Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 In Review

Wow, 2009 is coming to an end.  If ever a year in my life has had a theme, 2009 is it.  I did a Facebook Status compilation, and Danielle pointed out her favorite, "Because God has a sense of humor."  That, my friends, sums up 2009 for the Kihn household.  If on December 30, 2008 you had told me that Dana would need several eye surgeries and change jobs, I'd have believed it.  Had you then gone on to say that we would also find out that I was pregnant and having twins no less, and that I would have surgery to save their lives, well I would have thought you were insane, and yet here we are.

One moment in 2009 really stands out for me. I haven't blogged about it, and really didn't know anyone else had seen it, until my mom mentioned it to me.  On Sunday, June 14th, the day before the surgery for TTTS, we sang the hymn It Is Well With My Soul.  On that day, I sang that song, and I meant every last word.  I knew that no matter what the outcome of the surgery, God was handling it, and I had peace in that.  And that has been the biggest lesson for me in 2009.  God is in control.  While we don't understand it, our whole family is thankful for the blessings of this past year, and I'm praying for easier times in 2010.

Now, let's take a look back at some phrases and photos from 2009.  The photos do not necessarily correspond with the phrases.

January: This just secures my non-placement in the Mom of the Year Award.


February: He has an excellent pedigree, excellent colors, and great temperament. What she didn't count on... he's gay.


March: So if my tubal ligation could interfere with God's plan, how did I see this on March 1st?



April: I just got back from my doctor's appointment. Kaia came with me, and she was thrilled when I pointed out the baby, and then the doctor pointed out the other.




May: It wasn't long before she was able to turn everything into a life or death situation. For instance, sitting on metal turtles.


June: I'm feeling good that the boys will come through the surgery, and I'm praying that they continue to thrive after their blood vessels are separated. I have peace that we are doing what is best for both boys, and the rest is up to God.


July: No, I don't mean sexy. Unless you consider hippos sexy, then maybe...


August: Then she began to rub her belly and say that I should avoid vitamins and that powdered milk from China. Because you know China, it's really sperm. And that sperm if you put it outside in the sunlight it will just shoot in all directions.



September: I agreed, and I told him, "Next time you are 32 weeks pregnant with twins, I promise you can be as cranky as you want to be." He laughed saying he never wanted to be pregnant with twins, and quickly corrected that to never wanting to be pregnant at all.



October: They are so cute that they had to be part of a matched set.



November: SOS isn't dinner. SOS is letters, you can't eat letters.



December: And as of last night, they showed me one of their super twin powers: synchronized farting.



Wow, was my belly really that big?  Amazing how fast we forget.  Thanks for revisiting 2009 with me.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009


A few photos by Dana

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Eve Party Planning


It's our turn to host again.  Actually, we volunteered to host since it's easier to not drag the "twinkies" around town.  I LOVE to plan parties and have get togethers, something I wish I did more often.  I think my lack of housekeeping skills is the main reason we don't do more.

This year I'm all about keeping it simple. The menu is dungeness crab, cold cuts, cheeses, meatballs, and possibly ceviche.  There will be plenty of sweets.  Including Christmas Cookies and orange cake.  I'm also planning to put my adorable cups to use with this spiced cider and cranberry juice recipe.  Those cups were free the day after the church yard sale.  There was a box of 20 something, and I thought they would be perfect for my retro kitchen someday.

What big plans do you have?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Would You Do?


Me, greeting at a New Leaders Event, just 2 days before we learned I was carrying twins


My best friend mentioned to me the other day that she wished Dana and I would win the lottery, that way I could take a certain job.  I'm not looking, but it's a job where they could really use my skills and it would allow me more time at home with the kids. 

I love working at United Way, but sometimes I miss doing work that has very defined tasks.  Also sometimes I'd like to have more time at home.  So I started thinking, if money wasn't an issue, what job would I do? 

Honestly, there are so many jobs in the world I think might be fun.  Would I be a fashion designer, a chef, an actress...  But, the job I know and miss is being a barista.  If I could do anything at all, I would work in a coffee shop again.  I love chatting with the regulars, meeting new customers, making the perfect cup of coffee and knowing what people like.  Although it has been 10 years since I worked at one local shop, I still remember my customers.  The gal at the dry cleaners takes a tall decaf americano, the dentist- a short americano, the pastor- short skinny latte extra hot no foam, the radio dj- tall double mocha no whip.  There are many more.  I loved that once I cleaned up at the end of the day, I was done.  There wasn't anything to think about at home, I would go in and serve customers, clean up and the day was done. 

So if you could work at any job in the world, and childcare and money were no object, what would you do?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun Reading

If you have ever wondered what life is like here in Central Washington, I recommend you visit Yakima Magazine and take a look.  I just discovered this today, and it is a great magazine.  I also had fun seeing people I know in the social pages (some photos from our Pillars Event were included).  Today though, it is all about snow.  We finally got snow just in time for Kaia's Christmas concert and hopefully it sticks around for Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Boys


Can you tell which is Brendon and which is Bryce?

Hard to believe that Brendon and Bryce are 8 weeks old already, and at the same time it feels like they have always been here.  Both boys are doing well, and growing like... like babies in growth spurts.  Brendon is now 9 pounds and Bryce is 10 pounds.  Both are still shrimps in the length department.  Brendon is just about to outgrow the newborn sized jammies, and Bryce is already too long for them.  Both boys though are still a bit too short for the 0-3 month jammies, so we often have to rescue one of them when both legs end up stuck down one leg-hole. And as of last night, they showed me one of their super twin powers: synchronized farting.  Not sure either realized what the other was doing, but they were in synch, and it made the 2 AM feeding amusing for me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More of Mo

Not only has Santa died in a train wreck, and then miraculously survived, but Mo has really picked up a sense of storytelling, humor, and mimicry.  Kaia has always been the actress, the drama queen, the starlet.  Mo has just been the easy-going, laid back kid, until now. 

