Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Semester Survived

Two semesters of class work done, two to go.  Then I get to start my rotations.  We fell into a better groove this semester that we will continue next semester.  I am a morning person.  My brain doesn't operate at night.  So I get up at 4am each day and go to school and study until class starts at 9:00 or 10:00am.  Hubby drops the kids off at daycare on his way to work.  I get out of class at 4:00pm and pick up the girls and we go home and make dinner and spend the evening together.  I feel like I've found about as a good a balance between school and family as possible.   Now I just need a house elf to help me keep the house clean.  As it is, I struggle just to keep up with the laundry and dishes.

Right now school is out and I get to savor every moment with my family with minimal study stress in the back of my mind.  And to make things even better, I did all my Christmas shopping online this year and started shopping super early, so I am completely done with gifts wrapped and under the tree.

Today little Amelia and I are having a Mommy and Amelia day while Julia is in school.  I was going to take Amelia back in time for lunch, but my poor girl is not feeling well.  She is running a low-grade fever and skipped lunch in favor of a nap.  She's not been my normal happy, bubbly Amelia.  Hopefully she'll be feeling better by tomorrow so Julia and I can have our scheduled Mommy and Julia day.

Hope you all are enjoying your holiday as much as I am!  God bless.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Facebook Friday

For anyone that didn't catch it last time I did this, Facebook Friday is a review of my Facebook statuses for the week.

Tuesday - Amelia informed me last night that she wants me to buy her a pillow pet - this was not following a commercial for said product.

Tuesday - Cleaning out the girls closet. One trash bag full of shoes to donate. One trash bag full of clothes to donate. Two bags of size 24 month and 2T clothes to lend to family and friends. Maybe I should open a consignment store.

Wednesday - Kitchen and bathroom are now clean. Moving on to the dreaded chore of hanging my clothes.

Wednesday - Tackling the office. Last room of the house to clean.

Thursday -  Still trying to sell our Graco DuoGlider (double stroller) with SnugRide car seat and two bases. http://tulsa.craigslist.org/bab/1886095367.html

Thursday - The girls slept past 7:00! First time in a long time that has happened. Now I need to convince them that wearing clothes is a good idea, so I can take them to school.

Thursday - My kids pretend to take each other's noses and now heads. It's all fun and games until they won't give it back. Is it wrong that I just laugh while they scream, "My head, my head! Sissy take my head!"?

Thursday - The girls saying bye to their Aunt Autumn: Bye, Ottoman!

Friday -The girls slept until 7:30 today! I was able to remove the switch plates and hardware from the bathroom walls and start taping off so I can paint. Sleeping in is great while I'm not in school, but could become a problem next week.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Little Update

Today is my first day since having my kids that I have the house to myself and no schoolwork to do.  I am looking forward to deep-cleaning my house!  I know crazy.  But it hasn't been cleaned properly since sometime before I started school.

Friday was my last day of Summer semester - and boy was it a rough one.  Going to school full-time has been a huge adjustment.  I knew it would be hard to put the girls in school full-time, but that I could handle it.  What I didn't anticipate was how little time I would get to spend with my husband and kids in the evenings.  My typical day went something like this:

6:00am - get myself dressed and ready for school
6:45am - girls wake up and get them ready for school
7:15am - drop the girls off at school
8:15 -5:00 - school
5:30pm - home to eat with the family
6:30pm - shut myself away to study
7:30pm - help hubby put the girls to bed
8:15pm - more studying
10:00pm - sleep

And despite all the time I spent focused on school, I still struggled to pass all my class.  I was an emotional wreck for probably the last month and dealt with overwhelming anxiety for the entire two months (by the week before finals, I had a perpetual eye twitch).  I regularly questioned why I was putting myself and my family through it all.  All my reasons for doing this seemed so unimportant when faced with the fact that I missed my family so much and I wasn't even excelling at what I was doing.  Then we had to go to the clinic one night and shadow an attending doctor.  I shadowed an amazing allergist.  She taught me so much including how to perform skin testing!  I was asked to look in ears and noses and read testing results.  I had such a great time.  And when I finally got my grades last week, I passed all my classes and I felt so good about what I had accomplished this past semester.  I took Biochemistry and Anatomy in 8 weeks in addition to two other classes and came out on the other side.  I survived the difficult transition into full-time school and being away from my family - and they survived it too!  I only have three more semesters of class work before I begin my rotations.  That's just one year.  I will graduate and go on to have a fulfilling career and teach my children that with hard work and perseverance one can overcome much.  But when coupled with prayer and being in God's will, one can do anything.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Several people have asked me how school is going so far.  It's time for a serious update.  I know.  I still don't have a New York or Disney post, but I seriously didn't have time to get on the Internet outside of school-related stuff last week.

Monday was day one of our 30 month adventure of Mommy in PA school.  I woke up bright and early at 5:30am to get dressed and ready to go.  Made my lunch like a good girl and woke the girls at 7:00am to get them dressed and ready to go.  We were out the door by 7:10 and at their school by 7:25.  Leaving the girls at school was not made any easier when they both looked up at me and said, "Mommy, wanna go home."  My heart still shatters into a million pieces when I think about that moment.  Thankfully there were no tears as I walked out the door.

I made it to my school by 7:45, which gave me plenty of time to find my building, find a parking spot, organize my things and put on a brave face for Anatomy Lab.  We were divided into six groups, one for each cadaver.  All was well until we opened the lid on our cadaver table.  That is a smell that I don't think I will ever get used to.  I tried to be brave and get close, but then I started feeling the blood drain from my face.  I sat down to avoid passing out.  I must have looked pretty bad because several people asked me if I was okay.  When a girl in my group offered me a piece of gum, I took her up on it and the smell of WinterFresh immediately replaced formaldehyde.  By the end of the class, I was watching my classmates dissect, but was not yet ready to actively participate.

After lab, we have lecture.  This is the schedule everyday.  It's a teleconference with a professor in Oklahoma City.  Questions are harder this way.  Nobody is thrilled with it.  Apparently the Anatomy professor from last year went in for a procedure shortly after the Spring semester let out and didn't make it.  Another example of why I believe that one should consider surgery thoroughly before jumping under the knife.

