Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thoughts from an Accountant

Pre-word: I, Ruth, have gone behind and added my own comments...in blue, if you will.


First off, since you can't tell from my tone of voice, I feel that it is my duty to inform you that this is not Ruth. It's her husband. Of course, the title should have clued you in on the fact that I would be having SOME input in this since Accounting is definitely my thing, and not Ruth's. (And thanks for that.) With that cleared up, I will explain the events that led to my posting in her place.

First (I started my FIRST paragraph with the same word as the FIRST word of this paragraph, which is fitting since this would also be my FIRST post ever... I know, it is apparent), my wife was not feeling well this weekend, so she did not have an opportunity to write anything. I'm not exactly sure how a doctor would describe her symptoms (nausea, chills, aches, sore throat, headache, fever), but I would have to say they were flu-ish-like. In short, I had an opportunity to see what she does every day of the week, whilst I'm away at work, and I must say, she's incredible. (Aw, shucks, baby!) Of course, you are fully aware of this already, but to be even more impressed, I am actually a husband who has SEEN what his wife does on a daily basis, and I must say that Ruth is definitely my hero. (Well, you're mine and I couldn't do any of it without you.)

That being said, I also had an opportunity to see what it is like to spend time with my daughters and it be just the three of us, and I have to say that being a father is awesome. To be clear, this was definitely NOT the first time that I've spent time with my children. I'm here every day and I'm here every weekend, but this is actually the first time that from Friday night to Sunday afternoon that I was completely, 100% on my own with them. Yes, you are correct in thinking I was probably a little scared. But like any "man" (I put that in quotations because I'm not exactly a lion tamer (yes, you are...mrrreow! scratch! whoop pow!)... I mean I'm an accountant, so I felt that I could, at best, claim a qualified title of man), I figured that if my wife could do this day in and day out, I could, too. (Ha ha... I know what you're thinking, and you're right... I didn't have a clue).

But first, let me go back and explain the story from the beginning. On Friday night, Ruthie and I made dinner (delicious, as always) and continued our normal weekly routine. This usually consists of all of the DVR'd shows from the week that we simply didn't have time to watch earlier. Part of the way through this, Ruth started to get this look on her face that made it apparent that she was not feeling 100%. (My I-want-t0-vomit face) She was continuing her decline till finally I had to ask why she looked so bad. Now, in hindsight, I probably could have phrased this better. From her side, I'm sure this came across pretty harshly, when in fact, I was just concerned about her. However, to be clear, I am an accountant and numbers are what I'm most comfortable with. Words... not good with them... me... not good. (Great use of ellipses...so proud!) After a quick explanation of what I had MEANT as opposed to the WORDS I used, we realized that she had finally come down with something after taking care of our girls for so long while they were sick. (Or from Zack's "I'm totally not contagious" illness last weekend) So, she went on to bed and I made the claim, as any proud "man" (mreow) would, that I would take care of the girls this weekend while she could rest and get well and that I would take care of everything and she had nothing to worry about. (Such a wonderful guy...)

Now, I couldn't possibly chronicle all of the events of this weekend. However, I will let you know about some of the things I learned and gained a deeper appreciation for:

1) 13 1/2 month old twins are difficult to feed. (That's why I look disgusting when you come home.) This was certainly not a new revelation to me, but I'm not talking about a single meal. I mean, I was responsible for sustaining these two little girls the whole weekend and I was having some serious concerns for whether they would make it or not.

2) 13 1/2 month old twins are a LOT faster than you'd expect. I felt like I was trying to watch after a bunch of "Flashes" (this is a reference to a DC superhero... the Flash, aka Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Bart Allen, etc... the Flash). (nerd)

3) 13 1/2 month old twins have teeth. They use them well. They leave marks. It hurts when they get you. And there's no warning. You're just holding this adorable child, she lays her head on your shoulder, and then her mouth clamps onto your arm. It HURTS. (Unexpected bruises... EXPLAINED.)

4) 13 1/2 month old twins don't actually want to take naps. I mean, I'm staring at them and THEY ARE TIRED, and they don't want to take a nap. I thought I'd take the opportunity to explain the irony that you spend the first years of your life fighting sleep and then spending the rest of it wishing you had more time TO sleep. (If only we knew that then...)

5) 13 1/2 month old twins have ways of letting you know that things are not up to their standards. I gave the girls their bottles right before their nap time. I put them in their beds and left them to the nap process. I come back a few seconds later and I see Harper's bottle in the middle of the floor. I look over a Piper Lee, and she's holding the bottle over the edge of the crib and while maintaining eye contact with me, she drops the bottle onto the floor as if to say. Don't come back till the bottles are the right temperature. (Picky eaters...not unlike SOME people I know...)

6) 13 1/2 month old twins find the strangest things to be entertained by. We have spent money on toys. Toys have taken over the house. We have every kind of toy you can imagine, and the number one thing they got upset over was the empty Aquaphor tub. Seriously, they would be ready to scream at each other because they each want to play with it. But it's an empty plastic container. It's not even the real brand either. It's the generic brand.

