Tuesday, September 30, 2008

As requested, pictures of our trip...

I have no idea why I didn't post pics from our Disney vacation when I wrote the post the other day. I don't think I'm 100% back, mentally, from our trip!

Here's Cole with Handy Manny...he practically knocked Manny over when he ran up to him to hug him. Guess Manny isn't used to overly excited fans?

This is Bella sitting with Ariel at the Princess Lunch. She was so eager to meet Ariel and talk to her but then she clammed up (no pun intended..haha) as soon as she sat on Ariel's lap.

Here she is with Jasmine. Oh to be 22 yrs old again with a nice tan and a flat stomach....

Here she is with the Cinderella's Fairy Godmother...Bella really liked this lady which is pretty obvious by her smile.

Here's what Cole did almost every single time I tried to take his pic...maybe he was embarrassed about wearing a Princess crown. He said he was excited to meet the princesses too but each time they came up to him, he made faces at them.

I seriously took about 10 pics of this pose, just trying to get everything in the pic and the kids to look at the camera...at the same time....smile...at the same time...stop trying to push each off the ledge they were standing on....

Lovely, huh? I told him if he kept doing that, that his face would freeze like that permanently. He said "cool"....

Petting sharks and stingrays at the Long Beach Aquarium, which they thought was pretty darn cool.

I love this pic b/c they were totally freaked out by these huge crabs but they couldn't stop staring at them. I asked them to get in front of the tank and pose for a pic but they both refused. Can't say I blame them? That thing is downright creepy....

So we went back to petting sharks and stingrays....Bella practically got in the water with them....well, until a stingray swam by and flapped his wing on the side of the pool, soaking Bella's shirt in the process.

Here they are at the beach for the first time...they were totally amazed by the ocean and all the waves. The seaweed freaked them out a little bit...they weren't so down with that. The first beach was Seal Beach and then later that day we went over to Laguna Beach, where there were a ton of seagulls walking around the beach looking for scraps of food. I told Bella not to feed them and as she threw a potato chip out to them, she said "why"....and then she was swarmed with hungry seagulls practically knocking her over to get to the bag of chips. It reminded me of the scene from Birds. I said, "that's why....live and learn, baby". She spent the rest of the time chasing the seagulls away from our blanket. No one comes between Bella and her potato chips....no one.

There are a ton of other pics too but I figured I'd just post a few. I have pics of Bella with every single princess she could get her hands on at the park....pics of Cole making faces at everyone and everything....pics of them with Minnie and Mickey Mouse, who Cole really didn't want to meet but he appeased me by posing for the pics....I tried to take pics of Cole driving with me in the car on Autopia but holy cow that kid could not keep the car straight to save his life. I finally decided it was more important for me to help him steer the car than it was to take pics of him. All I could manage to say to Tim after we got off the ride was "when he's 16, YOU are going to practice driving with him....my heart won't be able to take it".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"I am not sharing my birthday with you anymore"

Cole and Bella's 4th birthday is this Thursday....I'm in denial. Has 4 years really gone by already? I'm in denial. It seems like just yesterday when I was desperately trying to pump breast milk for 2 preemie babies! I'm in denial. Have I already mentioned that I'm in denial?

We were driving to the store earlier today and I couldn't help but listen to their conversation:

Cole: Bella...look at me....

Bella: No, keep your hands to yourself. Mommy, Cole just bit my finger....

Cole: Hey Bella, here, bite my finger.

Bella: *bites his finger* There, see how it feels. I don't like it.

Cole: You're not my friend anymore. I don't like you.

Bella: I don't LOVE you anymore. AND I'm NOT sharing MY birthday with you anymore.

Cole: Mommy, Bella said she won't share her birthday with me anymore.

Me: You will always share a birthday because you are twins. No one can take that away from either of you.

Bella: Yeah, but I can take his cake away and then we won't have the same birthday anymore. HA HA HA HA HA

Cole: You can't touch my cake.

Bella: I'll have my own cake AND your cake and I'll get a new twin at the store.

Okay, well, of course Bella always has to have a come back, doesn't she? The look on Cole's face was a look of shock, like "is it really that easy to trade in one twin for another?"

Now of course several hours later, they're playing together quietly on the family room floor. Playing with Bella's doll clothes and stripping all her stuffed animals of all their clothes.

Bella: Cole, put the clothes in a pile. Take all their clothes off.

Cole: Okay

Me: Why are you taking all their clothes off?

Bella: Because I can.

I should've known....always a come back.....and who could argue with that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just back from the Happiest Place on Earth...

We just got back from our much-anticipated mini-vacation to Disneyland!! We took Cole and Bella and, as much as I didn't want to, we left Garrett and Landon home with a babysitter. They just seemed to young to really enjoy it, plus I thought Cole and Bella would really enjoy the attention and focus being on just them, for a change. They are totally different kids when they don't have to compete for attention with the little twins....it's amazing!

The first 2 days of our vacation was spent at Disneyland, supposedly the Happiest Place on Earth. Though someone might want to mention that to a few tourists we encountered, who acted as if the park should've been closed to everyone except them. Seriously....rude, thoughtless people at Disneyland...who'da thought? We also spent time at California Adventure, basically just kept walking back and forth between the 2 parks.

I have to say that I think the age that Cole and Bella are at is the PERFECT age for a Disney visit. Everything was so magical to them....the minute we walked through the entryway of both parks, their little eyes lit up and they could hardly contain themselves as they pointed to everything they wanted to see. I was excited that they were so willing to try new rides, even though as we got up to the very front of the line, with a few rides, they both got last minute jitters...total freak-out mode and all. I kept saying that there was no way we'd take them on anything scary and they should try everything at least once and then they were pretty good sports and actually found that they did enjoy most of the rides they were originally scared of. With the exception of Roger Rabbit's ride in Toontown....I kept telling Bella "they would NOT have a scary ride here in Toontown, of all places" and OMG it was the creepiest, darkest ride we had encountered that day. Afterwards, both kids clung to us and read us the riot act, between sobs and heavy panting, "you....you....you....said...it...it...it....wouldn't....be.....beeeeeee.....scccaarrryyy..."

I had to win back their trust somehow so we bought them some cotton candy...the devil's candy....pure sugar and nothing else. And damnit, I ended up eating half of their cotton candy. I paid for it when my brain was thinking faster than my mouth could move and I was barely understandable. And, man, talk about crashing hard after a sugar rush. It wasn't pretty....not pretty at all.

We had lunch one day at Ariel's Grotto so the kids could eat lunch with all the Disney princesses. We were lucky enough to be seated right at the opening where all the princesses come out, one by one, to greet the guests. The announcer guy came up and asked Bella if she would be his honorary guest in announcing the princesses....she said yes....and then stood there like a bump on a log, scared out of her mind, especially when everyone clapped as he announced "Princess Bella as his honorary guest". I'm surprised she didn't pee in her pants right there. But then she got to meet the princesses...the beloved princesses....and everything was good in the world again. Cole, being the typical boy, didn't want anything to do with the princesses and pretty much made funky faces everytime one of them would walk up to him.

