Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

We had a pretty amazing Easter weekend.

We spent Good Friday reading about "The Story of Easter", decorated eggs, chicks, and bunnies with stickers, enjoyed lunch from McDonalds (Filet of Fish, just like when I was a kid and spent Good Friday with my grandparents) then had a nice Tilapia & asparagus dinner once Daddy came home from work.

On Saturday the grandparents and Aunt A & Uncle R arrived for our family Easter dinner, where we also dyed Easter eggs ....
As you can see Addison's interest lasted longer then Blake's he preferred to stuff is face with watermelon instead lol!

And had our very first Easter egg hunt!

We also chose to celebrate A & B's birthday with the family since they really missed out on things with being sick. (I promise we ARE having a BIG TWO DO ;) this summer though were everyone can celebrate with us). I even made a bunny cake... Growing up, Jake's Aunt always made a bunny cake for Easter and Jake talks of that memory fondly. We decided it was something we wanted to carry on with our family, the twins loved it. Blake's first response was "Yummy" haha.

Easter Bunny Cake

Sunday we went to church and a good friend joined us for service and lunch then we spent the rest of the day relaxing and eating leftovers, and watched the ending of "The Bible" on History Channel, which has truly brought it all full circle. It was the perfect weekend and a great way to celebrate our Risen Lord. 

We hope you all had a fabulous Easter as well. From our family to yours....

And because it is a true testamite of God's amazing work - I present to you three Easter's from NICU till now:

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believe in me will never die." John 11:25-26

Friday, March 29, 2013

When Babies Grow Up

I just wanted to share some special moments that we've had the past few days.

More and more I am watching these two amazing miracles develop into little people. And I am loving every minute of it.

Blake has taken an interest in helping me grocery shop. Typically we hold their hands and walk into the store where we attempt to strap them into a cart (or two) or of course there was that one time when some singleton parents used all the cool twin carts and I tried the "one strapped in/convince the other to SIT, but not on the eggs, in the basket" trick. Feel free to read about that adventure here.

This time though, Blake grabbed the cart and proudly exclaimed "I help push cart". There are two of us and two of them, sure why not kiddo, you push cart, mommy keep you from knocking over the display of Nurtigrain Bars oh no wait Mommy did that not you, whoops. So, off we went. I pointed out the items we needed and tried to "guide" Blake's selections. He proudly ran the items to the cart and asked Daddy to "help" set them inside.

We couldn't help but laugh because when we got near the milk, without any prompting, Blake took off and tried desperately to open the fridge case and get pick up milk. When he couldn't get the door open, he nearly took out a lady at the knees trying to get into the door she had opened. Luckily I saw it coming and stopped him short, and redirected him to the whole milk. He seemed so disappointed that I wouldn't let him carry it alone, but didn't fight me on it.

All in all he did really well. He only attempted to run off twice, and got several compliments from other shoppers. One lady asked if he could be her personal shopper.

One afternoon, that same "big boy" crawled up in my lap and asked to cuddle. He giggled when I sang "Rock a Bye Baby" which probably had to do with my horrible singing voice. But these cuddles are becoming less and less so I was more then happy to savor this moment. How do you say "No" to this face?

The same night that Blake helped shop, Addison decided that since she was so well behaved in the store, she'd just help herself to the things we had in the grocery bags. All of a sudden I hear all this babbling in the back seat, only to find she was reading one of the books that was set to be placed in an Easter basket for Blake. Silly girl!

And seriously, just look at this. Could they get any cuter? This picture is proof of why they never get in trouble. (Ok never is an understatement but... the cute faces certainly don't hurt.)

We've got another busy weekend ahead of us. We'll be celebrating Easter with our families on Saturday and church followed by a reflective day just the four of us (and maybe lunch with a friend) on Sunday. Celebrating the reason for the Season. HE IS RISEN!

Be sure to check back in next week for pics from all the fun (including our very first Easter Egg Hunt - admittedly I am probably more excited then they will be, as well as their mini birthday surprise party with the Grandparents).
Easter Blessings from our family to yours!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Twins & Education

Recently this article from has been circulating through social media and most recently my preemie support group. The article is titled "Should Twins Be Placed In The Same Classroom" and the author presents some interesting statistics and perspective.

