Monday, August 30, 2010



I miss blogging.  I miss my friends here.  And I really need to find some balance in my life again.

I haven't quit smoking, I did set a new date for Wednesday.

I want to start posting again.  But more likely once a week than once a day. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Laying it all out there

Funny thing about blogs, we get to edit our lives.  We share only what we chose to share.

For the past two weeks, I haven't shared a thing. 

My excuses: I work away from home, a family business that is super super busy right now.  The twins have been playing baseball, which my dear hubby is coaching.  Oh and dear hubby started a new job, which makes things a little crazy too.  Plus little man is having a terrific transition from being two to three.  (this morning I found him after he poured dish detergent in the toilet, flinging toilet bubbles at the puppy). And the last thing I want to do at night is get back on a computer.

And then I feel guilt: for not writing, for being a one year blog, for not laying it all out there, for disappointing those who do read faithfully, for not reading others.

This morning it hit me.  I started this blog a year ago in secret.  I didn't start it for readers, I started it for me and somewhere along the way I got sidetracked.  Not that I don't love comments and followers.  That is just not why I started.  Blogs can change, transform, morph, grow, digress.  It happens.  No one is paying me to write, I write because I enjoy it.  I no longer enjoyed it when it became like a job and I felt guilty for not doing so. 
I am a mommy writer who wants to track the milestones of her children.  Those moments that you always want to remember, but know you won't if you don't capture them in some way.  Those are the moments I want to write about.
Along the way I started writing about other stuff to - because I am also a person away from a mom.  I realized I am kind of lost as that person right now.  I've decided to make a few changes in my life.

On June 1, 2010 I will breathe free.  For all you non-smokers that means I'll have my last cigarette on May 31st and actually quit for the 101st and final time.  I need to do it, I have tried to do it, I've done it before.  But this time for good.  For all of you gasping at my demise. I know.  For those of you who are closet smokers, remember I know who some of you are, and I won't hate on you when I quit.

On June 7, 2010 I am starting the couch to 5k program.  I want to run.  I've played sports, but somewhere in the last few years, I've become not a couch potato per say but a slacker for sure.  I want to be able to run with my children again without losing my breath. 

I also want to lose 15 lbs that I have put on in the last 1 1/2 years (did you know you can actually feel your metabolism change).  I've been virtually the same size for 15 years (minus a couple of pregnancies) and this sloth that I have turned into recently is really not me.  I used to be in such great shape.  I am working my way back into pilates and eating correctly.  No diet here, just awareness and more of doing what I know is good for me.

It is really hard to lay all of this out there.  But here it is.  I will share my journey and the journey of my children.  But I am not going to write like it is my job anymore.  I can't.  I have a job, or two, or three.  I don't need another.  I hope you stay with me, but if you don't, I understand that too.

with my heart on my sleeve

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Happiness Project: Little League

Watching my boys play baseball (although I never get them both in the same action shot)


Monday, May 3, 2010

Forget the terrible twos, it is the TERRIFYING threes!

In 26 days little man will turn three.
I would like to skip a whole year ahead now. 

People say - ohh it's the terrible twos.  Why yes it is.  It is even more terrible when your son is so tall he looks like a four year old and people expect him to be well behaved. 

When he is stomping his foot and telling me no (in a not so quiet voice).  I look at the woman shaking her head at me and say - "he is two."  Automatically this know-everythng-about-motherhood- woman changes her whole expression and smiles while saying, "this too shall pass."

She's right.  It does pass.  As slow as molasses pours from a jar. 

Only it doesn't pass on to better things, it actually gets worse.

It turns into the terrifying threes.  I figured out why they call them terrifying when the twins were three.  The think they are invincible and have found their voice.  It makes for some dangerous situations and loud tantrums.  There are many moments I have blocked from memory, just because the trauma was too much for my brain.

Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed. ~Robert Gallagher

Friday, April 30, 2010

FFC: Today is National Arbor Day

Today is National Arbor Day - so of course it is going on Friday's Featured Cause!  (if you want a cause featured please use the button on the side of this page).

What is National Arbor Day you ask - well Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it's celebrated on the last Friday in April.

Trees have more benefits than most people imagine.  Let's take the young dogwood I have in my front yard.  It was planted for looks by the people who owned the property before us.  They had no idea what good it would do for us.
  • This year my 6 inch diameter, flowering dogwood tree will reduce atmospheric carbon by102 pounds. Considering a mid size sedan that drives 12,000 miles in a year emits 11,000 lbs of CO2, we can use all the help we can get.
  • My dogwood will intercept 367 gallons of stormwater runoff this year.  Stormwater is a huge source of run off pollution containing oil, gasoline, salt, trash, etc and sends it into our lakes and streams.  My dogwood will collect a lot of that!
  • My dogwood will conserve 21 Kilowatt / hours of electricity for cooling.  Just by being well placed, it shades the eastern side of my house and allows cooling to occur naturally.
There are other benefits too, like air quality and property value.  All from a young dogwood.  Imagine what larger trees do for us.  (if you want to know go to the arbor day calculator and plug in your location, tree, and its size.  That is what I did)

The Arbor Day Foundation has all kinds of resources for children through adults about trees and protecting our planet.  I donated $10 last month and received 10 seedling trees to plant around my yard (you can also have 10 trees planted in a forest).  The kids and I will be planting them this weekend in celebration.

Other ways to celebrate are to learn more about trees in your area, have a trivia contest, go on a hike and identify trees along the path.  Encourage the education about trees to others and we will be able to keep our world healthier for a longer period of time.

He who plants a tree
Plants a hope.
~Lucy Larcom, "Plant a Tree"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Venting is good for the soul

  • i hate the terrible twos
  • i'm not ready for the terrifying threes
  • i wish blogger had spell check on it again
  • i hate having to spell check
  • i love to read a good book, and hate when it is over
  • good books suck me in and push the mommy out
  • i wish i had more time in my life
  • i love all the things i do have time for
  • i detest paying bills - not because of money issues, i just detest paying them
  • i also detest weeds, and was willing to spend the $10 for black paper to keep the weeds out of my garden (newspaper just doesn't cut it)
  • i wish i was a better friend.  i never keep in touch like i should
  • on the other hand, crowds scare me
  • at the moment i want a nap
  • i won't get one
  • i don't want a blog that fizzles after a year, and next month is my year
  • i wish i had more features for my friday causes.  there are so many good causes
  • i hate being pulled in a million different directions
  • i love being a mommy (which makes the last one null and void)
  • i want new feet - ones that don't crack
  • i detest poison ivy - especially at the moment since I apparently kneeled down in it.
  • i wish i could run, or had the motivation to run

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Happiness Project: taking a walk

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. ~James Openheim

Join Leigh in the Happiness Project!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mother in Laws are good for making the kids barf

I have been holding out on everyone.  Mostly out of fear that if I let the cat out of the bag it won't be true.  It's been 2 years and three months since dear hubby had a real job.  He was in commerical construction before the bottom dropped, and his company was one of the first to fall.  I was predicting the collapse 8 months before it happened. 

