Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting My Boobs Back

I have officially finished nursing Olivia.  And although I've been wanting this day to come for 8 months now, I have to admit that I'm a little bit saddened by it.  Now you're probably recalling this post, where I'm just dying for some bras that don't have fold-down cups, and I'm still looking forward to going out and finding me some of those.  (I've got $50 of Kohl's Cash burning a hole in my wallet)  But before I begin calling out "Free at last, free at last!  Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!" through the streets of our apartment complex, I just need a short moment to pay tribute to the fact that I nursed one of my twin babies for 12 months while managing to raise three young children.

The reasons I'm sad about the end of Olivia's breastfeeding days are mostly obvious ones:

Comforting a baby is good for the soul.  At least it is for mine.  Selfishly, I liked that I was the only one who could comfort her.  At times I'd complain, but deep down I crave that feeling of being needed.  Don't we all? 

Nursing is a bonding experience.  I feel a very close bond with all of my children, but there is something unique, special, and sacred about the bond between a mom and a nursing baby.  As she got older, that bond got stronger, and I can see why some moms can't let go of this connection, continuing nursing well beyond the first year.

The end of an era.  My husband and I may be done having children.  There are many reasons why, and we feel very complete with the three that we have.  We haven't ruled out the possibility of another child completely, but we're both fairly sure this is it.  So the thought that when I nursed Olivia for the last time on Tuesday night may be the last time I ever breastfeed a sleepy baby makes me super sad.  Sure, there are days when I'm wishing my children were able to put on their own shoes, walk into a store, take themselves to the bathroom, do just about anything for themselves...  But most of the time I'm relishing in their babyhood.  Completing the nursing-baby phase of my life is just another indication that they are getting older, and accepting that fact is often hard on any mom.  Especially this one.

Whew, I feel much better.  I'm glad I got that all off my chest.  (get it?  off my chest... haha!) Now I can rejoice in the fact that I can go out for an extended period of time, wear normal undergarments, and not have to lift my shirt in public places.  (unless, of course, I want to.)

Here's a picture of Olivia enjoying her new morning ritual, a bottle of chocolate (Ovaltine) milk:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Best Buds

Joey and Katelyn are quickly becoming fast friends. He loves that Katelyn tries to keep up with him, chasing him around the apartment, hiding under blankets in fits of giggles, and causing mass destruction just for the heck of it. Katelyn really enjoys the extra attention from her big brother and has a monkey-see, monkey-do attitude. I have a feeling in a few short months Joey will be yelling, "JUMP!" and Katelyn's response will be, "how high?" I'm trying to prepare myself for 2 potential trouble-makers that could get into some seriously troubling situations together over the next 15-20 years.





At the end of the hallway we have a gate that stops the children from venturing into the bathroom and 2 kids bedrooms. When the kids are awake and playing I usually have the gate up, not because they can't play in their rooms, I'm just trying to contain the mess. If we spend the morning at home, (as we did today) Joey usually requests to go play in his room at some point. (He does not actually go in there to play, he grabs all of the binkies and blankies that he can find in his and Katelyn's beds and lays on the floor, but that is a blog post for a different day...) This is usually OK with me, as it breaks up the monotiny and gives the babies a chance to play without their competing-for-attention brother all up in their business.

Today, once he had is fill of comfort time, Joey returned to the opposite side of the gate and called out for Katelyn and "EEE-ah." Then he proceeded to run from one end of the hallway to the other just to get a good laugh of encouragement from his sisters. He somersaulted, danced, spun in circles, and acted like a wild animal while they stood at the gate in fits of giggles. After several minutes of this, Olivia moved on to something else while Katelyn continued egging on her brother. The two of them then shook the gate until it collapsed to the floor, I heard a suspicious, "Come on, Katelyn," and within seconds they had tossed all of the diapers within reach from the changing table around the babies' room, and they were about to move on to the bookcase. The part that makes me nervous is that seeing me did not phase them. They just worked faster and laughed louder. Cute, right?

Not so much.

Sure, it's cute to picture these two young children chasing each other around a baby-proofed apartment pulling things off of shelves just to make more work for their mother. But someday it will be more severe infractions. I'm having visions of phone calls from the school principal to tell me that Joey and Katelyn started a food fight in the cafeteria. And what will I say. Probably something like, "yea, I saw that one coming when they were 1 and 2 year olds."

