Tag Archives: Big City

$10,875.60

$10,875.60.

This is approximately the amount of money it will cost us to send Juniper & Magnolia to private pre-school for the 2010/2011 school year. (I say approximate because I am not a skilled mathematician.)

Because we live in the city of the Little City, public schools are not an option. Well, they’re an option but not one we’d ever want to take. The public schools in the city here are horrendous. Plus, we’re Catholic and we’d really like our kids to attend Catholic schools. We’d need to move to the “ritzy” area of the Little City in order to send our kids to a public school. I’m not trying to offend anyone – it’s just that the public schools around here really suck.

$10,875.60. Which, of course, is not money that we are able to spare. Perhaps I’ll start looking into homeschooling. That would be the least expensive option for us. Would I be able to handle it though is the question. I’m a college graduate. For a couple years I studied Early Childhood Education – not that this qualifies me to teach children… but it’s certainly a leg up, right? I’m a high-stress person. By adding “school” to the list of things I need to do, am I over-scheduling myself? I had really been looking forward to having the kids in school so I could have more time to complete household tasks without interruption. Also so I’d have more time for me. I know, that sounds so selfish! But a Happy Rested Mom is a Good Mom in my opinion.

*sigh* While I would NEVER trade our twins in for a singleton, and while I know we are SO LUCKY to be blessed with twins (oh! AND a singleton!:)) and the ability to have our own children… I can’t help but think how easy it would be to just have one child. How inexpensive one child would be. We can afford to send one kid to preschool, but – haha – it’s not like we could draw a name out of hat and say “oh sorry, child #2, you can’t go to school.” And since they’re not identical we couldn’t send one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, right? (Haha – yeah, I know that’s not possible either!)

There’s the obvious “Why don’t YOU get a job?”. Why don’t I? It’s a great idea. Problem is, we’d need to pay for daycare while I was working… and that would use up all the money I’d be making so… we still wouldn’t be able to afford school. Gosh! It’s a crazy circle.

So, currently we’re trying to figure out where to come up with $10,875.60 for two days a week, six hours per day pre-school.

Do you have any get rich quick schemes? You know, other than robbing a bank? HAHAHAHA 🙂

UPDATE: We’ve come up with a list to save money:

1. Breastfeed longer (we’ll see how that goes)

2. Cut Down on Organic Foods: Only give girls Organic Milk & Meats; only buy Organics if it’s a good price. Otherwise, they’ll be fine eating non-organic carrots. Right? Right. 🙂

3. Bundle our DirecTV and ATT to save money on phone/internet/cable (Found out we need to disconnect both and then get a new account in order to bundle…a pain in the butt however this will save us at least $10/month.)

4. Become Electric Nazis: I know, I shouldn’t use the word Nazi as it might be offensive to some people. I mean it in more of the Seinfeld Soup Nazi sort of way. That we’d become obsessive with turning off lights and the tv, and unplugging electronics that we aren’t using. I’m not giving up on our outside lights at night though. Not in this neighborhood.

5. No Eating Out. No Exceptions. Like today: Instead of enjoying a lunch out with my Hubby (and Snowdrop) while the girls are at Grandma’s house, I made him a grilled cheese instead. I’m such a nice wife.

6. No Trips. I’m pretty sure this will be an easy one although I’m also pretty sure that my Hubby has something up his sleeve regarding Bonnaroo. We agreed not to go… but he had something in his email about Bonnaroo that he wouldn’t let me see. I saw the Inbox so I know he’s up to something. And although I know his password, I’m going to go for the surprise instead of ruining it for myself – and for him. He loves to surprise me. Also, we can make my family come down from the Big City instead of going up there. 🙂

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Gardenia is having a name change…

Okay…. so Miss Gardenia is already having a name change!!

I love it when it snows. In the Big City, we got lots of snow in the wintertime (sometimes even in the fall and springtime!). I LOVE SNOW. I LOVE IT! The crisp whiteness of freshly fallen snow, the smell after it snows, the crunch of it beneath my feet, the sight of it falling soft or hard from the sky… snow is beautiful however it comes. In the Little City, it doesn’t snow enough for my liking. Our winters are mild & the very chance of snow sends the city into a tizzy with schools being canceled and people rushing to the grocery stores to stock up on canned goods. When I was in school in the Big City, school got canceled TWICE. TWICE. We went to school in a blizzard. Sure, sometimes we got sent home early but for the most part we dealt with the weather.

