Friday, April 30, 2010

E-Mealz – to do or not to do

I haven’t written a blog post since SUNDAY!  I think that’s the longest I’ve gone since having the twins…It’s not because I haven’t wanted to – I’ve just been too tired to do it.  I was more tired yesterday than I have been in a long time.  Not really for any reason I can pinpoint…but it’s not what you are thinking.  I’m not pregnant.  I’m NOT! 

 

Anyway…so another reason I haven’t written is because I’ve been busy.  More busy than  I have been in as long as I can remember.  The twins are eating 3 meals a day now…and feeding everyone (and cleaning up from all those meals) is really taking up a ton of time!  Not to mention planning for them…which is where E-Mealz comes in.  I mentioned it in my last blog post and said that I wanted to give it a fair chance before I told you all about it.  I read all of these reviews saying that it was the most wonderful thing in the world.  I wasn’t sold right away.  Here’s my honest review…good and bad.

 

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH E-MEALZ MEAL PLANS

First of all – I was introduced to E-Mealz by my cousin-in-law, Amy, when I was complaining about having to make a grocery list.  I can’t grocery shop without a list.  My mother very rarely followed a detailed grocery list – but she seemed like she was (and still is) stopping at the grocery store every other day.  I can’t do that.  I have trouble getting to the grocery store once a week!  

I love to cook.  I love cookbooks.  I love when my husband smiles at me and tells me something tastes better than his mom’s version.  (It’s happened twice – in the last 6 years!)  I don’t , however, love grocery shopping or menu planning or grocery list making.  So, Amy suggested I check out E-Mealz. 

My favorite part of E-Mealz is that the planning is done for you.  I still pick which of the meals I want to make on which day based on our schedules.  For example, I’m home all day today so I’m making Slow Roasted BBQ Chicken.  Every Wednesday, not only does E-Mealz give you the menu, it gives you the grocery list AND the recipe!  Plus, it all fits on 2 (or 1 front to back) sheets of paper!  The instructions are easy to follow and the grocery list is super easy to make sense of if you want to cook some meals but not others.

Now, the part I’m not so crazy about is the QUALITY of some of the meals.  Some of them have been really great – like the Breakfast Pizza and Bacon Cheese Strata.  However, some of them have been AWFUL or almost a joke when I think about having to feed 6 people someday.  Pepperoni Loaf for dinner?  Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups, seriously?  The nights Jerry and I tried these they were SIDES to another meal…then again, we don’t eat lightly very often.

E-Mealz charged me $15.00 for the first 3 months of their service.  Dave Ramsey approves it as a way to help you save money…and I will say that (if you can stick to the list) it probably does help to cut down your grocery bill.  I use coupons in combination with E-Mealz and have been saving about 20% of my grocery bill every week.  They also have other plans that you can use.  We are trying the Any Store plan, because we shop at Giant Eagle and get fuelperks and get gas for our cars at GetGo to get foodperks.  However, they also have Wal-Mart (and other grocery stores, too) plans that matches the meals with their weekly specials to help you save even more money.  There are also plans if you are dieting or prefer vegetarian meals.  I can’t comment on the quality of these meals, because I’ve only used the Any Store plan.

So – here’s the bottom line…I like E-Mealz and will continue to use it until my 3 month subscription runs out…I’ll make a decision then if I want to continue or not.  If I had to decide right now, I would probably pay the $5.00 a month and keep trying it out.  It’s a lot more convenient, but with all of the Food, Inc. and Food Revolution talk I’m hearing (neither of which I have watched) I get nervous about what I am cooking with and feeding my children (so, just imagine if I HAD watched them!).

BTW – E-Mealz also has a referral plan…I’m not exactly sure how it works, but if you are thinking about giving it a try please click on that little banner up there on the left or one of the links in this post when you sign up.  It should give me credit for it then.  :)  (oh – and no one asked me to write this review or gave me any kind of compensation for it…I just did it all by myself!  Aren’t I special? hehehe)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

After a trip to the grocery store…

So ~ how ya doin’?  It’s been a few days . . . but I warned you all earlier that this was going to be a busy week for me.  I was serious.  It’s been hectic to say the very least – and I have a ton of things I can’t wait to share with you! 