We watched the Disney Parade the first night and then Bella insisted....actually, it was more like she threatened....that we see it again the next night. The same exact parade....where she was upset that Tinkerbell didn't wave personally to her. Then she announced that when she grows up she wants to work at Disney and be Tinkerbell in the parade. I guess it could've been worse...she could've wanted to be the janitor at Disney.

They absolutely loved Crush, the talking turtle from Finding Nemo. And they really enjoyed the Toy Story Midway Mania ride. I was surprised that the Pirates of the Carribean wasn't a big hit with them like it was last year. Funny how their likes and dislikes change from year to year....I thought they'd really be into this year, seeing how many times they made us ride it last year. But this year it freaked Bella out and she couldn't get off the ride soon enough.

When we were tired of Disney, we spent part of one day at the Long Beach Aquarium, which was super cool because the kids got to touch sharks and stingrays. They couldn't get enough....they were practically climbing into the shark pool so they could touch every single shark that passed by them. They also really liked the tropical fish....every single time...and I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME, they saw a fish that even mildly resembled Dori or Nemo from Finding Nemo, they would yell "there's Dori" or "there's Nemo". At first it was cute but then after awhile it started to grate on our nerves. I would cringe everytime I we encountered another tank that had Nemo's and Dori's. I was even forced to take several pictures and videos of all the Nemo's and Dori's. Bella said, "Mommy, if you don't take the pictures, I will" and I think she meant it.

The next day we met up with a girl I know from a twin's message board who has twins the same age as Garrett and Landon. Lots of fun and the kids made themselves right at home, asking her if they could stay for lunch. How embarrassing....

We also took the kids to the beach for the first time!!!! SOOOO much fun!! I got a video of them walking into the water for the first time...there is nothing like hearing the giggles of a child visiting the beach for the very first time as the waves come rushing towards them. Originally, we were at Seal Beach but then after leaving Sue's house, the kids were dying to get back to the beach so we went to Laguna Beach. Being a beach lover myself, I was in heaven. I just took it all in....the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the salty sea smell in the air, the sounds of kids laughing and playing. I made myself promise to take myself back to that time and place, mentally, the next time I feel like I'm gonna lose it with the kids.

I had to laugh at the kids though because they kept getting sand all over the blankets and after washing their hands off in the ocean they'd get sand on them all over again. I kept saying "you all have no beach etiquette at all", to which Tim kept laughing at. I grew up in South Florida, where going to the beach was a weekly ritual...if there's anything I know, it's beach etiquette.

So that's where it ends....our mini-vacation was over after that. We're back home now, reunited with Garrett and Landon....and things have just picked up where we left off. The kids are all fighting with one another again, there's endless noise and chaos, and the house is a mess. But, I tell ya, there's nothing like a little vacation from your regular routine to make you feel energized and excited about coming back home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well, now, doesn't that put things into perspective?

So the little twins are napping, while Cole lays on the sofa watching a Thomas the Train video and Bella is running around the house with only pants on....hey, she's being quiet so who am I to disturb her?

I've been meaning to take some time to backup my blog so I did that and then I went to backup another online diary that I kept awhile ago, right after the little twins were born. I got caught up in reading it and found myself in a mixture of giggles and tears. While it was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, it was also the most challenging time in my life. Juggling 2 newborns, one with gas issues and one with reflux issues, and 2 toddlers who were in the midst of potty training was enough to send me over the edge on a daily basis. There were days that I thought "I just cannot survive another day". But then I would read an entry where I wrote a funny conversation that Cole and Bella had and I remember that that was what kept me going at the time (well, that and the Wellbutrin...). Reading these two particularly entries made me feel sad for how I was feeling at the time....

"The last couple weeks have been kind of a blur....I guess you could say things just spun out of control and I couldn't do anything about it. I was crying all the time and I could just barely function...seriously, just keeping my head above water but just barely. Using that same metaphor, I can now understand why people drown...you'd think that being stuck out in the water, you'd just keep paddling and you'd find some way to survive, that your adrenaline would just keep you pumping until you finally reached the shore. But now I can see how after awhile of paddling and trying to stay above the water, a person would finally just lose the will to survive...they just simply give up and accept their fate and simply slip under the water. That's how I feel.... "


"I'm counting down the hours until Rhiannon, our babysitter, comes over at 4:00 today....everytime the phone rings, I pray to God it's not her calling to say she can't come. I feel like a horrible mother....I've come to realize between having Julie and Rhiannon helping with the kids that I actually enjoy my time away from them more than I enjoy my time with them. I'll play with them and entertain them but I'm watching the clock the whole time, just counting down the minutes until I'm "rescued" from my childcare responsibilities. It's crazy to me too b/c when Cole and Bella were this age, I was totally loving how much fun they were....I couldn't get enough of them. I actually craved being with them...I waited anxiously for them to wake up from their naps so I could play with them. But I also was getting a whole lot more sleep back then....I'm sucking down iced tea and mochas like they're going out of style and it's not helping to keep me from being tired. They say not to mix antidepressants and caffeine....that's a joke....no amount of Wellbutrin and caffeine is gonna help me from feeling tired. How long can a person be sleep deprived before they finally just fall asleep in the middle of eating dinner??? One of these days will I get in my car to go to the store and fall asleep while sitting at a red light?? Could I be arrested for that? And how sad is it that the thought of being arrested for falling asleep in my car at a red light sounds completely enticing....I could get plenty of rest on the dirty, cold floor of a stinky jail cell without a problem, mainly b/c I won't be woken by the cries of babies or woken by 2 toddlers who swear they have to pee again after they've just peed 10 minutes ago. I hear their cries even when they aren't crying....why do they cry so much when they should be sleeping? Have I done something wrong? Where did I go astray?

But this next entry made me smile....I remember having this conversation with my neighbor. He happened to bump into me one day in which I was having a very challenging day with the kids. It was one of those days where I was wishing the days, months and years would go by quickly in the hopes that things may get easier. What he said to me that day really helped put things into perspective....I would often go over that conversation in my head over and over, reminding myself that this too shall pass. Yes, things may have been hard...yes, there were days where I felt like it would be easier to just pack my things up and run far away....yes, there were days where I would cry myself to sleep in complete exhaustion and hope the next day would be easier. But this conversation helps me to remember that these days are not to be wished away or rushed through. They are to be treasured for every single minute, the good and the bad.

