Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Need for Speed

Our long Memorial Day weekend went by way too fast. As Marty and I looked for ways to slow down, the babies looked for ways to move faster. They satisfied their "need for speed" with a new pony and countless rides on the golf cart. Drew took a couple of steps on his own and mastered standing up without holding on to anything. Emily continued to show off her ability to take four steps without falling. We are on the move...

The babies checking out their new pony

Drew wasn't sure what to think about the pony, especially when it started to make noises.

It didn't take him long to warm up to the pony. Before long, he was pushing its ears, making it klipp klopp.

Emily liked the pony, but she needed a little help with her riding technique. She wanted to stand up while she rode him.

It didn't take her long to figure it out, though!

We left the pony at home on Friday and took off for the beach with the family. Drew and Papa cruised the campground in the golf cart.

Drew would have stayed on the golf cart all day long. He LOVED riding.

Soon, riding wasn't enough. They wanted to drive, too!

Emily is an aggressive driver.

The only way to slow them down was to cage them in.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear 18 Year Old Me

Today I am linking up with Multiples and More to answer this week's QOTW: write a letter to your 18 year old self. Oh, this should be fun. I'll even add a picture or two of me and my bangs.

Dear 18 year old me,

It’s 8:30 am on a Sunday morning so I am pretty sure you are not awake. I know how much you like to sleep, and believe me, I don’t blame you. Fact is, I am jealous.

Unlike me, your 35 year old self, when you get up, you won’t even need a cup of coffee to get going. You won’t start drinking coffee for another year. Part of me says I should tell you to avoid it, but honestly, there will be times when you absolutely need it.

Besides, this letter is not going to be a letter of “don’ts.” Sure, I could probably save you a lot of heartache and guesswork if I just told you what not to do over the next 17 years, but isn’t that defeating the purpose of living?

And, if, by some miracle, I could change your actions to help you miss the bad stuff, well, there’s a good chance you would miss some of the awesome parts, too. You’ll learn that the good is inextricably intertwined with the bad, and what you once thought was bad is actually good. Right is right for now, and wrong can be the new right. For a moment, just let that paradoxical wisdom sink in. We’ll come back to it in the end.

Now, I know you just want me to give you a plan because that’s how we are. Even at 35, I am still fighting with the idea that, somehow, life should operate according to my plans. It doesn’t. And honestly, even at 35, that scares the hell out of me. We have never been one to deal well with uncertainty, have we?

I now know that it is that very uncertainty that causes some of our anxiety. I wish I could make you not worry, but again, at 35, I am still struggling with this part of us. We’re finally working on it, though. We had to. We realized we need all the energy we can muster to handle the more important , rewarding parts of our life, specifically the wonderful parts that arrive in the middle of your 34th year.

I know you are mentally listing what insights I have revealed. Let me save you the trouble: One day you will wish you could sleep in; you will eventually develop a coffee habit; this letter does not contain a plan for your future; one day you will get serious about managing your anxiety; you will need great, superhuman amounts of energy starting around age 34; and finally, your 35 year old self is still working on becoming the person she is destined to be while enjoying blessings she could have never imagined.

What, then, you ask, could this older, still imperfect version of you offer that you don’t know at 18? Well, skinnier me, it is a simple truth that I still remind myself of from time to time:

Trust yourself.

When you wonder whether you should stay or go, you know.

When you wonder if you should speak up or stay quiet, you know.

When you wonder if you should smoke that cigarette or drink that beer, you know.

When you wonder if you picked the right major, you know.

When you wonder if he’s lying or not, you know.

When you wonder if you should marry him or not, you know.

When you wonder if you should take the job or not, you know.

When you wonder if your family will be okay, you know.

When you wonder it’s fair to compare yourself to others, you know.

When you wonder if you should travel or not, you know.

When you wonder if you’ll ever be a mom, you know.

When you wonder if you should give love a second chance, you know.

When you wonder if you are enough--good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, you know.

Through the years, I can see the expression of self-doubt on your face right now. Uncrease your brow. That wrinkle isn’t going to get better with time.

You are thinking this all sounds too vague. You are thinking it’s impossible for someone to know everything. You are wondering if you really will know. You are wondering if you will mess up and not trust yourself. You are wondering if you will be okay.

It is. You’re right. You are. You will. And, you are.

It works out.

You know.

I know.

We know.

Trust us.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Story Continues...

I feel like I should write some profound post for this morning in case this is my last MaMe Musing ever. However, since I have serious doubts about the rapture prediction for today, I have decided to take my chances and piece together a few random updates before I get this Saturday rolling.

