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Monday, April 22, 2013

Restaruants + Twins (my twins) = Commontion

Daddy is kind of a restaurant buff.  He likes to try out new restaurants from time to time but what he really likes to do is eat.  So the dutiful wife that I am support him at whatever he feels is right so I pull my self along to help him find out if these restaurants are any good.  It's a hard job.

THEN TWINS...hit the scene. For the first year they were so cute to take out and show off because they couldn't climb out of their high chairs or walk yet or should I say run.  Then from one to two years they were a little more work to keep in the high chair but they were still manageable.  Then at two we knew after this one trip to a Sizzler and a spoon of something hit dad in the side of the head (I think mashed potatoes). They thought it was the funniest thing since tickling that restaurants were no longer going to be an outing for them until they got through the terrible twos which has now been in effect for the last three years.  Well, I must say if the restaurant has a play structure then we are OK.  If it doesn't not going to happen.

Lately, we have been trying to take them out from time to time to see if they have civilized themselves yet because it is like once they are in the restaurant something comes over them.  It is freakish.

So, yesterday we tried out a local commercial chain restaurant to watch some of the basketball games and have a little family time.  All our our five kids were with us, The Entourage, as we call it.  We get in there and instantly their volume goes up probably because it was already a little loud and they feel they have to hear themselves over the crowd.  Yet, so can everyone else.  Then our competitive one who follow sports and keeps track of every one's scores and stats kept going into the bar area as if he was one of the guys to keep track of the scores.  After a while you may see him sitting at a table with a Shirley Temple. He can literally hold a grown up conversation about sports, teams, and players and the guys dig on him because he almost knows too much.

The other one was too busy trying to get someone to battle him with Pokemon cards.  When they were both at the table at the same time they were kept switching seats, had all the utensils all over the table, massacred the appetizer, and kept asking when is the food coming?

I am exhausted by the time the food comes. 

The food comes and for those few moments they are quiet, mouths full, sitting in one place, and I am trying to eat fast so I can be ready for them when they are done.

As soon as they are done then it is time to go.  By now I am ready too.  No relaxing or letting the food go down here.  I grabbed what I need and start to move them to the car.  As we are walking the one in front drops his drink in the door way, which I have to say we avoided at the table for once, which busts the cup on the bottom he picks it up and lemonade is spewing every where and he seems to be the only one not noticing this.  I finally grab it from him and throw it in the garbage can but not after the whole door way is wet.  So, I have to go back in trying to keep them in some order to tell the girls that his drink spilled and I don't want anyone to slip or fall so after a thousand apologies can they please clean it up. 

WHOOOOOOOO....I think we still need a little more work on restaurant etiquette.  \

But I have to say they are fun and there is never a dull moment with them.  We love them very much and if all we have to endure is a few crazy restaurant trips that's nothing compared to what some people are facing.  We are lucky and blessed just not totally ready for too many restaurants yet.

BOSTON STRONG!!!  In support of all of Boston and Bostonians!  We are with you!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quentessential / Antonym = Wrong

An antonym for Quintessential is Wrong.

The two tragedies in this last week in Boston and Texas are just horrible.

Both very different in nature but catastrophic none the less.

Blessings and love out to both Boston, MA and West, TX and all of the families and people who have been affected.

One thing I think is that the media is like an "ant at someones picnic."  They just don't stop.

It is one thing to report the news and another to show every 10 minutes what type of bomb and how it was made so that the world of kookoo's on the edge watching can copy cat.

I think those things should be kept at a minimum.

It is a scary world out there and we all have to be vigilant.  I don't know what the answers are except we all need to slow our rolls.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

PDD - What is it?


What is PDD-NOS?

PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes use the term “pervasive developmental disorders” and “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) interchangeably. As such, PDD-NOS became the diagnosis applied to children or adults who are on the autism spectrum but do not fully meet the criteria for another ASD such as autistic disorder (sometimes called “classic” autism) or Asperger Syndrome.

For example, this category includes “atypical autism” – presentations that do not meet the criteria for Autistic Disorder because of late age at onset, atypical symptomatology, or subthreshold symptomatology, or all of these."
More helpful, perhaps, are studies suggesting that persons with PDD-NOS can be placed in one of three very different subgroups:
• A high-functioning group (around 25 percent) whose symptoms largely overlap with that of Asperger syndrome, but who differ in terms of having a lag in language development and mild cognitive impairment. (Asperger syndrome does not generally involve speech delay or cognitive impairment).
• A second group (around 25 percent) whose symptoms more closely resemble those of autistic disorder, but do not fully meet all its diagnostic signs and symptoms.
• A third group (around 50 percent) who meet all the diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder, but whose stereotypical and repetitive behaviors are noticeably mild.
As these findings suggest, individuals with PDD-NOS vary widely in their strengths and challenges.

Every person with PDD is unique.

Taken from autismspeaks.org

National Autism Awareness Month

Autism RibbonIn order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.
Join the Autism Society in getting involved with the autism community this April.
Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 88 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture - and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon visit http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/puzzle-ribbon.html. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.
Make a difference. Contact your representatives on the state and federal level and ask them to "Vote 4 Autism." For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit www.autism-society.org/vote4autism.