Anyway - he became a stay at home dad, which was a difficult transition. 
Until 2 weeks ago.
Yes, he got a job, back in construction.  Not as great as it was, but a job! 

I feel weird about it.  But that is for another day.

In the meantime, his mother is watching the boys.  His mother who was conviently laid off about 6 weeks ago.  Typically she watches the kids at our house, but at times she takes them to hers.

Last week a terrible stomache virus went around her house.  Dear Hubby's grandmother got it and ended up dehydrated. 

Fast forward to 12:30 Friday night.  Peacefully sleep inturrupted by screams of a child laying in his own puke.  And hour later, the same screams. At that point I was up and cussing my mother in law.  Poor little man was sick every half hour there after until 4:30 am.  I felt so sorry for him.  Especially when he would look at me and say "mouth ehhhh mouth."

I decided my mother in law was to pay.  I haven't decided how much yet, but 4 1/2 hours loss of sleep must count for something.

What is your mother in law good for?

Friday, April 23, 2010

FFC: Just because Earth Day was yesterday doesn't mean we should stop saving it.

Across America Earth Day was celebrated by thousands yesterday.  It is great that we have a day to make us step back and look at what we are doing to our earth.
This week, for Friday's Featured Cause, I want to talk about your Earth Day resloutions.  Last week, I listed 10 easy things you can do to help save our planet.  Have you done any of them?  If not, do you plan on it?  Are you willing to join me and make resloutions for change?

Just because Earth Day is over, doesn't mean we should stop trying to help heal it. 

The first step is to take a look at your garbage.  If you make more than one bag of trash a week (that's all we use for a family of 5) then you have too much trash. Garbage goes to the dump where it hids in trash bags for weeks before it starts to break down.  Then it begins the breakdown process.
Oganic material only takes 6 months to breakdown, aluminum cans take 500 years.  Cotton, rags and paper only take 8 months, plastic takes 500 years.
Make a resolution to recycle more and throw out less.  All the cardboard cereal boxes, school papers, can go right in your bin along with your newspaper.  Don't forget all your canned and glass goods too.

The second step is to conserve energy.  Did you know that over half the energy produced in the US comes from burning coal?  Changing a few of your daily habits could change the world. 
Turn your thermostat down 2 degrees in the winter and up 2 in the summer.  You won't notice the difference, but the envoirnment will.
Unplug appliances when you are not using them.  We often forget that most of our appliances continue to run even after we turn them off.  Use the off switch on your power cord behind the television to turn off your DVD, Wii, TV, and stereo.  How many clocks do you need in the living room anyway?

Two simple steps to saving energy.  What are you going to do?

We didn't inherit the earth from our parents, we borrowed it from our children.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

If I lived in 1955, I'd have broken all the rules!

You know they were.  Your kids know they are.  Even Mama Kat knows we break all the rules.  That's why she asked us to list 10 rules that we "unlearned" for writer's workshop.

I love old things.  1950's I think were such a neat era.  But let me tell you if I lived back then I would have broken ALL the rules, not just ten.

  1. Ok, I love to cook and this isn't such a bad idea.  I love to plan a good meal out.  However, it is not because of only his needs.  I have 5 mouths to feed in my house and if he's late for dinner, we don't wait.

  2. Make-up?  What stay at home mom wears make up on a daily basis.  I sure didn't.  I have just been with some house weary kids, he got to escape.

  3. I can be a little interesting.  Let me tell you how "your son" decided he could feed the fish his bologna sandwich today.

  4. Just close your eyes and you won't see the clutter anymore.

  5. Kids ought to be able to pick up their own crap.  I am not their maid.  And I just used the dustcloth to wipe up the 2 year old's pee off the kitchen floor.

  6. When might I ask, do I get to unwind?

  7. Minimize the noise?  If I had a mute button don't you think I would have used it 4 hours ago when they were clawing each other's eyes out.

  8. This I agree with.  I am always deleriously happy to see my hubby.  Especially when he rescues me from the children.

  9. I greet him with a huge smile, but not out of a desire to please him.

  10. The only thing more important than our children is if he got fired.

  11. His world of strain?  Not that I'm saying all jobs are easy, but stay at home mom's take the cake anyday of the week!

  12. I try to make my home tranquil for me.  I'm the one living with all boys!

  13. When is the best time to tell him the stove caught fire?

  14. I don't complain if he goes out, it just means next time it's my turn.

  15. If it's not bedtime, no one gets to relax.

  16. Please tell me a grown man can take off his own shoes.

  17. Master of the house !?!?!?!?!

  18. I'll be damned.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When twins figure out there IS an "oldest" child

Have twins have fights arguements.

From the moment they are born you know they will love each other and sometimes love to hate each other.  It's what siblings do, and for twins it starts even earlier, like in the womb.

There is a 20 minute time limit between birthing one twin and the other.  A rule put down in some book somewhere so the body doesn't start thinking it's done (or some crap like that).  My boys pushed that limit, and were born 17 minutes apart.  I knew soon after that 17 minutes would make a world of difference to the eldest child one day.  We chose right then and there to avoid telling them there was an "oldest" child for as long as possible.

It wasn't hard to do, we just never said anything about the time they were born.  They were born on the same day and that was it.  It was hard enough for them to understand that not everyone has a twin, and that most people aren't born at the same time as their brother.

When they were about 5, they figured out they couldn't have been born at the exact same time.  They came to me and asked who was first.  And I told them.  I was careful to use the word first, without any reference to time.

One of their first grade teacher assistant's happened to be a twin.  She approached me a few weeks into school and asked me, "They don't know who the oldest is do they?"
I responded "No they don't"
She said,"You did that on purpose didn't you?"
I just smiled as one of them approached.  She understood why I did it and agreed that avoiding one more reason to argue was probably a good idea.

Monday night, while showing off various ways to use body parts to make farting noises, T2 asked me, "Who is the oldest?"
T1 immediately interrupted and said, "I have to be the oldest because I was born first.  That's what a girl on the bus said."
(thanks girl on the bus)
T2 said, "Ok he is the oldest, but how much older?"
I was careful in what I would say next, because I knew it would be hard on T2.  I asked him if it would matter if he was a day older or a month older like a friend of theirs.  He responded that it wouldn't matter, because they are all the same.
"Ok" I said, "T1 is 17 minutes older than you."
"17 MINUTES!!!"
You would have thought I gave him a death sentence.  He literally keeled over.  And then made a farting noise louder than his brother to prove he could still hang with someone older than him.