Kaia has a newfound sense of modesty and will screech at Mo "Don't look at me!" whenever he sees her changing.  Mo then tries to look more just to annoy her.  I never expected him to pay her back though.  I was halfway through a pull up change on him, when he took off naked from the waist down in to Kaia's room.  He waited until she looked up and shrieked "Don't look at me!" and came running back to me giggling.  I couldn't help but join him.  I found it hilarious that he came up with it all on his own.

I purchased the "Smooth Away" hair removal at a discount store.  Mo saw the box as I unloaded the groceries, and excitedly said, "You bought Smooth Away?!"  I was shocked he knew what it was (he wasn't reading it).  Then the other day in the car he told me "You have Smooth Away, you don't need to shave.  Daddy, he still has to shave."

I was leaving for Fred Meyer and Mo asked if I was going to "Red Meyer."  I told him it was called "Fred Meyer" and he said, "No, it's Red Meyer.  What's on your list today?"  For those of you that don't live in the Northwest, "What's on your list today?" is the slogan for Fred Meyer a store similar to Target or Walmart where you can buy groceries, clothing, home and garden... except they are a bit higher end.  And they match Walmart's $4 generic rx's!

We have a bib that says "Future NASCAR driver" that used to be Mo's.  When I put it on one of the boys, Mo looked and said, "NASCAR on Speed," just as I'm sure the spokesperson on the advertisement does.

We never know what Mo will say next, but one thing is certain: We had better watch what we say!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My First Frugal Accomplishment

When Dana and I first moved back to Yakima, we rented a 2 bedroom unit in an older duplex.  The fact that it was older is what really drew us to that place.  It had a small yard, and it was in a residential neighborhood.  There were built in bookshelves and a curio display in the front room, and a built in drawers and cabinet in one of the bedrooms.  It was a fun little place that really stood apart from the cookie cutter rentals with their white walls, brown carpets and fake wood cabinets.   It also had baseboard heating and terrible drafts!

Money was almost non-existant for us.  I was doing an internship that was entirely unpaid, and we were relying on Dana's work and me picking up odd jobs.  I mostly cleaned homes for family and friends.  Keeping our house warm was a priority, yet we couldn't afford to just run the heaters and lose all the heat out the door or windows.  We hung a wool blanket (the bright woven kind you find in the Southwest and Mexico) over our large front window, and it definitely helped, but the door was still a problem.

One morning, I had no side job to do, and Dana was at work.  I was picking up and some of our "trash" was small strips of foam.  I swear a lightbulb must have appeared over my head as I held onto that foam.  Very quickly I grabbed the duct tape from the garage and went to work.  In less than a half an hour, I had sealed our door with my invention.  I used the duct tape and foam to create some weather stripping for inside the door jamb.  I also created a small flap that hung at the bottom of our door, that created a nice seal at the bottom when closed, but still allowed us to open the door easily.

It doesn't sound like much, but within an hour I could feel the difference in the temperature of our home.  I think it also helped that I was beaming with pride in my accomplishment.  I had helped make our place a bit warmer, and it cost us nothing!

Things haven't changed too much since those days.  Sure we live in a larger house, and we have 4 kids, but this weekend found Dana and I hanging (ok it was Dana that did the actual hanging) a thermal curtain over the front door to keep our front room warm.  Some day we'll buy a nice door that seals, but it was fun to recapture some of that adventure of making do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheap and Easy Taco Pasta

The other night I made one of my infamous throw together meals.  I look at what we have laying around and start throwing things into a pot.  They are infamous in that they can be horrible, or turn out to be a stroke of genius.  This one was so good that when I saw all the leftovers still in the pot during a middle of the night feeding I was deeply disappointed.  I hate it when I do that.

Taco Pasta
1 medium round steak (or 1/2 lb of ground beef, or leftover roast beef)
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic smashed
tomato chicken boullion (or beef or vegetable boullion)
1 large can of tomatoes (whole or diced)
Water
1 can of kidney beans (or cooked beans from dry)
1-2 cups of macaroni
1/2 packet of taco seasoning

Take the steak or ground beef and put in your pot with a bit of oil.  This is perfect for those really tough and really cheap cuts of beef.  Cook the meat, onions and garlic together until the onions are soft.  If using ground beef make sure it is nearly browned before adding onions.  Then add your boullion, the can of tomatoes (stick the knife into the can and roughly chop if using whole tomatoes) and water.  I used about 2.5 cups of water.  Cook with lid on until meat is nice and soft.  If you are using leftover roast, just cook the onions and garlic then throw the meat in with everything else and cook for at least half an hour for flavor.

Once meat is soft, remove from pot, slice into small thin pieces and put back in.  Add drained kidney beans, 1 to 2 cups of macaroni (enough to soak up the liquids) and taco seasoning.  Cook until macaroni is tender and liquid is soaked up.  Then Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pet Peeve


Blind Dudley

Many of you may not know this, but Dana and I used to have 9 ferrets.  Yes, you read that number 9 (nine) correctly.  They were Frosty, Stoney, Holley, Haley, Harley, Dudley, Ashley, Chi Chi and Spud.  This may be obvious, but we didn't name Chi Chi and Spud.

We loved our ferrets, they were so sweet.  We lost Harley to cancer in the Fall of 2002.  Right after that we lost our hedgehog Thorndyke.  And right after that we learned I was pregnant with Kaia.  By the time Morgan was born we had lost all of our ferrets, but Dudley. 