ANYWAYS… I love the snow. While both Hubby & I thought it would be fun for our next baby to be born in September (we were going to try next January for another September baby but God got to us first!), I’m excited for the idea that our third child is due in December – I just might have a snow baby! 🙂 We joke that I’ll probably have to drive myself to the hospital (with Hubby in the passenger seat) because I’ll go into labor during a big snowstorm and since I’m obviously a better snow driver than he is … I’d be the one to drive – haha. It’s true though, I’m a better snow driver.

I got to thinking how beautiful it would be to incorporate some “winter” theme into her name. At first, we thought Noelle for a middle name if she was born around Christmas. Friends of ours just named their new baby girl Noelle so… that’s out, more or less! 🙂 No worries there because I’ve found the perfect solution. Instead of her being Gardenia, to match her sisters Juniper & Magnolia, she is going to be called Snowdrop. It’s a simple but beautiful white flower with marvelous green tints on the inside. And the perfect name for my third daughter, in fact.

So, Miss Gardenia is no longer… as she has become Miss Snowdrop. I like it much better and it certainly seems to fit, regardless of whether she’s born on a snowy day. Once I said it out loud I KNEW it was the perfect “botanical” name for her. Perfect!

Juniper, Magnolia, & Snowdrop. My precious daughters. 🙂

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In other news, tomorrow I will be 26 weeks pregnant with 14 weeks left to go!!! I’m so excited!!! I can’t believe how fast this has gone! I’m feeling pretty well… for the most part. Been having some real contractions here and there – never too many in an hour but it IS something I’ve been keeping watch over. I don’t think I’ll carry Snowdrop full-term but you never know. I’m still guessing Thanksgiving weekend for her birthday. I’m HUGE, getting bigger every day, it seems! I know they told me there is only one baby in there, but isn’t it possible that there was a second one hiding? Possible the ultrasound tech with twenty-four years of experience missed a second baby? Possible that they were just laying in such a way that it made it look like one, big baby? In light of my life and all the wacky things that have happened to me, I’d say it IS possible… not likely, but there’s probably some sort of chance.

Or maybe I’m just having a big baby? Not likely, but probably as good of a chance as a second baby hiding out! 🙂

Hubby & I spent some time last night (like two hours) clearing out & cleaning up our third floor, where Snowdrop’s room will be. We’ve managed to pitch a lot of trash (YAY!) and get a ton of “stuff” stored away in the closets. It’s amazing how big & nice the room has become just from what we did last night. I’m going on Wednesday to pick out carpet samples for our stairs/hallway/third floor & hopefully (HOPEFULLY) Hubby will be able to paint the baby’s room in the next two weeks so we can get the carpet installed, the furniture set up, and get the decorating done so we can just relax for the last few months of this pregnancy! 🙂 We’re working on the room more tonight so I’m super excited things are coming along! 🙂

Juniper & Magnolia are really surprising me every day with their speech improvements. It seems like they’re saying new words/phrases every day & really starting to excel and feel comfortable with trying to talk. They’ve also been singing quite a bit! Sometimes they even get the tune right! SO CUTE!! I really have to catch it on video some time soon.

No one has used the potty this week. Sad, but true. They’ll get back on the horse, so to speak, soon enough. We’re not pushing the potty training, we’re just letting them pace the process. Soon enough, soon enough. 🙂

The girls have also started pulling out our dining room table when it’s time for lunch!!! It’s so funny – I also can’t believe they’re so strong!! I’ll ask if they’re hungry and they’ll say “yes” and pull the table out and sit in their big girl chairs. We’re foregoing buying booster seats for the chairs as they seem to be able to sit, eat & not move for the most part. We’re also leaving the highchairs up here for now as some days they are not as well-behaved as others. When they don’t eat a good lunch (i.e. food on the floor, all over the table, etc) then they have to eat dinner in their highchairs. It’s a good system and seems to be working.

