Saturday, November 8, 2014

Surviving Bed Rest

This was an interesting week with 4 month old twins and a three year old. On Monday, I completely threw my back out. I tweaked it by reaching for one of the babies in the night and lifting them out of their bed using, you guessed it, only my back and arms. This, my friends, is why they say, "lift from the legs." This is your little lesson for the day. Lift from the legs, especially if you have kids. Free advice, there ya go.

Anyway, after trying to push through the little tweak by moving everyone into the car to make a pediatrician appointment, I completely destroyed it. Long story short, got stuck at the pediatricians debilitated in a seat with two screaming twins receiving their 4 month shots, calling emergency back up (my father in law, thank goodness he was around) and somehow with his help getting everyone home and onto the couch. Where I stayed (and still am) as I write this.

I cant lie, everyone, even the The Twins are getting a little stir crazy. (I didn't realize babies went stir crazy.)
They look happy right now but give them 5 minutes...
I usually keep very, very busy. No one is used to just hanging around. Big Sis has pulled out every single disk from my Friends, Sex & The City and OC box set. I'm glad she did because (a) I was looking for another project to do once I could move...

I mean the house has never looked this bad since we moved in and the laundry 'bed' has never been piled so high. But seriously, pretty excited about cleaning and organizing 6,000 disks. But I digress. 

and (b) I forgot that I owned the OC box set and didn't realize that I wanted to watch it. So here we are watching the OC series from disc one.

Perfect. Thanks Big Sis. You just keep on entertaining yourself.

Having my derrier attached to the couch, I have been able to catch up on a few things that have needed to get done but I never want to sit down and do. So, I wanted to share with those that find themselves on bedrest, sick... whatevs, home with no option of being able to anything, some ideas of entertainment. Or mindless things that will get your through a long day of stillness.

I mean Facebook can only entertain for so long. 2 minutes tops until you are sick of seeing your friends enjoying cocktail hour, dining out, being stuck in traffic, excited for 'hump day', on vacation rubbing it in all of our faces...

Oh, wait, I haven't updated my profile pic in awhile and I really want to annoy show my friends more pics of my cute kids, so... OK, maybe 20 minutes of fun on Facebook until you are sick of everyone and everyone is sick of you.

So lets talk bed rest activities!

1. Organize your one million photos that have been stored in your iCloud and iPhoto. Start deleting, cleaning and prepping to maybe print!

Confused as to where to start? Me too. iCloud? iPhoto? My iCloud automatically receives the photos I take on my iPhone and then they end up in the Photos folder in iPhoto. So I started there. I don't feel it was the best place to start after the fact but it's too late now. Does anyone know what I'm talking about and have suggestions? It's like photo hell in here. No idea what I'm doing.

Anyway, what matters is that I cleaned out the last year of photos. Now they are uploaded and sitting on another photo site for when I have a thousand dollars to print these two thousand, plus photos. Next bed rest (hopefully, never, I can start cleaning out all the years prior to last.) : /

I miss cameras that I couldn't make a phone call from and that hold film. It was just so uncomplicated then. You take a picture (not 10 of one scene), you hope for the best, finish up the roll and send it to the printer. Done. No nightmares of losing every last photo or your children having no albums to look at. 

Can you imagine how this is going to go down when we are like 80 years old? "Come, lets sit around my ancient laptop and browse 18 hours worth of childhood photos. They are in this folder..." Or worse, on a flash drive that has gone missing. Doesn't matter, by then, our phone will be the only computer or piece of technology we will need to own and it will be able to fly. Once a photo is taken it will shoot out of the flying phone and then a little photo bird will catch it and add it to the album you have been working on, in it's correct order...

On second thought, don't organize photos. Wait until the above scenario happens.  Seems way easier.

2. Read the magazines that you haven't gotten to since your first child was born. I would say read a book but that seems very committal and hopefully you will be off bed rest very very soon. And with diaper changes and three (or however many you have) hungry children, their can be a lot of interruptions.

3. Stalk your favorite blogs you have been neglecting. Mom blogs, food blogs, DIY blogs (nothing I make would ever look like what these talented people make... how do you do this?). Choose your poison! Browse 8 billion food blogs and drool at all the recipes you will never make. Make sure to Pin them so you can store them in another place you will never look back at.

4. Watch the girliest, trashiest, shows and or movies that you have been pretending you have no interest in when friends or your hubby are around. "I dont watch Real Housewives of Atlanta..." Pull up that reality show and enjoy it, guilt free. Maybe, make some popcorn (nachos, chocolate...) and enjoy all the vegging out. I mean, when will you really have an opportunity to do this again?

