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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

They Said, I Said (Part I)

A couple of weeks ago, as part of my 12 in 2012 series, I wrote about finding order in my blog life. The response was incredible, and I picked up some really helpful tips for managing my blog.

Mandy, as always, had a great idea: she suggested I compile all of the advice into a post.

As much as I have worked on cutting clutter from my life, I still tend to be a little wordy. Before I knew it, this post had grown into a two-parter!

If you're a blogger with similar questions, I hope you find some tips you can use.

If this is too _______ for you, please take minute a visit one of the blogs I've linked to here.

Or just leave a comment telling me something terrific about this Tuesday!

If you just came for cute twins pictures, well, I think I can find a way to oblige.



On having a blog “schedule”


A little more than half of the bloggers who responded said they don’t follow a set schedule. Most said they found schedules limit their creativity or leave them feeling boxed in. Others said they just haven’t reached that level of order yet.

Jen of We’re Living a Full Life said:

I don't commit to certain days for certain things, not that organized! Help me!!! (I’m trying, Jen!)

The other 40% or so favor a schedule.

For RoryBore of Time Out for Mom, having a schedule has saved her sanity. She said:

I almost quit blogging once because it did get so overwhelming. In fact, I was absent for an entire year. But when I came back - I came back with A Plan. You'll notice on my blog - top left corner - are my Page Tabs (they're self made and not sure just yet how I feel about them, but for now...) anyhoo, one is titled "I Blog". Click that lil button and it will take you to the page that has my Blog Schedule.

Kathy of My Dishwasher's Possessed, has a unique approach. She said:

I do post once a week. I do an essay and I like having one finished and edited piece once a week. When I started blogging I read about how important it was to post on a regular basis and it always says to post 3 to 4 times. Well, I find the once a week has worked for me and I have been fairly successful getting a following.

MaMe Musings said:

I am going to pilot a schedule approach (for planning purposes only). While I don’t plan to post a set schedule, I am going to pencil one in my blog notebook (the place where I keep a running list of random topics that cross my mind).



On Link-ups


About half of the commenters said they participate in link-ups or memes.

When asked what memes they participate in, Jen, Christina, and Julia said:

Mama Kats
Write on Edge
Pour Your Heart Out
Monday Listicles
Mama Loves

Ones she tries to do? MaMe Musings’ said:

Mama Loves
Songs That Make Us Sing Saturdays
12 in 2012 (first day of the month)

On what we write about


Most of us are mommy bloggers. But as any mommy knows, motherhood takes us to all kinds of places and topics!

Jen W said (of her blog):

(It’s) All over the place! Just like our life!

Julia of Pontifications of a Twin Mom said:

I'm all over the place with my blogging. I am a mama, and that's a huge part of my life, but I like cooking, I like crafting, my faith is important to me---so I blog about all of that.

Some found that motherhood opened another door for their blogging. Martine of I Need a Sugar Fix said:

I use to be a dog blogger before I had my son, now I don't get as much traffic, but I blog now to track things for my family. One day I'll get the posts printed in a book for memories and something neat!

MaMe Musings says:

I am all over the place, too. As I reflect on a year + of blogging, though, I see how my blog is evolving. While it is still very much about my super-sweet babies, it is also becoming more about me and my growth not only as a mother but as a woman. I now find myself seeking a balance between documenting the babies’ lives and my own. I keep reminding myself the two are inextricably linked.




On censoring


About half just say no when it comes to censoring their writing.

Prototype Mama said:

I never censor myself-- I dont check for spelling (I know thats bad) and plus I don't have many followers-- but even when I grow. Im still not.

Tasha of One Day at a Time said:

For me I write what is on my mind. If I step on someone's toes I truly am sorry, but that is how my daddy raised me...to speak my mind. I don't go off much, but when I am passionate about something I make it known. It is MY blog.

The other half filter their blog content, mostly for the benefit of their families.

As someone who also counts to make sure both babies get the same number of cantaloupe chunks, I could relate to Mandy of Twin Trials and Triumphs who said:

I do try to write in a way that I would be OK for the girls to read one day. I am super sensitive to making one sound smarter / more advanced / more mischievous than the other. If I write about something cute B said, I try to also include something A said, for example.