A little while later, as I was entering their room to tuck them in I overheard this conversation.
T1: You know Mommy says you have to listen to kids who are older than you. (completely out of context)

At least I made it 7 3/4 years before I heard that one.

There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: twins. ~Josh Billings

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Happiness Project: Spring

I love flowers!  I love to plant and watch them grow.  Sometimes I photograph them so that I can tell myself,  "I will paint them when I have time."  HA - who has time?

What Makes You Happy?


Friday, April 16, 2010

FFC: Going Green from Paper to Cloth

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, this week's Friday's Feature Cause is about going green

We hear the words "going green" everywhere these days.  The words themselves cover a broad range of topics varying from using cloth diapers to renewable energy.  We all agree that we need to do our part to change the planet, but we are not all sure how.  We want to make the world a presentable place for our children and grandchildren, yet many of us are stumped after the recycling bin.

Today I have 10 easy things you can change in your everyday world to make a difference. Most of these are very simple and actually save you money in the long run.  (some even in the short run).  Then because I'm all about recycled cloth material, I have a super simple pattern for sewing your own cloth napkins.  (I just can't see paying $6.00 for 4 napkins, when I have a ton of material at home)

10 Easy Ways to Go Green
  1. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out. I did this over a year ago and haven't had to replace a bulb yet, plus they use 1/5 the wattage of my old bulbs.  Don't ask me to calculate my savings here, just know I've save the cost of the bulbs already.
  2. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.  The only time I use warm water is on my white loads.  Cold water also preserves the color and size in dark loads.
  3. Install a low-flow showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.  I have a low flow faucet in my kitchen and the water pressure is the same as before.  I didn't notice the difference until I had to wait 10 extra seconds to fill up a gallon jug.
  4. Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste. An easy way to save money here!
  5. Wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.  This may be my favorite tip, because it saves so much money!
  6. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, dairy, and produce whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy and cuts down on shipping costs.  I'm in the transportation business and a truckload of produce costs a lot to haul, plus the fuel those guys go through.  There is plenty of other products out there to keep drivers busy without produce.
  7. Plant drought-tolerant native plants and grass in your yard. Many plants need minimal watering. Personally, I can't stand to water the yard, but love my flowers and veggies.  Checking to see what works best in your area makes a huge difference.
  8. Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts phantom energy use.  I had no idea that so many of the appliances, televisions, etc in my house use phantom power.  Just because you think they are off, doesn't mean they are. 
  9. Clean or replace your air conditioning filter.  It sounds automatic, but a dirty filter causes your system to use more energy and you to have filthy air.
  10. Utilize your city or towns recycling program.  Many cities have updated their programs to accept more products than previously.  Check to see what you could be recycling that you aren't.  I had no idea my town had added a few more plastic codes to their list until I called to find out - saves even more in trash!

 Cloth Napkin Directions
  • Napkins can be made in any size square you are comfortable with. The standard sizes are 12, 14, and 16 inch squares. The easiest way to make sure they will all be square is to make a poster board template. 
  • Your template should be square and should be 1/2 inch larger than your finished napkin size. For example, make a 16 1/2-inch-square template for a 16-inch-square napkin.
  • Place the template on the wrong side of your fabric, and trace around the template with a fabric marking pen or fabric chalk.
  • Cut out each fabric square along traced marking line.
  • Press each raw fabric edge under 1/4" and then press that edge under 1/4" again.
  • Pin the fabric edges into place. Use a sewing machine to stitch the napkin hem. (Hand sew the napkin hem in place with a backstitch if you do not have access to a sewing machine.)
  • Add a decorative touch to the finished napkins by sewing a decorative hand or machine stitch on the right side of the fabric along the edge of the napkin.
And you're done!  I will have pictures next week of the ones I'm making this weekend.  Never knew I was crafty did you?


What are you doing in honor of Earth Day?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bedtime? Who wants to go to bed? Other than me?

My assignment from Mama Kat was to write a bedtime story to enter in the contest for GoodNite Contest (winner gets $2500).  I could seriously use $2500, and I love a good bedtime story.  If you want to enter the contest and/or join writers workshop - go see Mama Kat.  She has all the details!!!

Bedtime is supposed to be about routines and calming your child.  It doesn't always work that way.  There were many nights that I sat in the twins room making up stories to soothe them to sleep.  The whole time I was wishing I was vegging on the couch watching Grey's.  I've decided to incorporate one of my stories into Iggy's.  (Now I just have to shorten it to meet their standards ;)

Mama's Losin' It

Iggy lay in his bed after his most recent baseball game. He couldn’t go to sleep. All he could think about was the game and how everything went wrong. Iggy tossed and turned because he couldn’t stop being frustrated with himself. If he had only hit the ball further, if he had stepped on the plate instead of on the line Iggy’s team could have won the game. Iggy didn’t know how to stop being frustrated with his own mistakes.

Iggy started to think about Babe Ruth and began to relax. Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player of all time. Babe Ruth never got frustrated in a game, he was able to hit it out of the park. Iggy was wishing he was Babe Ruth as he drifted off to sleep.

Well after all the stars had come out, Iggy suddenly woke to a knock at his window. Who could it be he thought. Sluggishly Iggy went to the window and looked out. Stunned, Iggy’s mouth dropped open as he saw Babe Ruth in his backyard. The Babe Ruth!

Babe Ruth asked Iggy, “Can you come out here for a minute?”
Too amazed to speak, Iggy slowly crawled out the window and onto the cool summer grass.
“I’ve heard you are getting frustrated on the field.” Said Babe.
Iggy could only nod.
“Baseball is supposed to be fun, you shouldn’t be getting frustrated.”
Iggy immediately defended himself, “I am having fun, I just want to do everything right and when I make a mistake I get mad.”
Babe Ruth looked down at Iggy and smiled, “It sounds like you have a real passion for the game. You remind me a lot of myself at your age. Did you know I used to get frustrated with my own mistakes.”
“You never made mistakes, you’re the best of all time!”said Iggy.
“Oh I made mistakes alright. I wasn’t born a baseball player, I had to learn and practice like everyone else. Talent will only get you so far son.”
“You mean you had to go to practice just like me?” responded Iggy.
“Of course I did. Even when I went pro, I still had to go to practice. Do you want to know a little secret?”
“Even as a pro baseball player, I struck out more times that I made home runs.”
“Really? How come you never got mad at yourself?”
“Oh, I did, but I learned a little trick. I kept a penny in my shoe, and when I got mad, I’d grind my cleat into the ground pretending to smush the penny. That way I could quickly put my focus back on the game without being mad at myself or others on my team.”
“Do you think that will work for me?”
“It might. I brought you a special penny of your own.” Said Babe as he handed over an old penny.
“It’s from 1927! That’s the year you broke the record and were the first person to hit 60 home runs in one season!” said Iggy.
“Yes it is. Hopefully you’ll think of me when you’re out on the field. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone strikes out, even the Great Bambino.”
“I will Mr. Ruth, I will.”
“You better get on to bed son, it will be morning soon and you have practice today.”
“Thank you!” said Iggy as he climbed back through the window. Iggy knew something magical had happened tonight. He knew he would always carry a penny in his cleat, and a soothing calm washed over him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Who are these smart mouthed kids?