What is new:
Marty and I had a date night last night that included an over-the-top meal at Bahama Breeze followed by 2 rounds of putt-putt. It appears this was a date night destined to be. One, we didn't have to wait AT ALL for a table, which never happens at BB. Two, I found a pass for putt-putt that we purchased in April 2008, so we didn't have to pay anything to play last night. Yes, I am shocked that I found it, too.

Emily took four steps for my parents last night--from the couch to the recliner. Leave it to my kid to walk for the first time for her grandma and papa instead of me. We specifically went over this topic in the car with both of them before we dropped them off. They were under strict orders to not walk for the first time while we had our first date night in weeks.

What is not new:
This post: Another October Story
This re-wind post recounts the story of the day we found out we were finally pregnant. Look back with me as I reminisce in honor of the babies' upcoming first birthday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Digging Deep into the Blog Vault

In anticipation of the babies’ upcoming first birthday, I am feeling even more nostalgic than I normally do.

In honor of the big upcoming event, I am taking the blog on a stroll down memory lane.

Tonight, I dug deep into the early posts to find the beginning of our pregnancy story. Over the next couple of days, I will be re-posting some of those entries you may have missed. Here's Part One:

An October to Remember

In the meantime, I will be busy writing the story of my pregnancy, complete with plenty of embarrassingly huge pregnancy photos, and hopefully, some quotes from those who survived it with me.

And, if my memory can take it, I also hope to finally write a delivery story before the first birthday party.

Walking Watch, Day 3: No new developments to report. Both babies continue to hone their balance as they climb over each other for Cheerios.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mama Duck and her Ducklings

Following Mama Duck

Walking Update: Emily took one step tonight before deciding she can crawl faster. Drew has continued to stand without holding on. Something tells me our "Follow Mama Duck" days are seriously numbered.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Countdown to Take-Off

Watching yesterday's take-off of the last Endeavor voyage reminded me of another important upcoming take-off around here: walking babies.

We certainly aren't rushing it or turning it into a baby-tition. We love crawling babies, and who cares who does it it first. But, it looks like there's no turning back. We can't hold them down, chain them up, or fence them in.

We've caught Drew standing, not holding on to anything, several times today. Emily is getting just as steady. Julie told me today that she guesses it's a matter of days-not weeks- now. I cried.

So, just for fun, we'll start the "walking watch" today, the countdown to take-off.

Are we really just days away?

Will they be walking before their birthdays?

Will I be here to see their first steps (or just their first steps for me)?

The anticipation grows...

Monday, May 16, 2011

They’ll Always be My Babies

I am one of those people who hates how retailers rush the holidays. Halloween is barely over and Christmas stuff is out. Just when all the wrapping paper and ornaments are marked down, the Valentine’s displays are reminding us to remember our sweetheart with chocolate and balloons attached to stuffed animals. As punishment for consuming too much Valentine’s Day chocolate, they put out swimsuits the next week. Just recently at Kohl’s I saw 4th of July shirts—in April.

You get the idea.

So you can imagine how I felt a few weeks ago when I started getting those update emails from all of the baby sites I frequent congratulating me on making it to the toddler stage.

Um, hello, formula manufacturer advertiser and baby expert columnist, as of today, I still have three weeks and 2 days until my babies are “officially” toddlers. Technically, they are still babies—infants, if you want to be specific, since they aren’t walking.

But, there’s no need to argue semantics.

Go ahead and call them toddlers if you like.

It doesn’t matter. Just like I ignore the early marketing of holidays, I will ignore you, too.

Most people I know have an affectionate term for their little one or little ones. Some parents of twins refer to them collectively as “the twins,” while others have more creative names for their duo.

From the beginning, my babies have been "my babies.” Emphasis on the my.

My babies.

Regardless of what any mass email says, this term is not age-specific.

They will be my babies when the emails start mentioning preschool.

They will be my babies when others call them “big kids.”

They will be my babies when magazines want to target them as “tweens.”

I could go on, but you get the idea.

They will always be my babies.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Morning Tea

Drew: "I've got the tea pot--the one she thinks we've forgotten about."

"I've found Mommy's "good" china tea cups--the ones she thinks we haven't discovered yet!"

Only the best for my babies!

Friday, May 13, 2011

'I don't do this for money, fame, or glory'

But who doesn't love getting an award???

Thank you Tasha of One Day at a Time for honoring me with the Versatile Blogger Award!

I am *beyond* thrilled when anyone takes the time to read my blog, leave a comment, or give me an award. While I love documenting our life in words and pictures, I can understand if our daily musings aren’t “versatile” enough for the average reader. So, again, thank you to those of you who visit and read and remind me that I am not alone in this journey called being a MaMe.

The award requires that I list 7 things about myself. Since I have done something similar before, I am going to struggle here to come up with seven unique facts. Seriously, I am a simple girl.