Kaia loved Dudley.  He was our big baby.  Big, lumbering, dumber than a box of rocks, and so sweet.  He was mostly blind and had bouts of baldness, but he enjoyed being carried around by Kaia and was always up for some hopping around with her. 

So if ferrets are such vicious creatures, do you believe that Dana and I would have ever allowed our daughter to play with Dudley?  Of course not.  Yet every radio and tv commercial I've seen for the past 5 years has made ferrets out to be horrible biting creatures.  Even the APA recommends that they not be in homes with children (they don't like hedgehogs for pets either). 

Out of 9 ferrets, we had 1 (one) that bit.  Holley was a tiny, silky albino female.  We were her 5th owners, in just over a months time.  She had a biting problem. I personally had her bite down on my knuckle, hit bone and hold.  It started with the first owners, and each owner after brought her back because they couldn't handle her. 

Ferret babies, like kittens and puppies naturally nip when they get excited.  Ferret mommies or owners have to teach the babies not to nip.  Now at a pet store, you might hear the teenage worker tell a customer to "flick their nose" when the cute little baby nips.  Feel free to flick the teenage worker's nose, or whap them upside the back of the head.  Flicking their nose teaches them to bite because they fear hands.  Proper ferret training involves the scruff of the neck, pinch the scruff and drag the ferret while saying "no."  See, now you can educate any stupid pet store workers you may run into, although I think flicking his or her nose would really be more fun.

We don't know if Holley was flicked first and that started the biting habit.  What we did learn years later was that she had had her ribs broken prior to living with us.  They were broken and began to calcify, scaring the crap out of us when we were sure the big lump was cancer.  Even though someone did that to her, we were able to teach her that people were ok.  We took our time and handled her carefully.  We used proper training when she was naughty, and at the end of her life she only nipped if you made a sudden move toward her.  And then, it was only a little nip. 

I can't stop the media from demonizing these sweet pets, but I can at least tell my readers and you can spread the word too.  And if you ever need personal testimony just ask Kaia about Dudley.  But be prepared for the tears and lamenting over the loss of her pet.  She even used to ask me if Jesus would send Dudley back so she could have him here again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just in time for cold & flu season, Boiron

This last review is the one I'm most excited about.  I received a package of 3 children's cold & flu products from Boiron.  These products are homeopathic remedies for the viruses.  I love it when I can use natural and homeopathic remedies.  I have only used 2 of the products, as we have thankfully not had the flu in our home yet. 

The first product we used is Chestal Honey.  Mo and Kaia both had nasty coughs.  If you have young children, you are probably aware that traditional over the counter cold and cough remedies aren't recommended for children under 6 years old.  So while I can attempt to trick Kaia into drinking the expectorant by telling her it doesn't taste horrible, Mo cannot have anything but his nebulizer treatments which do not soothe the throat or loosen much of the phlegm.  Children's Chestal though can be used for kids 2 and up.  With the first rounds of coughs I opened the bottle.  It took some convincing to get Kaia and Mo to take that first dose, but once they did, they were the ones reminding me they needed medicine.  Mo declared it "dewicious!" And, it helped.  The coughs weren't so forced, they quieted down and sounded more productive.

The second product was Children's Coldcalm which is for children 3 and up.  This medicine is teeny tiny balls that you dissolve in your mouth.  Mo started to get a nasty cold, about 3 weeks after we first used Chestal (the crud has hit us hard this year).  You kind of kick start the fight by taking 5 of these little balls every 20 minutes for the first hour.  Then follow up every 2 hours that there are symptoms.  Mo again wasn't convinced that the balls weren't icky, but he took them without complaint and went back to playing.  He reported to Grammy later that day that he was feeling better, and he told me that evening that the medicine made him feel better.  Later during the cold when I'd forgotten about giving him medicine (I'm not sure why I would forget things...) his symptoms definitely began to make a reappearance.  Mo reminded me he needed his medicine, and I happily obliged.

Here is the best part about these medicines: They are affordable!  I honestly expected that these would be out of my price range and that I'd never buy them at the store.  So often the natural medicines are $15 +, but while shopping at Fred Meyer (a Northwest Kroger affiliate) I checked out there natural medicine section.  I was delighted to find that the products started at $6.99.  They were comparable to name brand over the counter medicines in price, but are safe for younger children and a natural medicine. 

If you have a child or a houseful of them, I completely recommend these remedies.  If you don't have a child, Boiron makes the same medicines for adults!  I have to investigate the safety of using them during nursing, but I will definitely use their products for myself in the future.  No coupons to giveaway, but if you are a mom with a blog and would like to try these products too, visit children.boironusa.com/freesample

Stay healthy this winter!  All my review business is wrapped up, and I'll be back on Monday with posts from our life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Olay Professional Pro-X

Several months ago I joined Vocalpoint.com which is a marketing website for Procter & Gamble.   From the site, I received Olay Professional Pro-X wrinkle smoothing cream just after the boys were born.  This wasn't just a small sample either.  It was a real jar of the cream!  The marketing promises "your skin won't just look younger, it will act younger."  Kaia thinks this is amusing and keeps asking why I'd want my skin to act young.

I really like this night time cream.  It goes on smooth, but doesn't feel heavy.  I cannot attest to the actions of my skin though.  I'm not very good with a night time routine.  So I don't use the cream every night as I should.  I also started my sporadic use of it right after the boys were born, so my skin was going through just a few hormonal changes at the time. 

I do know is that my skin definitely feels soft and moisturized when I'm using it.  That softness, and you might even call it silkiness lasts through the day.  I think this cream could really make my skin look and feel better, and perhaps act younger, if I'd just figure out a way to follow a routine before bed.  I would definitely recommend the cream, and plan to look for it myself once my jar is empty. 