First of all, though, I’d like to show you what I did today.  For some reason, I was a cooking FOOL today.  I blame it on 3 things.

1) I went to the grocery store yesterday with Danika…so there was actually food in the house to be cooked.

2) I really really wanted to bake these.

3) I started using E-mealz (there is a little banner on the left that you can click on if you are interested in checking it out – I’m holding off on my review of it because I’ve only been doing it for 2 weeks…I want to give it a fair chance before I talk about it)

So ~ for some reason only God knows, everyone was awake and downstairs by 7:30 am…everyone except DH, that is.  I decided that I was just going to start cooking.

We started with Breakfast Pizza:

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First ~ we used a Boboli Thin Crust Shell

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Topped it with some bacon – I fried a bunch this morning for both the things I’m gonna show you.

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Next, top it with some Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

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Slice some tomatoes and arrange them around the pizza.

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Beat together 1/3 C. milk and 1 large egg.

Drizzled the egg/milk mixture over the pizza and bake in a preheated oven @ 425 for 20 minutes (mine was done in about 15 mins)

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Here is the finished product.  We ate it for breakfast with some strawberries and cantaloupe.  Mmmmm….yummy.

I think that I’ll add some fresh basil once it starts to grow outside.  I like basil, especially when it’s paired with tomatoes…which reminds me – this would be a really yummy way to use up some homegrown tomatoes, too! 

Next, I made the Chocolate-Chip Bacon-Pecan Cookies.

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First, I had to make sure I had my recipe…

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…and my favorite helper!

I was really excited because it gave me a chance to use my hand mixer!  I never use my hand mixer – I hardly ever bake from scratch!  If you are interested in the recipe, head on over to No. 504 Main where I found it when I visited her on her SITs day!

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Here’s the batter…with the chocolate chips, pecans AND bacon in it.

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Cookies headed into the oven…

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…can you see the bacon in there?

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Finished product – yummy and not at all strange, really.  They are good.  Not amazing or incredible, but good.  To tell you the truth, it’s kind of hard to taste the bacon.  I would probably put less pecans and more bacon to really make it more noticeable.  They were good enough that I would try bacon in other desserts, though. 

For lunch – I made crescent rolls with ham and cheese in them and Caesar salad. (I didn’t take pictures, though.)  Jerry actually told me that I don’t have to make dinner!  We have enough leftovers to finish up and the kids can have something they like that is easy to fix.  Whoo Hooo! 

I am looking forward to a great week!  I have book club tomorrow (we read The Help by Kathryn Stockett) and Mommy Group on Friday!  I’m going on a field trip to the library on Tuesday with my pre-school kiddos!  I’m also going to give Marla 1 week to convince me that I should wear shoes all day long…I usually don’t wear shoes when I’m at home, but I’m willing to give it a shot.  I’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I TOLD you I would post on Thursday...

I now understand why people wonder how I can get everything done. They must think I'm ALWAYS as busy as I have been this week! I'm actually having an okay week - aside from the fact that I'm exhausted. It's going really fast, too. Just when I thought life couldn't move at a faster pace - I'm seriously starting to wonder if someone pressed some sort of fast forward button or something.

I actually don't have a whole lot of time to spend on a blog post today, but I wanted to share some of Nate's artwork from our preschool art show. I had a wonderful time last night. My coworkers (who I would call just call friends if I didn't also work with them) got to play with (and meet) my babies and kiddos. Jerry got to see more of where I work and meet some of the kids I talk about when I get home. It was a really nice night. I was surprised (and then not so surprised) that Jerry stayed the whole time with the kids - from 6 to 8:30ish. I was surprised because I thought he would get bored, but then not surprised once I realized all he had to do if he stayed was let everyone fuss over the baby he was holding. :) Nate and Danika played happily in the play room and both of the twins managed a nap even with all the noise. Personally, I think that David slept so well because he had such a wonderful woman holding him and snuggling him. He looked incredibly comfortable sleeping on Karen and she didn't look too upset, either.

