Monday, March 31, 2008

Ready to Romp n' Roll?

So I went to Romp N' Roll this morning to see about enrolling Trauma and Trouble. And guess what? They had an opening. And guess what else? I don't have to bring someone with me because the manager (who is also a licensed teacher) is going to help me with them. And guess what else? My neighbor owns the place.

No, not Hill-Billy. No, not Prairie Lady or Phil Vassar's Ex-Brother-in-law but the people on the other side of them, these people are so nice, so normal that I can't even come up with a clever name for them, if you can please, go ahead I would love your suggestions.

Anyways, I am talking to the manager about how I heard about this place and I tell her that my next door neighbor told me that our other neighbors go here, "The Blahs, there daughter Grace goes here I think?"

And then she says "The Blahs, they own the place."

Um, okay. Phil Vassar's Ex-Brother-In-Law's new wife, why didn't you tell me that piece of information? You told me what their electric bill was monthly. You told me that they are moving because of it. You told me who is building their new house in that equastrian neighborhood where they bought a lot. You told me that they are expecting in October. That they weren't even using protection. Anyways, you didn't tell me they owned the place.

Mr. Blah came in and told me everything that his wife had already but he didn't give me a discount. But I joined anyways. How could I not? Every week you get to play with a puppy named Rompy and blow bubbles with your baby.

All afternoon, all I can think about is this upcoming Wednesday and our first Romp N' Roll Gym Class and wonder 'Why didn't I think of that?'


So now I am now racking my brain for a good business idea that will make us millions, got any ideas? I promise to give you any credit for your ideas.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Are you a bibliophile?

In addition to my family, music, movies, and blogging I love to read when I get the chance. Ward heard about ANOTHER social network I could join on NPR the other day called Library Thing. It is basically a visual bookshelf, you can post the books you've read, leave reviews and find other books you may enjoy based on your ratings of books you've already read. I think it is a neat idea. So I started a profile and added some books. If you are into that kind of thing, you should check it out.

They will let you add a visual bookshelf to your blog if you like, hence the new section now featured to your right.

I am currently reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. Weird, yet captivating. I don't know if I have ever read anything like it or can even compare it to anything I have ever read, but it is definitely worth a read if you find the time and like to bury some free time in a book.


Me on Me

I have a sickness.

I love to purchase baby clothes. I love shopping for snazzy little outfits for Trauma and Trouble. I can't walk by Baby Gap without stopping in and checking the clearance shelves. I am not safe in the parameters of an Old Navy, Gymboree, or any Carter's outlet either. Fortunately there is not a Gymboree or Carter's outlet nearby so I am safe usually from those places.

We are going to Frederick in a few weeks for my Grandmother's 90th birthday, and do you know what we will have to pass on the way to and from?

Leesburg Premium Outlets.

Yep, folks. A Baby Gap, Old Navy, Osk Kosh, and a Carters, just to name a few. I haven't been by these Outlets since I got pregnant so I haven't been able to shop there for our own children and now I am dying to stop in. Maybe Sunday afternoon? On the way home? Please, Ward? Please? Just this once?

I know, sick isn't it?


Saturday, March 29, 2008


Let’s talk about me and investigate this whole parenting thing thus far.

Babies are now going to sleep at 8 p.m. Yahoo! They go down (for the time being) very easily. They are still getting up twice a night each but they usually get up at the same time or one right after another so it isn’t too bad. With the exception of one or two nights when I stay up later than I should and then regret it for several days while I walk around like a zombie things have greatly improved. I am one of those eight hours of sleep or I am a monster kind of people. Just ask Ward. He wishes he could find the time for me to sleep so I wouldn’t be so grumpy. I discovered a few weeks ago that Troubles tank needs to be filled to sleep a good stretch, so we upped the amount he gets before bed and now he can sleep up to eight hours at night (though usually it’s five to six), the dear sweet child.

It isn’t as cold in Virginia as some people may think. Before the twins were born I bought both babies little snow suits. One was a monkey, the other a bunny. They were too cute but quite impractical. First off, it doesn’t snow here very much and our babies were newborns, like they were really going to be taken outside for any reason at all yet alone snow. They make these things in newborn so I was suckered in. Secondly, the lady at the hospital said you are never supposed to put your kids in a car seat wearing one of those things, why was this information not presented to me earlier, like before I bought the apparel? Who would put their child in a carrier without the snow suits on and take them outside and put them in a vehicle and then take them indoors and put them on? I just don’t even understand why they even make these things to be honest. Thirdly, I can’t return them because I bought them in another city on clearance and threw away my receipt. They still have their tags on them. I also have a Happy Easter snow suit that I completely forgot about until today. But it was 65 degrees here on Easter and I only paid $2.10 for it (it is kind of lame looking). If anyone knows anyone in Alaska who will be having a baby next winter I will send these items to them. I hate to see them got to waste.