After lab is lunch and then we have another lecture.  Depending on the day of the week it varies from 2-4 hours long.  In addition to Anatomy, we are taking BioChemistry, Professional Issues in Medicine, and Public Health.  Yesterday we took a Medical Terminology test and assuming I passed, that will be the last I will have of that class.

We didn't get the car seats in for Jonathan's car until Tuesday, so I had to pick the girls up from school Monday and Tuesday.  Now it's Jonathan's job to pick them up.  This gives me a little flexibility so I can spend quality time with the cadavers (I am fully capable of participating in the dissection of Fiona now - Fiona because her skin is a bit green) Thursday evenings in preparation for our weekly Friday lab exams.  Fill-in-the-blank.  Ouch.  There's no guessing.  You just either remember what you are looking at and the term for it or you don't.  Pretty sure I passed, but most likely won't be hanging that grade on the fridge.

I did a good job this week of making up a list of easy meals and shopping for them over the weekend.  I came home and knew exactly what my options were and had everything on hand.  Hopefully I will remain diligent with that.  Despite all my preparation and the support of my amazing husband, I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety.  The kind that twists my stomach in knots and makes me wonder just when I will toss my cookies.  Also, even though I am a (nearly) 30-year old student with a husband and two kids, I feel a bit overlooked by some of the other students - it's like high school all over again.  Hopefully, as my anxiety passes and I get to know everyone better, this too will pass.

As for the girls, they don't seem to be any worse for the wear.  They miss us, but seem to have fun at school.  They only cried two of the five days we went to school and I'm sure that will improve when they get used to our new routine.  I'm not happy with the foods they are fed (taquitos, pancake-on-a-stick, pop tarts - seriously?), but their school is clean and the teachers are nice and they have been napping.

Prayers are appreciated.  This is going to be hard on all of us.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just When I Thought I Was Going to be Productive...

Yesterday I finally caught up on all my blog reading, so I thought it was (way) past time for me to update the world on my May.  Pictures of the girls, trip to New York, and trip to Disney World.  It's been a busy month.  Just as I was about to put the SD card into the laptop, it turned itself off.  What?!?!  The only things running on my computer were my picture album and Internet Explorer with three tabs open.  I checked to make sure it was still plugged in since the battery doesn't work anymore and the blue light told me it was.  Yet, the darn thing won't turn back on.  I push the button and nothing.  I hold the button down and nothing.  I'm at a loss.  All I know is that ALL the pictures of my girls are on there and if I lose those I will be extremely upset.  So any computer saavy people out there with any suggestions for me?  I suppose I will just take it to the repair shop later today.  If I am able to get my pictures back, any suggestions for how to handle digital photographs in the future?  Thumb drive, CD, external hard drive?  What's the best option?  Any suggestions for new lap tops?  Preferrably ones that don't shut themselves off randomly and refuse to start again.

Okay, must rescue my office from my coloring kids.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Loving The Word

Julia found my Bible in my purse the other day and was carrying it around like a prized possession (she's so smart).  Both girls received two Bibles (Gideon sized) as gifts when they were born, so I pulled them out and let them each have one.  Now they both carry them everywhere with them and ask me to read it to them.  Of course I oblige.  The part that really makes me laugh about the whole thing is that when Julia says Bible, she says it like she's from the deep South.  She also regularly looks for the pictures.  It goes something like this:

Where pictures go?
Where go?
No more pictures.
Pictures gone.

Now Momma needs to take a lesson from her girls and pick up her own Bible more often.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catching Up

For those of you that have been following the story of my frustration with my doctor's office, I finally have resolution for you.  I went with the calling three times a day strategy until I got some answers.  It took three days before I finally got to talk to the nurse.  She said that all my results for all my lab work were good, except there was one that my doctor was unsure of and wanted to review with another doctor.  She told me that he said it was his fault he hadn't done anything on it yet and that he planned to do it before noon that day.  So I said, "Then theoretically I should get a phone call before the end of the day today?"  I'm told yet.  Good thing I didn't hold my breath.  So I resumed my three times a day calls until I finally received a phone call 13 days after my blood was drawn for my titers.  They thought my Hep B titer had come back negative.  Turns out they ran the wrong test on it.  And it apparently took them 13 DAYS to figure this out.  Fortunately the lab girl I spoke with was surprisingly helpful.  She told me they wouldn't charge for the test I didn't need done (gee, how sweet) and arranged for me to have it done at an office very near my house the same day.  I tried to get a babysitter for the girls, but it was short notice, so I braved the trip to the office with the girls.  My normally wild, all-over-the-place girls were angels.  I put on my bravest face and smiled through the whole thing and told the girls exactly what was happening.  Julia stuffed all her fingers in her mouth at once and cried the whole time my blood was being drawn.  I kept telling her it didn't hurt and that Mommy was okay, but she was very upset for me.  Amelia just stared and wasn't quite sure what to think.  When the phlebotomist wrapped my arm in guaze they were afraid that I had an owie.  "Just a little one," I told them.  "It will be all better by the time we get home."  The next day I was able to go pickup all my paperwork from my doctor's office, so I can finally get it to my school.

In more interesting news to all my Mommy readers out there, we have been working on potty training at our house.  The girls were telling me they needed to potty often - and by often I mean that I felt as though I was spending my day in the bathroom.  I wouldn't have minded if they actually did something up there aside from playing, but they weren't.  It was just an excuse to get Mommy's undivided attention.  In an effort to reward good potty behavior and curb "bad" potty behavior, I started giving two Reeses Pieces every time they actually did something on the potty.  This seems to be working.  Now we go diaperless most of the morning and part of the afternoon and both girls are really getting the hang of it.  Julia has even started asking to go when we are out in public!  This should add an unexpected twist to our Disney trip, but I think it's well-worth it.

Now for a laugh:  Julia is still really enjoying her "Little Bunny Poopoo" song and both girls have added motions to it.  They are really working hard at making bunny ears with their fingers.  I had no idea it was all that tricky until I watched them try to do it.

Lastly, pray for wisdom for us as we go through the process of accepting and declining student loans.  What a headache.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Six days until I leave for NYC to celebrate turning 30 with three of my girlfriends.

