Tuesday, November 26, 2013


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, and the Facebook trend of saying what you are thankful for each day in November, I thought I'd write a post about what I am thankful for. I am not with it enough to keep up with that Facebook stuff, I know myself well enough to know I would maybe get up to day 4 and say to hell with it. So here it is.

1. I am thankful for my husband. He is the hardest working, most dedicated man I have ever met. He does everything in his power to make our life fun and worry free. He is the best father to our twins. He's funny, compassionate, and ridiculously handsome. I have no idea what I would do without him.
could totally look at him all day

2. I am thankful for my children. They are the cutest things I have ever seen, and they are so sweet. Watching them experience the world is the absolute best thing. They give hugs and kisses all day everyday. It totally doesn't hurt that they sleep from 6pm to 8am nearly every night...

3. I am thankful for my friends. I don't know how many people would be willing to break plans to hang out with a mom who doesn't want to drink wine alone, but my friends do it all the time, and thank goodness, because I don't have to feel like an alcoholic!

4. I am thankful for my dad and my stepmom. They are the most supportive parents anyone could hope for. They are always available to spread a little positivity when it's needed, play with the twins, and have weekly family dinners. They are such wonderful people, and I am very lucky to have them as parents.

5. I am thankful for my body. It is this amazing machine that allows me to do the things I want. It created 2 babies, at once! It got stronger than it's ever been after they were born. It takes the beating I give it on a daily basis and hardly ever complains. It has been feeding my babies since before they were born, and it's still up for the task. I used to want to change it, but now I just want to take care of it.

6. I am thankful for cloth diapers. Without them I would have spent close to $2,500 on diapers in the first year of the twins' life.

7. I am thankful for The Stomping Ground. This gym is our second home. The relationships we have built there are worth more than anything. The blood, sweat, and tears I left there has given me the strong body that I have. It's more than a gym, it's kind of like therapy.

8. I am thankful for Strap Perfect bra strap clips. Seriously. They have made my nursing bras look sexy. Basically makes it a miracle product.
9. I am thankful for music. It is so important in my life for so many reasons.

10. I am thankful for this blog. It allows me to reach out to people that I otherwise would never know. It has created relationships, spread information, and even changed a few lives.

11. I am thankful for my mom friends! Thank you for reminding me that I am not crazy, that whatever is going on is normal, and that we can all get through this parenting thing as long as we stick together (especially when our kids become teenagers and conspire against us...)

12. I am thankful for my many years teaching elementary school. You've made parenting twins seem like a lunch break.

13. I am thankful for the house and neighborhood I live in. There's no way I could ask for anything more suited to my personality, and there can't possibly be a better street to live on. I mean, we all have twins!

14. I am thankful for coconut water. And veggie burgers. And almond butter. You three are delicious and I love you.

15. I am thankful for the fact I don't have cable television. Instead, I have a life.

16. I am thankful for my ability to stay home with my children. I know so many people who want that opportunity, and I am truly grateful that I have it. It is the best job in the whole world.

17. I am thankful for 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioners. I have no shame saying I use one, and I love it. Cuts my shower time in half (which is important when you have one year olds are screaming on the other side of the shower curtain).

18. I am thankful for Gorilla Glue. It fixes everything.

19. I am thankful for the birth of the twins. It was a horrible experience, but it taught me so much, and I know any future children I have will not be born under those conditions. My husband and I have so much education regarding the topic now that we wouldn't have without things being the way they were.

20. I am thankful for our military and the freedoms that I have because of them. No one truly knows what those men and women go through to protect us, and not a day goes by that I don't remember that.

21. I am thankful for my work ethic. I have never been lazy, and thank goodness, because I can't be!

22. I am thankful for the wonderful photographers in my life! Because of you I have fantastic photos of my babies and our first year together. Maggie Dillon, Corrine Fuller, Arielle Monaghan, Peter Acker. You guys are all fabulous and ridiculously talented.