Marley the taller twin was diagnosed with PDD when he was three.  In many ways you would never be able to tell by looking at him or by looking at his academic abilities.  In many ways he is very normal but their are some areas that you can't see unless you spent everyday with him.  He has Sensory or to be fancy Neurosensory deficits.  What is that?  It's hard is what it is.  It is one of the hardest things to explain to people who have no idea or the capacity to really understand what I am saying.   Some of what he may do looks behavioral so one would think the answer would be to punish but its not and that is the totally wrong response.  It is frustrating, I do agree with that but there are so many kids who fit in this area and instead of being understood are being misunderstood.

Will they grow out of it?  Who knows, its too new. 

Is there a medication for it? No. 

Is there a therapy for it? There are some but they can be needed for very long periods of time and can be very costly if your insurance doesn't cover. 

What can be done then?  You can help your child learn how to manage their challenges which you do with normies anyway.  It may take a little longer but if you keep working at it you will see success.   You can be their ADVOCATE.  Always be on their side no matter how much the professional educator or anyone else who thinks they know so much.  No one understands them like you.  Always be one step ahead.  I always have a meeting the week before or the week of school starting with everyone who will have contact with them to explain ahead of time what they may see or deal with and how they can respond.  This helps so much because now they are ready for whatever and they are looking out for him more and helping him through situations instead of being caught of guard and being mad at him.

I mean we meet with playground monitors, cafeteria clerks, office staff, library staff, of course teachers and principal.  It doesn't cure it but it has helped a lot because now his experience won't be overshadowed by non-stop punishment. 

It also helps the staff facilitate his relationships with the kids.  He has a twin who is his link a lot of times but kids can be mean sometimes and staff can help massage the situation while allowing them all to grow.

He has a lot of strengths and talents and remembers every last thing and every instruction given and every story read.  He writes well and draws well.  He is loving and funny and loves people.  Its not all that bad but it is a blip on his radar that we will conquer one day.

Monday, April 15, 2013

O My G

Oh my God...Bless the people in Boston.

No Time

No Time....

I try to write about what inspires me each day that corresponds with the letter of the alphabet and today I just had NO TIME..  So appropriate that it is N day.

I feel like I am always in a race with time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Marley and Moises

Marley and Moises

Marley and Moises are "The Brothers" or "The Guys" or "The Babies".  They have been titled by various crowds within our world.  The look kind of like Arnold and Danny in the movie "The Twins."

Marley is Baby B and was born second three minutes later than Moises.  He is about 40 pounds heavier and 7 inches taller.  He is a love machine.  He loves to talk to people, he is loud, he is a hugger, and he is my biggest littlest baby.  He is a great life loving little boy.  He is the social publicist representing both he and his brother.  Most of the time will do the talking for both if Moises doesn't feel like engaging.  Marley is super strong like Mr. Incredible.  He really has no idea how strong he is but he is kind of like Godzilla walking through the big city everything moves and shakes and gets knocked over.  If he lays on Grandma and falls asleep she is unable to move him and has to wait to be rescued.  He is great at moving things and doing heavy work.  He learned to ride the bikes first and learned to skid out when turning which was really progressive for him.  He is turning out to be a great athlete as well.  He needs a few weeks to get it all together but once he does he is great!  He really perseveres and when something is difficult he doesn't stop until he gets it.  He is also my artist.  He creates these amazing pictures that are way above his age.  When he first started Kinder he had the hardest time writing his name.  He gets some OT and PT to help him a bit in preschool but he just had to wait until he was mature enough to do it.  Now he writes and draws beautiful.  Marley is my bookworm and loves to read.  Marley loves loves loves him some Thomas the Train.  He has a huge collection and can tell you anything and everything you want to know.

Moises is Baby A and was born first and has not stopped being first since then.  Moises is the more compact version of the two we never say smaller because that may ignite a competition.  Since the moment he could recognize people until he was over a year old he would cry his face off.  He did not like anyone outside of his immediate family.  I never had a child like that so in some ways it was so funny and others it was interesting trying to keep him from fearing everyone.  He has outgrown that, thank God, but he is still the more reserved not so quick to talk to you if he doesn't know you kinda guy.  Takes him a minute.  He's not shy he's just particular.  When they were little we had stationary jumpers and exersaucers.  In the jumper he would jump himself to sleep it was hilarious.  When they were babies he kind of resembled the glow worm doll and he was the more mellow kid.  He would just look around and Marley was the mover and shaker.  As it turns out Moises has turned out to be a superb athlete.  He just picks up the sport and plays everything with such skill and precision and wants to win.  His competitiveness definitely does well in this arena.  He just gets that blank look when playing on his face that only a Jordan or a Kobe can understand.  He has made All Stars for every sport he played so far.  We are like All Stars at 5? But they do have them now.  Times have changed. Moises loves numbers.  We are constantly going through math or numbers combinations and scenarios.

They were six weeks early (born five and six pounds) but seemed to develop exactly how they should.  They walked at ten and a half months and were very active.  However, it started to concern me because I wasn't hearing words form the way they should.  When I started to bring it up I heard everything.  They are boys and twins and this is normal.  They are twins and they have their own language. Don't worry they will talk and when they start you will be sorry.  However, all of those things may have been factors but regardless by the time they were two they still weren't even saying mama.  So, I am not one to wait on things like that and got all the testing going and got them into early intervention programs for Speech and Occupational Therapy and a preschool program that was designed just for this. 