Jen W said:

I try to keep what I write positive since I want my boys to be free to read it and not feel like I spent their youth bitching about them on the internet. So even when we have BAD days, I try to find something good to write about so we can remember those things and not dwell on the day to day detritus.

MaMe Musings said:

If you’ve read my blog in the last couple of weeks, you know I will write about some pretty intense (real) stuff. That said, everything I write must pass the “would I want the babies to one day read it?” test. Every post, picture, link-up, giveaway, story, rant, etc must also be something, taken as a whole, adds to the collective picture of who MaMe is. Even a seemingly random post about fashion or food will one day give the babies a glimpse at what our life was like in 2012.

I also try to avoid bad-mouthing people, especially people who might read my blog!

I also try to be real—sometimes that means I’m too _____ for some, not _________enough for others, and just right for the rest!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rolling in the Dough



You are viewing the masterpiece known as Melissa's first pan of homemade biscuits!

Thanks to Tasha over at One Day at a Time, I can now count myself among the elite group of cooks who has conquered the biscuit challenge and succeeded! (I also now know what Cream of Tarter is and where you can find it in the grocery store!)

Tasha's recipe really is as easy as it looks. I whipped up a batch of 12 last night. It took me longer to run out to the store and get more butter than it did to make them. Marty had eaten three before I could even get them off the pan. I made him eat the funky looking in the lower right corner first. He said it was just as tasty as all the rest!

The biscuits were the perfect complement to this crock pot country chicken meal. You know it was good if Marty said he liked the veggies just as much as the chicken.



At this point, I may need to slow down and stop showing off in the kitchen. Marty is going to start expecting me to bring my A-game every night. And then when will I have time to blog?

PS-If you haven't visited One Day at a Time, you really should. If Tasha can turn me into a cook, you know she's good!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hope is the thing with feathers

As a young woman came of age, the hope chest (also known as "glory box" or a "wedding chest") was given to provide a storage place for the items she would need in married life. These items could include linens, blankets, a special occasion dress, tablecloths and napkins, sometimes silverware and dishes, etc. Once she was married and had children of her own, many times she would pass on the hope chest to her eldest daughter.
Source


When I graduated from high school, my grandmother gave me a beautiful cedar hope chest.



At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this massive chest.

Over the years, it became a catch-all for all kinds of random things—keepsakes from my childhood, pictures, phone cords, letters, cards, socks missing a mate, books I never finished reading, disposable cameras, prom dresses, candle holders missing their candles…

Each time I moved, the chest moved with me, usually placed at the foot of my bed, where it often became covered with clothes or blankets. It also made for a nice place to sit as I put my shoes on.

It’s one of those places I’ve often meant to organize but have avoided.

Last week I read Throw Out Fifty Things, and two lines stood out to me and compelled me to finally tackle the hope chest:

You can’t move forward into the future when you’re constantly sucked back into your past.

and


If it—the thing, the belief or conviction, the memory, the job, even the person- weighs you down, clogs you up, or just plain makes you feel bad about yourself, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on.”

As I opened the sweet smelling chest, I was sucked back into the past.

Childhood collections of unicorns and china dolls—





School papers and graduation memorabilia—



Clothes—pieces from important periods of my life like the denim skirt I wore on my first day of kindergarten, the robe my grandma made me when I was probably seven or eight, two of my poofy, sequined prom dresses.



A clarinet, a children’s sewing machine, my wedding veil…

A picture that hung on my wall as a little girl…



I organized the keepsakes into like piles and carefully repacked each in sturdy containers. I added notes that explained the significance of the items.



Then there was a pile I had avoided: some cards, photos, journals…

I skimmed the cards. I flipped through the photos. I read a couple of pages of the journals.

And just like that, I tossed it all into the trash pile with the TV antenna box that hasn’t been hooked to a TV in at least ten years.



I threw it all away for two reasons.

One, I realized that, taken out of context, the stories told in those journals or in those picture albums might one day unintentionally hurt my children or paint a picture of my past that isn’t necessarily true or helpful.

