Friday, April 30, 2010

Wrestling

These are the things I daydreamed about when I was on bed rest: my little boys wrestling around on the floor. It sounds silly, but it's just so typical of brothers that it was just one of the things I looked forward to!

Nolan likes to tackle Luke. He has been doing it for a couple of months, but within the past few days, Luke has really started getting into the wrestling!

Look out Luke, there's a Nolan on your back!
It's okay momma, we're having fun!!



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sticker Shock

Anybody who knows me well, knows that I am obsessed with the Food Network. It's on my television every day & the boys probably think of Ina Garten or Giada as one of their buddies. Justin and I often have conversations about what Food Network chefs we would like to come to our home and cook for us. We even rank them in order!

My list goes like this (#1 being my favorite!):

  1. Ina Garten
  2. Giada
  3. Paula Deen
  4. The Neeleys
  5. Bobby Flay
Justin's list is:
  1. Giada
  2. Giada
  3. Giada
  4. Giada
  5. Bobby Flay with Giada as sous' chef
I wonder why?

Mother's Day is coming up and I was trying to come up with ideas for a gift that my mom would enjoy. Well, she and I are big Paula Deen enthusiasts and whenever we watch the show, both of us are always commenting on how much we love the measuring cups she uses. They're seriously cute!

(You know you're getting old when you start admiring other women's cooking utensils).

I visited Paula's website today and discovered that Tin Woodsman makes the pewter measuring cups we so admire and they're $177.95.

$177.95 for measuring cups.

Now, they are very pretty and I really enjoy them and of course my mother is worth $177.95, but I just can't bring myself to shell out the money for them! Before I found out how much they cost I was thinking that perhaps I'd order two sets: one for mom & one for myself. Not happenin'!

Have you had some sticker shock lately? Anything you had your eye on, but once you found out how much it costs, you changed your mind?!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday Night Was Date Night

This past Saturday night, we had a date night with Chica & Eric who brought along Cloie! There's no need to leave your house for a fun date night -- all you need are your best friends in the world, some BBQ, beer & happy, playful kiddos!




Nolan & Luke were both so excited to play with Cloie and I find it so interesting to see the dynamic between my boys and other children. I am so used to seeing them with only one another so when another child is added to the mix, I think their personalities come out a bit more!
This is sweet Cloie letting Luke pull on her hair.

Cloie loved helping out with L&N.
Eric aka "Air wick"
This is how our house typically looks:
Toys all over the floor!

I just can't get enough of these kids!

Friday, April 23, 2010

10 Months Old

Dear Nolan & Luke,

You are both 10 months old now. 10 months! That's double digits, guys and it's a very big deal to your momma. It means that the one year mark is quickly approaching and I need to preserve these moments where you're still considered 'babies.' In all fairness, you'll both be twenty, and I'll still consider you my 'babies!'

The past month has been very big for both of you, developmentally-wise. It was definitely a month of "firsts."

Luke
  • You started to crawl this past month. You are the quickest little guy & you're certainly making up for lost exploration time.
  • Cruising is one of your favorite past-times. As I speak, you're cruising the dining room furniture.
  • Today you started to clap your hands and it really took me by surprise!
  • You are a very independent little man.
  • You find your way into every corner. You've even managed to open the kitchen pantry and closet. There are so many fun things for you to play with in there!
  • You're obsessed with the vacuum. You especially like when I take off the attachment & use it to suck on your shirt & fingers - so fun!
  • You want to eat everything: food & non-food.
  • You're still loving Tank! I can't wait until the day where you're actually quicker than he is!
Nolan
  • You took your first steps this month! It really surprised me, but I should have been prepared because Grammy told me you were doing it!
  • You started clapping your hands a couple of weeks ago.
  • You shake your head when we say "no, no, no." You also shake your head when you're finished eating.
  • When you're riding in the wagon, you like to lean over and run your hands along the wheels as we're moving.
  • You started sleeping wonderfully through the night.

I took your monthly pictures in your chair the other day. Look at how big you're getting!!! It was just a short while ago that you were both leaning your heads on the arm rest! Now look at you!!!! Trying to get the both of you to sit on the chair, let alone look at the camera is a chore! After about 10 seconds, someone is yanking on his brother's shirt or standing on the chair. But mommy has found a way to get both of your attention. Even if it's just for one minute...
I'll do whatever I can! P.S. You LOVE this talking horse!

If you haven't already - visit my current GIVEAWAY here!!
You could win a 6 quart Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker from CSN Stores!

The Two to One Ratio: Outtings With My Boys

My boys are napping upstairs in the nursery and I'm sitting at my kitchen table wondering how I'm going to accomplish all that I need to get done today with the two boys. It's the Two to One Factor that I must constantly think about before stepping out the front door.