Speaking of… it’s time for Sesame Street & Lunch. I’ve begun keeping the TV off during the mornings and waiting until Sesame (followed by Caillou) comes on. They seem more interested in watching (which is great for keeping them in their seats and continually eating during lunch) & it’s obviously much better for them to NOT watch TV every hour that they’re awake. I’m also enjoying not listening to their TV shows, haha! 🙂

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Next Appointment Tomorrow

My next appointment is TOMORROW!!! It’s finally come! I’m not used to this waiting four weeks between appointments stuff! 🙂 I’m really excited and I really hope we can find the heartbeat. We’ll have an ultrasound, too. Of course, I’m still worried about there not being a baby in there, but based on the size of my boobs & my belly… there’s gotta be a baby in there.  I’ve also been pretty sick, as per usual. Plus, I know I’ve felt it moving. During my first pregnancy, I felt movement from very early on. My doctor said I was probably just gassy but once the movements became more defined and stronger – I was sure those first few flutters I had been feeling were in fact coming from my kids. I’m sure these are baby flutters, too. I always thought it would be strange, as if there was an alien inside of me… but it never really was. It was more funny than alien-like.

Providing I’m past the first trimester (fingers crossed… I’m just not sure I can handle being less pregnant than that. It would mean I took the test a mere two weeks after conceiving – and that’s nuts for someone not even regular or trying to conceive.) – again, Providing I’m past the first trimester and we hear the heartbeat, we’re going to tell Hubby’s family tomorrow at the poolhouse. The very poolhouse where we told them that we were expecting not one, but two babies. It’s neat that we get to share the same news with them again in the same place. I like consistency. Haha. We really wanted to tell both of our families at the same time, however…. my mom is a real c**t (I’ll spare those of you who hate that word – I don’t use it lightly, only when truly applicable.) and screwed that over for the rest of my family. It’s a situation I’d rather not get into right now as I’m trying to keep as low-stress as possible. This is not really working as I seem to have lots of dreams where I’m yelling at her about all the things I’m mad about. I’ll write about it some day but today will not be the day.

ANYWAYS, I really hope we can tell them (Hubby’s family), it was very hard to deny champagne on the 4th and get away with saying I was tired from running around with the kids all day… seriously, we’re getting deeper & deeper into the lies. And it’s also more difficult to hide my belly. I’m clearly pregnant.

One of my very very very very best friends in the whole wide world lives in New Orleans. She was driving from Michigan to N.O. with two of her friends last night when they decided to take an hour detour and stay at our home instead of driving overnight. I absolutely NEEDED to have a friend near me last night. Just her presence gave me a reboost – this was the first Tuesday in a while where I haven’t felt overwhelmed (Hubby has golf on Tuesdays and is usually gone until after the kids go to bed…) from the long day of handling the girls all by myself. Now, if only I could get my friends to show up in town on random every week I’d be good! (haha)

Will write more tomorrow after the appointment. Please say a little prayer I’m past the first trimester & we hear a heartbeat! 🙂

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Still in Shock Over Twins, Surviving Bridal Showers and Surprising the Family

Still in Shock:

Hubby threw up while we waited for the doctor after our ultrasound.

I was in shock. Still laughing, but in honest shock. Truly, it was so unexpected. First just being pregnant was a big surprise… but twins? {Flashback to the conception date: Hubby (then just my boyfriend) left it up to God and took a chance with his ‘swimmers’, telling Him, ‘If this is meant to be, so be it.” I had asked God for a sign a week earlier that the long-distance was worth the struggle … boy did He really hit this one out of the park, in terms of signs. And my boyfriend… well, he hit it out of the park, too.}

Two. Two…… We couldn’t believe it. What were we going to do? We still hadn’t found a house at this point ~ Hubby had looked at nearly two hundred homes. (We finally closed on one – the day before our wedding – with 15 foot ceilings ~ Beautiful and spacious, but NOT an easy climb at any-months pregnant with twins, let me tell you. We spent the last month and a half of my pregnancy living on the first floor. And the eight weeks it took me to recover from the c-section, too. 🙂 And how were we going to afford twins? I was definitely not going back to work ~ it was only financially obvious we’d save money by not paying for a babysitter. TWO. TWO BABIES. And the ultrasound technician thought it looked like both might be girls. Hubby is the only child, of an only-child, of an only-child, of an only-child, of an only-child, of an only-child ~ ALL MALE. For the past six generations, all boys, and only one. Way to break tradition!!! 🙂 TWO. We just couldn’t believe it!

