Saturday, January 31, 2015

5 facts about me

 I've been seeing a lot of bloggers recently take a break from their usual vaccination debates, Pinterest inspired projects and new parenting stories and do a piece that's more personal. And about them. It seems like bloggers like to live anonymous lives, yet they have to balance their anonymity with being likeable and relate-able to their readers. So they write a 5 (3, 10, 20?) Facts About Me post. Here goes...

1. Pumpkin anything makes me nauseous. It used to be one of my absolute favorite foods/flavors. Unfortunately (yet, fortunately?) I was a little bit pregnant with the twinsies around September and October - Pumpkin season. I ate and drank so much pumpkin stuff that I don't know if I will ever be able to love it again. 10 months post-babies and I can't so much as smell pumpkin scented Febreeze without getting nauseous. Lame.

2. I'm introverted AND anti-social. Lots of introverts are just that, introverted. They don't dislike social interactions, they just need them in small amounts and on their terms. I am both. I get distressed when I have some sort of social activity outside of work and family that I am forced to participate in. Greatly distressed. If I could stay home and read books for a year without seeing anyone but my family... I would do it. No questions asked.

3. I don't function without iced coffee. I started working at Starbucks 10 years ago this year (yes, we're talking 2005!) and ever since I started drinking caffeinated beverages there during early-morning shifts, I actually can't function without my iced coffee in the morning. Every morning. Yes, I drank it daily while pregnant. You gotta do what you gotta do.

4. Until about 3 years ago, I had decided that I never wanted kids. And then one morning I woke up and wanted A kid. One kid. It took me nearly 2 years to convince Andy that he wanted A kid. ONE kid. And now we have two! Best BOGO free ever!

5. I don't finish TV series. We have Netflix and we watch a lot of TV series. Most recently, we "finished" How I Met Your Mother. But by "finished" I mean, we watched all of the episodes except for the last one. I don't want to know how it ends - it would ruin it for me. The same way reading epilogues ruin the entire book for me. Harry Potter? Epilogue ruined it - as best as you can "ruin" that gift-from-God series. 50 Shades of Grey (yes, I read it.) Decent, until the freaking epilogue. I watched all of Monk, except for the last episode and I am at peace with that. Dexter? That show was awesome. Andy made me watch the last episode and now it's ruined.

So there. What do you think? Do you feel me on any of these?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

5 Recipes - Reviewed by Me!

It's been a while since I've had the time to write up a new post. The boys have started WALKING. Before they even turned 10 months old. I am busier than I ever thought I would be now that they are getting into and onto everything imaginable... or unimaginable... I've also been super busy with work and work-related stuff as well as packing for our first move as a family of 4! I'm not really sure what we were thinking when we committed to moving with babies (toddlers?) 

In between all of those shenanigans, I also picked up reading again. Reading is an on again, off again habit for me. More of a luxury habit, I suppose you could call it because I treat myself to reading a good book. I'm currently working my way through the box set of John Green novels that I received for Christmas. I loved The Fault in Our Stars. Looking for Alaska was good, until the end. I am currently working my way through An Abundance of Katherines - so I'll have to let you know how that one goes.

To add even more fun to my already super busy days, I have been trying really hard to make a new recipe or two each week. For a while there it felt like I was stuck in a rut. Heck, even Andy pulled his cooking skills out of hibernation and cooked two really good meals the other weekend. Here's a couple of recently tried recipes --- reviewed by yours truly.

1.Sweet Potato Chicken Chili - Slow cooker recipe. This was easy (of course!) and delicious... and healthy! The only thing I'm doing differently next time is eliminating the garlic, just as a personal preference. I may double up on the beans and sweet potatoes, nix the chicken and call it a meatless Monday recipe. Andy and I eat entirely too much chicken so I'm trying to find a way to cut back - meats are expensive and there are plenty of less expensive proteins to work with - think beans. 9/10 - will definitely make again.

2. Chicken and Dumplings - Slow cooker recipe.  For those of you expecting "Mom-mom's Noodles" without all the work, you'll be sadly disappointed. However, this recipe was actually REALLY good although different from the noodles I know and love. I will be making it again. I didn't feel like cooking up any vegetables on the side, so I threw in half a bag of baby carrots, whole and some diced celery and called it a day. 8/10 - would make again.

3. Sriracha Lime Chicken Chopped Salad - this was fast, easy and healthy. It was light and filling. Homemade vinaigrette. Mmmm. If you make any of these recipes on this post, make this one for sure! 10/10 - drooling over it and want to make it again.

4. Honey Teriyaki Chicken - This recipe was a flop. A giant, soggy, mushy flop. I added a bag of broccoli to it --- that'd be good, right? Well, no. The sauce never came together. The broccoli got mushy. The chicken had a weird texture from being skillet cooked I think. Nope. Just didn't work. 2/10 - would not make again (but it was still edible.)

5. Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti  - This is a recipe Andy picked out and made, just for me! He doesn't like pasta or Italian food much at all but he knew that I would like it. I don't ask him to cook much because he gets home from work after 5 p.m. so I like to have food ready for him throughout the week. The weekends is a time for him to at least attempt relaxing so I don't ask him to cook then either... but sometimes I'll ask him to do a load of dishes. This was a really nice to treat to have Italian food cooked for me. The sauce tasted like an Olive Garden copy cat recipe - it was deluxe! It took him a while to make it; we're just going to say it was because he had to dust off his cooking skills. I have it on the menu for me to try this week. 9/10 - making again!

If you try any of these recipes, let me know what you think! If anyone attempts the Chinese food recipe and pulls it off successfully, send me your secrets!

Friday, January 16, 2015

How I Imagine the Singleton Life

"How would my parenting style be different if I had only had one baby?" I ask myself this on a daily basis. Sometimes more. I know attachment-parenting style parenting is possible with twins, but not something I really got into. However, if I had only one baby at a time, I'm pretty sure even Andy would have to fight me to get his hands on that kid. I would be that mom.

What would be different? I'm glad you asked...

Gone are the days of needing me to feed them.
1. I would breastfeed. I was able to do it with the twins but I know it would have been so.much.easier with a singleton. I would have more time to devote to said singleton baby and less stress. Also, now that I am more experienced as a parent, I would hope that this would be more second-nature to me. Breastfeeding in public (or at least out of the house) would be much easier as well. I'm a professional formula mixer at this point but I miss the days of breastfeeding and that bonding time. Plus, if we're being completely honest, I liked being the only one able to feed my babies. Sorrynotsorry.

 2. I would have not announced my pregnancy so soon. I heard that with twins you start showing at, oh, 5 weeks pregnant? Kind of kidding, but not really. I wanted to tell people before they were able to figure it out for themselves (and I had to tell work due to the nature of my job) but I didn't start to show until 4 1/2 months. I was actually kind of small throughout the whole pregnancy until the final few weeks when I literally (okay, not literally) exploded. Having to tell people early was super stressful on me. People always wanted to talk about my pregnancy and babies and how little sleep I would be getting soon. All I wanted to was focus on growing two tiny humans without any added stress. And eat. I wanted to eat all.the.time.

Professional baby-wearing Daaa
3. I would BABY-WEAR THE HECK OUT OF THAT BABY. Sorry for yelling, but this is the only downfall to having twins. Baby-wearing two babies is possible, but just not convenient, comfortable or easy. The few times I did wear one of the babies (read: Emmett) I loved it. Also, pass the baby? Not necessary. To this day, I still resent the fact that as soon as other people were around, I had no "rights" to holding either of my children and I would miss them while they were still in the same room. You're probably playing the world's smallest violin for me right now, but it is a legitimate feeling. I will not be made to feel bad because I held my kids too much!

4. I would go out more. Run errands. Get out of the house. Do the grocery shopping during the week so that weekends could be spent relaxing as a family. Hang out with friends more. I can handle the idea of one baby having a melt-down in public, but if two were to reach "code: disaster" at the same time... just no. I spend a lot of time at home with the boys and that's lovely. But it would be nice to pack a baby up on a whim and head out to Starbucks... carry in a singular baby, order, and pack up a singular baby back in his car seat. Sounds like a piece of coffee cake!

5. I would be sad that I didn't have twins. Yup. As much work as they are, they are worth every grey hair and dirty diaper.

Love these goofballs!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

DIY Fleece Crib Teething Guard

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This idea is SO GENIUS that I don't know why I didn't think of it first. I'm not a creative person, if you can't tell from my previous arts-and-craftings posts, but even I can do this. The boys only have 2 bottom teeth right now, so I may have jumped the gun on this as far as the necessity of it goes, but it can't hurt to have it in place early. Oliver specifically is big on gumming and/or mouthing things and you just never know when more teeth are going to pop up. But we're ready - so bring it on teefers!

It took me about an hour to make these DIY fleece crib teething guards. And that was with "help" in the form of two tiny, crazy people who kept sitting on my fleece, stealing my scissors and running off with my measuring tape. If they were hired help, I would have fired them. But, alas, I am forced to put up with their shenanigans day in and day out. Could be worse, I suppose. They could have spit up on my fleece. Or cut their hair with the scissors. Or tied up one of my cats with the tape... it actually didn't go that badly, now that I think of it. 