To be honest, this is something that the hubs and I have already talked about only a million zillion (ok maybe not that many) times. We live in one of the states that allow flexable classroom placement, which I think could be beneficial for some. I am not an expert nor could I personally make the choice for anyone other then Addison & Blake. But I did want to share our personal take on the topic...

Based on our situation - my real answer is that I feel it's important for Addison currently to be surrounded by peers in varying stages of development. Within the next year we will be faced with deciding which path to take as far as "preschool" because EI (Early Intervention) is convinced Addison will qualify (and greatly benefit from) the transitional program (that preps them for Pre-K from the EI program), and we do not want to take that same opportunity away from Blake - so one of our options and the one we are leaning towards is the transition program where Blake and similar peers would be the class "models" while Addison and her similar abled peers would be nurtured in an environment with Blake and the models. For their early development we feel like it's the best choice. Based on the interaction that Blake and Addison have among their peers, I know that this will only benefit them both for the better. They are little sponges and want to do whatever the other kids are doing which is great, especially for Addison. It's certainly a motivator to get her to work on skills that she is currently struggling with.

However Jake and I are both fully aware that as they enter grade school there is a real possibility that one of them could be in average or above average classes while the other may need more specialized services or similar to what our high school had, like a slightly below average class, where the learning style was different and the curriculum moved a little slower. Or even what is typically thought of as "special education." I won't set one up for failure should he/she need those services and cannot keep up with their "average" peers". In the same token I will not allow Blake (or Addison) to be in a situation where they aren't being challenged  just for the sack of keeping them together. Anything is possible though, which means that this may not even been the case at all. It may not be an issue of a difference in learning abilities, but I don't want to be blindsided with reality.

I feel as though, if we can take all the developmental delays and such out of the equation, then we would be more apt to say that Addison and Blake could have some choice in the matter. They may want their own space and identity. Or they may not. And as long as their education is not impacted by them being together (or separate) then we are ok with either.

The reality of this situation though, is that for many twin parents, preemie twins - at that, this isn't even an option. One twin may be faced with severe delays which means obviously one sibling will be in a class with differently abled peers, while the other is among the "general" population if you will. OR in some cases, both twins are facing disabilities and with limited resources may only have the option to be together in a class where their needs can be met.

Either way, it was interesting to read the article and the perspective. At the end of the day, is there really a sure fire science to it all? Hard to say.

What's your opinion on the topic?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Prematurity in the Spotlight

Did anyone watch The Voice?

The Voice, Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, Blake Shelton, Carson Daly
The Voice Judges/Host
(Image Credit: Mark Seliger/NBC)

It's one of our favorite shows here. And you can bet we were tuned in Monday night for the premiere.

If you didn't watch (or maybe you did) and are wondering what that has to do with Preemies. One of the contestants shared his story about the loss of his twins at just 5 months gestation. To say that his story hit home was an understatement. I could see the tears in hubby's eyes and knew that it hit him hard too. To think, we could have been there. That could have been us.

My heart goes out to that young man and his family, who now have a beautiful baby boy. But that still doesn't  change or take away what happened to his wife/family just a few years back. It just goes to show you that prematurity effect more people then we probably realize.

I give big kudos to the contestant for sharing his story as well as the show's producers for airing it and shedding more light, which will hopefully raise more awareness.

If you did watch it, what did you think of it? Any favorites so far? (And how about Blake and Adam... mmmm.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weighing in...

I don't exactly plan to take over the blog with my weight loss journey but.............I have to share this BIG (small) news!

Thursday was weigh in day. I lost a pound which makes 8 (!!!) total so far. I took more measurements of various body parts. I am super excited to say I have lost 2 inches off my waist, and (are you ready for this one) 6 yes SIX inches off my hips. I am so excited about this! Talk about huge victory!

Below are my before/after photos, which I wasn't going to post just yet, but I do think you can see some difference and I am proud of the progress. It's motivating for sure. I've also noticed some difference in the way some of my clothes fit, a certain area I won't mention specifically.

3/7/13                                                          3/21/13

3/7/13                                                          3/21/13
This one, I feel like I actually look firmer on the left but "smaller" on the right.
Plus do you notice how much smoother my back looks in the one on the right?

So there you have it. Enough about me. Weigh in again Thursday and we'll see how well I've done this week with the two days "off" UGH. But you know you are dedicated when every night you make sure you have clean gym clothes, lol. Which reminds me. I need to wash them today :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

If I Had a TV Show...

