Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'll be back

Taking a short break while Dana has eye surgery in Seattle. I'm hoping we have internet access at the hotel, but I'm not holding my breath. Dana's surgery is EARLY Monday morning, and he'll spend the day recuperating at the hotel. Tuesday, he sees the doctor for a check up, and if all went well we have a 2 and a half hour drive home. If not, we have an 8 hour drive home. So keep us in your prayers, and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Drama Queen

There has never been any question that our darling little girl is a drama queen! She just came out that way. After her grand entrance into this world, she was placed on my chest. We looked at her so sweet and quiet, and she looked up at us bleary eyed, and gave us the finger.

When we brought her home, she continued on her dramatic path. Screaming for 3 hours straight on the first night home was just a small hint of her present day vocal abilities. Soon she dropped the crying for hamming it up.

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

Once she started preschool she really worked the starlet act. She stayed up late, slept in late, and had to have beautiful hair while doing it!

Once she started kindergarten, the up all night and play all day had to go. The demanding schedule of entertaining a classroom of 20 every day required sleep. But when she was entertaining, she gave it her all.

Then came her big break. She finally had a play to perform in. It may not have been a lead role, but she took it just as seriously. She attended every rehearsal, even with a fever of 103 and a mask on to keep her from sharing her virus. (which turned into strep throat after the performance)

This morning she was so busy singing, making faces, and acting in the mirror, I could hardly get ready. I realized this summer is going to be crazy with her. I wish there were a free drama camp that she could spend all day at, where she could nurture her talent, and get all that energy out! Then she would really be ready for audtions this Fall.

Wait this Fall, is auditions, and the show. There is something else happening this Fall. Yes, it hit me. I have no idea how she'll get to auditions and the show, as most likely I will have had the babies, or be so close I won't be able to do all the running around. Guess I know what task, people that offer to "help" will be signed up for.

Photos 1, 2 & 5 courtesy of my dad.


I have determined that it is Blogger and my Outlook that are not getting along. If you have a blogger blog, it may take me longer to visit you. I'm still working on correcting the problem (or abandoning my RSS feeds and using another reader), but I have some deadlines looming and Dana's surgery in Seattle is Monday morning.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Weekend

We are trying to enjoy ourselves this weekend, even if it's not the same being at home instead of camping in the hills.

The weather is beautiful, and we've enjoyed time outside. Yesterday we washed the Jeep and my car. Morgan and Kaia played in the dogs' pool in the morning, and played with the hose in the afternoon. They also helped wash my car before we traveled to the library. We ate hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, and tomatoes for dinner.

Today Dana went with my dad for a motorcycle ride, and the kids and I went to church. Now we're relaxing, and laundry will be hanging out to dry as soon as I'm done posting. Tonight we'll eat burgers from the grill, fresh radishes (a gift from Kevin and Jenny's garden), potato salad, and s'mores. I also hope to get a rhubarb pie made. If not today, then tomorrow and we can enjoy it with our steaks tomorrow night.

Earlier today, I got smacked in the face with the idea I was old. In 1997 I was a nanny for a friend at church. The girl was a pre-teen, the boy was a few years younger. I had a great summer driving them back and forth to youth group activities. Today, the girl that I shared a room with, is getting married! The realization of how much time has passed, combined with the energy toll of gestating twins made me realize I'm old! Regardless, I wish her and her new husband the best, on this gorgeous weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Kaia can spin a pretty good story when needed, but sometimes she speaks nothing but the truth. Last night she was telling me some of her made up jokes. And this one hurt:
Kaia: Why was the mommy cranky?
Me: I don't know, why?
Kaia: Because she has two babies in her tummy.

Ok, I get it, I've been pretty cranky lately. I try hard not to be, but I haven't succeeded. Last night was exceptionally bad, but I was really trying to keep it to myself. My back hurt, I was tired, and I learned that another November mom, also carrying twins, went in for an ultrasound and learned that one of the babies had died. She and I bonded quite quickly. The first two to know we were having twins. We both have two older children, and are close in age. I felt her loss like I would feel my own. The good news is the other baby is doing well, and the doctor believes she'll have no problems carrying him or her to full term.