My doctor was very relaxed when she came into the room after the ultrasound. She had only delivered four sets of twins before during her practice but she said that she felt confident delivering mine if everything was normal and there were no major complications during the pregnancy. She wanted to consult with a Maternal-Fetal doctor during my pregnancy (that’s where I’d end up having my many ultrasounds) to keep on eye on things. (There showed some kidney malfunction on Baby B at the first ultrasound.) If my pregnancy continued to still ‘look good’ and Baby B’s kidney never posed any major problems, then she’d keep me on as her patient and deliver the babies herself. I totally trusted her when she said that if she reached a point and felt she couldn’t handle it, then she would hand me over to the experts. Although the kidney did turn out to pose a few problems, and we did have to receive many, many ultrasounds, my doctor delivered both babies – without the help of the “experts”.

(SideNote: Promptly two hours after delivering mine, after going home for a shower and some dinner, my doctor delivered a second set of twins (two boys). It was a record day for her and I’m proud my girls are part of it! )

We left the appointment still stunned and got into the car. “Wow,” I think we both said. I was starving (no surprise there) so we decided to go out to lunch. My mom called to check in and see how the appointment went. I said “Oh fine, the baby looks great! We’ll show you guys the pictures tomorrow after the bridal shower.” Phew, I passed ~ she suspected nothing.

We went to a restaurant we had never been to before. Since then, we’ve probably been 30 times. It’s become a favorite place of ours; sentimental, definitely ~ and the food is fabulous. That day, however, I threw up. It all got overwhelming for a minute. We agreed to not tell anyone until we told our families the following day. Our families were getting together for a BBQ at the poolhouse after my bridal shower.

Hubby is the worst secret keeper EVER. I don’t tell him my ‘secrets’ or even my ‘true thoughts’ on a lot of things. I know you’re not supposed to tell your husband everything…… but it would be nice to be able to confide in him and know that his best friends won’t know all about it by the end of the day. I’ve got no one to vent to down here in the Little City and sometimes I wish I did. His friends knew about the twins later that night before anyone from our own families found out. *sigh* Typical.

Surviving Bridal Showers:

My mother-in-law is truly a wonderful woman. No, really, she is! I’m probably one of the luckiest girls to have such a great MIL. She is truly interested in me and genuinely listens when I speak. I know she hears and tries to remember all my likes and dislikes and is extremely thoughtful. For example, she’ll send me to the nail salon with a gift certificate sometimes when I drop the kids off for my weekly “Mommy’s Day Out/Grandma’s Day In”. When we come for dinner it is always a feast filled with our favorites; she makes extra food for us to take home so I don’t have to bother with cooking the next day. She brought me pineapple after pineapple when I was craving it most ~ and supplied me with endless carmel apples after the babies were born.

She loves my children so much. She loves to give, give, give. (I’ve got (literally) five huge bins of clothes ranging from newborn through 2T. Some of the clothes I’ve purchased but she’s always finding things for the girls and snatching them up!) Anyways… MIL is great. Her MIL (Hubby’s grandmother) was very mean to her when she first married into the family. VERY mean, as in Hubby’s Grandma accused my MIL of being knocked up by someone other than her husband when they got pregnant with my husband (did that make sense? basically, Grandma accused my MIL of cheating on her husband and getting knocked up and that the baby wasn’t actually theirs. *sigh*… it’s really too long a story to get more into.) Back to my MIL… so she had a terrible MIL experience and so with me (and my MIL told me this) she never wants to have that kind of relationship. She wants to help me as much as I need her to help and she wants to include me in her life as much as I’ll let her. She doesn’t give unneeded advice, she sticks with my ‘rules’ for the babies… she calls me the ‘daughter she never had’ – which truly is so awesome. She’s such a wonderful woman and I feel so blessed to have her as my MIL.