7) 13 1/2 month old twins have the best laughs. And I can't believe the faces and actions I was making in an attempt to hear their laughs one more time. (It's funny how low you will degrade yourself just to get one more laugh, isn't it?)

8) 13 1/2 month old twins give the best hugs. There's something about having your daughters run up to you with these huge smiles on their faces and YOU are the one those smiles are for. It's both humbling that God would allow me to receive something like that and priceless because you couldn't buy that kind of moment. (Aw...you make me cry.)

9) 13 1/2 month old twins are very good showing you just how much you should appreciate your wife. I seriously don't know how Ruth manages these two every day. I'm worn out.


Also, I figured since I was an accountant and all, I should give you some numbers:

19 - the number of times I was bitten this weekend (not an exaggeration, I actually counted).

7 - the number of bite marks that were left behind from the previously referenced bites.

3 - the number of times I was bitten while cleaning their teeth (that whole "Charlie bit me" video that I used to laugh at... not anymore... it hurts).

2 - the number of amazing, beautiful, happy, smiling, perfect daughters God blessed me with.

1 - the number of people, in my opinion, who could do this job every single day and somehow be a devoted mother, wife, friend, and blogger (because that's why I'm writing this in the first place -- there, i said the word FIRST again), and that is Ruth. (Aw...you make me cry again!)

I learned a lot this weekend. I had a great time with my girls. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to spend so much time with them, and I'm thankful that if Ruth had to get sick, it was a time that I could be here to help her.

So, to sum up, Ruth was sick. I took care of the girls. They wore me out. Ruth got better, and now I'm going to bed because I can barely think straight to finish this post.

(You're the best, sweetie...I'm glad you're stuck with me.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Le Park and Meatballs

I love that there are 107 parks near where we live...always a place that sucks the energy out of toddlers. Meaning: good naps later. This Saturday, we celebrated Story's 2nd birthday at a funsy park near our house. Here are some pictures...and I realize I don't have a single one of the party itself, which was fantastic! Why? It's tough to carry around a camera and chase a wild child (Harper) around a populated playground. David got to watch Piper Lee, the calm one. I drew the short straw. (And no, we don't play favorites, gracious alive. I'm just saying that PL is a lot easier on the back.)

Piper Lee is in the yellowish shirt and Harper is in the white, smarty pants shirt...because she is my child and she is a smarty pants.

So, I'm working on my new blog design. EEEECK! I'm so excited! I hope you guys like it. It's got a unicorn on it.

Also, we're putting down hardwoods...FINALLY! Remember, like, 107 years ago when we wanted to put some down and then we found out we were having twins and it was like, "Huh, maybe we should save for that instead." Well, now the girls have jobs and we went this weekend and picked out the wood! It's bamboo, which was what we originally had picked out, and it's super cute. I LOATHE our kitchen, so we're redoing the cabinets and possibly the countertops, too. I'll be posting progress pics as soon as the fabulousness begins. Our carpet...blah...don't even get me started. If they got a black light in here, it'd look like a crime scene...wait, no, no it wouldn't. Because, it's not blood...it's just water and pee (the babies', not ours) and vomit (the babies' again, not ours) and juice and milk and all kinds of food and snot and drool and most likely some poo. Poor carpet. I'll show you a video of it sometime...it'll be like a walk of shame through the living/dining rooms.

The other evening, there was that show on Food Network...I don't remember which one it was...but the guy was trying all different types of meatballs. And I just couldn't get that out of my head. I wanted some meatballs. David found a Giada recipe for meatballs–excuse me...a-meat-a-balls-ah–and we made those suckers Friday night. Y'all...MYWORD...so delicious. I don't like to fix meals that take forever, so our side dishes were super fast and easy. Roasted asparagus and cheese-stuffed tomaters.

You cut the asparagus off 2" or so from the bottom, drizzle with EVOO, salt/pepper, voila.

We used Campari tomatoes, because, well, I'm obsessed with them and I can't imagine there's any other kind of tomato. Cut those bad boys in half, dig out a little hole, stuff with cheese, salt/pepper, voila.

Cook both for 10 minutes at 350ºF. So easy.

MEATBALLS! These were amazing. And actually, they were turkey, so a teensy bit easier on the figure. It's Giada's Italian meatball recipe...onion, breadcrumbs, an egg, turkey, parsley, ketchup, salt/pepper...I think that was all. David sautéed them until they were brown, then added in three small cans of tomato sauce, stirred that around, added the meatballs back in and simmered for 10 minutes. Super easy and so delicious. Even better the next day for lunch.

The Things We Say

So, you know how everybody has their things they always say...a word, a phrase, even a hand motion or utterance. Some are funny, some drive you crazy. I know I have a lot. I say "Awesome or Awes" a lot. Also, "Psssh, whatevs," and "Laaaaaaame." Since about 80% of my daily interactions are through a computer, I "say" a lot of the same stuff through it. I "haha" at the beginning of almost every sentence. Sometimes at the end, haha. That's my version of a chuckle. Well, I guess that's anybody's version of a chuckle, as opposed to LOL. I use too many exclamation marks!! I start almost every paragraph with "so." I say "anyways" way too much...I don't even think that's a real word. And then there's my ellipses...I do love those. Anyways.