That's for sure.
I think they get it from their father.

Background of the story - I work for/with my father at our business.
During dinner last night I asked the twins our normal round of questions about their day.  One of which is "Did you ask any good questions today?"  I think it inspires them to seek more knowledge and not just let it come to them.  They gave their normal responses about questions in math and reading.
When they asked me the question, I responded with, "I called Pe-Paw and asked him about some rates we were working on."
T1's immediate response, "Ohhhh, you had to call your Daddy and ask him questions!"
Incompetent, I'm not.

Also on the topic of discussion yesterday was the word "diva."  Someone had used the word to describe T2's girlfriend and he took great offense thinking it was similar to devil.  I explained that it was used to describe a girl that has to look just so and may be somewhat of a show off.  T2 was much happier with that answer.  Especially when he said, "Oh, so your an old lady diva!"
Diva, I'm not.

I don't know where these kids are getting it from, but it seems to be never ending.  That was just one day.  Imagine my week!
Does anyone else have a sarcastic child?

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. ~Edgar W. Howe

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Happiness Project: Facebook

I know, I'm nuts.  But Facebook makes me happy - especially after this weekend.

In addition to being able to find all your old high school and college friends you can become a fan of your favorite places and things (like blogs).  Then you get to see when those things are doing something awesome.  OR if one of those things screws up - you can post for the world to see, instead of just chatting it up with the manager.

I posted a lovely comment on the wall of the hotel we were SUPPOSED to stay at this past weekend.  Look at my quick response.  For the record, I'm in customer service, so bad service infuriates me.

If you want to join in on the happiness project, check out Leigh!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Finally Friday...

I know it's really Thursday - but to me it's Friday!!!

I'm taking the day off tomorrow for a girls weekend and I can't wait.  Plus it finally rained so hopefully I'll be able to breathe again soon. And today is my BFF's 30th birthday.  But I'm still swamped at work and feel like I'm neglecting you guys.  Hopefully I'll feel better next week.

If you're stopping by from the crib - we're out of diapers around here, and usually speak from bunkbeds or toddler beds.  This week I've been speaking from the land of pollen, which means not much. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the view!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Considering the pollen count is twice as high as normal here....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me

Happy Anniversary to me... and I guess my dear hubby too. 

So far I have recieved a lot of greenish yellow pollen outside, which has invaded my head and left me with the inability to breathe through my nose.

I've also received a mess at work- and as resident problem solver, I better get back to it.

Hope you all have a better day than me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Twins mean never taking a break

I'm taking a break from Friday's Featured Cause - to talk a little bit about one of the biggest causes in my house.  (don't worry, you'll have a new feature next week).

The biggest cause in our house is not usually the chd, it is usually a four letter word.


Or sometimes a five letter word


It is amazing how two little people can cause so much chaos in one house.

The twins are 7 now, and I have attempted to get used to the fact that we have twins.  I refer to them as the twins, only to seperate them from little man.  Little man cannot do many of the things they can, so they have a different set of rules.  But in our house I call them by their names (except for when I say the wrong name, heaven forbid).  They are two different people who happen to look a whole lot alike and share the same birthday.

To be honest, all the boys in my house look alike.  They are all blonde haired and blue eyed just like their Daddy.  I'm the one who gets to deny them with my dark hair and green eyes.

The twins only stand out because they also happen to be the same height, carry the same facial expressions, and happen to be able to read each other's minds on occasion.  And on occasion it still drives Mommy NUTS!

Listening to them tell me about their day at school now requires raising of hands.  Otherwise the competition to talk, the completing of each other's sentences and the volume level all leave me not knowing who actually did what.  Just because they know what happened to each other doesn't mean I do.

Nuts is also what happens when Mommy accidentally switches someones lunch.  I have color coded most everyday items in our house to simplify life.  T1's favorite color is red, so his bookbag, lunchbox, jacket and bat bag are all also red.  T2's favorite color is blue - so there you are.  It works great, except when Mommy is in a rush and doesn't pay attention to which bag she grabs and puts it in the wrong bookbag.  "MOMMY HOW COULD YOU?" is the response I get when they return home.  As if they don't have the exact same lunch (somethings are actually the same).

When they try to yell at their tone deaf Mommy from across the yard, I think they go nuts.  Mommy only gets their screaming from an acre away voices right 50% of the time.  For some reason that gets on their nerves.

Bedtime is still rough, although it isn't as nutty as it used to be.  We've never quite mastered the don't pester your brother when it is time to go to sleep.  It is a whole lot easier than it was, just not great.

There are a lot of things I've learned about twins in the past seven years, and I know I still have a lot left to learn.  They are two very different people, they just have a lot in common.  As their Mommy I work hard to take care of them both at the same time, while adjusting to their individual needs.  But still, when they were very little and I had no sleep, I would sit rocking them both and think "thank God, I didn't have triplets." 

When you are looking for a break, I've got the spot for you.
Today's post was inspired by the blogiversary at Multiples and More.  It's a great group that I have been a part of since right after I started blogging.  If you are looking to find out more on twins, triplets, quads, quints, then hop on over there.  Plus they have a ton of giveaways to celebrate this week!!!

Multiples and More: Blogaversary Celebration

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why I don't do April Fool's

I used to love a good April Fool's joke.  I would dream up great ones to do and really get people going.

My last semester in college, my friends and I decided to fool my father and say I was preggo.  We were going to his house for easter dinner anyway.

After dinner he and I took a walk and I told him I was pregnant.  I thought he was going to have a heart attack considering I wasn't married yet.  Just as he was getting over the shock, my friend yelled April Fools.  It was a great classic moment.  My best joke to date.

One year later I was actually pregnant.  With twins. 

Karma comes back to bite you in the arse.

While you may all go about laughing and joking and playing wonderful pranks, I will sit here quietly.  I will laugh at your jokes and secretly wonder where you will be next year.

Happy Karma Day!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can you describe yourself in 10 words?

Tabitha at I Choose Bliss did a post where she was able to describe herself in 10 words.  I love her description!  It is exactly her. 

But 10 words.  10 adjectives - not 10 things like mom, wife, etc.  I wasn't so sure I could do it, but I wanted to try.

