Thursday, July 31, 2008

If I Could Be So Lucky

I know most of you have better things to do than read my blog, with Super Chimps at the theatre and Monkey King Rebellions taking place, I completely understand so I will make this short.

Last week Jerry O'Connell told People that he and wife Rebecca, were trying to get pregnant.

This week, they are pregnant with twin girls without the help of In vitro or clomid?

Now that's what I call Fertile.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Confession of an Obsession

The twins are almost seven months old. They are harder and yet more rewarding than I ever would have imagined. This may all sound sappy and cliche, but it is true.

When we were building our house I thought daily how the house was too nice and someone coming from my background could never live in such a nice place. I kept waiting for the house to burn down or the bank to change their minds. It is pessimistic, but it's also a force field set in place years ago to shield me from disappointment. Even after we moved in I would walk around in what I can only term disbelief, that we actually lived in this house. And now, two years later, that feeling is a little gone now that the trim is scratched and the furniture worn, but I still think that this house is more than I would have ever imagined living in.

The only reason I bring all of that up is that I feel the same way about the twins. After several years of infertility, not having children became the norm. When I finally became pregnant I felt like I was in a dream state, like I should pinch myself hourly (could that explain the lack of sleep looking back?) to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I just couldn't imagine having any children, I couldn't picture it. As my belly grew (and boy did it) and they babies started to kick and squirm I became slightly more convinced that I was going to become a mother. I started wondering what the babies would look like.

The first few weeks of the twins life, I was tired and stressed but I was also in disbelief. I think that the post partum period would have been tougher if it weren't for the fact that I felt like I was in a fairytale, (as corny as it sounds) with the husband, the house and the children. What more could I ask for. I couldn't be negative, this was what I had begged and pleaded and prayed for, this was the miracle ending. I would look at them sometimes amazed that there were now people where there weren't people before. That however broken our reproductive systems were, that with a little (lot) of coercing we could make a child.

Since the twins were about six weeks old Ward and I have joked about having triplets next. Now that the twins are reaching for us and crawling, we have upped it to quads. We are only half way joking. Both of us know how much we love the twins and yet we know that where as being pregnant seems to go OK, getting pregnant is much more challenging. We know that we may never get pregnant again, or have any more children. But we would both like to and we would both be content with another set of multiples. We have even started talking about when to try (as soon as January) and what we will do for extra bedrooms if the need arises.

People on the outside probably think we are nuts. Or that we don't appreciate the two that we already have. Being nuts is probably not far off but we appreciate our children more than I will ever be able to find the words to convey. I don't feel that wanting more children suggests a lack of love of interest in the ones we already have. I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember, long before the trying and the tests.

I told Bailey yesterday that I couldn't believe she had been in my life for almost 7 months (I guess longer if you count the pregnancy but I meant in my arms). If only the five years of struggle had past so quickly. They can hold their bottles now but last night I decided to hold Bailey and feed her because I know that before long bottles will be gone and she will be too big for my arms.

Is it really so bad to want more children? I am not looking to be the next Duggar's or Gosselin's, but what is wrong with wanting more than two? I am very fortunate that we have twins and that my pregnancy went so well the first time but sometimes I am really frustrated with my PCOS diagnosis and annovulatory cycles. I was foolishly hoping that pregnancy and childbirth would have regulated my cycles. If it weren't so hard, there would be no questions, we would have more. But with it being so hard I have to wonder...

Monday, July 28, 2008

I've Got Something Unimportant To Say

I...gulp...don't have anything to say. Nope, all day I have tried to think up something blogworthy to tell you Internets about and I have come up with nothing.

I feel silly telling you that Jake got cut so short that when we picked him up I thought they had given him a new collar because I forgot what his looked like, what with all the hair.

I feel childish telling you that when we got home that evening I made 'Jake Just Got a New Haircut Cookies' just to use my sweet Kitchenaid Mixer. I don't however, mind adding that they were delicous.

I feel absurd telling you how p.o.ed I was with my mother-in-law for calling the house and our cell phones 11 times in 3 minutes on Sunday trying to reach us to tell us that she was coming over immediately thus waking the babies and wrecking havoc on my afternoon.

I feel moronic telling you that Coop has started crawling and that Bailey can more backwards in such a way that I wonder if she has been secretly watching the video for 'Thriller'.

I feel frivolous telling you that I had the twins picture taken again this morning, this time at Wal-mart just to compare them with Olan Mills and Sear's. I will choose Sear's in the future.

