Monday, November 16, 2009

First Real Haircut

This is the twins' first real haircut, not in a salon, but in "Onya's" kitchen, cut by a former hairstylist friend. The cut was more noticeable on The Boy, for his hair had been looking rather shaggy. Actually, so was The Girl's. See this "before" photo from a few weeks ago. Incidentally, that's black bean burrito dinner aftermath.







Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eye Candy






A Labor Day Weekend to Remember

On Thursday, I went to the dentist only to find I need to have some gum grafting done. The recovery from this kind of procedure is the worst. On Friday, whilst out grocery shopping, I got stung by a bee for the first time and was then followed by another bee into Tar-jay. I was running into the store, arms waving wildly while pushing the stroller yelling, "Ack! Get away!" People looked at me like I was a mad woman. 30 minutes after the sting, I checked to see if I was still breathing. I was, so I'm not allergic. My first survival instinct was to suck out the venom, which I did.

There are now 24 more days of no-weight bearing for Kip's foot. I continue to trudge on steering the ship alone as best I can, keeping the dust/fur rhinoceri at bay so the babies don't trip over them and crack their skulls. He met up with the final straw that broke his back Saturday night, meaning that the less-than-firm mattress had finally done him in. At 3am, I heard some thuds and groans, got up to find he had moved to the floor to try to get some relief. 2 hours later, we were both still awake. I've been sleeping on the couch during his recovery, and despite wearing earplugs to drown him out, I would just be dozing off and then startle awake with another "Aughhhh!" from the back bedroom. The last time I went in to see him, at 4:30, I looked at the clock and said, "Fun...the kids will be up in 2 hours." Thankfully I'd gone to sleep at 9:30 the night before. After a few pain killers, Kip found relief and was able to sleep for a while. He somehow managed to get up and out to the livingroom in the morning and wanted to help feed the kids. He arrived in nothing but his undervest and skivvies. I retrieved his shirt and shorts, and he had his shorts on the floor around his ankles. I took pity on him and pulled his pants up for him. We were both laughing about the situation. Heating pads and ice packs and some yoga stretches helped the pain immensely. Oddly enough, the previous day, he spent most of the day in some kind of trance, looking like Nick Nolte's mugshot for most of the day. We don't know why he was so tired on Saturday...perhaps from a week of hobbling around on crutches.

After breakfast, I whirled around moving the queen size mattress (by myself) off the bed and replacing it with the aerobed inflated to ultra firmness. The kids napped from 11am to almost 2pm, miraculously, having spent most of the morning in the cage. I escaped the rest home atmosphere to go to our friend's annual Labor Day picnic with the kids. We had fun for a few hours. Monday was more solitude and baby wrangling, finished off by Kip and I watching 2 episodes of "Twin Peaks." Woo hoo! We know how to party, huh?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

True Love Mush

Now that my human pot washer is laid up recovering from foot surgery, I don't get done clearing up after the meal until about 7:30. The kids play with pots and pans in the kitchen with me while I work. Afterwards, the three of us go into the livingroom to play. Last night, I put some music on and decided to slow dance with the babes. Kai and I danced to Etta James' "At Last" and I sang along but started to get teary. If you read the lyrics, you can see why. Seda giggled in the background. I was too lost in love to sing while dancing with Seda.

At last
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Saturday Entertainment


It's been ages since I made the world's best vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, so I finally carved out some time to do so this past weekend. Yum yum. We had them with some muhummara and hummus. That recipe isn't the one I used, but you get the idea. Pomegranate molasses is the key ingredient, for which there really is no substitute. A bottle of the stuff lasts forever though.

Then after dinner, we played with some blocks and went out to the back yard. Kai is on foot, Seda still prefers to hang out. And she cries if you remove a dried up dead leaf from her grasp!
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Friday, June 26, 2009

On the Stove Again


My love of cooking has recently returned with a vengeance. I go on various tours around the world in my kitchen and have now docked in the Mediterranean for a while. The beauty of the geographical location of this particular body of water, is the influence of different countries' cuisines on each other. My new favorite cookbook is something my mother found at a garage sale, and I pilfered it from her shelf: Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics by the Moosewood Collective. Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY, is not known for mediterranean cuisine, but rather vegetarian cuisine that back in the 70's revolved around sunflower seeds, sprouts, all vegetables, whole grains and the like. Regardless, I've made several recipes from this book and they've all been good. Here is Pine Nut Pasta Cavalfiore, with the arab influence of saffron and currants...a mostly traditional Sicilian dish.