"The lack of sleep is still hard though....there are days when I'm trying my best to be patient with the kids or not to throw my hands in the air and tell Cole and Bella "fine, throw your food all over the floor...I don't care". There are days where I'm still truly overwhelmed.....well, geez, I think every day of the rest of my life is gonna feel like that. I took the babies for a walk about 3 weeks ago and I bumped into my neighbor who has teenage girls. He asked how I was doing and I said "well, honestly, I can't wait until all my kids are the ages that your girls are...life will be so much easier" and he laughed for a long time. Then he said "how do you think life will be easier?" and I said "well for one thing, I'll be able to sleep 8 hours straight at night without having to get up with a crying baby...I won't have to do every little thing for them anymore b/c they'll be capable of doing it on their own..." and then he cut me off and said "sorry to be an a$$hole but let me tell you....it never gets easier. Just b/c they're not babies anymore doesn't mean you won't lose sleep....you'll lay in bed wide awake staring at the clock when you know they're out with their friends on a Saturday night and you won't sleep peacefully until they're all home and safe in bed. When they're out late at night and the phone rings, your heart will stop for a minute as you pray that it's not someone calling to tell you your child's been in a horrible accident. And all those things you look forward to not doing anymore, like giving them a bath and having to cut up their food...well, you'll wish those days of simplicity were here again as you're fighting with Bella about a short skirt she insists on wearing, or when Cole goes through a stage where he doesn't want to shower. Right now, you are the center of their universe...they are in awe of you as their parent, your word is the only word they know so they can't argue with you on anything. They believe whatever you tell them...if you tell them the moon is made of green cheese, they believe it. So I look at you and I wish so much that my girls were young again...it just seemed so much simpler then". I didn't even know what to say to that...honestly, it gave me chills just to think about it. So then I realized that the minute I became a parent, life changed for me, regardless of whether I wanted it to or not. Every day will be overwhelming, there will always be worries about something, I'll always fear for their health and safety, even when they're grown adults with their own families. And I'll probably do the same exact thing my neighbor did...I'll see a mother with her young children, looking tired and worn out, and I'll wish my kids were that age again. It's hard to imagine that now but I know that day will come. "

And on that note, I think I'm gonna go give my kids a hug and a kiss....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why? Why? Why? I wanna know why....

1) I wanna know why Garrett and Landon refuse to eat what is on their plates sometimes YET they'll eat that very same thing they snubbed when they find it, old and petrified, in the dust pan 3 days later.

2) I wanna know why my kids refuse to try new foods UNLESS it's on my plate. Then it's every man for himself.

3) I wanna know why I can wait an hour or longer to see if Garrett and Landon will poop before I change their diapers. Of course they don't. But as soon as they're in a nice, fresh diaper, they let the flood gates open....

4) I wanna know why the one time I forget to put a bib on Landon, he spills grape juice on his shirt. If he had a bib on, I'm convinced he would not have spilled the juice.

5) I wanna know why I was so stupid enough to give a toddler grape juice to drink.

6) I wanna know how I could rock Landon for 10 minutes and he's fast asleep, snoring even, YET when I put him down in his crib, he's wide awake and screaming as I try to sneak out of the room.

7) I wanna know why all of my kids hate drinking plain water with a passion YET they will drink it, and claim it's the best thing they've tasted since gummy snacks were invented, when the water is in a fancy-schmancy bottle.

8) I wanna know why Bella continously asks "watch me Mommy" over and over again when she wants to show me something cool that she's doing. She sees me staring at her watching her, yet she feels the need to keep saying "watch me Mommy" as if she's afraid I may blink and miss something.

9) I wanna know why my kids tell me they're not hungry YET when I grab a snack for myself not 5 minutes later, they're suddenly ravenous and in dior need of food.

10) Lastly, I wanna know why I think I could actually sit down for more than 5 minutes without being interrupted by "Mommy, I need something to drink", "Mommy, I want more ranch dressing", "Mommy, I need a band-aid", "Mommy, he's touching me", "Mommy, come here and rub my back", "Mommy, I need your help in the bathroom"....."Mommy, mommy, mommy"......

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Holy freakin spiders...

Cole and Bella were at preschool the other day...the little twins were playing nicely in the family room together, which I just have to say melts my heart to finally see them playing together. Without Cole and Bella here to boss them around, they are finally seeing each other as buddies and playmates. They feed each other snacks, they hug all the time and they chase one another all over the house. They even talk to each other in only a language they seem to understand.

Anyway, I was walking into the kitchen to clean the dishes from breakfast and this is what I saw:

Yeah, holy freakin spiders....the Mother of all spiders. I'm thinking this has to be a black widow or some wierd breed of spiders I've never heard of. It totally reminded me of a friend of mine who lives in TN and has problems with brown recluse spiders, which I think are the kind that literally jump at you. All I know is looking at this thing made me want to puke.

I grabbed the camera so I could take a picture of it so I could get a closer look at it....no freakin way was I gonna go anywhere near it and take a chance on it lunging at me, digging its fangs into my jugular vein and sucking the life force outta me. So I can be a little dramatic sometimes. I was also concerned about Garrett or Landon going up to it and trying to poke it with their fingers..."ooooh look Mommy a big hairy ugly spider with huge fangs....can we keep it for a pet?"

Okay, so you know when you stare at something long enough, you start to think you see it moving? I could've sworn I saw this horrible creature move its legs. And then I notice, as much as I strain my eyes to see, that it has funky white spots on its arms and back. Now I'm thinking "what the f**k is this thing??!!" and how the hell did it get in my kitchen....and, mostly, does it have little white-spotted babies somewhere in my house, perhaps under the oven, where I've been cooking dinner every single night with bare feet?

I'm practically in meltdown mode by this point. All I know is I want this spider gone....outta my house....dead....somewhere, anywhere but my kitchen. I have such a phobia of spiders and I seriously want to puke everytime I look at it. For a minute, I consider either calling our exterminator or going next door and seeing if my retired neighbor would like to take a look at it..."hey, wanna come into my kitchen and see this really cool spider? Oh and by the way, could you take it with you when you leave?"

Alright, time to suck it up and get closer to it and try to capture it. My plan was to trap it under a glass because I figured if I tried to smush it with a paper towel, it may try to run back under the oven. There is NO freakin way I'd be able to sleep in this house knowing that the Mother of All Spiders is lurking in my house somewhere. I'd sooner check myself and the kids into a hotel than sleep here....Tim can do what he wants but I'm so outta here.

I take a few steps forward and notice the spider doesn't move. It's just sitting there, staring me down (okay, it wasn't really staring me down but for the sake of being dramatic....oh alright, overdramatic....let's leave it at that). Then Landon walks up behind me, spots the spider, points to it and shrieks "uh, uh, uh"....so now I know I gotta just get rid of this thing...

I run up to it and get ready to slam the glass down over it but it doesn't move at all. Now I'm totally freaked out, thinking it's waiting for that perfect moment to jump on me and sink its fangs deep into my skin (as if spiders are really that evil and calculating but again for the sake of being overdramatic...)

Once I managed to get the glass over it, I looked closer (but too close....) and I realized the darn thing is FAKE!! Not real!! Made out of rubber!! God, how stupid did I feel? I must have wasted a good 15 minutes freaking out over this fake spider! But seriously, look at this thing....even close up, doesn't it look real? And totally creepy??

Apparently, this spider is one of many in Cole's collection of creepy, crawly, rubber spiders....he just happened to leave this one in the kitchen and at some point it got kicked over to the stove, where it looked believably as if it had just started to crawl out from under the stove. He did the same thing to me a few months ago when Tim bought him some rubber lizards and he left a few of them out one day. I saw Landon walking around with something wierd in his mouth....with a tail....and for a minute, I thought he actually had a real lizard in his mouth. Here's a pic....

Cole and his fake creepy crawlies....ugh! He's all boy, that's for sure. I wonder what God was thinking when he made me the mother to 3 boys....I really wonder.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quirks? What quirks?