I feel simple telling you that we finally recieved our stimulus check in the mail. You know that one that was supposed to be here mid-May. But then I guess that is Ward's fault and his 99 ending social security number.

I feel wacky telling you that Obama Supporters called this evening trying to get more money out of me. Not until you choose a running mate Senator.

I feel fatuous telling you that I took some 700 photos this weekend. Of which only about 30 were any good.

I feel childlike pointing out that my mother is now a week late for her visit. But maybe she meant July 21, 2009.

If only I had something important to say.

A Very Happy Birthday To You

This post is mainly for myself. Most people outside the realm of infertility will probably find this information unimportant or even boring. And that is fine.

On Friday July 25th, Louise Joy Brown turned 30. Do you know who she is or why she is known to anyone outside of England? She was the first baby ever born as a result of In Vitro Fertilisation, the very procedure that lead to the birth of Bailey and Cooper. She also, has a sister, Natalie, also born through IVF and the first person conceived via IVF to go on and get pregnant naturally.

In 1977, when Louise was conceived, treatment for infertilty was just really beginning to be addressed. Since that first successful IVF cycle there have been more than 3 million babies born worldwide. That means 3 million successful attempts, with a success rate of about 25% depending on the clinic and the various reasons for the infertility (I myself had two unsuccessful bouts before falling pregnant with the twins) that would translate to possibly as many as 12 million IVF cycles. Maybe more considering that in the beginning the odds weren't even 25%.

So anyways, Happy Belated Birthday Louise, I think it's pretty cool that you're alive.

I don't think it is that big a deal that our children were conceived in this fashion (especially with our Abstinence Forever plan that we are going to teach the twins). The doctors didn't alter them, didn't single them out or do any genetic testing on them. They just helped two people who wanted to be parents achieve their dream.

So in addition to Ms. Brown, here's to the Anniversary of IVF.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Looking For A Publisher

Yesterday, we took Maximo and Jacob to get groomed. It was overpriced as always but somebody has to do it and I just don't really want to so we pay the people at Petsmart to shave Jake and rake Max.

We decided that while they were being groomed we would drive out to Altavista, a short 20 minute drive or so from Wards Crossing and snap some photos for our new photo blog. Ward moved to Altavista when he was a Freshman in High School and lived there until he was 22. The quaint little town holds a lot of history for him and many a photo opportunity, so there we drove.

We took some interesting and not half bad shots, we took blurry deletable shots and we laughed that Roses was still opened. We used to rent movies there for $1 before we joined Blockbuster.

There is this old grocer in town, Vista Food. It was Ward's first job, as a bag boy circa 1989. I remembered they had these old registers that were so archaic seeming in the late 90s and I wanted to get a shot of them if they were still there. So we got the children out of their car seats, grabbed the enormous seeming Nikon D80 and went in to capture a little part of history.

The registers had been updated but much about the store was still the same. I decided to get a few shots anyway. Before I took any pictures I asked Ward what I should do if anyone approached me.

"Tell them you're writing a book about Altavista," Ward suggested.

OK, that'll work, I thought. It isn't like anyone is going to ask me anyways.

I didn't want to get any people in my shots. Just some interesting shots from the produce section. So I stood off to the side waiting for some people to pick their snaps and move. The people were eying me but I really didn't think anything of it. I moved to another aisle and took some photos of some archaic shelves. When I returned to produce a lady came up to me.

"Excuse me, what are you doing?" She asked.

"I am writing a book about Altavista. Blah, blah, blah, my husband used to work here, blah, blah, blah. "

"I have been the assistant manager for fourteen years," she combated.

"Well it was around 89-90," Ward chimed in.

She started to walk away, "You're fine. You're Ok. Go ahead." She said not looking back at me.

I laughed to myself, did she think I was taking pictures so that we could put together a heist and rob the joint?

I wonder if she is going to go home and tell everyone she knows that she ran into a lady taking pictures at the Vista Foods that is going to write a book about Altavista. I almost feel bad.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Sharks, Fingerprints and DVRs

We don't watch T.V. anymore. Sigh. We do however watch a lot of movies, read Entertainment magazine and blog incessantly. So today I was reading Entertainment magazine to familiarize myself with new releases to blog about and I came across an advertisement for Ward's favorite week on cable television, Shark Week. It begins on Sunday, so set your DVRs. I just know Ward is going to miss Myth Busters-Jaws Special. We may even use our DVR for the first time-if I can remember what the DirecTV guy told me about setting it up.

