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Showing posts from 2011

Holiday traditions


When I was a little girl, I remember laying in my pink canopy bed on Christmas Eve counting down the hours to Christmas morning. As I got older, I would sometimes manage to stay awake until "Santa" snuck in my room to place a gift under the small tree on my dresser. On Christmas morning, my sisters and I would eagerly unwrap our little gifts and anxiously wait until our parents were awake, the coffee had brewed, and they were stationed at the bottom of the stairs with a video camera. We giggled impatiently when they would holler, "Ten more minutes!" When we were finally allowed to leave our rooms, we would race down the stairs, round the corner to the family room, and squeal with delight at the glittering tree piled high with presents, my brother already waiting. As we tore into our stockings, we were all wondering what Santa had brought us this year. The night before we had celebrated Jesus' birthday at our grandmother's house over clam chowder and b…

Thankful

The conclusion to my Thanksgiving injury: it is okay. The orthopedist performed surgery on my hand and, as he said, "I'm baffled." Neither the tendon nor the nerve were cut; both were just damaged. I'm not sure what this means for the long-term (my pinky and ring-finger are still numb), but I cannot help but feel extremely thankful that I do not have to recover from a tendon repair (6-weeks without picking up my kids, 8- to 12-weeks for a full recovery plus rehab). Honestly, I did not know what I would do come January when life went back to normal and I no longer had "holiday help" with the kids. I only had one week by myself. My husband got home as early as possible and I limped along in between friends stopping by with meals and changing my babies. Currently, I am essentially recovering from stitches. The palm of my hand was cut open; it is stitched and wrapped, making it fairly difficult to take care of almost 8-month old twins and a 3-year old.

Which br…

Thanksgiving injury

  It wouldn't be a holiday without someone getting hurt. This year, it was me. While cutting a roll to make a delicious turkey sandwich with the Thanksgiving leftovers, I stabbed the palm of my hand with a steak knife. The wound is classified as a puncture wound, so they didn't give me stitches. In the ER, I got an antibiotic shot in my thigh and a tetanus shot in my arm. The orthopedist confirmed that I cut my flexor tendon and a nerve. My pinky and ring finger on my left hand are numb and I can't move my ring finger above the second knuckle. Next week I'm getting surgery to repair the tendon and nerve. Post-op, I will have my hand in a cast or splint for at least 10 days. Then I will have to do rehab for the tendon and won't be able to heavy lift with that hand (i.e. babies) until the tendon is healed. If I don't let it fully heal, the tendon will snap and I will be back in surgery. I explained my home situation (a three-year old and 7-month old twins) an…

No longer the new girl

I've lived in North Carolina for a year and a half now. Compared to other places I've lived, I am much less connected here-- less friends, less things to do-- but the things that I have more of are big things: more children and more time with my husband. I've struggled throughout our time here to feel connected to the area, perhaps because I moved away from deep friendships as well as our "military family." Some days I feel like I'm inventing things to do just so I can have things to do, "Today, D, we need to go to Target, then the mall... then Starbucks... then... we need to go to the park." Other times I feel like I commit to things just to make a friend out of it or to spend time with people, "Why, yes, I would love to volunteer for that!" Why are adult friendships so hard?

I just read a blog regarding friendships. More often than not, I classify myself as the "new girl," even when I am not. A year and a half may be a short ti…

Toddler Technology

While shopping for our mini van last year, my husband and I noticed a lot of vans came equipped with DVD players. Initially, I didn't have much of an opinion regarding a DVD player in our vehicle. Then I started noticing vehicles playing movies all over town, in the Target parking lot, at traffic lights, waiting in the drive-through. I came home and told my husband absolutely no DVD player. He pointed out the convenience on road trips, but I argued that is exactly what all those other people said when they bought their vehicles, and there they are, driving around town talking over Nemo or-- worse-- not talking over Nemo and sitting in silence. Knowing myself, I knew the temptation would be too great. It would start slowly, a movie on a 35 or 45 minute drive. Eventually though, we would be the family that plays a movie on the way to the grocery store or in line at the drive-through just to get the kids to stop crying.
But it isn't so much the movie. It is the constant overload…

Follow-up on potty training

Since posting "Try to see it my way" and "Why not?", my previous blogs on the topic of potty training, I've had several people ask me how it went and what we did to successfully potty train our three-year old. From the beginning W and I had a plan: bribery. We started actually potty training D a month after his third birthday. Before that we would have conversations with him about the restroom and taught him the whole potty training vocabulary. When we ran out of diapers on August 30th, my husband and I were ready to be done with, well, a three-year old's diapers (if you have ever changed those, you will know what I mean). So here is how we tackled the potty training beast. Upfront, I knew that we would not be using those plastic potty seats with the bucket. To me, that is not much better than a diaper (and probably a lot less sanitary). I wanted to completely stop cleaning up the, uh, mess, not just transfer it to a different receptacle. (My girlfriend L h…

Prioritizing

The first couple months, I felt like I focused mainly on our schedule. I of course still enjoyed the moments of cuddling or the sweet first smiles, but the babies themselves were much more enjoyable when on schedule. And, let's face it, Momma was much more enjoyable with the prospect of a full night's sleep up ahead. C and O are coming up to the 7-month marker. They sleep much better at night; they adapt to minor changes in their schedule; they eat foods and do well with different consistencies; they play with toys and talk to the world. The newborn days are past and we have interactive babies on our hands. Some days I just want to sit on the floor with them all day and watch them pick up toys and attempt to figure out what they do, or record the babies laughing at the antics of their older brother D. Other days C and O are not happy because they want to be in Excersaucers, then on the floor, then sitting, or have me hold them to stand; they want this toy, that toy, their brot…