For one year it was a full time job getting them to all the therapy appointments, the preschool that I had to be at with them, and any other appointment they had.  Because I am an older mother (lol) I had worked for 23 years at my job I was able to retire once I had them.  I say that because yes it was lucky but if I had to work during the time they needed all this help I would of never been able to do it or would of lost my job.  I really developed a compassion for parents who struggle with this when their children need help and they face so many obstacles.  Of course the earlier you get the help the better off they are by the time they start school but it is not easy and can be extremely time consuming and costly.

Both of them got Regional Center Services until age three then the school district took over.  They both started a Speech preschool at the school district and that was the first break in three years I had for 3 hours a morning.  I took them and the school bus brought them home.  Moises stayed for the first year and graduated.  Marley stayed two years until kindergarten.  It all paid off because now they are doing so well and love school.  I would do it all over again if I had too.

Moises ended up staying home with me the second year.  He did not want to go to any preschool.  We tried a couple out but did not want to go.  Again, I got all the advice about keeping him in a school etc. but I followed my instincts with him and I felt he needed this break.  They had been in and out of all this therapy and schools since age two that now he just wanted to be home with me and rest.  I knew once he started Kinder there were no more breaks.  Most "schools" for preschool are day cares and I didn't need a day care and they all wanted 300 to 600 for part time.  I exposed them to a lot and worked on all the preschool stuff at home so we opted to follow our instincts and let him stay home.  Once Kinder came he was ready.  He was excited he had a rest and it has be great.  I am really glad I let him be a baby one more year.

Marley still exhibited some Sensory issues and still gets some OT to help with that.  He was given a diagnosis of PDD Pervasive Developmental Disorder.  This has helped him get the services and accomodations he needs in school so that he is not just accomodated academically but understood.

Sensory issues are such an unknown and it took me a long time to grasp what that meant.  Marley is impuslive at times and doesn't understand his body movement sometimes and that is all sensory or Neurosencsory.  How do you fix that?  You don't you learn how to manage it and learn how to teach your child to manage it and try to make all the adults in their world understand that what it looks like.  Because sensory disorders can also look a lot like behavior issues and people tend to want to punish the child instead of help them work through it.  It's not the childs fault or even within their control and if the parent is not watching out and over what is going on they may be mistakenly treated negatively.

Everyone from the cafeteria staff, to the playground staff, to the janitors, to the teachers and administrators have been trained on how to deal with him and help him if he needs it instead of being punished for it.  Luckily, as he matures he is managing it.  Things pop up from time to time that we can't predict and we have to deal with it as it comes but luckily we understand it and the team around him understands it and helps him figure it out.  All the extra intervention and understanding helps him everyday.

They both are growing to be such awesome kids although most of the time I feel like I have been through a natural disaster with them but you gotta love them.  They are physical, LOUD!, competative, and passionate.

As I said before.  Whether you have twins, one child, or fifteen children follow your instincts and don't let anyone tell you to wait it out or give you a common answer.  Only you know your children best and it is your call all the time



Just as we have gone through hundreds of bottles and thousands of diapers we have gone through millions of gallons of leche...milk.

First starting with momas milk, then to formula milk, then to soy milk formula, then to regular good old Cows milk.  I think it would have been much more eco friendly and natural had I invested in a couple of dairy cows.  I don't think there is one thing, in my life, that I have bought more than milk.

When they were babies after they had to transition to formula I didn't think they were tolerating it well.  So we switched to Soy Formula.  That seemed to do the trick and they seemed happy.  Except Marley, baby B, started experiencing eczema which stared on his arms then moved to his chest and back and eventually ended up around his mouth.  We tried everything!  Everything natural, prescribed, over the counter, or recommended.  You name it we tried it. 

I started to feel something he may be eating or ingesting may be causing this reaction.  So, we got an allergy test and low and behold he was allergic to Soy and Peanuts.  He doesn't have the type of allergy reactions that require and Epi Pen but what he does experience is skin rashes or eczema.  Once we eliminated the soy and anything with any type of peanut anything and using Aquaphor 10 times a day all his eczema went away. 

The problem is Soy is a filler for almost everything processed or store bought so it has been a challenge to make sure he is safe from Soy.  Especially at school because school food is totally Soy ridden. 

You can imagine how guilty I felt giving him Soy formula for months and not being able to provide him my milk.

Luckily he is not allergic to milk and the both love milk!

Thursday, April 11, 2013



This year the boys entered Kinder.  It has been amazing to see how much they love school and how much they are learning and growing and how in just a few short months they have went from little baby boys to little boys. 

When they were to start school we hit the same dilema most twin parents hit.  Do we keep them together or do we separate them.  Everyone and every book has a theory but what I learned is to follow your instincts and their lead. 

The school wanted to separate them and actually placed them in separate classes prior to school starting.  We went to visit the school before school starting and met both teachers.  They got to visit each classroom and after that visit they made it clear.  WE WANT TO BE TOGETHER. 

Moises is the twin that is the boss or the leader and Marley is the flexible good natured love bug.  Moises has to be at the front of the line and Marley will end up always at the end of the line and he loves it.  Although Moises is the leader he is also the one more attached to Marley than Marley is attached to him.  Moises is actually the one who made the announcement that they wanted to be together and he wanted to be in Marley's class.  Marley tried telling him, "its ok you will see me at recess and lunch."  Moises would have nothing to do with that. 

