Monday, December 28, 2009

Where Did The Decade Go? Wow, that was fast. So, lets recap our 2000's. -Bill and I became more then friends. -I moved in. -We added Jeepster to our family. -I lost my Dad. -Bill and I partied. A lot. -Bill and I traveled. A lot. -I had my dream job for the blink of an eye. Damn buyout. -We married. -We partied some more. -We traveled some more. -I lost 50+ lbs. -I got to be front-row-center for Duran Duran on my birthday. Drummer Roger Taylor gave me a sweaty wristband as a gift. Yes, at 30-something years old, I slept with it on that night and called all my fellow Duranies to tell them about it. -We started the long journey through infertility. -We found (and lost) Bill's Dad. -We met some of our best friends because of the internet. -We fought like hell to get pregnant. -It finally worked. -We welcomed two little babes that put their hands around our hearts and haven't let go since. -We moved. -We nearly lost our minds moving & working on the new house. -We nursing our family through our sons' metopic craniosynostosis surgery. -I gained 50+ lbs. -We reconnected with lots of people through facebook. -We are raising two funny, smart, cute little people. I don't make resolutions. I don't like to set myself up for failure. I am going to make an effort on a couple of things though. I want to spend more time with the people I love, or at least make contact with them once a month, and to also put myself first a little more often. I want to challenge you to do the same. Life is busy. If we don't nuture those things/people that are major components of who we are are, we will not only lose them, but a little bit of ourselves. Send someone a note out of the blue, set up a dinner date, or go on a weekend get-away. Find a passion and make time for it in your life. Go on, you are worth it. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Drink Until The Sun Goes Down
Today is Bill, Sam & Gary's annual shoot-guns-and-then-drink-until-the-sun-goes-down day. Deb, the kids, and I are invited to the lunch portion of the festivites. This year the kids discovered the bowling machine.
Mental note *next year brings lots of quarters.

A Hello From Beyond? A couple of days ago I went to Walgreens to pick up a photo order I had been working on late the night before. There was no order there. I was sure I sent it, but then again it was late, and with Chandler on my mind it was not surprising that I had messed something up. The person behind the photo counter brought the "P" box up onto the counter and began going through all the envelopes. Something caught my eye. An envelope for "Pike". I asked her to go back since, in my fog maybe I had put in my maiden name. She looked and said, "No, that is for Kim Pike. It hasn't been picked up since May." Kim Pike was my half-sister's name. She didn't live here, she lived in PA. She died of a brain anyerisum a couple of years ago. Her birthday is in May. Of all the names/dates in the world....... Strange coincidence or one of THOSE things when I needed it most?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spreading Good Cheer
Today some fellow Moms and I took our kids to my Grandpa's nursing home to decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments we made at a playdate a couple of weeks ago. The kids, ranging in age from 2-4 did an excellent job decorating, but had even more fun with a cardboard box.
Reagan and Nolan playing on the ramps until their friends arrived.
Reagan and Sarah decorating the tree.
The supervisors taking a break! Nolan and his friend, Matt.
First it was a box, then a sleigh, and finally a bed. Even though most of the kids are too young to understand the joy they brought today, it was still a nice way to teach the lesson.