Elizabeth at Three Channels was tagged recently to write about some of her quirks. My first thought was "I don't think I have any quirks"...but then as I read her list and saw that the first quirk she listed was about having extra pacis on her at all times (we all know how torturous it can be when a baby is crying for a paci and there are NONE around), I laughed outloud because I have pacis all over my house, in my purse, in the diaperbag, on my nightstand, Garrett's nightstand, and I have 2 unopened packages of pacis in a drawer, just in case!! The Soothie company is making a killing off of people like me, who are deathly afraid of not having a paci available when their child cries.

Well, well, well, whatdya know? I do have some quirks after all! And it turns out that she tagged me with this fun meme so I had some time to think about any other quirks I might have. Of course once I sat down and started thinking about it, I came up with a ton but I'll only list 6 for the sake of the rules of this meme (and because I don't want to put anyone who might be reading this to sleep!)

1) I'm addicted to chapstick. My lips must be moist at all times or it drives me totally nuts. I have little tubes of chapstick EVERYWHERE. Bella took my chapstick out of my purse on Saturday before I took her to dance class, unbeknownst to me of course, and I practically had a meltdown right there in the middle of her class, when I went to dig it out of my purse and it was NOT there. Some people love their daily glass of wine, I love me some chapstick! If I was stranded on a desert island, that would be the one thing I couldn't survive without.

2) Anyone and everyone in my life gets the glorious honor of being given a nickname by me, whether they like it or not. I'm too embarrassed to write what I call my sister but let's just say it was a name that stuck when we were younger. She even calls me by the same nickname. And the bad thing is...we've shortened the nickname so it's a version of the original nickname. My kids all have wierd nicknames too....Cole is "Dude-Z" or "Dog", Bella is "Peanut" (but also has been known to be called "nutty" or "nutter butter"), Garrett is "Lil E" and Landon is "Chicken" (also known as "chicky" for short). All the stories of how these names were derived are unique because all nicknames always have a story behind them. What my kids don't realize is that they will forever be called those endearing nicknames, no matter how old they are, because that's just how I am. I can picture myself calling Landon when he's in college when one of his frat brothers answers the phone and I say, "Hi this is Chicky's mom, is he around?" My dad and brother also have nicknames and to this day that is how I refer to them....by nickname only.

3) I'm totally OCD about germs...and other things. Mainly germs. I'm constantly washing my hands to the point that they are always red and raw. I'm a huge huge huge fan of Aquaphor. I'm constantly spraying the counters and the sink with that Clorox anti-bacterial spray and wiping down the counters with anti-bacterial wipes. God forbid I see any of the kids walk out of the bathroom without having washed their hands...they might as well have committed the crime of the century. I'm also OCD about checking my alarm clock to make sure it's set, make sure all the doors and windows are locked, make sure the burglar alarm is set, make sure the kids are all breathing....all this before I turn in at night. It's a 30-minute procedure, trust me.

4) I am in love with my pillowcase. I'm deathly attached to it. I'm heartbroken when it finally is in shreds and I have to admit that it's time for a new one. I have to wash the new one several times to achieve that softness that I crave. It's wierd...a 39-yr old woman with a strange attachment to her pillow case. It travels with me when I go on vacation.

5) I am always on time for events, sometimes even early. I get annoyed with people who are chronically late. I understand being late every once in awhile but every single time??? When we go out places, I have myself to get ready, I have 4 kids to get ready, I have a huge diaperbag to pack, I have to make sure the double stroller is in the car, and strap all the kids in their carseats AND I still manage to be where I need to be ON TIME.

6) Lastly, my attitude on slow drivers is "we're all on the road for a reason...we all have some place to be...why the hell are you driving so leisurely down the street as if you're just killing time????" I don't know about you but if I'm on the road driving in my car, it means I'm going somewhere. I want to get there within a reasonable time. Slow drivers, especially the ones who drive 60 mph in the fast lane on the freeway, are just plain annoying.

The rules for this Meme are:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers letting them know they’ve been tagged

I tag:

Tena at Punky Monkeys

Kim at The Mommy Machine

Amy at Thoughts from the Mrs

Tabbatha at Smelling Like Roses

Mrs Bear at Outnumbered Two to One

Susie at The New Mommy, Just One More Minute

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The adventure for the perfect Halloween costumes...

As always, Target was a blast. The first thing we did, of course, was look at Halloween costumes. I can't believe you have to start shopping for costumes this early in the season (it's not even officially fall yet) if you want to get a good costume, rather than the scraps that are left a few weeks before Halloween. It took the kids 35 minutes to decide on their costumes. I wish I was joking about that but I'm afraid I'm not.

Bella is obsessed with Spiderman....still. And she kept insisting that she wanted to be Spiderman but a girl Spiderman. She was so insistent that I was ready to just buy her the darn Spiderman costume and throw a long wig on her and give her a magic wand to carry. But no....she wasn't going to settle for that. I kept hoping that when she saw all the costumes, she'd forget about the whole Spiderman thing. Which she did...she decided she wanted to be.......Super Girl. Huge shock for me because I was so sure she'd go for the Princess or Barbie stuff. It didn't even attract her this year.

While Tim tried the Super Girl costume on her (because her sizes always seem to vary), Garrett was getting restless in the shopping cart. I decided to take him over to the aisle with all the "scary" things that make sounds and noises, thinking he'd enjoy that. Stupid, stupid, stupid...will I ever learn? Cole came with me and crouched behind me whimpering everytime I hit the "press here" button on one of those things. The witches cackled, the skeletons screamed, the bats fluttered, the ghosts rattled their chains. And then there was this bowl with a little hand attached....I showed it to Garrett who went to touch it and the hand came down and grabbed his hand. Totally freaked him out. I couldn't get out of that aisle fast enough.

So all the kids will be super heros. Cole is gonna be Spiderman (but the black spiderman with the puffy muscle chest, which I objected to because the black spiderman wasn't exactly a nice guy but Tim didn't think it was a big deal..."it's not like he'll turn into a psychopathic killer as an adult because he's the black spiderman this year instead of the red/blue spiderman....yeah, I'm sure Ted Bundy's father tried to convince his mother of the same thing...but then again Ted Bundy didn't have an active male role model in his life so I guess Cole has THAT on his side), Bella will be Super Girl, Landon will be Batman and Garrett will be a mini-version of Superman. Bella says Garrett will be her "assistant".

The rest of the shopping excursion went over like a fart in church...they were all excited to pick out costumes but not necessarily anything else we might have needed. The little twins no longer wanted to stay in their shopping carts so we let them walk next to us. People who were in our line of fire path just stared at us, some even so daring as to say "are they all yours?". Some people even commented, "oh what a beautiful family you have", which I thought was very sweet, even if they probably didn't mean it but didn't know what else to say.