David has his little phrases and words he uses all the time. When we first got married, if he was asking me if I was ready, he would say, "You red-eye?" I usually would roll my eyes, sigh, and say, "Yes, I'm RED-EE." He'd laugh and we'd head out the door. One day, I had heard enough of "red-eye" and was like, "Okay, seriously, stop." (I also say "seriously" a lot.) So, he stopped. He does it EVERY now and then just to get me to give him a look. Now, his new word is "Mammy." Everything is, "Harper, go give your Mammy a hug," or "Piper Lee, go see if Mammy is hungry." Drives. Me. Insane. I have no idea why.

A friend growing up, her name was Dana, would always (and I mean ALWAYS) come up behind you and give you two squeezes with her hands on your shoulders. Say, you hadn't seen her in two weeks and you were reaching out for a hug...nope, she'd side-step you and slip her hands on each side of your neck...squeeze squeeze. WHAT THE MESS, DANA?! Weirdo.

My best friend growing up, Ashley, would always tuck one foot around the back of the other leg and rest it on top of her other foot. Crazy, right? We called her Tripod, because she was so small and slender and could fold herself up into the tightest little places. When we'd go on youth trips, we'd see how small of a suitcase she could fit into. But, she'd always stand there with her feet like that.

Growing up, and still now, we heard a lot of the same phrases in our house. You remember way back in 1999 and 2000, the phrase was "Your Momma." It killed every time and then it got super dumb. Well, Peter didn't catch onto the Your Momma Phase until about 4 years ago and for what seemed like forever, everything was "Yo Momma."

Like, "Hey, Pete, why are you wearing a sweater in June?"

"Yo Momma."

And it wasn't the cool way to say it now...under your breath like, "Yeah, well, that's what your mom says." He always said "Yo Momma" very articulately and we're like, "Pete, no, stop...we're trying to help you."


Sara and Noah never really had any phrases I don't think. (whisper...they weren't really smart enough.) The only things they repeatedly say is "Gyaaaah," which they stole from me. Oh, and Sara got on a "Smack that!" kick. She says she's always said it and it was like a cool phrase for awhile, but none of us remember it.

i.e. "I just won the hotdog eating competition. Smack that!"


Dad rarely speaks so he doesn't have any phrases...just his silent little giggle.


Mom is the phrase queen. For as long as I can remember, her #1 go-to phrase is, "That's the real world." She has variations, too. "Back to reality," "Welcome to the real world," etc.

Example...we'd be on vacation in a beautiful beach house somewhere, just arriving and checking out the place and Mom would sit down in a chair and sigh, "Ahhh, I don't want to go back home. But that's the real world. Seven days at the beach and then back to reality, kids." When we got old enough to be "adults" and get to say things back to Mom like, "Shut it," we did. (Although we are still very respectful of our matriarch.) But up until then, we had to say, "Mooooooom...stop! You're ruining it!" "That's life!" The week before we started back school, at least 18 times a day, she would say, "Enjoy the week kids, because come Monday, it's back to reality."

Another of Mom's phrases, or I guess words, is "creamed." When we all first started driving, it was always, "Drive the speed limit, always watch around you, use your blinkers, or you're going to get creamed." "David, we shouldn't have gotten Sara this small car. If she gets hit by an 18-wheeler, she'll get creamed." It was always "creamed." Why not "smashed" or how about just "hit"?

We taught her how to properly use "That's what she said," and now she's a monster. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. She gets us ALL the time.

One of her more common phrases is "I'm starting my diet on Monday." We heard that every Friday for 2o-something years.

Her favorite thing to do is, if she's eating something really delicious, is go "Mmmmm...mmm mmm mmm mmm MMMMM!" like Bob on What About Bob. And it's fine to do that at home, it's funny. But not super cool in a restaurant, Mom.

I think it's awesome possum that everybody has their little phrases or weird things about them. It makes us uni-qway. Ugh, that's another one Mom does. She think it's fun to change words...like it's not turquoise...it's tur-qwah. Oh, Mom.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Done.

Our pastor, Bro. Gene (who is now on Facebook WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THUNK!) once said, "Only YOU can make YOU angry." It took me a while to come to grips...ha, I almost said "gribs"...with that statement. Cuz I'm like, "Uh yeah, but if kid in front of me gets the last Butterfinger, he's pretty much made me angry." But, I understand his point now. Sure, I wanted that Butterfinger and sure, I'd like to smack the back of that kid's mulleted head, but I'm the one that let myself get angry over it.

Same with being stressed. I'm the only one that can make me stressed. And stress is making me old. That, and actually getting older, but that's beside the point. And I don't like it. And I'm tired of it. This entire year has been stressful for us...mainly because the girls have been sick the entire time. And like the doctor said, everything they've had is just run-of-the-mill, garden variety little bugs that kids get all the time. It's just that it's two at the same time and they keep passing it back and forth. And gosh, I only have two. I can't imagine what it's like for you guys with more. A hug for you.