Eighteen days until I leave for DisneyWorld with the hubby and kiddos.

Four weeks until orientation.

One month until school starts.

Thirty-one months until graduation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sweet Sisters

My girls had a stomach bug last week.  Julia woke up at 12:45am Friday morning.  At 1:00 I had to change her sheets.  At one point I brought Amelia into our bed to sleep because she was so uncomfortable and just needed to cuddle.  I heard Julia get sick again and jumped out of bed.  When I tried to put Julia back in bed she wouldn't go to sleep because she didn't know where her sister was.  "Sissy.  Sissy," she kept crying out.  Meanwhile, Amelia had heard her sister crying and was on her way to help her.  I returned Amelia to her own bed so they could be together again.  Later, Amelia needed to go to the restroom to throw up.  Right after she got sick, she heard her sister crying in their room.  "Sissy, crying," she said as she ran in to check on her.  She gave her a little pat as her sister got sick in her bed.  Not a night I'd like to relive, but even in those terrible few hours, I was offered the fleeting opportunities to see just how much my girls love each other.  It's times like that I feel beyond blessed to have been given twins.

In unrelated news, if you really want a laugh, ask Julia about Little Bunny FooFoo and she'll tell you all about Little Bunny PooPoo.

An Update on my Frustrations

Let's see.  When I last left you with my angst, I had gone in for my lab results last Wednesday only to be told that the doctor was reviewing them and I would get a call when he was done.  Guess who never received a call?  Yup.  That's me.  So yesterday I called around 1:30.  I was told they would leave a message for the nurse and she would call me back.  No call.

Bear in mind that not only have I been asking for lab work from my blood draw on April 21st, but I also had lab work done April 7th that I still haven't heard anything on.  AND, I have told them repeatedly (as if they care) that this stuff is for paperwork that has to be turned in May 1st.  Guess who didn't get her paperwork turned in on time?  So not my style.

So I called this morning at 8:40.  "I'll leave a message for the nurse", says Candy the receptionist.  Thank you, Candy.  That's the same run-around garbage I've been told everytime I've called.  Of course I didn't say that.  I was polite.  It's not Candy's fault my doctor's nurse lacks follow-through.

I called again at 1:00.  This time I spoke with Cliff the receptionist.  "Hi, Cliff.  I called this morning to get my bloodwork results from April 7th and April 21st.  I've been told multiple times that I would get a call back and have yet to receive one.  I'd really like to know what's going on and at this point I feel like I have to pester you all to get any kind of answer.  Can you, please, tell me what's going on, Cliff?"  Cliff lets me know that the nurse is on lunch, but should be back in 15-20 minutes and he'll leave her a message to call me.  Thanks, Cliff, but your messages are apparently worthless because it's now 1:30 and the nurse still hasn't called me.

Do I need to call everyday three times a day to find out what's going on with my blood work?  Do I need to allow my two year-olds to run amuck in their office to get some answers?  What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kitchen Makeover

We got granite - and a new sink - and a new faucet.  They are lovely.  Being without countertops, a sink, and the dishwasher for multiple days was not-so-lovely - but it was worth it.







Quick. What's a stronger word for frustrated?

I'm frustrated.  That's an understatement.

I went to the doctor about 3 weeks ago for a physical.  I figured I hadn't been since I went off to college in '98 so maybe before going back to college I should go again.  I assumed I would need some immunizations for school so my doctor asked for my records to see what I would probably need.  His staff told him that my records had been destroyed.  He was pretty miffed since I was only 17 last time I had seen him.  He gave me the DTaP since we knew I needed that one and told me to check and see if my parents have copies of my immunization records.

The parents had some - but not my Hepatitis B records.  Doh.  I checked with my high school.  They destroy records after 2 years.  I checked with my college.  They destroy records 10 years after they receive them.

By this time, I've received the official paperwork I need to fill out and return to the school by May 1st.  I need to get a varicella titer (shows that I have the antibodies to fight off varicella, aka chicken pox) and TB test.  I call the office to schedule those.  I get there and the nurse says she can only do TB tests on Mondays and Wednesdays.  It's a Thursday.  So why did they schedule me for a Wednesday?  Frustration is mounting.  I go ahead and have the blood drawn for the varicella titer and make an appointment to come in Monday for my TB test.  Later that day I realize that I can probably just get a Hepatitis B titer also.  I call the office and ask to speak with the lab.  They have me leave a message and tell me they'll give me a call later.  No call.  I call the next day and they have me leave another message and they tell me they'll give me a call back.  Now it's Friday at 4:00pm and still no call back.  I call again.  This time the receptionist calls the nurse who gives some non-answer like, "I assume it was done."

Monday morning I go in for my TB test and am told that the lab was able to do both varicella and Hep B titers with my blood draw.  Yay!  So I go back today to get my TB test results (negative) and my titer results.  I'm told that my doctor pulled my labwork and is looking over it and they will call me when he's done with it so I still don't have proof of my Hep B vaccine or that I've had chicken pox.  I get home and tell my mom what's going on and she calls my dad to see if he has any additional information.  Dad and my doctor are good friends and because the office was giving me so much grief I had asked my dad to make sure the doctor knew what was going on.  Dad says that my Hep B titer came back negative and my doctor is checking to see if the lab work was done properly.

AHHHH!!!  I know I had the Hep B vaccine because in psychology class my senior year of high school we had to write in a journal.  I stumbled across that a few days ago and read through it.  In an entry dated April 10, 1998, I wrote that I had the last round of my Hepatitis B vaccine the previous day.  So either something was wrong with the vaccine, something was wrong with the titer, or my body doesn't build anitbodies to Hep B.  This can't be happening.

Meanwhile, I got an email last week stating that I need to get a white coat from a specific uniform store in town.  I email the shop and ask what information they need from me for this coat.  They tell me that they need me to verify my name as it will be embroidered on the coat and they need my size.  They also tell me that I am welcome to come in to the store to try on so I am sure to get the right size and gave me their store hours.

I went in Saturday and was told they were completely sold out and they should have a shipment come in Tuesday.  Great.  I decide that since it is close to my doctor's office, I will go in today.  Still no shipment.  She says it should come in today.