Will Olivia join in on this "lets get into as much trouble as we can" bandwagon? Maybe. Right now she enjoys watching from a protected place (like the high chair or my hip) but I wouldn't put it past her to get involved. When and if that day comes I will be running away. Fast.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A New Winner

You've all heard the expression, "you snooze, you lose." Well, Wolvie72 is still snoozing, but the show must go own. I've selected another winner for the Small Utility Tote via Random.org. The new winner is post #84, Karen, who said, "I would take this to the beach." Well, get your bathing suit and sunscreen ready, Karen... thanks for entering and congratulations! I'll be in touch so we can get your prize out ASAP!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kissing Katie

I must warn you... I didn't realize that someone (probably Joey) messed with the settings on my video camera so the quality of this video (and all the other ones taken in the last 1-2 months) is extraordinarily crappy. But this one of Katelyn making kisses is just too cute not to share!

video

Friday, April 23, 2010

Grown Men Should Not Play Recreational Sports

The above statement is something that I think to myself every time my husband enrolls himself in some kind of  "rec." sport.  I stand by this statement because I know at some point during the "season" my husband will be injured.  This injury will affect our daily routine immensely but will not, however, stop him from continuing to play said sport.  The injury will worsen, his groaning will intensify, and my patience will wear thinner than ever.

So it is no surprise that my last words to my husband as he exited the apartment on the way to his game last night were not "good luck," or even "I love you."  With every game or practice, the final words I called out to him on his way out the door are always, "don't get hurt."  If only he'd listened last night, he wouldn't look like this tonight:


The problem is not the sport itself.  It isn't the individual men either.  It's the mis-firing of electrical current that occurs in a man's brain when he is surrounded by other guys and his wife is not around.  For some reason when you get a group of men together to play a sport that they think they are good at, they think it's important to show off.  In other words, my husband thinks it is necessary to physically push the limitations of his rapidly aging body to impress the other men on the team.  Some call this an Ego.  I call it Stupid.

Too harsh?  Maybe.  Don't get me wrong.  I found this softball team for my husband to join.  I picked out his new glove and cleats.  I understand and completely support my husband's need for male companionship.  Just as he understands and completely supports my need to drink wine every day.  But I am frustrated by the fact that he couldn't follow one simple direction: don't get hurt.  So tonight as I bring my husband more Ibuprofen and a heating pad, I can't help but think to myself that grown men should not play recreational sports.  At least not without the supervision and guidance of their wives.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winner Announcement

First of all, I want to say a HUGE thank you to all who entered my latest giveaway!  I don't host a ton of giveaways on here, but when I do I'm always hopeful to get a big turnout.  108 entries is the most I've ever had, and in honor of this giveaway being the most successful giveaway I've decided to offer another giveaway later this week. (stay tuned for details!)

So who is getting herself an awesome Utility Tote from Thirty-One Gifts?  Post number 12, Wolvie72, who said, "I would use as a shopping bag. Nice way to be a little greener."  Well, I can't think of a more appropriate winning comment on Earth Day, can you?  Congratulations Wolvie72- I'll email you to get your info!  And a super huge thank you goes out to my friend Janice from Thirty-One Gifts for sponsoring this giveaway!

**UPDATE** Who are you Wolvie72?  I can not find any contact information for you.  Please leave a comment on this post or contact me with your email address within 2 days! (or I'll have to choose a new winner!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Feeling Good

Disclaimer:  I love my husband very much.  He is sensitive, kind, thoughtful, helpful with the kids, and knocks my socks off.  Ok, now that I've said that, here is a very honest blog post about mom insecurities:

Sometimes I wonder if I'm still attractive.  Everything changes after having a kid. (or three, in my case)  My boobs hang lower than I ever imagined they would, I can't seem to get rid of that little ponch part of leftover tummy stretching, I have way less time for doing my hair, putting on makeup, wearing anything remotely stylish or flattering.  I hardly have a chance to shower on most days.  And I opt for drive-thru food over cooking more often than I should.  So it's no surprise that I wonder if I'm attractive to anyone other than my sweet husband.

Well, today I felt it.  While shopping at our local grocery store, I couldn't help but notice that the 20-ish male cashier was awfully chatty.  (despite the fact that I had 9 packages of diapers in my cart)  He attempted a couple of lame jokes, smiled a lot, made eye contact, and even let me use an expired coupon!  His male counterpart that was putting my groceries in bags was also taking part in the jovial banter at aisle 3.  I'm secure enough in my marriage to admit (even on the internet) that I enjoyed this little bit of extra attention that these guys were showing me.  I was just dressed in my regular mom clothes, with my hair pulled back, and no make up on, but they were a slight reminder that hey... I've still got it.