On being incarcerated—
1. I accidentally became locked in a store after it closed when I was six-seven years old. It wasn’t anything like the movies where the kid is locked in a cool department store. I went to the bathroom in a car parts’ store next to my dad’s shop, and when I came out, the guy had locked the door and gone home. Picture a hysterical kid banging on a glass door until someone noticed she was there who had to wait for the owner to drive from his house to the store to let me out. Now, when stores announce they are closing in 15 minutes, I am the first one in line to get out.

2. Once, as part of my job as a prison education specialist, I gave a commencement speech at a medium security men’s prison. After having taught high school for a number of years, I really wasn’t all that nervous, and despite the fact that I had a captive audience (sorry, couldn’t help it), everyone seemed to enjoy the speech. The hardest part was avoiding all the typical graduation platitudes that seemed mildly inappropriate to men who “wouldn’t be spreading their wings” for another 5-15.

On being famous-
3. When I was teaching, I wrote a poem about childhood memories to use as a model for my students. I shared it with another teacher who began using it every year with her students. A couple of years ago, her students entered a literary letter contest where they wrote to their favorite author. Several of her students picked me and wrote letters explaining how my poem had touched them. One of the students went on to win the state contest. Ironically, as the author of the poem, I can’t find a copy of it anywhere.

4. My friend, Jeanine, and I appeared on a segment that aired on a national television show to talk about our friendship during her journey with breast cancer. I only watched the spot once because I can’t stand to see myself on camera. One, I was pale, pale white. Two, since I was choked up, I have this pained, scrunched-up look to my face. I am not a pretty crier. But, it was for a good cause.

On romance-
5. I went on a blind date to my senior prom. I didn’t have a date. My best friend’s date had a friend who wanted to go to the prom. Thinking back on it, I can’t be sure we even talked on the phone prior to the day of the prom. Maybe everything was set up by our go-between. Who knows? I remember he was nice. He was cute in a young boy sort of way. His name was Richard. He picked out a nice corsage. I think he paid for dinner. I don’t think I even kissed him good night—maybe a hug.. I am sure I said thank you—right before the all of us girls hopped in my car to head for the beach. How’s that for a romantic prom story?

6. Yesterday as I was driving along the interstate, I saw an old man on the side of the road picking wildflowers. The hopeless romantic in me spent the next 15 minutes of my drive imagining who the man might have been picking those flowers for. Please do not ruin this fantasy by suggesting he was trying to lure someone into stopping, engaging in illegal flower-picking, endangering himself, or planning to woo a younger woman. Others have tried. It just ruins the story. And I like romantic stories.

On a random note-
7. I am a list maker. I love to cross things off my list as I complete them. I even carry around a notebook so I can make lists as I think of them. Even this random note is most likely not random because it is probably listed on a list somewhere.

The final part of this award requires that I pass it along to 15 new, recently discovered bloggers. At the risk of having my award revoked, I am choosing less than 15 since most of the blogs I follow are not new and some that I really like have received this award before. But here is a LIST of some cool, mommy blogs that always make me smile. Consider yourself the newest Versatile Blogger :-)

The Mays Twins
The Artist and the Mommy
Baker Twins
Beth, Will, Rod, and the Quads

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Way Back When-esday: Crying in Stereo

Thank you to Cheryl at Twinfatuation for hosting such a fun link-up and letting me play along.

Today we take it back to those first weeks.

Date: Summer 2010
Babies' Age: Somewhere between 1-6 weeks

I regret to say that I don't know exactly how old Emily and Drew are in this picture. I found it this morning filed in a folder titled, "Weeks 1-6." (Man, I really need a better picture filing system.)

I don't blame myself too much, though, because those early days were hard. Beautiful, priceless, missed, but hard.

I was home for 12 weeks on maternity leave. Marty went back to work as soon as we were home from the hospital. His mom came a couple of days each week to help out. Julie came once a week so I could get of the house or nap. Most of the time, though, it was just me and the babies.

I was just trying to make it through the day. Everything was new. I was learning how to be a mommy to not one baby but two. I was recovering from an incredibly hard c-section and riding a roller coaster of post-pregnancy hormone highs and lows.

There were definitely days when I felt as frustrated as the babies look in this picture. If there was a secret camera in my bedroom, it could have probably captured a similar picture of me around this same time.

I remember going to a Moms of Multiples' Club meeting when I was pregnant. One of the mothers warned all of us expectant moms of "crying in stereo." You know, when two babies are going at the same time and you are surrounded by so much noise you are sure it could be used as a torture device.

This is one of our "crying in stereo" moments.

If there was audio for this picture, I promise you would be cringing. Emily did/does have the loudest cry--ever. Add Drew's wailing, and the windows literally shake.