And then, having a regular little cold turn into breathing issues and then having that transferred to the other kid who has a really high fever for three days straight and no sleep for almost two weeks and then your grandma who came to help you gets really sick, too...well, it's just been a tad stressful. But, honestly, there was no reason for me to stress out. Yeah, I was tired and cranky and busy with work and busy with two sick kids. But, whatever. It's life. It happens. And I'm so thankful I have kids that can get sick. So, I'm done being stressed. It's not worth it. This past week saw my blood pressure at an all time high, I'm sure, but on the upside...I lost 4 pounds. Always a silver lining, my friends.

It's like what Aunt Sue said on Facebook...this too shall pass. And the girls are all better and in the BEST, most hysterical moods I've ever seen them in. When you're smack in the middle of poo, it's hard to see how it's ever going to be any different again. I know that's a tad dramatic. But, for those of you who have had kids, you remember how intense the first few weeks/months were and it's like WILL I EVER SLEEP AGAIN?? And then, the stress of that time kind of becomes a fuzzy "aw, it wasn't all THAT bad" memory (even though we really know it WAS that bad) and all you remember are the fun times and then it's like, "Yeah, okay, we made it!" And even though it was just two weeks out of our lives that we didn't get a lot of sleep, at 3:00 in the morning, it feels like it's been this way forever. But, now, the girls are in their playroom fighting over something completely dumb and not even a toy...it's like a ring that holds toys together...no runny noses, no puddles if diarrhea, no projectile vomiting, no asthmatic coughing, no fevers...life is good and the past two weeks weren't all that bad in the grand scheme of things.

I miss blogging like I used to. I've decided to "unclutter" my life and get back to doing the things I love to do. And so it begins. That sounds like the beginning of an epic, Middle Earthish movie.

I gotta catch you up on the twinsers.

Almost 14-months old...can barely even believe it. They are into EVERYthing. I remember the day when I thought, "I can't wait for them to crawl and walk...they'll be able to entertain themselves so much easier." Ha, I laugh at Past Ruth now. If only Future Ruth could have been there to tell her, "Enjoy this time now when they're little immobile slugs, for soon they will take over your house."

Harper is going to be a gymnast or mountaineer or the person that changes the light bulbs at the tops of radio towers...she's got to do SOMEthing productive with her climbing abilities. She can get on top of all of the furniture in the house and she will. She's figured out if she moves chairs close to tables, she can get on the tables, too.

Piper Lee's pretty content to mind her own business and stay where she is. She's a master block builder. Legos are her favorite thing. Harper is a master destroyer. We call her Destructo Demolition. She likes to crash Piper's creations.

They love love love books. They love magazines and they love tearing up magazines. They can shred an entire box of tissues just by looking at it.

They'll blow kisses all day long. They are so loving. If you say, "Give me a hug," they'll come and snuggle their faces in your neck and wrap their chubby little arms around you. They give good kisses, too. Harper especially loves kisses. Say, "Give me a kiss," and prepare yourself for the biggest smooch right on on the mouth...sometime it's open mouth, so watch out. They pet Kevin (the pony) and pat his head. Harper will say "awwww" when she hugs him.

They know where their belly buttons, noses, and ears are. They can mimic a few animals...werewolves, cats, cows, ducks, chickens. They "sing" the ABCs. I think that's their favorite song right now. It's more like "Ah ah ga ga ba ba oooooooo" but they're totally "singing" it along with you. They say "Daddy" and "Mama" all the time. If they've pooped their pants, they say "Doo doo," which is weird because I have never said that. I always say "poopy," so I don't know where they got that from, but I mean, it's right.

I'll have to get this on video for you...but in the afternoon, they watch Yo Gabba Gabba and I'll say "Yo Gabba Gabba???" And they'll squeal and say "Ga ga!" Harper then runs to the TV, turns it on...Piper Lee runs to the speakers, turns them on. And they wait for me to get the satellite on. Crazy, right?? I'm a little worried they're going to build a robot or weapon or something...they work together too well.

They are always happy and smiling. They love nothing more than playing outside. Which has been wonderful the past few days because it's been so nice out. Piper Lee likes to sit and admire each individual blade of grass. Harper loves to trample on flowers.

They love their wagon.
video

They love their box.

They love to sleep in weird positions.

They love making a mess.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

L...

...is for the way you look...I really don't know the words to that song, but I want to. It's such a fun song and it spells L.O.V.E. And Valentine's Day is all about love. Like I said in my last post, I am IN LOVE with Valentine's Day. Growing up, my parents would always make the hugest deal about it. Dad would send Mom a ginormous bouquet of roses and he'd send me and Sara a smaller, but equally beautiful bouquet of roses. That night for supper, Mom would always have chocolates set out for all of the kids at our places and a special gift for Dad with a card. Dad would read the card, turn red, and put the card under his plate. We never got to read the card. I don't know why. Mom would always have color-coordinating candy around the house. We'd make cards for each other. Mom still gets us all little Valentine happies. This year, two fabulous pairs of Valentine's socks. BAM! Be jealous.