So, enjoy the art show pics...I'll be there again tonight but Jerry will be somewhere glued to the TV. There is a hockey game on tonight and he wouldn't miss it for anything...how much longer are the playoffs? *sigh* Then I'm headed up to my Alma Mater - kind of. :) We are going to a teaching conference at a Holiday Inn nearby. Nunnu is watching the kids in the morning - hope he gets a good night's sleep! Jerry will be home around 1:30 to take over until I get home around 4:30/5:00.

Probably see you again here on Saturday!

Nate's painting is the pumpkin patch!

His pilgrim says, "Nate is thankful for getting to play with Daddy"

Everyone draws a family portrait...this is Nate's.  See Mommy holding Dean and David?  I'm not sure you can tell from the picture, but Daddy has facial hair, too!

Monday, April 19, 2010

It’s nothing personal ~ honest…

It’s nothing personal, but you probably won’t be seeing a lot of me this week.  I will miss you – I will try to check in…but I have a super busy week this week and it’s going to be hard enough for me to keep up with my kiddos and get everything done I need to get done, let alone trying to sneak a blog post in here or there.  :)  I should be able to check in once or twice…in fact, I actually wrote out a mini To-Do list for the week and I “penciled” blogging in again on Thursday…(but I’m not much of a schedule person – so we will see).

In the meantime – here’s what’s new:

The boys have graduated from eating in Bumbos to highchairs:

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They are actually pretty happy about it, too!

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I’ve been FLYing again – and my book Sink Reflections came from Paperback Swap today!

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Finally ~ if you’ve been following me on Twitter you may have seen this…he IS sleeping.  I don’t know what it is about that bouncing thing, but they both fall soundly asleep in it at least once a day.

 

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The difference is SHOCKING!! (Mama Guilt Monday)

Mama Guilt Mondays


While I love the prompt over at Cop Mama's, I had something else in mind for my Mama Guilt post today...

I am part of a group of women that get together once a month and just talk...and eat...and laugh.  We don't really have a name, but we have been getting together for about 6 or 7 months.  I've missed at least 1 get together - and it really bothered me because I look forward to that time out with other moms.

Anyway ~ there are all kinds of moms in our group.  Moms with one child, moms with 4 (hehehe), moms with all girls, moms with all boys, moms with a mix of both, moms who work and moms who are lucky enough to stay home.  It's funny how we all "need" our group for different reasons...I need the group to get a break from the kids and hang out with adults for a while.  I really enjoy their company and it makes me feel like someone other than "Mommy" for a few hours. 

A lot of the "first-time Moms" use the group as a place to get answers and help with that "am I doing it right" feeling.  This is where this week's Mama Guilt comes in...I'm just not as worried about the twins as I was Nate or Danika and that makes me worry I'll miss something.

I may have to backtrack a bit for this to make sense...

A few weeks ago, my mom was putting David on the carpet and asked me if I wanted her to put a blanket down first.  My reply?  "He's my 4th child...not my 1st, mom.  He's fine."  I guess I said it to be funny, but really I feel a little guilty about it now. 

Am I giving him the same about of attention I gave Nate?  No...because I can't.  Not only because he has Nate and Danika ahead of him, but because he also has a twin brother.  The twins don't get as much attention as I gave Nate or Danika.  I know it's not like I'm neglecting them.  I just wonder if I'm not seeing something.

With Nate, I knew every milestone.  I knew when he should be sitting unsupported.  I knew what kind of "talking" he should be doing.  I introduced his food in a certain order and fed him the same things for a certain period of time before switching to something else.  I kept him on a blanket on the floor.  I gave him a bath every other night without fail.  I always made sure he couldn't reach anything that he shouldn't have.

The twins are so different that I think I'm confusing their milestones...David just started crawling (as in this afternoon) but won't sit up.  Dean started sitting up but won't even roll over when we put him on the floor.  They both make all kinds of noises - but are they enough or the right ones?  They eat whatever I blended up and froze or whatever is in the cupboard.  I almost never put a blanket on the floor - they won't stay on it anyway.  They get a bath once a week - more if they NEED it but only once if not.  Today, David came millimeters away from sucking on a beer bottle because I was trying to keep Dean happy while Jerry ran in the kitchen to make a bottle and (as I mentioned) David recently started crawling. 