Did I mention that my doctor's office and the uniform shop are a good 20-30 minutes away from my house?  And that doing these things with two two-year olds is difficult to say the least.  Okay.  End rant.

A Week in Facebook Statuses

Tuesday:  No nap for the girls again today. This resulted in a very frustrated momma and Julia full out crashing in the car at 7:00pm.

Thursday:  Lesson of the week: Make sure you keep a copy of all your immunization records because doctors offices and schools like to destroy them.

Friday:  Amelia threw a 5 minute tantrum because she DIDN'T want the pretzles I offered her for a snack. Seriously, kid, a simple "no thanks" will suffice.

Sunday:  My kids can finally say their own names. Woohoo!

Monday: My children have an abnormal affection for our minivan. They don't stop at just hugging it regularly, they also accompany it with an "Awww."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pitching the Paci

I wrote yesterday about how we had started paci weaning.  Well last night was a big night.  We had two pacifiers left.  We brought a trashcan into the girls' room and showed each of them that their paci was broken.  We then asked them to throw their last remaining pacis away.  Both girls happily followed directions.  Amelia asked for it once when I was kissing her goodnight.  I reminded her that it was broken and she threw it away and told her that we didn't have anymore.  She seemed satisfied with this answer.

We kissed the girls goodnight at 8:30pm.  It's now 7:20am and I still haven't heard a peep from their room.  Maybe, just maybe, this won't be as hard as I thought it would be.

In other "Big Girl" news, Amelia has stopped calling me Mommy and has instead shortened it to Mom.  That was one milestone I wasn't looking forward to.

Julia showing some serious paci love at 20 months.

Amelia at her 2nd birthday party.

Edit:  The girls woke up about 7:30.  The latest they have in probably a week.  Amelia greeted me with an enthusiastic, "Mommy!".  Julia has already looked in the trashcan for her pacis.  Fortunately I was smart enough to move them to the big trashcan with the lid.   There were no fits.  She just needed to be reminded that they are gone.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Things that Make Me Laugh

The girls now sing their own special rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle.

Julia:  Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, star

Both Girls:  How are you?  How are you?

Amelia:  Up above the world so high. (while Julia sings gibberish)

Both Girls:  *Gibberish to the appropriate tune*

It's awesome.

A beetle crawled across the hallway this morning.  Both girls start panicking and saying, "Bug, bug!" - repeatedly.  This is especially funny to me because while Julia was "helping" me plant flowers on Sunday she played with a baby worm.  I guess worms are okay, but beetles are just icky.

Last night we were driving in the car when I hear, "7, 8, 9, 10."  This morning Julia counted four pacifiers.  Apparently my children can count, but choose not to do so when I ask them to.

I've been weaning the girls from their pacifiers this week.  One day I cut a horizontal line across the tip.  The next day, I cut a vertical line across the tip.  Today, I cut a little bit of the tip off.  Julia brought me four pacifiers and told me they were broken.  It was naptime, so I told her we would have to throw them away later.  She thought right then was a better time and chunked them into the trash can.  She laid happily down in bed without one and I haven't heard a word from her since.  I hope it will really be that easy with her, but I'm not holding my breath.

Mom, don't panic.  We know it's a mess, but doesn't our cuteness make up for it just a little?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

I know.  I've been pretty neglectful of posting lately.  I've been studying for a test that I have to take today.

Amelia's really been staying on top of me to get my work done. The girl is tough.

Julia has been singing me some hymns to help me relax a little. They sound a little funny when sung upside down.

Okay.  Maybe these were taken a couple months ago and I just wanted an excuse to share them.  Isn't it fantastic that wearing Potato Head glasses is timeless.  My daughter wears them as did her mother before her.  If you had a Mr. Potato Head you probably did it too.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Office Update and Bulletin Board Makeover

Hubby and I painted the office.  Nothing exciting since we plan to sell the house shortly after I graduate school.  This room used to have nicks and scuffs all over the yellowish walls.  The furniture was haphazardly squeezed into the room wherever there was space for it at the time.  When we cleared out the furniture, we moved the treadmill into our bedroom and when I moved the furniture back in, I added a couple of club chairs and the girls' easel.  I didn't snap a before shot, but here's the after.

Love the new "reading nook".  Ignore the boxes under the chairs.  They'll be gone when I clean out the closet.

Notice the new bulletin board.  It used to be a plain cork bulletin board with a white frame.
I covered the cork with paper and painter's tape and spray painted the frame.  Then I cut a piece of super cool fabric the size of the cork and sprayed the back of it with adhesive spray.  Then I just layed it on the cork, smoothed it out and here's the close-up!

I love it so much that I almost don't want to put anything on it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Their 3rd Easter

The girls are more afraid of the Easter bunny this year than last, but they had fun collecting their eggs and asking me to "ope" them so they could eat the hidden treats.  The bunny brought them sidewalk chalk this year, which they think is fantastic.  They've been hard at working transforming our back patio into a work of art.  I might be having fun helping.

Amelia (left) and Julia (right)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Insanity at it's Finest.

I was changing Amelia's diaper and she was squirming and wiggling and just being difficult.  When I got to the point where I felt like I was wrestling an alligator, I said, "Amelia, if you don't quit moving your legs, I'm going to cut them off."  She just looked at me like, "What are you talking about?"  She must have understood that her leg wiggling was a serious source of frustration for me at that point though because she behaved for the remainder of the diaper changing.

What's is the craziest thing you have said in a moment of frustration?

Learning Styles

Having twins can be such a cool thing for many reasons.  One of them is that I tend to pay more attention to the little things about them that I wouldn't notice if I had a singleton.  Since they are identicals, I think it's fun to try to find the differences in them.  It ensures that I treat them as individuals rather than as a unit.  I was recently telling someone about some of their differences when I realized that I already know their individual learning styles and I have really known them since they were very young.  I just didn't put it all together until this recent conversation.

When the girls were learning to roll over, Amelia tried and tried and tried.  Julia never did.  One day Julia rolled over.  The next day Amelia did.

Amelia took her first unassisted step at her first birthday party, but really didn't perfect walking until about 13 months.  Julia was happy to use her walker to keep up until she just started walking (quite well) one day when she was 13 months.