It's just such a fun, cutesy holiday. I don't think it's cheesy at all. I embrace the cheese. The more over-the-top and cliché, the better. David and I pretty much do the same thing every year, but it's always a surprise and it's always fun and romantic. This year (Saturday night), David planned the menu: red wine braised short ribs, cheesy polenta, asparagus, and chocolate soufflé. Well, the butcher was out of short ribs, so David got some other part of the cow. I think he said a shoulder. I dunno. It was magnificent. Here's the sauce reducing. Hmmmm...reduced sauce.

Hugs accidentally forgot the asparagus, which is cool because I was fine with not experiencing the aftershock of asparagus...you know...the uri... Hehe, I don't want to spell it out. We had broccoli, so we went with that. The cheesy polenta...OHMYGOODNESSYOUGUYSHAVETOTRYTHIS. This was amazing. Here, we added butter and parsley. Mmmmmm....

David let me make the soufflé, God love him. Chocolate and butter. Not a bad combination. David goes, "I think we added too much butter." HA...that is never...EVER...a problem, sweetheart.

The finished meal. Happiness on a plate.

I shed a tear (or two) of pure delight when I ate this. Go to foodnetwork.com and go to the 5 Ingredient Fix site and use that soufflé recipe. SO easy and SO good. You will not be disappointed. Neither of us could finish our desserts. I had to be rolled to bed.

Because the girls weren't in "school" last week, their teacher brought by the Valentine crafts they "made" for me and David. (Which makes it even harder to take them out of daycare because of how fabulous the teachers are.) I crumbled into a million pieces. Look at the preciousness of these...
Harper's...

Piper Lee's...

The little hearts with dots and the pot are their thumb and fingerprints. ADORABLE. Everything is now proudly displayed in the house...sans some of the candy. David and I got the girls some little happies, too. We're celebrating tonight with Mamaw G!
She came to stay the week with us to help me out while I work this week. And thank goodness she did, because I'm about to have to run back to the doctor with Piper Lee this time. Up all night with a fever and she's slightly lethargic, which ain't good. Poor babies. I can't wait for them to feel 100% better.

I feel like this entire year has been one big speed post. I miss getting to really blog. It's been a busy, crazy, sick fest 6 weeks. I have 107 unread emails. I used to be such a good emailer. Blog makeover is coming soon. I mean it! Stay with me!

I'm soooo thankful that David and I work for folks who are so understanding about kids and kidgerms, because I love my kids...not the kidgerms. I'm thankful for my family, because I love them. I'm thankful for my friends, because I love them. I'm thankful for my Valentine, Hugsy Bear, because he is my favorite and he is amazing and I love him so much. And I kiss him and I squeeze him and I call him my own.

But, don't forget that there's a greater Love...one that knows no boundaries. Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! And if you're bored and if you're not blocked at work, go watch Teen Girl Squad's Valentine's Day episode.

Last Week

Sooooo...sorry for the silence last week. It did not play out the way I planned at all. Ha, plans. I was going to post tons of pictures and videos of the girls and share with you my Sky Mall experience. Yeah...didn't happen.

Tuesday night, Harper was running around the house, as usual, and stopped for a second to catch her breath. We noticed she was wheezing a good bit. Sounded kind of crackly. That concerned me, but they've been sick non-stop since January 5 when they started Mother's Day Out, so we thought she was maybe congested and it was just in her throat or she just hadn't hacked it out of her lungs yet. She was happy and seemed fine, so we set up the humidifier and she went to sleep just fine. About 20 minutes after our heads hit our own pillows at 10 p.m., Harper wakes up and is not happy. The rest of the night, David and I rotated every hour holding her in the recliner. She was completely miserable. She was so tired, but could not breathe. The wheezing had gotten worse. Of all things, I remembered that scene in The Nanny Diaries when the kid couldn't breathe and the mom made a steam room in the shower, so we did that with Harper. I sweated about 10 pounds off (I had a robe and slippers on...I'm like 89 years old, apparently), but it was worth it because she started breathing a little easier and went to sleep. I, of course, was freaking out. I called my parents and then the emergency after-hours number for the pediatrician. It rang and rang and while I was waiting, I checked on Harper and her breathing seemed to be less labored. I hung up the phone because she woke up again and we held her the rest of the night.

In the morning, she was wheezing so badly. Her cheeks were red. Her eyes were swollen. Her tummy and neck were retracting. She was so tired, but she was smiling and laughing a raspy little laugh. It broke my heart. I immediately called the pediatrician and they had us come in right then. They waited so patiently to see the doctor.

We may have had to bribe them with keys.

Dr. Reminds wasn't there, but Dr. Petelosiesksielosis (I swear that was his name...he was Greek, I think) saw Harper. I really liked him, too. The doctors there are great...if only they could fix the receptionists. Diagnosis: asthmatic bronchitis. I had asthma as a baby and she probably does, too. Mixed with being sick for the past 5 weeks and it just got really bad and culminated into restricted airways.