OK. My brother-in-law once told me that they go through ten to twelve diapers a day when their kids are babies (in the early months anyways). I have a confession to make, I don’t change either one of my children 17 times a day or 12 times, or ten times. It’s more like 7-8. Do other people just have more time to spend changing diapers than I do? Or more money to spend on diapers? Or do some people fear that they need to change diapers every two hours because that’s what the baby books say? There have been times when I feel I need to change them more often because of the estimates I hear from other people. So I go to change Trouble and she’s dry. Why would I waste a dry swaddler?

I am still very, very bitter about the whole breastfeeding dilemma. I spent months reading articles and books (including the La Leche League one). I was truly committed to nursing. I bought nursing bras, tops, and nightgowns. I bought creams and waxy substances to prepare. I was prepared for pain and let me tell you folks if pain were all that were a factor I would have survived. It wasn’t. It was the combination of exhaustion and a bad start (on lots of drugs I was unhappy about taking) thanks to an emergency c-section for Trouble after Trauma was delivered. It was about jaundice and my pediatrician forcing me to feed them formula beside my better judgment. It was about my anatomy, I won’t go any further but to say that it was DIFFICULT for me to breastfeed. I was given stupid shields by a lactation consultant (yes, one of those tried to “help” me, I wouldn’t call it that but she did) shortly after their delivery and then told not to use it by the nurses after the babies and I had gotten use to it. I was pushed away by my children, my children cried from hunger and frustration. They gained weight slowly. I was ashamed and I felt like a failure at something that everyone claimed was so easy. I felt as though other people were judging me and very few (if any) had ever been in the situation I found myself in. Let’s put it this way. I wanted to breastfeed, the normal way, more than other people will ever know. I am still very, very bitter about having to pump everything for my children so that they could have the best start in the world that I believe comes from breastfeeding. I don’t know if I missed the window that I read about so often because I was in recovery from surgery after their delivery (which itself was very distressing) or what. All I know is that when people make comments that I should have tried harder, they obviously have no idea how much I struggled, how long I attempted to breastfeed, before I finally broke down and agreed to pump. I hate pumping. I am only doing it for my children’s benefit. I had to be convinced over and over again by my husband that I could be a good parent and pump, he pointed out other examples of good parents who had not breastfed at all. I am not sure if and when though I will completely get over this little hang up of mine.

Ah, now that that is off my chest.

Every one in the household seems to be putting on weight. That’s good for some, bad for others. The little scale we use to weigh the babies (lent to us by the prairie lady) says that Trauma is now 12.5 pounds and Trouble is 9.5 pounds. Though I know the scale is a little off I am pleased that Trouble is gaining weight and that Trauma is not just gaining weight but has almost doubled his birth weight (6.6 pounds). Ward complains about weight gain but I can never tell, silly little stick figure that he is. I was so pleased with myself for losing the 47 pounds from pregnancy and then ten more, but now I have reached a plateau and I fear that I may have to ~GULP~ cut back on my beloved Cherry Coke. If I am ever going to be witnessed in a bathing suit of any kind again (thank you very much body covering stretch marks) I may have to reassess my beverage of choice.

All in all, things are going pretty good I would say. The babies smile (though I can’t always catch them doing it on camera), they seem to be on target developmentally (whatever that means), they are forming a schedule (yes, they are, not me). The little hang ups are worth it. But I do feel like so many people (including myself at times) judge other people’s parenting from the outside and it is a lot harder for that very reason. We should give each other a break. Most people are doing a pretty good job and I hate to think that I have made anyone feel like less of a parent because of the choices they make. If you have your children’s best interest in mind and you’re of good heart, pat yourself on the back for me today. You’re doing a good job.

Happy Parenting!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Tuesday

It is Tuesday. And all of the house guests are gone with the exception of my brother who is more like a resident here with his own bedroom and the responsibility of trash duty. I love my family and I hadn’t seen my dad or grandmother since the day the twins were born but having our house back to us after a couple of days is relieving. Especially now that we have children, it used to be that we could just drop (pretty much) everything for their visits but now with the twins we have a routine that we like to adhere to. This weekend was the first time taking the babies out to a restaurant and we did it twice. We learned a few things the first time so the second time we went somewhere that is almost fast food (Moe’s) and I scouted the place out before the rest of the family was even unloaded. We introduced the twins to lots of new family, great aunts, first cousins once removed, that sort of thing. We even, drum roll please, watched a movie. It was our first movie this year (besides those five minutes of Once) and even though Trauma woke up one of us fed the boy as the other distracted the other movie goers with buttery popcorn, Cherry M&Ms and Cherry Coke (if it isn’t bad for you, we don’t buy it). Within fifteen minutes we were back to the movie. We watched Reign Over Me (very sad) because it is one of the oldest movies we have but haven’t seen. We have also purchased yet have not taken the time to view No Country For Old Men, Dan In Real Life, Once, Michael Clayton, Martian Child, American Gangster and The Good Shepherd. The movie was a big production. Because we can’t watch a movie in the media room where the projector is located because the monitor’s don’t work that far away we had to watch it on the television in the family room. We moved baby swings and bouncers, sofas and ottomans so that everyone could enjoy the viewing experience (even my grandmother whose Macular Degeneration makes it difficult to see anything).