I swear some days are like an episode of Candid Camera. If I had a camera crew I bet I could make millions. Or maybe just get a few likes on YouTube lol.

Lately Addison has been finding her way under our baby gate at the stairs and I hear "thump thump thump" as she stomps up the steps. It's usually when I try to go to the bathroom and don't allow her to accompany me, or when I make lunch and don't let her help. Basically whenever my back is turned. So today this happened twice (that I remember) the first time she was all the way at the top, waited for me to get close enough and darted down the hall. STINKER! The second time she was only a few steps up because Blake yelled "Addison on steps Momma!"

This is what happened next...

Me: "Addison, you need to come down. You aren't supposed to be on the steps."
Addison: "Grrrrrr" (growling like a dog)
Me: "Don't growl at me, what are you a dog."
Addison: "Woof Woof."

Well then. I guess she was pretending to be a dog. This theory was confirmed when two seconds later while I tried to get Blake set up for lunch, she decided to try and eat dog food.

This is my life.

Then after I got Addison in her chair, and brought over the food Blake exclaims "FINALLY!"

WHAT?!?!? I guess I was just taking too long to get his lunch ready. Oh and lets not forget that Blake also informed me "You need to behave yourself today Momma." I guess I might sometimes say that too much?

Minus the tantrums, I do really love watching their personalities coming out. And the sassy attitudes. I just hope those are short lived and are not an indication of what the teen years will look like.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We got to spend sometime with a friend of ours. Took a little road trip for an extra special 2nd birthday. And got to finally meet another really good friend who I haven't had the chance to meet in person, but have know for TWO years! We had a blast and the kids loved hanging out and getting into things together.

Today was supposed to be therapy day, but that got cancelled because IT SNOWED. Messed up our entire morning, and I ended up having to go to the gym in the afternoon instead. I don't like the gym daycare in the afternoon, plus it's all crowded and stuff haha. But I was so overjoyed to walk in to see A & B at the table with some older kids, "drawling" and doing other big kid things. I love it. Mornings are def better though. Much better crowd and a lot of other SAHMs which is nice which also means not as many germs because other SAH kids don't have germs right ;)

We are hosting Easter dinner here on Saturday, so um yeah. This week will be filled with the usual. Cleaning, shopping, last minute procrastination. AKA I'll be super busy Friday because I will put stuff off all week hahaha. I am also going to attempt a bunny cake. Wish me luck. We also decided that the kids should have a Grandparents Birthday Party to make up for the party they missed because someone got sick (Addison) ;) So we'll do that this weekend too. Planning to have a big party this summer though with all our family and friends.

What's going on in your life this week?

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trouble Comes in Two's

By trouble, I mean the silly things these kiddos do... like hiding under the couch.

Blake saw her crawl under there and then this happened

Blake: "Momma where Addison go?"
Me: "I don't know buddy, where did she go?"
Blake: "Addison hiding."
Me: "Can you find her?"
Blake: "I find her."

And off he went to find her...

Where is Addison?

I see you!

They both love making faces, and have figured out how to pull the camera up on my phone to take self portraits, and send text messages... Dangerous. 

I know I've said it only a million times, but Blake is becoming such a ham. And it's amazingly adorable. Here's a funny face from dinner.

Funny Face!

And Miss Addison, always the ball of personality. They are both going through a phase where they love love love to have their own plate of food and utensils. (Even if most of the time they just end up using their fingers.) They (more specifically Addison) are also going through a phase where no meal is complete without CRACKERS...yes, every.single.meal. she wants crackers and won't get down until I give her atleast a few.

So the other day for lunch they shared Beefaroni and then requested crackers. I had my own plate with my lunch on it, and as soon as I was finished Addison - not to slyly - took my plate and one by one put all her crackers on it. She was grinning from ear to ear and really felt like she got one over on me.

Sneaky, sneaky.

While I could certainly do without the tantrums that happen every 15 minutes around here, I really truly love watching their little personalities come alive. There is NEVER a dull moment around here. 

What are some of your kiddos silly things they do? Tell me all about them!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Toddler Kisses...

Two things melt my heart every.single.time. And may or may not get them out of trouble every.single.time.

Those two things? "I love Momma" and Toddler Kisses. It makes all the tantrums and attitude worth while.

Blake was trying to get out of bedtime tonight and wanted to be sure I paid attention, hence the face grabbing.

