More Awardzies!

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Thank you to Jennifer @ more than a MOMMY for this award! Jennifer has the cutest little girls- you HAVE to check out her blog! Although I love my little dudes, I can't help but live vicariously through Mamas with adorable little chicks :)

Rules of this award are as follows:

Rule #1: Thank the person who gave this award to you. (Check)


Rule #2: Copy the award and put it on your blog. (Check)


Rule #: List three things which you love about yourself.
  1. Strange enough, over the past few months I've grown to love my new, curvier body. Of course I won't mind dropping a little of the extra baby weight or firming up a little...but this body has done some extraordinary things in the past year. I'm done wishing it were different.
  2. I love my ability to roll with the punches. Whatever the changes my life brings (and lately it's been quite a ride) I adjust and keep going. Takes a lot of patience and courage to do that.
  3. I love my cheeks :) 

Rule #4: Post a picture you love.


This is baby Pocket when we first met her...and when she got her name:




Rule #5: Tag five people you wish to pass this award on to.

  1. Making of a Modern Mommy
  2. I Rock So What
  3. Skinned Knees
  4. The Foster Family
  5. NYC Island Gal

AND ANOTHER AWARD!!




Thank you Amanda @ Chasing Twins in Louboutins!! Please stop by her blog and give her some love! Us twin Mamas stick together and let me tell you, her lil "chicken nuggets" as she calls them, can seriously give the dudes a run for their money in the cute factor category! Plus-she has good style. Mama loves.

Rules for this award:

Rule #1: Thank the blogger who awarded you. (Check)

Rule #2: Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.

  • Sharing
  • Love
  • Outlet
  • Connecting
  • Experience
Rule #3: 
Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

Thank you to all my little readers out there and to those who gave me these awards! Mama loves!

Writer's Workshop Wednesday: Things That Make Me Smile

Mama's Losin' It

This week's prompt:
Write a list of 10 things that are sure to put a smile on your face when you are not happy.
  1. Chikezie. Well, most of the time. Sometimes if I'm just in a bad mood, I'm in a bad mood. And him trying to cheer me up usually makes me even more mad! But 98% of the time, he'll do something really stupid to make me laugh. He's the best.
  2. Julian and Isaiah. Their smiles are contageous. When I'm a little frustrated or tired all I need to do is talk to them and I can't help but crack a smile. Such happy little boys. Plus they always seem to fart at the quietest times...which is even funnier.
  3. Hawkeye football. Well, when we win or have done something particularly good. Losses and crappy offense seem to have the opposite effect.
  4. Talking on the phone with my Dad. Like Chikezie, he always manages to say something stupid that makes me laugh. Maybe that's how men are. Women would rather comfort and men would rather just see you laugh.
  5. Wayne's World. Liar Liar. Dumb and Dumber. Could probably say every line to those movies and they've definitely gotten me through the hard times.
  6. Seeing people mildly hurt themselves. Enough to cause a laugh, not enough for me to feel like a jerk for laughing. Nut shots and slips on ice particularly hilarious.
  7. Watching someone trip in public. They usually stare at the sidewalk behind them as if some crack jumped out of the ground and held their foot out of spite. Then, as they walk away trying to look as if nothing happened, they scan the area to make sure they didn't have an audience. Priceless!
  8. Stupid videos on Youtube. Like this:  
  9. Watching home videos. Nothing like a little reminiscing to bring a smile to your face.
  10. Smiling! Sometimes the best thing to do when you're unhappy is to smile. It's contageous. Studies have also shown that just the physical act of smiling can improve your mood, even if it's not genuine. So sometimes the only thing you can do is smile!
What brings a smile to YOUR face when you're not feeling at the top of your game?

An Amazing Discovery

This past week the boys reached a milestone that not many babies will ever reach. Up until this point, to them, they were each just a baby struggling to make it through each day. Life is hard when you're a baby. You sleep the majority of the day, which in turn makes you extra hungry when you're awake. You are so starving most of the time you need to scream and cry for anybody to even remotely get what you need. Your diaper stinks half the time and people laugh at you and put you in funny clothes.

If you're like most babies, you'll drudge through this difficult time of your life alone. You have no one to laugh with or who truly understands you. You have no one to tell your unending woes and no one to hold your hand when you just want to be touched. No one who understands, anyways. Mama and Daddy do all these things but they don't know how a baby really feels; they don't remember what it's like. 

One day though, you'll meet this other guy who just gets you. He knows all about it. He'll smile at you when he sees your face, he'll listen to you when your gurgles sound like Greek to everyone else. He'll hold your hand when you talk to make you feel like he's really listening. He'll be your best friend for the rest of your life...and at one spontaneous and magical moment when you're only a few months old, you'll discover he exists and that he loves you already. Your Mama will feel completely left out and so proud at the same time. Her heart will glow with pure happiness as she sees you realize you were born with a built in buddy who will never leave your side and knows exactly everything you're going through. You'll walk hand in hand through this crazy life knowing you're never alone. 

At one moment, when you're a few months old, you'll discover...

your twin brother.

And that moment will be pretty awesome. 

This is that moment: 

Award(s)!

I got an award! Well, actually I got two of the same awards from two different ladies:



Thank you Tina @ http://makingofamodernmommy.blogspot.com/ - She writes all about her journey as a first time Mama to Squirmy and her adventures in being eco-friendly, breastfeeding, cloth diapering Mama. She is learning any and everything about cloth diapering so I highly recommend her as a great resource for anyone looking to learn more!