I am actual content with how little television we watch these days. We watch three or four movies a week (because we are cinemaphiles) but we do so after the children are asleep. The only show I really liked watching before we cut out ties with Television was C.S.I. Not Miami or New York, just the one set in Las Vegas and starring Gil Grissom. Well, in that same issue of Entertainment I read that Peterson is leaving the show. When Jorja Fox left last season I didn't think it would be long before the show went to pot. With Grissom leaving I am even more content with how little television we watch these days.

But about that shark week...

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Ward is always knocking these guys, saying they sound too much like U2 for him. On a really good day I will agree that they resemble (maybe) some of U2's early work. But since U2 doesn't do it for me like they used to I will settle with letting Chris Martin replace Bono in my life.

To be completely honest, regardless of who they sound like I really like Coldplay.


Why I Wish Gas Didn't Cost as Much as a Venti Latte

Yesterday, after we picked up our photos at Olan Mills (where they didn't even try to sell me shots I hadn't ordered) I decided that there wasn't enough time between our appointment at the portrait studio and our 1 pm playdate to go home. I had brought along the Nikon for the playdate so I decided to go on a little journey, to Appomattox which is only a little further than where our playdate was scheduled in Concord. I made it into a mini road trip. The babies got there nap.

Even if none of the shots I took were any good, and after viewing Timothy's photo site I really doubt they are, it was a lot of fun. To listen to music (I was far enough out to actually get the one and only decent radio station around here) and enjoy the open road. I thought about Jack Kerouac and how after reading that book all I wanted to do was go somewhere. That cross country trip to Mesa that we always discuss but never take.

I ventured down roads I had never even noticed and found ramshackled homes and out houses. When I was in high school me and a friend would take mini road trips whenever we got the chance. Back when gas was the price of a small Hardees cup of coffee.

I was a little wreckless in my fun, pulling over on the side of the highway to get a shot of Moore's Country Store and almost stopping to catch the people watching Highway 460. The radio played R.E.M., I rolled the windows down. I turned around to shoot another Super Mega Church and The Lee Grant Motel and Free Museum. It was more adventure than I had partaken in for quite some time. It was an engaging afternoon.

I was a little sad when it was time for the playdate.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fueling the Oligomania

This morning I discovered that my sister-in-law has a Daily Photo Blog of the city in which she resides. I was almost instantaneously inspired. So jumping as fast as I could onto her coattails and in a further attempt to strengthen my hold on the ole Internet, I joined the daily photo bandwagon.

Will I post a photo everyday? Ah, who knows. But doesn't everyone need at least a half dozen different blogs in which they contribute?

Oh, I though the answer would be yes.

Oh, well. At least my Nikon D80 will get some extra use and won't just get stored with the salad dressings.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Thought He Was Kidding

So recently someone told Ward that Liberty University was going to open a year round ski-slope. Yes, you heard me right, a year round ski-slope in a region that gets coined often as having Goldilocks Weather. I thought it must be a joke, it sounded pretty funny. But nope, turns out this is really going to happen. As if those big stone monogram letters weren't enough reminder that LU controls this city, here is more proof.

I am really not that upset. I think Liberty does a lot of good things for the city. I don't personally miss having a Hooters beside O'Charley's and the fact that there is a tunnel under the expressway just for students to get to their dormitories is pretty impressive. And besides, I like skiing.

I mean I really like skiing. Ward and I used to do a lot of skiing before I got pregnant. I had actually gotten pretty good and we both bought skis three months before I finally got pregnant. We have half-heartedly joked that we are going to teach the kids to ski by age 3. Now we can teach them ANY time of the year.

Yep, this will really put us on the map. And to think the money for the project was 'anonymously donated'.

So when you guys come into town in mid-July to ski at the sinthetic ski slopes, look us up. We'll have you over for salad or something.


I Never Said I Wasn't Crazy

Yesterday, my sister and the X-man came over for a vist, a Playdate if you will. I made a healthy lunch (Frozen Pizza and Cookies) and the kids took toys from one another.

At one point my sister went into our pantry (which is a walk-in pantry) and she said Why do you have so many different kinds of salad dressing? Do you eat a lot of salad?

No, they were on sale.

Then she scoffed at me.

Later, we were talking about formula. I told her that I was mixing my left over free samples of formula with me regular formula. Because I am cheap.