5. Sift through that favorite cookbook that you swore you would cook from, however, have yet to do so in the past 2 years. Dust that cover off and start choosing recipes. Harass your hubby when he gets home by telling him everything you will be eating for the next month. It shouldn't cost too much to make that seafood stew that has 30 ingredients, right? 

6. And lastly, enjoy the company you have surrounding you. Days, weeks, months continue to fly by so quickly as we all just try to keep up with the busy world around us. Enjoy this static time you have with some of the best company you can find. Kids, friends, your baby belly, dogs, cats, your favorite pillow. Whatever it is, embrace it, sit back and relax. You'll be back in the trenches sooner than you realize!

Happy Bedresting!  

Now, I wonder what my Facebook friends are up to...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Day In The Life. Of Me?

Photo Credit: Hello Love Photography
I recently got asked the question, “So, what’s a day in the life?”

As I heard the words coming out of my working, no kids, girlfriends mouth, my mind quickly began to reel. A day in the life of... me?  Why would she or anyone care about what I do? My day wont be riveting or exciting enough for her. She will fall asleep as I rant off a typical day... "Oh, well, when I finally got Big Sis and The Twins buckled in their car seats and into the car, The Twins, both of them, had up the back explosion, so we all had to go back upstairs to take baths, change and essentially start the morning all over again, and then... " Rachel?* Are you there? Hello? [dial tone]

Understandably, I instantly get a pit in my stomach. My girlfriend goes to work everyday and makes a difference, she talks to adults and affects the lives of other people, she can walk out of the house, attractive and presentable, coffee and purse in hand… She can be smart, pretty and put together. How do I tell her that I’ve gone… [sound effect, dun, dun, dun...] stay at home mom.

So, my first thought was the obvious answer. Lie.
“Well, Rachel, long story short, I double nurse the twins every single feeding like an absolute super hero, never supplementing because we all know, that is of course EVIL. I prepare, from scratch, with all organic ingredients, every single meal for the one and only Big Sis. No expense to consider, she deserves the best. And, not to boast, but she eats every last bite. All of her leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. She turns her nose up at ice cream, cookies and packaged, processed snack food. Because, well, I taught her they were very, very, very, bad. And I definitely do not use those as bribery items. Never. Disgusting. After everyone is well fed and rested around our very strict nap schedule, never a complaint, we seamlessly get into the car and head off to gymnastics or dance class or French class. We are very cultured in this household. At gymnastics class, The Twins and I cheer on Big Sis and watch as she doesn’t hit, steal toys or push the other children. I think I actually witnessed her breaking up a fight between two other out of control toddlers. (Where are their parents?) Telling them to apologize for their actions. She is just so darn good. After she received 25 star stickers from her instructor for being so amazing we head home to relax and work on a very complicated, yet educational, Pinterest inspired project, all with the TV off. We actually cancelled cable. WE don’t raise our kids on the TV. The TV is no babysitter here. How tragic, those poor, brain dead kids. When the sun sets and we have just completed our organic, perfectly nutritious dinner, with no objection we head upstairs and begin our nightly routine. Tubby time, brush teeth, potty (we ALWAYS use the potty), cozy up and read books and off to dream land Big Sis goes. I spend quality time talking to my 3 month old Twins and tell them about our days events so that they can start talking and reading, maybe next month we hope, all while nursing and playing Mozart in the background. I feel as though hubby and I get smarter as we do this too. After The Twins drift off to sleep, hubby and I gaze at each other lovingly, we cheers to our days accomplishments with sparkling water and kiss each other goodnight. See? My children would be nothing without me home.”
I quickly realize, my girlfriend knows me well and wouldn’t believe all this. So my second thought was to make it brief, dramatic, chaotic and move on. Oh, and I'll make me smart. Really, really, smart and always, about the kids.
“Oh, its chaos. Not a minute to spare. There is constantly a baby dangling off of my boob while Big Sis needs constant attention or else I would walk into a room and she will have piled up boxes, of which she has collected from all over the house, to climb and reach the top shelf that contains all of our glassware. I make absolutely no time for me time because that would be selfish. I prepare meals and dinner is on the table for hubby every single night. Oh, and they are really tasty. We do educational projects; maintain an active social life for Big Sis and we never miss a meal. My meals are always pretty healthy so it’s pretty time consuming. Laundry is done daily, never a backup and the house is always clean. And at the end of the day hubby and I sit down with a glass of wine and chat about the events of the day AND discuss what is happening around the world, of course. What is this world coming to?”
But I don’t go that route either. I go for the full on truth. Boring or not. Knowing, no lives were saved or diseases cured in my neck of the woods. However, when I start describing my day, listing off a day in the life, in a non-emotional, list checking manner…
“Well, my day usually starts between 2:30 and 4a with getting up to nurse the babies. They sometimes eat at the same time and they sometimes don’t. So that dictates how many times I am up before 7a. Big Sis gets up around 7a and we all climb into bed together. I run downstairs and make a quick, quick breakfast and my life line, my coffee. We eat in bed. I strategically place Big Sis on my hubby’s side… ;) [evil laugh] I bath, diaper and dress everyone. Pack my diaper bag and either pile everyone in the stroller for a walk or in the car to head to the gym. I am totally a better mom if take a break to exercise. If we go to the gym, Big Sis plays with other kids for about an hour (or two…) and I take a moment to myself. (Did I hear shrieks?) We come home and eat lunch, whatever I can get into Big Sis’s body. Something, anything, just please, eat something. After sprinkling a few nursing sessions in with The Twins, while Big Sis entertains herself in her playroom or with the iPad or TV… it’s usually getting pretty late. So when everyone is content I zip through the house, throwing clean laundry to the already existing mountain of clean clothes and chipping away at the dirty clothes, I run through the house and half ass a cleaning session, getting the essentials like piles of diapers, rolling hair balls from my post partum shedding head, the dog and overall accumulation of dust. Attempt to put all the toys back into the playroom as they slowly creep out again as I do this and prep dinner. Chicken fingers or yogurt… and heating up what hubby and I prepared on Sunday. This is happening while the twins are going through their witching hour(s) of not feeling content, wanting to be held and constantly nurse so I stuff serve up a bottle of formula for each. After running around, sweating and all out exhaustion hits I open wine. My other life line.”