Well that is five.  I'm halfway there.  And I'm stuck.  Going to bing some people adjectives.
(I don't like their pic today).  
I found this great foreign language website with a huge list of English words used to describe people. I could be annoying, eccentric, gregarious, lascivious, obnoxious, virtuous.  They really have some cool words, but those don't fit me. 
I'm not eccentric - I'm more of a plain person.  Solids and jeans and flip flops and such.  I guess that makes me more...more.. what's the opposite of eccentric?  The computer says normal is the opposite of eccentric.  I don't think normal counts for this exercise.
Let's see, I'm
That makes seven.  And I'm still struggling.  I need three more.
I only need one more and I just can't seem to do it.
I give up.
This exercise is hard.  Give me one adjective you would use to describe me.  And if you think it's easy- you do it!
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Happiness Project - from Leigh vs. Laundry

Leigh runs the most wonderful project - The Happiness Project.  I have been meaning to join in for a few weeks, but I don't remember until after I've already posted. 


Today - I didn't forget (yeah me!).

It's easy shmeasy!  Just post a picture of something that makes you happy!  For me, it's the ocean.

Join us! What makes you happy?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why does that matter?

Have seven year olds, have questions.  That is the story of my life right now.  Only problem is the latest question is beginning to get on my nerves. 

T1: Why isn't there school today?
Me: Because it is a holiday.
T1: Why does that matter?

T1: Why do I have to feed the dogs?  I fed them last night.
Me: Because I am taking care of your brother.
T1: Why does that matter?

T1: Can I have dessert?
Me: No, if you are still hungry there is food left from dinner.
T1: Why does that matter?

Me: You're game may be cancelled tonight.
T1: Why?
Me: Because the fields are very wet from the rain.
T1: Why does that matter?

What does your child say to get on your nerves?

Friday, March 26, 2010

FFC: Army of Women

As moms, daughters, sisters, wives, friends, we are an Army Of Women.  We can make a huge inpact on the world around us.  The reason I created Friday's Featured Cause was to spread the word about causes' that are near and dear to our hearts.  We can raise awareness and funds all among ourselves.  If you want to guest post on your cause, please go here!

Apparently the the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation for Women, a global leader in breast cancer research, know how awesome women are, because they came together to form the Love/Avon Army of Women.

I believe that each person reading this has been or knows someone affected by breast cancer.  It is rapant in our world.
Almost 2 years ago, my husband's aunt died after a long battle with cancer.  It started in her breast, and she battled it into remission.  When it came back, it came back into her brain.  She left a huge family behind that still mourns for her.  Unfortunately, my story is not uncommon.
  "More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year, and more than 40,000 will die from the disease this year alone."
The Love/Avon Army of Women believes that if we ban together we can make a difference and we can fight breast cancer.

Army of Women has 2 goals:

  1.  To recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
  2. To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.

That means that every single one of you reading this (as long as you are female) qualify to join the Army of Women!  Sign up, and then you are able to partner with a research project.  You'll be able to choose which research projects suit you best - or if any at all. 
Yesterday I signed up for one that was done online regarding finding information on breast cacner.  Yes, it can be just that easy.
But they need more women. More women willing to give of their time to help cure breast cancer! Who is with me???

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weaknesses, I don't have any weaknesses!

Mama's Losin' It
Ask someone who loves you what one of your weaknesses are.  That's what Mama Kat said to do for this week's Writer's Workshop.  Who wants to do that? (well if you want to - go play along here).

I didn't want to - and I sure as hell wasn't going to ask my husband what my weakness is.  He'd come up with a whole darn list. Then I'd have to defend myself against all his crap leading to an epic battle of good verses evil.

I'd like to stay married, so no thanks.  I did however ask my best friend, who loves me no matter what.

Me:  I'm working on a project - need to ask you, What is my weakness?
BFF: You want to help everyone.  What is the project?
Me:  Why is helping everyone bad? Nope, not telling the project.
BFF: I think it is good to help people, just you need to take care of you too.

Well.  I guess it could have been worse.  She could have said my weakness was dirty old men.

Honestly - I know all they psyh crap that Oprah shows every week.  Mom's don't take care of themselves enough.  We need to put ourselves first.  If we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be able to take care of anyone else.  BLAH BLAH BLAH.

She is my best friend and she is right.  I have extreme issues with doing anything for myself.  I shut right up when she said it.  I didn't want to talk about it anymore with her, because she knows me best.  And she'll argue with me.

You guys, well, you guys can't argue until I actually post this.  So I get to voice my opinion first.

Helping people is not a weakness.  I love to help people.  I love to be a Mommy and care for my family.  I love to care for those outside of my family.  I will go out of my way to help someone who needs it under one condition.  They help someone else when they are able.  If you are a lifesucker (meaning you suck the life out of others) then sorry- no can do.

I give of myself because I enjoy it.  Yes, there are times when I get run down - exausted - a little frazzled.  But those times are worth it.  I was born to be a mom, to give to others, to take care of others.

So what if I believe others should come first.  Why is that a big deal?  Why is it a big deal that I only own 2 pairs of jeans, if I am able to make sure my children have enough.  I can wash my own, and mine don't get as dirty.  Why is it a big deal that I skip my trips to the dentist to send the kids?  I believe that if my family and those around me are taken care of- then that is all that matters.  I make do because I want to, not because I have to.

After stating my case I disagree, giving to others is not my greatest weakness.  (I still love you BFF).  I may need help from time to time taking care of me, but not too often to worry.  I believe my greatest weakness are those new Reese's Whipped. What's yours?

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 years from now...

First off - this is all Desert Rose's fault!  If I hadn't read her post I wouldn't have realized a few things.

It started off innocently, she was talking about where she would be in 10 years.  I was reminded of the same projects from high school and middle school.  I thought they were neat then.  Especially since I've gotten half of my predictions right.

When I was 10, I was told to predict myself at 30.
have gone to college, be a model, be married, have children, own a large house, have a dog

Well, we do own a house, but it is not a large one.  Not when there are 5 of us and 2 dogs, not just one.  I'm still working on the model part though.

When I was in high school, I was also told to predict myself at 30.
have graduated college, married, with children, own a house, work with my father in the trucking business

Technically, I never graduated.  I have 7 credits left.  At the time, there were not enough teachers for my major and it was going to take me 2 years to get 7 credits.  I was paying my own way and didn't think a part time job was going to suffice. blah blah blah excuses.  Anyway, I accomplished the rest of my dreams.

On to the future.

10 years from now I hope to be in a bigger house.  If not, the twins will be hanging off their bunk beds and T2 will hit his head everytime he tries to climb in.  Why? Because they will be teenagers (shrieks)!!!!!!!
And little man will be a tween.
And I will be 40!

10 years from now I may be in a mental institution.  Where will you be?

Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years. ~Author Unknown

Monday, March 22, 2010

Books = Crack

I decided late last night, that if no one else understood you guys would.  We are all writers, so most of us are readers.

