Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A little extra attention...NOT!

The other day I had the opportunity to watch ABC's new Show "In the Motherhood". Although I found the show funny at times, there were parts, I just couldn't relate to. As I watched the character played by Megan Mullally, I was fascinated with the depiction that as a pregnant woman she was able to "work the system" to get more attention, cut to the front of lines and even get someone to buy her coffee. I was reminded of this as I stood in line yesterday, waiting for the elevator at my doctors office. Now you have to understand, I am very, very pregnant. Not only pregnant, but pregnant with twins, so I am extra, extra large. As of recently, belly has began to drop, it is now hanging down to my knees, and there is no mistaking me for anything but pregnant. So, I stood in awe, as the elevator doors opened, I was literally caught up in a stampede to enter. I could not get over how many people appeared out of nowhere and ran into the elevator. Apparently they all MUST have been late for their appointments, because why else would there be the need to push a pregnant lady out of their way to get in. As I watched the doors close before my eyes, with me still outside of the elevator, I took a quick assessment of the people who beat me into the elevator. It struck me as funny that they were all fairly young, and looked like they were in relatively good health. I even spotted a few pharmaceutical reps with their rolling suitcases. I guess sales must be bad for them to have felt it important to basically bowl me over to get in. So I must surmise that I am doing something wrong. Maybe my independence is coming through, maybe I need to start complaining out loud, or moaning as if I am in labor. I should call the writers from "In the Motherhood" to find out how I can get all the fringe benefits of being a pregnant whale. All I know is if I want a little extra attention, I need to figure it out quickly, because the boys are due any day now!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Men, you gotta love them!

I love my husband and really appreciate everything he does to make my life easier. I know so many women who love to get together and "bash" their husbands. And I do realize, at times it could be pretty easy to focus on the bad or the ignorant moves many husbands make. Do I get annoyed at times with my husband? Of course I do. But I also realize, I am not perfect and am probably a pretty tough person to live with. So today when I heard this "husband story" I had to laugh. I know the wife was not too happy, but I did feel bad for the poor sap! Apparently, this first time mom ran out of diapers and asked her husband to go to the store to pick some up. After being away for 45 minutes, the dad arrived home from what he thought was a successful trip. Two cases of diapers, how could she not be happy! The only problem was that the diapers were Depends, and they didn't come close to fitting the 7lb baby. This story made me laugh so hard, because I knew that prior to having a baby, I could have made that mistake. Well probably not...but my husband could have! Of course the woman had choice words to describe her husband. I am sure in about 15 years she'll be able to laugh about this story, but right now she couldn't see past her husband's ignorance. Men, you really gotta love them!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting organized....

I am so thankful for all of the gifts that have been arriving for the twins. Sometimes, I get worried that I will forget to send the proper thanks or acknowledge the gift. Especially with the imminent arrival of the twins and knowing how hectic things will be, I realized it was time to get organized and create a chart to track all of the gifts and thank you cards sent. Feel free to download my Gift and Borrowed Item Checklist to help stay on top of everything. I hope it helps!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Yellow And Blue Make Green!

I always try to do fun and imaginative things when trying to teach my daughter new things. Lately we have been working on how you can mix colors to create another color. She loves to paint and we have been using watercolors to work on this concept. So, today while we were out, she had to use the potty. To her delight the water was blue. As she was going potty she looked down and said "look mommy, yellow and blue make green". I guess she's got it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Do I just give up & give in?

So as my pregnancy has progressed, my husband has constantly reminded me that I am eating for three. At times, I think because of where the boys are located, I am constantly full and really don't have much of an appetite, but I guess, no one has informed the scale of this fact! There are days where I just don't each much. I have watched what I have been eating, but have been known to indulge every once in awhile. So when I went to the doctor's office the other day, I was shocked! Shocked that the scale has moved upward in such a dramatic way. At this point, do I just throw caution to the wind and say "what the hell?" I have watched how eating in moderation has not quite worked for me. So I think for the next few weeks...why not? Why not indulge in that delectable cheesecake? Bring on those Doritos's. Oh yes, I can't wait for some heavenly cheesy nachos. Why not order up those fries smothered in chili? Those yummy chocolate eclairs are calling my name. So yes, I will give up and just give in...because in a few weeks or days, the boys will arrive and it will be a whole different ballgame!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's hard to trust just anyone...