this is what I actually end up hearing…
"Between 2:30 and 4a I roll over to see four eyes gazing at me with two big sweet smiles. They actually make me laugh through all the tiredness and haze. Morning is pretty cozy sitting and eating breakfast with Big Sis. Our walk is an adventure in the stroller and I love how Big Sis dictates it and sings to everyone that goes by. She will sometimes run beside me and tell me, "she's running." Which I think is pretty cool, because I love running too. When I pick Big Sis up from the gym daycare, I feel relieved when she is not ready to go. She loves playing with the other kids and its awesome to witness this transition from enjoying just playing alone to wanting to surround herself with other kids. Embracing them and playing pretend. They are “her girls” and “her boys.” I love on the drive home, when one of The Twins starts to cry, Big Sis gives them their binky. Watching her mature daily does not get old. When The Twins are chillin’ and I’m running around the house trying to clean, do some laundry, make lunches, or work on a fun personal hobby (dare I say), I love poking my head in their Pack n’ Play to hear them crack up laughing, huge smiles and screechy coos. My fav. And when the "witching hour" strikes, I love being forced to sit down and hold the babies as Big Sis plays around us. I don’t worry about the huge pile of laundry, I will chip away at it, the house is kinda clean, if clean includes rolling balls of dust, but, I do the best I can. I feel so lucky to spend my days with these three and watch, first-hand; them discover the world around them and embrace life with them, in the eyes of a kid."

So next time I get asked the question, “What’s a day in a life?” I’ll answer confidently and honestly.
"I do everything possible, everyday, to raise three good kids the best possible way I know how. I make daily, difficult decisions that I have to trust and follow thru on. There is no time for questioning myself. Every day is a different adventure and learning experience. I by no means accomplish everything I put my mind to. But I'll keep trying. I'm always behind. We have major ups and downs. But at the end of the day, my driving force is the unconditional love for my family and that is what dictates my day. And then, I have wine."
What's a day in a life for you?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Welcoming Fall Fam Update

There has been a lot going on this past month.

The crew has been experiencing a shift in their nightly sleep habits. It goes a little something like this...

Not sleeping.

From 2a-6a. Full throttle not sleeping. Wide awake. Wanting to lay in bed, awake. Wanting to be held, awake. Twins, awake. Big Sis, awake AND not wanting to go into her own bed. Hubby, awake. Five people in one room, in one little bed, awake.

Then magically, or not so magically, I guess it's what happens when you pull an all nighter, (oh, the days of pulling all nighters when they were fun) all three, Big Sis and twins, fall fast asleep at about 6am.

Accept for hubby and I. By 5am, we typically accept our no sleep fate and give up.

But what is more miraculous is the amount of space such small beings occupy. It's like each baby requires a king size bed the moment their eyes fall sound.

Closed eyes, arms spread wide. What is that?

A little chicken scratch for your viewing pleasure.