It is Tuesday. The weekend is long gone but I feel like we really didn’t have one. I am no more rested than I was on Friday, more tired actually. We built decks and bookshelves, baked cookies and pies, made Macaroni and Cheese, but we didn’t rest. A three day weekend should be more than enough to catch up on rest but we did anything but. We stayed up late making movie lists and framing pictures that we never got around to hanging. We stayed up late talking to family. We stayed up late to watch that movie. But the babies got up early regardless of when we went to bed.

It is Tuesday. I am already one day behind on the cleaning and there is more to do this week than normal because of house guests who inhabit parts of the house that are otherwise vacant. Soon I am afraid it will be Wednesday.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

We Challenge You To Make A List

We've come up with our own challenge, make a list of your favorite movies A-Z, using each letter only once like this:

He Says:

Better Off Dead
Dead Poets Society
Empire Strikes Back
Green Street Hooligans
Hudson Hawk
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc
John Q
Killing Fields, the
Love Actually
Mystery Men
North by Northwest
Outsiders, the
Primal Fear
Quiz Show
Real Genius
Saving Private Ryan
True Romance
V for Vendetta
Whole Wide World
X-Files Fight The Future
Young Guns

She Says:

About A Boy
Beautiful Girls
Donnie Darko
Edward Scissorhands
Fight Club
Good Will Hunting**
High Fidelity
Immediate Family
Jerry Maguire
Kramer Vs Kramer
Love, Actually
Me Without You
Notebook, the
Of Mice and Men
Quiz Show
Raising Arizona
She’s Having A Baby
Twelve Monkeys
Usual Suspects
Valley Girl
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
You’ve Got Mail
Zombies Ate My Sister (because I haven't seen Zodiac yet)

** I realized while compiling my list that my favorite movies all begin with G's.

1.)Good Will Hunting

2.)Gangs of New York

3.)Green Street Houligans

4.)Garden State

Goodwill Hunting is oldest so it made my list!

Have Fun!

-June and Ward

Lists, Lists, Lists

Our friend at X-Man & Us sent out a challenge of sorts today. The task was to make a list of some of your favorite bands from A to Z. Each letter should be represented only once, and in order. So here we go.

He Says:

Afghan Wigs
Bowie, David
Costello, Elvis
Drive By Truckers, the
Echo and the Bunnymen
Foo Fighters
Gene Loves Jezebel
Holiday, Billy
Jesus and Mary Chain
Knoppler, Mark
Lemonheads, the
New Radicals
Oconnor, Sinead
Pouges, the
Simon, Paul
Tragically Hip, the
Uncle Tupelo
Violent Femmes, the
Waits, Tom
Young, Neil
Zevon, Warren

She Says:

Amos, Tori
Bragg, Billy
Cure, The
Everly Brothers, The
Fountains of Wayne
Guided By Voices
Hall, Brian
Kate Rusby
Nuetral Milk Hotel
Okkervil River
Psychedelic Furs
Smiths, The
They Might Be Giants
Violent Femmes
Young, Neil
Zevon, Warren

What would your list look like?

-Ward and June

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yes, They Were

I sometimes go "delurking" on others blogs. I find myself feeding one of the twins and just reading random blogs. A few weeks ago I came across a family who had quadruplets seven months ago after only one round of clomid. Then I came across a blog of a lady who was going through IVF and was in the two week wait, waiting for the blood tests to confirm whether or not she was expecting. I've been hooked and have checked periodically to see if she was pregnant. She is, after their first round, indeed pregnant.

Reading some of these peoples stories I think it would have been nice to have a sounding board such as a blog during the six years we tried for a child. As many of you know, it was at the end of the road for us when we finally managed success. And what a success it was! I kept journals, lots of them, full of self-pity and denial. Full of sadness and despair. I always felt like I was being a Debbie Downer when I discussed our struggles with those around us. There wasn't much any one could say or do, most things people say to infertile couples aren't helpful anyways ("My husband just looks at me and I get pregnant.", "Relax, it will happen if you just don't think about it." "Have you tried using a turkey baster?"). Most of the time though I just wanted to talk, to vent, to unload. I didn't need people to feel sorry for me, I just needed them to listen. The road of infertility is hard and you can't, like most tragedies, really know what it is like for someone else. Even if you've been down that road, your experience was probably unique.

I consider myself fortunate. I cannot express enough, or in any words in my vocabulary how overjoyed, enraptured, I am by my children's simple existence. Their existence is a medical masterpiece. A year ago I was wallowing in self-pity, spending hours a day researching cures on-line, trying silly solutions. In six years I took so many drugs that my face puffed up, but I wouldn't stop. I ate buckwheat pancakes every morning for months, hoping the d-chiroinositol would make my poor reproductive system ovulate, it didn't. I took kelp, yams, and other foods I'd never eat in the form of capsules. I was ridiculous is my point, but I wouldn't, I couldn't put it behind me. I have a bit of an obsessive streak, and where my infertility was concerned it was in overdrive. I prayed about it. I read about it. I dreamed about it. Poor Ward, he wanted a child as bad as I did, but he was fueled above all else by his desire to make me happy. The things I asked of him, the things he agreed so willing to do.