Since I don't have a clear recollection of this particular incident, I am going to speculate and say that I stopped amid the madness, realized how funny they both looked, grabbed a camera, documented the moment, and then approached the problem in one of the following ways:

A. Picked the Low-Hanging Fruit First
When presented with two screaming babies, sometimes the best option is to choose the baby you know you can quiet the fastest. Bottle? Easy fix. Swing? Easy fix. Diaper change? Easy/hard fix, depending. One quiet baby gives you more patience to deal with the harder case.

B. Oiled the Squeakiest Wheel
Other times, when they were both going, I would choose the loudest first because sometimes, it is a matter of sanity not fairness.

C. Played Fair
When I was feeling mommy guilt, I would try to alternate. Drew then Emily. Emily then Drew. Oh, crap. I forgot who went first last.

D. Grabbed the Closest Baby
This plan of attack is all about proximity. You just grab whichever baby is closest and do your thing--fast.

Regardless of the method, I can say that, ultimately, we survived, and next month we will be celebrating one year. I think we all deserve a really big cake.

PS: This picture also illustrates why it really doesn't matter if you buy pink for girls and blue for boys. When the poo hits the fan, you grab the nearest blanket, boppie, and baby--regardless of color or pattern--and go with it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Pink Giveaway Winner

Emily's Little Pink Houses of Hope Giveaway Winner is...

Tasha from One Day at a Time

It is my pleasure to send Tasha this great tote:

Thank you to Shell, Heather, Andrea for the sweet, inspiring comments you left for the first Little Pink families. I have forwarded all of the messages to Jeanine who will be sharing them with the families next week during the first-ever Little Pink beach retreats.

If you'd like to leave a message, you can always email me, or check out the Little Pink Houses of Hope website for more information.

*Winner selected using Random.Org

Dear Drew

Dear Drew,
Today is a pretty special day for us both. Today you are 11 months old, and today is my first official Mother’s Day.

Daddy let me sleep in this morning in honor of my special day, and you got up early in honor of yours. I woke up to the sweet sound of banging cabinets and squealing babies. As I came down the stairs, I stopped just a few steps out of sight, sat down, and watched, in wonder, as you and Emily played together on the floor. You were both on your backs, passing the talking dog back and forth, laughing with each other. After a couple of minutes, I called your name, and you looked all around, looking for the voice. I called you again, and you moved closer. I called you a third time, and this time, I moved to where you could finally see me. Your face lit up, and you crawled towards me, holding your arms up for a hug.

Oh, Bear, how did you know exactly what I wanted for Mother’s Day?

I can’t believe a year has passed since last Mother’s Day when I was so big I could barely move, so big I needed a wheelchair to get around Wal-Mart. I can’t believe how big and smart you have grown over these past 11 months. I can’t believe we are planning a first birthday party. We could play the “I Can’t Believe” game all day because every day, in so many ways, both big and small, you and Emily amaze me.

For example, I am amazed and in awe of how you and Emily interact with each other. If the two of you are both awake, chances are, you are together. You love playing in your ball tent, the one I bought you after a doctor’s appointment. You love talking with each other through the rails of the crib. Both of you love to bang on the most expensive light-up toy in the house: the fax machine in your daddy’s office. If the office door is shut, the Leap Frog play table will do. The Easter Bunny brought you a drum, but you both would rather go in the cabinets and get the center piece for the blender and bang on the floor.

We often catch one of you rubbing the other’s head, sometimes grabbing a handful of hair. The other night Emily stuck her finger in your mouth, and you obligingly bit it for her. In a shopping cart together, you will put your arms around each other. In the stroller, side-by-side, you will lean over to touch one another. In the tandem stroller, whoever is in back is leaning up to see the other. Perhaps most annoying for you is how Emily won’t let you nap in peace. If you are in the swing or bouncy seat asleep, she throws herself on top of you or grabs your face. She misses her partner in crime, her twin.

You continue to be such a happy, smiling baby. Women love you, and one of the most frequent comments/compliments we receive from complete strangers is “He is such a flirt. Look at him smiling and laughing at me.”

You are full of energy, and you use it to do all kinds of funny things-- like dance. You will dance to anything that remotely has a beat. You throw a hand in the air and “wave it around like you just don’t care.” You love to play Peek-a-Boo. You hide behind curtains, napkins, blankets, just waiting for someone to yell, “Where is Drew?” And then, “There he is!” You are such a ham!

You aren’t quite walking yet, but you can cruise along, holding on to just about anything. Your favorite way to get around, though, is to push a basket along the hardwood floor. We’ve had to put the baby gate at the stairs because you can now make it up at least three stairs. You have fallen down just as many. Just thinking about that fall gets my heart racing all over again. You move so quickly. It’s ironic that you got your first busted lip when you were sitting still. You just fell over and popped your lip. A little ice and a little loving and you were laughing again.