I'm a reader of various types of fiction.  I'm not big on sci-fi or romance novels, although I've read a few.  I prefer a good murder mystery (love Patricia Cornwell or James Patterson).  I'm also in to novels, such as work by Pat Conroy or Jodi Picoult.  Beach Music is one of my favorite books.  It takes place in the south - close to my heart, and is full of character, family, and plenty of story.

When the Twilight series came out, I understood the passion behind the readers, I just didn't believe it was for me.  I didn't want to read about vampires, or some story for a love sick teenager.  Science fiction and romance are not for me, especially all rolled into one.

Then a friend gave me Twilight.  She handed it to me about a month ago actually. 

Saturday night I found myself with nothing new to read, nothing to watch and a sick husband.  I figured what the hell and dug out the book.  At the least, it would lull me to sleep.

HA - I was so wrong.  That book was my addiction from very early on.  The more I read the more I couldn't put it down.  I got up to pee and to refill my glass, that was it.  I read until it was finished, not caring that it was 2 am and the boys would be up in a few hours.  I was loving the damn book and couldn't figure out why.

I still didn't know why Sunday either.  When I found myself at Wal-mart on Sunday afternoon, looking for a shower caddy to stop little man from pouring out all the shampoo, I knew I would be buying the next book.  I couldn't wait on the library - they're not even open on Sundays.  I had to get the next book.

And where was I at 8:30 last night? In the chair, thrilled that the boys were quiet in their beds.  Thrilled hubby still wasn't feeling good.  I had me a book to read.  And yes, I finished it one night.  I kept saying to myself, when he transforms, you can put it down.  When she figures it out you can put it down.  But I never put down the damn book.  It was like crack.  A crazy addiction that had me up until 2am- because I had to finish the book.

Now I understand ladies, now I understand.

I also understand that I am not going looking for the next book until I get some sleep.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Jack of Hearts: Friday's Featured Cause

Friday's Featured Cause is a new series I have started to bring light to the many causes we advocate for and support.  This week's Feature is from Robin.  For more information on the series, please click here or see the sidebar.

"Your son’s heart is the size of an apple and it should be the size of a walnut, said the nice doctor who was called in to review Jack’s emergency echo in the step-down nursery of the children’s hospital where my ‘31-week’ twins were supposed to be “feeders and growers.” He may need a heart transplant."

I am staring, but it is not registering. The room is spinning. I am trying to breathe, but I can’t quite seem to get air in and out. I must sit down. I witness a flurry of activity as I can hear them talk about intubation, drug-induced coma. I feel like I am watching a scene from “ER.”

Fast forward more than five years and this drama moved from the small screen to the big and plays out like a feature film. The world kept spinning from that day on in 2004 and then abruptly stopped in April 2008 when my son, Jack, simultaneously mouthed and signed the words to me “All done Mama, all done” through his C-PAP mask when I arrived in his hospital room. No more. He was done fighting. No more cutting, no more fear. He wanted to have the last word.

So it was that day he earned his angel wings -- April 14, 2008. A day I will hate for the rest of my time on earth.

Press the reverse button on the DVD remote and rewind the story. What happened from that summer day in July 2004 to April 2008?

Jack was transferred to a new hospital after being evaluated as a candidate for a heart transplant. We learned that his heart was enlarged and not able to squeeze effectively. A conditioned called cardiomyopathy and likely caused from the viral infection I got while pregnant. He would either get better or need a heart transplant they told us.

He received an angel heart on October 17, 2004 at the age of four months after waiting 72 days on a ventilator. He smiled a big grin as they wheeled him off to the operating room to remove the heart that we gave him and place a new one in from a child who had a tragic ending. In a matter of six hours the world as we knew had changed completely.

They told us nothing about the angel heart. Not what happened to the donor child or what state it was being flown in from? We just knew the child had the same blood type as Jack and was somewhere around his size.

The heart did not function well from the beginning. We heard comments from the doctors that it was in “shock” from being “on ice.” We learned that the heart was out of the body for the longest amount of time possible for transplant. That meant the heart came on a plane ride anywhere from 4-5 hours to Minneapolis.

With the help of a lot of drug support, Jack’s donor heart functioned adequately so that he was able to finally join the real world and be reunited with his twin brother, Cooper, at home for the first time at seven months of age (Cooper had no health issues).

It is amazing the healing effects that a loving home provides for children, both mentally and physically.

The years between 2004 and 2008 were spent making many happy memories, but they were not without drama. Jack had many up’s and down’s with his new heart -- more than half of his life was spent in the hospital (two Christmases, one Thanksgiving, one birthday). He needed a pacemaker as the natural pacemaker in the donor heart was really screwed up (his heart rate would get too slow, or he’d get SVT and require cardioversion). Then the pacemaker wires fell off. It was after his third open heart surgery that they told us he would need a new heart. This donor heart was not going to work. It was too stiff and there was nothing they could do to support it. No drugs to solve that problem.

Another experience where the room is spinning and I see their mouths moving, but I can’t make sense of what they are saying.

There was one big problem (as if being told your child has to endure another critical surgery isn’t enough), Jack’s surgeon (otherwise known as “The Witch Doctor”) said she wasn’t sure he deserved another heart. She thought he did something to the donor heart. Huh? Now, we had a contentious relationship with this woman from the beginning. It had something to do with everything about her. She was loud and a foul-mouthed bully. She was a bull in a china store. It was her way or nothing. She did not like to be challenged or questioned. I will never forget the cold stare of her beady brown eyes for as long as I live. To this day, I still question whether or not she really had a heart and I am certain that the devil does walk among us.

Her take was that maybe Jack had some congenital disease (like ALS “Lou Gehrig’s disease”) that did something to the donor heart, and if so, they are not wasting another heart on him.

After unnecessarily wasting the summer of 2007 battling with her, trying to get a second opinion of which she was not happy about, and ultimately trying to get Jack into another program in another state, she finally agreed to re-list him. Jack was able to go home with a PICC line in his arm that delivered life-sustaining medication. He was much weaker, could not walk without the use of a walker, and his fluid status and kidney function were always major concerns. But he was happy and reunited with his brother.

The witch doctor would not list him as a 1A (top of the list) unless he lived in the hospital. If he was going to live at home, he would be listed as a 1B.

Jack went to preschool with his brother (and a nurse), as we were trying to make life as normal as possible for him. He loved school! Even though he would get very tired and his tummy hurt a lot, he loved going to school.

We had a nurse come weekly to our house to draw labs as we needed to keep a check on the functions of his organs. The hospital urged us to bring him in-patient so his transplant status could be upgraded to 1A and we get him a heart faster. His labs were starting to decline.