I don't want to start your weekend out on a sour note, so it's a good thing Kaia had something much funnier to say this morning. I told her that she had $2.25 in her backpack for lunch.

Kaia: $2.25 is a lot
Me: Yes, that's what it costs for lunch
Kaia: That's expensive
Me: I think so too, but apparently that's what it costs
Kaia: They should be ashamed of themselves!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am not ignoring you

I just want to let everyone know that I haven't been able to go visiting in blog land. I'm sorry. I want to, really. But, my RSS feeds are freezing up my Outlook, and frankly, I'm too lazy to try to remember all of your blog addresses to manually go visit! I'm going through withdrawls here!

And to be fair, some of it is laziness, and some of it is busy-ness. It's easy to do a quick read in my inbox, then pop on over with my comment as I have time. But, it takes more time to go to your blog, wait for it to load, read through, and then comment. And for some reason, I don't get paid to blog and visit your blogs. I do get paid to maintain our Facebook, and I'm not even doing much there.

I'll be by soon, when I sort all this RSS/Outlook issue out, or when my work is all done and I can play. Whichever comes first.

Now for more exciting news. Dana felt a baby last night! I didn't think their movements were strong enough to be felt from the outside yet. But, Dana came over and with one hand wide open gave my belly a few squeezes.

Frac apparently found that odd, and moved to the side, but Dana's fingers were still there, so Frac retreated inward. I felt it, and when I saw Dana's face, I realized that he felt it too. Fric was hanging out a bit lower and probably just barely noticed all the action. I thought it was great for Dana to experience some of the action I experience each day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More On Our Garden

You are probably tired of this photo, but new ones are coming. I have many more pots this year!

Just a few more thoughts on our garden. First, you may recall from last year, our entire garden is in the front yard.

Because of 2 dumb dogs, we cannot plant anything in the backyard, at least not anything we expect to live. Sampson on his own effectively took out all the hostas, a bleeding heart, 3 mini roses, 2 bushes, and most of some type of mint that I had spent the prior 3 years trying to pull. The only backyard survivors are two trees, a pretty ground cover (name unknown), a few brave yarrow, and the plants that grow in between the rocks (creeping phlox and chicks and hens).

Our front garden isn't all food though. You will also find asiatic lilies, oriental lilies, day lilies, lavendar, evergreen trees, bushes, mums, japanese maples and ornamental grasses. In the spring there are the daffodils, jonquils, crocus and hyacinth too. There is also the ever present weeds. So the front garden is a mix of beauty and utility. The big bushes are right by the retaining wall, and that is also where I planted the grape vines. My hope is one day that the front of our garden becomes a fence/hedge to block out the street.

The last thing you may have noticed is, I didn't work with seeds (except for the lettuce). While seeds are the least expensive way to grow your own food, they also can be more time consuming. I have also found that I have only moderate luck with seeds, where small plants do well for me. In figuring cost, it's easy to see that I am still saving the family money. All of the veggies I purchased this year, except for the pumpkin, were $1.79 for 4 plants.
  • Each tomato plant then needs to only produce 1 to 2 tomatoes to recover the cost.
  • Cherry tomatoes, which will only need to produce about 5 each.
  • Each jalapeno plant will pay for itself if it produces approximately 4 jalapenos each.
  • The squash plants will only need to produce 1 squash each.
  • The cucumbers will only need to produce 2 cukes each.
  • The red and yellow bell peppers will pay for themselves with 1 pepper each.
The pumpkin is something I don't normally buy. But, at $1.79 for 2 plants, 1 pumpkin will recover the cost, if I were to buy one in the fall. (Which is unlikely considering that the babies will be here before Halloween.)
I didn't buy a green bell pepper plant, because I often can purchase nice big peppers for 25 cents a piece. While they would still pay for themselves, there is a better return on the red and yellow which are much more expensive. Last, I bought plants because I am making an effort to take care of myself and these babies. It was easier, and right now, that's worth a few dollars!
And for potting all thos container plants? The Dollar Store has good sized plastic pots at $1 each and potting soil for $1.79 a bag. Also there are a few yard sale pots, and a few birthday present pots mixed in. So this year I've spent about $20.11 on our garden. I won't venture to guess what the value of food harvested will be, but I can guarantee it will be far more than $20.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Garden

This weekend was a busy one, but I was careful not to overdo it! As of yesterday we have the biggest garden, I've ever planted!