23. I am thankful for my breast pump. Thanks to you I have just donated my 3,000th ounce of milk!

24. I am thankful for prenatal vitamins. If I had known your super power was super hair and nail growth I would have been taking you my whole life!

25. I am thankful for my education. I plan to home school my kids, and I can do so knowing I am fully qualified and trained to do so.

26. I am thankful for my mom. We don't talk, but she taught me what not to do when it comes to raising my children.

27. I am thankful for our amazing babysitter. She allows us to go out occasionally with complete confidence that our babies are sleeping soundly and are well looked after.

28. Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for wine. I know everyone has their vice, and wine is mine. Without it, I would be a hot mess, strung out, losing my mind, crazy woman mom.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Being Frustrated Is Like Being Clean. And I Still Haven't Learned To Pick My Battles.


Before I had my twins I would get frustrated over the tiniest things. I think I have realized that the feeling of frustration is very similar to the feeling of being clean. Both take on significantly different meanings after you have children. For example, I used to feel frustrated if:

I was 2 minutes late for something
I spilled something on my shirt (ha)
I had to wait in line
I caught all the red lights
Etc, etc, etc

I used to feel dirty if I didn't get a shower at the exact moment I felt I wanted one. I don't think I ever get a shower at that moment anymore. I think I have stopped wanting them actually! 

For some reason, unknown to me, it takes so much now to get me hot. Fired up. Angry! If it doesn't directly involve the well being of my family, I'm pretty laid back.


We started with one twin trying to skydive out of the cart at Target, a simultaneous ear splitting meltdown for no reason after eating dinner at home, and then we ended with a totally broken interior window shutter. Lately, well for the past 13 months or so, none of these things would have made me bat an eye.

But then I realized that interior shutters are the devil's work. These things are a nightmare to deal with. Our house was built in 1920, and I'm pretty sure the shutters were too. There is nothing convenient about them, and I think normally if they break, you buy new. I called bullshit (I am a moron). I was going to fix this thing if it killed me (it came so close). I tried 43 times with one piece still attached to the wall. I ripped it off (don't worry, I put the boys to bed after a bath and 3 bedtime stories first). Then I tried another 60 times with all of the pieces on the ground. I was about to set them on fire in my backyard and redecorate the bedroom. Then, by some window treatment miracle, I won. I fixed this stupid shutter, and did one hell of a happy dance (no, there is no video). I even had to semi sand and then paint the wall. It only took one hour and 38 minutes of meticulous maneuvers...

frustrated (grrrrrrrrrrrr)
but I did it!!!

After tonight's events I am wondering 2 things:
1. How in the heck did I defeat that thing? No seriously. I don't think they are supposed to be fixable.
2. Why did I get so frustrated?! I haven't felt impatient, hurried, or really angry about trivial things in so long. It's so odd. I hadn't even realized it until this stupid thing broke!

Maybe I should just go take a shower.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Babies, My Boobies, My Business

The twins turned 1 two weeks ago. We are now way past pregnancy and definitely into the realm of insanity. Every time I leave the house it's an endless barrage of questions, a few compliments, and also the many tactless remarks.

There is also now a new question I am getting quite often: "When are you going to stop breastfeeding the twins?" The consensus seems to be that because they celebrated their birthday, they should be cut off, or at least limited until it can be eliminated, and soon.

I do this a lot, so you shouldn't be surprised, but I'm calling bullshit again. The World Health Organization recommends "exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond", and the American Association of Pediatrics advises mothers to "continue breastfeeding beyond the age of one for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

Breastfeeding a toddler can look very different than nursing a newborn. The twins nurse between 3 and 15 minutes now, whereas it used to take a half an hour. They eat table food with us, pretty much everything they can get their hands on they'll eat, so the total of their nutritional needs do not have to be met by me.