Papa's House

In the 1950's, my Grandparents bought a house in Slavic Village to raise their family. Three kids grew up there, they had pets there, snuck out at night from there, grandkids gathered there every Sunday--one even lived there when he was first born,and my Grandma passed away there. The house hasn't been the same since that day. Now I'm not going to paint a rosy picture of a loving family playing Scrabble around the dining room table each week. That was not us. You see this side of my family thrived on bickering. Supposedly in a playful manner because there was always laughter, but usually someones feeling were hurt at the end of the day (mainly my Grandma since she could dish it, but not take it). The grandkids would run in circles from living room, to kitchen, to dining room eating the spaghetti (my cousin Terri wouldn't eat anything else) and thumbprint cookies (my Grandma had to hide them from cousin Tommy or he'd eat them all) Grandma Neiman made. Once we grew up, we'd go upstairs and talk to each other through the big wall registers and play with the glass doorknobs or hang out on the back porch listening to music in our teenage years. It was what we did every Sunday. Times changed. Kids grew up and had "better" things to do on a Sunday afternoon. My Uncle Bob moved to Texas. I can't even tell you for sure the last time we were all together in that house, but it might have been for my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. I know my Dad and I shared a few drinks on the back porch that day. Come to think of it, if Dad and I were drinking then the whole family MUST have been there! A lot of us gathered there when my Grandma took ill and was confined to bed. I was unemployed at the time (and, looking back, was glad I spent the last few weeks of her life with her.) I will never forget the day I was laying in bed with her and she started talking about how she wanted her funeral to be. I asked careful questions and filed it away. It was a difficult conversation to have, but I'm glad she trusted that I would get it right for her. I never shed a tear or choked up, I just kept asking exactly what she wanted. Once she fell asleep, I got up, walked out of the room and promptly fell apart. After that day, there was really no joy for me in that house. Despite a changed neighborhood, my Grandpa held his ground and was not leaving his home until he physically couldn't stay there anymore. That happened this past May. It was an unceremonious ending. He fell in his living room, my mom took him to the ER, and he never went back. Our family has this tradition of driving by a loved one's home when they pass away. When we make that drive with my Grandpa someday it will be that much harder because that house is no longer our families home. Today is the last time someone in the Neiman family locked the door. Tomorrow a new family moves in. It is hard to imagine anyone else walking up those stairs, or washing dishes at the kitchen sink. May our memories live on in those walls and may another family make good memories there.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chandler Oct 26, 1994-Dec 14 2009 Rest in peace, our sweet fur-kid Chandler & Reagan May 14, 2007
If it should be that I grow frail and weak And pain should keep me from my sleep Then you muct do what must be done For this, the last battle, can't be won. You will be sad- I understand Don't let your grief then stay your hand For this day, more than all the rest Your love and friendship stand the test. We've had so many happy years What is to come can hold no fears You'd not want me to suffer, so When the time comes, please let me go. I know in time you too will see It is a kindness you do to me Although my tail, it's last has waved From pain and suffering I've been saved. Don't grieve that it should be you Who has decided this thing to do We've been so close, we two these years Don't let your heart hold any tears. Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tis the Season To Be Busy Well, well, well. Thought I'd forgotten about you, especially those of you not updated on our day to day life via facebook? It's been hectic and tiring and when the sun doesn't shine, I'm not that motivated to do much of anything, especially with a sick kiddo. Reagan has been coughing her head off for 2 days, poor kid. I just wish when people are sick they would stay home and get well instead of going out and spreading their germs around. No one needs to be sick, especially a 2 year old that doesn't know how to blow her nose!!! Just a little pet peeve of mine. To catch you up... in the last week we have made ornaments with fellow moms and kids from my early childhood group to take to my Grandpa's nursing home, we ventured to Penitentiary Glen to partake in Snowdrop's Adventure game, went to The Farmpark for Country Lights, and finally had a little surprise shindig with some of Bill & Sam's oldest BFF's for their birthdays at a local restaurant.
Phew. I'm tired just reading it. Oh yeah, in between I got Christmas cards mailed, wrapped almost all the gifts, made 3 collage boards with Deb for the party and kept the kids fed and clean. I have posts started about Snowdrop's Adventure and Country Lights, but they will keep until another day. It is cold, sleeting outside, and I want to get in bed with my book. For those of you that are thinking good thoughts for our oldest fur-kid, Chandler. He is hanging in there. He is literally shrinking in front of our eyes, but he has started to come back into bed with Bill and I at night and is purring and receptive to being held. He drinks alot, but doesn't eat much and I know he is not long for this world. I just don't think either of us can make the step to send him off just yet since he is not in visible pain. The other day Reagan was coming down the stairs and Chandler was at the bottom of the steps and she said, "Aw, Chandler is an old kitty. He's going to have to go bye-bye soon." I know she is right, not sure how she knows it though as the only thing I have told the kids is that they have to be extra careful around him and to make sure they don't fall on him or step on him.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lots of Decorating, Eating, & Shopping
After stuffing ourselves silly on turkey brussel sprouts ( no joke, Bill made THE best brussel sprouts any of us have ever had) and braving black Friday for the first time (you MUST experience Wal-Mart as it opens for Black Friday shopping once in your life), we had decorating to do.
The sprouts
Chowing on a turkey quesadilla
Grammy and Aunt Deb fighting over the sinful (made with cream cheese, butter & cream) mashed potatoes.
I curb-shopped a Christmas tree a few weeks ago. Some people had it, along with a bunch of exercise equipment, on their tree lawn with a "free" sign on it. I thought it might be fun for Reagan and Nolan to have a tree in their room that they can decorate however they want, and all the better that it was FREE. We'll work on decorations during the next month, but they are thrilled with just lights, garland, and a few jingle bell ornaments for now.
Nolan is just like Mommy, always has a camera in hand.
The next day we moved to the outside to decorate. They were a big help. Not joking either. They carried all the candy canes out for me and helped hold cords for Bill. It is the first year we've had our act together since moving here and it is nice to have "decorates" outside again. We did a little lighting ceremony, a la Clark Griswold, and I loved their "wow's" in whispered voices. So cute.
About as crafty as I get!
Next was the big tree. We gave up our glass ornaments last year, as you can imagine why. The kids had fun putting all of their ornaments on about 4 branches. I don't care. They were so proud that they decorated the tree. Next up.....wrapping. Need to figure out how to wrap hula hoops.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day Savings