We finally got to the check-out counter with everything we needed and proceeded to dig out my coupon "$15.00 of purchase of $150". Our stuff came to $149.85. Figures....so the clerk says "why don't you buy a pack of gum and that should do it". Fine, I throw in a pack of gum and that brings us over the $150 minimum. But the coupon still doesn't scan...she sits there for about 2 minutes saying "hmmm" and scratching her head. She finally calls a manager over, as the customers behind me are starting to grumble and the kids are going nuts having to wait. Garrett is so mad he actually takes his paci out of his mouth and hurls it across the air, hitting a lady who was walking by on the side of the face. I smile at her, shrug and say "kids!!"...she gives me the dirtiest of dirty looks. She must either not have kids yet or not want kids. I wanted to say "it could've been worse...it could've been a dirty diaper that hit the side of your head" but she doesn't look like she has a sense of humor.

The manager comes over and says "ah, I know what the problem is....the tax doesn't count in the $150 so you need to buy something else for $8.00 to get your $15 off". This boggles my mind....and of course in the tiny little print it says "tax not included". How does Target get away with this crap? We ended up getting baby wipes, which we needed anyway, so it wasn't a complete waste of money to save money.

Then we headed over to Payless Shoe Source to buy new shoes for Cole and Landon and then Babies R Us to buy diapers. We encountered a dad shopping by himself with all SEVEN of his kids. Tim said "are they all yours?" and the guy laughed and said "yeah". Neither of us had much to say to one another after that....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Would I really want to be 18 again if I could?

In my attempt to get more organized, I have been going through various cabinets and drawers in our house to clean things out (yeah, and make more room for new stuff...isn't that how it goes?) Today, I went through my nightstand, which you'd think would be stuffed full of things I use on a daily basis. Nope, not my nightstand. It's a catch-all for all the crap that I don't know where to put...some people throw that stuff in the garbage, I throw mine in the nightstand. I'm an admitted pack-rat.

Anyway, I came across a letter that I didn't recognize, yet it had my handwriting on the outside, addressed to myself. The date on the envelope from the post office stamp was June 5, 1992. Huh? Then I remembered what it was. Back in high school, in my senior year, on the last day of school (the day before graduation), my Government teacher had us all write letters to ourselves, which she would collect and mail to us 5 years later. We were to write about our lives at that point, who are friends were, how we spent our senior year, what our future plans were and how we envisioned our lives would be like in 5 years.

I couldn't remember the last time I had read this letter. It had to be years and years ago, perhaps in 1993 or something. I honestly forgot I had it. So I became excited as I opened it, wondering what I had written to myself.

The first thing that struck me as I read it was how immature I was. And how such trivial things were so important to me. I was bitching about how mad I was at myself because I weighed 123 lbs instead of the 117 lbs I normally weighed. What I wouldn't give now to weigh 123 lbs!!! I must have looked like a freakin skeleton back then. And then I talked about the possibility of going back to that bulimic state I had been in a year earlier to lose the weight if nothing else worked. Was I really that naive?? My God, it was just 5 lousy pounds! But then again, when you're a teenager, things like that seem so important.

I also wrote about my engagement to my high school boyfriend, who I had dated for 2.5 years at the time of this letter. How could something like that slip my mind? Had I really forgotten about that? I kept re-reading that paragraph over and over, just in shock that something that was so important and exciting for me at that time had been stored deep in my memory banks, so deep that I had forgotten about it. When I look back, I can see now that it was a completely destructive and dysfunctional relationship. He treated me like garbage, he was extremely possessive, abusive (both verbally and physically), he cheated on me all the time and he had a drinking problem. I just want to go back in time and kick my own ass....there's one sentence in particular that made my stomach turn...."Right now I'm a little tired of him. I guess because he's still hanging out with XXX and YYY and his other drinking buddies. He doesn't go to AA meetings as often as I wish he would. I'm not sure if I'll still marry him if he's still drinking like he does now". HELLO!!!! "I'm not sure if I'll still marry him if he's still drinking"....no wonder my parents hated him and tried to convince me for what seemed like an eternity that he was a complete loser and he'd only make me miserable in the long run. They said the same thing about my ex-husband, who incidentally was not the boyfriend from high school. What can I say....I've made a lot of bad choices in my life. Thankfully, I've recovered quite well from most of them.

Reading about the highschool boyfriend, though, makes me realize that I'll probably encounter a similar situation with my daughter when she's in high school. Hopefully not to the degree that I was involved but chances are she may date a guy who's not the best boyfriend for her, someone who doesn't have her best interests at heart and/or doesn't respect her or treat her the way she deserves to be treated. When you're a teenager, it's hard to see that your parents are probably right in situations like these. I almost feel bad now for what I put my parents through with that boyfriend of mine.

On a final note, the one paragraph that had me in stitches laughing was this..."I hate to work. I'd rather stay home and raise my kids. Speaking of, I think I want three". If I knew back then what I know now....as if staying home and raising kids isn't work?? I don't think I've ever "worked" harder in my life....this "job" is 24/7 with very few breaks, no raises, no sick days, no personal or vacation days, no salary increases and I'm lucky if I get a lunch break on most days. But then again, the benefits outweigh the negatives....like endless hugs and kisses, being the first one to see my children smile, walk and all the other first milestones.

So if I could go back in time and be 18 again, would I? I can say 100% wholeheartedly NO! I don't regret the mistakes I've made...in fact, I've learned from them and I do believe all those mistakes have made me a stronger person. But there's no way I'd want to go back and do it all over again....I'm perfectly happy with the way things have turned out, even if I didn't realize that staying home and raising kids would be "work"!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One of the best things about blogging...

To me, one of the best things about blogging has been how it has allowed me to connect with some really amazing people, mostly other moms who face the same ups and downs of parenting that I do. We are so lucky to live in today's world where we can literally hop on a computer and "meet" someone half-way across the world at that very moment in time, who might just be going through the same exact things you are in your daily life. Those people are there to lift you up in times of trouble, send you a virtual hi-5 when the situation calls for it, pray with you or for you in times of need, and laugh along with you while sharing stories that we can all relate to, whether it be about motherhood, husbands, families or the daily struggles we all face on how to juggle it ALL while keeping our sanity in tact.

One of the fellow moms I've "met" while blogging is Elizabeth at Three Channels. I read her blog on an almost daily basis. Her posts are often thought-provoking and so eloquently expressed. She's a mom of 3 and when I read her posts about her children, I can relate to a lot of what she's writing about.

She also sent me this award, which totally made my day (thanks Elizabeth!):

The terms for this pristine BFF Gold Card are described as follows:

1. Only five people allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

I'd like to pass on this award to:

The Adventures of Supermom

Mothering my Miracle Multiples

Little Ruggers

Parenting Pink


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now I know why the kitchen floor has been so clean...

Garrett and Landon are super messy kids when it comes to mealtime. They have recently refused to sit in their highchairs anymore but I didn't feel that letting them sit in the regular kitchen chairs was very safe. So we busted out some old booster seats we had in the garage and strapped those to the kitchen chairs....waaahhhllaaaa....they think they're big boys now.

I get such a kick out of seeing all 4 kids sitting at the same table, eating their meals. They pick off each other's plates, have friendly conversations (well, sometimes...), sometimes even a food fight will ensue usually because one child thinks it's funny to fling a piece of ham across the table at another child. Then all the kids start flinging food (oh, and sippy cups too....desperately need to put an end to this). My kids obviously missed the memo on proper table manners.

