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Showing posts from 2012


First, to my momma, do not read this blog post.
For the rest of you, having your second (or second and third) child is not at all like having your first. Some things just are different. For the longest time with our first, I felt like we were "playing house." We had this little baby to dress up and bring places with us-- just don't drop him (for those of you who had to take care of "egg babies" in health class). When our next children arrived, we felt like we had the newborn thing down. We knew about late night feedings, nap schedules, and telling the grandparents--again-- that we do not want to put rice cereal in the bottle. (The confusing thing, for us, is that we had twins... a little different than having a singleton.) But we knew how to take care of a newborn and we knew what to expect from each newborn phase. Naturally, this made us actually enjoy some of the newborn phases. "Some" being the operative word. I cannot imagine anyone saying, "…

Three years of STA-21

Whew! My husband just finished the fall semester of his senior year. I can't believe that we are wrapping up semesters of college-- only two more left. It was around this time in 2009 when we found out that he was picked up for the STA-21 program. It was such a stressful whirlwind getting the last minute paperwork together (acceptance letters, etc) for college and preparing ourselves to move again.

I can't help but feel anxious thinking about the uncertainty of the coming year. We need to set a date for his commissioning over the summer, which will mean invitations and hotels for out of town guests. I also need to figure out what I need to plan for this commissioning-- reception? Next year our oldest starts kindergarten. This will be our first school-age move. This will also be our first PCS with more than one child (our oldest has PCS'd twice). The bigger question will be when this move actually happens. We've been hearing that power school and prototype are really b…

It's the most busy time of the year

Wow. It is December already? The last time I looked at my calendar, I swear it was October...

The toddlers are about 20 months. As everyone likes to say, "this is such a fun age." As I like to say, this age exhausts me. It is so much fun watching them discover things. I love actually seeing them learn, like when they repeat a new word or when they figure out how to open a gate or door. C stacked his blocks nine blocks high the other night, then knocked them over to meticulously line them up in a row. Absolutely adorable to watch.

Then there are mornings like this morning.

C has decided that he doesn't want to put shoes on. I really think that is the dilemma. He won't leave the house in socks-- he must have shoes to cross the threshold-- but he does not like the act of putting shoes on. He also is exceedingly particular in what pair of shoes he wants. (Last month they only had one pair of shoes each. Why, oh, why did I buy another pair?) I was running late so I ski…

Identical brothers

Our identical twin toddlers are 19-months now. A lot of things have changed. For one, our boys were truly identical for the first year. We could tell them apart by looking at their different birthmarks. Now we tell them apart because they look different to us and we know their personalities. Having identical twins has been an adventure. Some ages have been easier to manage than other ages. It took a lot of adjusting when they first came home-- feeding schedules, nap schedules-- and even more adjusting when they became toddlers-- two toddlers! Here are some of my thoughts thus far on having identical twins.

The identical twin factor has also lead to an interesting development: I hardly ever dress them in matching outfits. Now, I love matching outfits on siblings. I grew up wearing matching outfits and planned on dressing my children in matching outfits. Perhaps it is because the toddlers end up looking so much alike that I do not like the matching outfits. We (myself, the hubby, and o…


My small town, southern husband grew up living near all these different branches of his family. Thanksgiving was a time for them all to get together and cook great big, traditional Thanksgiving dinners. He told me he would then often drive over to friends' houses and eat at there as well. Thanksgiving was a big holiday for his family. At my house, Christmas was the big holiday. Thanksgiving was the last stop before Christmas. We always decorated the day after Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving meant day-after sales (my favorite). You can imagine the look on his face a year or two ago when I suggested forgoing the traditional turkey dinner for something more fun-- something my family often did-- tacos. (Hey, we lived in California.) I managed to avoid any serious Thanksgiving conversations on our old boat because his division was always invited to a big Thanksgiving dinner at his chief's house. Here in North Carolina we are on our own; Thanksgiving became my problem.

Last year I wen…

With a little help from my friends

What do you do when your love is away?
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do you feel at the end of the day?
Are you sad because you're on your own?
No, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends.
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends.
-The Beatles

I've spent a lot of time talking this week. Well, first I spent a lot of time reading, avoiding what I was thinking about. Then it built and built until I was lying on the floor of our sunroom crying during naptime. While I was lying there, sun shining in, I thought, "What am I doing? I need to talk about this." So I watched the clock until it was an appropriate time to call my girlfriend who is in a completely different time zone. As soon as I heard her voice, I started crying.
"Hello?" Crying, "Is it the crack of dawn there?"
"Um, I think you have the wrong number...?"
"It's me! Kimber!"
"Girlfriend! What's wron…

Do as the toddlers do

I am embarrassed to admit this, but up until recently I thought that our children were the additions to my husband and I's life, that we were supposed to adapt them to the rhythm of our lives. Surveying our house the other day, I realized how foolish this was. Who's calling the shots here? So I'm re-writing the game plan. As they say, when in Rome, do as the toddlers do.

1. Reason is not real.
Who cares if you need a nap because company is coming over later? Who cares if you are only crying because you are tired? Who cares if there isn't more after all? These "reasons" are not tangible things and therefore they do not exist.

2. Throwing is a form of communication.
Whether you are done with your meal or showing your brother a cool toy he can't touch, throwing is a great way to get your message across.