Thank you Naomi @ http://naomichronicles.wordpress.com/ - She is a first time Mama turned runner after she had her baby! She's competed in various distance races and writes all about life in general but has a separate page with races and times-GREAT motivation!

Now there are a couple of rules that go along with this award:

Rule #1: Share 7 things about myself.
  1. I love reggae. I used to have a cat named Marley after the one and only Bob Nesta.
  2. I knit. However, I've been known to start projects and run out of motivation to finish them. Note to self: finish the Hawkeye blanket I started last year.
  3. I actually like my freckles and curly hair. Lots of women with freckles try to cover them up with makeup or try to deny their curly hair by straightening it so often nobody knows it's curly. 
  4. I'm 5'9. I grew really early, too. I was 5'8 by 7th grade (and really awkward).
  5. I learned in grad school that I'm very much a "big ideas" person but find it hard to map out the details necessary to make that big idea come to fruition. I'm working on it.
  6. Fall is my favorite season, except here in California fall really isn't my favorite. I like crisp, cool air, beautiful leaves falling, cold rains that will someday turn to snow and football games.
  7. I am a Hawkeye. Boo Cyclones!
Rule #2: Nominate 15 others for the award.
In no particular order:

Papa's Here!

We've had such a great weekend-the boys got to meet their Papa for the first time :) Papa arrived on Thursday and will be here until Tuesday night. I'll tell you, it's been great to have an extra set of hands and someone to keep me company for a few days!

I wasn't sure how the boys would react to him, they're starting to recognize who is Mama and Daddy and who is not and I was worried they'd be scared of this new person. They LOVE their Papa! Isaiah falls asleep in his arms a few times every day and Papa just doesn't want to put him down. They giggle and smile at him and just love to sit on his lap and talk. It's so cute-and I'm so glad he was able to make the trip out here. I wish we lived closer so the boys could spend more time with all of their grandparents. And so Mama and Daddy could have some weekends off! 

Isaiah and Papa playing on the couch....Isaiah looks like such a chunk!

Proud Papa talking with Julian.

Flashback Friday: Summer Fun

Pure and complete awesomeness: running through the sprinkler. The water was always ice cold and startled you the first few times you ran through it. Squeals of excitement echoed through the back yards on steaming summer afternoons. My aunt would bring out apples and peanut butter or cheese sticks or popsicles for us to snack on. We'd sit in the shade long enough to catch our breath and lose a few water wrinkles and would go back to the fun.
The picture above is of me and my little cousin Zach running through the sprinkler in his back yard on what was probably a typical humid and scorching Iowa summer afternoon. There was nothing better than playing outside in the sun and getting splashed by freezing cold hose water. We did this for hours. Or until someone went inside crying because they got hurt or were wrinkled.

His was the best kind of sprinkler too, because it was continuously spinning and had the same amount of water spraying out all over. I hated the sprinklers that went back and forth on two different modes. You know the ones I'm talking about! The ones that squirt quick bursts one way and then a fire hose spray on it's way back. The water stung when it came out of those.

We had a pretty good sprinkler at my house kind of like this one:

Melnor 300 Oscillating Sprinkler With Brass Nozzles
 These were pretty awesome because they spray out a long ways and it doesn't hurt when the water hits you. Plus, you could block off a bunch of the holes and drink out of one at a time. Or you could pick the sprinkler up and water the plants/house/dog. 

I'm excited to watch my boys enjoy summer like I did when I was little. We will definitely have a sprinkler at our house and you bet your hiney I'll be running through, too :)





7 reasons babies are hilarious

  1. They fart a lot. It's especially hilarious in public and preferably into a diaper. Diapers amplify the sound of the fart therefore making it all the more funny. It's especially fun watching other people's reactions to your baby's fart. Usually they act like they didn't hear it...but you know they did. 
  2. They can't reach all the way around their head. Imagine if as adults we had heads so big we couldn't clasp our hands together above our head. No wonder they have problems controlling it at first, it's huge!
  3. They laugh at stupid faces. I literally can make the dumbest face or sound and my children think I'm the funniest person they've ever seen. Well, I probably am. Actually, the fact that they laugh at me doing the faces probably makes me hilarious, not them. But whatever, I'll give them that one. 
  4. Their poop stinks so bad it's funny. Try changing a nasty diaper without laughing. I dare you. Poopy diaper changes in our house usually consist of one of us yelling, "Oh my God this is so gross!" Someone gagging or coughing, and the person who isn't changing the diaper laughing his/her face off at the other person's expense. 
  5. They slobber everywhere. Once again, imagine an adult drooling all over him or herself while smiling at you and talking like everything is normal. Or just blank staring at you with drool dripping down their chin. Good stuff.
  6. Rubber band wrists.  And mid-thigh rolls. And the crease that's under their belly. And neck rolls. You know you're fat when you have rolls half way between joints.
  7. Inadvertent sleep noises. My children sound like a wide array of animals in their sleep. Dolphin squeaks, puppy whines, horse whinnies...I want in on their dreams. 
What makes your baby hilarious?
Did you do anything particularly funny or embarrassing as a child?

we need YOU!