Yes, I went couponing on Thanksgiving morning. I know. It is an addiction. How could I pass up: $.06 Colgate toothpaste $.44 Gillette shave gel $.49 Secret deodarant free Herbal Essence mousse $.99 Herbal Essence shampoo $.50 Hot Wheels All of that for a total of $4.19

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today makes us reflect on all we are thankful for.
My list is long. They are, of course, at the top. 2008
I met one of Bill's old friends last night, from way back in his Utopia days. The subject of how the twinadoes came to be came up. He and his wife had the same struggles we did. They went to the same doctor we did. Anyone that has gone down the infertility road understands the rollercoaster of emotions it involves, you don't need to speak, it is just something you understand. We talked about our doctor, Ricardo Loret de Mola, and what an amazing, fabulous, wonderful, caring man he is. I wrote this blog in March 2006 about him. Last night was a great reminder of how thankful I am that he was in our life. He is a humble man who has no idea how he has impacted so many lives. Reminiscing last night brought a tear to my eye. I can still hear his voice calling with the pregnancy test results, "Well, you did it" he said. "No", I said. "You did." Dr. Loret de Mola, I hope you are enjoying your day. Because of you, I rediscovered the magic of Santa's arrival at the Macy's parade today. I held my kids close and heard their intake of breath as the big guy made his way onto the screen. Without you, I wouldn't have made that memory. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty (Chandler's Big Adventure) This is how our Sunday was supposed to go: The kids would wake up around 8:30a, we'd get them dressed and loaded up and meet friends at Bar Symon for brunch before a marathon 24 hours at Kalahari Waterpark. Here's how the day really went. (Because you know things just can't go the right way for us, right?) Around 8:30am the kids start to wake up, Bill announces that he hasn't seen Chandler all morning. In fact, he wasn't in bed when Bill got up (highly unusual) and he didn't come when breakfast was served (even more unusal.) Chandler is a cat that has never missed a meal! Bill starts looking for him while I get the kids up and dressed. We are hoping he just fell asleep somewhere warm and comfy and doesn't hear us calling him. He is 15 years old, afterall. 9am The kids are outside shaking cans of Cheerio's, calling Chandler to come for a treat. Thank goodness I packed *most* of our stuff the night before, because we are all searching the neighborhood and not thinking about Kalahari anymore. 9:30a Call friends and cancel brunch plans. Talk about me going ahead with the kids while Bill continues to look for our oldest "boy." 10a Drop kids at my mom's so they can eat breakfast and I can focus on helping Bill search. Also, I can't take the kids heartbreaking cries as we drive around. "Where's Chandler? He's our best friend!" "Oh no! Chandler's missing!" I couldn't have seen him if he would have jumped in front of the car holding a sign, I was crying so hard. We were not even sure if he was outside or in. We can't pinpoint how/when he would have gotten out, but he is also old so maybe he just went somewhere and curled up and passed away. 10:45a When I pulled back in the driveway after riding around the neighborhood again, I see our neighbors dog going crazy in the backyard. Barking, sniffing around the shed in her backyard. I walk over to the fence and ask her if she found Chandler. She comes over to the fence, gives me a bark and goes back to the shed. Sure enough. There was our boy. Hackles up and not wanting to come out. It didn't take much coaxing, a few shakes of the treat bag and a poke from a broomstick and he was in Bill's arms. 11am Our earless wonder, minus one life, home safe and sound.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Swiping A Good Deal Another great deal that I found through a little research on the money-saving blogs. Raising twins is not cheap and we still want to be able to enjoy the things we did in pre-kid life. Mainly eating out and drinking decent wine (which doesn't have to cost an arm & leg, btw) so when I can cut corners and get great deals, I do to allow us to still do that. I got this..... for $11.25 TOTAL (less than the cost of 1 of the TP's @ full price.) Northern on sale: 5.99 each (regular $12.99) Crest: $2.69 Single check rebate of $2.69 offered Nyquil Twin pack on sale: $8.99 (regular $12.99) Total before coupons: $31.50 -1.50 Nyquil coupon -$5/2 Northern From Rite Aid website -$5 off of $20 purchase from Rite Aid website for watching 10 minutes of video -$.75 Crest coupon (meaning they paid me $.75 to take it out of the store) -2.69 single check rebate for toothpaste Total: 16.25 But wait....there was a $5 rebate from Real Simple floating around that expired yesterday for $5 off a qualifying purchase of $15. The Northern is on the list. Total out of pocket: $11.25 Gotta love cheap TP. After all, I certainly would not pay full price for something that only gets flushed anyway!