Dinnertime

Of all the meals in the day, dinnertime is my favorite. The savory foods, the whole day is past and we have lots to talk about sitting around the table, the end of the day is near and a warm bed in sight... but why, dinnertime, must you fall at the hardest time of day? Screaming babies, a wild pupzilla, and a three-year old who thinks couches are Buzz Lightyear Space Portals, not to mention a husband who is rarely home to help hold down the fort so I could--possibly-- cook a wholesome meal.

Not for nothing, we fell back on the easy choice: frozen pre-made dinners (poke a hole in the plastic wrap and bake) or take-out (served on our "nice" plates). I recently wrote a blog about going through our freezer and starting to actually cook. I am happy to say that we have stuck to the plan and here we are 21 days later (see "The First Step" posted on October 1st) and I am still cooking! No fast food, no take out, no frozen dinners, and over 2 pounds lighter! However, I don&…

6-month old twins "must-haves"

The first six months we have relied on a variety of baby products and techniques to make our life easier. Here they are:

1. Posting the schedule. If you ever plan on leaving the house sans children, your spouse or sitter will need to know the schedule. Make it easy. There will be reasons to leave the house: hair cut, picking up a medication, your own doctor appointments, running to the store, a much needed spa day, taking your other children somewhere. This saves you from writing it down every time you have to leave the house and it may prevent you from stalker calling your husband every five minutes, "Did you wake up the babies? Did you feed them? Did you give O his medication?"

2. Roll with the punches. Your clothes need to be washable. You need to be able to walk in your shoes. You need to be able to get ready in twenty minutes. You need to dress your new body type (even if it is a work in progress). You will be doing a lot of laundry, changing a lot of diapers, bouncing …

6-month old twins

We have survived six months with twins. There were long nights on the nursery floor sleeping in a comforter, long afternoons where I had spit-up in my hair, a puppy running wildly around the apartment with Woody in his mouth while my three-year old chased him in tears, dinner straight out of the box (who hasn't munched on raw macaroni noodles?), more caffeine than healthy breakfasts, and lots of "phone a friends." Recently, I am most grateful to my girlfriend who emailed me easy delicious recipes (4 ingredients and a crock pot-- yes, please!) and another friend who has prayed for me through a long month of teething (the tooth is right there, please break through!). I joined the local mothers of twins group and have met wonderful women with multiples. One of my favorite women to talk to has children the same age difference as mine, a 5-year old and 2-year old twins. She has helped me file many things in to the "Don't Worry About It" category and given me cou…

The first step

Our freezer is tiny. And was packed full of horrible foods: Friday's spinach dip in bulk-- my husband went a little crazy at the wholesale club when I was out of town this summer, frozen microwave dinners, meat in Ziploc bags starting to get freezer burn, dinners I had frozen who knows how long ago. It was a disaster. On top of that, my family was surviving off packaged snacks and premade dinners, when we ate hot dinners at all. Since the twins started teething, I have had no time or energy to cook in the evenings during peak fussy times after a day of fussing and a sleepless night of fussing. Tired of a freezer full of bad food, money wasted on take out and mediocre dinners, and baby weight that won't disappear, I decided it was time for a change. I inventoried my freezer to see what was actually usable and googled casserole and frozen dinners with those ingredients. I made a grocery list and blocked out a weekend to cook. My husband and I were so excited at the prospect of d…

Making friends

Shortly after W and I moved to North Carolina, my son and I found ourselves at Chick-Fil-A celebrating his second birthday over milkshakes. It was just the two of us, and I inadvertently eavesdropped on a conversation between two women a few tables over. There were four children demanding food, bathroom breaks, Mommy's attention, and the women were talking across tables to each other. (Or maybe I remember it that way so I don't sound like such a busy body.) Either way, I heard them say they were planning a neighborhood Bible study. Because I was new to the area and knew absolutely no one, I introduced myself. To my great surprise, they actually called and invited my family to their study.

I remember when my husband and I were driving to the Bible study, the very first night, and I was reminding him over and over again that we do not want to talk about our next move. If it comes up, we will try to glaze over it, without lying. "Why, yes, he is in the Navy. No, he won't…

A full plate

Today I made a trip out of the house to go over to a girlfriend's for what turned to out to be a made at home lunch (yes, people do that--cook multiple times a day). Since September 2nd, nights at my house have become extremely challenging. The babies are teething and having a hard time at it. I can see the teeth in the gums, the pediatrician can see the teeth in the gums, but they aren't moving. They are just frustrating the babies. My husband came down with a cold two weeks ago. My three-year old caught the cold. I have been drinking Airborne like a fiend and so far (fingers crossed!) have avoided catching it. Luckily we are all getting over it, still, it's been rough. The babies are refusing to nap. Absolutely angry at nap time, "How dare you?" they cry. I stare them down and continue to go in, give a passey, soothe, leave, go in, give a passey, soothe, leave... on and on for almost two hours. Meanwhile, D is being a wild man in his room, running out because …