So I entered the boys into the Parent's Magazine Cover contest. No, I'm not going to be a crazy stage mom. My sons will not compete in beauty pageants. Although I think Julian would make one pretty girl LOL.  Turns out I got an email saying they're selected to be one of the weekly Reader's Choice finalists. The finalists enter the semi-finals and I guess the winner gets to go to NYC for a photo shoot to be on the cover. 

I'm guessing there are thousands of entries so our chances are slim..however yesterday was our first day of voting and the boys are in 81st place after one day. I figured that was pretty good so far (if my assumption that there are thousands of entries is correct. If there are only 82 entries than maybe not so much).

The voting ends on June 27 and we need your help! This is totally a long shot but like every mom, I think my kids are the cutest on the planet. 

Click on the link below to vote....you can vote once a day so if you REALLY want to help go ahead and vote as much as your little heart desires :)


Here is the photo I used for the contest-you can't tell me they wouldn't look cute on a cover! I'm tired of the same old blonde haired big blue eyed "all-American" generic babies on the cover of this magazine so how about some baby Dudes? They work so well as a team :)


Write a letter to whatever is stopping you from losing the extra weight you'd like to lose.
Dear Chocolate:
I hate you. But I love you. But I hate you. You suck me in every time and won't let me say no. You're so selfish and sugary. You go straight to my thighs and leave my heart hanging. I thought we could could have a healthy relationship but alas, you don't treat me well. Even when I put you out of sight, I still can't stop thinking about you and how I wish we were together. 
I'm sorry, it's not me...it's you. We're going to have to take a break. It's not a forever good-bye. It's just a please-get-out-of-my-life-so-I'm-not-fat-anymore kind of break. It's a I-can't-control-myself-around-you-and-I can't-deal-with-you-anymore kind of break. It was good while it lasted but...I'm not pregnant anymore so this really isn't working.
Peace!

Rice Cereal Chronicles

There is much controversy on when to start your kids with cereal. Back in the day moms used to do it after a few weeks! Some people put cereal in the bottle before bed time. Some don't start anything until 6 months. The majority of info and pediatricians suggest starting between 4-6 months. The boys are just about 4 months and I wanted to see how they'd do. Ultimately it's up to Mama when to start and you can usually tell when your kids are ready.

Yesterday we tried rice cereal for the first time!


Isaiah was up first! I made the cereal really runny, so it would be easy to swallow and not too much of a texture difference. At first he wasn't quite sure what to do with his tongue. Babies have a choking reflex that makes their tongue automatically push everything out that goes in unless they're sucking on a nipple. Around 4 months this reflex starts to go away. Isaiah pretty much had his thinking face on the whole time, trying to decide if he liked what was happening. By the end I think we had more in his tummy than on his face! Great success!

Julian was up next:
He loved it! He did a much better job at swallowing the cereal and not pushing it back out. He thought it was funny when I told him to "say ahh!" and would open his mouth to smile. I put the spoon in quick while his mouth was open and he would just smile with a mouth full of cereal LOL. After a couple tries, he swallowed the cereal on every bite! What a big boy :) 

We tried cereal again before bed and it went pretty much the same. Isaiah was babbling and blowing spit bubbles the whole time, which in turn sprayed cereal everywhere. Julian was even better at opening his mouth and swallowing. 

When did you start your kids with rice cereal and how was their first experience?

Our little Houdini

Well, we had our first trip to the emergency room at 4 am this Father's Day morning. Don't worry...everybody is fine! It probably didn't look or sound that way at the scene of the accident. 


Last night both boys fell asleep around 10, I had Isaiah, Chikezie had Julian. I'd swaddled Isaiah and put him in the swing and Julian was nice and sleepy so I put him in his bed and I followed. I was drained-yesterday was a long and busy day. I left Isaiah in the swing because Chikezie was on the couch watching TV and lots of times we'll just leave whoever is sleeping in the swing there until one of us comes to bed. Sometimes (like the night before) Chikezie falls asleep on the couch and baby just sleeps in the swing until he wakes up to eat. Friday night he happened to sleep until like 6 am so he was pretty much in the swing all night while Chikezie slept on the couch a few feet from him.

Fast forward to 3:30 am, Julian wakes up ready for food, I change him and bring him into bed with me to feed him. We're about half way through the bottle and I hear THUMP and WAAAHHH!! My heart sank to my stomach, I put Julian down on the bed and ran into the living room-Isaiah is on the floor crying. Holy crap. My son just fell out of his swing. I scared the crap out of Chikezie because I like half yelled when I saw him on the floor-Chikezie thought we were in the middle of an earthquake or something. (He wakes up VERY disoriented haha) I'm crying trying to calm Isaiah who is crying. I'm kneeling with him on the floor just balling. From the day they were born I've just replayed this image in my head of them falling off of something. I don't know why that scares me so much but because of that my reaction was very extreme! Chikezie gets his bearings and turns on the light so we can check him out. 

We finally get him calm and he has a big red mark on the right side of his forehead and face. Chikeze gets Julian from the bedroom because he's crying-and spits up on Chikezie. Chaos! Crying wife and baby, puking baby, frazzled Daddy. Chikezie is trying to calm me down because I'm SO worked up about this, I'm literally shaking and feel nauseous! I don't know why I had that reaction, I mean Isaiah was done crying by that time but I was fearing he had a concussion or brain injury or who knows what. I immediately called the ped office's phone nurse to see what we need to do or look for. She says because the fall wasn't that far and we heard a cry right afterward that he was probably fine but we needed to take him into the ER just as a safety precaution. 