The twins ate this too, minus the pine nuts. Last night, I made beans and greens, which requires no real recipe. The twins ADORE the wilted olive-oiled greens! That will become a regular mealtime fixture during my summer receipt of Italian braising greens and swiss chard from my mother's garden.

Now I'm off to peruse more recipes in this book and to do some risotto research and development.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time Keeps on Slippin', Slippin'...

We are 13 months old, and almost walking!

I was thinking yesterday morning about how from the moment I got home from work Tuesday night to the moment I went to bed, I had only sat down for about an hour. And this was in the span of 4 hours! Geez…where did the time go? Changed a couple diapers, reheated dinner, made salad, ate dinner, bottled one kid, did laundry, put some garbage out, swept patio, put kids to bed, prepped some veggies for kids’ lunch, went up and down the stairs a thousand times…ugh. We don’t do baths on the two days I work. I don’t really know how we could squeeze that in to the evening routine on the days I work. I’m a morning person, and baths are always done in the morning.

I realized on my last weary trek back up the stairs that if I still had a job that required standing most of the day, I would have died long ago. I have also, in recent weeks, fallen into the trap of staying up too late because I cherish having two hours of me time before bed. But this has caught up to me. I need to take a break from these late nights, and by late I mean 10:30 or 11, and recharge my batteries with some good old-fashioned 8 hours of sleep. So my new goal for the next few nights is to be in bed by 9:45 and asleep by 10. The kids wake up at 6, and there’s no way to delay that.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time Management

To be one of those brownie-baking-crafty-PTA meeting-going-moms (well no PTA quite yet), you have to be organized. I am one of 4 list makers in my family. My dad passed on the gene to my 2 brothers and me. I make to-do lists for things around the house, my grocery lists have items assembled in order of appearance, I had a birthday party to-do list, I have lists for things to take to Nana's on Tuesdays, etc. As my one brother says, "If it's not on the list, it doesn't exist!" I don't make lists at work, because I have all day to putter around there and get things done and sometimes just need to "keep busy."

List-making is more for getting done what I HAVE to get done to allow time for doing what I'd RATHER be doing. For example, pulling out all the thistle weeds in the garden HAS to be done, but it is only on a mental list, looming in and over my head. I'd RATHER be knitting, but this morning I was visually reminded of bananas getting riper and riper on the counter. So a compromise between HAVING to do and WANTING to do was baking an experimental cake. You may ask, "How do you have time to bake cakes...experimental or otherwise?" It's all about time management.

Here is how a Monday morning usually goes: when the kids waken (around 6:30 or 7am), I get up and start my breakfast, make and warm their bottles, go change them, put them in the "puppy pen," go eat my breakfast, check email and read a few blogs. Then I make the kids oatmeal. Kip has been very helpful in the mornings and gets up, gives them each their bottle while I finish eating. I then give them their cereal, and it's back into the pen or crawling around while I get their bath ready. Back into the cribs to wait while the other is bathed. We're done with all this by 9am, then it's out for a 30 minute walk, back inside for crawling and playing, and down at 10am for a nap. The usually nap from 10-12, so I can get those chores or something more fun completed on my own.

I even threw in a load of diapers, and saved myself another trip downstairs by retrieving the walnuts when I put the detergent in the washer after the rinse cycle. The baking prep occurred during the post-walk crawling. I'm modifying a banana bundt cake which smells heavenly. I usually don't alter cake recipes as they are more specific than baking bread for example, which is simply a formula. My big wish is whether the cake comes out of the pan or not.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Operation Yum-yum

I ditched Kip and the kids the other night to go to knit night, a Hip Mama meetup. It was fun, and one of 3 nights a month that I can get out for "me" time. At breakfast, Kip told me a VERY funny story about Kai while he was giving Seda her bottle that night. He and Seda were minding their own business and Kai was adventuring on the floor. At one point Kip thinks, "Where's Kai?" and he sees Kai's head slooooowly emerge from the floor, like a submarine's periscope, just visible above Kip's knee, with a CRAZED look in his eye and a big half-moon smile. He scans left...beep, beep, beep, beep...then right...beep, beep, beep, beep...and finds his target. THE BOTTLE. You could hear the dive alarm go off, and Kai submerges to the murky depths. All you could hear is the sonar. THEN...Kip sees one hand slowly come up, then the second hand comes up and both clamp on to the edge of the end table and the full baby submarine rises again, his crazed eyes level with the milk bottle. He clears the end table of everything, grunting with exertion: remotes, coasters, books...until only the bottle remains. He reaches for it and is defeated by Daddy. In his defeat he skulks away to destroy one of the books while he impatiently waits for dinner. Kip said if it had been a movie, Kai would have been clad in full Navy Seal gear, clutching a knife in his teeth and employing grappling hooks to scale the "mountain." The G-rated version would have been more like an episode from a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Calvin's vivid imagination places him in a role greater than his 6 year-old size.