It's not that I'm not worried about them - I am...I want them to be okay...I want them to grow and develop the way they are suppose to...it's just...well, with all of the other stuff going on I'm usually just happy if they are happy.  I feel guilty about that because I'm afraid that not being so worried all the time...so cautious...means that I'm not being as good a mom to them as I was to Nate, when I only had 1 baby - and they deserve a mommy as worried as I was then.

This whole thing kind of started 2 days ago because Dean has been breathing funny.  My gut tells me it's probably nothing.  It's this...well, you know how you have to try to catch your breath after you cry really really hard?  That gasping, I guess?  Well he was doing that...in his sleep...and then for about 10 minutes after he woke up.  No crying, though.  He didn't cry before, during or after.  It did go away - and it wasn't constant...but I have this nagging feeling that I wrote it off too quickly.  He had an inhaler because of bronchitis about 3 months ago (I don't think he really had bronchitis, to be honest).  Could it be some side effect from that?  Could it be asthma?  How do I know?  I decided that if it happens again I will call the doctor - but is that the right thing to do?  If it were Nate when he was 7 months old would I have called before it stopped - in that first 10 minutes?

As I've said before, I'm not perfect and I hate these feeling of not knowing what to do...I hate being the one "in-charge" sometimes...I wish someone would just tell me what to do and I'll do it - guilt free.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Does this make me a Tweeter or Twit?

Recently, I started using Twitter.  I’ve had a Twitter account for quite some time, but never really got into it much.  I’d pop on over and update what I was doing or check in on some of the things other people were doing – but I wasn’t really that into it.

What changed my mind?  Three things, actually. 

1) Twitter for BlackBerry – so much better than other apps I was using to keep up with Twitter.  Twitter for BlackBerry is more like Twitter on my PC.

2) TweetDeck – No wonder I  didn’t get into Twitter before but am obsessing a bit now.  TweetDeck makes thing SO much easier!  It’s so easy to keep up with everyone and reply and retweet!  I LOVE TweetDeck!

3) UMP ‘10 over at 5minutesformom – they had a Twitter Party.  I was nervous because I had never been to a Twitter Party.  I LOVED it!  Not only that but I won a gift card for some Francie Pants!  I haven’t gotten the gift card, yet – but the 5minutesformom people have assured me they passed my info along so maybe it’s headed my way via snail mail or something.  The Twitter Party was awesome because I met some new people who actually tweeted back and forth with me!  That was the first time I’d done that.

So here’s the new profile pic I put up for my blog and for Twitter…it’s a lot more “me” than the last Twitter pic I had!! 

more me

Now I have a question…do you Tweet?  What do you think of it?  I notice a lot of the bloggers that I follow tweet with each other ~ which kind of makes me feel like I’m an outsider, but I also know that the only way I’m going to develop those kind of Twitter relationships is to jump in and talk to people…I’ve never been that outgoing, though.  The fact that it is the internet is a little comforting – after all, it’s not like trying to make friends in a lunchroom or homeroom or anything (even though there is this tiny part of me that has those same jitters…am I crazy?) 

Anyway ~ you can send me a Tweet if you feel so inclined…I’ll probably giggle because I tend to do that when I see @JKrajci.  Or maybe you shouldn’t – you would just be fueling my new addiction!  Nah – do it, smiling is contagious so everyone will be happy here…I’ll probably even tweet you back!  :) 

Oh, and can someone please explain to me why I can’t get over this feeling that I am making a complete fool out of myself today and talking about something I know nothing about?  I feel like my mother when she talks about anything computer related!  hehehe

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Little Film Club

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The prompt I decided to follow this week was “Friends”.

I talk about it a little bit in this post, but I really want my kids to grow up being best friends…leaning on each other…looking out for one another, etc.

So, here it is – I’m planning on posting a blog post sometime tomorrow (Friday) but wanted to get this up here so that I could get my MckLinky on!  hehehe

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Social Parade - Wednesday LinkUp and a laundry thought.

I've never participated in this LinkUp before - but I recently added the Networked Blogs widget so I thought I could use some love over there - it's kinda bare!  hehehe

So - Here's the deal!