I don't think your cheap she said.

And she scoffed at me AGAIN!

Then I turned the can to her and showed her that my 3 lb. 3 oz container was in fact Member's Mark and cost only 19.86 a can. A far improvement as I had been spending almost $25 on a 26 oz can of Enfamil before I took the advice of experienced mothers in the know.

So this morning I was looking through the pantry and I noticed all of those salad dressings, Ranch, Thousand Island, French, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Zesty Italien, and more Ranch. And I thought to myself. Self, why do you have all of those dressings, you don't even like French and you have never had Thousand Island.

And do you know what I said to myself. I said, because you are crazy... and obsessive.

Well that's June for you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hey You Wanna Babysit?

Looks like we may get to see The Dark Knight.

Our nephew says he'll babysit for us because the movie is that good.


**If you or any one you are related to feel that your privacy has been in any way affected by this post let us know. We won't neccesarily do anything about it, but we would like to know.

Just How Crazy Am I?

This crazy.

Yesterday I railroaded my husband into going to Barnes and Noble with me. For what?
For this:

Like I always say, it's never too early to begin planning your next vacation. I have already wishlisted a few other 2009 books at

We are thinking that it will be easier to just make California and Disney our trip (and less expensice too). So we are REALLY hoping that everyone from Arizona will come.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dizz Knee Land

This was incredibly difficult to find. 11 months or so.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Mourning Mutt

We have two dogs. Our springer spaniel, Jake, was our second dog. We got him when he was nine weeks old, still living with his brother and sister. He came straight to our home where he met Max and the two have been inseperable ever since.

Jake has long hair, if we let it grow. We used to get him trimmed every couple of months but with the twins it is hard for me to take the dogs anywhere. The last time they were trimmed was when the twins were two weeks old and Ward took them to Petsmart on a Saturday. Well it has finally gotten so bad (I have to vaccuum constantly to keep up with the shedding) that I called and made another Saturday appointment for them to get groomed. All they needed was up to date shot records which Jake has but Max didn't. So I made their grooming appointment for next Saturday and called the vet and somehow managed a Saturday morning appointment for his shots.

So this morning Ward and Max left to get shots and ever since Jake has been moping around following me everywhere, whining constantly and trying to go outside. While the twins were napping I tried starightening up the house and twice I had to take garbage to the garage, both times Jake went running outside to look for Max. But he would come right back in like he was afraid to take his eyes off of me or I would leave him too. It is soooo pitiful.

We got Jake for Max, so that he wouldn't be lonely. And they are two peas in a pod. I used to joke that when Max is ten we need to get another dog because I am scared that the bond between Max and Jake is so strong that if something happened to one the other would be deeply depressed. After this morning I don't think that is such a crazy idea. It is breaking my heart. I keep telling him that they'll be back soon, but I know he doesn't understand.

I tried to tell him he really needs a cut, but I don't think he understands that either.

I don't dare tell him that next week he is going to have all of his hair shaved off. He hates to be groomed. But at least Max will be with you for that adventure old boy.


Friday, July 18, 2008

If Only...

I woke up to this:

Folgers has the best commercials.

Who really cares if the coffee is any good right?

I love a cup of coffee early in the morning but by the time I have time to make any I am wide awake and it's 10 am. If only I could wake up to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee or at least if I could figure out how to preset the coffee maker. I would take fresh Mountain Grown Folgers over Starbuck's $5 latte any day of the week.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Spied

One of these in my garage. Right next to the dog crates. With her eggs near by. I sought the help of Ricky's Pest Control. When we came back into the garage it was gone. It knew we had come for it.

Ricky sought her out and did away with her.

Poor black widow's why do they have to be poisonous? And carry eggs. And lay said eggs in my garage of all places?

I know this will give me nightmares.

Did I mention I am scared of spiders? And absolutely horrified by Black Widows and Brown Recluse? This fear is right up there with my kneecaps falling off.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Pressure, Just Talking

So I realize it's been a while since my last music post. Some of you were probably hoping I had given up on my music posts and introducing you to any more music, especially after Wyclef Jean, but no I was just on vacation.

So here is one of my old favorites. I have been listening to these guys, well, probably before I could walk but I have been aware of them and enjoying them for quite some time. If you aren't familiar with them I will not sigh in your presence, if you are aware of them and don't think they are as cool as I do, then I possibly will sigh in your presence when given the chance.