Monday, May 25, 2009

We Are One

This time last year, I had been a mom for a short while. My poor son was all by his lonesome in the NICU, and I had banished my daughter to the nursery so I could sleep comfortably for the first time in 2 months. My hospital room was designated a biohazard site due to my bodily fluids spewing forth. I tried to explain to the authorities that IV antibiotics always make me sick, but they were concerned about issues with my "other end" so to speak.

The night before the birth, I sat with the twins' Daddy on the couch and teared up. He said, "Why are you crying NOW?" I said, "This is all I've ever wanted in the whole wide world! I can't wait to see them!"

The morning of the birth, dearest Daddy filmed me waddling down the hall like a penguin. Rightly so, as I was wearing a white shirt with black sleeves, black pants and orange socks. Another fine cinematographic moment was capturing my bare twin-filled belly approaching around the corner before the rest of me. Ah...such memories.

Now, a year later, we have survived. Quite well, I might add. No illnesses, only called the pediatrician's office twice in the last year. Flew by instinct and the seat of our pants. I asked Daddy how the first year of the rest of his life has been so far. He said, "AWESOME!" I second that. It is sooooooo true what everyone says. It goes by amazingly fast, and now I can see why when we ask other parents of older children about the early weeks or months they say, "Oh Jeez...I can't remember...it's pretty hazy."

And as I sit here, noshing on my daily oatmeal and Viennese coffee, I hear the clanking of crib rails, jingles of stuffed animals and sing-song of morning baby babble. It is pure music to my mothering ears.

Stay tuned for photos once we assemble them from the various cameras firing away at the birthday party.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thinning Out

So recently, I noticed I'd gained about 4.5 pounds and thought, "Oh, I guess I should stop eating as if I'm still breastfeeding," since I stopped some time in Feb. Calorie intake was around 2200 calories a day. This week, I cut out about 500 calories a day, no white bread, in fact considerably less starch, and this morning I'd lost those 4.5 pounds.

We have really small dinners, like grilled chicken salad or hummus, veggies, pita or sometimes even just bread, wine and cheese, or stir fry. Lunches are usually english muffin with egg and cheese, or cottage cheese and fruit, and almost every day I make a Go Lean vanilla protein powder shake with milk and frozen berries. Oh...and there is nothing sweet in the house except fruit. Nothing salty, either, which is more my weakness. My activity has increased in recent weeks too, since the weather is nice.

The total downfall, if there is one, and especially for people like me, is that I must go shopping for clothes that fit! HAAAAAAATE shopping, especially for pants. Takes forever.

Thinning out also has to do with getting rid of junk, which 9 years of marriage tends to accumulate, not to mention the sentimentality of the past, which really doesn't matter anymore. Time to let go and make room for kids' accumulations. Looking forward to storing their artwork instead of our useless junk.

Purging is also about getting rid of some hair for the summer. Maybe I'll be brave enough to post before and afters...but the before is pretty hideous. Haircut is thankfully this morning!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

She Eats...AND She Speaks!!!

After being out at the in-laws for Easter Sunday lunch, we were home in time for the 4pm feeding, and low and behold our little girl FED HERSELF Cheerios!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. She's a bit late in the game, but better late than never. Her brother started finger-feeding at the end of January! She devours every meal via fingers to mouth now.

And this morning, while on diaper duty, she uttered, "ma-ma-ma-ma," and I thought she was just blowing bubbles. But NOOOOO, she has entered the world of locution and has been babbling "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" intermittently all day!! Her brother started babbling mid-January.

That's my girl!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Energizer Babble Bunny

My ultra-loveable XY baby is an energizer bunny. He starts moving and babbling at 7:30am and doesn't really stop until 8pm. He naps twice for maybe an hour at each nap. He says Dada, Mama, Nana, GaGa, Blah Blah, Buh Buh, Annn, Unn (which I think means both lunch and all-done), Ayy (he's going to be a ladies man like The Fonz), and when I ask him something that "requires" a yes or no, he responds true to his German heritage with, I swear...Nein.