Smart and Trendy Moms
 
To participate.
  • Follow the blog in spot 1 on Networked blogs. All blogs participating must have the Networking blogs widget so followers can easily find it. 
  • Link-up your blog post for "It's a Social Parade" that you made on your blog.
  • Follow as many as you like commenting on their post as you do so they can follow back!
As a side note...kind of, I'm thinking about not separating my laundry before I wash it.  I'm thinking of washing it by PERSON instead of COLOR, that is...here's where I got the idea from Organizing Junkie...any thoughts?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I’m not one to complain…

No, really – I don’t complain much.  I firmly believe that if you complain you become more miserable.  If you just “suck it up” and do what needs to be done or fix what you can fix and put the things you can’t change in God’s hands then you will be much happier.  That’s not to say you will ALWAYS be happy – but I promise you will be HAPPIER than if you sit around and complain all day.

That being said, I would like to take this moment to ask reality to do me a huge favor…BACK OFF!!!

There are so many things creeping up in my near future that I have to deal with that I’m just feeling slightly panicked.  So ~ here’s my letter to reality…please indulge me and I promise I won’t make this a regular thing.

Dear Reality,

See these children?

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Could you do me a favor and not let them grow up or change for the next 2 or 3 years?  I am so happy with the way they are right at this very moment and I’m not ready for them to change, yet.  I’m enjoying them the way they are and would appreciate it if they could stay this way for a while…after all, Dean has already lost his toothless grin with that one tooth popping up on the bottom.  Thanks to you, though, I’m not able to  just drop everything and just spend time with them and Jerry. So I can’t REALLY enjoy them the way I want to…

Also, I was talking to my dad yesterday about Jerry taking the boys hunting when they get older.  I told him that a freezer full of deer meat would be great – but my stomach does flips when I think of my boys out there with other hunters.  I told him that I just am not ready to think about the things I can’t protect them from, yet.  So – if you could just make people stop talking about things they will do that I don’t have control over, I would appreciate that, too.

Oh – and could you find a way to have someone knock on our front door and tell us they would like to buy our house for twice what it is worth AND that they have found the perfect 4 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath house in the best school district in the area, for tens of thousands less than we wanted to pay for it? Would it be pushing it to ask you to make sure it has huge walk-in closets in all 4 bedrooms and 1 in the hallway, too?

If it’s not too much trouble, could you get my husband the perfect job?  His job isn’t bad – it’s actually been going a lot better than it was last year at this time.  My big complaint is the hours…could you give him Saturdays off?  Please?  I would be more than willing to give him to you Monday through Friday from 9 – 5 or even 8 – 4.  He would work his butt off for you from the start of the day to the end of the day – he’s good like that.  In fact, he’s better when he has too much to do.  But could you please just return him to us at the same, decent hour every night?  Oh – and the Saturday thing…we only have 1 day a week at home together (Sunday) and I would really, really like 2 – I’d be even happier with 2 in a row. 

Last but not least, if you can’t take care of all the laundry for me could you at least freeze time while I’m online?  That way I won’t lose so many hours a week while reading blogs and Tweeting.  :)

Thanks so much -

Krajcimama

Now that I’m done complaining…did you notice?  Did you see?  I’ve reached 100 followers!  :)  I’m very excited…I’d throw a party – if I had the time/energy.

Speaking of parties…I went to the UBP on Twitter last night and I won a prize!  Me!  What did I win, you ask…I won a $40 gift certificate to Francie Pants.  I can’t wait to show Danika and let her pick out some patterns!  A big Thank You to 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting the UBP and for the prize!  :)  Pictures will follow – once I place and receive my order! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mama Guilt and Sunday Catch-up (on Monday, again)

We had a pretty good weekend – minus the sleep issue that I will get into in a minute.

Friday, I had my niece all day.04 09 10_0163

Much fun was had by all ~ until it came time for me to cook dinner…then (excuse my language here) all hell broke loose.

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So, I called her father and he came and picked her up and I was able to finish my Chicken Noodle Casserole.    If you look back at the menu I made at the beginning of last week, you will see that I was suppose to make the Chicken Noodle Casserole on MONDAY . . . but didn’t make it until FRIDAY.  A prime example of why I feel like menu planning just doesn’t work out for us right now – I know it’s just another excuse, but I feel like when the kids are in school and we are on more of a schedule I will get better planning and executing the plan.  But hey, I’m not perfect.  The Chicken Noodle Casserole, by the way, was pretty yummy.

