memorized while we were eating our pasta, and he was only ever that memorized by the Olympics on the we decided to delve into the adventure that is baby food!! Lo and behold, they actually seemed to like it! At first they weren't quite sure to think of the whole spoon-feeding scenario, but they are starting to get it and it's becoming quite fun! Just the sight now of the spoon coming to their mouth sends them in a tongue-sucking frenzy since they don't yet understand the whole "open mouth, insert food" concept. It is quite hilarious to watch them trying to suck the spoon like it is their bottle, and immediately get angry when the spoon has been taken out of their mouth to get more food.

It is not the cleanest thing to do, feeding twins. Luckily, right now it's more for practice than anything else...but I see my future very clearly, and am very glad that I painted my kitchen fern green and eliminated white from the wall repertoire. I might even only feed them green foods, so that the splatter is totally undetectable! For now, they are only messing up themselves since their new favorite thing is to shove their fingers in their mouth to scoop up any baby food that might be hanging out on their face. So it proceeds from face, to hands, to chest, to feet...and someone who doesn't miss a beat, is our Lucy. She is my cleanup crew, and I am sure she is already dreaming of that beautiful future where more food lands on the floor than in their mouths :)

I have heard that it takes something like 15-20 introductions to food before the baby starts liking/disliking items, but for now it seems that they don't mind anything we have given them. Brown rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, they inhale (literally) it all. I am hoping this is a good sign to come and that our children will be foodies just like me (minus that mac and cheese kick that starts about age one and ends at age 3). I can see my boys already, gobbling down escargot at age 4 just like their mother...well, here's to hoping at least!!

So here are a couple of shots of the boys eating:

I'm sure in the future, I will have many more hilarious photos, but this is all I got for now. Now, on the the next adventure...

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Best Invention far

So I know that there are many other great inventions out there, most of which have nothing to do with babies (artificial heart, anyone?) but when you are the parent of a newborn or two, you really only care about items that will make your life easier, i.e. sanity savers.

The first real sanity saver I considered was the pacifier. It's cheap, simple, and does it's pacifies. But, unfortunately our dear boys only like the soothies-type binkies which are very hard to keep in their mouth, without assistance from us. So, while the binkie is a great invention, it is not the best invention.

Something that completely blew the binkie out of the water was the Swaddle-me swaddles by kiddapatomous. They not only allow our babies to sleep through the night thanks to the baby straitjacket construction, but they work on velcro which means it is almost impossible (note, I said almost) for them to wiggle their way out of it!!

(note, this is not my baby, but the high paid swaddle-me model)

I admit, it does look like some sort of torture device, but I assure you, it is not...and I promise that I will find a way to create adult swaddles if it means they will sleep through the night until they go away to college!!

And while the swaddle-me is still on the top of my list of great inventions, I have to say that though, getting a baby to sleep, while important, it is just as important (if not more) to find a way to entertain the baby while awake! Sooner or later (unless I find that adult version!) the swaddle will be put away, but the best sanity saver - THE JUMPAROO will still be there!!

For those of you that are not blessed (meaning, those of you who are not gluttons for punishment, he he) with babies, or for those of you who have had babies a while ago, a jumparoo is a contraption in which you place the baby into a swing-type holder which is attached to a circular tray filled with many distractions for the baby. That tray is then attached to what I can only guess is bungy cords that allow the child to move. Here is a picture:

Our boys have the above "Rainforest Model" which is jungle themed in not only it's garish color choices, but in it's obnoxious melody choices. And while I did try to find a jumparoo to match our non-rainforest decor (crate and barrel, are you listening??), we figured this was our best bet because, at least it matched our other rainforest themed baby items. Well, I couldn't care less about how obnoxious the look and/or music is...the bottom line is that it ENTERTAINS OUR BABIES!! And not for a few minutes, but hours at a time!!

And even better, it puts our babies to sleep, without said baby straitjacket! Oh, what a glorious invention!! Not only are our babies happy, downright joyous in this contraption, they jump themselves to sleep!! Here is the evidence (note, some pics are taken with a video camera and some with a regular camera, so please excuse the graininess of some of the photos)

Here's Brody, dreaming of jumping...
And Josh, passed out from his jumping excursion...
And here are some photos of the boys actually consciously enjoying their jumparoos :) Josh is very fascinated with the wheel that makes noise when he spins it!

And here is Brody wondering how to get that blue lizard-thing in the bubble!

I am sure that in months from now, there will be a new greatest invention ever, but this takes the far :) Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Woohoo, summers by the we come!!

Well, the first set of big news is that my parents bought a beach house!! Apparently, they want to be near their grandchildren or something and figured that although they are only a short flight away, that was just not close enough to their most favorite (and only, mind you) grandsons!! And as excited as I am about this news, I have a feeling that my parents, well, my mom in particular is even more excited...

You see, my mom was born and raised on Long Island, NY and grew up living near the beach and all it had to offer. And although she moved away many, many years ago (no that was NOT a dig at her age!!), she has never lost her love for the ocean, and has in fact, passed on her love of all things "beachy" to me. In all the locations that I have lived in my life, I have never been very close to the water, I could always drive to it, but I wouldn't say I lived on or near the water once in my life...but yet, I have such an affinity for the ocean and the whole lifestyle that the beach propagates. This is so true that I refuse to let myself be "land-locked" and will not live in a state that is not touching the ocean somewhere. Living in Pittsburgh was as far as I ever wanted to be from the water, and although Lake Erie is huge and feels like an ocean, it's just not quite the same thing.