I guess you thought a busted lip seemed so minor after last month. You had an ugly ear infection—again. We had several doctor appointments that confirmed you have infantile idiopathic scoliosis, hopefully, as the specialists believe, the kind that will resolve itself as you grow. And then you had two wheezing episodes and breathing treatments. Oh, Bear. You gave Mommy quite a scare. Do us a favor. Stay well for a while.

Sure, having two babies, especially when they are sick, isn’t always easy, but I can’t imagine life any other way. When strangers see us coming in our double stroller, they often say, “Twins? Oh, you have your hands full!” or “Twins? Oh, better you than me” or “Twins? Double trouble!” Occasionally, someone, like the old man at the Macaroni Grill on Saturday, gets it right, “Twins? Oh, you are doubly blessed.” Yes, sir. We think so.

Dear Emily

Dear Emily,

Today we celebrate two very special days: your 11 month-day and my first Mother’s Day.

Holding you in my arms this morning was just as sweet as when I held you that first night in the hospital when you snuggled your head under my chin for the first time and I inhaled your new-baby smell, realizing I was finally holding the little girl for whom I had long prayed. Eleven months later, you are bigger, squirmier, more beautiful, more fun, but still my sweet Emily Anne. The best present ever.

While just having my babies waiting for me this morning was present enough, you, your brother, and your daddy did a great job picking out my Mother’s Day presents. You included everything a woman (or at least this woman, anyway) loves: sleeping in, a sweet card, a delicious meal, a spa gift card, jewelry, and plenty of family time. At the rate you are growing, it won’t be long before you are big enough to borrow my jewelry or join me at the spa for a girls’ day.

As it is, you are already big enough to love sampling some of the food off the big people menu—pasta, beans, bread. You try everything with curiosity and gusto. Last night, for the first time, you feasted on spaghetti with the sauce. We stripped you down to just a diaper and let you sample the messy goodness.

It was funny to see the way you and Drew approached eating the spaghetti differently. You dove right in, and within seconds, were covered in sauce. Noodles stuck in your hair, between your fingers. Drew was more cautious, picking up one noodle at a time. He had to be prompted along to take another bite while your big, saucy grin yelled, “Bring it on!”

That’s so you, Emily. You are vibrant, full of life, and never one to be ignored. I love it! As a girl, I remember being quiet and shy, and even now, I have to remind myself to dig into the spaghetti mess of life and just enjoy it. I get the same reminders when I watch you play. You have this mischievous way of climbing into the swing, standing up, and looking back at me. You are waiting for me to squeal, “Emily Anne!” And, when I do, you squeal back in laughter, rocking the swing, as you wait for me to run grab you. We have the same game with you playing in the fire place and crawling behind the television. You take off for the land of the forbidden, stopping just short to look back at me. As I start to crawl towards you, you squeal in laughter, taking another move towards the place you shouldn’t go. And, I scoop you up and we hug. Can we promise to always work out our differences this way?

What is even more priceless is your first real word. You and Drew have both been randomly saying “dada” and “ma-ma-ma” for the last couple of months. You both have these intense conversations that only the two of you can understand, full of sounds. But, the first word you have said consistently and on command is “YES!” I find this hilarious since we joked that your first word was going to be “NO!” as much as we use it.

Yes, you still have the biggest, brightest blue eyes.

Yes, you are a mommy’s girl who loves to be hugged and cuddled. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yes, you have learned to sleep in your crib.

Yes, you still can rattle the windows with your cry.

Yes, you still eat everything you shouldn’t: paper, the head off a foam fish, wicker from a basket. That was just this past week.

Yes, you will play in the toilet if we don’t shut the bathroom door.

Yes, you love your brother, and you can’t stand it when he’s asleep.

Yes, you have a smile that lights up your whole face. Even your eyes dance.

Yes, I love my Emily Bee.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Confessional

As I drove home from Stroller Day today, I began composing this blog post in my head. I was thinking of titling it "Fake It Til You Make It" or "Mommy-fessions: Secrets of a Mommy Faker." I definitely felt I needed to confess my inadequacy. As blog luck would have it, tonight after writing most of my confession post, I discovered this great blog, Dandelion Wishes, which hosts a much-needed link-up every Friday called Friday Confessional. I think this find was divine intervention. Here are my confessions. Forgive me.

I confess:I really didn’t want to go to the Moms of Multiples’ stroller day today, but I did. Why? One, we haven’t been to one yet, so I felt I should do something with my club membership besides buy stuff at the consignment sale. Two, I felt I should try to enter the mom world. You know, the world where happy moms go to the park and socialize with other happy moms and talk about poo and stuff. Three, since the babies are home every day and not in day care, I feel it’s important for them to get out and at least see other children. Sure, they are confined to their stroller, but it’s kind of like a trip to the zoo. They can look (at the other children) but not touch. So, we went, walked, chatted, and looked at other babies.