Two, I realized this hope chest belongs to me, and I don’t have room for regret, shame, or embarrassment. I know you're probably wondering what kind of sordid life did I live if I want to destroy all the details. Probably not one much different than many people in college and in their 20s. I struggled with low self-esteem, loneliness, poor decisions, bad relationships, disappointments, and starting over. Growing up is not always a pretty process.

I’m not saying I won’t share the not- so- idyllic details of my youth with Emily and Drew; what I am saying is I want to tell the real story, the story that can only be complete when filtered through the sieve of time and reflection, not told by the one-sided subjectiveness of a journal or the cold objectiveness of an old photograph..




Marty isn’t sure I’ve made the right decision. He wonders if the stories would have more power if they were told through the actual words I recorded as I faced situations that Emily and Drew might one day face.

What do you think? Have you saved or tossed any “revealing” pieces of your past?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Creature Comforts

This week this mama is loving comfort.

Here are three small ways we have found a little comfort this week at our house.

Oatmeal: My Current Comfort Food of Choice

What's funny about my current love for oatmeal is that when I was growing up I hated oatmeal. A couple of years ago, I decided to give it another shot, and surprise, surprise! I actually liked it. These days I love it.

Whole Foods is having a sale this week on Three Sisters Oatmeal. Featuring eco-friendly packaging, this oatmeal is full of whole grains, flaxseed, and all natural ingredients, and wait for it---it comes in Dark Chocolate flavor!


As if having healthy chocolate oatmeal wasn't great enough, the packets double as a measuring cup.

No more wondering if I have too much/too little water. No more breaking out a measuring cup just to be safe. Just fill the packet to the line, and voila...a perfectly mixed bowl of oatmeal--not too runny and not too thick.

Fuzzy Bath Towels: The Babies' New Favorite Part of Bath Time

Emily and Andrew LOVE bath time, so much so, that some nights, it's a struggle to get them out of the tub.

For Christmas this year, we gave them hooded animal towels: a kitty cat for Emily and a puppy dog for Drew. I found them on clearance at Target for $7.98 each, which is is a great deal since the Target website currently has them listed for $12.99. (I am sure Target isn't the only place you can find hooded towels, though).


So besides being cute and warm (I giggle every time I see the little tail wagging behind them), what is so great about these towels?

Emily and Drew love them so much that when we are ready for them to get out of the tub, all we have to do is hold up the towels. Drew starts barking, "AH-AH," and Emily does her best "me-ow." We wrap them up tight and they bark and meow straight out of the bathroom to the bedroom where their pajamas are waiting.


Turn Down Service: The Husband's Way of Saying He Loves Me

Not all of the comforts we love cost. Imagine my surprise this week when I found this waiting for me:


He even had my snuggle pillow waiting for me!

Manic Mother




So thankful to have been wrapped in the comfort of warm and tender love this past week...



Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday with Ginger & Becca




Baby Books--Check!

Before the babies were born, I ordered this set of baby books made especially for twins:
Image Credit


Back then, I naively thought I would easily and routinely update these baby books since much of the book was simply fill-in-the-blank or check boxes.

How hard could it be, right?

Then the babies came.

Then I started blogging.

Ultimately, I didn’t update the books because _______________________________(fill in the blank with any reasonable excuse).

While I knew the blog and the letters documented our lives in a way these books never could, I just couldn’t escape the guilt I felt when I thought of how I had neglected the books.

(Plus, if I never completed them, Marty could rub in my face that he was right about me wasting money on books we'd never use and proving Marty wrong is motivation enough for me to complete almost any task).

Then, being the emotional hoarder that I am, I realized the closet was becoming increasing packed with items I just couldn’t bear to throw away (like all of their daycare daily reports, anything that had a crayon scribble, outfits from every holiday…)

The baby book albatross project weighed down me. It was that one item on my running to-do list that just kept getting pushed to the bottom, and if you are as driven by to-do lists as I am, then you know the feeling—the nagging reminder that you just don’t have it together.

It was so important to me, so symbolic of my mommy competence, so representative of my OCD personality, that I added it to my birthday list. I would conquer complete these books before I turned another year older.