They are able to make their own friends and play their own thing when they want but they like to know that each other is near.  My instinct told me to keep them together for Kinder and that we did.  It actually turned out that there were four sets of twins in Kinder this year with only two Kinder classes.  When I brought up that I wanted them to be together the principal had actually made the decision to keep all sets together.  So it worked out without much fuss.

It has been a great year but now with two months left I am feeling that as they have evolved I think next year will be the time to separate them so they can both flourish without one feeling less than.  They both have strong academic skills in different ways and Moises is the competitive winner and he is getting to the point he is always trying to outshine Marley.  Marley is the nice guy so he doesn't put up much resistance but I can see that he is not giving himself enough credit and giving Moises more credit.

They love each other although they are natural rivals but now they need to shine on their own.

Always follow your instincts and your gut when it comes to what is best for your children.  There is so many theories and information out there and you can use it to make decisions but always consider your children's uniqueness in all of it.

Juggling Time

Juggling Time, Space, and Stuff

Juggling time has become a science in my house.  Like I said earlier somewhere my 24 hour day is extended by about 4 hours so I can do everything I need to.  Sleep has been entirely overrated in my house for the last five years and really there is no time for it.

I have become the list queen and the alarm queen which has earned me the title of Alarmist.  I don't know if they are being funny or making fun??  I have five kids that go in five different directions all within 10 minutes of each other and appoints and pick ups and drop offs  and usually I am the one doing all the dropping and picking.  I feel like the movie "The Pacifier" where he skids in the parking spaces and skid out.  I hope no one notices too much.

Now that we have added sports to the twins day, to tire them out and keep them busy, our days seem sooooooo much longer and the only one tired at the end of the day is me but NO REST FOR THE WICKED we must persevere.  

Not to mention the space in my house has decreased and continues to decrease each day.  I think I mentioned my house has shrunk to about the size of a box with all the stuff and people in it since the twins were born.  Daddy is a clean-a-holic, thank God, because he at least keeps some semblance of order around here and that is one area I am glad to delegate to him.  Money Me cleaning HIM.  Sounds fair. 

When I do have those rare moments of nothing to do I am looking at how I can compartmentalize things, make them more user friendly and accessible, and eliminate what we no longer need. That's a big one!  Sometimes its hard to let go but you have too to make room for the new. I have to say when I eliminate Daddy's OCD is totally satisfied until I bring the next load in.

Men just shop and live so simple and us women need things well at least most of us.   Daddy can go to Walmart and buy a box of diapers, a box of wipes, and a 50" TV and leave without being lured by all the other stuff there.  I go and I have to look at and consider the what if we need that thing scenario.  I am sure we will need a slider press one day so I must get one now.  Next thing I am walking out of the store with a full cart.  When I get home all I here is mumbling and I ask "Dear, did you say something?" 

Having twins has just increase the need for everything.  More time, more space and more stuff.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ice Cream

I think ice cream should be its own food group.  Nothing like it.

Grandma loves ice cream.  It's one of her few vices in life and she has been happy to pass the habit down to me and my kids.

As soon as the boys were able she and they have have been ice cream junkies.  One of the boys, the throw up king, loves loves loves his ice cream cone.  If he could eat only ice cream all day every day I am sure he could live like that forever.

One positive thing about ice cream. in regard to twin management, is that it is a great negotiating tool.  We have been able to tone the habit down to one day a week which is Friday.  So from Friday after they finish their ice cream until the next Friday that we are standing in line to buy the ice cream they are in earning mode and we are in constant negotiation mode.  For whatever reason it works for us.  Ice Cream works for the boys as if was cash money to a teenager.  When I start to wonder about it I shut down the thoughts because I don't want to jinx the only weapon or tool we have that helps us survive throughout the year.

Lucky for us we have a neighborhood ice cream man and his name is Homie.  Homie has been around since our 22 year old son was in elementary school.  He started out with an old smaller van.  Then graduated to a small food truck and now drives what looks like a long motor home painted to show support for the Lakers.  It is a big purple and yellow pained mini motor home like food truck. He is the man and the boys know his route and can hear him a mile down the road. 

I have been making our own ice cream too because I can make sure what ingredients are in there and experiment.  However, nothing beats Thrifty's Ice Cream in value and taste.   Rite Aid is where Dad takes the boys after a game and they do the guy ice cream thing.

One thing I do know is that ice cream is universal, delish, cold, and tasty.  I love ice cream and I hope you do too.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Meals

I don't know how many Happy Meals I have bought over the last four years or so but  I do know that the boys don't get them for the food.

It is all about the toy. 

They are super into toys and action figures.  They love movies and characters.  So of course Mc D's has the perfect carrot on a stick for kids. 

Luckily, they got sick of the food a long time ago but the act of getting a Happy Meal was so powerful when it came to calming two young bucks.  I know that sounds like I need a parenting class but at times they did the job and brought calmness and happiness to our day.

They are kind of going through a stage now, one I wish I could go through, where you eat when you are hungry and only to nourish the body.  So Happy Meals are loosing their luster.  They boys are getting big and moving into the combo world. 

Actually, they don't really know they are participating, but we are trying very hard to NOT do fast food and when it's not offered they really don't miss it.  I am learning a lesson too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Grandma is a Gift

I have to talk about the best G word there is and that's Grandma. 

When you have a baby whether it be one, two, or five it can be overwhelming in the beginning especially if you have other kids.  If the kids turn out like my little cyclones then it can be overwhelming all the time.