Yesterday, my also ultra-loveable rather quiet Little Miss napped peacefully for an hour on top of me while The Boy was in the swing. He was in constant motion and noise the whole time, banging, pulling on the mobile things, hanging sideways out of the swing, babbling. I would look over periodically to find him in "Two-Fin" finger-sucking mode for 10 seconds before he remembered he had to bang around some more and rock back in forth in the sideways-swaying swing. Little does he know he only has about 4 pounds to go before he can't use it anymore. This trait is actually quite endearing, for it assures that the minute his head hits the bedtime mattress, he sleeps 11 hours straight. Must be all that healthy food I'm shoving down their gullets. Cheerio-dusted tofu cubes were a huge hit yesterday, and spoonfuls of hummus are always a crowd pleaser. The homemade baked sweet potato fries were a welcome snack as well.

Today we are trapped inside again, due to April showers. Here's hoping for a dry sunny weekend!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Psychedelic Pterodactyl Freak Show!

THAT...is our daughter's nickname! She is often dressed in a garish array of clashing patterns and colors, she screeches, and she's double-jointed! So there you have it.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Weight Lifting and Swimming

These kids are growing like weeds. K is now about 21 pounds, and S is about 19. Hubs likes doing chest presses with the kids. Cute. As. Hell.

When S attempts to crawl, she flops down into swim mode. Enjoy.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Smooth Sailing No More...At Least For Now

With one baby, this situation would ensure that I get a rest in the afternoon. With two babies, this situation has smoke coming out of my ears and a silent "AAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGH!" (so as not to waken the other sleeping baby).

On Thursday, little Miss S started preferring hi-jinx in the crib, rolling over on her belly after being put on her back, me walking away, her yelling for help 2 minutes later...rinse and repeat. Today, even after a bath with drops of lavender oil in the bath water, it took the little pest 30 MINUTES to settle down and go to sleep (after I flipped her back on her back a few times). I thought for sure the bath would ensure immediate napping...like it USED to.

FINALLY, by 2pm they were both snoozing, and I could get on with my jobs. I have 9 more things to do on my to-do list by Saturday! Finished cleaning the kitchen and took a break from my work for some well needed knitting contemplation, i.e. grafting stitches. There's always Thursday and Friday...I know, famous last words.

Ah well...at least they sleep at night! Let's be thankful for small mercies.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Understatement of the Year

I've always said that men can't see dirt. Well, let me tell you.

I returned home yesterday around 4:00 from an afternoon of 5 hours of knitting with the girls. Time does fly when I'm having fun! Kip came to open the door for me, looking a bit weary. He said he had just cleaned up a dirty boy. He said that while changing the boy, some errant poop was lurking somewhere, an invitation for the boy's left hand to get in it. He said he was too late grabbing the little hand away, but quickly scrubbed off the mess. So...no harm done, right?

I made the bottles and scooped up the boy for some cuddling. We sat down to start the meal and I looked dreamily into his olive-green eyes. To my HORROR, I saw a brown smear on his right eyelid. I yelled, "AUGH!! He has poop on his eye!!!" I found my thoughts sleuthing out the physics of how a left outer palm makes contact with a right eyelid. There was no explanation.

I whisked the poor chap back to the child-laundering station where we met up with a warm washcloth.

I can deal with crumbs on the counter, beard bristle segments in the bathroom sink, unmatched socks scattered on the living room floor...but poop on the eye???

The moral of this story is that Kip either needs to wear glasses while baby-changing or the babies need some little swimming goggles as a precautionary measure.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Eureka!

Last Thursday, Seda started not wanting all of her bottle at EVERY feeding! She would arch her back, turn her head away, and push the bottle away with her hands! She's always been an archer, but this was getting really mind-boggling, and having her only eat 3 oz was not a good thing.

So we struggled with this over and over until this morning, when I had an amazing revelation. I thought to myself, "Hmm...maybe she's not hungry every three hours anymore!" So the first meal of the day for her and Kai was at 9am, and they both ate everything. I thought, "I wonder if they'd be interested in more?" And wouldn't you know, the little girl pest had another ounce or so!

After breakfast, I bathed them, and they slept like LOGS for 90 minutes. There was a 4 hour interval between Seda's first and second meal, and she ate ALL 6 ounces again, washed down with her pile of cereal and fruit! There was NO arching, head-turning or bottle-pushing!

HALLELUJAH!

Seda is trying to tell me that mashed lentils don't go with oatmeal and mangos.


Here's Kai, contemplating some cereal-dusted tofu cubes.