The "help" hard at work.
The only thing you need for this project that you don't already have within about 20 feet of you is fleece. About a yard of fleece per crib. We took an afternoon errand-running trip to JoAnns Fabrics for this and scored 2 yards of super cute owl patterned fleece for less than ELEVEN BUCKS. SCORE. #winning. Heck yeah. That's a steal when you're comparing it to purchasing one (probs not even in a cute pattern) for about $30 from Target, Amazon or Babies R Us. Yes, that's $30 EACH. 

While at JoAnns Fabrics, all of the little old ladies shopping for crafting supplies stopped to "oooh" and "aaaah" at the boys, who were just chilling in their stroller, loving the attention. Somehow 3 of the ladies in the store managed to work into the small talk that they also had twins. One lady apparently didn't even know she was pregnant until she popped out 2 babies. But that was 40 years ago. Thank the Lord Baby Jesus (sorry for the Talladega Nights reference there) for modern medicine, prenatal care, and fetal monitoring.
Running off with my measuring tape... again!

Here's the instructions for those of you who need them... it's so super easy though!

1. Measure the length of the section of crib you are covering. Write it down. Measure the width (all the way around the rail) and add 3 inches to each side, for an additional 6 inches. This is so you will have enough fabric to make the ties. Write this number down.

2. Cut out a piece of fabric with these measurements and fold it in half "hot-dog" style (Yup, that's the technical term). Cut 3 inch slits into the non-folded side, about 1 1/2 - 2 inches apart all the way along the length of the fabric.

3. Place fabric over the rail and begin double knotting using the ties you have just cut. Any pieces that cannot be tied (parts that are right at a rail) can be tucked up under the cover for a finished presentation.

4. Repeat with all rails that baby can nom on. DONE! Boom.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Stupid Things We Did as First Time Parents

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Andy and I tried to stay up late on New Years Eve. We made it to later than usual, but that was only 9:30 p.m. Meh, midnight is over-rated anyway. We spent about an hour laying in bed on our phones going through pictures from the last 9 months since our adorable bundles of joy came into the world. Every so often we came across a picture that just made us stop and say "what the hell were we thinking?"

These things seemed like a good idea, or a necessity, at the time. But, man, looking back a few months later we realized we were newbies. New to the game of parenting and figuring out what worked for our family. New to all of the toys, contraptions, and baby items that come along with said babies. Here's a look at 2014 and all (some. only the things that have photographic evidence!) of the stupid things we did as first time parents. Take note, newbies, take note.

We thought we could contain the babies and their mess. To their nursery and one area of our living room. We even purchased this awesome rainbow colored play yard. For the first few weeks that we had it, I insisted that the babies were enclosed in the play yard if I walked away from them. They could barely sit and roll - they were not mobile yet - there was no need for them to be in baby prison when they weren't going anywhere! Silly me.

This play yard fence now spans our living room keeping the no-no's off-limits - the stone fireplace, TV, computer and all of the cords. It also kept their grubby little hands off of the Christmas tree while it was set up! 

Baby butts are slippery when wet! How do you keep them from slipping and sliding all over the bath tub? You put a towel at the bottom, duh! Ugh, you have to keep pushing the towel down! Their feet are getting caught under it! I have to wring it out to dry every night? Geez, now it smells like mildew in here. Surely, there has to be a better way?!?

Apparently there is. Someone already invented non-slip mats for your bath tub. We finally figured this out and bought this super cute one from Target. #firsttimeparents.

No more slipping and sliding in the bath tub! However, I do give myself a couple of points for being creative with a towel. Just kidding, it's embarrassing. 

We thought we had to take our newborns on daily walks. You know, like a dog. These little babies were born in March and before my maternity leave was over in May, we were going on daily walks. Yup. They couldn't sit up (as shown) or appreciate the outdoors. And since it's early spring, I'm thinking it was probably too chilly for them in their short-sleeved onesies with a light blankie draped over top.

They make these awesome things called infant car seats that attach to this stroller. Keeps baby snug and upright. And you can bundle them with blankets IF you really want to go on a walk with newborns in the cold shortly after having a C-section. We actually put these little guys in their stroller like this at about 2 weeks old - I can't even. I'm hanging my head in shame and embarrassment right now.

We didn't realize that our babies are not toys. I mean, we understood it on a certain level, but on another level we didn't exactly consider the best interests of the babies at all times. This 12-ish week old baby should have been inside, probably sleeping, NOT going for his first dip in the pool in the blazing sun... without a hat. Or sunscreen.

We went entirely too many places to please entirely too many people by "showing off" the babies and doing meet-and-greets. Nope. Nope nope nope. Babies are not toys! I'm sure they would have loved to stay home and sleep, eat and poop - just what infants do best!

Looking back at these pictures make me wonder what else we did as first time parents that wasn't documented, but was equally stupid! Do you have anything to add to this list? What was the strangest thing you did/thought as a first time parent?


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