If you'd like to try one of the products in the new Olay Professional Pro-X line, then I have a coupon for you!  $10 off any single Pro-X product.  Just email me at DTKMKihn at yahoo.com requesting a coupon.  I'll send them first come, first serve.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bounce Dryer Bar Review

Another free item I received after having the boys was my Bounce Dryer Bar from Viewpoints.com.  I admit to being unsure about using it.  Someone I know had a bad experience with the bar not sticking to the side of her dryer and it banged about inside during drying.  I decided I could live with that.  Then I smelled the package... Whoo!  It was strong.  I am sensitive to smells and typically avoid even walking down the detergent aisle at the grocery.  Did I really want to wear that smell?  I was also hesitant to dry Brendon and Bryce's clothing with such a strong scent.

All of those hesitations are long gone.  I really like the bar.  It is still stuck to the side of our dryer.  And, while the bar itself has a strong smell, our clothing does not.  The clothes come out with a faint scent that is just right.  Our air has been cold and dry, yet there hasn't been any static on our clothes. 

I haven't kept track of the number of loads of clothing we have dried, but it has been in use for 6 weeks and we wash at the minimum 3 loads of laundry a week, but we have done extra now that we have urpy babies that only have a few outfits that fit.  So I anticipate that we've washed 25 loads of clothes and there is still some bar left.  I'm not sure the cost of the Bounce Dryer bars, but I hope they are a good price.  It is wonderful not to have dryer sheets floating all over the house, or worse finding them balled up in my pants mid-day.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Review Week Children's Zyrtec

I've fallen behind in some of my product reviews, and it's time to catch up. This week you can read some product reviews, and I even have some coupons to give away!

In October I received a box of Children's Zyrtec Perfect Measure for Kaia to use. I received this as part of my work as a BzzAgent. The medicine arrived with perfect timing, I was just getting home from the hospital with the boys and Kaia was in the beginning of a cold with allergies helping it along.

I loved that the Zyrtec worked. It really helped with her allergy symptoms, and didn't make her drowsy. Also, with my hands full, it was great that she could be responsible for her own medication. With the pre-filled spoons, she could grab one when it was time and take her medicine without any assistance. Another bonus is that the medicine is dye free. Kaia doesn't seem to be sensitive to food dyes, but with her reaction to other dyes I prefer to keep things dye free whenever possible.

There are a few drawbacks to this product. One is the price. Suggested retail has it at $11.99 for 10 pre-filled spoons. So it's over $1 a dose. Second is the waste. I felt really bad about all the packaging we were tossing with each use.

At only 6 years old, Kaia can swallow pills. Allergy pills tend to be less expensive and have less packaging. Children's Zyrtec isn't available in pill form, but does come as a chewable and a liquid with measuring cup. I can really see this product working best for travel. It would be much easier to take along on the next vacation or camping trip than a bottle and measuring cup.

If you would like to try Zyrtec Perfect Measure for your child age 6 and up, I have coupons for $3 off. They expire the end of December, so if you are interested, send me an email at DTKMKihn at yahoo.com. I'll send out coupons until they are gone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving


I am in shock that Thanksgiving is already here! It is my favorite holiday of the year, and yet I haven't done a thing to give the house a nice autumn feel. I have in the last few days managed to spend time remembering what I'm thankful for in 2009.


There is so much for me to be thankful for this year. If you had told me last November that we would have a surprise twin pregnancy, Dana's eye surgeries, and my surgery on the boys I would have thought you were as crazy as the Chinese Sperm Lady.


And yet, here we are, a family of 6. I'm so thankful for all 4 of our kids. Although our plan had been for 2, God's plan is definitely better as Brendon and Bryce are just so sweet.


I'm thankful that Dana and I have grown in our marriage, and the troubles of last year seem so far behind us. The surprises of the year could have torn us apart or made us stronger, and we grew closer because of them. I know that in the moments after my c-section, with the boys safely delivered, and Dana standing by my side in scrubs, I decided that there was no one more handsome to me than my hubby.


I'm thankful that Dana's eye surgery went well. While the surgery entailed far more than we had hoped, I'm thankful that his eyes are doing good, and even the small worry we had recently quickly resolved itself.


I'm thankful for family, friends, and all of my blog friends. The prayers, gifts, food and financial support we have received have been a huge blessing. I have been shown love in the most unexpected places, and I'm truly grateful.


I wish you all a wonderful time with family this Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mo-isms




I have a hypothesis! (complete with hand gesture courtesy of Dinosaur Train)

That coat is making me boring.

Mommy you're being a brat.

It's a green light, Go!

It's a yellow light, Go!

Look mommy, he's kissing your boobie. (I was nursing one of the boys)

SOS isn't dinner. SOS is letters, you can't eat letters.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Frugal Gifts for Mom's with Newborns


4 Generation Photo

I wanted to say new moms, but new I am not! We have been blessed to receive so many wonderful gifts these past few months. Some gifts have been amazingly generous in their cost, but not everyone has the financial resources to give that way. Money should never stop you from attending a baby shower or assisting the new mom. Here are some fabulous gifts that will cost you very little to nothing:

  • Knitted or Crocheted baby caps, blankets, or booties. These can all be made for the price of yarn. Even then, if you let people know you knit or crochet, you will receive plenty of FREE yarn. Everyone seems to have yarn, and not need it. Maybe you are laughing because you don't know how to knit or crochet. Learn! I purchased several baby caps from my friend Ann and discovered that I wanted to learn to knit. She directed me to KnittingHelp.com. This site not only has written directions, but video directions. So no matter what your learning style, you can learn from this site!