But in the last few days, I've noticed that the kitchen floor under Garrett and Landon's chairs have been spotless. Very unusual. I've also noticed that they seem to be eating everything on their plates. Their plates are so clean after a meal that I've wondered if they're actually licking them when I'm not watching.

When I've asked Landon if he's "all done", he nods his head yes. I ask "do you want more?" and he shakes his head no. They seem happy, with full bellies. And all I can think is that they must be going through one hell of a growth spurt.

Until last night, when I found this.....

The chair looks very clean...completely spotless, right? Doesn't that seem a little strange, especially considering a toddler has just finished a meal in that chair?

As I looked closer, I realized that since we're not using the tray that comes with the booster seat, there's a hole about the size of a silver dollar on the armrests.

Curiosity got the best of me and I lifted the chair and saw this....

Yup, that would be last night's dinner....half of a bean and cheese burrito, along with some chewed up broccoli. That was Landon's chair. The seat under Garrett's chair looked pretty much the same.

Along all along, I've been thinking they're doing such a great job eating (and patting myself on the back for my excellent cooking skills....HA!) and come to find out, those two little boogers have been stuffing the food they don't want to eat in those darn holes, making me think they've finished everything. It totally reminded me of when I was little and I'd hide my vegetables under my mashed potatoes. But I must have been about 8 when I figured out how to do it so I'd get away with it! I've totally underestimated these little guys! They're only 18 months and they've already figured out how to do this. The kicker here too is that they figured it out on their own, from what I can tell. They sit on opposite sides of the table from one another.

But then I wondered, because the floor has been so clean under their seats for the past few days, where was all the other food that they probably stuffed in that hole?? Turns out Tim knew the boys were doing this and he had cleaned it up a couple days ago because we were having a BBQ at our house with some friends. He said there was tons of food under the seats. He never mentioned it to me!! I don't know if I was more shocked that he never mentioned it or more shocked that he actually thought to clean under the chairs!!!!!

So now I know why the kitchen floor has been so clean....why bother getting a dog....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My kids are just plain wierd sometimes...

Most kids have blankies or lovies that they carry around with them. And the funny thing is that both Garrett and Landon have blankies that they adore. But they have found a bigger love....Landon now walks around with an empty container of grape juice. And the lid has to be off but he has to carry the lid around with him as well. He has to continually put the lid back on the container and then run up to me grunting "uh, uh, uh" and sticking the container in my face. I take the lid off and he happily runs away, container tucked under his arm, until he goes and sits down and takes the lid off again. Repeat same thing, over and over and over and over.... I've tried taking the container away from him and good God can that boy throw a serious tantrum. This morning when I tried to take it away from him, he actually went upstairs and hid under Bella's bed. When I finally found him, he smiled and gave me a look like "hell will freeze over before you pry this container out of my hands". It just wasn't worth it. I'm a firm believer in "pick your battles".
Garrett is in love with a coke can that he carries around. Of course it's an unopened can of coke but a can of coke, nonetheless. And he prefers it to be cold. If it gets warm, he would like it back in the fridge pronto so it can get cold again. He's also a total booger if I try to take the can of coke away from him. He stomps his feet and screams loud enough to break all the windows in our house.
I can understand children needing a source of comfort...a security blanket of sorts....but an empty juice container and a cold coke can. My kids are just plain wierd.
Landon did add another word to his 2-word vocabulary..."bye bye". We had a BBQ the other day at our house and when everyone was leaving, he waved to everyone and said "bye bye". I couldn't stop saying, "Oh My Gosh...did you hear that? he said 'bye bye'"? I stood there practically in tears, so happy and excited. Now he says it all the time....last night it took 10 minutes to get him in bed because he kept running around to all of us, giving us goodnight hugs and kisses and saying "bye bye". He was even saying "bye bye" and hanging his head out the bedroom door as Tim was trying to get him into his room.
Garrett pretty much just garbles all day. That's what I call it....garbling. Because that's what it sounds like. "Garble, garble, garble" and then he looks at me like "well....do something...I said 'garble, garble, garble'".
Now that Cole and Bella are in preschool every morning, I'm noticing that Garrett and Landon are starting to play together more. They pretty much ignored each other all the time and I was starting to wonder if they would have the same twin connection that Cole and Bella have. Much to my relief, I saw them hugging yesterday and tried to get a picture but of course they both walked away the minute they saw the camera. And then I managed to catch them on their little bike together....so cute!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"I want Daddy"

This morning, Tim was emptying the dishwasher and I was on the computer totally glued to a blog about Jon and Kate, Plus 8 (behind-the-scenes drama about the show that I simply could not tear myself away from reading, definitely a he-said, she-said situation). Cole had to use the potty so Tim got him set up in the bathroom and went back to emptying the dishwasher. I read him some of the gossip about the show. Just as he was doing the math outloud, trying to add up how much money and freebies Jon and Kate get doing the show, we heard Cole yell from the bathroom....

"Daddy, I'm done pooping....."

Tim said "okay, wait a minute....let me finish emptying the dishwasher real quick".

And we went back to discussing the show again and I was saying how I'd love to have an organic chef who cooked all our meals, a cleaning service and someone to run errands for me and we heard again, from the bathroom....

"Daddy, I said, I'm done pooping...."

I said to Tim, "do you want me to go help him?" and Tim responded, "yeah, if you want to". Do I WANT to? What kind of question is that? So I said, "sure, I'd love to wipe my son's butt. What a great opportunity for me. It's not like I get to wipe his butt during the week as much as I'd like to so thank you for letting me do it". I think I left him wondering if I was being sarcastic or just trying to be funny.

I set one foot in to the bathroom and....BAM....the smell hit me, as I saw Cole still sitting on the toilet waiting patiently. And just as I was about to say, "Wow, Cole....what on earth did you eat...did something die inside of you", he took one look at me and screamed, "I want Daddy".

My feelings used to get so hurt when any of the kids would prefer Tim over me. There have even been times I've cried to Tim, "the kids love you more than me". But then he quickly comforts me by saying that he's not with them as often as I am so of course they want more time with him than me when he is at home. Sounds logical enough.

I walked immediately out of the bathroom and into the kitchen, smiled, and said "your son would like YOU to wipe his butt". Good thing I'm not as sensitive as I used to be. This was definitely not a situation I was gonna cry over!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It only took me 18 months but I finally got it done...

I'll sheepishly admit that I have FINALLY gotten pictures of Garrett and Landon up on "the wall". It didn't start out as "the wall" at first. In the beginning, it was a nice, plain white wall in our family room with nothing on it. Not even wedding pictures. I don't know why I never put anything on the wall. I like to blame it on the fact that I have absolutely no creativity or talent for design and style. I walk into my friends' homes and I become instantly envious of how beautifully decorated the walls are, the rooms are all painted, there's crown moulding in every room. It looks like a "home", while our place always looked like a "house". Nothing really cozy or comforting about it.