So here we go:

Ah, just look at that jaw bone. If only I didn't hate you David Byrne for breaking up such a wonderful band and then selling out to Microsoft. Can I ever forgive you?

If you haven't already you should check out the movie this is from, True Stories. I showed it to Ward once, I don't think he cared much for it. I grew up thinking it was our families favorite movie so it may be nostalgia but I really like it nonetheless.

OK so I try and stick with 3 though I could go on and on right now. So check 'em out if you haven't (and I don't know how you could have missed these guys?).

In case you don't know by now it is the Talking Heads. They were around long before my time and broke up probably at the right time but from everything I have ever heard it was because Mr. Byrne wanted it all to be about him (that's what my dad told me anyways). The bassist and drummer have been married since the band first got started and they had some albums under the name Tom Tom Club but personally I think that they suck. And the other guitarist was originally from The Modern Lovers who I personally dig but not alot of people do but I can sort of see a similarity between Jonathon Richman and Talking Heads but maybe I am just trying to stretch one. Anyways, I miss you Talking Heads and sorry The Heads but it just isn't the same without Mr. Big Suit with Little Looking Head gone. Why did you even bother?


Oops, She's Probably Going To Be Mad At Me

So this afternoon I was going through some things (and filing new things) I hold onto forever, Thank you notes, birthday cards, baby announcements. I love to hold onto things and look over them time and time again when I have the chance. I am a pack rat when it comes to these things. They bring back memories and make me feel like I have a lot of close friends and family.

So anyways they are in chronological order and I noticed that we got a lot of mail around the middle of September through early November so I opened a few of them to see what they were and realized that is when we told people we were having twins (we found out at 6 weeks but we waited until 19 weeks to spill the news, that's right for 13 weeks I had to keep the biggest secret EVER and it nearly killed me). So anyways I noticed we got two almost in a row from Ward's granny. So I re-opened the first one and it was a general congratulations card saying how happy they were for us. Then I re-opened the second one and do you know what I found?

That's right, our baby shower gift check. Dated October 25, 2007 and never cashed.

The letter said that we should open a savings account with is and my thank you note back said I thought that was a good idea. But now here it is almost 9 months later and I haven't cashed the check. Originally I thought I should wait until they were born and had social security numbers but when the twins were born and they did the partial labotomy I must have completely forgot about the check.

I wonder if they will even cash it now. She is probably going to be mad but Ward says I should try and cash it.

I am going to look through the other cards, maybe other people sent me things and there is a gold mine under my bed in those boxes.



Our home on Sunday afternoon.

Our home this afternoon.

I will file this under "Are Vacations Really Worth It?"

**There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that I posted while my house was in such disarray. None.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prepared oh no OVER prepared

I am unpacking and listening to Alien Lanes.

I have been unpacking, doing laundry and cleaning since we got home Saturday afternoon. Almost half the length of our vacation. Why am I still unpacking? Because we rented a U-haul for our vacation, which came in very handy but was larger than we needed (5X8) so we brought along some other things 'just in case' we needed them. Here is some of what we brought along:

4 coolers
2 high chairs
2 pack 'n plays
1 pack size 1 diapers
1 pack 1-2 diapers
1 pack size 2 pampers
1 pack size 2 huggies
2 packs huggies swimmers
food for 124 people for 7 days (we only had 10)
12 beach towels
1 raft
1 volleyball
4 badminton rackets and multiple birdies (lost most of these)
1 Graco Douglider
1 double jogger
2 large suitcases of clothes (to change 13 times a day)
2 duffle bags of baby clothes
1 monitor
3 cases sunscreen from 30 spf to 60
bread, bread and more bread (most of which molded before the week ended)
1 jumparoo
1 exerciser
2 laptops (which we NEVER even used ONCE)
1 giant frisbee thingy
1 frisbee regular
1 large beach blanket
1 large beach towel blanket
4 baby blankets
1 laundry basket
1 thing detergent, fabric softener but NO stain remover (BIG, BIG mistake)
paper cups x160
paper plates x500
paper napkins x12 rolls
toilet paper x30
every kind of ziploc item Target carries
Tupperware for storage
waffle maker
cheese grater
mixer minus the beaters (???)
cereal x8 boxes, 7 never even opened
burp clothes
changing table assembly for one pack 'n play
32 jars of baby food
2 Sam's cases of formula
16 bottles
100 liners
20 nipples
1 small tube of patience (gone by day 2)
1 beach umbrella
2 beach chairs
5 cases cherry coke (I ran out because everyone likes cherry coke apparently)

So you get the point. Next year were not going to the beach we are going to Disney Land so the following year I will have forgotten how much of this stuff was unnecessary and I will bring way too much again.