They did a breathing treatment on her. She was about as brave as a sweet, innocent, 13-month old can be. Bless her. But, she started breathing soooo much better, which was a joy to my heart. They sent us away with prescriptions for steroids to help open up her airways and an inhaler. The rest of the day, she breathed that little inhaler every four hours. The first time or two were no-gos, but then she got used to it and actually put her face forward into the mask. After 3 or 4 of the inhaler sessions, the wheezing came back. The night was the same as the night before. David and I rotated staying up with her.

The next morning, I didn't want to wait at the doctor's office again, so I called up Aunt Moo. She was working at her clinic. We headed over in the pretty snow. It's so weird...for the past three years, it's snowed. And it snowed the exact same time last year when the girls were teensy tiny. I wanted to let them go outside to walk around, but today was no time for play...we were off to get Harper breathing better.

She did another breathing treatment at Sara's office, but the afternoon didn't see her getting better. I overnighted us our own compressor nebulizer and Sara called in some medicine for the machine. It wasn't going to be in until the next day and by the time David got home Thursday night, she was not breathing great again, so we took her back to see Sara. This time, they did two breathing treatments in a row.
During which, Harper peed through her lopsided diaper in exactly the perfect place on Aunt Moo.
At least that's what Sara SAYS.

Piper and I played a game while we waited in between breathing treatments.
video

Harper was finally able to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time Thursday night. The clinic also let us borrow an air machine until ours came in on Friday. We did a treatment every four hours and Friday was a much better day. She slept through the night Friday night and the rest of the weekend has been fabulous, praise the Lord.

Ha, I feel like I completely rushed through that story while giving you every single detail at the same time. "First, we did this and then we did this and then we went here and now we are doing this." Basically, Harper is doing great now and we've taken them out of daycare, doctor's orders. So, that was our week last week and why I didn't have a chance to write any new posts. I missed you guys! But now we have our own air compressor, Margo Moo (it's shaped like a cow with a barn carrying case) and dragon mask, loads of medicine, so we're set to go for the rest of the cold and flu season.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day...I LOVE VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!!! It's probably my second favorite holiday. I'm infatuated with it. And tomorrow is a LOVE post. Mrreow! Uh, that's not what it sounds like.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Le Trip

As you know, I was in Virginia most of last week working on a campaign, new logo, and new website for my buddies up there. We got so much done, which is awesome, but I am GIVE. OUT.

I'll start at the beginning...

Tuesday afternoon, I went by el hospital to see Brandi, Shane, and brand new little Finn! OHMYGOSHYOUGUYSHEISSOSTINKINGADORABLE. He is the spitting image of Shane, but has Brandi's sweet personality and intelligence. PRAISE GOD. (I kid, I kid, Shaney Pooh.) No, but seriously, he is a doll. He weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces (I think) and just seeing him all snuggled in Brandi's arms when I walked in made me well up and kind of think..."Awww...that was so much fun." But no worries, no more kiddos for awhile...A. WHILE. But by golly, there's nothing else sweeter in this world. He weighed 10 ounces more than Harper and he was SO tiny. I don't ever remember the girls being that small. I just wanted to kiss all over his face, but I restrained myself. He has a headful of thick, black hair and he raises one eyebrow and gives you a once-over every 10 minutes or so. Uh...melt. After an hour with the family (ran into big sisters Sasha and Marina and Aunt Senia on the way out), I headed to the airport.

I don't know why, but they ALWAYS pick my hands to swab. I don't look trrsty, do I? I took out the vowels in case "they" were watching. Of course, I passed, as always and I made my way to the gate to wait. 99% of passengers at airports are businessfolk making their way to or from a business meeting. I was sitting in the midst of about 1,039 of them...all on their cell phones or bluetooths...all talking loud enough for me to basically understand the inner-workings and deepest darkest secrets of their companies. I even got a few passwords.

There was one girl that didn't appear to be traveling for business. I couldn't figure her out, though. She was really pretty...like supermodel pretty...and was dressed the way I want to dress, but don't have the nerve to. She had a black portfolio, about the size of my design portfolio from college and a leather satchel. In the seat beside her was a very fashionable AKC traveling case, complete with some sort of dog. It was a cross between an Ewok and a Tribble. An older businessman approached her and asked a random question about the critter, which led her to saying this was the first time she had ever been in an airport and she didn't know what to do. In my boredom, I decided she was a socialite whose parents decided to cut her off and not allow her to use the private jet anymore. So, she and Versace (the dog) were running away to NYC because she was going to be a fashion designer...hence, the portfolio.

I absolutely love to fly. My favorite part is taking off. But, I gotta admit...I'm always a little afraid right when the front wheels lift off and the nose tilts up towards the sky that the tail end is going to scrape along the runway. I know it's not, but it feels that way and I always cringe a little bit and then say a prayer of thanks when the back wheels lift off, leaving the tail (and my tail) intact.