I feed Isaish because he's hungry by then and get us both ready to go to the hospital. Chikezie tries to get Julian back to sleep to keep him on as normal of a schedule as possible and Isaiah is babbling and talking to me like normal haha. 

Isaiah falls asleep on the way to the hospital which is only a 5 min drive down the freeway (I'm glad we live so close to the freeway and the hospital). When we get inside a resident takes Isaiah's blood pressure/pulse with this little thing they wrapped on his finger. We didn't even have to take him out of is car seat and he slept right through everything. As I waited for the doctor to come see us I just replayed the whole night in my mind. How did he get out of the swing? I know I shouldn't have put him in the swing already wrapped because his legs weren't through the straps, the buckle was just snapped around his legs inside the blanket. But we swaddle them pretty tight and when I found him on the floor (hardwood) he was still in the blanket! However, one of the buckles was undone. How on earth did that thing come undone? How did he wiggle that much in only a few minutes to get out? (A few minutes before the accident I walked by him to our other room to get a burp cloth and he was fine!) We have no idea how he got out, but let me tell you I felt like the worst mom EVER.

The doctor checked Isaiah, no fractures to his skull, not even a bump anywhere. No blood behind the ear drums. We didn't even need to wake him every hour to monitor him. Thankfully, our swing is pretty close to the ground, only about a foot up so it wasn't that far of a fall. The doctor commended me on brining him in and that some parents assume the baby is fine and the worst ends up happening. Isaiah slept the whole way home, drank about an ounce and passed out on Mama within a few minutes of getting into bed. I admit, I didn't want to put him down so he slept with me for awhile. We all slept in pretty late this morning because it was a long night!

So, we got that over with. First trip to the emergency room. Everyone survived. I think I was more freaked out than any of us. I still can't believe I had such an intense reaction, but there really wasn't any way for me to control that. Thank goodness for Chikezie- I was too busy freaking out to turn on the lights to look at him. Chikezie's first reaction was to check him out. Good thinking Daddy lol Mama is too busy freaking out! At the time I thought it was my worst nightmare coming true-now we can look back and kind of laugh at it. 

Isaiah is doing great today-being his normal spit bubbles-babbling-smiling self. 

Ugh. I still have no idea how he got out of that chair.Little Houdini already has me on my toes. 

I don't get it!

I have two children who either want me to lose my mind or who are going through a growth spurt. I've been back and forth between fussy babies all day long so this is going to be short and sweet!

Dear LA Lakers Fans:

I don't get it. I seriously do not understand the rioting and violence after winning the championship. Since when were celebrations so angry? I consider myself a pretty intense Hawkeye Football fan, and not once, even after "The Catch" or after any of our crazy nail biting wins last season did I get the urge to mob the streets, start fire to things, vandalize stores, torment drivers by, etc. I just don't get it! Riots? Riots. Seriously?? I mean, maybe its a pro basketball thing. Maybe I just don't understand the mind of the typical NBA fan. I don't watch basketball so I'm not going to pretend to know what goes through your heads. I find it kind of depressing and embarrassing that the majority of LAPD needed to be patrolling downtown LA last night in fear of the riots and violence that plagued the streets last year. I thought we were all grown ups. I thought when people were excited about something they cheered and hugged and laughed and jumped up and down. I mean, that's typically my reaction when I'm happy about stuff. 

A newscaster last night stated, "I guess some people just don't know how to celebrate". Really? How do you not know how to celebrate? Isn't it just an instinctual reaction; feelings of joy and elation? Smiles and laughter? Frankly, I find the fact that you've all decided rioting is a form of celebration makes you all look very ignorant and really turns me away from even vaguely liking your team. I"m not saying all Lakers fans are dumb, just the ones who start crap on fire in the streets and act like raging idiots. 

Annoying. 

If anyone can please explain this to me-I'm more than happy to be enlightened on the subject. 


update!

Hope ya'll like the new banner/button! I started off as "The Real Skinny" because I envisioned my blog going a certain direction. As I've progressed over the past couple months, I've noticed myself going in kind of a different direction and thought "Mama and The Dudes" would be a more appropriate title. 


If you haven't become a follower or a subscriber yet, go ahead! The button on the side is for you to put in your own blog to link back to mine and if you have a blog you'd like me to put on my "Fave Blogs" page or my blogroll on the side-let me know and I'll add you! To subscribe, there is also a link on the side that will allow you to get all my most recent posts sent to your email so you don't have to come to the site and can just read it straight from your email. Handy, huh?

That's all for now! Let me know what you think of the new digs! Thank you all so much for following me on this crazy journey and listening to my blah-blah-blahs!

Much Love!

you can take a girl off of the farm....


Summer mornings gazing down our 50 yard driveway, the air crisp and cool but hinting at the humidity and heat to come. Crickets quieting, the sun starting to peek through the seemingly ancient and massivly tall walnut trees lining the white gravel driveway. Birds chirping away in the canopy above, singing of the chores they'll take on that day. The sun lighting east/west facing gravel road at the end of the driveway and beyond that glowing on the east side of the corn stalks. I loved playing outside in the morning. You could hear a car coming for a half mile, a cow mooing from across the pond. 