But then came Cole and Bella and I suddenly turned into one of those parents I use to laugh about who gets their child's picture taken every 3 months in the first year of life. Tim would say "do we really need more pictures?" and I'd say "of course we do, look how much the kids have changed in just 3 short months". Every time we'd get the portaits back, I'd immediately frame them and throw them up on the family room wall. At first it was just a couple pictures here and there...the birth portraits and the 3 month portraits, surrounded by 1 or 2 pictures of us as a lovely family of 4.

Each time we'd get more pictures done, I just couldn't find it in myself to take the earlier pictures down. I remember every little detail of each picture when it was taken. Like the 3 month portraits, where we went to JC Penney to have Cole and Bella's pictures taken and the photographer totally sucked. She lacked the energy and personality that it takes to photograph babies. We weren't happy at all with the pictures that she took so we thanked her politely for her time and left, without buying any of the pics.

I was completely heartbroken, after having shopped for hours for the perfect outfits for Cole and Bella, taking an hour to get them ready, coordinating the appointment around their nap schedule. I suppose I thought that waiting to re-schedule pictures somewhere else another time that Cole and Bella would be "older" than 3 months and I'd miss out on something really special about that day...the day they were exactly 3 months old. What if in just one week they changed somehow? Okay, okay, yeah, going a little bit overboard there but I'll blame it on pregnancy hormones that were still running rampant throughout my body. We ended up going across the street to Picture People and lucked out with a photographer who loved children and was able to capture the most gorgeous pictures of Cole and Bella.

Before I knew it, the kids were 1 year old and our whole family room wall was covered with framed pictures. It looked like an organized mess. Each time we'd get more pics taken, I'd just add them to the others on the wall, rather than replace the old pictures. My family often joked about it, so did friends. My mom particularly loved to look at the wall and say "so where will you put the pictures from their 2nd year?"

During their 2nd year, however, I got pregnant with Garrett and Landon. So "the wall" stayed the same....pictures didn't get updated and we rarely went to have our pictures taken. My good friend Bonnie was kind enough to come over often and take pictures of the kids, Tim and I with the kids, and my pregnant belly so I didn't get too far behind on capturing those memories. But the pictures continued to get shoved away deep into a closet until I would one day have some time to put them up.

Along came twin set #2 and I barely had time to come up to breathe so unfortunately we didn't get as many professional pictures of Garrett and Landon as I would have liked. To make matters worse, all the pictures we had taken and had uploaded to our computer were lost when the computer crashed. I hadn't had time to back up the pictures (stupid stupid stupid!) and I walked around in a stupor for days after that. Completely sick to my stomach and heartbroken that we had lost some wonderful pictures of Garrett and Landon, particularly their birth pictures. But Bonnie to the rescue...she had come to the NICU the day after they were born and took beautiful pictures of the boys and she also came over when they were 5 weeks old and took some lovely portraits.

This week I finally took the time to go through all the pictures and decide which ones to take down and which ones to put up. Today, I finally did it....I finally got Garrett and Landon up on "the wall". Friends and family can no longer tease me by saying "just looking at this wall, it doesn't even seem like Garrett and Landon exist". I would happily point out that I had pictures of them on the fridge but that wasn't as good as having them on "the wall".

So here's my organized mess.

Sure, the whole wall is covered with pictures but there were just some pictures I couldn't bear to take down. Once I had the main wall covered, I moved on to another wall. And like my mom joked, I probably will have all the walls in our home covered with pictures from every stage of their lives (graduations, weddings, granchildren).

My walls aren't painted in bright, gorgeous colors or fancily decorated (unless you consider tiny handprints decoration), there's no crown moulding, no stencils, no wallpaper....just tons and tons of framed portraits of my beautiful children.

That's all the decoration I need to make our house feel like a home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Horrible Mommy Episode #325..oh who am I kidding, it's really #674

On Tuesday, I met up with our playgroup of moms and kids at the neighborhood park. Cole and Bella were in preschool so I just had Garrett and Landon with me....piece of cake, right? You'd think handling 2 kids instead of 4 kids would be a breeze for me...a walk in the park (no pun intended..haha)...easy peasy. Yeah, that's what I thought too....until.....

I had Landon sitting at one of the tables eating his snack. It's just a simple metal table with picnic-style benches attached (no seat back). I was standing behind him so I felt he was relatively safe. Off in the distance, just a few feet away, I noticed Garrett was standing in the grass with something white in his hand. It looked like he was nibbling on it and at first I thought nothing of it. I mean, my kids eat dirt, cat food, cat litter (thank God the cat hadn't gone potty yet), and they'll eat 3-day old food stuck to the floor. I've been known not to panic anymore over every little thing they stick in their mouth (oh, but I still freak out about feeding them raisins because they might choke...am I a mess or what?)

But then as I take a closer look, it looks like this mysterious white thing is actually a mushroom (dang mushrooms grow everywhere around here) and then Garrett starts coughing and gagging and then full-on choking. So obviously I take off like a bat out of hell to run over to him....totally forgetting that I've left Landon sitting on the bench by himself (I should probably add that there is no padding around the bench....just a slab of nice, hard, thick concrete).

Just as I reach Garrett, I'm starting to panic because his face is turning red and it definitely looks like something is stuck in his throat. He's dry heaving but nothing is coming out. I'm not even sure if the other mom's noticed any of this but maybe they did. I was in my own little world right about now.

Then I hear a huge "thud" and look over at Landon, who had just fallen backwards off the bench onto the cement. Now I've got one kid screaming because he just got the wind knocked out of him and one kid practically choking on what I thought was a mushroom. And, really, as I'm recalling this now it seemed like everything was happening in slow motion. I figured Garrett was in the most danger if he really was actually choking but then suddenly as I was about to toss him upside down and bang on his back, he puked....everywhere....all over me, all over him, all over the grass. Then he started crying hysterically and all I can remember at that point was scooping him up and running over to Landon to scoop him up off the ground.

Garrett is still puking everywhere and now it's not just a little bit of puke, but huge projective vomiting like I've never seen in my life. Finally, one of the other moms comes up and she's trying to clean up Garrett. How she can clean up someone else's kid's puke is beyond me!! In my book, she's a total saint. Leaving me to check Landon for any bumps or lumps on his head that may require a dr's visit. One of the moms said she thinks he landed more on his shoulder than on his head so I start checking to make sure nothing is dislocated, no bones sticking out anywhere, no blood, no bruises. He's fine but just a little shaken up.
At this point, I think I started laughing....I mean, it was total insanity. I have no idea how I kept my cool during all this. Both of these incidents could have been so much worse...Garrett could've really been choking on something and Landon could've really injured himself falling backwards off that bench. All I can figure is that God was watching over them that day. But I'm sure He was up there shaking his head at me, thinking "Girlfriend, you really are a piece of work, aren't you? I'm gonna have to watch you more closely, for the sake of your kids' survival, at the very least".

So it wasn't a mushroom that Garrett had put in his mouth but some wierd plastic thingie that must have come off one of other kid's sand toys. I kept thinking after I got done getting both boys settled down that I'd have to call poison control and run the whole mushroom scenario by them but turns out it wasn't the case, thank goodness. Not that a plastic object in the mouth was any better but at least it didn't have the potential to be poisonous.