So of course when we announced our engagement (and the ‘curveball’ aka the first grandchild) she wanted to throw me a bridal shower at their poolhouse (I like to say I married up… but actually, HE did. Haha.) but as tradition goes, the MIL is not supposed to host a shower – so her group of best friends hosted the shower at the MIL’s poolhouse. I was nervous. What if her friends didn’t like me? What if I got some really wierd present and couldn’t effectively pull off an “oh! this is so lovely!” upon opening it?

The day arrived and everything actually went smoothly. My husbands friends who attended kept our secret very well! With smiles so amused as people joked about Hubby & I having twins since I looked so big, they really helped me ease into being the lady of the afternoon. I received many wonderful gifts, some odd items, and a sprinkle of things I’ll pass on to a White Elephant. It all went really well and I’m pretty sure all my MIL’s friends approve of me.

PHEW! ! ! ! ! !

Surprising the Family:

We decided to tell our families at the same time during our planned family barbeque after the bridal shower. That way everyone found out together and no one could feel left out. (It’s difficult some of the time when one side lives out of town.) The guys had been golfing all day (very regular amongst the men in our families). My dad and Hubby’s dad had really gotten to know each other and the time spent together proved they would have a wonderful relationship. Thank God my in-laws are normal people, like golf and wine, and can get along with my parents (who are more or less the same, as long as you add hardcore Catholic into their mix).

As the meat went on the grill my mom went inside the poolhouse to help my MIL and FIL serve up appetizers and bring some dishes outside to the tables where we were all sitting. They joked, “I wonder what they want to tell us. Maybe they found out what it is”, “Thank God it’s only one baby! Haha. Haha.”, “Yeah, we’d know by now if it were twins!” Laughter filled the poolhouse as our parents imagined our upcoming announcement.

Everyone settled down for appetizers and Hubby & I stood up to address our families. We started with the usual ‘thanks for being here’, blah blah. We continued, “The ultrasound went really well other than a couple of things. Nothing un-handle-able is wrong there are just some things the doctor is concerned about. We wanted to brief the family on it before the birth so that everyone could be prepared.” Dun dun dun…. ominous looks crossed everyone’s faces. They were preparing themselves for something bad.

“Everything’s great, the only thing is that she’s dyzygotic,” Hubby said.

Before he said ‘dizygotic’, my MIL screamed, “SHE?!” Then someone asked “What’s dizygotic?” A light-bulb look came over the faces of my father (a doctor) and my sister (a science know-all) as they found in their memory banks the meaning of dizygotic.

I smiled. Then, I said, “It means she has a sister.” At that moment, you could have heard a flea laughing it was so silent!

“TWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS!!” My mother howled and gasped laughter out of her mouth. She was red as a beet with surprise and excitement. She and my MIL were screaming and hugging each other. I wish we had gotten it on videotape. My FIL just sat there and opened another beer, completely stunned by our news. Everyone was so excited, so surprised, and deliriously happy.

I think my sisters were especially happy because while although they aren’t officially twins, they’ve been raised as such their entire lives so for me, their oldest sister, to be having twins was really exciting for them. Plus, they each got to be a godmother so no one’s feelings were hurt. PHEW! 🙂

I had survived my first scary ultrasound, my first scary bridal shower, and the excitement of sharing our good news. Now I just had to survive being mom to twins….. Dun dun dun….

I was glad that we had told the families because now I could go back to the Big City to tell MY friends. It was so exciting and I knew I’d have to tell them all at the same time. I decided my bachelorette party would be the day. My friends were taking me to the horse races for some brunch and a classy day of betting and cheering on our favorites. This, of course, is another ‘blog-story’ for another day.

(SideNote: My sisters are seven weeks apart in age.)

(Explanation cause I know you want one: Myself and all my siblings are adopted. At the time my parents were looking for a baby, two birthmothers picked them and agreed to have my parents raise their babies together. Pretty cool. I had prayed really hard for a sister; we joke now that I prayed too hard. 🙂 )

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One Year Later…

On October 13, 2007….. my babies were already a month old! Haha…they were DUE Oct 13th, but were born Sept 13th. So I will always think of Oct 13th as a special day for them, regardless of when they were actually born.