I miss the farm. I miss our huge farm house, complete with 4 bedrooms, a sewing room, 2 1/2 bathrooms, laundry room, mud porch, powder room, car port and garage...and acres to explore! We had two enormous gardens, I had a tree house and swing set (which paled in comparison to roaming around with my dog using my imagination to entertain us both for hours on end). I rode my bike on the miles of gravel road around us, I helped my grandpa find tools in the shed that he had misplaced while restoring old John Deeres. I stood on the fence watching my dad feed pigs and use the bobcat to move troughs around the hog yard. I walked through our huge yard(s) collecting walnuts in my red wagon, pretending they were gold nuggets I could sell for millions of dollars. I rode on the 3 wheeler with my dad, careening the fields to find the cows. I explored the crick with my dog, looking for lost treasures and getting stuck in the mud. I spotted deer eating in the fields when I went on early evening walks. I practiced free throws on the basketball hoop on the cement slab in our driveway. I fished for bull head and got my fishing line stuck on trees in our muddy pond. I rang the huge iron dinner bell outside the front door so my dad would know it's time to eat no matter where he was on the acreage. 

No matter how long I live in the city, or in this foreign land of California, I will always miss the farm. I love the country and if I had a choice would chose to live in the country again. I want to live on a gravel road. I want my nearest neighbor to live a quarter mile down the road. I want a huge garden and I want to light fireworks in my driveway on the 4th of July without worrying about waking the neighbors. I want my sons to experience their childhood outdoors, exploring and imagining. We had 4 channels on our TV, which we really didn't need because I was off playing by myself half the time. Amazing, huh? An only child living in the country with no neighbors or anyone to play with and I kept myself entertained. I thank the farm for my vivid imagination. 

How cool is it that I grew up in the same house that my dad and aunts and uncles did? I grew up in the same house as my grandpa! Although we had slightly different experiences (my dad is one of six) we all know the farm and that house. We all have that. I'm so thankful for my childhood there. I miss the quietness of the country so much sometimes and hope someday Chikezie and I can move to the country where our boys can experience a bit of the pure awesomeness that I did when I was a little girl. 

Me, dad and my brothers and sister on a summer morning on the farm.

What are your favorite summer memories as a child? 
Are you a city or a country mouse?
What is something you experienced as a child that you want your kids to experience as well? 

Finally!

I finally found a stroller! You all know how I've been complaining about our double snap-n-go stroller and how it's really not conducive to my active lifestyle. The snap-n-go is nice to have when I'm taking the kids down to the car or someplace where I need the car seats. With twins, things like getting your babies to the car becomes a big deal and carrying both car seats at the same time is not an option (especially if I have more than just them, like shopping bags, the diaper bag, etc.) So the snap-n-go comes in handy during those excursions, however really isn't the best stroller for going for walks or being in large groups of people like at the mall. The snap-n-go was just too long and wonky to get through doors, ran into racks a the store, and was just difficult in general to maneuver at all. 

After a few weeks of scouring craigslist (which is where we got the snap-n-go and car seats for $125 total!) I finally found a jogging stroller. The Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogging Stroller is one I had originally seen at Babies 'R Us before the boys were born and I got a chance to push it around a little and check it out in real life. I even remember taking a picture of it as a stroller I liked. They sell brand new for around $220 which is a pretty decent price for a double stroller. However, I really refuse buying baby stuff brand new. So many first time moms think they need to pay an arm and a leg for the hippest, nicest baby stuff and really end up not using it that often or not for long when their kids outgrow it. I would have paid around $300 for our snap-n-go and car seats had I got them brand new...and I'm tired of it already! 

I got the Expedition on craigslist from a woman who had just got it a couple of months ago, found out she was pregnant with their 3rd kid and would be needing a different stroller that would hold the car seat instead. It had only been used a handful of times and get this-I only paid $110 for it! The stroller looks pretty much new. There are a few scuffs here but that's really the only way you can tell it's not brand new. Tires look hardly used and the stroller itself is in perfect shape. 

I took the boys out for a walk yesterday in it and we all three LOVED it!
The boys enjoying the new digs before our walk!

Some things about the Expedition I love:
  • The front swivel wheel. The stroller turns on a dime! It also has a lock button.
  • The stroller itself pushes like a dream. It is so smooth and easy to push-requires very little effort and is SO much easier than the snap-n-go.
  • The mesh back lining of each seat provides lots of air to flow through. It was pretty warm yesterday but the mesh made it easy for the breeze to keep the boys cool.
  • The seats recline nicely and I kept it in the laying down position so the boys could fall asleep (which they did for the majority of an hour)
  • There are mesh pockets on the inside by each boy, which was nice for holding their pacifiers.
  • The cup holder is big and the middle compartment is huge-and fit my keys, chapstick, phone, and sunblock. Much bigger than the snap-n-go which really only fit my phone.
  • The sun shade is AWESOME because it's not connected to the back of the stroller. This allowed me to move it as we turned directions so the sun was never in the boy's eyes and really was only on their little feet the whole time. Plus I like pushing it forward just a little so I can see the boy's heads below me. 
  • AND there's an ipod hook up w/a mini speaker. This way we can all jam out while out on our walks! 
The underneath pockets are a little small but there are also pockets on the back of each seat for storage. I really didn't have much with me yesterday so I don't know how that'll work. Lots of times I don't take a full diaper bag with me, just the changing pad that holds wipes/diapers and then a mini thermal bag w/2 bottles in it. 