I will confess that I ultimately tackled this project on a day off when the babies were at daycare. I don’t recommend attempting this task when you have any distractions. Believe me, it won’t take much to pull your attention away from the mess.

Materials Needed:

  • A plethora of baby memorabilia
  • Plastic containers (one for each child, one for mommy)
  • Plastic envelopes file thingees (surely that's what they are called)
  • Photo boxes and dividers
  • Journal pen
  • Glue stick
  • Time
  • Motivation (guilt works, too)
  • Patience
  • Internet (and more time)



BEFORE: As you can see, empty diaper boxes make great, cheap make-shift storage. For the first 17 months or so, I simply threw anything I thought might be memorable into a box and shoved placed it lovingly into the closet.

1: After assembling my supplies, I assessed the goods and planned my attack.

2: I re-discovered my “mom book.”

3: I stared at the mound of papers I collected in just 3 short months of daycare, wondering, how, at this rate, I would ever find room for at least 17 more years of school work (times two).

4: I separated the papers into two stacks: one for Drew and one for Emily. These papers were then placed into plastic envelopes file thingees.

5: Yes, I had even saved the feeding and pooping documentation from the first days in the hospital. Yes, it went in the mom book. Something tells me the babies won’t be interested in knowing whether they fed from the right or the left or whether it was wet, poopy, light, or dark. For me, it is a testament to the fact that I lived through it.

6: I then began sorting the clothing into stacks: one for Drew, one for Emily.

7: The hardest part of filling out the baby books was not remembering the details about Emily and Drew; it was actually remembering what was going on in the world in June 2010. I was pregnant. Wasn’t that news enough?? Seriously, it’s not as easy as you think to find things like average cost of a loaf of bread, number #1 on the music chart, box-office hits. You’d think it would be as easy as just googling the date. It’s not.

8: I organized the miscellaneous pictures by occasion. Since I had printed at two copies, Emily and Drew will both have a picture box and I have one as well. Filing should be much easier now that I have dividers.

9: It’s coming together!

10: Three stacks: one for Emily, one for Drew, and one for Mommy

11: Ready for storage

AFTER: Neatly tucked away in the top of the closet! Now it’s easy to add things as we decide to save them because each item has a place.

19. Update Emily and Drew’s baby books.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

I wok out

As you may recall, this month I am focusing on one of my core values: order.

In the midst of losing my mind, I've actually managed to complete quite a few projects (that I promise to share by the end of the month).

I have clean(er) closets, less junk in the (junk) drawers, (mostly) complete baby books, fewer mementos in the hope chest, more labels...

I even have some ideas and plans for organizing my blog life--thanks to fabulous readers like yourself.

I figure if you can help me get my social media under control then you should definitely be able to help me in an even more disorganized area of my life--the kitchen.

I can throw out. I can label. I can re-organize the pantry shelves. I can clear counter tops.

Unfortunately, I am not very good at actually utilizing the kitchen for its intended purpose: cooking.

We've tried E-Mealz. We've tried freezer cooking. We've tried crock pot cooking. Ultimately, we find take-out or dining out is most efficient. Considering eating out means taking two toddlers along, well, that should tell you something.

Maybe I am exaggerating (slightly). We've had some success with planning meals in advance and then trying to shop once a week. Last night, I hit a culinary homerun with a stirfry dish I whipped up in a wok that I had forgotten we owned. A little chicken, some veggies, teriyaki sauce, and rice, and BAM!
Image Credit


Marty and the babies loved it! And, I didn't even tell them it only took 15 minutes!

Could an inner cook be hiding in there, just waiting to be inspired??

I'd love to hear from you--

  • Do you have a favorite low-prep (healthy) recipe?

  • How do you handle meal planning?

  • Any favorite websites you use for recipes?

  • Tips for making my kitchen life more organized?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Introducing Peas and Cheese

The idea for “Peas and Cheese” sprouted about a month ago when Emily and Drew really started saying please.

Emily: COOK-E!

Me: What do you say?

Emily: Ch-eeese! (while fervently signing please in a way that made her look like she is rubbing the skin off her chest).