Currently in the ground:
10 tomato plants (4 brandywine, 4 celebrity, and 2 unkown)
4 acorn squash plants
2 pumpkin plants
2 pole beans from my aunt
several tomato seedlings from my aunt
2 grape vines from last year that may or may not grow this year
several green onions from last years crop

Currently in containers:
4 sweet bell pepper plants
4 jalapeno plants
4 cucumber plants (bush variety)
lettuce seed

Waiting to be planted:
2 sunflower plants from my aunt
3 blackberry poles from my aunt (poles, starts, shoots???)
4 cherry tomato plants

I still have more seeds that I could and should plant, but I'm beginning to run out of room! I think I will definitely try to put some more beans in around the 2 I've already planted. And I plan to plant the lettuce seeds successively.

I need to weed more of the front garden so that I can plant the last 4 tomatoes. I'm hoping to have the energy to work on it just a little bit each night this week. And once that is done, I can plant some more of the seeds that are just waiting.

How is your garden going? Are you still in the planning stages, or lucky enough to be bearing some food already? We are being gifted with rhubarb from friends and family, but I think that's about all that's growing here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Show & Tell: Twin Belly Week 15

I promised them, and here they are...

Here is my belly in the shirt I wore for my last belly shot post. I don't think it will fit when it's time for my next shot. The babies are growing fast! They should be having a big growth spurt in the next few weeks.

And there is the bare belly. Just in case you thought I was using a pillow. Several people commented on my shirt when I last posted. I got that shirt at the Aeropostale Outlet Store in Lincoln City, Oregon. It was right around $5 and I love it. Too bad it won't fit all summer, but it should look great next summer, even if I'm still losing the baby fat.
And on the note of clothes not fitting, if anyone is a clothing designer, or dreams of becoming one. There is money to be made in designing maternity clothes for mother's of multiples. Really, think about it. Even in my last few weeks with Mo, nothing fit over my belly that also fit elsewhere. Essentially, if the shirt covered my belly, you were probably viewing my breasts, or it was falling off my shoulders.
I have yet to find someone that makes maternity clothes and realizes that a small, petite woman will stay small and petite while pregnant, but her belly will grow and grow. Right now, I'm outgrowing my small maternity clothes. I have on a medium maternity shirt right now, and it's too big in the shoulders and breasts, and almost too small in the belly. My coworker suggested I find babydoll cut shirts and roomy tunics. I will be keeping my eyes open.
For more Show & Tell, visit Kelli's House. She is showing her lovely Mother's Day gifts today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm still here...

I am way behind! I should have posted the Glade Sense & Spray winners this week, and I need to get a new belly shot for you all. I'm happy to announce that I have the Sense & Spray winners, the belly shot will come soon.

I wasn't on the computer much early this week because of a little scare. Monday evening brought some spotting, and by Tuesday morning I had quite a bit of lower back pain, cramping, and just plain soreness to accompany it. The on-call doctor told me Monday night that the spotting was likely to due lifting heavy things or intercourse, but to call Dr. Rowles the next day if I was still concerned. The explanation made perfect sense, but the cramping and back pain started to scare me. So Tuesday I was on bedrest until my appointment with my doctor.

The appointment showed that all was well. Dr. Rowles did an ultrasound just to make sure both Fric and Frac were doing well. Fric was going nuts, and Frac was chillin. Just like last time. My Mother-in-Law thinks that maybe Fric is a girl because Kaia was always nuts on the ultrasounds, and Frac is a boy, mellow just like Mo was.