When we were getting ready to have twins most of the advice out there was to try and get as much help as you can and as much as they overstated that I underestimated it.  I've always been a multitasker so having twins was just another challenge, I thought,  I'm sure I was in prepartum (I'm not sure if that is a word) denial.  I had no reference point for twins other than whatever I saw on TLC or read and nothing could have really prepared me for what was to come.  I truly feel for people who have triplets, quads, or quints, or more!!  Or babies in a row that is almost the same thing.  Bless you all.

Well needless to say the one person, other than daddy and my older kids, who was totally there to catch me when I was falling was my mommy...Grandma.

We definitely need an entourage to deal with the boys.  When they were motionless and able to be strapped into whatever apparatus that had straps they were fine.  I could hit the road by myself with them and I felt so strong.  The minute they started to move on their own it went down hill from there.  Four arms and four legs going north, south, east, and west all at the same time was the twilight zone.  So we needed a person at each exit and another who could grab one while the another grabbed the other.  Yes, we were those crazy people you saw in the store sweating and running looking for kids.

Grandma has been fabulous for this whole ride.  Sadly it did change our social relationship because it seems like we never really go anywhere together because the time we have off is to escape or take care of business.  It really takes and effort for us to have play dates like we used too. 

I fell like she should be off traveling the world and doing all the things I am sure she has on her bucket list. She so deserves it.  Instead she is here helping me raise my children. 

Grandma is truly a gift from god and is really the only person who has been down for the count for this crazy ride. 

I hope that we can send her somewhere special in the next year or so and she gets to enjoy her life a little.  We have forced her into yoga recently and she thinks its making her more vunerable against the boys because she is so sore she can't move.  We are trying to convince her it is good for her and she's not buying it.

I love you mommy and all of the kids love you more than you know.  You have given them such a beautiful give and that is you.
Fun and Funny

I know I am a couple hours late from yesterday but that's how the days go with twins.  My time to do anything actually starts around midnight and that is when I can do my blog, check emails, try reading, and do whatever I need to that takes quiet.  My days are really 28 hours long and somehow in the end it will all even out.

Although having twins has been interesting, challenging, and demanding it is a lot of fun.  I can't imagine not having these little boys in our lives even though they can make me feel like pulling out my hair within thirty seconds in their presence.

In addition to them being fun they are also super funny.  They are characters and almost all the time think they are comedians.  They just  have that high five gotcha thing about them that no matter how rattled they make you or p'd off you get they think it is the funniest thing and you just have to give in and laugh with them.

This year they turned five and we have started all the organized sports.  We started with soccer which was pretty hilarious.  You learn a lot about your kids drives and personalities when they are in sports and I always knew they had totally different personalities but their differences really stick out during the sports.  Not to mention the competition between the two which is non-stop. When they were first told to dribble the ball in soccer well mine literally thought OK dribble the ball like a basketball.  It took a few weeks for them to realize dribbling the ball meant with their feet.  Once they got it they were good. 

 Then came basketball and that was so fun and funny.  I never thought in a hundred years that 5 and 6 year old's could be so competitive and good at such a difficult sport to play.  Now again they are told to dribble the ball and so they dribbled the ball but with their feet.  So we had to go through another few weeks of getting them used to dribbling with their hands. 

Now we are in baseball and this is proving to be the funniest of all because a little bit of each of the previous sports skills are showing up and even a little football which they haven't played yet.  I think each little boy is born with the gene to slide at each base. 

Sports are now joke financially.  Everything is times 2.  Double registration, double equipment, double snack days, double snack bar money every game.  It is costing us a small fortune but what else would we be doing?  Traveling through Europe, going on a cruise, spending a month in Italy, traveling America especially to lobster country?  Na, why would we want to do all that.  I can do that when I am 60 and they are 20.  My grandma lived to 103 so I am hoping I can beat her.   

So, they are fun and funny and keep our attention.  I love them dearly and feel so blessed how they have brought so much life to our family and I hear kids keep you young?  I'll check back in ten and see how much younger I look.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally Friendly...

Thanks to everyone visiting my blog.  I am new to this and learning everyday how to do something.  I am in the process of visiting other blogs and learning how to respond to the comments left for this blog so if I haven't commented back I will.  I have read all the comments and I think they are great and fun.  I think this should be easy but I am finding I am a bit challenged.  I am going to have the twins show me how to do some stuff tomorrow. 

It's amazing how all kids are just born to operate remotes, Wii's, iPads, blogs, facebook, and iPhones which my twins know how to buy apps! I can't even do that.  They know the password and I don't. I'm getting to the point I have to ask to use my phone.  I think it is backfiring on me.

Well one success we've had is teaching them to be environmentally friendly kids who've been exposed to gardening, composting, beach clean ups, recycling, water conservation, wild life, birds, insects, and may other things related to the environment.  They are heading to be Zero Waste kids/adults one day. 

They are very serious about protecting the earth and they let you know if you are doing something that can hurt the earth or the ocean.  They help grandma compost, I might say she makes beautiful organic compost , and they have learned how and what to save in the little compost jar in the kitchen.  They know when to take it out.  They know when to rotate the compost bin without any of us telling them. 

They love spiders and spider webs and bees and butterflies.  We have a bee, butterfly, spider friendly habitat throughout the yard and sometimes it looks like the rainforest back there.  Such pretty insects and birds visit and in this urban jungle we live in it is really rare to experience this. 