Saturday was pretty uneventful…except for the Mama Guilt I’m going to talk about below.  We didn’t do much at all on Saturday.

Yesterday, I went to a jewelry party with my mom at my friend Cathy’s house.  It was nice.  I talked my mom into buying me a ring and I bought myself a pair of gold earrings.  I decided I wanted big earrings.  I have some smaller earrings, but want to have something a little bit more noticeable for the 3 times a year I get to go out of the house for something resembling a date with my husband.  Like the Michael Buble concert – I’m still smiling about that!

After the jewelry party, I met Jerry and the kids at my MIL’s house.  The babies had their  first taste of Memaw’s Chicken Noodle Soup (blended with the emersion blender).  They LOVED it.  Then, we had dinner and the kids played with their cousins until the street lights came on and we all went home.  We did watch Undercover Boss last night – the 1-800-Flowers one AND the GSI one.  I had been telling Jerry he should watch it with me and he finally did – he enjoyed it, I think.

Okay – on to the Mama Guilt…

Mama Guilt Mondays

Do YOU have any Mama Guilt on your mind today? Here’s what you do:

1. Blog about YOUR Mama Guilt, funny or serious. Using the prompt is optional.

2. Mention “Mama Guilt Mondays” in your post by putting a link back to CopMama or copy/paste the button into the HTML.

3. Head back to CopMama and add your post to the MckLinky!

My Mama Guilt for Monday, April 12, 2010

From the moment these little guys were conceived – before we even knew there were 2 of them – they were sleeping snuggled close to each other.   When they were tiny we would put them in the same bouncy seat together and they would sleep wonderfully.

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They loved to snuggle up next to each other in their Boppy.

October (15)

And they have ALWAYS shared the same crib…  

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Until Saturday ~ when we finally bit the bullet and put up the second crib and separated them because they kept waking each other (and us) up in the middle of the night.

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I was doing pretty good with the whole thing – until I went in to check on them before heading off to bed myself.  David (you can kind of see him on the right) was pressed the whole way up against the left side of his crib.  Dean was pressed the whole way up against the right side of his crib.  All I could think was that they were “looking” for each other.  It made me get all choked up and my eyes swelled…but I got over it.  I felt VERY guilty about separating them just because I wanted to sleep better . . . and in case you are wondering, Saturday they didn’t sleep any better than they had been, but Sunday was a little better and I suspect it will continue to get better for the rest of the week.

It got me to thinking about when they get older…what if they take different classes in high school?  What if they play different sports?  What if they go to different colleges?  What if they are *gasp* individuals instead of “the twins”? 

I had mentioned all of this to the women I work with well over a month ago when we had originally planned on making the switch.  I just couldn’t do it.  I do realize, though, that they aren’t the same person.  That they aren’t always going to want the same things or do the same things.  I just think that I want them to always have that sweet and special bond that they seem to have now.  I want them to lean on each other like they did when they were sleeping side-by-side.  I don’t want to take that away from them…but I also don’t want to hold them back.

Here’s to better night of sleep tonight – and my Mama Guilt being gone…I know I did what is best for everyone and I’m probably the only one who is even the slightest bit bothered by it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Little Film Club

If you are here for the party – my UBP post can be found – here!

While browsing blogs over at SITS Saturday Sharefest, I came across It’s a Mummy’s Life and her Little Film Club.  My first thought was that I had finally found something to make me use my Flip Video camera – which is turning out to be a nightmare when I want to get the videos off the Flip and on to anything else…it takes FOREVER to convert them, upload them, etc…I have a feeling I’m doing something wrong – but anyway, I digress (because I’m really really good at it!).

So – the prompt I decided to follow was How to…basically, because that’s the question I get most often.  “How do you do it?”  While I do a lot of things every day, feeding the twins their “solid” food is one that I’m actually getting pretty good at.  Here, have a look at my Little Film Club video and see for yourself!

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Now – if you would like to play along head on over to It’s a Mummy’s Life and link up on the MckLinky.  Leave me a comment, too, so I can make sure and stop by and see what you came up with! 