And yet I couldn't and still can't quite put it all down, the way in which I felt. I am not sure a word exists that explains the emotion, the obsession, the hurt, the wonder that I felt.

Christmas 2006. We had a nice holiday, which is a struggle that only the childless who are yearning for a family can truly understand. We had been through alot of failures at this point and yet I still wouldn't, couldn't let it go. I was taking the tree down. We hadn't decided whether to give it one more shot or not. I desperately felt that I needed that one last shot. Ward was frustrated and losing hope. He was on the landing and he said "If you really want to we can try once more in the spring." Of course I really wanted to. It had become sort of an addiction, trying. I was overjoyed and scared to death. We would give it one more try but if it didn't work I had agreed to let the idea go.

I spent months preparing my body and my mind. My body for the procedure that was to come, my mind for the reality of what proabably wouldn't. I lost hours of sleep and filled many pages supposedly convincing myself that whatever happened we would be OK.

There is nothing like the two week wait for someone in our predicament. Because at that point it is over. It will either be or it won't be and there is really nothing you can do. But I lied in bed for two weeks anyways, just to be sure, just to be safe from second guessing my choices later.

Those two weeks I didn't sleep much at all. I wasn't expending much energy just sitting in bed but it was more than just that. I would lie in bed watching the clock tick, trying to convince myself that everything really would be OK, no matter the outcome. I worried (because I am best at this) that I wouldn't be OK, despite my promise to Ward that I would be, and believe me I really wanted this to be true. As I have said, if I could have made that feeling go away, if I could have taken a little blue pill, I would have. It wasn't depression, it was a hurting like no other. The day of the test I came home and tried to reason with myself that I would be starting over when Ward called with the results. I was either going to become a parent or I was going to get over myself and move on. I spent all morning thinking of all the things people with children couldn't do or couldn't do on a whim easily. I planned out what I would do that afternoon. A very hot bath. Alcohol perhaps. Weight lifting and running to make up for all the weight I had put on after two lazy weeks in bed. There were other things to I had a whole afternoon of things planned out. I was almost to the point of looking forward to my afternoon when Ward called.

The last few days as I have been reading this ladies blog I have been thinking about that phone call. It was momentous. I can still remember everything Ward said, I can remember the way my body felt, like it was much heavier and yet like a great weight had just been lifted all at the same time. I had been expecting bad news, bad news was all I had ever gotten. Silly how something like a number can be so impacting.

But in the end. As others predicted. It all worked out. The waiting was harder than anything else I have ever experiened, mainly because I didn't know the outcome. But Trauma and Trouble, they were worth it all. Would I trade what I went through for an easier time, what do you think I am an idiot? Of course, I would love to be a fertile myrtle, to get pregnant with a look. But during the wait I was able to thoroughly examine my motivations to have a family and now I can tell my children that in my opinion there was never on this Earth children that were more wanted.
The wait was hard, and difficult and complicated. But it was worth it.

-As if you hadn't already guessed, June

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Light Rejuvenates

See folks this morning I am much cheerier.

Who wouldn't be with a list like this to accomplish today:

  • Clean bathrooms, my favorite, especially the toilets and the wall around them, am I right?
  • Reseal grout- a good idea, note previous bullet
  • Laundry- you can't cross this off your list ever, like the song that never ends, just as annoying and never ending
  • Mop- not so bad just time consuming
  • Make the bed -this is a fluffer to make myself feel better if I don't get everything else done
  • Clean appliances and coutertops- so that Grandpa Tony will have a clean slate to work with on Sunday
  • De-clutter- and spend this time wondering why I buy anything, ever
  • Organize the nursery and office- and realize I need to buy more stuff with which to organize more efficiently
  • Change 35 diapers - not going to happen but a friend of mine told the ladies at Bunko this is how many diapers I change a day, unfortunately I am not a master at schedules and my children don't get their diaper changed every 1.5 hours
  • Make a list for target- this could be the highlight of this list for me
  • Vacuum - and hence listen to wailing babies
  • Do all this and spend as much time with my children- Good luck to me


The Darkness Infiltrates

It is late and where as my mind should be asleep and dreaming it is awake and wondering.

I hate when people surprise me by doing something even though it is expected. I find myself shocked even though I shouldn’t be, even though I was looking for failure or to be let down. I am waiting for the eventual disappointment that is inevitable. Sometimes I think my expectations of others are too high, that my expectations for life in general are too high. I want people to be a certain way and when they’re not, when they let me down, I take it personally. I try to change the wrong people and most people don’t want change, they want their flaws to go unnoticed, I know I do. I try to overlook these flaws, to move on, to be happy regardless, but sometimes it is a struggle. I spend too long wondering what I’ve done wrong, what I could do differently to make the other people I love be different. But it isn’t going to happen, people will not change if they don’t want to, people who want to change have a hard time doing so and if you don’t have the desire to change you might as well not bother.