I need to visit the grocery store, Sam's Club and Wal Mart today. Not an easy fete when it's just me and the munchkins. Sam's Club is actually a breeze and I never worry about shopping there because their carts are extra wide, so both boys can sit side by side. LOVE THAT!! The grocery store and Wal Mart are an entirely different story though. They only have carts for singletons and it's pretty dangerous to let one baby sit up top while the other is standing in the basket (Justin & I tried this before at Target. Nolan refused to sit - I don't blame him! Justin ended up carrying him through half of the shopping excursion).

I could always just wait for Justin to get home from work, but it takes away from our family time in the evening. If he gets home at 5:30 & the boys go to bed at 7:30, that doesn't leave much fun time! We usually like to take the boys for a walk in the wagon, have dinner together and give the boys a bath.

How I wish I didn't have to strategize before heading out the door! I usually plan on how I'm going to do my shopping that day: (1) trying to fit two kids into the cart OR (2) pushing them in a double stroller while I drag a shopping cart behind me. That's not too easy to do!

I also worry about visiting friends' homes. I know that everyone is always willing to pitch in and help keep an eye one one of the boys while I run after the other, but I can't just expect people to be willing to do that.

Visiting the mall is usually easy with the little guys, but you'd be surprised by how many stores aren't double stroller friendly. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine! I constantly have to either move racks or find a different route! If I do manage to squeeze all of us between the clothing racks, the stroller usually knocks the clothes to the floor, so I need to stop and pick the clothes up and put them back on the rack.

At least I'm getting lots of exercise!

I hear the crib aquarium now, so that means Luke is awake! I'm going to grab my babies, give them lots of cuddles and we're going to get some shopping done!!

I'm going to go with the "push the double stroller & drag the shopping cart" method today!

I am a lucky momma!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Infertility Affected Me

A silly movie got me thinking about how infertility has affected my life. I just caught 'Baby Mama' on television the other day and I thought about the first time I saw it in the theatre with my mom & Melissa as I was in the midst of my struggle with infertility. It was a comedy, but I cried through a good portion of the movie. This is the state of frustration, desperation, anger and hopefulness I was in. I was on the verge of tears all.the.time.

I think that just about everyone knows somebody who has struggled with infertility; even if they don't realize it. It was my experience, after all of the treatment, that I didn't really have any people I could confide in. Someone who was in the same boat I was. People just don't talk about it openly. I did have my mom, mom-in-law and best friend who were wonderful listeners, but I really needed to connect with someone who was experiencing the same thing I was. This is why I turned to blogging.

My blog was such an incredible outlet for me to get my thoughts and frustrations out. I then began "meeting" other bloggers who were going through the same thing I was. I can't even begin to tell you what a comfort this was to me. Just having someone to talk to who had first-hand knowledge about what I was going through was so helpful. I owe so much to these women.

Infertility still affects me. It affects me even with my two beautiful children smiling up at me. I still think about what we had to endure just to have them and what it will be like when we think about adding another brother or sister to our little family. I will definitely do it all over again in a heartbeat, but it is still heavy on my heart. It was such a stressful time in our lives, but it brought Justin and I closer. He patiently and lovingly held my hand while we sat in the RE's office waiting to be seen. He politely folded my jeans while I laid on the RE's table week after week. He never once complained about having to see a urologist or providing specimens for the doctors. He picked me up after a year and a half of let-downs and comforted me when I was a crying mess. I honestly never thought that infertility would affect my marriage, but it did. It affected it in a positive way and I now feel like we can withstand just about anything that can be thrown at us.

Since I've started my blog & have been very open about my infertility, I have had a few real-life friends reach out to me with their struggles. I hope that I am able to offer them some comfort and support. I am happy to say that two of those friends have even seen my RE, and both are due in August!

I hope that other women will be open with their friends and family in the hopes that they may offer a little bit of advice and comfort to someone who may really need it. You don't necessarily have to start a blog to be helpful. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly ear.

Taking His First Steps

At 9 months, 4 weeks & 1 day, our little Nolan took his first steps!

I was, of course, at work when it happened. When I arrived at Grammie's house to pick the boys up, she told me that Nolan had been letting go of her hands & taking a few steps. I thought she was crazy, "mom, I just spent the entire weekend with him and he didn't show any signs of wanting to try and walk."

Since it was 4:30 and I was ravenous, I went to the kitchen to grub some food off of my mom.

Aren't moms great for that? They always have the most delicious food. I snacked on a bit of lasagna & a homemade cupcake. I love my mom!!

The boys followed me into the kitchen, as did my sister & mom. I turned around and saw Nolan walk from my sister's hands into my mom's arms. I shouted in my happy mommy voice, "good job, Nolan!" He had taken three or four steps over to my mom & I was cheering like he won the Superbowl.

Later in the evening, after we arrived at home and told daddy of today's events; then Nolan walked from mine to Justin's arms. He's only taking 3 or 4 steps at a time, but I'm so proud of him!