Upon kindly declining the bag-boy's offer to help me to my car, I left the grocery store feeling pretty confident in myself.  For the first time in a LONG time.  I made my final stop on an afternoon of errands at the post office, then returned home to feed everyone dinner.  When I got home, Ron was clearing off the table so we'd have a spot to sit down to eat, and sorting through a stack of mail. 

Holding up an advertisment-type looking piece of correspondence he called out, "do you want this?" to me.
"What is it?"  I replied.
"I don't know, it's from Weight Watchers."
Whoa.  Talk about a complete 180 from how I was just feeling, now my husband is telling me that I need to go to Weight Watchers.  "Oh, and I suppose you think I should be joining?"
Stuttering, turning red, and totally mortified, my husband tried to redeem himself by saying that he wasn't trying to imply anything, he thinks I look great, he was just asking because he never knows what he should throw away or not and it had my name on it, and he didn't even look at where it was from, yada, yada, yada.  It was cute, actually.  He got so defensive and embarrased at the thought of hurting my feelings.

But I couldn't help but wonder for a couple of minutes... was there some kind of message my husband was trying to give me?  No.  I seriously don't think so.  He is not that kind of man at all.  Plus, it's way more fun to relish in the fact that the guys who work at Harris Teeter were flirting with me.  And I told him about it too.  So he is well aware of the fact that this momma is still hot. ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Food I Throw Away

My children are on a hunger strike today.  I can not believe how much food I have prepared, served, then scraped into the trash today.  For breakfast they didn't eat their mini-bagels, eggs, or kix cereal.  For lunch they threw chicken nuggets on the floor, decorated the table with yogurt, and fed strawberries to the dog.  I don't even think I'll bother to make dinner.  If only they were old enough for the, "There are starving children in our country" speech.  Although I doubt that would help.

What are your children wasting today?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't Tell Me No!

Today Joey is in rare form.  He and his sisters aren't feeling well, and I feel like they are all competing for my attention.  He has already scribbled all over the dining room table cloth, the computer screen, and made a complete wreck of the living room.  And it's not even 10:30.

As he was climbing up into my desk chair to get into more mischief, I sternly said "No, Joey.  Get down from there."  He turned, looked at me, and replied, "I go here.  Don't tell me no, Mom."  WHAT?!?!?  Don't tell me no?  EXCUSE ME?  Ugh, it's going to be a loooooong day.  (hopefully accompanied by a loooooooong nap!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Babies!

My babies are a year old today!  I can't even believe it.  Part of me wants to cry my eyes out as I hold up each little newborn outfit that they wore just a short time ago, and another part of me is jumping for joy and breathing a big, fat sigh of relief.  Being a mom of twins is unbelievably wonderful, rewarding, fun, exhausting, frustrating, and challenging all at the same time.

To honor my sweet girls today I'm going to finish out this post with updates about each one of them:

Olivia

  • has become qutie content in life, which makes me very happy because I felt like she cried for 9 months straight.
  • loves her big purple blankie and sucks on it while she sleeps.
  • is still nursing 3 times a day.
  • loves toast, yogurt, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • melts my heart with her smile and giggles.
  • plays quietly and independently as long as I stay in the same room.
  • likes to stay up late on Monday nights to watch Dancing With the Stars.
  • does not like sand, grass, dirt, or any other outdoor element.  Yet.
  • has super-fine baby soft red hair that matches her brother's.
  • just started sleeping through the night, and takes 1 nap a day.
  • is very petite, and can still fit some 3-6 month clothes!
  • drinks a whole cup of Ovaltine milk through a straw after dinner.
  • hates laying down for diaper or outfit changes.
  • has only 2 bottom teeth.
  • is still in her infant car seat.
  • loves to say "hi," in her teeny-tiny voice.
  • sits all by herself in the way back of the van, and falls asleep during most car rides.
  • is the ultimate Momma's Girl.
  • can stand independently for 5-10 seconds before falling on her tush and laughing.
  • does not like very many foods, and cries when she doesn't have toast on her tray.
  • is funny, happy, healthy, and the most adorable little peanut I've ever seen.
Katelyn