 

Friday, April 9, 2010

There’s a Party Going on Right Here…UBP ‘10

First and foremost, I need to apologize to The Boob Nazi ~ I guess I lied…I am going to PARTY this year!
Ultimate Blog Party 2010
So – here’s just a little bit about me before I get into all of the prizes I wanna win…(I’ll admit that I’m joining the party because I didn’t like feeling left out, but the prizes sealed the deal!  There are some awesome things on this list!) 
About me…well the quick rundown is that I am happily married and have 4 kiddos (3 boys and a girl) all under the age of 5.  You can find out more about them by reading:
My Kiddos or snooping around my blog.

If you wanna learn a lot about me you can check out:
My About Me page and this post about 100 Things that Make Me Happy!
I’m a 3-year-old preschool teacher and LOVE blogging.  It is my creative outlet, my sanity, my obsession (but I’d never admit that to DH).  I LOVE reading new blogs, so if you leave me a comment you can bet your bottom dollar (my very own little orphan Annie reference) I’ll be over to check you out, too!
So - (as Wayne and Garth would say) Party On, bloggy friends!  After all, the Ultimate Blog Party is EXCELLENT – just like these prizes which I would LOVE to win!

(WAIT!  Do I have to mention that I would LOVE the Grand Prize?  I mean I thought that was just a given...but yeah, I would LOVE the Grand Prize and I just saw another blogger mention that she would like the $200.00 Apple gift card!  I must have totally missed that one!  I'll take that - if she didn't win it first!)

Top 3 - #26, #72 and #7
I also would be totally happy with: #16, #33, #48, #72, #101 or USC #45.  Of course, I wouldn’t turn down any of the awesome prizes if I was offered one but gift cards and cash are always great!

Off to meet some new friends!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Now is the time . . .

I should be in bed.  I should be reading my book club book.  I should be doing laundry or figuring out what I’m doing tomorrow for dinner.  I should be sleeping (really, I should be sleeping).  All 4 of my children are asleep and it’s already 11:04 pm.  I should be on my way upstairs to wash my face, brush my teeth and crawl under the covers…ahh…that really does sound heavenly right now.

However, instead of doing any of the aforementioned should be tasks ~ I will spend the next hour or so reading blogs and catching up.  Days I work are the worst – usually, I can split my day up and include at least 2 times when I can jump online for a little bit…usually 30 – 40 minutes.  That is usually enough time for me to write a short blog post or check my blog reader so that I can get my “fix”.  Days I work, though – that just doesn’t happen.  So…here I am, online and getting ready to read some blogs.

You should go and check out my friend’s post, 40 Days and 40 Nights over at What Little Girls are Made Of.  I practically begged her to write about giving up Facebook for Lent…she talks about it in this post and it’s made me think a lot about how much time I really do spend in front of my computer.  The thing is, my priorities have changed and I do feel better because of it.  I LOVE blogging.  I LOVE that I’m recording memories that my children will actually be able to look back on and read about.  I LOVE reading what other people share from yummy recipes and cooking tips to keeping up with old friends to hearing how someone else deals with the daily ins and outs of being outnumbered by kiddos, too.  When Facebook was the number one place I spent my time at when online, I found myself wasting time – since blogging has become more of a time consumer, I feel like I have things to talk about.  I feel like I learn things.  I feel like I have more of a life.  It may seem slightly pathetic, but I feel like I’m interacting with adults – which happens few and far between when I’m at home with my kids all day.

So, while I should be upstairs, warm and under my covers, I may just take a few more minutes to go and visit some more blogs and spend some time “catching – up” with my friends.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More (clothes) - than I ever imagined

My birthday turned out to be a pretty nice day - until my hormones kicked in and turned me in to a crazed woman (but that wasn't until AFTER the kids went to bed...so it's all good).  2 of the biggest highlights were that my BlackBerry went back to normal after being fully submerged in my husband's grandmother's toilet last night.  (stuck it in a bag of rice overnight) AND my daughter slept in big girl underwear for the first time with NO ACCIDENTS!!!  Having 2 out of pull-ups/diapers would be awesome.  Especially since this was the one I never thought would be potty trained.