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What They Have Been Saying I have a new system for recording the things Reagan and Nolan say that I want to record to embarrass them later for posterity. I have a dedicated notebook now and If I'm out and about, I call home and leave myself messages to record in that notebook. So far, so good. No more pieces of napkins floating around my purse or backpack! We finally replaced our old over-sized chair. We settled on a love seat, however the kids have come up with their own name for it. "I'm climbing on the love chair."-Nolan Reagan has become a bit of a picky eater. One day she likes X and the next time I serve it, she refuses to eat it. Spaghetti is one of those foods. Sometimes it is flying into her mouth and other times it makes its way onto Nolan's plate. However, she will consistently eat "Grandma" Rose's" (my mom's friend and surgery buddy) spaghetti. "Grandma Rose made it & I love it!" On Halloween morning, "The great big pumpkin left me a present!" -Reagan Lots of the kids conversations when they wake up revolve around Kalahari waterpark. Reagan: "Do you want to go in the lazy river, Nolan?" Nolan: "Kalahari is closed." Reagan: "No it's not!" Nolan "Yes, it is." etc, etc, etc. Nolan has developed a voracious appetite, especially where eggs are concerned. He can put down three scrambled with no problem. The other day, when I put a breakfast of eggs, banana, and Cheerios down in front of him, he said, "Wow. Look at all this stuff. It's gonna make me strong!" Reagan was not wanting to leave the park one day and I pulled the mother trump card and said "because I'm in charge." She looked up at me and said, "How did you get in charge?" Very good question, my dear girlie girl! Last week I bought a toy organizer from a fellow MoM (mom of multiples) and we had to pick it up on a street off Button Rd. I was explaining where we were going and that I needed to look for Button Rd. Nolan replied, "Well, Corduroy's button was on a mattress!" Nolan was playing behind the shed and I called him to come in the house. He stuck his head around the shed and yelled, "Did you call me, Mom?" Reagan was watching me cut coupons and file them. She sat down at the table with me and dumped her night time snack, a couple of different little cookies, on the table and started separating them. I asked her what she was doing and she said, "I'm organizing my cooks." Once in a great while, one of the kids will not want to go to bed when it is time and there is a little whining once the lights are night. On this particular night, Reagan was whining and Nolan told her (in a very compassionate voice), "Don't whine. I'm here." Last week Nolan's crib was close to the wall and naptime became a disco with the light switch going on and off. They got a good talking to about it and they said they wouldn't do it again. This morning I heard Reagan over the monitor tell Nolan to "turn the light on." He answered, "No! only Mom turns the light on!" When discussing days of the week and what month it was. Mommy: "It's November." Nolan: "It is not. It is YESvember!" Reagan and Nolan both love the fish tank at a local family style restaurant. There is a clown fish (Nemo) in the tank. Reagan insists that "he has bandages on him!" We were discussing what baby animals are called as we watched a show with animals. We were talking about piglets when some ducklings walked into the picture, Nolan exclaimed, "Aww...look at the ducklets!" Reagan was "helping" me file my coupons when one of them ripped. I told her it was hard to use them once they ripped and we had to be careful. She told me I could "just sew it back together." And finally, a moment that just melted my heart. Reagan fell pretty hard in the driveway and was crying. She was wearing a lei and holding chalk when she fell and both of those went flying. As I picked her up to check out her skinned knee, Nolan picked up all her stuff and was rubbing her leg as I held her. After she got cleaned up and bandaged, we came back out to play and Nolan went over and held the door open on her Cozy Coupe car for her.