Since we introduced the potty (around a year old), Amelia has wanted to practice sitting on the potty and can now use it when she wants to.  Julia didn't show much interest in it until recently and she has begun using it at will.

It's probably not as obvious by reading this as it is having been there watching it happen, but Amelia most definitely learns by doing while Julia learns by watching.  I feel like I can parent so much smarter just by having realized this because now when I teach them I can do so by showing Julia as I do it with Amelia.  Okay, in all honestly, I've been doing that pretty instinctively anyway just because Julia doesn't want to do things right away.  So this really just means I can be more intentional now.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Domestic Diva = Mundane Momma

Julia has been running a fever for the last few days, so no pilates for Momma and Kid's Club for the girls and we had to cancel our playdate.  The girls have been mostly good while I've been trying to do a bunch of things that I've been needing/wanting to get done for awhile.  This morning we did a couple loads of laundry, then I shipped the girls out to the sunny backyard so I could make some crockpot banana bread.  I got the recipe from here.  I'll have to let you know how it turns out.  After mixing my dough, I made some mac-n-cheese for the girls.  While they were eating lunch, I vacuumed the living room and kitchen.  Once I laid the girls down for their nap, I mopped the kitchen floor and now, despite pre-naptime yawns from both girls and nearly an hour in their beds, they are still not asleep.

Plans for the remainder of the day include getting my bedroom picked up and making a trip to Wal-Mart for an Easter project.  Assuming all goes as planned (did I seriously just write that in a blog entitled Not According to Plan?) I will share my project on here when I finish.

While I've had a productive day, I think the girls are feeling a little neglected.  Maybe we can all play outside together if they ever decide to take a nap.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Like Father, Like Daughter

My dad has a lot of great qualities.  He is a big picture thinker with the ability to be completely objective.  He is really great with all four of his grandgirls and he's always been there for me when I needed something.

When I was in elementary school though, I commented to my dad that it was chilly outside.
He quickly responded with, "Are you sure it's not spaghetti?"

I was pretty sure it was the lamest thing I had ever heard.

Last night when Jonathan said that he didn't hear a peep from the girls room I quickly responded with, "Well I should certainly hope not.  They aren't chicks."

We always knew I was my father's daughter, but apparently I am becoming even more so with age.  Wow.

Love this picture.

The Perfect Easter Shoes - or not.

I ordered the perfect Easter shoes for the girls at Target.  Not only were they cute, but they were only $9.99 and buy one get one half off.  The shoes came yesterday.  Aren't they cute?

Too bad they don't fit.  That little elastic strap is super tight.

Now I'm on a quest for these from Payless.

Wish us luck.

Edit:  We found the shoes!  Payless is awesome because if they don't have your size (or enough pairs in your size) they give you a $3.00 coupon and a list of nearby stores that do have them in stock.  I am much happier with the quality of these shoes and the girls love them so much that they wore them to Target last night and at 7:43am already have them on again today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unexpected Issues

When thinking through the perks of having twins I usually always thank my lucky stars that nobody has the "oldest child" syndrome.  If you are an oldest you know what I'm talking about.  That horrible jealousy that you have because you were suddenly pushed out of the center of Mommy and Daddy's world.  I also thought it was great because when the next kid comes around (not any time too soon), the girls will completely grasp the concept of sharing with each other (not that they will).  What I didn't expect to happen was the following scenario:

My mom was watching my niece, who is almost two years older than my girls, and she wanted to come over to play with her cousins.  All was going relatively well until Amelia pulled out her Magna-Doodle.  Julia was playing with another toy.  Halla wanted to play with a Magna-Doodle too, so I got Julia's out for her.  Amelia came unglued.

"NO!  Sissy's!  Sissy's!"

Then at the library today, the girls climbed the stairs in the children's section to the platform with the silly mirror.  When other kids would try to climb the stairs they both yelled, "NO!  GO AWAY!"

Apparently it's okay if Sister is up there, but other kids are not welcome.

Don't we have an awesome children's section?

I guess since I think of my girls more as individuals than twins, I failed to realize that they are the only members of an exclusive club.  Starting daycare in June might just be a good thing for them.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

All Mixed Up

We've been having some trouble getting the girls to go to sleep for naptimes and bedtimes.  You wouldn't believe the amount of screaming and giggling that comes from their room after lights out.  When I say lights out, I mean pitch black.  If there is any light they don't sleep, they play.  So after several weeks of us having to get very angry before they finally lay down and go to sleep, we decided Friday night to just leave them be until they finally put themselves to sleep.  Before Jonathan went to sleep he went back to check on them.  He came back and told me that Julia was asleep, but Amelia was standing at the door and seemed very confused, but he put her to bed and we didn't hear another peep out of them - until 1:00am.  That's when I heard a kiddo whining at her door.  I opened the door and saw Julia standing there - but her bed was already occupied.  Yup.  It was Amelia that Jonathan saw sleeping in Julia's bed, but because his eyes weren't adjusted yet, he just assumed it was Julia.  When I tried to lay Julia down in Amelia's bed, she pointed down at the mattress and said, "Bed?" in her cute little confused voice.  "I know this is Sissy's bed," I told her, "but she's sleeping in your bed, so you'll have to sleep in hers."  I guess she just needed to hear that it was okay because she finished off the night there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

About my Blood.

I know this won't interest most of you, but for those of you that are interested in medical conditions this might be fascinating.  I'll try to define all the medical terms so everyone can understand.

I have a genetic disorder called Beta Thalassemia Minor.  My grandpa had it, my mom has it, my aunt has it, my brother and my cousins on my mom's side all have it.  My medical terminology textbook defines it as a hereditary form of hemolytic anemia in which the beta hemoglobin chains are defective and the production of hemoglobin is deficient, creating hypochromic microcytic red blood cells.

Hemoglobin is the compound in blood that carries oxygen to the cells from the lungs and carbon dioxide away from the cells to the lungs.  People have both alpha and beta hemoglobin chains so there is also an Alpha Thalassemia Minor.

Hypochromic means that the red blood cells don't have as much color as they should.

Microcytic means that the red blood cells are smaller than they should be.

