Friday, December 31, 2010

Well, hello there 2011

Exactly one year ago Brandon and I shared New Year's Eve with our dear friends Randy, Kim and Casey in our new home. Our house was short on furniture, had no TV hookup and had only been lived in for 5 days. We played cards and listened to the countdown on the local radio station. I could do the whole retrospective thing, but the 365 days that have happened since that night can be best summed up in one picture:

Although these girls hadn't actually joined us yet last New Year, Brandon and I knew that we wanted to start a family in 2010. In May we learned that our family would be DOUBLING and the rest of this year was all about twins. They went everywhere we went (in utero of course!)and when I look back at 2010, it will always be the year of my girls.
I had no idea it would be so, but everyone sitting at that table last New Year's Eve would have a similar story, as they are all expecting babies, too! I am so grateful for the blessings of 2010 and I can't wait to see what happens in the next 365 days of our lives.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Attack of the Ants

You see, this mommy thing I can handle.

But ants? Those little jerks put me over the edge.

I am not saying that it easy to get up in the middle of the night or to deal with two crying babies at one time. But I can manage. Those tiny, black pests however are a different story.

For the last couple of weeks we have been battling ants. They made an appearance on different days in every set of lower cabinets that I have in my kitchen. Each time Brandon and I cleared out the tupperware, pots or platters, sprayed for ants and cleaned the space. Then the next day we did it again. A separate little family has taken residence in the bathroom. On Saturday the ants launched an unprovoked attack on my pantry. I got up to serve myself a second cup of coffee and in less than an hour they had found their way from the island to the pantry. And not just a few of them--a whole army of them. My pantry was under attack.

I did the only thing I could think of: I put on a tank top and shorts to limit the places they could hide on my clothes and I started the great purge. I filled two trash bags with items from my pantry. Then I took the Raid and sprayed. Everything.

I called Brandon in a panic. I may have a flair for drama and I could tell he thought I was overexaggerating. The dead ants make me want to gag, so I left the evidence for him to clean up. When he got home and saw the battle zone, he apologized for doubting me. Booyah. Win for me.

My mom has been saying for weeks that I needed to get a pest service. Well yesterday I caved. After the great Ant Attack of Saturaday I will sacrifice Starbucks, beer, a new pair of boots--whatever I have to-- in order to keep the ants at bay. When the lovely man surveyed my property he informed me that we have ant trails everywhere. Basically there is no way we could continue to keep the ants out of our house. They were going to keep finding a way in.

So today I am a much happier girl. There are still ants wandering around my house as they slowly die off. But I rest easier knowing that in a few days they will be gone. Dead. And I am totally at peace with whatever bad karma I get from killing those little buggers.

Friday, December 17, 2010

conspiracy theory

They have been planning it since they were in the womb: the great Cry Conspiracy.

As soon as I am alone both my girls cry at once. It is executed especially well when I am nursing one of them. Just when I have sat down and got one comfortably eating, the other starts screaming.

Of course this never happens when someone else is here. Oh no, this is reserved for mom only.

They have a whole lifetime ahead of them for scheming. I will not let them win this battle. Oh no. I will overcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the world, it is a-changing

When Brandon and I have talked about parenting, he has been quick to say that his kids would not have cell phones until they are 16 and that there was no way we would ever allow kids to watch DVDs in the car.

I think he is crazy. The world is changing and technology is changing. I don't think we can make statements about how we will use technology years from now. Imagine just how much has changed since we were raised. Our parents could never have imagined how technology was going to change and shape our lives.

I can't remember exactly what year it was that Al Gore invented the internet, but I know that I didn't use it until high school. When my mom got dial-up at our house I felt like we were on the technological forefront. I remember Yahoo chatrooms and when it took 5 minutes for dial-up to connect. The first months of my relationship with Brandon were conducted nearly entirely on AIM.

Now I am addicted to technology. I check my iPhone religiously. I forget that photography existed before it went digital. I cannot imagine that people still handwrite contracts or that we still need filing cabinets when we could store things digitally. Yet, there are a few parts of technology that I still resist. And it all has to do with video. I HATE VIDEO.

I don't watch videos online or on my phone. I hate the time it takes to buffer.

Video chat weirds me out. I enjoy the freedom to talk to someone while I multitask-- let me play on the internet, wash dishes or, if I really like you, pee while we are on the phone. You can't do that on video chat.

Although I don't like video, I applaud the way it has continued to connect people. Technology has made the world smaller and I love the way it can keep us close to one another.

And while I may personally reject things like video for my own life, I cannot help but wonder which forms of technology will shape the lives of my daughters. I hope that technology will continue to excite us, challenge us, and connect us to the people we love.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catching up