And, of course, I can't leave out our little darling, Luke! He has become a crawling champion and can get across the floor in the blink of an eye! He's also mastered the art of 'letting go' and sitting gracefully on the floor when he's standing up.

They make me smile and laugh each and every day. They are both such a joy to be around!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our (Long) Weekend In Pictures

This past weekend was a very busy one. Let's start with Friday night which was our least eventful night.


Bath Time!
It's become a free-for-all in the bathtub.
They try to stand, climb out, grab the shampoo bottles,
rip the faucet protector off...you name it, they've tried it.
Saturday Morning

Nolan, who has NEVER taken a pacifier (except for his first month or so),
went into the basket in his bedroom, pulled out a paci & put it in his mouth.
He's been sucking on it all weekend.
Thankfully, when we take it away from him, he doesn't cry.
Our favorite new toy!
The boys got this from Grandmom & Grandpop from Ohio for Christmas,
but the age range was 2 years & up so we never opened it before this weekend.
They can't get enough of it!!
Thanks GMom & GPop, Zach & Josh!!
Saturday Night
Ricky's 30th Birthday celebration at Medieval Times!
Who would have thought that wearing a paper crown & eating dinner with your fingers while watching men in tights fight with swords would have been so much fun?!
We got to ride in style since the show was over an hour's ride away!
Sunday Morning
What kind of parents would we be if we didn't bring home a crown & flag for the boys?

After having loads of fun with the crowns & flags, it was time to head
to church for our cousin, Ryan's Christening!
All of the kids were very well-behaved in church - thank goodness!


By the time we got home on Sunday night, we were beat, but for good reason. It was a good weekend!

Friday, April 16, 2010

How We Entertain The Kids

Every parent knows that there are just some times your children aren't entertained by their toys. There are days where banging a spoon on a pot instead of playing with their activity table is more appealing. It is times like this when Justin and I resort to different things to do with the kiddos.

Last month, I ordered some seamless paper with the intention of using it as a nice background for taking the boys' pictures. Right. They were far more interested in rubbing their head on the paper and crawling all over it while squealing! I have now realized that if the boys are growing cranky or bored, all I need to do is whip out the seamless paper and they become very happy. Luke especially loves the paper!
Nolan absolutely loves to wear things on his head. Whether it be a hat, lovie blanket or napkin. He doesn't care! He also knows that if I begin to tap my fingers against his mouth, he can say "aaaaahhh" and it sounds funny!! We do this quite often during the day!

video

Other means of entertainment are:

Playing with paper shopping bags - they love them!

Kitchen spoons & Tupperware bowls. I can get loads of dinner prep work finished if I give them some wooden spoons!

Playing under the kitchen table - just don't try to stand or you'll bump your head. I've ended up sitting under the table with them while we clap our hands and sing. Apparently, this is quite fun for them!

Boxes. Sitting in them; sitting under them; banging their hands on them; it makes no difference. They enjoy this too!

Please enlighten me with ways you keep your kids entertained! I'm always looking for ideas!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Phillies & Biscuits

What better way to ring in the 2010 Phillies season home opener than with some teething biscuits? Mommy may have had a cosmo, but the boys has biscuits. How on earth do I prevent bits of food from covering every inch of their high chairs? I'm convinced that the boys need something akin to the cape-type thing that you wear when you get a haircut.

Don't you love Luke's fashionable transformation? He will now remain clean while he eats! Seriously, would I be crazy to buy two of these things?




They may be messy little guys, but I LOVE it!!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Look Who I Found In The Fridge

While Justin (yes, Justin) was cleaning out the fridge on Saturday, Luke was trying his hardest to climb into it. Naturally, we, being the responsible parents that we are, let him sit in one of the drawers. He LOVED it!!

An Afternoon With Mabel

Have you ever had someone come into your life and you can't imagine how you ever DIDN'T have this person in your life? You sometimes are upset because you missed out on years with them because you met them when you were older?

For me, this person is Mabel. I met her when I was 18. She's twentysomething years my senior, but we just clicked instantaneously. Now, when I think back, it's almost as if I can't remember her not being in my life.

Without getting into specifics, I really respect her parenting style and how she's raised her four children (two of whom are older than I am) and I am modeling some of my parenting methods after her.

This past weekend, the boys and I took a little trip over to Mabel's house to spend the afternoon with her. L&N just light up when they see her. It's the sweetest thing! Her house isn't even CLOSE to being baby-proofed and I nearly had heart palpitations when Nolan began banging on her glass table & curio cabinet, but she is totally understanding.

Mabel & her little buddies!
Trying to prevent Luke from eating a rock.
He picked that thing up and put it in his mouth in a matter of milliseconds!!!
That little guy is SO FAST! Me & the little guys.
Enjoying the nice day.