It is so hard to trust a stranger with watching my daughter. My husband & I don't live near any family, so we have always had to depend on sitters if we wanted a date night, attend a business function, or just some basic down time. I admire the few who are able to call a new sitter right off the bat, and then walk right out the door without a second thought. I, myself can't do that. I am overprotected, miss my daughter desperately, even if I am only in the room down the hall and my husband is certain, that the sitter will sell our beautiful daughter to the highest bidder. Yes, we have issues. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful sitter, who is an LVN, amazing with my daughter and accepts that I text her every 30 minutes to see how "my baby" is doing. But I know we should have a few back ups. Now that the twins will be arriving shortly, plus keeping my daughter busy, I am beginning to interview sitters, again.

The scary thing is, that no matter how well you screen someone, how many references you check, it is still ultimately a leap of faith. I would hope that everyone out there wants the best for a child, and would do anything with the baby/child's best interest at heart. Unfortunately we've all heard stories where that is not quite the case. So what should one do? I don't quite know, but I guess the best we can do is screen as vigilantly as we can. Here are a few tips that I have found helpful when looking for a babysitter or nanny:

-Hire babysitters who are knowledgeable about first aid
and CPR.
-Always ask for and validate references. Check the experience of the babysitter. What age groups did the person work with? How much time?
-Babysitters with professional training in nursing or childcare are most preferable.
-Interview the sitter to check for sense of responsibility, temperament, understanding of children, common sense, ability to understand and follow instructions, etc.
-See how your baby reacts to the sitter. Even though a sitter may sound great on paper...it all comes down to chemistry.

Feel free to download a copy of my " Questions for Babysitters". Some of the questions are tough, but I figure that if it doesn't scare or intimidate the sitter, then she has passed the first step!

The Dora saga continues...

Today, I noticed that the change of Dora's appearance has made Yahoo headlines. So, as I read the article, it seems as if Mattel & Nickelodeon feel that the parent's outrage is because, they just don't understand. Apparently, they are not replacing "Dora the Explorer", but adding a new Dora, that will be an interactive doll marketed to 5-8 year old.

According to Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing for Mattel, "I think there was just a misconception in terms of where we were going with this. Pretty much the moms who are petitioning aging Dora up certainly don't understand. ... I think they're going to be pleasantly happy once this is available in October, and once they understand this certainly isn't what they are conjuring up."

The new doll does not wear a short dress, but a tunic and leggings. Although she looks older, with long jewelry and longer hair, she doesn't have makeup and seems pretty much like a 10-year-old girl. I guess I may be naive, sheltered or am living in the dark ages, but I hope our 10 year old girls out there, do not look like this new Dora. I also have to ask, if the new Dora is in Middle School, living in the city and living the typical lifestyle of a girl in Middle School, why is she being targeted to 5-8 year olds???? I guess I am still confused!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What do you do all day?

Now that I am pregnant with twins and it is becoming closer towards the end of my pregnancy, my doctor has put me on moderate bed rest. What is moderate bed rest? Well, I haven't quite figured that out. I took it as, 1 free pass a day to escape from the house, but apparently that's not the right interpretation. The hardest part for me is just trying to keep still. It is not because I am too uncomfortable to stay in one place, it's just that there is still too much to do before the boy's arrive. So as I wander around the house trying to figure out what needs to be done, deep down I know I should be in bed, but I just can't stay put. As I drive around town doing all my errands, I wonder what my doctor would say. I don't think she would be thrilled. So many people say "oh you must be SO DONE", but quite honestly, I really wish I had another 4-5 months to go. Others say it must be so nice to be catching up on some good Oprah shows, but I haven't watched one yet. A few say how nice it must be to have some down time to read a few good books, but I haven't made a dent in the stack of books on my nightstand. What am I doing? I am working like a madwoman, trying to come up with names for the boys, preparing meals, doing laundry, ironing, running errands, trying to play and be an active part of my daughter's life. I know I must stop. I keep getting reprimanded by my daughter's sitter and my husband. I really don't mean to be causing them so much angst. I know I will look back and think how I should have taken advantage of the mandatory down time...but I have never been one to just relax and veg out, so it is extremely difficult to follow the doctors orders, even though I know I should. Today, I have decided that as soon as I finish my work project, pick names for the boys and paint art for their room, I will stay in bed. Unfortunately, I have a feeling the boys will be born by then!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How does she do it?