It was the second worst mistake of our lives. The first was going to the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital in the first place. (At the time we went there, we were new parents, distraught, and didn’t know anything about anything.)

We thought we were making the best decisions for him. We trusted.

The intensive care unit where he resided was not the same as when he was a baby. The nurses were over loaded and forced to double up on critically ill children. They were forced to do more with less. It was awful. Attending physicians were visiting from other hospitals and were overloaded and it would take three days for them to get up to speed on the patient load.

Right after Valentine’s Day, Jack acquired hospital-grade influenza B and his PICC line was infected with another patient’s poop. It made him horribly sick. He suffered. He got so fluid overloaded that he no longer had a neck.

We knew we were losing him.

There is so much more to this story…the in-between details…like the surgeon accusing us of making him sick because we were run down, her downgrading him so she could go on vacation, but not telling us…

The day he died, they had decided to intubate him and put in chest tubes to remove the fluid that was building up around his lungs. Jack knew what they were doing and didn’t want it. He was fighting the intubation and biting the tube. He was done – “All done Mama, all done.”

On April 14, 2008, I held my son for the very last time on this earth. He was finally at peace. He didn’t look like my son as the extra fluid on his little body had changed his physical appearance. As day turned into night, I sat there holding him in the rocking chair where I had logged too many hours rocking him, as if I could somehow stop time and not face the inevitable. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” played on the CD player, over and over again. We knew we had to leave. We had to get home to Cooper. But how do we walk out of this room?

Some of the nurses had packed up Jack’s room and belongings and loaded our car for us. Our babysitter had Cooper, so it was just Todd and I.

The charge nurse came in to check on us. We were sitting in the dark except the light above the sink. She knew us from our long tenure there. We asked her to please make sure they treated Jack with dignity as they came to pick him up to take him to the morgue. We requested no autopsy. No more cutting.

And just like that we were supposed to walk out of the hospital with one less child in our lives.

Our loss, Heaven’s gain.

It was only three months later when we starting investigating things about Jack’s medical care and we accidentally learned his donor’s identity, Baby Richie. We learned he was three months old, also premature, and his “father” broke almost every bone in his little body. He had cigarette burns, damaged lungs and ultimately, brain damage from his “father” hitting his head against something. We learned more about his story when my husband visited his mother in prison. She is serving out an 18-year prison term in New Mexico for her part in her child’s death. She told Todd about how her husband would shoot her with drugs while she was pregnant and beat her. He beat her up and that’s when she went into labor and apparently went into cardiac arrest at some point while she was delivering Richie. The day that Richie died at the hands of his ‘dad,’ she was out asking family members for money. Her husband was at home alone with Richie and getting high. According to the police report we were able to obtain, after he found Richie not breathing, he went outside to bum a cigarette and smoke it before he came in and called 911.

The district attorney in the state of New Mexico called baby Richie, “tortured.” It wasn’t just child abuse, it was torture. We told baby Richie’s mother and her parents, who were the ones to ultimately sign the papers for organ donation, that little Richie’s heart received an abundance of love while it was with Jack.

Baby Richie’s ‘dad?’ He hung himself in jail while awaiting arraignment.

We now know why Jack’s surgeon didn’t want anyone else getting involved with his case.

We are currently involved in an investigation into Jack’s care. We have involved our Governor’s office, state senators and the Office of Medicare/Medicaid, who found the U of M program to have deficiencies.

What advice can I share about my son’s journey in healthcare?
  • Advocate for your child. Speak Up!
  • Know that you are the most important person your child’s healthcare team
  • Get a second opinion without the aid of the current doctor. Have it be completely objective
  • Talk to other families whose children have been operated on by your child’s prospective surgeon.
  • Take notes and write it all down. Have a third party with you when discussing your child’s plan of care. You are stressed and might not hear everything you need to.
  • Don’t be afraid to have people removed from your child’s medical team, but know it could be an uphill battle.
  • Sometimes traveling out of state for your child’s medical care is the best option. It is just a small amount of time in exchange for the best care.
  • Check the medicine that is being administered to your child in the hospital.
  • If you are headed for a transplant, get informed. Seek out people who have been down the road. Don’t just speak to the people that the hospital suggests. Be armed and informed! Transplant and listing is a complex system!
  • Question, question, question
  • Take lots of pictures in the hospital – the good, the bad and the ugly. Hopefully, it’s to show your child how absolutely remarkable he/she is and what he/she has already overcome at such a young age!

Robin Hicks-Corbo and her husband, Todd, are advocates of healthcare rights for children and ethical practices of medicine. They have a Caringbridge website ( and are currently working on launching a website that tells their story and offers help to others families facing medical care issues. They are also writing a book on their experience. You can also follow their Tweets on Twitter at: @Justice4Jack and @renegademama

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What do you do when you have over 50 balls in your house?

You play sports.
Lots of sports.

Sports all year long.

When the twins were born, dear hubby just knew they would be car fanatics just like him.  By the time they were 1 1/2 years old - we knew otherwise. 

My husband looked at me the other day and asked how we ended up with jocks.  Like I know?  Not that we are couch potatoes, I'm actually a coach.  But there is a huge difference between loving and playing one sport verses trying to play 3 a year.

The twins are 7 and we are already making up sports rules. 
  1. No one plays sports during the winter (mommy and daddy want a season off - and don't want to freeze to death)
  2. Only one sport/after school activity during the school year. 
    • Which means soccer or football, but not both
    • Which also apparently means they can play two sports over the summer (rugby and summer league baseball are current choices)
  3.  Mommy and Daddy only buy 1 set of required gear per season.  If you lose a cleat halfway through the season, you buy a new set.
  4. Good Sportsmanship carries over into everything you do. 
    • if Mommy hears bad sportsmanship at home, that means you are out of the game and run laps around the house.
    • if heard at a game - it's up to the coach, but Mommy will be furious
I'm thinking there may be more rules as they grow - but that is it for now.  If you have little sports fans, this is what you have to look forward to.  It is wierd if you are not used to it.

What is your child a fanatic about?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gonna catch me a leprechaun

In honor of this fine festive day- I've painted the blog green. Almost as cool as the green river in Savannah.

The twins had a most awesome school project due today. They had to make a leprechaun trap.
Rules: must me made out of scrap materials, no store bought stuff. Leprechauns’ are small, so don't make a trap for a giant.
Tips: leprechauns are sneaky, they don't read signs, and like shiny things. (reminds me of men)

We spent half of Saturday working on these wonderful pieces of art, and then afterwards they wrote stories of how they caught their leprechauns.

While they wrote, I dreamed. If I caught a leprechaun, he'd have a pot of gold. A pot of gold these days, is not worth a whole heck of a lot. Especially not a small pot. So I would let him keep his gold, if he lived at my house. Then there would always be a rainbow over my house, making it beautiful every day.