And while I thank my mother for giving me such a preference for the ocean, I was also so secretly jealous that she had the childhood growing up on the the water that I never had. Here she was telling me how fabulous it was to live near the ocean, but I never got to experience it for myself (Good ole Newark, DE didn't have much in the way of an oceanic lifestyle, meaning it didn't have ANY) in the way that she did. My mom always made sure we went on beach vacations, but it just wasn't the same as that idyllic childhood she had recited to me about clam digging and fishing when she was a kid and life guarding when she was older.

But now I owe my mom a big fat THANK YOU, because now my boys will have the experiences that she once did...and I can live vicariously through them, since that's what parents do :) So, although the boys don't know the magnitude of this exciting opportunity, I am glad they won't need by the beach is going to just be part of their childhood and memories just like it was with my mom. What a wonderful gift to give your grandchildren, memories that will last long into their old age, thanks Mom :)

So, here are some pictures of our new digs...hopefully, I am not jinxing anything by posting this, so everyone please send good house inspection vibes our way!

Front of the House
Side of the house that faces the ocean
Back of the house, on the deck
View of the ocean from upstairs
Our Beach (he he, love saying that!)

I am so looking forward to having lots of visitors, so please clear your calendars for next summer...we got some beachin' to do!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy 5 Months, Boys!!

I cannot get over that my little guys are 5 months old!! There is so much to tell, but since my boys are keeping me busy, it will have to wait another day. They are starting to look like little boys now and less like little babies...I can really see it now! Here are some outtakes from our photo shoot because as you can guess, getting one good shot of the two of them was not easy!

So stay tuned for some news-filled posts, because these guys have sure been keeping us busy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And I thought getting out of the house was fun!

I remember the days when both boys were finally home after 7 weeks, how excited I was to have them home and how even more excited I was to take them out and show them off (and even if I didn't want to show them off, there was really no choice on my part - see freak show post below). Well, fast forward three months to the present day and you will see that my excitement in taking them out has been replaced with pure disdain.

Now, it's never easy getting a newborn out of the house, and most new moms will attest to this. And, I bet you can imagine how much harder it is to get out of the house on time with not one infant, but TWO which can be tremendously difficult. You're still getting used to the idea of getting not only yourself out of the door, but also another (or more, in MOMs cases) tiny human being. Who in fact needs so much stuff, you may as well be packing yourself for a week-long vacation! So the shear fact that you can get out of the door no more than an hour after you anticipated is an impressive feat in and of itself in the first few months.

After a few months of practice most people are able to adjust to the fact that their new baby (or babies!) takes x amount of additional time. Say you want to leave at noon and you know that you would need 1 hour to get ready previously to having the baby, now you give yourself two hours of prep time (of which the baby takes up 1 hour and 55 minutes of that time, because of course, you never have an hour to get ready anymore, you are lucky if your shoes match and your hair doesn't look like you just got out of bed!) because you have learned after the 50th time of being late somewhere that you need to start earlier! And at this point, I have annoyed myself with my tardiness since I was a very punctual person pre-babies!!

Well, in my case, we pretty much have an idea of how long it is going to take to get us and the boys ready and out the door in a timely fashion. We even arrive pretty close to on time (plus or minus 5 minutes, you gotta give us that now!) for any and all appointments. But what blows my mind more than anything now, is how stressful it is to get out of the house. Whether we are going for a walk or to meet people for is the most draining experience of my life! And this happens on almost a daily basis now, and will be daily when Matt goes back to work at the end of the month. You would think it would get easier, but it never does and I am convinced that just the act of leaving the house will drive me to an early grave. Here is a typical getting ready scenario, say we have to be out of the house by 12:00 for our "appointment":

10:00AM Announce that I am taking a shower, hubby proceeds to watch boys
10:15AM Take Shower (after catching up on email, which I can never do at home)
10:30AM Make-up, hair, & Pick out clothes to wear (which won't go on my body until 11:55)
10:45AM Take over baby watching duty so hubby can shower & shave
11:00AM Feed Babies
11:30AM Pick out clothes for babies to wear, make sure that babies are finished spitting up
11:35AM Change baby #1 into their going-out outfit
11:36AM Take off outfit because baby #1 has spit up all over himself before a bib could be put in place
11:37AM Put on going-out outfit #2 and remember to put on bib once outfit is pulled over head
11:40AM Put baby #1 on floor gym/swing/jumparoo to occupy while dressing baby #2
11:42AM Change baby #1 bib because he has proceeded to soak it with projectile spit-up
11:45AM Baby #2 changed and ready, placed with baby #1 to play
11:46AM Check to make sure diaper bag is fully stocked with 10 back ups for everything
11:48AM Check car seats to make sure each one is equipped with spit-rag, binkie, and blanket
11:50AM Hubby & I change into our real clothes
11:55AM Place baby #1 & baby #2 into car seats - screaming commences
11:56AM Hubby has to change shirt because one or both babies projectile spit-up on him
11:58AM Take babies out to car - screaming finally stops when they are moved
11:59AM Lucy escapes out the front door, hubby goes after her, I put babies in the car
12:05PM Lucy is caught and returned home
12:08PM I am about to go crazy in car because babies refuse to stop screaming
12:10PM We pull out of the driveway!!

This is pretty much the average situation that we have to endure just to get out of the house. It is simply the most stressful, emotionally draining thing I have to do. And if we do manage to get out of the house on time, we are still so stressed from the activity that we are not on speaking terms for the first 5 minutes of the car ride! I exaggerate, but thankfully we are taking it in stride and only about 25% of the time are we not speaking to each other...which means 75% of the time we make a great team!

It amazes me more and more how much children change your life. I remember the days when if Matt and I wanted to get out of the house, we just went (sure there were at least 10 wardrobe changes then, but that is just par for the course!) and could be wherever we need to be! Thanks to our boys, this is a much more challenging exercise than I ever thought possible. So, please be patient with us...we have every intention of getting there, it just might take a little longer now!!