Addison is so cute about her kisses, but rarely gives them.

And just because... I need to show you these next pictures. Seriously, where did my babies go?

Addison playing in the bathroom mirror after we brushed our teeth.

Seriously... How cute is she? 

Blake being a ham.

And this one....omgosh. I can't stand it. So grown.

I hope everyone is having a great week. Things are good here. Hubby's on late shift so I am able to go to the gym in the am without the kiddos while he so graciously does breakfast for them and spends quality time with them. It's been a win win for us all, though it messes with my internal clock a little because I usually wait up for him. It makes the days so...weird and broken up. I do enjoy the extra time with him though because all to soon it will be back to the grind and we will be ships passing in the night 6+ days a week.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Mommy Monday...

Fitness Motivation
Words to Live By

Usually I don't talk about "me" and I especially don't like to talk about my weight, but today I want to devote some time to myself and share the newest part of  my life.

Recently I've made a commitment to get fit. For a million reasons. We've recently decided that yes we are indeed most likely going to TTC (try to conceive) again at some point in the future (grandparents, don't get too excited, it's still a ways off). And when that happens I want to be in the best possible shape that I can be. I feel like that will help ease my mind in knowing that I am doing all I can in regards to preventing another preemie (that paired with a bunch of medical stuff I am sure). I also one day hope that Addison will want to live out my dream and play volleyball or softball (or some sport of some kind - I promise I won't make her play a sport if she doesn't want, but I really really really hope she chooses volleyball ;) ) and I want to be able to coach her team/help her train. Or heck, even coach her cheerleading squad. Something I never got to do, cuz fat girls don't cheer. And who knows there might be a time or two where I'll need to fill in for Jake and coach football for Blake. (Can you imagine?)

The point being, I want to be able to keep up with my kiddos. As much as an almost 30 year old can. (OMG I've only got a few more years of my 20's left!). So, I have vowed that I am going to hit my "happy weight". I don't know what that happy weight is yet, but I know it's less then 195 because that sounds so much better then 200. So far I am only 2.5 weeks into this lifestyle change, but I am learning a lot. (And have lost 7 pounds!)

One thing I have learned is that right now I absolutely have to go to the gym everyday in order to see results. I don't do strength training every day, but cardio is a must. I am also learning that eating out can totally blow calories, and isn't fun when you are counting calories. I've signed up for My Fitness Pal, and it's been very eye opening. It's keeping me accountable because it's forcing me to track my calories and exercise each day. I am learning that it can be done, but that it's hard work. And it would be so easy to fall right back into the old habits.

As the weather gets better I hope to swap some of those "cardio only" days at the gym, for outdoor things. Like taking Addison & Blake for walks in the stroller. And of course trips to the park. I am sure I can burn some good calories chasing two busy toddlers! A down fall of mine though is that a lot of the times I don't feel like I've "worked out" unless I am at the gym. There are a few exceptions like the one time in high school that I tried failed at two hand touch football with the neighborhood boys. Not my brightest idea, although they were gentle with me. I dream of one day saying something cool like "I ran my first 5K", and I think people who can do that are simply awesome. I however, have a very long way to go, and that's OK, because I am making progress.

Which brings me to another point - I don't know that I will ever be super thin. I don't know that I'll ever be able to not go to the gym. (Maybe I will be able to not go every day, but not going at all is not going to work.) I look around myself at the gym and see all these people there, with one goal. To stay fit. There are the hardcore lifters and those just trying to maintain there weight. Sometimes I look at the ladies that are thinner then me and I wonder where they started. Then I remember sweet Ms. S - I met her during one of my first stints at the gym. She was older then me, but man did she give it her all. I remember one day we got paired up together in Boot Camp Class, here she was keeping up with the younger crowd. We were sweating and crying together. People like Ms. S keep things in perspective for me. As long as I show up and give it my all, then I have conquered half the battle.