They bird watch and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count each year.  They love love love the birds and we have been graced by the most beautiful blue birds and hummingbirds.  Two times we have been the home to lost parrots.  I recommend everyone watch birds. 

This year we learned about a two pound heirloom tomato called the Mortgage Lifter from the Beekman 1802 Blog.  So we ordered some seeds and are growing the seedlings to plant in a couple of weeks.  It will be interesting and delicious to see if they take here.  The boys are very excited about the Big Tomato.

As much commotion as the twins can be and as much work as they are the M n M's are great kids and they always stop to care for the earth.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D for Diapers ....Of Course...


If I could have 1/2 a penny for every diaper we consumed I'm sure we would be a billionaires.  In retrospect, I should of really kept track of the numbers of diapers we bought because that number would of been fascinating.  I'm sure we are part of the reason the La Puente Landfill is closing. 

Diapers are like bottles.  There are so many choices and of course the top two brands, maybe because they are most marketed, always seem like the logical choice.  Let me tell you after awhile if someone could fashion one our of hearty paper towels I would have tried them. 

Lets not forget the Wipeys.  My gosh for every one diaper we used we probably used 5 wipeys.  I am an environmentalist and it took my breath away every time because most diapers and wipeys are not biodegradable and the ones that are were just not in our budget for twins.  I am sorry Earth.

Luckily for us, at our local Vons store of all places which is usually not the cheapest market in the basket, we found a new brand of diapers called Mother to Mother, a Safeway brand.  Now normally if they were not the named brand big two doubt and gloom immediately makes you doubt them and fills your mind with all the reasons why you should not try them.  Things like they are cheap for a reason...They probably can't hold the pee!!....They are toooooo cheap... But in a time of need and they are half the price of the others the good angel tells you to try them.  So luckily I gave them a try and never looked back.  They were great diapers and until this day one still uses the Mother to Mother pull up diapers (don't tell him I told you, he is in denial) and they are fabulous.  They save me a lot of washing.  So that was one bright star in the midst of Diaper Hell. 

By the way, I give a pack at every baby shower I go to with a little note saying they are twin proven and the best.  I think we've made a few believers.

Now that they have been potty trained for awhile it seems like a lifetime since I changed one of their diapers and I miss those moments, the ones I can remember, because that is when they were so little and cute and funny and thought that caca was the funniest thing they could do.  Those are those stop and smell the roses moments.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013



So, we will jump around a little bit in age because C represents something with these twin boys that has become an obsession in life Competitiveness.

I didn't have much experience with twins under any circumstances prior to having my twins.  I had a couple of friends when I was younger that were twins but that was it and nothing significant sticks out about them other than just being just like us normal and calm.  The twins that I have had the chance to observe like at the zoo or the store or places families go nothing really jumped out at me to think anything out of the ordinary other than they were twins.  I even encountered a couple of sets of triplets and they seemed to be in unison and no outward crazy behavior to report.

I also heard all of these stories about how close twins are, they think the same, finish each others sentences, they feel what the other is feeling, and in some cases mirror each other.  I think that is fascinating and lovely.  How beautiful that would be to have a relationship like that with your sibling or how special it is if you are a twin. 

Not my twins.  I was NOT given the set of calm well behaved twins that think together or work together or finish each others sentences.  I was blessed with the two most testosterone filled boys and they are as competitive as they can be.

 It reared its crazy  head around age 3 when I observed the first race down the hallway which their faces looked as if their lives depended on the win.  The one that didn't win insisted to do it again until it was even and never would they stop if one was ahead. 

The compete who is going to be with me, who dresses first, who gets the most baskets, who finishes dinner first, who gets more points on the Wii  dancing games, who's going to get in the car first and sit behind me.  It just doesn't stop and it can be really hard to manage. On one hand you want your kids to at least feel confident to be a little competitive and persevere and not be intimidated by anything but this type of competition that goes on between them is beyond.  I don't know where it comes from because we always have made sure to make it an even playing field and show our love equally to both and try to make them show love to each other.  Even that is a competition. 

The one twin thing they do have is the triangle affect.  They can be mad at each other and call each other to task but if they are bad towards each other and we get on the bad one for being bad to the victim then victim gets mad at us for being mad at the bad one and then we get mad at the victim and the bad one gets mad at us for getting mad at the victim.  Only they can be mad at each other or the other will step in to protect.  By the end of that it is exhausting but it gives me that glimmer of hope that in the end that is how they will end up.  Always having each others back and showing the love they have for each other to each other. 

However, as soon as the drama is over they are rolling around like chipmunks wrestling, crying, tattle telling, and competing.  There is never a dull moment and never any rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Babies, Bottles, and Blankets

I have two older children who were 17 and 11 when I was pregnant with the twins.  They were always in school and playing sports so they were hardly home.  There was a certain calmness in the house on a daily basis you could hear the breeze coming through the window or read a book contently and probably finish it if it was that good.  Being pregnant with twins is when little sugar plums dance through your head about how fun it will be to dress them the same or what rhyming names you can name them but nothing absolutely nothing can really prepare you for what is about to happen. 

From one day to the next I was in a clean organized typical world then thrust into baby nation with two new babies which were like my first babies because I had totally forgotten everything from my first two and with all the advances made in the baby world I found I was really an amateur at this.