I just can’t figure it out, but somehow my daughter has figured out how to unzip the pajamas that I have put on her. I know this may not seem like anything extraordinary, but you have to recognize that, the pajamas have the feet cut off, and are place on her backwards. Why do I do this…well, you can read an earlier blog, but basically she likes to strip off her clothes, take off her poopy diaper and then toss it around the room as well as paint the wall with the filth. She is potty trained now, but she has the tendency to poop in her sleep. So the potty training really doesn’t help. So now I just don’t know what to do. The pajamas on backwards, with her diaper taped on was working, up until today. So now what? As I hover outside her door, smelling it to see if she’s gone and my eyes are glued to the video monitor …the fear is back! At this point I just don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why, why must things change?

I am so disappointed. My daughter loves Dora the Explorer, and it is one of the few shows that I have never thought twice about. So now that I've heard and seen the image of how Nickelodeon and Mattel plan on changing Dora, I CRINGE!! Apparently the new, improved and evolved Dora will be making her debut this fall. She will no longer be swinging in the jungle or having adventures that are targeted towards a toddler or a preschooler. She will be heading to the city, attending middle school and wearing a new wardrobe. Why is it, that someone has decided that she needs to change from the cute, tomboy persona to a tweenage girl with long flowing hair, a miniskirt and fashionable shoes? Is it that the tween age group has more purchasing power then a toddler? Nickelodeon and Mattel have stated that she needs to evolve with the times and that she has not aged in 10 years. I find this a pitiful excuse. Will Diego be growing up as well? Will he have taut abs, buff arms and a sexy physique? I have to wonder, how come The Simpsons have not aged? The Flintstones have reminded the same, and that seems to be okay. Mickey and Minnie should be walking around with canes & walkers if we were to buy into Nickelodeon & Mattel's explanation. Why do we need one more female character, that will send the wrong message to our young girls? I vote to save Dora. Keep her the tomboy that she is! I hope as many of us mom's out there protest, maybe we can save Dora. I know that once she changes, and fall rolls around, we will no longer be tuning into Dora. How sad!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A great email explanation of the Financial Crisis

With everything going on out there in the world, it has become a scary place. On a daily basis I hear about someone else getting laid off or more local companies closing. So, this morning when I received an email explaining the Financial crisis, I finally read an explanation that made some sense. I wish I knew who to give credit to, but I don't. Read on...

Now I get it!!!

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin . In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed in a ledger (thereby granting her customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed. Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager
(subsequently of course fired due his negativity) of the bank decides that slowly the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

However they cannot pay back the debts.

Heidi cannot fulfil her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.

DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties.

The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied on the non-drinkers.

Finally an explanation I understand ....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is anything sacred anymore?

The other evening my husband came home from work with a package that had arrived at his office. As he presented the envelope to me, he said, you won't believe this. My curiosity was peaked and I opened the envelope. In it was a book called "Just say NO, to Circumcision". I had to laugh, since I knew who the sender was, and knew it wasn't a joke. So I have to ask, why is it that once a woman becomes pregnant, it no longer becomes a personal thing? But a common bond, to a few out there,who feel that it is their pregnancy too. Why do so many feel that is okay to push their beliefs or advice on you? Is it that they made so many mistakes during their own parenting, that they now feel that this is their opportunity for a "make-up"? On a daily basis I am asked, are you going to have a natural birth or have an epidural? Will you bottle feed or breast feed? Do you have hemorrhoids or stretch marks? Will you co-sleep or have the babies sleep in another room? Most of the questions are followed up with remedies or suggestions. I do have to say this is the first time the circumcision issue has been brought up, and unfortunately, the closer it comes to when my twin boys arrive, I am sure it won't be the last. So if the people I meet feel that it's okay to express their strong beliefs about my pregnancy and my future decisions, can I express mine right back? Can I ask a man if he was circumcised, and then suggest a book that may make him feel more secure in the gym locker room, if he wasn't? Can I ask the older woman if she has hemorrhoids, and not expect to get smacked across the face? Can I tell the woman in the bad marriage, that she should leave her husband and he's is a cheat? Can I tell the man who is a workaholic, that he should go home and spend quality time with his family, before it's too late? Can I tell another that she lets her daughter wear her skirts too short? I don't think so....I just wish people would think twice before they speak. Is that too much to ask?!? Apparently so.

I would love to give all the people out there, who have made inappropriate comments, a wonderful gift. It's a great book called, "Emily Post's Etiquette.

Potty Training made easy?