Wednesday through Friday, we worked worked worked. It's really weird because I "see" these same fabulous folks every day during the work week. We email all the time. But, I see them in person maybe once a year. It's funny how technology has connected us the past few decades. But, even though I talk to them on a regular basis, it's very nice indeedy deed to hug their necks and eat lunch with them and see their sweet smiles in person. I wish I had had more time to spend with them, but Justin was like WEBSITE! LOGO! COUGH DROPS! (I'm kidding. It's always fun to pick on someone who doesn't read the blog...and y'all better not tell him I said that. You, too, BJ.) No, actually, Justin is a great boss and he kept us on track and we got everything, plus some, done. It was a very productive week! I'm super proud of everything we accomplished.

I had a great time with you guys...I really did! Next time, we'll plan it around a weekend and we'll all go bowling or something. Hugs to you all!

So, you know my fascination and deep love for hotels. I love staying in hotels. And this particular hotel always has freshly baked cookies waiting for you at night when you come "home." I have been looking forward to these cookies for a month. I arrive around 10:30 the first night and I didn't see any cookies. I assumed maybe there was a cut-off time. Whatevs. The next night, I see a little tupperware container on the front desk counter with some tongs nearby. It was the cookies, although not in their usually clear plastic display shelf thing. Fine, whatever, as long as there were cookies. I grabbed a chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. I went upstairs. I ate my two cookies. I went back downstairs, grabbed two more, and scrammed back upstairs before anybody saw me. The next night...NO COOKIES. But, it was late, so I just growled in the general direction of the desk and stomped up to my room. The next night...NO COOKIES AGAIN!! That was it. I ding dinged the little, silver bell and waited...drumming my fingers on the granite countertop. The sweet receptionist came out from the office and I said, as syrupy sweet as I could, "Are you guys gonna have cookies tonight?" She smiled and said, "We sure are." She pulled that stupid tupperware container out from BEHIND the desk and set out the tongs and napkins. Then, she had the audacity to say, "When I checked in for work, I was so happy to see there was a full batch of cookies already made. These are the best cookies." I agreed wholeheartedly and cried a little as she opened the container to a heaping pile of chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin delicacies from heaven. I figured she'd set the container on the counter and then leave while I dug in, but no...she WATCHED ME get my cookies. I meekly grabbed two...a measly two...and put the tongs back in the basket. She put the lid back on and set the goodies back behind the counter. I pouted and went to my room, ate my cookies, and pouted some more. Why bake a huge batch of cookies for the guests and then hide them so nobody knows they're there? Who does that?! Whatever. I'm over it.

(Random picture time)
I brought my super cozy jacket and got to wear it in the cold weather! I never get to wear it at home, so it was nice.

One night, I was about to get in the shower and I was closing the bathroom door to keep the hot air from getting out, and I scraped the door over the top of my left foot. I didn't know I knew so many words. I didn't say anything out loud, because there was no one there to hear my anguish, so I just scrunched my face and hissed through my teeth...I think I may have drooled a little. I knew it wasn't enough to need medical attention, so I just kind of stood there and tried to walk around the bathroom for a second until the pain subsided a little. I wanted to be mad at something or someone, but it was my own fault. I took a picture for you...this was the following night. (Please excuse the atrocity that is my toenail polish...or lack thereof.)

I took this one tonight. Stupid door.

Even though I was technically able to sleep well (comfy bed, no babies, etc), I did not. Mainly because of Snorey McSnorerson...also known as Loudest Phone Caller Ever...next door. The first night was fine. The second night, I woke up to this rhythmic droning. I sat straight up in bed, listening all around, trying to figure out what in the world it was. I had my rain machine on (yes, I'm one of those people), so it was pretty loud droning. I finally figured out it was dude in the room next to me, snoring. He was INSANELY loud. I, thankfully, found some earplugs in my toiletry bag and was able to get a few more hours of sleep. The next night, not too bad, but the night after that...my last night there...I woke up someone talking in my room. There was a security light right outside, so I could see pretty well even with the drawn curtains. Nobody was in the room. But, I could hear someone talking and it sounded like he was right beside me. Nope, it was Snorey talking on the phone. At 1 a.m. And he was loud. I turned the rain machine as loud as it could go (it's on my phone). I put my earplugs in. I put a pillow over my head. I unplugged the phone and put it on my head and then put the pillow over that. Nothing worked. I could still hear his incessant yapping. I figured if I'm going to be awake, I might as well know what he's chattering on and on about, so I took an earplug out and put an ear to the wall. Of course, he was speaking another language, why wouldn't he be. So, it was a conversation that was keeping me awake AND it was boring. I could also hear the guy he was talking to on speakerphone. I piled two pillows on my head and finally went back to sleep. Until something SO IMPORTANT happened in the world at 3 a.m. that demanded another phone call. And another at 5 a.m. I almost banged on the wall, but I was afraid he'd shoot me or punch through the wall or something, so I resigned myself to not sleeping that night.