I think when I had my first kids there was like two choices of bottles and the Playtex nursers with the disposable bags which were the advanced form of bottle at the time.  Now there are about ten types of bottles to chose from and all of them doing something to relieve your baby of some symptom or to prevent some symptom.  Each made you feel guilty not to buy them because what if my babies now develop these symptoms and I could of prevented it by using these bottles.  Some were strait forward and some were contraptions with a few pieces that if not in place may mean that your baby would not be protected from the symptom.  I personally chose glass bottles because of all the drama around plastic and because I am an environmentalist I felt that glass was the best choice.  Good old Evenflo that was the strait forward way to go...for us.

Then the question was well how many do I need?  Really, how many bottles could I really go through in a day four or five each?  Well, by the end of the second month they had taken over their own cabinet and made their own dishwasher load and I say that so you can visualize how many bottles there were but I washed them all by hand what seems like 20 times a day.  It became an issue of survival and preparedness because if the bottles were not ready on demand it was like a natural disaster.

Not to mention how many bottle washer scrubbers I would go through in a month. I had a drawer full because when one broke I had to have another ready for action.

Blankets were also in abundance.  That seemed to be the second favorite gift people loved giving was blankets.  When I first saw how many blankets we had for them with no where to really store them all I immediately thought was who and how can we give some to people who needed them because we couldn't possibly need that many.  I was very wrong.  I ended up needing every one of them and sometimes couldn't wash them fast enough.  As it turned out one of the boys was a throw up baby and he threw up all the time on everything and still does to this day.  I have tried to find out what is wrong with this child but it is his way of letting you know a lot of things when he is unhappy.  We have trained him now to make it to the bathroom and it is a much calmer situation now than it was in the beginning.  He's just a throw up king.

The babies.  It was unbelievable to me to see two perfectly formed baby boys laying there in their little fetal positions wondering how in the world they were inside of me!  This is truly a miracle.  Everywhere you turned there was a baby or a baby swing or a baby bed.  The word BABY infiltrated every sentence, discussion, and thought that took place in this family and still does to this day.

God doesn't give us anything we can't handle and everyday since I had them I have truly been amazed at how we as humans are able to adapt and conquer any situation. I can't hear the calming breeze so easy anymore but the life in my house is definitely energizing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Aftermath


Good Morning Vietnam!!  After having the two baby boys we stayed in the hospital for three more days with what seemed like hundreds of nurses and help.  My head was still in the fog not realizing what exactly we were about to experience.

Release day came.  The boys were very healthy and able to go home.  I guess when it was time to be wheeled out of the hospital is when I realized that my spatial situation in life was about to change forever.  How do you hold two car seats in one wheel chair and all the baggage they send you home with in addition to having a Cesarean pain which was just kicking in since they took me off all the happy vitamins?  I still don't know how we did it.   As we were wheeled out approaching the car hubby said are you there? All I see is you from the knees down.

Then it was time to secure them into their car seat apparatuses which only people ten and under can figure out.  Since they were six weeks early we did not get to practice as we should have.  So my husband is a lot of good things but he is not a mechanical genius so it took the valet guy and the kid waiting with his dad to help us figure it out and I have to give them their props they did a fabulous job.  Now I was just hoping we could get them out once we got home.

When we got home it suddenly felt as if the house shrunk to like 600 sq. feet after all the stuff had been built and set up.  The house instantly shrunk and continues to shrink because no matter what you get you always have to get two of everything.

It was mid August and one of the hottest August's on record or at least it felt that way.  For three weeks I didn't leave my air conditioned bedroom and I turned my new born babies into polar bear cubs as they can definitely handle and AC.

I must have changed 200 diapers and made hundreds of bottles during the first month or so.  I was trying to feed them the natural way but I don't know you have to be like super skilled to do that and I was definitely finding out I lacked those skills.  I give major props to moms who can feed their multiples naturally. So I pumped and made bottles and bottles and bottles.

So that advice they give you about when you have twins try to sleep when they sleep because you lose double the sleep so if you want any sleep you should sleep when they sleep.  Well that didn't work because they slept at different times or just different enough that one was always awake.  They did poop at the same time which was convenient but as they do now they did then they keep me on my toes 24/7.  It was definitely a conspiracy.

I was so glad television had evolved to twenty-four hour status.  For my adult conversation I turned to the Cooking channel.  After you have twins everyone wants to call you and come see you and ask you the very same questions and not to be rude but now is not the time call me in five years and I will catch you up.  I became somewhat of a hermit.  One thing I did was create a website of pictures and posts and I referred everyone there like the IRS does.  If and only if you didn't get your questions answered then put your request or question in writing and send it in.  I hope that wasn't rude.

I look at their pictures now of their first few months and it all seems like a blur I really wish that I could have known then what I know now and have those months back again to remember them as little babies because now they are Bad A-- Super Hero loving sports loving bundles of BOY!   They have definitely brought a lot of joy and fun to our lives but every day is a journey and I learn something new about them and their fascinating existence.