Drew: Nan-E!

Marty: What do you say?

Drew:
PEAS! (while patting his chest to sign please and alternating it with the “more” sign)

And, just like that Emily gets her cookie, Drew gets his banana, and Mommy gets a big, ole smile on her face.

Each day is a smorgasbord of cuteness around here, I tell you, and it's only getting better by the day as they add new words, expressions, games...

Because we are definitely not selfish with our cuteness around here, I’ve decided to make “Makes Me Smile Like Peas and Cheese” a regular feature here at MaMe Musings.

If it makes me smile like peas and cheese, well, you’ll most likely see it here.

No need to worry over high cholesterol, high blood sugar, preservatives, GMOs, or empty calories with this treat--it's 100% all-natural toddler goodness!

Why don’t we just make it a buffet of cuteness? Leave a comment and share something sweet that happened at your house this week or leave a link to your site where you’ve shared your own “peas and cheese” moment.




Special thanks to Diana of Inochi Designs for creating this super-cute button. Diana, you always make me smile like peas and cheese!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm alive and living

About six months ago, during the height of my anxiety attacks, Marty, out of frustration and a sense of helplessness, asked,

“Melissa, if you are acting like this over something that might happen, what are you going to do when something really bad does happen?"

Last Wednesday, something really bad did happen.

So what did I do?

I cried-- loud, heaving, snotty sobs.

I sat--in shocked silence.

I screamed--in anger, in pain, in despair.

I wrote-- to unload the pain.

I drank--lots of coffee--because I could.

I hugged-- my babies-- tightly.

I played--silly games with them on the floor.

I read--to them, with both in my lap, just like we do every day.

I took--the week off work.

I walked--numbly back into the doctor’s office to have one last ultrasound to be sure.

I snapped --at the well-meaning doctor who tried to console me with “information” I already knew because I'm obsessed smart enough to research the causes of miscarriage on my own.

I hugged--the nurse who knew just what to say.

I slept--through the procedure.

I ate.

I rested.

I loved-- on my babies.

I rested.

I loved-- on my babies.

I stayed--awake through the night, unable to sleep for the movie playing in my head.

I cried--silently as to not wake up Marty.

I showered and dressed--most days.

I read--your comments, emails, messages--even if I didn’t respond.

I found--some comfort in knowing people care.

I went-- on a date with my husband.

I ate--sushi and drank wine like only a non-pregnant woman can do.

I smiled (and maybe even laughed).

I cringed--as a man sitting in front of us at the hockey game randomly asked, “Y’all going to have any more kids? You need three. Three is the perfect number.”

I agreed--to go out after the game to a bar with friends.

I attended--a meeting on Saturday for work and didn’t cry.

I planned-- a family vacation for early February.

I bought--two books and a pair of running shoes.

I fought-- with my husband.

I put--the babies in the bed with me just because I wanted to feel them next to me.

I prayed--although I don’t remember what I said.

I cooked-- dinner.

I took--the babies to one of those bounce houses and didn't run behind them with hand sanitizer.

I cleaned out--my hope chest and threw away years worth of junk that had been (emotionally) weighing me down.

I answered--the phone when a friend called (finally).

In short,

I lived.


I’m not ready to make some grand pronouncement about all things being turned to good in time through the power of…

I am not tying this story into a nice package with a happy ending.

I am not claiming that I have come to terms with my anger, my disappointment, or my loss.

What I can say is that life hasn’t stopped. In the midst of “something bad,” I just kept moving.

And, for that, I am grateful--

for the opportunity to wake up, stretch my body, hug my family, move, and live.

Because MaMe is always so much more than any one event, tomorrow I have promised myself that I will turn the proverbial page and bring back a little more cute and a little less serious. I hope you'll click over tomorrow to enjoy a little something I am going to call, "Makes Me Smile like Peas and Cheese." Seriously, it's going to funny :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This isn't for you

Tomorrow I will have a D&C

To clinically remove my baby,

Who, unbeknownst to me, died sometime last week, while the rest of the world went on around us.

Apparently, my body can’t even miscarry on its own.