According to kellymom.com:

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements (– Dewey 2001)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2008).
  • Breastfeeding toddlers between the ages of one and three have been found to have fewer illnesses, illnesses of shorter duration, and lower mortality rates  (Mølbak 1994, van den Bogaard  1991, Gulick 1986).
  • “Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation” (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Lawrence & Lawrence 2011, Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
  • Per the World Health Organization, “a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness.” [emphasis added]
I look at breastfeeding as the best medicine I can give my children. They are rarely sick, and when they are it lasts a matter of hours. Nursing soothes their aches, calms their tantrums, cures moodiness, hydrates, and supplements all they are eating with added vitamins and antibodies.

My twins will nurse for as long as it is mutually desired by the parties involved, not for as long as it is accepted in the minds of others. I am not sure where the cutoff of one year came from, but it seems a little odd to discontinue something that is working for everyone because of a birthday.

My favorite lactation consultant in the whole world has said that she told people (to make a point) that nursing her twins may keep them closer when they go on to college, and that is exactly what I may start saying if I keep getting asked. Basically, my babies, my boobies, my business. Different things work for different families. This is what is working for us.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yeah Duh, Your Husband Is A Personal Trainer.....

Aside from "Double Trouble", the next most annoying thing I hear from people is about my fitness coming so easy to me because my husband is a personal trainer, and he works and teaches classes at a local gym.

Let's put this whole shtick to bed right now then.

#1. Yes. My husband is a trainer. So am I. Those two facts alone do not give me any extra time to work out in my day of insanity than any other mom. In fact, it can often take away from it, as he is with clients much of the time, and I am alone with the babies.

#2. Yes. My husband teaches classes at a local gym. However, being that I am responsible for the babies, and he is responsible for teaching, I can only attend 4 out of his 10, and usually only get 3 of the 4 workouts (babies are not known for being highly cooperative). I do try to make it to one other trainer's class each week as well, but like I said, I very often do not get the whole workout.

#3. No. What I don't do is come home and eat crap. What I don't do is watch TV. Ever. We have never had TV in our house, and you would be amazed at how much time you would have without it. (Yes, we have NetFlix and DVDs for moments of necessity, but I guarantee you the amount of television the average person watches has nothing to do with necessity).

#4. Yes. What I do is come home and eat a pretty clean diet. We don't eat chicken, red meat, or pork at home (but we do if we are at someone elses' home). We eat fish, veggie burgers, salads, pasta, quiche, soup, veggie burritos, etc. Do we ever have a cheat day and order pizza or chinese, sure, who doesn't? But they are pretty few and far between.

#5. No. If I didn't get my workout at the gym, I do not sit on my ass for the rest of the day. I take the babies on a walk. These usually range from 4-7 miles, depending on their tolerance. I also try to squeeze in at least a 10 minute high intensity living room/kitchen workout into everyday, gym workout or not.

#6. Yes. I remember one very important FACT when the babies are whining at home and I am trying for the second time to workout that day: A one hour workout is 4% of your day. Guess what. That means it's 4% of their day as well. Everyone will be alright. Finish your set.

#7. No. One day of inactivity and lousy food will not set me back. I simply pick up where I was and move on. You can't change what you did yesterday, neither can I, but you can change what you do from here on out.

#8. Yes. I have always been focused on fitness and health, didn't always do the right thing, but it was always my focus. Having babies does not make me a different person, but it can make someone who was never health focused take a closer look at their life.

#9. No. I never step on a scale. My clothes fit, why would I? And if they didn't, why would I? It's pretty simple: Eat better + Move more = better fitting clothes and a healthier feeling you. A scale is something processed meat companies need, not something people need.

#10. Yes. I eat. I eat all day. I eat at least every 2 hours, tons of protien (about 120g give or take, but that's based on my size and activity level), lots of fresh veggies and fruit, limited salt, tons of water. Cottage cheese, edamame, and veggie burgers are my go to lunch bowls. Point is, eat. You need energy to keep up with your life, and your muscles need all the power they can get to get through your workouts and playtime with your kids.

Everyone has their fitness struggles. It doesn't come easy to anyone. I mean hell, look at my husband, if he is teaching classes and training clients, when does he work out? Trust me when I say it is at very odd times.... Let's all get a little more sweaty and a lot less judgey :)