Is it possible to make potty training easy? I am not sure. I think I just got lucky. Several months ago, I started introducing the "potty” to my daughter. At first she thought it was a great new toy. She’d dance around the house with her pink Baby Bjorn Potty displayed proudly on her head. After that I figured she wasn’t quite ready and to be honest neither was I. Of course, I didn’t want her using the potty and then placing it on her head, so we took a break. Several weeks went by after the “potty hat” experience; I decided to introduce her to the video “Potty Power”. I had heard great things about the video, and had high hopes that after watching the video, she’d show a little more of an interest in sitting on the potty rather then wearing the potty. Well, I can see how the video would be a great learning tool, but for my daughter, it became a great dance video. She loved the songs and wanted to watch the video and dance to the music. So, again we went on to take another break. Unlike many moms, I still was not too concerned. My life is stressful enough that I figured, why get stressed over something I knew she’d get the hang of eventually. So a few more weeks went by when I came across a book called “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” for sale on amazon.com, used for $1.50. For $1.50 how could I go wrong? Well, straight off, I could tell that the book, originally published in 1974, was a little off from what we do in the year 2009. I did find the premise of teaching a doll a good idea. So the next day, I rummaged through my daughter’s toy box and found her doll that could feed & wet, and what do you know it worked! We sat the doll on the potty, gave the doll her bottle and watched her go. So after 5 or 6 times, my daughter looked at me and said “my turn”. She sat down, took a swig out of her juice cup and looked down but couldn’t quite figure out it why the pee pee didn’t come out immediately. It didn’t stop her though, she sat & sat, and drank & drank and all of a sudden it happened. She was so proud of herself and believe it or not, that was it. I am sure the videos, and having her be my "toilet paper helper" was a big part of it as well, but I have to believe it was just timing. We are about 3 weeks into it now, with only one accident. My husband and I still look at each other with delight each time she goes. So, I am glad that I didn’t stress or fall into the pressure of what the other kids her age were doing. I am glad that I just let her be…so far, so good!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I thought I could, but I can't...

I woke up this morning by horrible screams coming from my daughter’s bedroom. As I waddled down the hall as fast as I could, I discovered that my daughter was in the thick of a very bad nightmare. As I tired to console her, she just kept shaking her head saying “No, no” when suddenly her eyes fluttered open and she looked up widely at me a said “I want pancakes”! So at 6:30am we were off. Once her belly was full and she was snuggled in nicely on the family room couch, I attempted to something I have never done while she has been awake. I was going to take a shower. Some may think this is strange, that at 2 1/2 years into the game I have never taken a shower while she has been up. Yes, it may seem odd. I get up before she does and prepare for the day. You have to understand that my daughter loves to have fun…or as some may say get into trouble when my back is turned. This is the girl, who scales the staircase, dangles from the chandelier & pretends she is surfing off the back of the reclining chair. So yes, I typically don’t take my eyes off of her for very long. As I tuned the TV to Sesame Street, I was in awe that she suddenly went into a trance like state. It was a bittersweet moment. All this time I had limited her TV viewing because I didn’t want her to become a couch potato, but yet at the same time I wanted just 15 minutes of “me time”. Could this be…that she actually would get sucked into the horrible TV and just sit and watch? As I let out a sigh of relief, I asked if she wanted to lie in my bed while I shower. She looked up at me, rolled her eyes and with the flick of her little hand said “mommy, go already”. So I hoped in the shower and within less them 4 minutes, her head pops into the shower and states, that she needed to give Chi Chi, her battery operated toy puppy a bath. I knew this would not be good. Just as fast as the shower began, it was coming to a quick end. Full of soap and bubbles I hoped out, to find the tub getting filled with hot water and Chi Chi half submerged in the water. As I looked around the bathroom, I discovered that every towel was now on the floor, because she was cleaning, and the bag of cotton balls were thrown everywhere. Apparently her & Chi Chi had a “snowball fight” and she was hiding in the laundry basket. So what it comes down to, is that I thought I could but I just can’t…. leave her alone yet!

How to Prepare for Baby 2 & 3?

So many people keep asking me what are my plans once the twins arrive? I think it is really hard to come up with a plan, because I just don’t know. Do I go from having a part time babysitter to a full time nanny? Do I get a housekeeper to come once a week? Do I send my 2-1/2year old to preschool? Or do I just go crazy? I have struggled with all these thoughts, plus what the added expense means to my family and me. I struggle with the thoughts of having a stranger in my house, and ultimately feel uncomfortable with the invasiveness of it all. I realize that I am resistant to help and like things just the way they are. So like everything, I just have to play it day by day.

Even though I am not sure how I will manage day to day life once the boys arrive. I know I must prepare. And prepare is what I’ve done.