I confess:Sometimes I still don’t feel like a mom yet. Sure I have extra tummy skin that says I carried a whole lot of something for too long and two babies who need to be feed and changed regularly, but, still. Some days I look at them and think,

“Who in the world thought I was qualified to do this?”

“How in the world did two babies that perfect come from me?”

“All these other moms look like they are so much more qualified. Just look at how they can pack a diaper bag. I didn’t even remember sippy cups.”

I confess:Stroller day is a good example of a time when I felt like I described in Confession #2--like a mom faker.

I confess:Stroller day made me realize I need to get out more and not necessarily to stroller days.

I confess:Stroller day made me feel mildly jealous of the other moms who already knew each other, but not jealous enough to wish I didn’t work so I could go to more stroller days.

I confess:Stroller day made me feel guilty because I do not have my babies on a regular nap schedule. Never have. Probably never will.

I confess: Seeing babies smaller than mine made me want another baby even though I am still trying to figure out to handle the two I have.

I confess:I called Target Corporate office today to complain that our double stroller couldn’t fit through the doors. After stroller days, I needed some retail therapy. Instead, I found myself trapped between the automatic IN door and the smaller doors. So much for shopping.

Other non-stroller day related confessions:

I confess:I ate a goldfish cracker out of the high chair seat yesterday.

I confess:I can’t believe my own sister and mom haven’t entered the Little Pink giveaway yet. I know you read it.

I confess:I tell the babies not to bite, but I love to nibble on their sweet, little fingers. “Do as I say, not as I do...”

I confess:Instead of cleaning up a stain on the carpet tonight, I pulled a chair over it.

I confess:I looked at Mother’s Day cards and decided to not buy any once I realized I would easily spend $25+ on them. Maybe I will have a change of heart tomorrow.

I confess:I probably have so much more I need to confess, but it’s Friday. I am tired and my memory is shot and I’ve wanted to go to bed since 7.


Don't forget: Emily's sponsoring a Little Pink giveaway!

Emily's Little Pink Giveaway

1. First, follow us through Google Friend Connect, “Like” us on our new Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Come on, you know you like seeing my face on a regular basis! And, every Follow and Like helps us tell the world about LPHOH!

2. Next, show your support for Little Pink by leaving a message in the comment section for the families attending the retreats. Jeanine will be printing all comments and will post them during the opening night dinner for the families to read! This is your opportunity to inspire, pray for, encourage, and excite these special families.

3. Then, stay tuned as we select a lucky winner from the giveaway participants. In honor of the winner, we will donate a $50 gift card to Little Pink Houses of Hope in the winner’s name and will send this awesome individual a "Save the Ta-Tas" beach tote.


This giveaway will end on Sunday, May 8. Drew will announce his Little Pink giveaway next week!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Baby Traffic Jam

Today I am thankful for my babies who are always finding new ways to entertain
themselves and make me laugh.

New game: driving basket "cars" all around the house

After hearing that the national average for a gallon of gas is $3.99, maybe I should get a basket car.

"What's the speed limit?"

Doing a U-Turn


Fender Bender

Emily makes a pit stop; Drew keeps cruising.

Don't forget: Emily's sponsoring a Little Pink giveaway!

Emily's Little Pink Giveaway

1. First, follow us through Google Friend Connect, “Like” us on our new Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Come on, you know you like seeing my face on a regular basis! And, every Follow and Like helps us tell the world about LPHOH!

2. Next, show your support for Little Pink by leaving a message in the comment section for the families attending the retreats. Jeanine will be printing all comments and will post them during the opening night dinner for the families to read! This is your opportunity to inspire, pray for, encourage, and excite these special families.

3. Then, stay tuned as we select a lucky winner from the giveaway participants. In honor of the winner, we will donate a $50 gift card to Little Pink Houses of Hope in the winner’s name and will send this awesome individual a "Save the Ta-Tas" beach tote.


This giveaway will end on Sunday, May 8. Drew will announce his Little Pink giveaway next week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Emily's in Charge...and GIVING STUFF AWAY!

Hello, World. This is Emily.

Yesterday my mommy told you about her cool friend Jeanine.

Jeanine wears shiny earrings that I like to pull.

She gives warm, cuddly hugs.

Two years ago, Jeanine got a boo-boo called breast cancer.

She started Little Pink Houses of Hope to help others who have this same mean boo-boo.

You can read more about Jeanine, her friendship with my mommy, and her journey here.