-the crazy lady who likes to go on vacation but then does nothing but complain about it the whole time she is there and then for two weeks after she gets back before she miraculously forgets it was stressful and starts planning the next vacation

Now That's What I Call Vacation.

This is what most everyone did on vacation.

So why am I so gosh darn tired?

Probably because 'most' people did this. Not us. No, we stayed up until 2 or 3 am every morning and then worke up with the twins twice each night and pretty early each morning but not early enough to see the sunrise on the beach. The one nap I took that week ruined other people's plans to go shopping so I didn't do that anymore. My father. He napped from about 10 am til 8 pm off and on every day.

The first night home we went to bed at about 11 and woke up at about 7. Now that's what I call vacation.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Six Month Check-Ups

On July 5th the twins were six months old. I can't believe how quickly the past six months have gone by. It seems like it took forever (and really it did) to get pregnant and then forever until they were here (but really only 39 weeks) but the past six months have flown by or at least that's how it feels now.

We went today for the twins six month check ups and as suspected, they are perfect. Cooper is 16 pounds and short. He is and has always been in the 10th percentile for height. Sorry, little dude looks like you got that one from me. Bailey is 13 pounds 8 ounces. She is tiny. People don't believe me when I say that she is still wearing 1's but they still fit her, and are not too snug.

Coop has his two front bottom teeth and is sitting up. He is also attempting to move. Yesterday he pulled himself up from a sitting position to look into my suitcase as I was unpacking and last night he had Ward and I in stitches as he crawled backwards and cried as he got further away from his targeted toy. He smiles with his tongue sticking out and where as the lady at Olan Mills was annoyed I find it endearing. He sometimes looks dazed and I see him as I did when we first met, that same look upon his face. He is starting to show signs of seperation anxiety and loves to be held if not in his Jumparoo. He is the first child and cries when his sister pulls his hair.

Bailey has no teeth but sucks her thumb whenever she is tired, hungry or bored. Basically, all the time. We will get worried about this habit later for now we are relieved that neither of the children were ever interested much in pacifiers. She has great hand eye cordination and babbles to her Eric Carle Lion and My First Teddy Blanky all afternoon. She smiles frequently but only laughs occasionally. She was the first to roll all the way over and now rolls to the toys she desires. She sleeps all night and into the morning if you don't wake her, but as soon as you do you had better be ready with a bottle. She loves to kick her feet most often in the direction of Coop's head and she seems slightly frustrated by her lack of hair.

They are doing well and get better all the time. We are very, very fortunate.


The Best Thing About Vacation... also the worst thing.

So we have taken several mini trips since the twins arrival, we've visited the grandparents in Maryland and then took an east coast trip with my brother-in-laws family and now the beach. It is nice to get away and not have to worry about the things at home, and most importantly have daddy (Ward) home for a few days with his undivided attention on the twins.

But then vacations end.

And Ward goes back to work and the twins are left with me. Boring, two armed mommy. It is hard to get back into the swing of doing everything alone when Ward has several days off in a rom. Both the twins and I get spoiled by his presence.

Here's looking to the next vacation.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

An Evening in Paradise


So we went to the Outer Banks for the week and stayed in a pretty nice house with one exception, no high speed Internet access.

So all of our great stories and photos had to wait to be posted when we got back, which was yesterday. But if you recall we brought a U-hauls worth of our house with us so we have spent the better part of the last 30 hours unpacking and doing laundry (9 loads today, poor W/D).

So where shall we begin...

ah, with Paradise.

So late into the week we decided that we would like to partake in some miniature golf. We like those mammoth courses with the dinosaurs or caves, or at the very least gigantic windmills. So Thursday afternoon we loaded the small children, the 90 year old great-grandmother, the brother and his girlfriend and the grandfather into the Canyoneer and headed for some great fun at Professor's Hacker's Lost Treasure in Nags Head some 15 miles from our Beach House in Duck. On our way we passed a smaller, less impressive looking miniature golf establishment with hardly anyone playing golf. We didn't think anything of it until we saw the long line just waiting to buy tickets at the Professor's. We asked how late they were open and decided to come back later in the evening.