I could also hold his pot of gold for ransom, and he could do things for me.

  •  he could crawl back in the back of the dishwasher and clean out the drain, that I just can't reach.
  •  he could slide down the gutters, cleaning out the pine needles.
  •  I could train him to repell behind the couch and pull out the missing toys, socks, and crackers

There are all kinds of things I could find for him to do, that would make my life just a little simpler.

What would you do with your own leprechaun?

Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck. ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Slipcover of life

I recently bought new slipcovers for our couch and loveseat.  We've needed them for about 2 years, but have dealt with sheets covering the cushions.

Two years ago we brought home a dog from the pound.  A beautiful mutt - boxer, pit, maybe a little lab mix.  My gentle giant.  I love her dearly, but we learned very quickly not to leave her alone in the house.  While we are home, she is fantstic, when we left, she ate our couch cushions. 
Maybe it was because they tasted good.  Maybe it was out of spite.  Maybe it was because of all the kid crumbs hiding inside.  No matter the reason - she ate them. Now she is crate trained, or goes outside.  When we are home, she is allowed to roam free, and often sleeps on the same couches she ate.

I am now in love with the new slipcovers.  Spill something on them, you don't have to worry about upholstry cleaning, just whip it off and throw it in the washer.  So easy!

I wish other parts of life were that easy.

Just imagine, make a mistake and wash it off.  Screw up your checkbook - just throw it in the wash.  Forget to send lunches for the kids, ahh - it'll comeout in the wash.

Maybe we need to spend a little more time washing out our life, and not taking things so seriously.  I believe that a lot of us have more stress in our lives than we ought to. What if we could wash out the problems, and live stress free?  We'd all live longer, I'm sure.

What do you want a slipcover for in your life?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday's Featured Cause: Heart Defects - the story continues

I realized after the party that a lot more people are affected by heart defects and don't know where to turn.  Many comments wanted more information on statistics, support, and even little man's story. 

All the questions and concern inspired me to start a Friday feature program of my own.  On Friday's I will feature causes and the blogs that support them.  While many of the posts will be about heart defects (as it is so close to my heart) - I will also post about other causes/blogs that need to share the spotlight. 

If you are have a cause that needs shining on, Fill out my form! /short questionnaire and you will be featured.

Today I want to continue Little Man's story for all of you to read. 
We last left off with the introduction that changed my life.

After the doctor left, I called my husband.  I tried to be calm, but I needed him so badly.  I needed him to come back to us.  Unfortunately life doesn't work that way.  Life moves on, even when you want the world to stop.
The twins had to be picked up from school, I had to listen to a lactatian consultant. Things just kept happening.  Dear Hubby jumped on the internet as soon as he got to the house, waiting on the twins to get off the bus.  Yes, internet was against doctors orders, but we wanted all the information we could get.

My husband researched all he could before he came back to see me and Little Man.  Little Man was doing good, the hospital put off all regular procedures (immunization, etc) until the next day to avoid anymore trauma to him.  I continued to hold him for all life was worth.  He looked so big and healthy (9lb 4oz), I couldn't believe that deep inside there, something was wrong with his heart.  HIS HEART, the one do or die thing that we all need to survive.

As Dear Hubby and I watched our son, we decided not to tell anyone.  We wanted more information first.  We didn't want the looks and stares of others, we wanted him to be treated like a normal child.  As we left the hospital, I felt like we were going home to a whole new world.  As the twins we doting on their new brother, I was spending every waking moment on the computer - I had to know it all.

Some of the information was great, I learned more about the heart in the next few days than I ever wanted to know.  It is amazing how many parts of the heart there are, and how many defects are out there.  Did you know there are over 40 different types of heart defects?

Here is a picture of a regular healthy heart, and below it is how ebstein's anomaly changes the heart.
Image courtesy of tour2india4heath

I also learned that there are a lot of other conditions that can come with a heart defect.  Children can develop arrhythmias and their heart rate has to be checked often. 

I learned everything I could, researched every possible outcome and then made a page long list of questions for the pediatric cardiologist.  We would be going in for another echocardiogram within the week and I wanted to be prepared.  How do we know if is oxygen level is dropping? What is the difference between a regular colic child, and a problem with my son because his heart hurts? Would our son ever be able to play sports?  Would he have to have surgery?  How long before surgery?  What did we need to protect him from?  What would make him stronger?  How often should I check his heart rate?  How much is too much sleep? and the list went on.

We were very lucky with our son.  His heart defect was found by hearing a slight heart murmur.  Most heart defects are not found this way, many are not found until symptoms arise, and then it is too late.

Pulse Oximetry is a very simple, cheap, non-invasive way to screen for birth defects.  It has the chance to catch them up to 50% of the time. It could save lives - like Cora's. Yet most doctors/hospitals don't do it.

This is where you can help!!!

Parents across the country have starting petitioning their state governments to make pulse ox screening mandatory.  If you live in one of these states - please go sign their petitions, or write the representativesIf you or someone you know is giving birth, make the request for pulse ox screening.  It could mean a world of difference!!!
Missouri Residents: Please help pass Chloe's Law
Nebraska Residents: Read this Bill and the write in support of it!

One of the other problems I found, was the difficulty in finding support about heart defects, luckily I've come a long way.  If you are a heart mom or want to know more about CHD's, please go check out this new site by a fellow heart mom.

Friday's Featured Cause

In today's world there are many things to be aware of and cautious about.  Diseases, heartache, birth defects and many more plague our world.

As women we believe in the causes that closely touch our lives.  We go out of our way to bring awareness to our own causes as well as support others when they speak on theirs.  Not to say that men don't, there is just something about the heart of a woman...

As I've travelled blogosphere, I've gotten to know many women who dedicated their lives to various causes.  Some of them are close to my heart, some of them I had never heard of.  Either way - these women make us more aware in our own lives, and I believe make us better people.

"Extraordinary change in our society will always be inspired by ordinary women." 

Because of these women, I have decided to add a feature Friday to my blog.  Not just any ol' feature either.  These features will be about real women, real lives, and real causes that we all need to be aware of.  Some of them will be walking for MS, others may be spreading the word on pulse ox.  No matter what they are doing, it is from their hearts.  Friday's Featured Cause will begin March 12, 2010 and continue until we are done talking about the causes that affect us. 

If you want to feature your cause or your blog about a cause, please fill out this form / survey and I will get back to you with any supplemental questions and your feature date.  If you want, take the Friday Featured Cause button from the side bar and add it to your blog.

Each week I will add the weekly feature link to this post, and label them all FFC.  Hopefully doing both will make it easier to search for your cause, or read about all the causes.

Through the Friday Featured Cause I hope to bring awareness, compassion and support to those who need it most.  Thank you for your help!
Friday’s Featured Cause