  • Meals. These have been such a great help to us! We have received frozen meals that I could defrost and cook at any time. We have received meals that were made and delivered hot. We also received cans of soup, crackers and corn bread mix which are perfect for lunches or last minute meals (and can be made easily by husbands or older children).
  • Night Sitting. I never knew how much a good night's sleep meant to me, until I went over 2 weeks without. That's when a friend responded to my Facebook post about sleep and my desire for a night nurse. She volunteered to spend the night caring for the boys so I could sleep. It was AMAZING. I felt so good the next day. After thanking her on Facebook another friend volunteered to do the same. So I have had 2 full nights of sleep now, and they have been fantastic. The cost is absolutely nothing but time.
  • Housework, Gardening, Errands. Maybe you cannot do the overnight shift (don't use kids as an excuse though, both of these ladies have children of their own), but like the idea of helping. With a newborn (or 2) at home there is plenty to do. My house is a disaster, my garden is filled with weeds, and for the first few weeks, there were always errands that needed done. Helping clean, garden, watching the baby while mom runs an errand, or completing the errand for her are all wonderful gifts.
I hope these ideas help you out with your next baby shower. I have one next weekend, and I plan to make a baby cap as she lives out of town.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our 4 cuties


Thanks to Grandpa Gordie for capturing this photo for us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A few photos

The boys are growing! Brendon is finally out of preemie clothes, and Bryce is almost too big for some of the newborn clothes. 2 oz bottles are slowly becoming 3 or 4 oz bottles and both boys are better at nursing, when they want to nurse.

The boys are happiest when they are together. When they were born, Bryce was the first out. He came out crying and we knew he was a big and healthy boy. What we couldn't see behind the curtain, was Brendon reaching his hand out of the incision and waving it around. Some of the nurses and doctors were joking that he didn't want to be left behind, others said he was learning early to reach for a credit card, but I think he just wanted to know where his brother went. They both pay attention to where brother is and are not happy when separated.

I have started going into work for a few hours a day. It's nice to be out of the house and away from the endless cycle of diapers, feeding and naps. The boys seemed to enjoy their time at Grammy and Papa's yesterday, and I had my first opportunity to try and tell them apart. The good news: I passed. I walked in to see that both boys were in different jammies, I quickly picked out which one was Bryce and which was Brendon.


Sleepy Brendon


Bryce checking things out


Mommy Cinnamon keeping an eye on the boys.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Too Tired to Think?


Or maybe it's just too tired to post. Of course there is plenty going on here. I've tried to compose posts in my head, but they don't get very far. Life revolves around feedings, diaper changes, and sleep... or lack of sleep.

We are falling into a routine though. The boys are eating on their own command, and I no longer need to set an alarm to wake them. They each get the chance to nurse at least once a day, and the rest of the time they get bottles of expressed milk or formula. I have mastered tandem bottle feeding and alternate who sits in the Boppy to eat and who is held.

Kaia and Mo love their brothers. Kaia is over-zealous in her desire to hold them and feed them. They would never sleep if she had her way because she wants to hold and play with them all the time. Mo enjoys showing them his toys and how they work. He gives them "big hugs" and kisses often.

Dana is great helping with the boys. And we both seem to be figuring out our role as the parents of 4 kids.

I miss reading all your blogs, and hopefully will get all caught up soon!


Halloween Night, I wasn't getting much cooperation and photo time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Celebration!


Things are moving along quite rapidly here. The boys are over one week old already! It's unbelievable. They are also gaining weight as needed, and mom is starting to get some sleep.

We've had other good news too. While I was in the hospital, we learned that the Suburban we wanted was finally approved and ready for us. It was a long ordeal, and we'd both written off owning the Suburban, as much as we wanted it and had decided to just make do as a two car family. Now it is sitting in our garage, and I can't wait until I'm allowed to drive again so I can be behind the wheel.

We traded our truck in on it, so the car, which has always been considered mine will be Dana's vehicle quite often. So he spent one of his days off cleaning it. It was filthy, and while I've cleaned it, I've haven't had it spotless in ages. I'm afraid of vacuuming up something special that the kids lost in it.

On my wedding day, my mom gave me her silver cross that she received as a gift from her sister on her 16th birthday. It has a diamond in the center and it was her first diamond. I wore it quite often, but one day the chain broke. I put the cross in a little holder in the car, with the broken chain, in hopes of finding a chain that matched. Then one day it was gone. Kaia and Mo had been playing in the car and things were all over the place. I looked and looked, but never found the cross.

Dana did a thorough cleaning of the car, and then sorted through the shop vac before dumping it. Guess what he brought me. Yes, I do have a wonderful husband! Not many men dig through the trash for their wives, but mine knew how much it meant to me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Matched Set


I was talking to one of the boys yesterday and told him that there was just too much cute for one baby. They are so cute that they had to be part of a matched set. We're still trying to tell them apart without having to look side by side at the size difference or by checking the wrist band or ankle band that are still on. Mo does this best, when he chooses to acknowledge they are people. More often than not, Brendon and Bryce are "it" and "that one." As in, "It looks like it's about to cry." Or "That one is hungry."

Right now we are all doing well and adjusting. I'm recovering from the c-section and tubal ligation, and not feeling well. The boys are being checked almost daily for weight gain, but yesterday the appointment went well enough that we do not have to go in today for a check up.