My lesson that day was to never let either of them get too far away from me, especially at the same time. If Garrett had been right by me when I sat Landon down for a snack, none of this would have happened. UGH...hindsight is always 20/20.

Since this post has been kind of a downer (but with a good outcome!), let's liven things up with a little humor with some pictures of my silly girl and her fake boobies (who knew water balloons could also double as implants?). The kids and I were having a water balloon fight when Bella noticed that the balloons looked like "little boobies". She's obsessed with boobs....she's 3 going on 16. I don't remember ever being this thoughtful and curious about boobs when I was her age....maybe I was and I just blocked it out.

Here she is, happy with her perky little 34 C's. When I asked her how big she wanted me to make them, she said "um...big but not so big that they'll pop".

Here she is touching them to make sure they won't pop and saying, "Mommy, they feel all squishy...heehee"

And of course we can't forget the side view....look at her modeling as if she's Miss Universe. The girl is too much, isn't she?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Mommy, if I hug you, will that make you happy?"

So the time was finally upon me.....time to start finding new homes for all the baby things we've collected over the years. Tim had organized all the things we needed to get rid of on a table in the garage, as I had been promising to list everything on Craigslist so we could have some extra spending money for our upcoming Disneyland trip.

I'll admit now that I was stalling mainly out of selfishness and denial. Selfishness because I didn't want to share the kids' baby things with anyone else and denial because my kids are growing up right before my very eyes and no longer in need of things like, an exersaucer, jumperoo, highchairs, baby toys, etc, etc, etc.

I sat down on Saturday and finally got a few things listed on Craigslist and to my surprise started getting calls right away. One lady never even called back to let me know what time she was coming (what a flake...why are people like this? I'll never understand) so we decided we weren't gonna spend our whole day waiting for her and we left. Another lady called and told me she wanted 3 of the things (a stroller, a Laugh-n-Learn table and a Baby Einstein Discovery Center)...she was pretty insistent that she wanted these things and said she'd come over the next day to get them. Then she called back and realized she had missed a couple other items I had listed and she wanted those also.

This afternoon I was going over each of the things again with antibacterial wipes, just to make sure they were squeaky clean. As I was cleaning the exersaucer, I got all teary-eyed. Silly hormones....and I'm not even ovulating at the moment!

Bella came up and asked what I was doing and if she could help. She noticed my tears and we had a conversation:

Bella: Mommy, are you sad?

Me: Yes, just a little but I'm okay

Bella: Why are you sad?

Me: Because we're finding new homes for all your baby stuff and it just makes me sad because it means you're all growing up

Bella: Mommy, if I hug you, will that make you happy?

Me: Yes, of course, it will

Bella: *gives me a huge hug and then continues to hang her arm around my back rubbing my shoulders gently* Awwwww, Mommy, you're gonna be okay...do you want a Band-Aid...will that make you feel better?

Me: No, just another hug from you...that's all I need to feel better.

Bella: But I have Dora Band-aids...are you sure you don't want one?

Me: When did you get to be so funny?

Bella: I'm not funny, I'm just me.

Then I realized I was practically in full-on cry mode as we're having this conversation, which really just confused her because I had said I wouldn't be sad anymore and she just doesn't understand at her age that a person can also cry tears of happiness. By the end of the conversation, she had me laughing and crying at the same time.

As we cleaned each of the things, she asked me questions like "did I really like sitting in the exersaucer when I was a baby?", "did I jump really high in the jumperoo?", "did this toy make me laugh when I was a baby?". I told her about the very first time I put her in the exersaucer, how she was too little to sit up yet by herself but I was so anxious to see her in it, that I propped her up with a pillow behind her back and a little towel rolled up in front of her, and that her feet barely touched the bottom of the saucer.

I do know one thing....that with the close of every chapter, comes a new chapter....a new journey and another fun adventure. As I'm leaving the baby years behind, the school years will come and then graduations will as well. Lots of good times to be had in the future.

Goodbye exersaucer, strollers, Baby Bjorn, baby toys, crib mobiles and pack-n-plays.....Hello backpacks, school supplies and homework....and then hello dating, proms and broken hearts. I'm not sure my heart can take all this!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

In honor of Labor Day....

I found this fun meme on Rocks in my Dryer and thought I'd play along....Labor Day seems like a good enough day to reminisce about both of my labors (and I'm also finally realizing after reading some of the other ladies' labor stories how blessed I was to only have to go through 2 labors and come out with 4 kids in the end!)

How long were your labors?

Cole and Bella (kids #1 and #2) - I had several bouts of pre-term labor prior to actual real labor but thankfully the dr's were able to stop the PTL until 32 weeks when my water broke suddenly (after being home from the hospital a measly 7 hours after 8 days on hospital bedrest). I was in actual labor at that point for about 2 hours. I dilated from 0 to 2 cm in a matter of 1 hour and I literally thought I was going to die. I think I even begged Tim to slit my wrists. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those moms who can do the whole natural childbirth thing without meds.

Garrett and Landon (kids #3 and #4) - No actual real labor with these little guys but had several bouts of PTL again. The dr did an emergency c-section at 34 weeks when an ultrasound showed there was a problem with the blood flow in Garrett's umbilical cord.

How did you know you were in labor?

Cole and Bella - my water broke and I knew that it was the real thing!
Garrett and Landon - I never actually went into real labor mode with them, just lots and lots of false alarms.

Where did you deliver?

At the hospital


Oh, heck yeah! I'm a total wimp when it comes to any amount of pain. Even though I wanted any drugs they'd give me, I was scared to death about the epidural until a good friend of mine reminded me that for every IVF cycle I did, I stuck a 22-gauge needle in my buttcheeks every single night. So the epidural should be a piece of cake and it was.

With Garrett and Landon, the anesthesiologist tried 3 different times to do the epidural and then tried to do a spinal tap and couldn't seem to get the right spot so they had to put me under with general anesthesia (huge huge huge bummer for me!!) I still get sad when I think of how I missed hearing their first cries, seeing them immediately after birth...it was such a big disappointment. But their safety was more important and I was just thankful that they were both born healthy.


Yup, both times. I'm one of those wierd people who actually did NOT want a vaginal delivery. I had seen two good friends deliver vaginally and watched the pain they endured and I just did not think I could handle it. I much preferred to go under the knife and have my gut ripped open...go figure. I lucked out with twin pregnancy #1 because Cole was breech and Bella was transverse so the dr automatically said "c-section" and I wanted to kiss him. With twin pregnancy #2, it was a given because my dr didn't feel good about a VBAC with twins after already having another set of twins. Thank God!

My recovery from c-section #1 actually wasn't that bad for some reason. I was up and walking around within 24 hours. Recovery from c-section #2 was much harder.

Who delivered?

The OB's at the hospital. I was really bummed with the first c-section because I adored my dr but he wasn't on call the night I went into labor so I got the on-call OB, who was really nice but I would've felt more comfortable with my own OB. With c-section #2, it just so happened that my former OB was the OB on call that day so he did get to deliver at least 2 of my kids!!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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