I get wrapped up in emotion, wondering where the people I once knew are now. Thinking what I could have done different if I wanted. Blaming my parents for things to put less responsibility on my actions and choices.

Sometimes I sit back and listen to the other people in a room discussing their lives, their situations and I know that no one has everything. Take a room I was in this evening. Some have the job they always wanted though I am sure not everyday is like The Office. Some have the husband who buys them flowers often and proposed marriage with prior arrangements with the family, a 2 karat ring and a long hot air balloon ride. Others have the children they longed for through an adoption journey. One or two have the jobs, the husband, the children and more. But some of the pretty ones can’t find husbands. Some of the rich hate their jobs. Some of the marrieds have husbands who cheat. Some of the singles just want a baby. Some of the others have financial strain. It’s evident by this small sample that life is easy for no one and struggles are plentiful.

I for one have the children I had dreamed of for so long and life so far with them has met every expectation and brought some wonderful surprises. At Bunko tonight a lady whose daughter is ten days younger than my children was there with her baby. It made it difficult to stay very long because I was constantly thinking about my children whom I was away from. I came home and checked in on them, I even thought about sleeping on the floor of their room but sleep couldn’t find me there so I headed here.

I am downhearted, but only for the moment. The balance in my life always hangs to the positive happy side, I am sure in the morning I will be fine.

Sorry to burden you readers with my current state of discontent.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

What did you do this weekend?

This weekend we accomplished many things.

As I am one who loves to make lists here's one.

1.On Friday I went to the bank to make a deposit and ran into 3 of our employees cashing their checks, and by cashing I mean taking the dough not making a deposit. One of the employees missed a day this week because his wife was out of town and their three-year old daughter was "kicking his butt", she wouldn't finish her breakfast or get dressed for school. The guy is a know it all, always telling you what you should do and illustrating how much more intelligent he is than whoever he is talking to. But he can't handle his own daughter. He loves to talk about how his daughter was potty trained by age two but I would guess that had very little to do with his involvement. Recently, he went on vacation for a week, snowboarding in Utah, without his wife or daughter. I imagine there is really only one active parent in that household and at age three his daughter probably thinks the same thing.

2. I made cookies from questionable dough. The dough hasn't "expired" but it has sort of changed colors. This would never happen at my sister's house, they would never allow dough to reach the "best by" date. As a side note though I would like to add that I have been using my Kitchenaid Mixer to make homemade cookies. The questionable cookies were not bad though, if we get food poisoning I'll let you know.

3. Ward made dinner tonight. I know it's sad but I love tater tots. It's a wonder how two people who eat loads of cookies, frozen pizza, cherry coke and a whole lot else aren't bigger (we are headed in that direction though). You would think that as lovers of literature and history and science and knowledge in general, we would be more health conscience. I like naked juice for example, but is 16 oz. of that stuff at a time really that good for you?
4. We made a T.T.D.B.J.A.M.C.T.S. (Things To Do Before Jon and Misty Come This Summer) list today, basically it's a revised spring cleaning list with a later deadline. We started organizing the garage today and I wore this shirt. I thought it was funny when I bought it pre-election 2004, but then Kerry lost and I just felt stupid ever wearing it. Plus around here this shirt is like wearing a big anti-South shirt, you just don’t do it. I was a little embarrassed wearing it to clean the garage.

5. We've decided to add on to our house. By add on, I mean Ward is going to build a little deck onto the side of our garage for trash bins and pet water bowls. Of course this is on the same list as building the mega playground and those bookshelves, so it may be a while.

6. While organizing the game area in the basement, Ward found that old archaic camera of my dad's I was telling you about. My brother must have brought it over because I haven't seen it in some time. Someone hasn't been giving it much love though, the lens is dented and pretty badly scratched, poor old thing. Man I love that strap.

7. Ward started on the bookshelves, but only because he's anxious to get started on the playground, which seems to get larger by the hour. The bookshelves are higher up on the list than the playground (X-man's birthday is in a little over a month and the twins are only ten weeks old and can wait a little while for their massive pirate-ship-tower-crazy play yard).
8. We are looking for extra space to store all the playground equipment. The dining room looks like that space right now. We have decide though to move the office into the bonus area above the garage and make the now office a play room, another thing added to the very, very long list that is always growing, never shortening.
9. Ah, the battle over the dining room table is over. I won!
I felt really bad for Ward though because the battle was only just beginning, but he's OK, the playground has him pretty preoccupied. He also recently made the decision to re-work his novel into a trilogy (possible explanation for his recent absence on blogger?)
10. I made plans for Monday to go to the grocery store with my sister. We didn't get around to it this weekend and one person cannot attempt the grocery store with twins who can't yet sit and need to ride in a car seat. The car seats take up any space in the cart that would be available for groceries. We're having lunch at her house and then going to the grocery store. No La Carreta I'm afraid. Taking three under one to a mexican restaurant is just not as fun as it sounds.