After waking up and getting surprised with a working phone and dry daughter (and birthday cards from kids and Jerry), Jerry left with Nate to go to the auto body shop to get an estimate for the damage to our van.  We were in a very minor accident the Tuesday before Easter - minor but still $4,000.00.  The other girl's insurance has already contacted us and they will be taking care of everything.  On the way back, he picked up doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches for breakfast.  (Duh) Then he took the "big" kids to play outside almost all day which gave me some time to get some stuff done inside.  He also took them down to the corner store (yes, we still have one of those and it's within walking distance) and bought us sandwiches and cookies and little pizza pillows for lunch.  

After lunch, I went up to tackle the whole switch from winter clothes to summer ones.  We have been having really nice weather and need to get the shorts out.  I NEVER imagined what a gigantic task it is to go through dressers and closets for 6 people.  I'm not even done yet.  I spent about 3 hours up there and got the babies and "big" kids clothes situated.  I have a box for my niece and 3 boxes for Goodwill.  I also have about 4 baskets of laundry - so who knows what's in there.  My room...my clothes...I just didn't have the energy for it yesterday.  Plus, it's all pre-twin-pregnancy and that scares me.  I don't want to open these boxes and find clothes that don't fit...it's too depressing.  *sigh*  I did manage to find a pair of capris that fit quite well when looking for something to wear yesterday.  Maybe it won't be as bad as I think - but I still am willing to bet that I'll have another box for Goodwill when all is said and done.  I'm not holding on to things that I can't wear.  It's too much clutter and too much pressure. 

I have a question - if you are still reading my rambling.  Anyone ever have to teach someone to pedal who just doesn't want to pedal forward?  Danika LOVES her new bike...but she just won't pedal forward.  I've tried moving her feet in the right direction.  I've tried having her watch Nate do it.  Doing it for "pretend" while laying on the floor.  She just can't get it.  I know that it may just be that she needs to keep trying - but if there is some kind of trick, I'd appreciate you sharing it with me so we can get her moving!

Oh - and here...have a picture!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm 33. It's not a big deal, really. I'm cool with it. I'm looking forward to relaxing a little and spending the day with Jerry and the kids. As luck would have it, we are BOTH off! Whoo Hooo!

So ~ I'm off to bed (because it's after midnight and I should have been sleeping hours ago.  However, I would like to share something with you - it's my OLD blog.  I'm a little nervous about putting it back out there . . . I can't remember what all I wrote about back then, but I was sooo excited to find it the other day!  I had made it private because I was really nervous about identity theft or picture stealing or what have you...then it wasn't fun anymore.  Obviously, I missed it - which is why I am back and blogging again.  I'm looking into taking steps to make me feel better about the whole security thing...anyway - I was thrilled to find the blog again because it has my daughter's birthstory...pictures...dates...it's like finding an old journal in the attic!

You are more than welcome to poke around - just keep in mind this was 3 years or so ago!

Thoughts of the Mama - if you dare!  hehehe  BTW - this is a link to a specific/appropriate blog post that I reread and still agree with 3 years later!



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Any ideas for what to do with too much chocolate?

First of all – Easter rocked!  Check it out -

We colored Easter eggs

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We ate Easter Pizza (that’s what we call it at least)

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We were invaded by GIANT Easter Bunnies

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We had Easter egg hunts

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We wore Bunny Ears (or at least THEY wore them!)

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Now ~ we have so much Easter candy I don’t know what we are going to do with it all.  We have more than I could ever allow my children to eat – Easter has totally rivaled Halloween this year.  They got candy at the Easter Party we went to a few weeks ago.  Nate got some candy from school (not as much candy as other stuff, though – which was nice).  They got candy from my husband’s parents.  They got candy from my parents.  They got candy from the “Easter Bunny” (though only a few little eggs with jelly beans and a big chocolate bunny).  They got candy from my sister-in-law.  HELP!  I would like to do something fun with the chocolate…melt it down, maybe?  Any suggestions?  What do you do with all the candy? 

Oh…and…um ~ I reached 75 followers this weekend.  That is a really big deal for me…I’m kind of in awe, actually.  Thank you for finding me interesting enough to listen to while I’m rambling!  *totally blushing*