So later on that evening Ward and I made the decision to leave our six month old children for the first time EVER with my younger grandmother and go play miniature golf. This time the 90 year old grandmother stayed home because it was 9:30 at night and we took the sister and her husband instead. At first we decided to not take the car seats out but after driving a very uncomfortable 15 miles with four adults in the third row (of whom I was one) we decided to take one car seat out.

Anyways, the Professor's was much busier this time with a line that wrapped around the building so we decided to go somewhere else. Our choices, Hancock, the newest movie starring Mr. July, or Paradise Golf up the road. For some reason, and I think that reason had something to do with wanting to spend time together and the driver not taking our request to see a movie serious we went to Paradise Golf. At two dollars cheaper a game and no line in sight we should have known something was up from the very beginning.

So we pay our $7 a person and go out to play. We'll play all three courses and get our money's worth.

But by the third hole we had changed out minds about playing all three courses.

On the first hole we noticed a small number of insects, on the second hole we noticed a larger number of bugs which we think were a combination between ants, termites and cockroaches and on the third hole we had to chase after a beetle that took off with Lucy's ball. Paradise, we determined, was infested.

Playing 18 holes of any miniature golf course with my father, Mr. Competitive, is a struggle on any day but when you are distracted on every hole by a different army of invading insects it is a struggle but also reminiscent of the twilight zone.

We played 18 holes. Not because we were having great fun but because we had paid for 18 holes. I somehow came in second, probably because I was trying really hard to not focus on all of the bugs and the bites and hurry up with the game, getting PAR sped up my turn considerably.

So we decided unanimously without even conferring to leave after the first course. I had wanted all week to visit a Pier even though Ward had complained incessantly about the idea of hanging out with the smell of fish guts and fisherman but I just kept bringing it back up anyway. The previous night we had walked to a pier that turned out to be a Naval Research Pier, No Admittance. So after Bug Land we decided to drive along the ocean and find the first pier we came to, that pier was the Avalon Pier across from Awful Arthur's Seafood Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills. I got out anxiously awaiting my walk of Adrenaline.

You see I enjoy piers because the idea of them is so damn scary. I mean were talking a few dozen posts in the ocean holding up a sinking formation that sways badly the farther out you walk. Seriously. These places are scary. But when no roller coasters are in sight and hang gliding is just too expensive I like to visit the Pier.

So this place was just as bad as Paradise Golf even without the bugs. It was very dark, which I think is the best time to visit a Pier. Before I even exited the car I could smell salt water and seafood, oh yeah. But then again I was the one who really wanted to come.

So we walked by some fourteen year old girls smoking (which only added to the savory smell we were already enjoying) and talking on their cell phones and we past a game of pool going on with a group of drunk, shirtless Rednecks. The look on Ward's face; priceless. So we each paid our dollar sightseeing fee and got our stamp that was good until 5 am the next morning. We walked out, each at our own leisurely pace (could that be a hint of fear I was detecting in some?), and took in all the sights. No, not really any of the ocean, it was 11pm. But we took in the cleaning portion of the pier that smelled of, you guessed it, fish guts. We walked slowly past all of the staring fisherman whose turf we had invaded. We walked very carefully over the obviously sinking portion of the pier and made it all the way out where there was 'Caution' marked all over the end of the pier. For a greater adrenaline rush, I walked out there. This is the best part of the pier in my opinion, the part where it sways gently and you can discuss in that 'If I won the lottery tone' what would happen if the pier collapsed.

After viewing the look of boredom, irritation, and fear on my companions faces I asked each of them if they wanted their dollar bill back. No one took me up on my offer. Could it be that the Pier wasn't so bad or did they just feel bad for me that I was enjoying this at all?

We didn't stay much longer though we stopped and gawked at some rowdy teenagers on our way out contemplating whether we were ever that loud and obnoxious (and in our own way we probably were). We headed home from there and all I could think for the rest of the night was we left our children at home for this?


**UPDATE** If you click on the picture you can see my bitchin' score. I came in second and beat Mr. Competitive.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Our Kids Just Got EVEN Better!

Coop has started reaching for me and it melts every ounce of me. For a few days I couldn't really tell because when he gets angry he throws his arms out to his sides like he has wings but twice so far today when I have come in the living room from the kitchen he sees me and he starts to cry and when I reach down for him he puts his arms above his head like he is reaching up for me. And I love it.

I'm thinking triplets might not be so bad.

And I am also thinking he has found my soft spot and it could all go downhill from here for me. They'll be thinking, That Mom, all you have to do is pretend to like her and she is like putty in your hands.