Thank you so much to all of you for your prayers! Also, I keep receiving wonderful gifts. The Belly Bandit and Lilypadz I asked for are here, although I'm thankful I received 2 Belly Bandits. The small is too small, so my mom exchanged one that she purchased here in town for a medium, and it is still too small. Soon... My grandma also gave us some cute burp clothes, we also received some from the hospital, we got adorable socks from my mom, and corduroy shoes from my aunt. Julie sent us some fabulous swaddling blankets. Grammy has been by to help feed and bring some treats for the older kids. My mom has been busy driving me around and helping in the house. Last we received news that the financing on our Suburban had finally been worked out, at what we wanted. So we have a vehicle that fits us all! I look forward to being back online more soon, but first we have to get past this every 3 hour feeding schedule.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Boys



Bryce Walker
10/15/09
9:03 AM
6 lbs 3 oz, 20 inches long


Brendon Quinn
10/15/09
9:05 AM
5 lbs 6 oz, 19 inches long

We are all home and healthy. The boys never needed NICU or pediatric care. They roomed in with me the entire time. The entire family loves them, and they are very good babies. Thanks for your prayers, and I promise more photos and a full story soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's the Day!

Today is the day the boys arrive. Please pray for a safe and healthy delivery for the boys and I. Pray for Dana as he manages the house while I'm in the hospital and Kaia and Mo as they are separated from me for a few days. I can't wait to show you photos and introduce you to these boys!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

I have one of our secret family recipes to share with you. Coming from the great line of cooks that I do, my mind is chock full of them... I could probably fool you all, if my family didn't read this, and half may have just wet themselves laughing so hard.

I can't think of one "family recipe." Most of our awesome recipes have come from a book, and sure they've been altered a bit, especially once they reach yours truly, but they aren't secret. I have no idea where this recipe came from, but what I do know is:
  1. It's easy to fix
  2. It's inexpensive
  3. The ingredients are almost always on hand
So here it is, my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. These taste better than any other peanut butter cookie I've ever eaten.

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Mix those three ingredients together. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll into small balls and press with a fork. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

There you go, that's all there is to it, and they are divine!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The List

Julie mentioned in her comment yesterday that I should provide a list, so those who would like to help us with things for the boys can. What is funny is I don't know really know what I still need. I feel like a novice mom again. What should I have on hand for newborns? I'll give you a few lists, because that is how my brain works, when it works.

Things I'll need, but haven't purchased yet:
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Vaseline (small tub for after the circumcision)
Things I have, but will need more of:
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Formula (although we are waiting before buying this, just in case the boys have special needs)
  • Meals for after the boys arrive
Things I'd like to have, but don't need:
  • Bamboo Belly Bandit size small
  • Lilypadz (these are similar to nursing pads but don't absorb milk, they keep you from leaking in the first place)
Maybe there is something I'm forgetting? I don't know. I did receive a nice envelope full of formula, diaper and baby stuff coupons from Danielle. And a friend that had her little girl yesterday, gave me the most adorable dinosaur hats and mittens for when they get bigger. Most of the things I will need are big and bulky, and probably cost more to ship than to purchase. So if you would like to buy me diapers, you can always buy a Target or Wal Mart gift card and specify diapers. I promise that the gift card will be matched up with coupons to get the best possible deal.

If you would like to help, you may email me at DTKMKihn at Yahoo for our address, or send to the church and specify the Kihn family or Brendon and Bryce Kihn:
Summit View Church of Christ
100 N 72nd Ave
Yakima WA 98908

Most of all, what we need, and what you are already freely giving is prayer. Prayers that these last few days go well. Prayers that the boys arrive safely. And prayers that we all adjust to life as a family of six smoothly. Thank you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday Grammy/Mom/June!

Just Days

We are just days away from meeting our boys! Today, I am 36 weeks. The boys will be here this time next week. It's exciting, awe inspiring and at times scary. Are we really ready for 4? Maybe not, but soon we will be a family of 6 and I'm sure things will all fall into place.

During the last few weeks, I received a big box of bottles, breastmilk storage bags and supplies from my friend in Philadelphia. That is a big need filled and I'm so grateful! Then last weekend my aunt stopped by with a box of goodies. She had board books for Kaia and Mo to read to the boys (they loved that it was a gift for the 4 of them to enjoy). There was also a nursing bracelet, an udder covers nursing cover, baby toiletries, and some pampering for me! She had razors, shave cream, bath scent, and a travel size package of Aveeno products for me to enjoy. I think the Aveeno will likely go into my hospital bag, as some will come in handy during my hospital stay.

The boys and I are still very healthy. While my legs look like an elephant's and I feel crippled, I am doing better now than I was a few months ago. My blood pressure has improved and my body is still keeping the boys in nice and tight. The boys also look great. Both were doing practice breathing, a very important sign. Brendon is still breech and hanging out more across the top of my uterus, while Bryce is in the alpha position with his little head down in my pelvis.

Thank you so much for all your thoughts, prayers and well wishes for us! I have some posts in mind for the next few days, but cannot wait for the big post announcing their birth and showing off their beautiful faces.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Final Belly Shot?


Probably not, but it could be my last belly post, it's all up to the boys. One thing is for sure, in 2 weeks time, Dana and I will have Bryce and Brendon with us. It's exciting and anxiety inducing all at the same time.

How about a comparison? 15 weeks to 35 weeks



A few things have changed, and so our plans must be altered a bit. Due to the flu, no one under the age of 14 is allowed to visit maternity, NICU, or pediatrics at the hospital. Also only 2 healthy, adult visitors are allowed at a time per patient. Finally if your support person is ill, they will be required to leave. The 2 visitors at a time has been a policy for some time, but never enforced. I've seen groups of 8 walking to a room to visit the mom and baby. But, a security guard now checks in all visitors as they step off the elevator. I have to say that my NST yesterday was the quietest I've ever had. It was nice.

While we are really disappointed that Mo and Kaia will not be able to come to the hospital to meet their brothers, I'm happy that there won't be large groups of people in the halls, and that I won't need to worry about the boys becoming ill due to other people's visitors.