Which was good, because at 5:30 a.m., I got a phone call from the airline saying my flight was cancelled due to plane maintenance...yippee. I called and was like, "Flight. Now." The lady found me a seat and I was annoyed because I was supposed to be home at 12 p.m., but was grateful that I was still going to be home at least sometime that day and thankful that I wasn't on the plane that needed the maintenance.

I was pretty crabby on Saturday. Thank goodness I was flying solo, because I might have eaten my traveling companion. I just wanted to get home. But, I like to people watch and airports provide great opportunities to do that, so, with that and my Gilmore Girl episodes, I made it through the day.

On my last flight from my layover city to home, I, of course, get stuck with a weirdo for a seat-mate. He walks to the back of the plane, eyes the seat numbers above my head, eyes the seat number on his boarding pass, looks around him, eyes the numbers again, and declares, "OH (insert expletive here)!!! Well, (insert another expletive here)!!!" I thought, "Well, gracious...do I look that bad?" I asked, "Is this your seat?" pointing to my left. He surprisingly politely says, "Yeah, but there's no overhead compartment room for my bag near here." Good gracious alive, you're right! This is a DOWNRIGHT OUTRAGE!! Gyah...dramatic much, mister? He found a place for his precious bag and sat down. He minded his own business, but he hogged the window the whole time. It's not like I wanted to sit in his lap and look out, but a peek every now and then would have been nice. Also, I was right next to the bathroom. I mean, RIGHT next to it. If I turned to the right and blinked, my eyelashes scraped the bathroom door. So, you know you're in trouble when a fairly large guy lumbers down the aisle and heads in. Door latched. Occupied. He's in there for awhile and you know this is not a #1 situation. Sigh.

But, I made it home!!!!!!! And I hugged my man and my sweet baby girls so very tight. Ah, I missed them. I had a good trip, sans the snoring, and I'm glad we got a lot of good work done, but I was glad to be home. Today has been a very restful day. I haven't been so tired, mentally and physically, in a really long time. I had a pretty bad headache today, so David suggested I take a bath. Like, a BATH bath. I never take baths...I take showers. I haven't taken a bath bath in probably 5 years, no lie. I know I'll get a lot of grief for saying this, but taking a bath is like stewing in your own filth. BUT BUT BUT, don't hate me yet, I do understand and realize the therapeutic benefits that a relaxing, warm, lavender oil-infused bubble bath can have. And they worked their magic tonight. I got to read my David Weber book. Yes, I choose not to read books that make me a better person and intellectual. I want my brain to turn to mush.

So, I intended to have pictures and videos of the girls for you today (Mrs. Patti), but I will post them soon, along with some of my favorite SkyMall buys, part 2. Here, you can see part 1.

Dear Flight Attendants, a little advice, things you shouldn't say on an airplane...

1. "Ladies and gentleman, the pilot has informed me that we will be experiencing a good deal of turbulence during this flight, so please remain seated for the duration of the trip. If the airbags fall because of the rough ride, fasten them securely to your face. Welcome aboard!"

2. (to a passenger): "Your daughter needs to be above the seatbelt, not buckled in with you. That way, in case something happens and you're unconscious, we can just take her."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

I don't know why the whole state won't believe. I'm working on them, though. We started with the tooth fairy...we're getting there.

Obviously, I'm in Virginia this week. I haven't seen these kids since two Septembers ago. Here are some pictures from our last trip. Look how crazy my nose is. I know I go on and on about how my nose was weird during pregnancy, but y'all, my nose was SO WEIRD during pregnancy. They say that girls make your "nose spread" and since there were two, my nose was flattened by a steam roller. Anyways.

We're working on some awesome stuff and I'm soooo excited to get to be a part of it. It's super top secret, but I can tell you that........and.......and that he said the whole.......and you're not going to believe that.......pretty cool, huh? Right now, I'm working on a website. I love websites. I love to put in a lot of Flash and animation and crazy graphics and Justin just loves that because he has to program the thing. Hence, the epic feud between designers and webmasters.
"You're stifling my design!"
"Your design is too complicated!"
I'm trying to keep it simple, Batman.

This is my first trip away from the girls without having David with me. It's been really weird and I miss the squirmers so terribly much. But, I'll get to see them tomorrow! Mom, Sara, and David have been sending me videos and pictures, so I'll curl up at night with my phone and watch their antics. Ha, that sounds so pitiful. It's really been fine. I've also curled up with the iPad and watched Gilmore Girls, so I'm okay.

I just finished my cereal and I was in the process of drinking the leftover milk straight from the bowl (picking the bowl up, not lapping it up like a cat), but then I stopped, because Daniel is sitting right across from me and I don't know if other people do that, too. I always have, but I'm 28 and maybe only kids do that. I'm not sure. I don't think he saw me, though. That's the best milk, though...blast! I hate wasting it. Let it go, Ruth.

So, all that to say, I don't really have any twin videos or pictures for today, but I'll make up for it next week, I promise. I'm sorry, Mamaw A. The wi-fi at the hotel was pitiful, but I did try.

Okay, Justin just came in, so I should probably "work". Everybody have a good Friday and weekend!