The boys loved facing forward instead of laying down in their car seats in the snap-n-go. They were able to look at everything around us and actually fell asleep fairly quickly. I was out with them for about an hour before Julian woke up hungry. 

SO excited to keep using this stroller-I've been holed up in our apartment for too long because of our other stroller and I know the boys love being outside. I see many walks in our future! 

Date Night!

Last night Chikezie and I went on our first date together since his mom left here a couple of days after Easter. We both REALLY needed a break from babies, as we really haven't been out in 3 months. 

I made sure to have the boys bathed and fed when our friends arrived to watch the boys. My worst fear was that Isaiah (who's been fussy because he's a bit constipated) would be fussy and uncomfortable the whole time we were gone. We had bottles ready to go and everybody was clean and fed and happy when we left. It took me forever to get out the door though because I was trying not forget to tell anything; if one boy cries what will help him, which boy likes to rock in the swing, what to do if Isaiah needs to poop and is screaming or something, where to find clothes in case there's a blow out or someone pukes everywhere, etc. Sheesh! There's a lot to taking care of babies that I don't think about until I have to try to explain it all! 

Needless to say, we got out the door in time to catch a quick bite and grab a beer (yes I actually FINISHED a beer) before heading to see The Lion King at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. We sat in the 3rd tier, which is the highest but I think no matter where you sit, when you get to see something so awesome live, there really isn't a bad seat. 

Here's a sneak peek at the show:

the show.

was.

amazing.

From the people who design the costumes, to the music, to the dancing-all of it was so creative and such an awesome interpretation. The performers were so talented and ohmygosh the singing was breathtaking. Chikezie and I loved the woman who played Rafiki the monkey; Phindile Mkhize. Her voice is so piercing and gave me chills every time she opened her mouth. Below are a couple of videos I found on Youtube of her singing in the show. She has such a unique voice you really HAVE to listen to these :)



We downloaded the soundtrack as soon as we got home and just had the best time. We returned home to find quiet and content little boys who looked like they had a good time hanging with their friends :) It turns out the boys were on their best behavior the whole time and there were no major explosions of any kind- yay! Thank you so much to Adam and Kelly for watching the dudes and giving us a MUCH needed night out!

Who volunteers to come over next month?? 

missing.

I've slowly been approaching the realization that something is missing in my life. I know I'm extremely overjoyed and happy that I've been blessed with such amazing little boys. I have an awesome husband who takes care of me and makes it possible for me to be home with the boys everyday. However, there is one huge void in my life that I'm not sure can be filled. I miss my family and friends. 

It's funny when you move across country you really start to learn who are the people that mattered most to you when you were around them. They are the people who reach out to you when you're clearly in need of support of your loved ones. My pregnancy was one of those times. I had a couple family members (aunts) who would occasionally email me to check up on me, and of course my mom (I talk to her like almost every day). I try to call my Dad once a week, even though sometimes the week goes by too fast and it ends up being two weeks. My in-laws call every week. My grandparents occasionally contact me to check up on me and of course my best friend Christy has been here for me since the day I left. And of course I have a couple other friends who have emailed me occasionally. Actually, only a couple of people even called me when the boys were born. 

I feel like this blog is one good way of me keeping everyone in my life updated on what's going on and how I'm surviving here. Because I left everyone, all of my family and friends, I have a lot of people to update. I figured this would be the best way to get information out to everyone at once. As we all know, I don't have a whole lot of free time right now. 

But as the months go by, I slowly realize those friendships and family connections I thought were once really strong maybe aren't what I originally thought. Facebook has become the place of random one lined communications between me and my friends and some family. Comments on photos are really my only interaction with anyone. The occasional comment on my blog is a good part of my social interaction. This really is how I communicate. It sucks. It's been a very lonely 9 months since I left my life in Iowa.

I miss hanging out with my friends. I miss having friends. I know I've made new friends here in California but really can only count maybe on 4 hands the amount of times I've seen or hung out with any of them. I spend my days at home with my sons, look forward to my husband being home so I have someone to talk to, gab my mom's ear off on the phone during the day even though I know she has work to do and needs to get going, and then do it all over again the next day. 

I know I need to get better at calling and emailing people. I know this. It just seems a little overwhelming when that list of people you need to contact is your entire family and group of friends. It's a little hard to keep up with that but I really am going to work on it. 

I really don't even know the purpose of this post other than to feel bad for myself for a little while, get a good cry out, and do a little soul searching. Thank you to all of you who've been there for me over the last 9 months. Of all the major things that can happen in your life, they all happened to me at once. Engaged, pregnant, quit my full time job, moved across country with nothing more than 2 suit cases, marriage, birth of my two sons....this has been the time I've needed you the most. I'll do my best to be there for you when you go through life changes-as long as you let me know what exactly is going on in your life, whether it's in a call or email or text. I don't exactly have time to check everyone's Facebook statuses. 