Raising Twins

It has been FIVVVVVE years since giving birth to two beautiful bouncing baby boys M and M which when looking back has been a total loving blur.  When I was told I was having twins at age 40 I felt overjoyed and overwhelmed and was in disbelief or maybe denial until about the 7th month that this was actually going to happen to me a person with NO twin history on either side of the family tree and someone who was not trying to even have one baby!  When I had the shower and I received identical things in pairs it finally started to hit me because I was hit with a mountain of stuff unlike any other time in my life.  Up until then I had two beautiful children born five years apart who were 17 and 11 and I thought my life was drifting into empty nest phase and I was going to travel the world and do all these things I was creating a bucket list for and then suddenly I heard the screeches like a car skidding to a stop from a 100 mph to 0 in under a second.  That sound haunts me to this day.

Then came the morning I was really tired and super hungry for a cheeseburger from Doubles and a chocolate old fashioned donut.  It was rare I craved the two at the same time but I didn't see the signs as I was just hungry at first.  I fell into my van feeling five feet from the steering wheel but determined to fulfill my cravings.  I made it to the first destination  Doubles and ordered the cheeseburger with thousand island dressing and before I left the drive through I was savoring my first beautiful bite.  I think that was the best bite I ever had in my life I can still taste it today.  Lucky for me I finished it before I got to the donut shop to address craving number 2.  I fell out of the van walking very slowly but I felt like I was sprinting to the donut case to find that the old fashioned chocolate donut that was eating away at my brain was no where to be found.  I was in a state of shock for a couple of minutes thinking how in the world could a donut shop not have this old fashioned chocolate donut at noon time on any given day?  As it would be nothing else was able to erase that craving so I turned around and walked very slowly back to my van hoping that I would be able to make it back in and not end up stuck or stranded at the donut shop and I would have to call someone one to save me and I would get in trouble being at the donut shop.  At that moment I realized I have a van! What would I have done if I had a small fuel efficient car having twins?  I felt like the luckiest person alive.

I then managed to fall back into the van and roll home into my drive way crumble up the evidence to throw away without anyone really seeing what I just did and I coughed.  That cough was unlike any other cough I ever had.  All of a sudden I felt as if I wet my pants which in some respects at this time in pregnancy with a two babies crushing every organ you have is not uncommon but it felt like well did I pee myself or is that something else?  Again I was in denial because I wasn't due for another 6 weeks and I surely wasn't ready at this point to have two babies because it was the night of the final episode of Entourage which became my best friend sometimes when I was unable to move from my recliner and I hadn't received all of my online shopping orders yet nor did the house represent a place that two babies would soon inhabit. 

So I again walked really slowly to the bathroom to check out the damage which again felt like I was running for my life thinking at the worst I would be taking a shower and go back to my recliner but NO that is not what was about to happen.  It was my water and I sat there in shock for a couple of minutes thinking about what to do and how to do it.  Of course this moment had played through my thoughts a few times a day and we tried to plan on how it was going to go down when it happened but as everything else in life this was not in the plan and everyone was not in their positions and I had to resort to plan F. 

I called my mom over who was supposed to be my sitter while hubby was at work and could take care of my every need and my kids every needs and I look at her and said I think my water broke and at that moment I think she went into labor herself.  I had to calm her and and she stood looking at me frozen in shock and said what do I do.  I am like I have no idea yet but wait.  I called the hubby at work who said Ok well be calm and get to the doctor see what they say and call me to let me know if this is it.  He sounded super calm and collected.  I then told my mom that this was how it was going to go.  I was going to drive myself to the hospital and she was going to follow me to know how to get there because she is not a GPS person nor a person who can find her way if there are any turns involved so I wanted to make sure she knew how to get there and get home and have her own car to be able to flee the situation if needed.  I felt calm, cool, and collected and ready to face whatever my destiny would be.

The drive went well and it only took ten minutes as we are not far from the hospital.  However, as I was pulling in I see this familiar truck going back and forth kind of frantically and I thought that looks like hubby's truck but he is about 30 minutes from here and I just talked to him and I was supposed to call him to tell him what the status was so No that couldn't be him.  As I got closer and he sees me he tries to lead the charge to the parking lot and I am thinking how in the world did he beat me here?  He must have bolted out of his office and done 120 mph to the hospital.  Who was nervous now?

Well  I think it is obvious where we are going with this.  My water did break and I was going to have these little guys on this day 6 weeks early.  The only thing was that I just ate my cheeseburger so I had to wait 6 hours.  I kept wondering what is the significance of all these 6's which in the end meant nothing but it kept me occupied while I waited. 

So at 6 pm I was wheeled into the room to have my first cesarean birth of two beautiful bouncing baby boys.  Moises was born at 6:34 pm and Marley was born at 6:36 pm and they were 5 and 6 pounds!  11 pounds of babies the cheeseburger is what pushed me to the brink.  Of course they were shown to me for seconds and quickly taken to the NICU for observation and I was put in a recovery area with numb legs for what seemed like 100 hours with no visitors like I have been tossed away as I just did my part now I was not needed anymore.  I just gave birth to TWINS! What a surreal moment in my life.  I fought trying to move my legs ad it was the weirdest feeling and all I wanted to do was to find out all the 411 about them and no one was coming to tell me and someone took my cell phone.  I'm like who takes someones cell phone when they are giving birth?  Hubby was with them in the NICU and grandma was well I don't know where she was?  I think with my kids at the vending machines trying to buy them happiness. 

To make a long story short Marley and Moises braved the world and this journey of raising twins begins.

I has taken 5 seemingly long years, bifocals, and hair loss treatment to get to a point to be able to share all my experiences.  I hope that what I have learned and experienced will help or comfort others who find themselves in this wondrous world of twins.