After seeing the babies, he checked my cervix, to make sure nothing was going on there. And nothing was. So my scare was pretty much over nothing, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. He did recommend spending the rest of the day resting. The cramping and back pain are from the extra weight of 2 growing babies on a back and belly that just wasn't prepared for it. I did feel better for the rest, and am trying to do more laying down every day. Next up is a comfortable office chair!

Now for the winners:
Dolphin Girl

I'll be contacting you for your address, if I don't already have it. I'll be back tomorrow!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Helper

When she was good, she was very, very good. And when she was bad, she was horrid.

This weekend Kaia started out as horrid. There was a complete meltdown before the 16th Birthday Party we attended Friday night. Dana and I refused to let her wear a pair of leggings with a t-shirt. The leggings are the kind that are meant to be worn under a skirt, or under a drss that's a little short. She was great at the party though, much better behaved than 90% of the teenagers. We were out late, and she had actually crawled up on my lap and fell asleep she was so tired. (Mo on the otherhand was still going strong at 11 p.m. He was busy grabbing the teenage girls' butts and showing off for them. Yes, he's all boy!)

Saturday, I could quickly tell was not going to be a good day with the kids. Both Kaia and Mo were WILD. I tried my best to convince them that because it was Mother's Day weekend they should be well-behaved. It didn't work. I did take them both with me to the nursery next door. I picked out a few tomato plants, but will have to go back for my favorite Oregon Spring variety and also to get jalapenos. Kaia was goofing off and fell and skinned her knee while we were there. Her dramatic reaction to this earned both kids a free tomato plant from an employee. I didn't think it was necessary, but I wasn't going to argue. After arguing with Mo over the wagon, and having him almost de-pants me while paying for our plants, I got the kids home.

We all worked in the garden and when Dana came home he took some great photos of the kids with his motorcycle. The evening just continued to be fun, trying to keep Kaia and Mo out of the newly planted garden. Trying to keep the house from being destroyed. It was pretty much non-stop until bedtime.

Sunday was much the same, although Kaia was on her best behavior during church. She also listened moderately well at Grammy and Papas. They arrived home from Hawaii, and we had a bbq there after church. When we got home, there was no listening and just being rotten. At 8:22 pm I had had enough. I made both kids brush their teeth, get dressed for bed, and then I read them a short book, before tucking them both into their own beds. I turned off the lights, and retreated to the couch with Dana.

What happened next was amazing. Both kids went to sleep in their own beds, on time! Then this morning, both kids got up and Kaia got herself ready on time. When it was time to leave, I forgot a booklet in the house, so I asked Kaia to please open Mo's car door so he could get in while I ran back upstairs to get the booklet. Not only did Kaia help Mo get his door open, she helped him in his seat, and buckled him in! She was proud as she's never been able to figure out the car seat buckles before. I made sure to tell her how proud I was of her being a big girl, a responsible girl and for being my big helper. There were times this weekend where I thought, "I am so screwed. There is no way I can handle 4 kids, when I can't handle the 2 I have now." Funny, now this past weekend looks a lot better after a good night and a great morning.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Funny Boy

I've had this post written in my head several times. I've discussed it with my in-laws and remembered other Mo updates to include. I started the post and saved it, because I knew I'd remember even more. Unfortunately, pregnancy brain has hit and all Mo's funny things have gone out the window.

You can quite often here Mo saying funny things like, "Careful, that's my bad leg." or " See my bad leg sissy? " You can't tell he stays with Grammy and Papa all day. Grammy's bad leg seems to have rubbed off on him.

Mo enjoys watching NASCAR with us. Especially when he has his "Hardt Junior" car to play with.

Mo can be seen rubbing his belly and telling you "I have boy babies in my tummy."

Mo loves the babies already and enjoys kissing them, hugging them and tickling them.

Mo has been successfully singing his ABC's for at least a month! There is a definite benefit to having an older sibiling to hand down all of her kindergarten wisdom.

Kaia's kindergarten ways have also rubbed off on Mo. He insists he has homework, for church. He also has to go write in his journal, just like sissy does.