Anyways. Done with my lonely pity party. Here's cuteness overload: babies in Oakley hats.




ode to the twin mama






I'm sitting here with Julian passed out on my chest and Isaiah contently rocking in the swing for going on 3 hours now. I can not even comprehend what good things I must have done to deserve these two little blessings. Each day I go through so many motions without truly appreciating what it is I'm doing here. Being a mother is undoubtedly the most challenging responsibility I've ever been given. Being the mother of twins is absolutely the greatest blessing I've ever received. 

I had a woman tell me yesterday, upon discovering I had twins, that she was glad she only had one baby at a time. At first I was somewhat taken aback and mildly offended by her comment. I was in the public restroom changing one baby's diaper as the other sat whimpering in the stroller behind me. To a woman who's only had one child, or none at all, two babies at once may seem completely overwhelming or somehow more of a burden on me. They fail to realize though that the women who are doubly blessed, are so not because they are the only ones deserving of two children at once, but because they possess the strength and love to take on the task. Not just anyone can have multiples. 

So, as this woman commented that she was glad she only had one baby at a time I responded, " Me too". This reply wasn't in effort to be rude but was the honest truth. I'm glad she only had one baby at a time, partly because her comment suggested she was probably someone who would never be able to handle the task; and that's not a bad thing. It takes energy and patience beyond belief every day to raise twins. Some families with two children close in age may know a portion of that experience but will never fully comprehend what it means to be the mother of twins. 

As I sit here looking at my two little miracles, I just can not believe my eyes. Such perfect little toes, fingers, noses and cheeks. Strong little legs, sweet lips and curious personalities. Both very much alike and completely different at the same time. Some couples aren't able to have any children of their own let alone one, or two, or three and I am so unbelievably honored that I was chosen for this. 

Here's to all mothers - to enjoying and taking in every moment of motherhood. Here's to mothers playing with their children, teaching them, exploring the world with them. Here's to all of the mothers of twins...the mothers who do everything that all other mothers do, but twice. Here's to all of the diapers we change, mouths we feed, clothes we wash, smiles we see, games we play, cuddles we get, cries we soothe, and babies we love. 

Here's to my two, absolutely perfect wonders; you've managed to teach me so much in only the few short months you've been around and I can't wait to thank you with love every single day.


patience is a virtue

Yesterday's trip to the mall required the patience only a twin mama can have. I wanted to walk to the mall to just look around and be outside. I've been holing up at our apartment because I'm getting really tired of our Snap 'n Go stroller and it's lack of mobility. It was a good idea in theory, having a stroller that collapsed to virtually nothing and that the car seats would snap right into. The only thing is that if I want to get anything in the basket underneath I basically have to take a car seat off of the frame. The other problem is with turning corners and going over bumps. This stroller really is just a basic frame and it has no shock absorption whatsoever and the frame I have has fixed wheels which makes turning corners a lot of work. I have to really apply a lot of force to one side of the stroller to get it to steer another way-kind of like a skate board. All this pressure on each side is actually bad for the frame, which creaks and squeaks every time I turn. Really safe. Anyways...so that was the first major annoyance of my trip. 

I fed both boys before we left, and it was early afternoon which is their really sleepy time. I figured they'd have full tummies and be extra sleepy. Isaiah, the one who's usually fighting sleep passed out right away. Julian stayed awake all the way to the mall and after a stop for more milk (in Old Navy) he finally kind of fell asleep. I've really learned just to stop whenever they're hungry no matter where we are. We've had a milk break in the lawn and garden section of Target before. I got a few weird stares but my boys were happy so who cares. 

Well, they didn't stay asleep for long. In part to the shafty stroller and the fact that every big bump would startle them out of sleep. Julian was fussy again and I think he was just tired of being in the car seat. We stopped for a minute at the Starbucks in Target and he finally looked like he'd fall back to sleep. I didn't get the things I wanted and just figured I'd come back to the mall by myself another day. I made the executive decision we should probably head home. Halfway back through the mall Isaiah, who'd been awake but content for awhile, was suddenly hungry. There are no good places for me to sit where I can sit and feed both boys without hoards of looks and attention so I walked inside down the hallway to the bathroom thinking maybe there'd be a family bathroom. Nothing. So, the boys and I plopped down on the floor in the hallway. I took both car seats off the stroller, one on each side of me, and fed them as people walked by me on their way to the john. So glamorous, my life :) 

We were finally all semi-content and I had about 1/2 mile to get back home. Isaiah was squirmy so I strapped him into the bjorn and thought Julian could handle the 10 minute walk back. I was wrong. He was so angry about having to sit in the stroller while his brother (who was now fast asleep) was close to Mama. Well, Julian just had to deal with it for a few minutes, which is one things twins really learn quickly. Sometimes, Mama just can't hold you. 

Finally, we were about 2 blocks from home and here's Julian red faced, screaming, sweating and to the point of tears. My heart was broken! I was watching him cry the whole time, just trying to get home but I finally couldn't take it. So, I picked up Julian and walked with the stroller to the door of our apartment. What a sight I probably was. Pushing an empty double stroller down the sidewalk, sleeping baby in a bjorn on my chest, another baby in my right arm red faced and tired. 

I went on to feed and bathe both boys before daddy got home and then completely relished the hour of silence and meditation I got in my yoga class. 