So the next time you encounter an overweight person, in the gym specifically, don't judge them.(I often feel very judged at the gym. But I admit I am pretty self conscious and insecure too.) Acknowledge that they have showed up, and they are doing something about it. That counts. And... NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE STRENGTH OF A WOMAN WITH CURVES ;)

I've struggled with my weight my whole life, it's not easy for me to maintain my self confidence, but one thing is for sure, after a day at the gym... I know I've got it. I couldn't do this alone though. I've got several friends (and my awesome husband) supporting me. One friend's husband has even let me pick his brain about weight training  routines, calories, you name it - he even checks in on me and cheers me on through his wife. Their encouragement is helping me succeed. You all know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This whole thing has also been an important part of taking time for myself. It makes be a better wife and mommy. When I am at the gym, the rest of the world disappears and it's just me and my weight for the time I am there. I leave feeling ten times better then when I walked in. I've finally caught the itch, and admittedly "love" going to the gym. I hope to conquer this battle, and I hope along the way I will inspire others to do the same.

It IS worth it!
It IS worth it!

And I am also going to put myself out on the line and present you with my "before" shot. I hope to update present you with a side by side a month from now, so you can SEE the results!

Now, who's getting healthy with me? Tell me more about your goal and how you plan to get there!

(I am also taking suggestions for great workout music ;) )

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I will be the first to admit - I am not very good at cooking pancakes. Every attempt (until very recently) I have failed, which has forced me for the sake of my husband and children to resort to store bought frozen pancakes. (Ok not going to lie it was also a lot more convenient for me too.)

Then my envy got the best of me and I very bashfully sought the guidance of one of my BFF's, you probably know exactly who I am talking about, Mrs. Urban Flowerpot herself. See, she has mastered the art of pancakes in a wide variety so I knew she would (hopefully) be able to rescue me too! She schooled me once and I lost all nerve to try so I waited and then this happened this morning (as a result of not having any frozen waffles, gasp, and two toddlers who would not be happy without their morning usual) :

Pancakes, iMessage
Yes, I text messaged her to asked how I would know when pancakes were done cooking. Don't judge me ;)

Clearly she knows me all too well... See she even told me to turn the heat down. (Who knew I shouldn't cook on high heat all the time? - Actually I do know that now, but the reminder was nice, because um well yeah..)

And the end result was this:

Yummy Pancake
One golden brown pancake.

So there you have it, thanks to Urban Flowerpot - my kids didn't go hungry, nor were they forced to eat burnt (or even under cooked) pancakes this morning. Admittedly I should have gotten photograpic evidence of them eating it, but assure you they were pleased. And I felt like I conquered the world. (Ok that's an exaggeration, but I conquered the pancakes. With enough to spare for leftovers tomorrow.) She admits that all the credit goes to her dad though - who taught her how to perfect the pancake, as well things like how you should clean egg pans with cold water. Like really who knew? Unlike my dad who thought the best kitchen skill I could learn was how to make biscuits and gravy (minus the homemade biscuits - Hello Pillsbury), absolutely delicious but certainly not the healthiest. Especially when you accidently grab the powdered sugar instead of flour, and then cannot figure out why it won't thicken up until you've used almost the whole container and then OMG all of a sudden it was super thick and you tasted it and GROSS it was way to sweet. WHOOPS. (No that really didn't happen. Ok maybe it did., maybe.)

For more great pancake talk, check out how Urban Flowerpot makes perfectly pink pancakes for her dudes! (I might just get brave enough to try this one on my own... one day.)

And a sincere thank you BFF for helping me out with this one. <3

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It is our...200th...Blog Post!

And to celebrate I will provide you with a bunch of  "Tuesday Randoms" hows that? ;)

Remember how for such a long time Blake was always serious in Well lately he is becoming such ham - he smiles and says "cheese" whenever he sees me with the camera (or phone). And he even steals my phone to take his own pics. Its seriously adorable. Here's proof:

"Cheese(y)" smile
 See...can he get any cuter?

And then here's two from Addison's "after bedtime" escapade. I wish the first one wasn's so blurry because it would have been an amazing photo. I sort of wonder who is the bigger goof, Daddy or Addi?
Daddy Daughter Photobomb
Daddy-Daughter Moment
Sleepy Smile
Who should be sleeping? Do I look tired Momma?

Blake has also started doing this really cute thing where he points to Addison and goes "Addison" then points to himself and goes "Blake" - he does this for several minutes, mostly at the table when he SHOULD be eating, but that's a whole different topic... I tried to catch it on video but ended up with a photo instead lol.
Who am I
I am Blake.

And that loyal readers are my Tuesday Randoms.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Parents of Preemies Day

It is officially 1:37am here on the East Coast, making it "Parents of Preemies Day".

