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.