Wing span limited due to pillow placement...
Personal space is no object.
But, I digress. We are getting through, and having fun, minimal sleep and all. 

We have said goodbye to summer and welcomed Fall.

See ya next year dog days!
Hello, pumpkin!
The twins have turned 3-months old and Big Sister celebrated her 3rd birthday. All crazy to me.

Happy 3rd Birthday Big Sis!
Gymness Barbie
I wanted to share the one and only cake I will probably make and decorate this year. I was pretty excited about it because we all know I don't bake. Or decorate sugar in the form of cake. This little Barbie, however, was very special. As I was bringing her out to the dessert table at Big Sisters birthday party, she flipped right out of my hands, did a few flips and landed standing straight up. Looking just like she does above. #superbarbie #miracle. I, obviously, am the hostess of the year.

If you are looking to hire entertainment and wanted to do something a little different than a clown for your birthday party, just give me a call. I can drop your very special cake or flip a table full of food, maybe accidentally step on a kid. I am sure I can supply some sort of clumsy, dysfunctional, unexpected surprise for ya. Surely, to entertain a crowd. #momoftheyear

Now let's get back to sleeping. Or lack thereof. I have found and perfected it in other forms and positions that have helped through the night. Some examples include...

Consoling two babies, belly sleeping.

Holding babies and sleeping with one eye open, because rolling over the baby is not an option in this house.

Consoling one baby at a time, because, well, why would they both sleep at the same time?

Aside from sleep, we have been having a good time. We have reached some really great milestones. The babies are full of smiles and coos. Which are adorable.

These faces make everything worth while, that's for sure.
We have been getting back into a routine of super market shopping and cooking for the week on Sunday's. Which is a life saver.

Nothing to see here, nothing to see, just keep walking...

The whole fam even attended a wedding. Big Sis had a blast tearing up the dance floor.

*attending a wedding with a toddler, however, does not come recommended...

So, we have been keeping busy. Taking care of babies...

and sneaking sleep where we can.

So that's a little bit of what's going on over here. It's been a great, busy, sleepless last month and we are looking forward to the holiday season! Here's to the next month... cheers!

How have you and your families been welcoming in the new season?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

This week I did a guest post at Fitfunner. Big Sis and I baked amazing Pumpkin Cupcakes and documented the challenge. Yes, challenge, because I don't bake. Find the recipe here and check out how our baking challenge went down!

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Third Birthday!

Hi [big sis],

Happy Birthday! You are three today. Three? How? But you are and as you grow up so quickly right before my very eyes, you impress me every single day.

You are a wicked perfectionist. I’m not going to lie; when nana visits we play a little joke on you. We continuously open the trash can door. You can’t resist shutting it every time you walk by. You don’t prefer things to be out of order, however, if you could see your playroom the way I see it, it looks like Toys R’ Us blew up, but to you, everything is right where it should be. I know this because when I tell you to grab something, you know exactly where it is in the explosion and you strategically hoard things like binky’s and crayons.

Your vocabulary is amazing to me. I don’t even understand how you know half the stuff you say. To be able to have a conversation with someone that used to just stare at me and laugh or cry is so much fun. I am not used to it yet and you push the limits to our conversations on a daily basis.

You are so affectionate and polite. You’re the sweetest kid I know. Besides your really un-sweet moments that I try and black out, although, those are few and far between. You are full of ‘thank you momma’s’ and ‘your welcomes,’ ‘sweet dreams’ and ‘I love you’s.’ You aren’t stingy on hugs and you make daddy and I feel like rock stars when we walk into a room. I hope you always stay that excited to see us.

This year was a big year for you. You went from being the only child to being a big sister of not one but two babies. You handled this shift so gracefully. You welcomed them with open arms. You love to hold the babies, cuddle them, tickle them, rub their heads and keep them cozy. You’re a natural and these two are so lucky to have you as their big sis. You rub their heads and tell me how soft they are and how cute they are. ‘They are so cuuuute, momma.’

I know it’s your birthday and all. But I am also celebrating what I would like to call my 3-year momiversary. I had no idea what I was getting into when you arrived three years ago. You have been teaching me how to be a mom and you are doing an amazing job. I would like to take a little credit for how awesome you are turning out, but we all know it’s not me, that is just your little innate personality. So thanks for leading the way and making me look so good. Because I really have no idea what I’m doing. We are just doing it, together.

So happy, happy third birthday sweet girl. You are one beautiful human being. Thanks for blessing us with your presence three years ago. I look forward to our ongoing journey.

Love you to the moon,

xxx Mom 

And now my little photo montage... out of order, because, well, who has time for order...