  • loves to play rough with her big brother.
  • likes hot dogs, chicken nuggets, pasta, cheese, and pretty much anything else we feed her.
  • still drinks bottles of formula, and doesn't really like milk yet.
  • likes her binkie a lot but isn't quite as addicted to it as her brother is. Yet.
  • sleeps with lots of little pink blankies in her bed.
  • loves when we hold her hands and help her walk, and giggles the whole time.
  • has the biggest, blue-est eyes I've ever seen.
  • can be a bully, and likes to pull the hair of her siblings.
  • has 8 baby teeth and 1 molar.
  • always has a cough.
  • is also down to 1 nap, although she gets very cranky waiting for it...
  • has thick blond hair that curls when it gets warm or muggy.
  • rubs her face into my shoulder when she gets tired.
  • finally figured out how to sit up on her own after 11 months.
  • loves to make a mess by emptying containers and pulling things off tables that she can reach.
  • sits in a big-girl carseat in the middle row of the van with her brother.
  • likes "Katie Stevens" from American Idol, and claps when she's done singing.
  • crawls right into Daddy's lap when he gets home every day.
  • likes to stand at the gate and shake it while yelling very loudly, as if she's saying "LET ME IN!"
  • makes a bee-line for the dog food should the gate be left open accidentally.
  • wears mostly 18-month size clothes.
  • has a big ole belly giggle, and loves when we tickle her!
  • is positively perfect in every way, and lights up my life with each smile, laugh, and snuggle.

The Return of the Swacket

You may remember my slightly humiliating post about my husband's lack of style.  If you don't, click here and read it again.  He was so proud of his new jacket/sweater/vest combination top, and I had some seriously terrible things to say about it.  Since writing that post, we've named that particular clothing item a "swacket," and laugh about it still.

Back in February, I arrived at the Raleigh/Durham International Airport to pick up my beloved in-laws for a much-anticipated visit.  We said our hellos, got into the car, and started to head back to the apartment.  I knew there was something different about my father in-law, but couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.  Then it hit me.  He was wearing his very own Swacket.  In black.  And to be perfectly honest, it didn't look half bad on him.  Maybe it's his bone structure.  Or coloring.  Or (gasp) age strikingly good looks.  But he wore that swacket all weekend, and he wore it proudly. 

Here he is looking swacketly lovely: (I'm thinking his left arm was chilly, so he kept that sleeve on!)


Demonstrating the swacket's extreme versatility by removing the sleeves:


Ta-Da!  It's a vest!


On another note, my husband was feeling so sorry for himself that I made him return his swacket, and he couldn't match his dad.  So his parents went home, spent some time searching the clearance rack at Kohls,  (because where else would something this odd be, but the clearance rack?) and picked up a new swacket for him.  My inlaws are flying into town tomorrow morning.  I'm wondering if the weekend will be swacket-a-licious...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thirty-one Gifts Utility Tote Giveaway!

Did you notice my diaper bag that Katelyn is pulling snacks out of in this post?  Did you wonder how you can get a super awesome multi-purpose tote just like it?  Well, you're in luck!  (I call it multi-purpose because it usually serves as my diaper bag, purse, endless carrier of snacks, fast-food restaurant cup holder, and more!)  Anyway, my friend Janice is a director of this great little company that sells awesome totes, handbags, kids products, and more.  And Janice is offering my readers a chance to win a Utility Tote in their choice of pattern for free!


Thirty-One Gifts has a full line of customizable, practical, and affordable items that I know you'll just love to own (and give too!)  You can view any of the current catalogs by clicking right here.  Janice is an awesome lady, fellow mom of 3, and I know will provide each and every one of you with stellar customer service.  So hop on over to her website, order me some fun new storage items, and make a new friend too!

Or maybe you'll wait to order me a gift until after the giveaway to find out if you've won before placing your order... That's fine too.  I can wait.  Here's what you need to do to enter:  Leave a comment on this post telling me how you'd use your Utility Tote if you win.