11. We FINALLY took the coffee maker I bought eight months ago out of it's box and put it on the counter. Why? Because Grandpa is coming for Easter and has a tendency to spill coffee everywhere. I bought this carafe style coffee pot months ago but have just been a little intimidated by it's modern look to unpackage it. But with the twins here now and so little time I figure I need it so we won't be following behind Grandpa cleaning up spilt coffee.

12. I took, let's see, I think about 150 pictures this weekend as well. My oligomania would explain why there are so many pictures of what we did this weekend in this post. Every time someone turned around I had my camera ready. The lady at the bank gave me a very funny look when I snapped a picture of her ATM card. As a rule (for at least the next few weeks) prepare to see a lot of photos in posts, I just can't seem to help myself. Yesterday we went to Ritz and the lady there seems to know me, not because we're friends but because I am developing about 100 pictures a month there. I know you're proabably wondering why because they're digital. I am old fashioned I suppose, I want tangible shots in photo albums on my custom built (but not by Ethan Allen) bookshelves.

Next weekend, we plan on getting ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done because we're having family in.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

On the Way to Becoming a Photographer I Picked This Up

So I made a decision. I decided to stop spending so much time researching a camera and go with the one I originally wanted. In the side-by-side reviews it was as good as some of the more expensive ones. I ordered it online (with a 4 GB SD card, a MicroMate Reader, a camera bag and an extra battery, with S&H I still spent less than I would on the camera alone here in town) and it came the NEXT day, amazing.

I posted some shots here, so far I am really very pleased with my purchase and I haven't even had any Kodak moments to record yet.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Captured by Nikon

The short of it:

I want a new camera.

The long of it:

I have always loved to take pictures and record video. My parents gave my sister and I 35mm Kodak cameras in 1989 and I took hundreds of pictures with that little camera, if it hadn’t been for a scratch on the lens I would probably still have that camera (OK, probably not but the point is it was a nice little camera). When I was thirteen I asked for a camcorder and my dad did all he could to see that I got one, he couldn’t afford it that year but the following year he saw to it that I did get one.

When I was in high school I really enjoyed taking pictures and was fortunate enough to take a photography class the first year it was offered at my high school (my junior year) where I learned about pinhole cameras, shutter speed and color tinting. Because the class was new the class had to take turns with the three enlargers the teacher had supplied and only five of us could be in the small dark room at a time. I didn’t have the money to buy a new camera so I used my father’s archaic SLR. Dated as it was, it still took decent shots.

When I graduated high school I was given the gift of a new SLR camera by someone very sweet. It was presented in the form of a coupon with a little clip art camera in the center, I was to chose the exact camera I wanted. At the time I was employed by C.V.S. and working in the photo lab. I asked several of our routine customers for recommendations. When I went to Ritz to make my purchase I had all but decided on getting a Minolta. But instead, at the last minute I went with a Nikon N60. My first few snapshots were of the cat and the parking lot of our apartment but they were great shots, even though they were of nothing. This camera has surpassed all of my expectations and helped me fill several photo albums. Several years ago, it just up and died on me. I bought a much cheaper and smaller Minolta, I was very disappointed but it got me through for a little while. Before a summer of trips to Colorado, Emerald Isle and New Orleans we made the decision to go digital. Upon the recommendation of the Ritz salesman I purchased a Fuji film E510. It has always done an OK job, the photos of the Rocky Mountains and French Quarter were not disappointing but I have always wanted a little something more.

This Christmas Trauma and Trouble (before they were born) gave me a most awesome gift (Thanks, Ward), a HD Sony Handycam (Full HD 1080i with 4 mega pixels ClearVid Sensor, though I’m still trying to figure what all that stuff truly means). After Christmas I bought a small Kodak Easy Share digital camera. It has been truly disappointing. I got one for my brother that was cheaper and it takes way better photos, oh well.

Recently though I have really started wanting a new camera. With spending way to much at Sear’s Portrait Studio on pictures taken by someone who I would never call a photographer and seeing some of those old snapshots taken by the N60, I have decided that I truly, really badly, beyond words, want a new Nikon. I have the Nikon D80 in mind unless I hear from someone recommending a better camera. I used to want a smaller camera that was easier to tote everywhere but what’s the point if the shots are sub par?

I have expressed this desire with Ward, expecting to be laughed at, but he (like me) wants to record this time in our family’s history and has agreed (with one condition, I cut out online shopping through May, I can do it folks, I really want this camera!).

So I’ve started looking and I am very excited. I hope to be as pleasantly surprised as I was when I bought my first Nikon.