This really affects my day-to-day life very little.  Apparently I don't have as much energy as most people and I definitely get "head-rushes" when standing up too quickly more easily than others.  I am still able to donate blood though.

Here's where things get tricky.  I went to my doctor awhile back because I was feeling very nauseous in the mornings.  I was fine as long as I was in bed, but the minute I got up I felt like I was going to lose the previous night's dinner.  I was always fine after eating.  It was very similar to pregnancy-induced morning sickness, but I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant.  So when I went to the doctor he thought it was probably just a little stomach bug and gave me some Prevacid, but had me get blood work done just in case.

A couple weeks later I got my blood work results in the mail.  They put my results in one column and the normal range in the other.  More than HALF of my results were not within the normal range!  I was told that I have mild anemia and that I should take an iron supplment daily and have my blood work checked again in a month.  This seemed odd to me, so I went to the Internet to do some research on my Beta Thalassemia Minor and iron-deficiency anemia as well as blood work results so that I could decipher all the codes.  Turns out lack of hemoglobin affects many parts of your blood, but doctors like to label you iron-deficient if your Hgb (Hemoglobin) levels are lower than "normal".  This is a good indicator of anemia in most people, but low Hgb levels are normal when you have a defective beta hemoglobin gene.

So when my doctor's nurse called after I got my paperwork, I reminded her that I was Beta Thalassemic.  She had never heard of this, couldn't say it back to me, and had no clue how to spell it.  She said she would talk to the doctor and call me back.

Two weeks later I finally got a call back.  Now the doctor wanted me to take two iron supplements daily and have my blood work done again in two months.  So I told them I would try, but if it made me feel bad I was going to quit because it is entirely possible to overdose on iron.  I usually forgot to take my night pill, but always took my morning pill and had my blood work done again after the requisite two months.

I got my results back and low and behold my Hgb levels were exactly the same after two months of iron supplements.  So I now know that I do not have iron-deficiency anemia, but just the Beta Thalassemia Minor that I've known about since birth.  What a waste of money.  In all fairness though, a lot of Beta Thalassemics are also iron-deficient.  Couldn't they have just tested my iron levels though?

Anyone need some Slow FE?  I have half a box that I no longer need.

Putting it all Together.

Last night we started eating before Jonathan got home from work.  Julia pointed at his chair and said, "My daddy's seat."  Her longest (English) sentence yet.

Trying on a birthday gift.

Eating birthday cake.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Beautiful Family

From Left to Right:  Lailie (niece), Autumn (SIL), Kyle (brother), Mom, Amelia, Halla (niece), Dad, Me, Julia, Jonathan

Far from perfect, but improving with age.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Second Birthday: A Pictorial Review

The Food

The Cakes

Opening the Gifts

The Mess

Julia blowing out her Candle.

Amelia blowing out her candle.

There were so many good pictures.  I'll post more as an album on Facebook after Easter.
Many thanks to Allison Pollard for her photography.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

The girls' vocabularies are exploding.  It's awesome.

Amelia is always "tuck" in her carseat, her booster seat, when she wedges herself between the couch and the ottoman.

Julia loves to let us know that "It's mine."  You really have to hear her say it to fully appreciate it.  She is very emphatic about it and even points at herself just to make sure she's getting her point across.

Amelia enjoys her babies so much that she has started throwing the word baby in her phrases.  "Hi, Baby", "Bye, Baby", and "No, Baby, No!" are some of her favorites.  The thing that makes it especially funny is that she says these things to Jonathan and I.

We took the girls to the zoo yesterday with their Aunt Audrey and their Aunt Adrienne.  While they enjoyed the animals, they were really excited about watching all the airplanes take off and land at the very nearby airport.  Every few minutes we heard two little voices shouting "Airplane!".

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Second Year: A Pictorial Review

Time flies when you're having fun...

13 Months - Julia in purple and Amelia decked out in beads

14 Months - Apparently the pool is just as much fun upside down as it is right side up.

15 Monrhs - Obviously a favorite activity.

16 Months - We love America, Huggies, and grapes.

17 Months - First Hug

18 Months - It's hard to be mad when they are just so darn cute.

19 Months - My little Thing 1 and Thing 2.

20 Months - Planning a trip to Disney World.  This is serious work.

21 Months - Opening presents is the best.

22 Months - Too cute.

23 Months - Who needs a bed when you can sleep in drawers?

24 Months - Swinging like big girls on our new swing set.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stats as Promised

The girls had their 2-year-old check-up Friday.  The doctor confirmed what we already knew.  They are perfect.  Both stand 35" tall.  Julia is 27lb 4oz and Amelia is 29lb 6oz.  So if it's true that you double their height at two to determine their adult height, they should reach approximately 5'10".  I guess I better enjoy not being the shortest in the family while it lasts.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We survived!

Today Jonathan and I are celebrating surviving two years of twin parenthood.  While the first year of their life was hopefully the most difficult thing I'll ever go through, this second year has definitely had more good than bad.  I love (most of the time)...

:: that the girls are fully mobile.

:: that they are able to communicate most of their wants and needs.

:: that Julia loves airplanes and Amelia loves babies..

:: that they give each other and us sweet pats on the back.

:: that they laugh when they toot.

I'll post the girls stats after their doctor's appointment on Friday, but suffice it to say that they are in size 3T now.  I've got some big girls.

Happy Birthday, my two blessings, my little angel monkeys.

Pictures to come soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


My girls brought home a craft from church Monday.  Toilet paper tube binoculars.  Aren't they fun?

It looks like they just decorated two toilet paper roll tubes.  Not sure if it was finger paint or stamp pads, but you could be creative.  Stickers, glitter glue, whatever you have lying around.  Then they taped them together with what looks like painter's tape.  I'm sure you could use duct tape, packing tape, or masking tape too.  What a cheap and easy project and the girls love them!

The Making of the Dresses

The long-anticipated (okay, maybe not) how-to for making t-shirt dresses for toddlers.  I'm not big on "patterns" in the traditional sense.  I just like to figure out what I'm going to do, measure, cut, and sew.  My mother thinks I'm crazy.  She's probably right.