Parents of Preemies Day

And well... I am, Jake is, we are... Parents to not one but two pretty gosh darn, nothing short of amazing preemies. And our world just would not be the same without them.

Being a preemie parent, I learned the ultimate lesson in patience. The patience when it came to waiting... Waiting to hold my babies for the first time, waiting to change that first diaper, waiting to give that first bath, waiting for that firs tiny kiss, waiting for their first cry, waiting for so many things. And who could forget the biggest of them all...WAITING TO FINALLY BRING THEM HOME!

I learned what it meant to have strength and the will to survive. When the odds were stacked against them, I watched as my children fought for their lives. Fought to earn a place, their place, here on earth. I may never know the reason why they had to (or why we had to) endure such heartache and pain, but I do know one thing. It was worth it.

I learned you cannot plan for it all. It was not my plan to have my babies 14 weeks early. I also couldn't plan what obstacles they would or would not face. It was all beyond my control.

I learned what it meant to have faith and courage. More then I ever thought I would ever need.

But more then all of that being a preemie parent has taught me not to take a single moment for granted because even the seemingly tiniest things are miracles, and life is truly precious. In many ways I think being a preemie mom has made me a better mom then I ever thought imaginable.

Saturday Night on the Town

Disclaimer: I have not been paid by any of the following mentioned people, places, or things.

Disclaimer 2: Keep in mind I am a mom and therefore my perspective may or may not be slightly skewed and therefore my definition of "on the town" probably varies greatly from yours.

Parents of Preemies Day, Grahams Foundation
Me and the kiddos and my super cool "Proud Preemie Parent - Every Day" t-shirt
from Grahams Foundation.

Now let me tell you about my Saturday night out...

Hubby's best friend basically since birth (hereby known as "J") is celebrating his birthday this weekend. (HAPPY BRITHDAY J - I hope you are having a blast!) We knew about said celebration for a little bit now, but the whole pukey kids thing sort of hindered our ability to decide about it before now. That said, I came up with this GREAT idea that "Hey let's get a hotel and YOU (aka hubby) go out with you BFF and I will stay at the hotel with the kids and watch cheap tv," this is what happens when you move 1.5 hrs away from everyone you know... Bar nights require a hotel.

Now what guy do you know that would turn down an offer like that?

So while hubby worked, I spent my Saturday cleaning (because ya know as hubby jokes, the house has to be clean just in case anyone wants to break in, wouldn't want them to trip over a toy) - I really didn't clean for the burglars - it was simply cleaning day, plus who doesn't like returning home to a clean house? And packing, because yes ladies and gentleman we decided on a whim just before bedtime last night that we would in deed go through with said plan.

I took time and picked a hotel as close as possible to the place the party was happening and packed the best of the best clothes (hello polo and khakis for hubby, and my Care Bear pj's as well as cupcake and monkey pjs for A & B). We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown (hello Internet discount code), which included a nice (free with the price of the room) breakfast and a view of a nice high rise apartment complex.

Hilton Garden Inn - Window View
The view from our room...

The plan - The kids and I would drop hubby off, return to the hotel for room service and a little mommy & kid time, (because ya know being a stay at home mom, we never get to do things together haha) and wait for the Designated Driver to drop off Jake at closing time.

What really happened - We pulled up to a hotel that had me feeling like a famous person - smack in the heart of the city, a valet opened my door, the Bellhop took our bags and escorted us inside. As we tried to check in Blake screamed "My bookbag!" over and over and tried to kick his way free from my mommy grasp. We got to the room and Blake grabbed said bookbag and walked to the door said "I going bye bye now."

Hilton Garden Inn - Suite, Jake and the Neverland Pirates
As soon as we got to the room Blake wanted to try out the chair
and watch some 'toons while he cuddled with his blanket.

Hubby showered while I dealt with two kids who were more interested in joining their dad in the shower, and then it was time to drop him off.

Hilton Garden Inn - Towel duck
Our little towel friend in our room.

Traffic was pretty crappy and at one point Miss Addison must have had enough because when we stopped for the 97364829 time she yelled "K dada bye now!" ::giggle snort::

Then I opted out of room service and instead hit up the grocery store on the way back to get all the essentials. Aka - salad, cheesecake, goldfish, and Greek yogurt (and I found these really really convenient to go toddler milks on a bogo sale!) When I got back to the hotel I realized I actually bought more for A & B then I did for myself! Such is the life of a mommy I suppose.