Mo asked Grammy and Papa to buy him mosquito food. For his pet mosquito. He doesn't understand he would be the food, if he had a pet mosquito.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mini Cherry Pies

Kaia's classroom had a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" feast today. Here is my contribution; Mini Cherry Pies.

These were very easy. I made a basic pie crust, rolled out thin and cut rounds using a glass. Then I spooned on 1 cherry from a can of cherry pie filling. Fold over, crimp, score and bake.

Thanks to Mrs. Mordecai for the inspiration. I'm not sure how I would have managed my assignment if I hadn't read your cherry pie post a while back. Her's look much nicer than mine.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This evening I arrived home to a big stack of mail on the counter. There were 2 small boxes, which I immediately recognized as sample boxes. Then another big box that I couldn't figure out.

The samples were Caress Body Wash and a Better Than Ears dog treat. The big box was a mystery even after I read the return address. Once I opened it though, I knew who it was from. I had joined the Coffemate Brew Crew a few months ago, and it was a box full of goodies! There was Dana's favorite French Vanilla creamer in a new package size, a nice travel mug, a Coffeemate spoon, and an insulated bag.

This was quite the treasure for one day. In just the past month I've received Huggies Pure & Natural diapers, Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield Toothpaste, Cream of Wheat, WalMart brand formula, and Cottonelle flushable wet wipes. All of this free!

I had forgotten how much I loved Cream of Wheat, so after the sample, I bought a box with the enclosed coupon. The diapers are so tiny, I can't believe the twins will fit them, and I love that they were a 3 pack. I'm waiting for Dana to try the Enamel Shield toothpaste. If he likes it, then there are 2 brands of enamel toothpaste to choose from and I can better manage the budget.

And a slightly different freebie this last week was a gift from our neighbors. They sent Kaia home with a jar of Zucchinni Jelly. Sounds wierd, right? It tastes really good. Obviously there is a lot more than zucchinni in it, but I thought it was a wonderful way to preserve that extra zucchinni that is always available.

Have you received any fun free things lately?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Twins at 13 weeks

I just got back from an appointment with my doctor, and I was so happy to hear that I would get another ultrasound. It was so much fun to see Fric and Frac. They are both healthy, active and a bit uncooperative!
Both were exactly where I had expected based on the kicks this weekend. It was fun to see Fric upside down and kicking around, while Frac seemed more content to thumb suck and hang out right side up. As much as he tried, he couldn't get them both into the photo at the same time, except for the headshot I took home. I wish you all could see what I saw though throughout the ultrasound.
Now the exciting part: My big ultrasound is June 9th! What do you think we'll have? 2 boys, 2 girls, or one of each? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What I did this weekend. By TJ

What I did this weekend:
  • Watched the movie Hancock. Loved it too, although don't ask me about the 10 minutes toward the end where I dozed off. I woke up in time for the ending, and that's what counts.
  • Felt the babies kick for the first time! I felt the baby on the lower left side, Saturday afternoon. Will call the left baby Fric. Then later on Saturday, I'm pretty sure I felt the other baby. That baby is more to the center of my right side. That one can be Frac. (Dana nick-named them a week or so ago)
  • Dried two loads of laundry at my parents house.
  • Enjoyed not teaching Sunday School and just being the helper.
  • Helped Dana turn the front room into our tv room and our tv room into Mo's bedroom/playroom. Mo loves his new room and is so proud of it, and we're enjoying the coziness of our new tv room.
  • Gave in to my OCD. While converting the rooms, I began putting my books onto bookshelves. I realized soon that I had religion books next to health books, and novels in between. I told myself just to get all the books downstairs and onto shelves, then organize later. That lasted all of one more trip. I couldn't stand it. Very quickly I had the craft books on the shelf above the cookbooks. Then the homesteading, preserving and gardening books next to the craft books. Those books flow in to my Hollywood biographies and TIME coffeetable books. Then another shelf houses all the religion, christian fiction, and devotional books. Then all my pregnancy, endometriosis and general health books. Finally we have novels. I felt so much better after that.
  • I grew! I may have to take a new belly photo tonight. Between Friday and Monday, I got way bigger!