1.  Pre-wash all your fabrics and iron.

2.  Determine how wide you'd like the waistband to be and add half an inch for seam allowance.  Measure the diameter of the shirt where you'd like to place the waistband.  Add half an inch for seam allowance.  Use these two measurements to cut two identical pieces of fabric.

3.  Determine how long you'd like your skirt be.  Double that number and add half an inch for seam allowance.  The width will be double the width of your the waistband pieces.  Use these two measurements to cut two identical pieces of fabric.

4.  Fold your skirt pieces in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together and iron.  This way you won't have to sew a hem on the bottom of your dress and your skirt will be double-sided.  No ugly back side of the fabric will show no matter how much your little ballerina twirls.

(Not sure why this is sideways.  I'll work on that.)

5.  Put the two right sides of your waistband pieces together and sew one of the short sides.  Do the same on your skirt pieces.  Iron the seams open.

6.  Pin the right side of your waist band fabric to your shirt so that the seam of the waistband lines up with one of the seams of your shirt and sew.  Fold the waistband fabric down over the seam and iron the seams down.

7.  Take your skirt fabric and baste all the way along the long open seam.  Do not backstitch and leave your thread a bit long.  Hold one piece of thread and gently pull the other piece of thread to gather the fabric.

8.  Pin your skirt fabric to the right side of your waistband fabric so that the seams line up and adjust your gathering so that it is even.  Carefully sew these two pieces together.  Fold the skirt fabric down over the seam and iron the seams down.

9.  Turn your dress inside out and sew the final seam together.  Iron the seam open.

10.  Embellish in any way you like.

(Sideways again?  You're killing me Blogger.)

Close up of my embellishment

I'm sure I didn't explain this well.  So if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask and I'll do my best to clarify.

A Sunnier Outlook

Feeling better since the last post.  The girls are well again and I have several things checked off my to-do list.

Yesterday I did five loads of laundry, worked on the girls' birthday dresses, did my homework, and bought the batter for the girls' cakes.

A how-to on the making of the dresses to follow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here We Go Again

So we spent all evening in a nasty after hours clinic so my girls could get diagnosed with Hand, Foot, Mouth for the third time in their two years.  Not only that, but Julia was diagnosed with her third ear infection since Christmas.  What kind of Pediatric clinic doesn't put outlet covers on the outlets in their offices where they make you wait with your child(ren) who are bored out of their mind and trying to touch everything.  Those outlets just look like the perfect place to stick their saliva-drenched fingers.  Nightmare.

This was exactly what I didn't need.  Here's why.

Amelia is cutting her final teeth, Julia is cutting 17 and 18.  Thank God an end is in sight there.

Nobody is sleeping well at night.  Seriously, do they make a drug that helps you fall back asleep after your daughter wakes you up to find her pacifier in the middle of the night?  She's out in a few minutes.  Last night it took Jonathan and I two plus hours.

I am trying to get everything lined out for starting school in June.  That means finding a daycare, making appointments for a physical, an annual, a haircut.  I'll have to make an adjustment to my FAFSA.  Depending on my schedule, we may need to buy two carseats for Jonathan's car...

The girls' Super Sweet Second Birthday is right around the corner.  For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to make them dresses for the big day.  Why, why?!?!  Oh, I also need to buy them forks still.  Neglected to do that when I bought plates and napkins.  Then there is the food.  Sam's here we come.

Saturday is my last cake decorating class.

I know I said that online class was awesome.  Now that I've been in it for a little longer, I have to amend my opinion.  While the whole not having to arrange for someone to watch the girls is awesome, I failed to remember that I suck at testing on a computer.  I also lack the motivation required for studying for an online class.  Did I mention that my next test is next week?

I'm sure things could be significantly worse.  Like I could be reliving the first month of twin parenthood.  Still, I'm a little overwhelmed and stressed at the moment.  Even though I gave up Facebook and haven't updated this thing in quite some time, I still feel like I can't get anything done.  Deep breath.

Time to study.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Crying Over Spilled Milk

I know we aren't supposed to cry over spilled milk.  But I seriously think some spilled milk situations merit a good cry.  For instance, the few times that I spilled the freshly pumped breast milk in the first six months of my children's lives.  Or today...

We came home from the grocery store with a brand new gallon of milk for the girls.  I set it on the kitchen counter and went into the living room to turn the TV on so that the girls wouldn't cling to my legs begging "up-e-o" (pick me up) while I made their oh-so-delicious, but not-so-nutritious mac & cheese.  Then I hear a crash, followed by a tell-tale bubbling.  Yeah.  They pulled the milk off the counter and it busted right along the seam.  To make matters worse, I'm frantically telling the girls to get out of the kitchen and go in the living room while pouring what's left in the jug into the old jug and grabbing for towels and Amelia just keeps standing there saying, "Messy, messy, messy."

Yes, Amelia, it is messy.  Please go in the living room.

Messy, messy, messy.


Messy, messy, messy.


That last time I screamed it at her.  And she started bawling.  Broke my heart.  I couldn't do anything about it until I dammed the grout-made milk rivers though.  The milk was heading straight for the fridge and THAT would have been disaster.  So once I got the rivers dammed, I talked to Amelia about following directions while I gave her hugs and kisses and made everything better.

Two bath towels and a hand towel later and the mess was cleaned up.  Thank goodness I was already doing laundry today.

On a more positive note, the weather the last couple days has been so phenomal.  Two days ago I braved taking the twins for a walk, sans their leashes (Julia's broke a few months ago).  In the 15 minutes that we walked, the girls chased an airplane, Amelia made a mad-dash for a Weimereiner (sp?) being walked on the other side of the street, and they got a friendly hello from a school bus driver.  We all survived and I think the Vitamin D did us some good.

Yesterday we drove over to the neighborhood park and played for half an hour.  The girls got wet and muddy, but we all had a great time.  I can't wait until we have consistently pretty weather and can spend more time outside.

And what's on my mind and heart right now?  While going to PA school is, for lack of a better description, a dream come true, I am totally in mourning about the time I will miss with my little monkeys.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I just got a phone call.  Probably the best phone call of my life.  It was OU.  I'm starting PA school in June.