I’m not sure when they started walking. I didn’t write it down; eleven months? At the end of ten months? I remember the first steps ~ both were to me…. and it was so exciting. 🙂 Juniper walked before Magnolia, but Mags caught on much quicker than Junie did ~ Mags wasn’t as nervous to go ahead and “take that leap”! We’ve got nine teeth between them; Mags got an upper-side tooth before she got one of her middle uppers. They really, really, really have a thing for cherry tomatos (sliced, of course) and cheese – either together or separate. Both will pretty much eat ANYTHING we put in front of them and neither is allergic to peanut butter/peanuts ~ this will make life and lunchtimes so much easier. I eat about a jar of peanut butter myself (hubby likes crunchy, I prefer creamy but will eat either, so anyways He and I have our own PB in the house) every 2-3 months. I love it. And if my kids had nut allergies, I’m not sure even I could handle the constant worry about it.

We’re learning signs. Mags has it down better than Junie but Junie did the signs first ~ go figure! Milk and Cat are the most used signs… Cat isn’t generally that informative to us but sometimes we’ll get the sign for diaper although usually we can smell the problem first. We started thinking it would be helpful but a lot of the time we just feel stupid trying to sign to the babies. It’s a learning process for all…

I really enjoy reading this one wordpress blog – ‘andbabymakesfive’ – it’s about this couple and their quest via surrogacy for twins. The wife was born without a uterus (rare!) and they truly have this amazing story. I’m always tempted to Facebook her and tell her how much I love her blog ~ I wish she would be my friend cause I think she’s super cool. Anyways, the blog always makes me laugh and often makes me cry. I wish they lived closer to me so I could help out or at least be another twin mom to hang out with and lament about our husbands’ love for Phish (eh, they’re okay, remind me of an ex of mine so I can only tolerate so many bootlegs before I neeeeeeeeeed some Zeppelin). The mom is always so matter-of-fact and seems to have such a happy, love-filled life. Uterus or not, I wish I could be her.

I don’t know any women in the Little City with twins. Other than the much older woman that we get a lot of our stuff from. And I’d never hang out with her. She’s the kind of mother that picks the baby  runs to the baby immediately and coddles it when it falls from a sitting position. (Was coddles the right word?) Now, I’m not about to let my kids fling themselves down a staircase but a bruise or bump now and then isn’t going to hurt them.

What else… yeah, this IS only my third post and this blog has definitely not been written “on” in a while. Turns out I don’t have as much time as I thought I really did. Maybe I’ll start writing more next week. You know, when all the chores are done and all the errands are run and both the girls are fast asleep all through the night.

LOL ~ Like THAT’S ever going to happen.

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The Unexpected World of Mommyhood: Intro

This is my second blog… ambitious of me? Yes. It is ambitious of me. I’m the mother of fraternal twins… Juniper and Magnolia. They were born in the Fall of 2007 on the day after my 25th birthday (I went into labor ON my birthday ~ what a landmark day!). And they were very, very, very unexpected! This blog is going to follow my girls and myself as I take this very surprising, tiring, and fun journey through motherhood and newlywed life (one might say we had a shotgun wedding…). It’s really strange to go one day from being a 90lb grass-smoking hippie living in the Big City (dating my long-distance, Little City beau) with two cats and my roommate… to being a 115lb (and trying to shrink!) mama of twins living in the Little City with my now outdoor cats and my indoor, same city Hubby. My life has “flipped turned upside down” to quote the Fresh Prince. Sometimes I don’t know how I dealt with all the life changes without have a breakdown. I must be stronger than I think. I always was stubborn and maybe that stubborness helped me through the biggest changes in my life thus far. 

I’m not sure how much I’ll write but contrary to popular opinion I do have time to get things done, laundry, write, cook, etc…. It’s just sometimes it’s really nice to just SIT and do NOTHING. I deserve it, don’t I? Take a look at my stretch-marks – I DESERVE IT! 🙂

Speaking of time to myself, the girls just went down for the night and now it’s MY time to relax.

I wonder if anyone will end up reading this blog of mine. Hm… 🙂 More to come!

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