That trip lasted a total of maybe 3 hours. Not once did I lose my patience or wits. I know I've always been a pretty patient person, but yesterday truly tested that. I thank God for giving me that patience, he must have known I was going to have to put it to good use one day :)

Writer's Workshop Wednesday: 30 Things

Mama's Losin' It


This week's promt: 30 things you vow to do this summer.

  1. Work on my tan.
  2. Wear sunscreen and put sunscreen on the boys when we're outdoors.
  3. Throw back a couple cold ones by the ocean.
  4. Give my hubby some "me" time just like he does for me.
  5. Plant some flowers in a pot for my patio. And water them. 
  6. Decorate our bedroom. I know we only sleep in there but it's pretty sad right now.
  7. Get a sewing machine and do some projects. Namely comforter cover/pillow cases etc.
  8. Finish re-doing the dresser. I have 3 knobs left to put on but need to find screws long enough.
  9. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies.
  10. Make dinner more often for Chikezie. I'm doing much better already..I cooked like 3 times last week! (those of you who know me know this is a big deal)
  11. Go on at least 4 "Mama and Daddy Dates". The boys are 3 months old and we're just NOW going to our first outing together. Tragic.
  12. Be better at sharing pictures of the boys with my friends and family who don't have facebook/refuse to learn how to use the internet.
  13. Book a flight back home for the fall. I miss everyone. It's funny how I still call Iowa home even though this is where we live.
  14. Read two books. Not non-fiction. I read way too much non-fiction and need to get lost in some imaginary world.
  15. Turn our TV off for a week. Essh.
  16. Help our little dudes discover the world and learn how to start moving around...probably rolling and sitting up. 
  17. Make my own baby food once the boys start eating it.
  18. Buy local as much as possible. It's hard to do sometimes here in commercial Irvine.
  19. Meet up with friends more often. I miss all of my Oakley friends who I really haven't seen for over a month. I really need to start interacting with adults.
  20. Go to my yoga class twice a week and maybe try the spin class as well.
  21. Show more affection toward my hubby. Sometimes I get in Mama mode and don't want to be bothered. He needs love and cuddles too :)
  22. Get a massage or a facial. How about both!
  23. Inspire someone to do something they didn't think they could ever do. 
  24. Find some cloth diapers I actually like and be using them as close to full time as I can.
  25. Try a new and maybe a bit challenging recipe each month. 
  26. Get better at calling my brothers and sister. I really need to talk to them every week and suck at remembering to do so. 
  27. Work on not being a slave to the scale. It's hard to stay motivated when you're working out 5 days a week and not losing weight. But I feel great and that's what counts.
  28. Start learning to play the guitar I got for Christmas but was too fat to play then!
  29. Cribs for the boys. 
  30. Enjoy and soak in every single moment I get with my family and the dudes. They're growing so fast already and I don't want to forget or miss a single thing!
Here's to an amazing summer!



Treasures!

Happy Tuesday Ya'll! Sorry I didn't post yesterday, the boys were extra sleepy but only slept soundly if I held them. The second I put them down it was instantly two fussy dudes. 

So I had a pretty good weekend! I did my usual run on Saturday morning and actually went farther than 5K. I ran the 3.1 miles and then walked another mile. Although I learned my lesson about getting out of the house before 9am, the sun came out and it got very warm with no breeze very quickly. The heat can definitely make a run really suck. Because then I'm not really lost in my thoughts but so focused on how hot I am and how much my eyes are burning from the sweat running in them. I guess there won't be much sleeping in on Saturdays. (Like I sleep in anyways. I have babies!)

Immediately after my run I quickly got ready, packed up Isaiah and headed to the Irvine farmer's market.If I go somewhere on the weekends I usually take one boy with me. It makes it easier on Chikezie than being home with two and it's nice to only have one kid at a time when I go somewhere. It was getting warm out and I was wearing him on me so I didn't stay too long for fear of him getting overheated. I did manage to pick up some sweet corn and organic strawberries and fresh flowers. I also found this CUTE hand made purse:



I love vintage material and patterns and this purse was just too cute to pass up. It's huge on the inside so I can fit all the stupid junk I have into it. At the stand of the woman who made these purses was a card for an indie arts and crafts fair on Sunday in Santa Ana (15 minutes from our place) and I immediately knew I was going. I imagined it would be an etsy shop in real life. I was right! I LOVED the arts and crafts fair. www.patchworkshow.com provides more information on the patchwork art shows if you live in the So Cal area. 
Here are the cute finds I picked up there:
A melted Marvin Gaye album morphed into a bowl! I knew Chikezie would get a kick out of it:) Love it!

Coasters made with old sheet music inside. We desperately needed new coaters. We had some wood ones from Urban Outfitters but they suck because they stick to the glass when you lift it up. Then the coaster drops back down onto the table making a loud noise and waking babies. Seriously the last thing we need right now. But I digress...

Ahh I love this! It was only $5 and I should have gotten more! It's a vintage button on a hair pin. She had so many I absolutely love it. I'm going to start searching Etsy to find some vintage buttons so I can make some of these of my own.


These orchid hair clips are essentially fake orchids hot glued onto a hair clip. How easy is that! I think next week I'm going to the craft store to make some of these myself with different flowers. I'd love to make a hair clip with hydrangeas on it-they are some of my favorite flowers. 

Anyways-so many cute finds! There is another show later this month in Long Beach and I may just have to make another trip! Any so cal ladies care to join??