I'm not visiting or commenting on your blogs as much these days, but I will be back soon. That was often my break at work, but our internet has been slower than molasses in January. At home, I'm just flat out tired. I do appreciate all your prayers as the big day draws near!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It doesn't take much

I was thrilled today to open my email and discover that I was one of the respondents chosen for a free Bounce Dryer Bar from Viewpoints! We don't use fabric softener in our house, and only on certain loads of clothes do we use dryer sheets (Dana's work clothes, dish towels, and cloth diapers). I'm excited to see how the bar does and determine how long it lasts! I will definitely let you know what I think.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gifts for the boys

I am so grateful for all the gifts that have been coming in for the boys, and for us. We have cans of soup and cornbread mix in the cupboard, and casseroles in the freezer thanks to ladies from our congregation. We also have size 1 diapers thanks to them also. Gifts have been coming from family and friends, from here in town and far away. One surprise gift was 2 crocheted blankets from a friend in Charleston. Here are some photos of a few things we've received these last few weeks.

These warm fleece pants with zip up hoodies were a gift from my aunt and uncle. They look and feel so snug and warm!

These adorable onesies came in from Aunt Pat. I love the slogans, so true! She dropped these off yesterday after taking Kaia to the movies.

These adorable jammies are from June. She's making sure her newest grandsons are well dressed. When Mo was coming it seemed like everything we received (through baby showers, from friends and family) was sports because that's what was out in the stores. I liked those things, but love the recycling and dinosaurs and puppy prints we are getting this time even more.

Last, after months of trying to figure out what to do when I have 2 infants and need to set one down, I decided a Moses Basket would be perfect. I'm not a car seat carrying mom. My back does not like me that much and it would be hard to carry 1 boy, a car seat and wrangle Kaia and Mo. Mom bought me this beautiful Moses Basket, which is lightweight and will make the perfect portable bed. I can wear one boy in a sling or pack, carry the other, and just sling this over my arm or have Kaia carry it.

And don't worry, the diaper table is still getting good use! The cover for the changing pad remains in a wicker basket underneath to keep it cat hair free.

I also have exciting news... the big day is set! If these boys don't make an attempt to come on their own, then my c-section will be Thursday, October 15th! So I know I will be meeting my boys in mere days!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pregnant Men

About 2 weeks ago, Dana let me know that I was very cranky when I got home from work. I agreed, and I told him, "Next time you are 32 weeks pregnant with twins, I promise you can be as cranky as you want to be." He laughed saying he never wanted to be pregnant with twins, and quickly corrected that to never wanting to be pregnant at all.

I'm sure it's something all expectant mothers have dreamed of, having our husband be the one pregnant, even for just a day or two. It's an experience that I don't think men will ever fully understand. On a daily basis I wish I could take my belly off and have Dana carry it for a few hours. I've told Kaia that I'd love for her to be able to do the same (talk about birth control!). While at this time us women are the only ones that can bear children (I don't dare put it past scientists to figure out something else one day), men can get a taste of what we go through.

I invite you to check out Darren Garnick's 24-Hour Diary of a Pregnant Guy. He wore a pretty intense belly suit to give him the experience of pregnancy. It was complete with 11 pounds of shifting water to help with that off-balance feeling.

I do happen to be jealous that his suit only added 33 pounds. I was up 45 pounds at my last appointment, and should continue to gain at least a pound a week (the boys should gain 1/2 pound each for every week they stay in). Enjoy your look into his experience!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Naughty!

Dear Readers,
I have been a very bad blogger. I have had an appointment in Seattle, and haven't updated you all yet. We've received some fabulous gifts for the boys, and I haven't taken photos to show you. Just when I thought I'd be resigned to wearing the same 3 outfits to work every day for the rest of this pregnancy, I was gifted with 4 more shirts and a dress by my aunt and uncle and still no photos. We've been blessed with food and diapers from the congregation, and I haven't mentioned it until now. You have been by to say hi, to check on our progress, and I haven't written a post or even visited you in most cases.

I'm sorry! I do think of you, and I do miss reading your blogs and commenting. I've composed several posts in my head, but not one has made it onto this blog. Barb mentioned my ticker, and what's scary is I have fewer days than the 46. In 24 days or less, we should be meeting these boys. There is a big part of me that wants them to stay in at least another 11 days or more to cook, but another part of me would like them out now!

My appointment Wednesday was my last visit to Seattle! My good friend Jenny and her youngest daughter Anna came with me. The NST looked good, once I woke Bryce up. The ultrasound was done by a very sweet, but very SLOW intern. It took a full 2 hours, something that hasn't happened before. By 3:15 p.m. when I checked in for my should have been 3 p.m. appointment, I was beat! So was my perinatologist, who is about 4 weeks ahead of me.

She said that the boys looked great. Bryce is measuring at 4 lbs 3 oz and Brendon at 3 lbs 15 oz. She also explained to me why Dr. Walker (the specialist) recommends a c-section. She also let me know that with my history of easy vaginal births, she would be supportive if, knowing the risks, I wanted to try for that. 5% risk of complications is really small considering everything these boys have gone through, but I'm happy to cut that specific risk to pretty much 0 and have a c-section. Plus, that way I can have another tubal ligation.

The boys are doing so well, that as far as my peri is concerned, we've accomplished what we needed to with them. She said if I were to go into labor today, she wouldn't try to stop it. So my job of baby carrying has shifted from taking care because they need it, to taking care because I need it. I'm battling swelling, exhaustion, insomnia, upset stomach, reflux, and just general crankiness. If I've talked to you lately, and I was rude, I apologize. It's really not intentional, I just have no patience or tolerance left in me. Just thinking at times is too much.