Oh well, it could be worse.


Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Better Than Sliced Bread

Would you like some unsolicited advice?

Great, because I have some to share.

Would you like to know my new favorite baby item?

Great, because I am going to tell you anyways.

Would you like to know how to make a million dollars?

Great, so do I.

Anyways, these are my new favorite baby item that I think every parent should buy, thus giving millions to Huggies:

I had been using these:

but they are just not the same. The Supreme wipes are like using wet soft quilted Bounty paper towels (really thick and soft) to clean the nastiest creations made by Sam's brand formula and pureed carrots. And even though they cost a little more and have a few less I would vouch that you will use less because they are so strong and thick.

These wipes rock!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ready For Their Close-Up

So this morning I took the twins to have their 'six month' pictures taken. Before I ever got pregnant and then before I had the twins I always thought that I would take my children to have their picture taken like every month or at the very least every other month. But then we had the twins and it was winter and I was worried about RSV and the general public that we didn't even take them to have pictures taken until they were nine weeks old. And then it cost so much that I thought I may never get pictures taken professionally ever again. But alas, those kids are growing so darn fast and they are so darn cute that I decided to take them again.

So I scheduled two appointments within two weeks of each other at two different places. But then Coop and I took a tumble on the stairs and I cancelled the first one. One appointment is enough for this month. I just want to use all of those coupons they keep sending you in the mail. But I have decided that is never going to happen because the coupons are just bait. Once they lure you in they try and take you for every penny you own.

I learned, at least a little, with my first experience with professional picture taking (when the twins were nine weeks old, these were supposed to be 'six weeks' pictures but with is being winter, the children being twins and the RSV being rampant we held off a little longer) and I was determined to not be taken this time. I feel a little better about today's experience but I am still not sure if and when I will ever do it again. Bailey was feeling a little under the weather so she was a little difficult and we didn't get all the 'poses' the lady wanted but she held up pretty well for a pint size gal who hates to have her clothes changed and had them changed three times in thirty minutes (man, I am mean). When I sat down to chose the shots the lady told me that I could get all the picture for over $200. Really, does anyone ever buy these packages? Why must these pictures be so expensive and why can't I afford a camera that takes shots like theirs because I assure you there is nothing really special about the camera people taking these shots. I know that sounds mean but it is true.

So I spent way less than I could have, more than I wanted to and still didn't get all the poses or very many sizes. But how many 8x10s can a normal person hang on their wall. (I, for the record, am not a normal person.) I changed their outfits only twice but I didn't get the classic bathtub shot because Bailey had a meltdown that resulted in the session ending prematurely (in exactly whose opinion?). They take three shots of every pose, one together and then one of each child by themselves. No wonder it adds up so quickly, is it so much cheaper if you have only one baby? Is this why there are so many more shots of the first child in a family? After the second child professional portraits are just not feasible because you have to get a shot of every family member alone?

I sort of wish they would just sell me a CD of all the prints but that would be too easy. And they may not make as much money. But I hate being under pressure and last time it worked out for the studio because I wanted to have one of every shot of my beautiful children but this time I knew at least a little better and I refrained from ordering one of every single pose. But I still ordered way more than I needed probably. And they won't even be here until the end of the month and when they come in you have to have an appointment set up (so they can try and force more pictures of your children on you that you didn't order and if you don't buy them they will just throw them away) but that is the deal and everybody seems to know it. I may miss my appointment and just go in on a busy Saturday to pick my pictures up.

All morning I was thinking, I could do this and I could make money and still be so much cheaper. I wasn't trying to scheme. I doubt I will ever own my own studio but it just irritates me how difficult and expensive the whole studio portrait thing is.

Does that mean I am never going to do it again?

No, I will probably do it again in a month or so. I will just continue to complain about it on my blog.

If you know of any great (fair) studios or any suggestions on how to survive the experience PLEASE, let me know.

I told Ward today that for our Anniversary I want to get a family portrait done. I am thinking of using a local photographer and not one of the local Franchised bigger studios. I want someone who claims to be a real photographer to take this photo. It is one of the nice things about having the twins, taking a family portrait. I never took senior portraits or a bridal portrait and we don't even have any good wedding photos of the two of us hanging up. Other than wedding photos we probably have about four photos of us together (I am always behind the camera). He didn't resist. That's a good sign.

I am some sort of picture nut.

Or is it my oligomania running rampant?