The fact that I would have a missed miscarriage shouldn’t shock me. I’ve spent the better part of my life reproductively challenged, infertile. Hell, it took surgery and thousands of dollars in drugs to get me pregnant the first time. And, believe me, I knew a gift from God when I got it—

Two perfect, perfect, perfect babies whom I love more than my life, who have given me my life’s purpose, who have made every tear I have every cried worth it, who completed me in ways I never thought possible, who make me a better person every day.

As much as I joked and secretly daydreamed of a third, I was okay. We were okay. Better than okay, perfect.

Then right before Christmas, I dreamed I was pregnant. Two days later, wide awake, we received what we believed was our Christmas miracle: a clearly positive pregnancy test without the help of any doctors.

Surely, this was our meant-to-be baby.

We excitedly and nervously told our close family and friends—the same people I thought I’d tell in the unlikely event that the unspeakable happened (because we naively thought at the time that they would be able to console us if I ever found myself sitting where I am right now. Stupid me. Nobody’s words can console me).

Instead, I just need somebody, anybody, everybody to hear my pain…

to tell me it’s okay to be mad at God- the same loving God who gave me Emily and Drew.

For four and a half weeks now, I have been pregnant with the idea of another baby—a brother or sister for Emily and Drew (although in my dreams there was no doubt it was a boy--another sweet blonde baby boy).

I thought of all the things that a newly pregnant woman thinks of—

How will we afford daycare for 3?

Will we need a bigger car?

Will I be able to have a VBAC?

Will the baby look like Emily or Andrew?

Wonder if it’s okay if I have this cup of half-caf?

Will I finally get to breastfeed?

Why did I give away all of my baby stuff?

What if there are two?

What if I miscarry?


You’d think that pondering that last question would have prepared me for today(It didn’t). You see, as someone who has fought anxiety and chronic worry her entire life, I have developed a pretty strong coping mechanism—playing the "what-if" game and working through worst case scenarios. And, if you peek far enough into the dark recesses of my mind, you’d see that I somehow thought worrying could keep the bad stuff away.

Well, God, you proved your point—my worrying doesn’t do shit.

Now the what-ifs have changed.

What if my miscarriage was the result of something else (despite the doctor’s assurances that "it was nothing we did”…blah, blah, blah)?

Did I drink too much coffee?

Did I walk too fast that day in the pouring rain?

Did I jinx myself by telling a few people? By accepting those maternity clothes yesterday? By contemplating names? By allowing myself to be happy?

Did my advanced maternal age contribute to the likely “chromosomal abnormalities”?

Did I not pray enough?

Did I get too greedy thinking that I was really meant to have another miracle?


Maybe time will give me other emotion but right now I am…

Sad. Of course.

Heart-broken. Yes.

Confused. Obviously.

Angry. Definitely.

Damn right. I am angry.

And, this emotion surprises me most.

Angry that the switch has been flipped.

You see, before we saw those two lines over a month ago, I was content with what I had.

But once I knew there was a baby growing inside me, I wanted that baby with a fierceness that I hadn’t known since I found out I was pregnant with Emily and Drew.

As the shock faded, Marty and I both talked excitedly about the new baby.

And that excitement, that desire, that fierceness of love hasn’t died, even if the doctor says our baby has. (Oh, what it the doctor was wrong? Confusion. Delusion.)

And, tomorrow, when my womb is again empty, that love and wanting will remain.

And that angers me.

One of the cruelest parts of infertility is hearing people say it will happen when you quit trying.

Even the doctor said today something along the lines of healing, just going with life like we did before and we’d probably get pregnant again. Or something like that. Blah. Blah. Blah.

But, the switch has been flipped. There is no going on with life as before.

Whereas the light was once off on the real idea of a third baby, now there’s a spotlight on the prospect.

Telling someone who wants a baby to not try is like telling someone who wants to live not to breathe.

I wanted this baby.

And the fear of the want consuming me makes me

Angry.

Because I don’t want to get on the conception train again.