10 additional entries can be earned by doing some or all of the following: (leave an additional comment for each entry.)
  • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (3 extra entries!) *Just click the little "follow" button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave me 3 additional comments stating, "follower #1, follower #2, etc."
  • Become a follower of Janice's blog (2 extra entries!)
  • Grab my button and display it on your blog (2 extra entries!)
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back to it. (2 extra entries!)
  • Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. (leave an additional comment here to count as your entry!)
This giveaway will conclude Wednesday, April 21st at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected via Random.org and contacted via email.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Not Me Monday



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Here is a short list of things that I have not been doing these days:
  • I did not whisper in my son's ear that I'd give him a lolipop when we got to the car to get him to stop cying that it was time to leave the park.
  • I did not drive thru Wendys and order myself and my children fast food after a morning of excersizing.  I was feeling really great about our 2-mile walk and eating a cheeseburger and fries immediately following it would completely defeat the purpose.  So I didn't do that.  I drove home and ate hummus and celery sticks instead.
  • I did not take advantage of my husband being on Spring Break last week and let him get up every morning with all three children while I stayed in bed as long as possible.
  • I definately did not ignore the fact that my daughter had a poopy diaper for approximately 10 30 minutes, simply because I knew my husband would be home by then and I could act like it just happened, and sweetly ask him to change her.  I always change my babies diapers promptly because sitting in poop for too long is gross and could give them a diaper rash.  I am never lazy in carrying out my motherly tasks.
  • I did not leave a load of laundry in the washing machine for 2 days resulting in the need to rewash it, only to forget about it for another day, and needing to rewash it again.  Nope, not me!  That would be extremely wasteful and environmentally unconscious of me, and I would never let that happen.  I always wash, dry, fold, and put away the laundry as quickly humanly possible.  Always.
There you have it!  I love getting rid of that mommy-guilt by admitting to the stuff that I have not been doing lately.  It makes me feel so much better!  Now it's your turn... leave a comment and tell me what you have not done this week!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Happy Easter

Last year was my best Easter Sunday to date.  And I'm pretty sure it will stay that way.  On Easter Sunday 2009, I brought my perfectly beautiful 3-day old twin baby girls home from the hospital.  We didn't get dressed up, we didn't go to church, we didn't do any Easter Baskets, we didn't even eat a traditional Easter meal.  But it was still the best Easter with so very much to thank Jesus for.

And on this Easter Sunday I am reflective of all that has happened in 1 year.  This year brought so much change to my family.  So many difficult moments when I wondered how I would carry on.  So many dreaded, painful, tearful goodbyes.  So many nights I laid awake in bed talking to God, begging for answers.  This year challenged my family, my marriage, my friendships, and my inner strength.  But this year on Easter Sunday I am reminded that my life is not defined by the difficulties that I face.  It is not defined by how little sleep I got last night, or how many tantrums my son is thrown today, or how many months my husband was out of work.  My life is defined by the blessings that God has given me, the choices that I have made, and the love that holds my family together.  My husband and I have learned to cling to each other during the difficult moments.  We've learned to forgive each other for being sharp-tounged, short-fused, or just ordinarily miserable company.  We have learned that without each other we have nothing.  We have learned that we are strong enough to get through all of life's bumps.  And most importantly, we have learned to enjoy the small things that make up our life and to not be so fixated on that big things that we don't have answers for.

Why am I choosing Easter to write all of this?  Because there were so many times this year when I wanted to give up.  I wanted to run away from it all.  I wanted to hide my head underneath the covers until it all went away.  But I didn't.  I found the strength and courage to face it.  To take a leap of faith, and work through it.  Last Easter I brought home my 3-day old babies.  This Easter I realize how drastically life can change in 1 year.  My 3-day old babies are almost toddlers already.  In one year I have rejoiced in their smiles, their snuggles, their giggles, even while I faced some of my most difficult personal moments.  I have watched in awe as they grow and change every single day.  And today, on Easter Sunday, I am focused on the fact that the Lord has blessed my husband and I with 3 precious gifts.  Three healthy, beautiful, happy children that are giving me every reason to celebrate this Easter Holiday.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recycle Your Yogurt

I just learned something very cool... you can recycle your yogurt containers (and other #5 plastics) to be made into toothbrushes and razor handles by dropping them off at your closest Whole Foods Market.  I have always hated the fact that we are filling up landfills with lots of reusable plastics because they don't have the right number on the bottom.  Well, now I feel a little better about this issue because companies like Gimme 5 is working to get people to recycle these precious items.


So the next time you, your child, or anyone else for that matter, is about to toss another yogurt container into the trash... grab it, rinse it, and recycle it.  The planet, and I, thank you immensely.

To locate a drop off location near you follow this link.

By the way, I realize I haven't posted anything in quite some time.  I'll get back to it ASAP.  And I also realize that this is like my 5th post about yogurt.  haha.

Oh, and I was not compensated in any way, shape, or form for writing this blog post.  I simply would like to preserve the planet for my children (and their's) to enjoy.  I think you should do the same.  Thanks.

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