Does anyone know where I can get albums cheap? I take too many pictures with a bad camera, if this camera meets my expectations the bookshelves could be in serious trouble.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Addiction May Pay Off

As we all know, I am addicted to one thing, Cherry Coke. Take away T.V., fine. Take away high fat delicious foods, fine (Yeah right, Cherry Coke and Pizza were made for one another). Take away shopping, fine (Yeah right, I have oniomania, remember). Take away alcohol, fine. Take away my Cherry Coke, you'd better be armed because I'm not going to be happy. Recently, Cherry Coke was on sale at the local Kroger, $.89 a piece. I was trying to get everyone to bring me four (the limit per day) last night, I was even going to pay them, but all the Kroger's were sold out. That's OK, I managed to purchase twelve since I found out about the sale which should last about 8 days (I'm a mother of twins folks, I NEED the caffeine!)

So we had been collecting the coke caps for one of Ward's employees father. I've been drinking Coke forever and just throwing away those tops but when we thought we would save them for someone else we made an effort to keep all the caps from all the Coke products we've been drinking. Well this morning we realized that the bag was overflowing and we decided to go ahead and register on and see what we could get with the collected caps.

Well you can only enter 10 caps a day, so it's going to take the better part of two weeks to enter in all the caps I have collected thus far (and we've only been collecting since January) and each cap only earns you 3 points. But today I am 30 points towards a Tom Tom or 19" Samsung HDTV (because Heaven knows we need another T.V. to not watch).

I am going for the Tom Tom, at 7,316 I only need 7,286 more points. That's only another 2,429 more 20 oz. or 2-Liters of Cherry Coke. Now those 20 oz. and 2-Liters are going to cost me about $3,000 which will make it the most expensive GPS on the market probably but now I have even more incentive to drink up. I figure it will take me about 1,944 days to drink that many 2-Liters at the rate I am going, so in about 51/2 years I may actually have a Tom Tom. Not really because I am sure Coke will change the program long before I reach my goal. (By then though my Flying Toyota Sequoia will have auto pilot and I won't need to drive yet alone find out how to get where I am going.)

So I will probably end up with Coke Baseball Caps and Coke T-shirts (which will only benefit the Coke company further). I swear they must still add Cocaine to that stuff.


P.S. If you WANT to donate any caps you won't be using yourself I will make the effort (I make no promises) to use my Tom Tom to come by your house (as long as I am invited) and Thank You personally.

And Then There Were Three

So we think we're pregnant.

I am absolutely kidding, no phone calls please. I just wanted to make sure you're paying attention.

So no third baby on the way, yet. But we have started choosing names. We like Veronica Suzanne or James Indiana August. Yesterday, though, we thought it would be fun to see what it would be like to have three children under the age of one. My sister and her husband are getting ready to put their house on the market so Ward and I offered to watch her son, X-man. In the morning we went and had the twins pictures taken at Sear's, talk about breaking the bank, and then we went and picked our nephew up. We loaded all three children in the backseat of the Sequia and headed home. There was a lot of cooing, talking and crying going on in the second row. Just a little socializing I'm sure.

So we got home and our two were asleep and X-man was ready to explore. We were starving and had to get ready for the world-famous-bi-annual-daylight-savings-time-bash by making spegettis sauce, cookies, and that dessert that my sister-in-law says is like crack. X-man first wanted to explore Trouble's car seat, while she was still in it. He recognized the pacifiers and wanted it bad, but when he finally grabbed one he only looked at it quizzically, he never even put it in his mouth (of course we were there to reclaim it within seconds). We were listening to music and it's evident that the X-man's parents have started sharing the finer things in life. He was clapping and rocking on his feet to the music. The kid sure does like to rock.

He explored cabinets, stereo equipment, car seats and underneath the kitchen table. He had brought a little car that would drive across the hardwood floors if you rolled it backwards for a second and we would gain his attention this way when he was starting to get into things.

He pulled himself up everywhere and would stand for a second and then PLOP down on his bottom. But the whole time he was awake our two slept. This would NOT be the case if you were actually the parent of three under age one. I was amazed that the twins were actually asleep at the same time.

So he got sleepy so we put him down in his playard that is left here for naps and bedtime. Poor thing tired as he was resisted sleep for a little while before finally falling asleep with me rubbing his tummy.

As soon as he was out, I mean within seconds, Trauma woke up. At nine weeks the twins want to be held by someone all the time and since we're usually the only people around we usually have our hands full. Trauma ate and shortly X-man was back up. We put Trauma and X-man together but the age difference is still too much.
I look forward to their eight month difference in the future so that they will have a playmate.

We started making cookies when X-man's mom showed up. We sampled the goodies and waited for the festivities to begin.

For one afternoon, three under one was manageable but I don't think we're quite ready to add to our brood just yet.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Recipe for Instant Popularity - Have Multiples

It is hard to go anywhere with twins. Not for the reason you are probably thinking of right now, because it’s two babies and it’s twice as hard. Well, it’s at least three times harder probably but that isn’t why it’s hard to go anywhere. It’s all the spectators that make it hard.