We changed into our PJ's, cracked open those goldfish and munched. Not even gonna lie I was counting down til bedtime for the them because the cheesecake was calling my name. Once they had their fishes and milk, I laid them in their pack and plays...... And ended up hiding out in the bathroom for atleast 30 minutes before they would fell asleep. At one point about of 15 minutes in, I heard silence and realize I was holding my breath, when I let out that breath, I realized it was too soon, I heard a whisper " mom. Where'd ya go?" in the sweetest little boy voice I have ever heard. I.had.been.busted! By a two year old. One that I thought was asleep! Doh!

Hiding out in the bathroom so the kids will fall asleep...
You know you love those sexy CareBear pjs

And now I am spending my Saturday night "out on the town" - munching on things I have been depriving myself off all week (hey we are all allowed an off day)

Fritos, Munchies, Greek Salad
My munchies. And yes that is a Greek Salad, and no I did not eat all the scoops and cheese.

and watching Justin Timberlake on SNL. Truth be told - I am "on the town" ... 11 stories up in the heart of the city/town. Dontcha wish you were spending your Saturday night with me?

Three words - HUBBY.OWES.ME. ;)

As for the hotel, it was worth every penny. Both for the location as well as the service and accommodations. The staff was amazing and nothing like I've ever experienced before and the food at breakfast was very delicious. It is admittedly more then I would typically spend on a hotel room (especially if it was a lengthy stay) but I hope to try the Hilton Garden Inn again in the future even if in a different location. It was perfect for a one night getaway. (Disclaimer: I was not in anyway compensated for staying at this hotel. It was just the closest to our location. That said, I would highly reccomend it.)

And now I leave you with more snapshots from breakfast and the morning after...

Hilton Garden Inn Fireplace
Warming up by the fireplace in the lobby while we waited for our car.

I hope this doesn't void our deposit.... ;)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Let's Catch Up!

Yeah yeah I fell off the blog wagon, sorry. Things got a little crazy around here, but they seem to be falling into place again.

Addison and Blake finally got their appetites back and in return have gained some of that weight back that they lost. Blake is actually up a whole pound from before he was sick and Addison is down a pound and some change from where she was before the GI bug, but up from where she was AFTER. Both kiddos weigh 22lbs even. For the first time in their lives they are the same weight. Blake looks so much heavier then her though. Def. because of the height, Addison is the taller of the two.

I am back at the gym. I joined in February. Went for a day week or two and then we got sick and well ... yeah. But Sunday, everyone was feeling better, Jake was home and I thought it had been long enough. So back off I went. I've been everyday since then except Weds. which I dubbed my off day, off day from the gym only. I've also been watching my calories which is a first for me. And well........ I weighed in today at my fitness assessment, courtesy of the gym and I am down 6.2 pounds... 6.2!!!!!

The kiddos are in the throws of those so called terrible two's which has also resulted in a little lady with some pretty fierce separation anxiety ooooh boy. But we are all still doing well. And looking forward to warmer weather and some other neat things we have in the works.

Oh and there is this thing about trying to get internet at home again...sore subject but as soon as I get that figured out, sigh.

What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"The Bible" on History Channel

The Bible
"The Bible" on History Channel (image source:

History Channel is airing a mini-series called The Bible. (It started tonight tonight at will air over five parts with the final airing on Easter.) The series is set to cover from Genesis to Revelation, and was produced by Roma Downey (remember Touched By An Angel ? If not you should Google it and see if you can catch an episode or two, pretty cool series) and Mark Burnett.

If you missed it, rumor has it there will be a DVD, and hopefully - maybe, History Channel will air it online as well.

Either way, I thought I would share. We're watching it here. It's good for those who are new to their faith, rediscovering their faith, or even those strong in their faith. Basically a good series for any Christian, in my opinion. And if you need another reason to watch I saw that Tim Tebow even endorsed it on Facebook, earlier today. ;)

I would be interested to see how it's viewed by Atheists and members of the Christian community alike -based on the variations of Bible Stories.