Fireman Nolan Nolan saw all the candles coming and he knew he needed to be prepared.... lol Reagan and Nolan always have a good time when their Aunts & Uncles come over to play.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Seems like yesterday we took this on one of our trips to Dallas! Good memories and here is to many happy more. Sweetie, Reagan, Nolan, and I love you so much!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rockin' A Rebate Deal I like sales. I like coupons. I like rebates. I hit the trifecta at Toys R Us today. A sale, a coupon, and a rebate allowed me to walk away with 7 Hasbro board games for the whopping total of $3.68!! Candyland Chutes & Ladders Memory Don't Spill The Beans Don't Break The Ice Cootie Hi Ho Cherry-O All on sale for $3.99 each Original total: $29.68 -$2.00 instant coupon on Hi Ho Cherry-O Total:$27.68 -$2.00 Hasbro mail-in rebate on EACH game Total: $13.68 BONUS: -$10 Toys R Us gift card(valid on next purchase) because I made a $25 Hasbro game purchase Total: $3.68 Funny part is I figured this deal out on my own and didn't even know about the bonus gift card until I got to the register. I was going to be happy paying $1.99 for each of these games! Usually I read the coupon blogs to find such deals, but didn't have time this morning. That pretty much completes my kids BIRTHDAY shopping for next May with a few Christmas gifts for friends thrown in as well. Ah, its the little things in life that excite me these days! LOL

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why Nothing Else Matters this was supposed to be published on Sunday, Nov 1. Our anniversary. Let's just say there was a little operator error......
Bill and I are not the most conventional people, so when it came time to plan our wedding we knew exactly what WE wanted. No borrowing pages from anyone else’s book.
Since music is a strong part of our lives, we picked selections that reflected our life together. In the “early days” of our relationship, The Goo Goo Dolls were “our” band. They were one of the first concerts we went to together, the first song Bill sang at Karaoke for me (at the lesbian bar none the less!) so it was a no-brainer to pick “Slide” by the Goo Goo Dolls.
“And I'll do anything you ever dreamed to be complete
Little pieces of the nothing that fall
May, put your arms around me
What you feel is what you are
And what you are is beautiful
May, do you wanna get married
Or run away”
My walk down the aisle song was very important to me as well. I am a Metallica fan (file that under something you didn’t know about me!) Bill didn’t really appreciate them until he and I hooked up. I know a lot of hardcore Metallica fans don’t like the slower stuff or the orchestra stuff, but I do. That is what I appreciate most about their musical abilities and creativity. Thinking outside the metal box. Who would think to pair heavy metal with a woodwinds section?!
A few months before the wedding I heard some harp versions of songs. Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters was one. I immediately knew that was what I was walking down the aisle to. "So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are and nothing else matters
Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say and nothing else matters
Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view and nothing else matters"
Six years later and those words are such a strong reminder. Life wears you down, little things get in the way, time & patience are short. But, really this is it.
“Forever trusting who we are and nothing else matters”
Happy Anniversary Sweetie. I love you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

We Are Making A Big Nest
Our neighbor, the guy who has every power tool imaginable, lent Bill his leaf blower. It looked like something out of Ghostbusters! It was nearly dark when we started and pitch black when we ended. The photos were taken in complete darkness. I'm pretty happy with them, but a fill flash would be better.
The kids had a blast "helping" Daddy with the leaves.
They made nests.
They jumped.
Daddy dragged them around the yard.
They stood in the whirlwind of leaves.
I went to bed with their belly laughs ringing in my head.
My mom reminded me of the one year I "helped" my Daddy rake leaves and procedded to jump into the pile and come out covered in dog poop (we never had dog!) Good times.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bawk, Bawk, Bawk
Mama chick finds her long lost baby chick at the car cruise's trunk or treat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We hit up the park again. Aunt Deb joined us. Nolan drove her to the zoo.
It was just too beautiful not to get out and enjoy it. I'd like to put days like these on permanent repeat. Perfect temp, leaves at peak color, and the kids having fun.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Farmer & The Chick We had a great time at Boo At The Zoo on Friday night and will get a post up soon, but just had to show off my little chick and the "John Deere tractor drivin' farmer" (yes, that is what he called himself all night. The firemen-at least I didn't say something totally stupid this time- running the hayride got a real kick out of him.)
bawk, bawk, bawk