On Tuesday, the really thorough housecleaners came for the last time so I took Trauma and Trouble to the mall, by myself. It was the first time out alone just the three of us and that seemed really daunting but it all went pretty well. We were only out for a little over an hour (our mall is truly pathetic). But while strolling through American Eagle (where I picked up the cutest little sack) a Liberty College student came up and ‘just (had) to see the babies’, she didn’t ask if that was alright, no she just moved the canopies to eye the children below. Of course she commented on their cuteness and that it was a boy and a girl (everyone points this out, like maybe we haven’t noticed). But all I could do was consider how rude and inconsiderate an action it was to just start messing with someone else car seats and stroller. I love children and babies but I would never have the audacity to saunter over to a stranger and start touching their personal effects and children. It’s one thing to look, but to actually touch. Didn’t their parents teach them anything?

So then on Wednesday the twins had their two month check-up. All that spit up, normal. How much Trauma’s eating, normal. The lack of bowel movements, normal. The slow weight increase, normal. All that gawking and questioning, apparently normal. There was even a lady there who had two year old twins of her own and she was even prying. From conversations I’ve had with other parents I’ve heard that babies are always an attraction, but evidently a group of babies is exponentially more thrilling for onlookers.

Thursday I had to take our 6 month old (only has 2800 miles on it) Sequoia to Toyota to have fabric around the never even used sunroof re-glued. The gentleman at the desk gave me a voucher for the waiting area café. I didn’t like the look of the café but I hadn’t eaten and I had time to spare so I said the heck with it. Well as soon as I strolled up to the counter the wait staff and other waiting Toyota owners began questioning me on names and ages, sex (the babies) and sleeping patterns. And of course they had to move the canopies. Ladies and Gentleman, those things are covering up the babies for a reason! All I wanted was eggs and toast, being a vegetarian I didn’t want to take the chance of ordering their “Grand Slam” and having bacon and sausage sit on top of my other food so I just ordered eggs and toast with butter. What did I get? A plate full of the greasiest bacon I have ever seen and toast that had been marinated in butter. No eggs. Apparently my order wasn’t as interesting as the twins so no one had paid attention to it. Fortunately, it was a voucher and I had brought along a Fiber One bar so I didn’t complain. I just threw the plate away and left. (I want to quickly add here, have you seen the cost of the newly redesigned 2008 Sequoia’s? Let’s put it this way, if the 2007’s cost that much I wouldn’t own one.)

So this afternoon we run to Sam’s. Most of the way through the store we were left alone but as you would pass some aisles you would hear people say “Oh, they have twins”. So we get to the check out and the cashier starts in asking us questions. Are these our first? Yes. Do we have any other children? No, first means initial, nothing preceding. Are we going to have any other children? What? We don’t know you and why would you even care. That hasn’t been decided on yet but when we decide she’ll be the first to know. Then she starts calling other people over to look at the twins. And canopies are moved and I can hear Ward mumbling the Lord’s name in vain and I think what are we in for over the next year or so or maybe even longer?

I know people, they’re twins. I gave birth to them and that I will never forget. I know they are the cutest babies ever, thank you. The pink clothes are because one is a girl, the blue because one is a boy. The canopies are there for our privacy, how about giving us some.

Are we unintitled as parents of twins to walk through the mall or buy crappy food and be left alone? Must we get rude with you? Do you even realize you’re being rude? Should we just stay at home to avoid the intrusion?

The morale of our story, introverts shouldn't have twins.


Good Bye Moon.

As of about noon today our moon has gone missing. To find out more, look HERE. This is one of my favorite sites.


P.S.- Don't forget, daylight savings is also this weekend.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Every now and again I will come across a song that just stops me in my tracks and I am compelled to listen to over and over again. It usually happens with songs that are beautiful in sound and utterly sad. The best example of this I can't share with you (because it is a Brian Hall song and I may be the only person who owns a copy of it other than him) but is a song about the robbery of a convenient store on Christmas Day and the death of a toddler, it is perhaps the saddest song I have ever heard and yet I love it (I know that sounds weird).

This past weekend we bought the soundtrack for I'm Not There and today on the way to the doctor's office I heard another beautiful, yet sad, song. I urge you to listen to it if you have never heard it and if you have take a listen again for my sake. It is called The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll and Dylan wrote it when he was 22. It is based on the true account of a high society man named William Zantzinger who in 1963 killed a black servent for apparently no reason other than he was drunk at a ball in Baltimore.

I will leave you with this.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Luck Today, Barack

I seriously hope that you win Ohio and Texas today as well as Vermont and Rhode Island. I am ready for a candidate to be chosen, enough with all the shenanigans.

I would have made those calls for you that you sent me the e-mail about, but I really am very busy with twins and (blogging) and the spring cleaning and all. I hope you understand.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Formal at it's Finest

Our dining room on the evening of a recent Murder Mystery
(I didn't do it!)

Our dining room currently....

We aren't sure what we are supposed to use this room for so we being the grown children that we are use it for role playing and fantasy.