Here are a few things I have done to prepare for Baby A & Baby B:

1. Figure out how to order my groceries online & have them delivered. One less errand to run!
2. Make a ton of meals and freeze them, so on those crazy days it will be one less thing to think about.
3. Work the neighborhood and meet the local teenagers who can possibly baby-sit on a whim’s notice.
4. Join an online mom group. So I can log in on those days where I just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
5. Make my daughter feel special everyday. So when the boys are born her little world is not rocked too much!
6. Have small wrapped gifts (the dollar bin at Target is fantastic) for my daughter, for those days when she just a little something extra to keep her occupied.
7. Play “laundry” with my daughter. A great learning tool and gets a project done. I mean how many 2-1/2 years olds can sort darks from light! Maybe when the boys arrive, she’ll still be able to sort while I am holding a tyke or two. I know that’s nuts…but why not dream?

I know I may not be in reality yet. I know things will change dramatically and at times be incredibly overwhelming, but I figure if I plan for the worst, it can only get better, right?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Aren’t you glad that you are not having 8?

Lately, wherever I go, people ask when am I due. Yes, I am rather large so my typical response is, “I’m having twins”. The funny thing is, the conversation inevitably turns to, “Aren’t you glad it’s not 8?” or, “What's your thoughts on the Octomom?”. I am like most people, who don’t quite get it. As a mom of a 2-1/2 year old, and expecting twins, there are times I feel overwhelmed with how I can manage. Not only manage but find the balance between the newborns, continue to make my daughter feel special and not neglect her. So it is hard for me to imagine how someone with no spouse can possibly find balance for all 14. From what I’ve heard, the Octomom, Nadya Suleman, who has no job or income, plans to survive on student loans and food stamps. Many say she may be depending on a huge book or television deal or the kindness of strangers and corporations. I find it hard to imagine that someone could actually depend on the kindness of strangers and corporations, especially with such a backlash against her. But as I was waiting in line at the paint store, a woman turned around and asked when I was due. I gave my typical response and of course the Octomom came up, but this time with a surprising point of view. This woman felt that Nadya Suleman is a blessing to the world, and has brought 8 more gifts to the universe. She & her husband were even planning on sending $5,000 to Ms. Suleman. So, I guess that’s the great thing about this world; we don’t quite have to agree with everything or necessarily understand what goes on in people’s minds, but there is always someone who is willing to lend a hand or a perspective. I came across this Squidoo Lens that pretty much sums it up:

I am HOT!!!

The things that happen during pregnancy; some things are obvious and some are not. Some things you are told and many things you never hear about until they happen to you.
So why oh why did I forget about the dreaded hot flashes from the last time? Is it that I am hotter because I am pregnant with twins? Is it because I am carrying two boys? Who knows! All I know for sure it that I am tired of sticking to the seat when I get up, tired of feeling like a sweaty pig and tired of worrying about whether I am freezing out the rest of my family because I am so terribly hot. All I know is that it is almost over…at least until menopause.

We LOVE Dr. Seuss!

With Dr. Seuss' birthday coming up tomorrow March 2, it is only right to pay tribute to the wonderful stories that exist today. And when you really think about it, what child doesn’t grow up with at least one Dr. Seuss book in their house? The kids love the silly characters and the rhymes. I know my daughter does. Each evening, one of the most cherished moments my daughter & I spend together, is right before bedtime when we snuggle up to a great goodnight book. “The Cat & the Hat”, and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” have become a few of my daughter’s favorite reads. In honor of his birthday tomorrow we are planning on making some of the recipes below. I am sure it will be a blast.

Wiggly Fish
“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” inspired this snack. Prepare several different colors of Jello according to package directions and pour each flavor into a shallow pan. Use a fish shaped cookie cutter to cut the Jello into fish shapes. (If you don’t have a fish shaped cookie cutter you could also just cut fish shapes with a knife.) You can also add small pieces of fruit to the Jello mixture before it cools. This is a great way to sneak an extra serving of fruit into your child’s diet.

Pink Ink for The Yink
The Yink in “One Fish, Two Fish” love to drink pink ink. Make your own version by combining a few strawberries (either fresh, or frozen and thawed) and some milk in a blender. Add a few drops of red food coloring if the “ink” isn’t pink enough.

A Fruity Hat For The Cat

Whip up a batch of silver dollar pancakes and cut up some fresh strawberries. Grab some whipped cream and let the kids assemble the Cat’s hat by stacking pancakes, and strawberries on top of each other using the whipped cream as “glue”.

While looking for some celebration ideas, I came across a fabulous Squidoo Lens that is worth checking out for more recipes and party ideas. It’s called the ABCs of Dr. Seuss.


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!