Because even babies know we should help our friends when we can, I asked my mommy how we could help Jeanine and Little Pink. Here’s what she said:

• Spread the word to families you know who are facing breast cancer so they can apply.

• Donate money that will be used to cover retreat week expenses. (Retreats are provided at no cost to families).

• Donate services and supplies that families can use during the week.

• Donate a beach house for the week (NC/SC area) or suggest donation to someone you know who has a beach house.

• Volunteer. LPHOH needs volunteers to secure house donations, to staff retreat weeks (cooking, cleaning, activities), and to do fundraising.

• Don’t bite your friends, pull your brother’s hair, or play in the fireplace. Oh, I think those were just for me.

You can also help by participating in MaMe Musings very first giveaway!

Emily's Little Pink Giveaway

1. First, follow us through Google Friend Connect, “Like” us on our new Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Come on, you know you like seeing my face on a regular basis! And, every Follow and Like helps us tell the world about LPHOH!

2. Next, show your support for Little Pink by leaving a message in the comment section for the families attending the retreats. Jeanine will be printing all comments and will post them during the opening night dinner for the families to read! This is your opportunity to inspire, pray for, encourage, and excite these special families.

3. Then, stay tuned as we select a lucky winner from the giveaway participants. In honor of the winner, we will donate a $50 gift card to Little Pink Houses of Hope in the winner’s name and will send this awesome individual a "Save the Ta-Tas" beach tote.


This giveaway will end on Sunday, May 8. Drew will announce his Little Pink giveaway next week!

Little Pink Babies--rewind

In anticipation of tomorrow's Little Pink Houses of Hope giveaway announcement, I am rewinding the blog clock back to an entry I wrote in September about my friend Jeanine's organization Little Pink Houses of Hope. I wrote about Jeanine, how special she is to me, and how exciting it was to watch her dream of helping others materialize. I made Emily and Drew help, declaring them LPHOH twin spokesbabies and posing them for lots of Little Pink shots.

So much has happened since then. Little Pink Houses is now under two weeks away from its first round of beach retreats. To celebrate, I will be offering some giveaways and providing others with a way to offer support virtually. Until then, I hope you take a couple of minutes to meet my friend here:

Last June, Jeanine Patten-Coble, one of my dear friends and colleagues, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39. I still remember the shock and sadness when Jeanine calmly told me the news. In typical Jeanine style, she spent most of that conversation comforting me and asking me how I was handling the news. That’s Jeanine--always sensing what others are feeling and asking how she can help.

Since the shocking diagnosis, Jeanine has weathered chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, along with the complications that such aggressive treatment entails. I remember going to visit Jeanine during one of her hospital stays at Duke. When we arrived, we learned Jeanine was in isolation due to a possible infection. As we peered at her through the glass window, we didn’t see a weak, depressed patient. No, Jeanine was smiling and laughing as we wrote messages on paper and held them up for each other to see. That’s Jeanine--always able to make the best out of a less-than-ideal situation.

She is a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend, and even though having cancer is a full-time job, she nurtures each of these relationships with a love that has only grown deeper since her diagnosis. She can be found at her son Jake’s basketball games, enjoying a laugh with one of her brothers and sisters, spending a quiet moment with her husband Terry, giving her mom and dad a hug, or bringing her friend who just had twins a bag full of her favorite foods. That’s Jeanine--always putting people, not things, first in her life.

Last summer, right after finding out she had cancer, Jeanine, Terry, and Jake left for their annual beach trip. This beach trip would be different, though. This year she would have to find the words to tell her 12 year old son that she had cancer. Not only did she find the words to tell Jake what no other parent ever wants to have to tell her child, she also found something else--inspiration. It was during this trip that Jeanine first had the idea of Little Pink Houses, an organization that could provide week-long beach retreats to breast cancer patients and their families. That’s Jeanine--always finding a way to give instead of take.

Jeanine envisioned a place where families could come together, and love deeper, laugh harder, and live stronger. What a great idea, and what a huge undertaking. There was money to be raised, houses to be secured, volunteers to recruit, advertising to design. The task would overwhelm most corporations, let alone a single person. Jeanine, though, is no ordinary person. She took the challenge, mobilized her resources, and put her talent where her heart is. That’s Jeanine--always redefining what is possible.

Read the original post here.

Little Pink Houses is now a recognized organization, and this year alone it will provide seven weeks of retreats for 50 families from all over the country. These retreats (housing, food, entertainment, supplies) are provided free of charge to families and are completely funded through the generosity of donors and volunteers.

(left to right) Melissa B, Jeanine, and Me

Monday, May 2, 2011

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited- May Edition

Megan at Twinsomnia has posted another great Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited list! Inspired, I decided to play along and share some little things that currently make me stupid excited.