Today my girls are six weeks old and yet we still haven't reached my due date. After being home with me for the last three weeks, Brandon went back to work yesterday and so now the girls and I are readjusting to life. My mom stops by and we take the girls for a walk. I love that there are so many friends and family who stop by to visit. Since the day they were born, there is not a day that I have been alone all day. I couldn't be more grateful for the support.
Today I was sitting in the car with my girls while my mom ran into a shop to get us a sandwich. She ran into one of my junior high English teachers with whom I was very close because her daughter and I were also friends. She came out and we chatted for awhile and it made me so happy that for four short years I was blessed to be a teacher. I look forward to seeing some of my students 15 years from now, learning about what they have done with their lives and meeting their children. How humbling to have been part of someone's life, no matter how briefly, no matter if they appreciated it or not. Even students who openly disliked me taught me small lessons about myself and life.
For the first time ever I have embraced internet shopping. Since our overprotective government and health care system don't believe in common sense, I have been advised to keep my children in the house until they are 25. Okay not 25, but at least until May. Seriously, May? That is like six months away. I can't promise that will happen, but I do see the advantage of keeping my babies away from the mall during cold and flu season. Anyway, because of my girls I did not have a chance to Christmas shop like normal. So I embraced internet shopping and I can't lie-- I kind of like it. It is way easier to compare pricing and find the best deals when you can search multiple screens at once. Usually I prefer shopping in real life because I like the immediate gratification of coming home with the gifts. But now I look forward to the mailman or UPS truck leaving packages on my door.
And I also used Etsy for the first time! I wanted to buy more gifts from Etsy shops and bloggers this year, but I ended up with only two. I know that in the future I will be buying more from Etsy shops. I purchased from Eme*Kay and YourWishCake. Although not a Christmas present, I also bought a cute bird print from jSnaps that I love. Any other Etsy shops that I must check out? There are always occasions to buy for... if I find the right gift I will find an occasion!
Due to the "suggestion" that I keep my kids home I have not taken my girls to work to meet my friends and coworkers. So tomorrow my friends from the office are bringing lunch and coming to my house to visit! I can't wait!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to spill orange Fanta

Step 1: Pour orange Fanta into large cup with ice.
Step 2: Place cup on end table.
Step 3: Rearrange couch cushions by throwing them toward cup on end table.

Result: Orange Fanta all over everything and a mad dash to clean up. Despite a long night with a fussy baby last night, Brandon and I both laughed at my stupidity with the orange Fanta incident.

Today was a goregous day. After a foggy morning it cleared up long enough for us to take our girls on a walk. It was a warm, autumn-like afternoon and people were out decorating their homes for Christmas; we even had a chance to chat with some of the neighbors about our girls.

Brandon and I have been watching the silly Kristin Bell movie "When In Rome" for 20 minutes. I have heard him laugh at least five times. I win. Make that six.

Do these babies look alike to you?
*Edit: these are not the twins!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ways that evolution has failed us

Sometimes I believe that evolution has failed us. Or maybe it is just that I am thinking a few steps ahead of the evolutionary process.

Example #1: Women should have at least three arms. If women are meant to raise children and possibly do anything else then we need at least one more appendage to help out. More specifically, I would like to be able to change the tv station or use my phone while feeding my kids.

Example #2: Why can't we grow a third set of teeth? We have small teeth, a second set grows in and the first set falls out. Why doesn't our body grow a third set of teeth so that all these old people aren't wandering around toothless?

Clearly if I were in charge of evolution life would be better.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This post has pictures =)

{Ana and the Christmas tree}
Last night we went to my parents house; I have been feeling a little cooped up and was in dire need of a change of scenery. Ana and Grace got to spend time with Auntie Stina and their grandparents! And it is always lovely to have my mom's cooking, because she really is one of the best cook's I know. She made Brandon's favorite swiss steak and my favorite pumpkin dessert.

Our wonderful evening was followed by our worst night so far. Grace was fussy all night and cried everytime we put her down. By the time she finally went to sleep at 6am, Ana was wide awake and had hiccups. Everytime I put Ana back to bed, she would wake Grace up. It was very special.
Grace seems to have some stomach issues, so I am adjusting my diet by removing dairy to see if it has an impact on the her temperment and stomach problems. Tomorrow we are taking the girls for a weight check so I can (hopefully) put aside my fears about underfeeding the girls since switching to breastfeeding instead of bottle feeding.

Long nights and little sleep aside, my girls are adorable and I love them. They are especially cute when we put them near each other and they roll toward one another and hold hands. It is amazing to see how connected they are sometimes. I look forward to seeing how their relationship develops over the years!

Today my girls reached a gestational age of 38 weeks... and have already been in this world for four weeks and two days! Now that they have reached full term we can expect them to start behaving like term babies and reach infant milestones. Premies are usually judged by adjusted age which helps parents and health care providers have realistic expectations for the baby. So 30 days into this parenting deal, I can start expecting my girls to behave like newborns. The only problem? I don't know anything about what to expect from a newborn or any other age from now until 12. I've survived so far so I guess that I will learn it somehow!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why I hate gift bags

I hate gift bags.

When we got married I accumulated a mountain of gift bags between bridal showers and wedding gifts. Over the years I reused them, shared them with family going to weddings and finally threw most of the rest away when we moved last year. No one needs a lifetime supply of wedding themed gift bags.

Now I have enough baby themed gift bags to wallpaper the nursery (good idea! what was I thinking!?)

Don't get me wrong. My dislike of gift bags is not actually related to my collection of them. It is actually because I love wrapping gifts. My mom used to let me wrap the gifts for the entire family. She hates wrapping. I love it. I love picking paper and coordinating with ribbon or bows. I take great care to wrap them neatly and nicely. I think it is way more fun to open a gift that is wrapped in a box than one in a bag. I ordered most of our Christmas gifts online this year and I am so anxious waiting for them to get here so I can start wrapping!

I wish I weren't so practical and could just throw away all the gifts bag we receive. But I just can't bring myself to waste them. The biggest problem with gift bags is that they tend to be so event specific. I can only reuse Christmas bags at Christmas... so that is 11 months of storage. And I certainly don't know enough people having babies to reuse all the bags I received this year in my whole lifetime. If they were all in solid colors or not so specific, at least we could use them whenever we wanted!

Even though I have years worth of gift bags sitting in my closet for every occasion, chances are if you are getting a gift from me it will be wrapped. In a box. If I can find one. Because one of the side effects of America's obsession with gift bags is that is nearly impossible to buy gift boxes any time of year besides Christmas. I found them at Target this week and stocked up for the year.

In the meantime, if you want to save a few bucks on a gift bag, feel free to come take some off of my hands!