I know I don't usually talk about faith and my religion here but this is one of those "full circle" things for me tonight. I used to enjoy watching Biblical shows with my Great Grandmother (who was a devote Catholic), especially during Lent and Easter, went to church many Sundays with my mom, reached milestones like First Holy Communion and Confirmation, and even went to Youth Group and enjoyed several youth retreats during that time. To be able to attend church on Sundays with the hubs and A & B - then to be able to share in this moment tonight, where they watched the beginning of it with us, and then watching it with Jake. Suddenly life has come full circle. From childhood to adulthood. I feel like it brings us closer as a family, and as a couple. Scratch that... IT DOES bring us closer.

It was important to me, when we had children, to make sure we gave them a good foundation in their faith and lead them the right way. Last winter was so hard because of RSV lockdown, so to be able to finally get to church this year has been so great. To find a church that fits is even better. And then to get the chance to meet Bishop Hanson of the ELCA, listen to him preach - and to share that with my husband and children, simply amazing.

My whole life when I've thought of my future and family I had these visions of church on Sundays, dinner together as a family and a day of rest. Something about all that just warms my heart. I am still working on the rest part, but I have gotten so much better about focusing on "us". It's a great feeling for us all.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Stay at Home Mom

^^^  That's me... I am one of "them".

When the hubs and I first started talking about having a family of our own, we hadn't really "planned" for me to stay home. We talked about it, but hadn't made any real decisions on the topic. When I finally got pregnant, we debated it a lot. We were in a situation where we were living considerably below our means after a very rock few years prior, but there was still a bit of fear and uncertainty as to "if" we could truly afford for me to stay home. I enjoyed my job and had big career dreams so we thought I'd continue to work, and we had even started looking in to daycare options.

Then we found we were having twins and in the end, we couldn't afford for me to NOT stay home. Even though I made a fairly decent income, I would have literally only been working to pay for childcare. Pair that with gas money, car maintenance, tolls and other travel expenses as well as the occasional lunch out and well, then I was actually spending more then I was making.

When I landed on bed rest the first time at 12 weeks we bit the bullet and decided I would resign at that time. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because I ended up on bed rest again a few weeks later and THEN there was the NICU and bringing home two preemies who needed extra special care. I don't know how I would have juggled all of that and continued to work full time, my heart goes out to those who have done it. Not to mention the fact that we would have likely needed a higher level of childcare for Addison with her feeding tube.

Being a stay at home mom is not for the faint at heart. Sure it's a blessing and many people dream of being able to stay home. But it's also a lot of work. (Nope I am not getting into the Mommy Wars. My working mom friends work just as hard as I do and I have the utmost respect and admiration for them. My own mom was a working mom, while her mother was a stay at home mom.) I have days where I feel like pulling my hair out and cannot wait until bedtime. There are also days filled with smiles, laughter, hugs, cuddles and lots of fun. It's all worth it in the end.

Just because we can "afford" for me to stay at home doesn't mean that we aren't making sacrifices or cutting corners where we can to make ends meet (remember my post about clipping coupons?), as well as insure that I can continue to stay home at least for now.  I wouldn't be able to do this if not for some sacrifices on the hubs part too, and his willingness to work those extra hours when we need it (not that he has a whole lot of choice because overtime comes with the job and isn't always optional.)

I have often been asked how long I will stay home. The short answer is "I don't know." There are a lot of variables to that equation. Ideally I would like to stay home for as long as possible, and perhaps go back to work part-time once Addison and Blake are in school. That being said, it's important to both Jake and I at least one of us is there for them before and after school and can actively participate in school activities with them. Not to mention the flexibility to be there when one of them is sick and needs to stay home or has a doctor's appointment - you name it. And then there is still the possibility of another child down the line. As long as we can afford it, I hope to be able to stay at home with the next little one too.

If you are planning to stay at home once your little one is born, or are wondering if you can afford to stay home... my advice is to save every penny you can now. Try living off of just one salary and banking yours. Pay off any debt that you can now, so it's not hanging over your head. Many people would recommend that you have a good savings, though that is more a general rule of thumb then just prepping to stay at home. Reality is that sometimes it doesn't all work out so that you are comfortably prepared for becoming a stay at home mom (I still planned to have another 20+ weeks to work before I resigned), but as I have learned you can make it work in other circumstances. And maybe right now it's not the right time for you to stay at home, but you can later. Or maybe your husband would be better suited to stay home. Or you are both meant to be working parents. That's ok too. Do what works best for you and your family.

Don't let society make you feel guilty for whichever option you choose. As long as you are happy, your family is happy and you child(ren) is(are) well taken care of then you have done a job well done.

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