Waiting for period. Ovulation tests. Temping. Timed “intercourse.” Two week waits. Wasted pregnancy tests with only one line. Months ticking along. Disappointment. Fertility doctors. Vitamins. Acupuncture. Shots. Ultrasounds. Waiting. Fear. Hope. Disappointment. Failure. Anger. Repeat.

Angry.

Because I was okay not being pregnant.

Angry.

Because now I fear I won’t be able to give up the dream of a third.

Angry.

Because I have more than I ever deserved in Emily and Andrew but I can’t help but want more…

Because a baby was dangled in front of me and then snatched away...

Because wanting more when I have been blessed already makes me feel dirty with guilt.

ANGER.

Because I can’t make sense of the pain.

Because I can’t understand why.

Because I can’t sleep, drink, or wish this nightmare away.

So excuse me while I go for my fourth cup of fully-caffeinated coffee since learning my current caffeine intake doesn’t fucking matter. Excuse me while I alternate between screaming, crying, silence, writing,and spreading my personal tragedy out for the world to see in a pathetic attempt to make sense of the loss—the anger.

While I needed to get this out, get the pain in words, feel the collective support of those around me, I also need to disappear for a while.

Excuse me while I take some time away from the blog, Facebook, work, and my phone.

I am turning it all off (literally and figuratively) to surround myself with the only medication I need: my family in front me, the babies I do have.

I don’t need anything right now other than your love, your prayers, and your understanding.

While I cry out to God in anger, I also find myself begging him for healing, peace, strength, clarity, and acceptance.

Because, really, what else is there to do?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDMA!


Our grandma when she was a little girl. Isn't it obvious where Emily gets her beautiful looks?


Our grandma on our birthday. She always gives the best hugs!


Our grandma tonight at dinner. We had so much fun with you today. We love you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

We All Matter

This post from one of my sweet "blog mom" friends has been the topic of much conversation in our house this weekend. If you haven’t read the story, you can read the mother’s heartbreaking story here and today’s USA Today story here.

I’ve written and re-written this blog post in my head many times.

Ultimately, I decided to not write anything at all.

As someone who (1) is a mother who loves her children more than anything and (2) has her daddy here today because of a living donor kidney transplant (from my aunt), I am moved beyond words by this story.

So instead of trying to write something that ultimately might come across as trite, cliche, or cursory, I will instead say I am praying for Mia--for a precious child--and for her family.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Blog Love

THANK YOU RoryBore of Time Out for Mom for recognizing little ole’ MaMe Musings with the Liebster Award!

According to the super-smart RoryBore, The Liebster award started in Germany. The word "Liebster" is a term of endearment; meaning "beloved person." The aim of the award is to bring attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers.



After blogging for a year and half, it still amazes me that people read MaMe Musings. Truly, every visit, every comment, and every follower warms my heart and makes me smile. Sharing my family with all of you has only enriched the most awesome experience of my life--being a mommy.

Again, thank you RoryBore! I count you and Time Out for Mom among mommies and blogs that I love, too!

The rules for accepting this award are simple:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog. (right click to save to your computer, than upload to your blog.)

4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.

5. And best of all – have fun and spread the Karma!

It's my pleasure to share some great recent finds that I am sure you will love, too!

Baxtron {Life}

It’s the Little Things

Life is But a Stage

The Lone Tater

TwinSane Asylum

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Songs that Make Us...Clean?

Today I am once again combining two of my favorite link-ups: Pontifications of a Twin Mom, Mama Loves, and (not) Just Another Mom of Twins, Songs that Make Us Sing Saturday!

Ever since I was young and carefree single, Saturday mornings have been housecleaning time. Now that I older and busier married with twin toddlers, every day is cleaning day. As Emily and Drew have gotten bigger, so have the messes. Need an example? Check out the demolition fun from Wednesday night.

But, while the messes have grown, so have Emily and Drew's ability, willingness, and enthusiasm for cleaning up and putting away their toys. Certainly, daycare has helped since they practice putting away their toys there.

We also use a song we learned at Kindermusik to signal to them when it's time to put the toys away. The lyrics are rather complicated, so let me share them with you here:

Toys away.
Toys away.
It's time to put the toys away.

(Repeat as many times as it takes until all the toys are away or until you just can't stand it anymore).