I hope that doesn't read as whiny. That isn't my intent. I just want to keep track of what's happening right now. I think even easier to forget than the pain of labor (and I realize that I did have an epidural both times, but it hurt before the epi) is the way we feel before labor. Those last few weeks of waiting. In the last few months I kept looking back thinking I was whining too much those last weeks with Mo. It couldn't have been that bad. Well, now I'm here, and this pregnancy is very different from the last, and I no longer condemn myself for being a wuss. I wasn't, it's just easy to forget how it all feels.

I am still enjoying watching all the interesting shapes my belly can become. I also love to see the elbows and knees, hands and feet that seem to almost constantly be tracing my belly. I even enjoy feeling them push each other, especially after reading that it's in this last trimester that twins will begin interacting with each other.

I'll post again this week to share some of our new treasures for the boys. I can't wait for the day where I'm posting their birth announcement, and busy snuggling them in my arms.

She's Hot!

Kaia is on today's local news. The weatherman goes to different schools and does fun activities with the kids. To watch her visit HERE You'll need to scroll down the page halfway, until you see "Jordan Youngs visits local schools" on the right side.

The Wide Hollow video is currently labeled as video 1, and should be the video up for just hitting play. Kaia's part of the warm air, and she's wearing a pink and blue shirt. And they are all in first grade, not kinder. Very important distinction when you are 6!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Secret Weapon

This morning I discovered a way to get two kids up and moving so that we can get out the door on time.



Thank you YouTube and Madagascar 2 music videos.

Friday, September 11, 2009

32 weeks and growing!


Believe it or not, I can still get the shirt on.



The belly isn't so pretty anymore with the stretch marks and random rashes. But the cargo inside is beautiful!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Convenience

We don't usually eat convenience foods in our home for dinner. The occasional chicken nuggets and tater tots, hamburger helper, or frozen lasagne is about it. Those are often for busy nights when I'm working late, have a moms' devotional, or am not feeling well.


I think all of you would agree that it's not the healthiest, and it certainly isn't the most frugal of food choices. That has all changed lately. I am now 32 weeks along. My multiples book recommends that women quit working at 28 weeks. Many women I know that are carrying twins are already on bedrest. Me, I still get up and fix Dana and I breakfast, pack lunches, get the kids dressed, take Kaia to school, drop Mo off at Grammy and Papa's and then go to work. So when I get home in the evening, dinner has to be prepared and eaten quickly so that I can lay down and get off my swollen legs, cankles and feet.


It's been hard to find convenience foods that still fit into our budget. I've decided that the extra dollar or two spent on a dinner is worth it to keep Brendon and Bryce in longer and out of NICU, and therefore have allowed myself to spend a little more than I normally would on our dinners. I have been surprised to find that not all convenience foods are overpriced.


Flav-R-Pac makes a stroganoff frozen meal that only requires the addition of ground beef and water. It was $2.69 for the bag. The bag contained approximately 3/4 of a pound of their mixed veggies (the fancy kind with water chestnuts and french cut green beans), approximately 2 cups of egg noodles, and a packet of frozen sauce. For once a meal actually called for 1/2 pound of ground beef, rather than a full pound. I never add a full pound of beef to anything, but I never follow directions either. The meal was quick to prepare, tasted great, and made plenty of servings. The 4 of us ate, and had a small amount leftover for my lunch the next day.


I wanted to figure out if this was a good deal or not. The frozen mixed veggies in this mix go on sale for $1.25 a 1 pound bag. I can buy a bag of egg noodles for $1 if I find them on sale. I have no idea what was in the sauce mix, but to make this homemade, it would likely cost me about $2 for the ingredients in the bag (depending on the sauce mix). So I think the $2.69 price tag was well worth the 20 minutes I didn't spend in meal preparation.

Photo from Farmhouse.com


I also found a hamburger helper style boxed dinner last night at Albertson's that was excellent. It's made by Farmhouse and it was a salisbury dinner. It was mini-lasagne noodles and a sauce packet. I paid $1.19. The only additions were hamburger (I added about half a pound) and water. I also chose to add the last of the frozen peas in the freezer (about 1/4 cup). It made plenty of servings, and tasted good. The noodles and sauce made from scratch would probably only cost 40-50 cents, but once again, the extra 69 cents or so was worth it.



Tonight it's pork ribs that I bought for 50% off, and they've been in the slow cooker all day. I just need to microwave the broccoli, and top it with cheese and we have a meal. Good thing too, as my cankles are looking forward to the rest.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mo the Builder

While he may have loved dressing in his sister's clothes, he has really become all boy lately. If it has wheels, Mo is interested in it. From his Hot Wheels collection, Thomas the Tank Engine trains, John Deere tractors and heavy equipment, to his Monster Trucks he loves them all!

Last night he couldn't stop talking as he played in our dirt patch out front. The dirt patch used to house 3 bleeding hearts, but for the most part they were lost when we re-did the sprinklers as that is where all of the water and sprinkler system "stuff" is. I think that while the dirt patch may not be as pretty, it's far better. What do you think?

There isn't much to see on the video, as the sun had gone down, but the conversation was too good to miss!

video


video

Friday, September 4, 2009

Show & Tell: The Nursery and More Gifts

Here it is! The nursery is getting close to being done. The crib is together, and I'm happy that the honey pots never came down from the walls.

The blankets were made by June (aka Grammy). She said there were so many fun boy prints, but she realized that Mo would think they were for him. So she stuck to the Winnie-the-Pooh theme, and I think it's a great idea. We don't need to ask for any sibling rivalry, and they definitely match the nursery.

She also bought the boys some Pooh outfits. They are newborn size, and still so tiny!

And of course Grammy had to do some crocheting and knitting for her newest grandsons! She made 2 swaddle sacks.

And she also made two hoodies for the boys.

Someone is getting good use of the changing table already. Boomer stays out of the crib, but he has always loved to sleep on the changing table.

Thanks for visiting! For more Show & Tell, visit Kelli!