Sperry shoes: This time of year, I am usually shoeless or in flip flops. I decided to add to my spring/summer shoe collection with a pair of shoes that go with almost everything I own. These shoes are way comfortable, and I think they may trump flip flops because I don’t have to worry about whether or not my toes are presentable in them. Now, if I can just figure out how to wear them to work…

Sperry Anglefish in Linen


The color green: Trees. Grass. Flowers. Plastic apples on my breakfast table. Pears on Emily’s new outfit.

The contrast of green and red.

If I wasn’t such a color coward, I would paint something in my house apple green.



Little Pink Houses of Hope: Stupid excited doesn’t even begin to express how I feel about this awesome organization! I am humbled to count Jeanine, the founder, as a close personal friend, and I am inspired every day as I watch her work tirelessly to bring her dream to life. On May 14 Little Pink Houses of Hope will sponsor its first week of beach retreats for breast cancer patients and their families. Stay tuned to MaMe Musings as we roll out some giveaways to celebrate Little Pink Houses of Hope, the first retreat week, and the belief we should all “Live Stronger, Laugh Harder, and Love Deeper.”

Little Pink


Fresh strawberries: I love, love, love strawberries and especially FRESH strawberries. I can’t wait until Emily and Drew are big enough to go pick strawberries. A trip to the berry farm will not only be cute, educational, and fun, it will include free child labor!



"Where the Boat Leaves From": This song just makes me happy. Point me in the direction of that boat dock…

So get away to where the boat leaves from
It takes away all of your big problems
You got worries you can drop them in the blue ocean
But you gotta get away to where the boat leaves from.


Guacamole hummus from Trader Joe’s:I like guacamole, and I like hummus. I now can enjoy both of these treats together with Trader Joe’s guacamole hummus. Pair with the Reduced Guilt corn chips, and I have a snack that makes me stupid excited.


Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum:It seems like just yesterday I set out on the quest to find the perfect wrinkle cream.

Actually, it was five years ago when I turned 30 and became obsessed with eye wrinkles. It was like they appeared overnight.

Recently, I was watching one of those thought-provoking, intellectual shows—I think it was Access Hollywood—and they suggested Boots No. 7 as a great alternative to those pricey celebrity brands.

A quick trip to Target and voila! I have a new weapon in my wrinkle-fighting arsenal. That makes me stupid excited, but not to the point that I wrinkle my face in delight. That would cause more wrinkles. And wrinkles are bad.

Protect and Perfect


Riesling:As the weather warms, I find myself putting away the merlot and enjoying a new lighter, slightly chilled adult beverage: Riesling.

It goes well with just about everything. I like it with strawberries. I like it with guacamole hummus and chips. I like drinking it while I look at green trees. I like it when I am wearing shoes and when I am not. I like it while singing about a boat and a big blue ocean or when talking on the phone with Jeanine. When I drink it, I don’t worry about wrinkles.

It’s just about the perfect summer wine.

Riesling of Choice

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Mama, if you're reading this, I am typing as I shower and drive. Really, I am on the way to pick up the babies now. I left 20 minutes ago. I am pulling in your driveway.

Marty and I had a date night last night that involved dinner with another adult couple. My mom and dad kept the babies overnight, so, after dinner, we did what any twinless 35 year old couple might do--we skipped the movie, came home, and went to bed.

At 7:30 am we realized we were still without babies because there wasn't any noise coming from the nursery, and neither one of us had yelled, "It's your turn to get up."

At 7:45 am I made a pot of coffee before I had to make anybody a bottle.

At 7:50 am I told Marty to have a good time as he left to play golf.

At 7:57 am I called to check on babies and learned they had been up since sunrise, playing. I pretended to be surprised. Why, my babies always sleep late on Sunday.

At 8:00 am I checked my email, started catching up on blog reading, and continued to enjoy my coffee.

At 8:30 am I realized I really should get moving and go pick up my babies. I got on Facebook instead and poured myself another cup of coffee.

At 8:45 am I decided to update my Twitter account. As someone who has never gotten into Twitter, I realize this might just appear to be a last-ditch effort to postpone going to pick up my children.

At 9:00 am I started to write this blog to document a couple of thoughts:

1. As bad as my memory is these days, I can now clearly remember what it's like to have a quiet Sunday morning.

2. As much as I love my babies, it is incredibly peaceful to have absolutely no responsibility for a few hours.

3. As much as I hate doing laundry, sleeping on clean, fresh sheets, for a full 8 hours, makes it worth all the effort.


4. Next weekend is Mother's Day, and my mom deserves a really, really nice Mother's Day present.

Thank you, Mama. I love you.

And now, at 9:23 am, I really am going to get out of the recliner, take a shower, and go get my babies.

Really. Promise.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...