Last line: It's time to put them a-way.


I tried to find a video of the song on YouTube, but wasn't successful. I did find lots of other examples of clean-up songs, though, in case you are looking for one to use with your destructo-bots kiddos.

Here are my cuties cleaning away this morning.


Manic Mother


So what song does Mommy play when she needs to get pumped up for cleaning? Well, I don't have just one. Usually I crank up a country music station and sing really loud when a good song comes on. Here's an oldie but a goodie that gets my cleaning groove on...



Tips for getting your little ones involved in household chores? Ideas for songs that help make cleaning just a little easier? Leave a comment and then click on over and check out Julia and Ginger. I promise it will be more fun than dusting or laundry :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Am

Megan of Deuces Wild & An Ace in the Hole! ran a cute post today entitled, "I Am", and she invited her readers to join in the fill-in-the-blank fun.

If you decide to play along, please let me know so I visit and learn more about who you are.

I AM


I AM...currently sick (and tired).

I WANT… next Wednesday to go well.

I HAVE...more than I ever hoped for.


I KEEP...secrets better than my sister but probably not as well as I should.
Image Credit


I WISH I COULD...worry less.

I HATE...when I lose my temper and say things I don’t mean.

I FEAR...things I can’t control.

I HEAR...the Pete the Cat shoe song playing over and over in my head.

Image Credit


I DON'T THINK… I will ever be a size 6 again, or 31, or caught dancing in a club near a pole (again).


I REGRET...most of my early twenties but not my early thirties.

I LOVE...my family, starches and carbs, naps, hot showers, clean sheets, the beach, strawberry milkshakes from DQ, and the weekend.
Image Credit


I AM NOT...as young as I used to be but certainly a lot wiser (see above).

I DANCE...when nobody’s watching or when I am seriously intoxicated (see above).

I SING...off-key--in the car and to my babies.

I NEVER... turn the light off when I walk out of the bathroom downstairs.

I RARELY...go to Target without buying something.
Image Credit


I CRY WHEN...I think about my babies growing up, when I hear a sad song, and especially when I hear sad songs about babies growing up.

I AM NOT ALWAYS...on time. I try to be but there always seems to be forces conspiring against me.
Image Credit


I HATE THAT…my husband knows it all (or at least he thinks he does).

I'M CONFUSED ABOUT... the whole Tebow controversy, the debt limit ceiling debate, who Chelsea Handler is, and tax forms.
Image Credit


I NEED...more energy and a strawberry milkshake.

I SHOULD...go to bed—right after I harass my sweet, know-it-all-husband until he goes and gets me a milkshake.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All in a Day's Work

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen my status message from earlier today:

Ran out to lunch. It's pouring rain. I am soaked because, of course, umbrella is in car. Looked around for something to dry off with...only thing I could find was a diaper--at least it was clean!

The diaper did a fair job, and I went back to work. But, by the end of the day, I was feeling washed out, like someone had wrung every bit of energy out of me. My head hurt and my body ached. All I wanted was my couch and a big, warm blanket.

Marty jumped in and offered to go to the grocery store to buy something for dinner. All I had to do was watch Emily and Drew until Marty could get back and save me help me.

I promise I only closed my eyes for a minute...
They had found their way into the pantry. Emily was building a tower of canned food; Drew was using his cans as cars, pushing them around the living room.

We got everything back in the pantry. I slumped back to the couch, confident they would surely find some real toys to occupy them.

Guess I overlooked a jar of pimentos...

No sooner than I wiped the pimentos up and took them to the garbage did the babies find yet another source of entertainment. Oh, they know how to work a sick woman...

With food products now safely locked away, they turned their attention to what was left.

Mommy's work bag...

A stroller and two horse pile-up...

An aerial view of the destruction zone...

A nap and the little teamwork later, order was restored.

The trucks parked.
The horses corralled.

The kitchen closed.

All in a day's work...




THANK YOU to all of you who visited and left such THOUGHTFUL comments to yesterday's post, Organizing My Blog Life. As soon as I recover from today and get some energy back, I plan to respond and to share some of what I learned from all of the comments.
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