3. Use your body language.
Take this very literally. If you are feeling down, flail on the floor. If you are excited or happy, run in circles with your hands…

Reading a book

The other night I wanted to look at a first word book with the toddlers. O wasn't sharing very well and was being a little wild, so I took C by the hand and asked him to help me find the book. I closed all the doors in the hallway before opening the baby gate-- no sneaking in the back bedrooms-- and let C through. As soon as O heard the gate squeak, he threw down the stolen and unshared toys and sprinted after us. C raced to the bookcase and yanked down D's (their older brother) favorite pop-up book. Knowing that pop-up books and toddlers don't mix, I tried to get C interested in a different book, the one we went down the hallway to get in the first place. C didn't want anything to do with board books, nope, only paper books for him. He pulled out book after book, flinging them on the floor. I kindly told him, "No, thank you!" and set him to work putting them back. O, in the meantime, ran to the other side of the bookcase and was surveying the scene. Mistake…

Making the best

"In that lonely place Frodo for the first time fully realized his homelessness and danger. He wished bitterly that his fortune had left him in the quiet beloved Shire." -JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Sometimes I really chafe under the military lifestyle. I try not to and there really are so many things I am grateful for. But sometimes, it rubs against me like a pair of ill-fitting shoes. My husband and I have been discussing buying a home sometime down the road. On a submarine wives forum, a bunch of wives were talking about their home buying experiences. Some families have had great success buying along the way, either selling or renting out as they go. Some families have not had success and have suffered great loss. We've been renting for almost six years now and it is getting old, especially as we add more children in the equation. My husband wants to own his own house; I just hate renting. (We aren't confident that those are good reasons to jump into …


This is such a ridiculous problem, yet every time I encounter it, I'm unsure what to do. Most of the time, I shower at night after the kids have gone to bed. Once in a blue moon, for one reason or another, I need to shower in the morning when the kids are awake. It happened to me last month and I frantically texted my girlfriend who also has twin toddlers, "What do I do?!?!" There are a multitude of reasons as to why this is such a problem.

#1. I can't shower at naptime.
Last month, we officially separated the boys for naptime. We now have a Pack'N'Play standing in our room full time. Since our bedroom is very small in the first place, it is perpetually in the way. But we deal with it because now it takes less than 2 hours for the toddlers to fall asleep at naptime. What does this mean for showering? To shower at naptime, I would need to get all my shower stuff, my make up, my hair stuff, and my clothes (though I never can decide what I want to wear until I&#…

2012-2013 RSV season

 Well, cold and flu season is approaching, which also ushers in my least favorite season: prime time to catch RSV. If you are familiar with our story, you know one of my twin boys caught a severe case of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) last year that had him in the PICU for four days (see "RSV and premature babies"). This year he may be eligible for the Synagis vaccine because of his reactive airways (see "Reactive airways"), as he takes Pulmicort twice a day, has already gone in for breathing treatments, and was on Orapred all of last week. A couple things were brought to my attention this past month that are very important heading into this RSV season:
1. Premature children are at a higher risk for RSV the first two years of their life.

2. Even if your child had RSV last year, he could catch it again this year-- possibly with the same severity or worse than he had it the year before.

The RSV vaccine is exceedingly expensive. Because of that, there are strict …

It gets easier

Every day in every way, it's getting better and better. -John Lennon
I think I've cracked the code on what people mean when they knowingly tell you, "It gets easier." For the longest time, I've wanted to ask these people, "What on earth do you mean by that? I've heard this since my oldest was born!" Four years and change and here is what I think they mean: survival and self-sufficiency.

Survival: you get through it.

When you have a newborn, you first must learn to feed it. This "gets easier" with practice. Feeding a one-year old can actually be much harder than feeding a newborn (don't freak out, new moms). Newborns don't throw food across the room or refuse to eat something because it is squishy/mushy/crunchy/green. You also pretty much know what a newborn will eat: breast milk or formula. One-year olds demand variety (or, perhaps, the same thing for every meal, turning mealtimes into a battleground). But-- here is the big but-- yo…

Homemade medical IDs

Our toddler has reactive airway disease. I did some online research and was unsure as to what kind of medical ID I should buy for a 17-month old (see my blog "Life still goes on"). We knew that we wanted all of his information to be available in whatever situation arises (drop-in childcare, baby-sitter, or even an accident) if one of us could not provide the information when needed. My husband came up with this wonderful idea: clear ID badges. We ran with it.

Today we stopped at Office Depot and bought the Office Depot brand adhesive name badges with the red label 100 count (compare to Avery self adhesive name badges item number 5143), Office Depot brand plastic badge holders 12 pack, a 10 pack of Office Depot brand black lanyards, and an Office Depot brand credential holder. (The credential holder hung with all the other name badge accessories; I just can't find a link online. The item number is 313-412.) All of this cost around $25.

Our first decision was what we wante…

Life still goes on

Our toddler old was diagnosed with reactive airways disease last spring and we recently wrote an action plan for him with our pediatrician. Looking online, the blogs and medical sites use the acronym RAD (Reactive Airway Disease). There is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding whether or not a toddler can be definitely told he has asthma. Medscape Reference states that a child needs to be "at least 5 years of age" before he can diagnosed with asthma in their December 2011 article "Pediatric Reactive Airway Disease." Expert Advice in the "Asthma: Difference Between it and RAD" Q&A, February 2002, says the diagnosis can't be made in "children under two years of age." Both pediatricians we saw as well as our CPNP and asthma/allergy specialist told us that O has reactive airways with a high probability of it later being diagnosed as asthma, considering our family history and O's personal medical history. While he does not …