As soon as I heard her voice I knew exactly who it was and why she was calling.  Then I could hardly respond to anything she said because I was fighting back tears.  I can hardly believe it.  All my hard work in my classes.  All my mom's babysitting my kids.  All my husband's supportiveness and help with everything.  It all paid off.

Praise God.  His blessings are more abdundant than I am capable of putting into words.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aw, thanks!

Thanks to Rachel at The Happiness in Headstands for my very first blog award!  What a compliment.  I made a spot on the side of my blog to show it off.  So cute isn't it?!?!

If you receive a blog award, you are supposed to
a.  Put the logo on your blog or within your post
b.  Pass the award onto 5 bloggers
c.  Link the nominees within your post
d.  Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Five of my favorite blogs in no particular order are...

Doula Momma - Very informative blog primarily about childbirth

Life is Bliss - Desiree is a work-at-home mom with an almost 2-year-old, a baby on the way, and a husband in med-school.  She manages her busy schedule with a sense of humor and a big God.

50 Sticky Fingers - Martha is the mom to five beautiful kiddos.  Her youngest two are twins just a few months younger than mine.

"All Chalked Up" - Anna is a creative and curious stay-at-home mom to two kiddos.  I think most of all, I love her honesty.

From Z to A - Jacquelyn and I have been friends since I asked if I could sit at her lunch table our sophomore year in high school.  She is a stay-at-home mom to two handsome little boys.  As a former preschool teacher, she has a lot of insight into all things toddler.

Sometimes giving something up means gaining so much more.

Today is Ash Wednesday and while my particular denomination does not emphasize Lent much, I have chosen to participate this year.  Several years ago, I gave up cheese for Lent.  I am a cheese addict and restaurants put cheese on everything.  But, everytime I said no to cheese I remembered that Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert and then he was crucified.  Gave me a little perspective and I really felt the significance of the Easter holiday.

This year I've decided to give up Facebook for Lent.  Facebook is a source of a few arguments for my husband and I.  He isn't into social networking sites.  And admittedly, I do spend too much time on there.  In addition to giving up Facebook, I have decided to take on the book The Love Dare.  For the most part, I have an excellent marriage, but I want to learn to love my husband better and I want to make sure that I keep God at the center of our relationship.  Since it is a 40 day challenge, I thought Lent would be the perfect time to do it.

Today's lesson was "Love is Patient".  The lesson emphasized that anger often occurs when we don't get something we want.  Rather than reacting in anger, the message was to react with patience.  This keeps us from saying things we will regret and brings peace to a household.  The dare is to say nothing negative to our spouse today.

Are you participating in Lent this year?  What are you giving up and why?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I got a letter in the mail from OU on Monday.  It felt too thin to be an acceptance letter and too thick to be a rejection letter.  Upon opening it I discovered that I have been waitlisted for the Physician Assistant program.  Let me explain.  This will only be the third year for this program in Tulsa and because they are in the accreditation process they are only allowed to accept 24 students each year.  I was not one of those 24.  However, should someone decline to accept their invitation into the program, an invitation would be extended to someone on the waitlist.  They will not tell us where we are on the waitlist.  I could be the very first person, the last person, or somewhere in the middle.  I also don't know how many people are on the waitlist.  I do know that once an invitation has been extended, one has ten days to accept or decline.

I have no idea how to feel about this.  I mean on the one hand, I'm disappointed that I wasn't selected.  On the other, there were 240 applicants, 103 of which were interviewed and to even make the waitlist is pretty awesome.  It also means I am still in limbo though.  This is probably the hardest part for us.  We have to still plan like I am starting school in June, but we also have to come up with a solid backup plan.  That's where things get tricky.

The options we are considering as backup plans are:

a)  wait and apply again next year.  This pushes all our plans (another child or two and a bigger house) back a full year, which stinks.

b)  apply for nursing school next year.  If I did this, I would graduate about the same time as was originally planned and be an RN.  Then, if I wanted to, I could go back to school later and become a Nurse Practitioner (similar to PA) or pursue a number of other Masters or certification options available to nurses.

c)  we could have another child now and wait yet another year for school.  This means money and space would be tight for awhile, but I wouldn't have to put the next child in daycare until they were a year old and I'd never have to put the girls in full-time daycare.

So much to pray about, so many details to consider, and the waiting game continues.  "Not According to Plan" seems such an appropriate title for my blog right now.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The First Year - A Pictorial Review

I had a really hard time bonding with my girls in the beginning.  I'm such a planner and nothing was going as planned.  I was still trying to grasp the fact that I had two babies and mourning the loss of participation in childbirth.  Compounding that, perpetual exhaustion left me irritable and somewhat irrational.  While I loved my children, I was completely jealous of women that got to experience one newborn at a time.  When I was caring for one baby, there was another one begging for my attention.  I felt like a failure.

The first month I cried out to God every ngiht that He promised He wouldn't give me more than I could handle and I just couldn't handle this.  Julia wasn't latching properly so I was pumping.  I felt like a dairy cow.
We got the latch issue fixed.  Praise God for Mona, a lactation consultant at St. John's.  Things were getting better.

The girls slept through the night as their Mother's Day present to  me.  I couldn't have asked for a better gift.

This was the month they were dedicated.  Thank you, Donalyn, for sewing the frill down around the neckline of their dresses so they looked like angels rather than clowns.
By now they could roll over.

They perfected sitting on their own this month.  Julia became a much happier girl when she reached this milestone.

By this month they had discovered that they could really get places by rolling.
Sadly, I can't find any seven month pictures.
By nine months they discovered that they could pull themselves up and loved nothing more than standing.

Let the climbing begin. They climbed into their stroller, up Jonathan's night stand, into drawers, etc. They still couldn't walk, but they were fully mobile.

Let the cruising begin!

Happy 1st Birthday girls!  Amelia took her first unassisted step at her birthday party.  Julia kept up by using her walker.

Gradually things got better and better throughout the year.  I made amends with God, I was getting more sleep at night, I didn't feel like a constant failure anymore, and I was fully able to bond with my children.  Looking back on it, I probably had Post Partum Depression.  Praise God for all my friends and family that stuck by me through everything.  I know I wasn't pleasant to be around and I certainly had nothing to give anyone.  And yet my closest friends and most of my family were very understanding.  Thank you!