Thursday, June 25, 2009

Welcome to the neighborhood

Yesterday we went over to meet the new next-door neighbor (another ophthalmology resident). Our kids were mostly running around the hallway, so he stood at the door and chatted with us while we stood in the hallway. The babies made their way in and out of his apartment, but since his moving truck hadn't arrived yet, the living room was still empty and it didn't seem like much of a problem. But after one of these jaunts into the house, we realized that it had been awfully quiet and as I mentioned that, he headed back in to check on them. Immediately I thought oh no as I rush back and see him coming out with one dripping wet toilet baby while trying to grab the other one. I grab the second and he puts the first down, who promptly goes back into the bathroom and we're both trying to set down one/chase the other/try to keep them from slipping on the wet floor until I call Ryan back to come help us. The bathroom floor is filthy from their dirty little bare feet tracking the toilet water all over...we've made a mess...got him all wet with toilet water...and only later did I realize I managed to leave my keys in his bathroom in the process. Which was sort of even more embarrassing having to retrieve later. And all this was after he first met us and was like, "Wow, I don't know how you guys manage all these kids, especially during residency!" Yeah, we're totally on top of things, can't you tell? And our kids can manage to make a mess and cause total chaos in a completely empty apartment.

I have to say, if you're a kid in our house, you do your fair share of crying. But I'm a little tired of it. Our babies cry up to an hour every night they go to bed. Anyone got any solutions? Ryan made me kill the bottle of milk at bedtime about 5 months ago, and since then, it's been non-stop crying. I guess we thought it would just take a while for them to get used to it. Now I think it's just that we've gotten used to it. And we don't do pacifiers with them because they weren't all that interested around 9 months, and we were just going to try to break Cash of it - which had taken forever since he loved it, so we're not all that interested in starting that habit again, especially since every time Cash sees one he wants his again. I guess those were probably the only solutions. We do a bedtime routine and everything. It's probably just the way it is.

Then the other morning someone woke up at 5:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep. We checked and he wasn't poopy, we gave him a bottle, put him in the pack 'n play in our closet, and then we just let him cry while we drifted in and out of sleep amidst the crying. I guess at some point it morphed into the other baby waking up and crying in the other bedroom, but see that's the unfortunate thing if you have parents who love sleep as much as us and just try to sleep through the crying. So at one point I realized he was crying and felt bad because I really have no idea how long it had been him crying, not the first baby (who had gone back to sleep). So I changed him, gave him a bottle and put him back down. But he wouldn't go back to sleep. I still tried to go back to bed though. Apparently at some point then Cash woke up and started crying, but see, once again, in and out of sleep - I guess all cries just blend. So then I finally realized it was Cash crying and felt bad not knowing how long he'd been crying for and not the second baby. Brother. I'm such a lame mom! I finally realized that someone was crying from 5:30am until 9am in our house. I wonder what the neighbors think? I'm sure that guy is even more excited he moved in next door now.

Plus he shares the wall of Cash's room, where I frequently throw a baby or two in with him to watch a movie while I take a shower. Inevitably it ends up with the twin screaming his face off. Today I walked in to find Cash sitting right next to him chucking cheese crackers at his face as hard as he could from about 6 inches away. After that scolding, the next time there was screaming, I found Cash shoving the crackers into his face. Not his mouth, just seeing how far he could depress the skin on his face by shoving a cheezit into it. Other times have found Cash laying down karate kicking the baby in the back, or laying on top of them squishing them while they scream. Hmm. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing maybe I should give up the stick them in the crib habit! I swear I take 1 minute showers though! I never even wash my hair!

Anyway, maybe it would be a good time to mention to the guy next door that the people that used to live there would watch my kids for a few minutes here and there if I had to run somewhere and take the monitors after the kids were in bed on occasion? I'm sure he'd be thrilled.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Party weekend


This past weekend was a big one for Ryan's work. They have a bunch of stuff going on to send off the graduating residents and fellows. Friday night they all went out to some restaurant/bar, then Saturday they finished off their Resident's Day presentations (they all present research they've done over the year), then that night there was a big banquet at the Ritz Carlton, after which everyone went to some piano bar, and then Sunday there was a golf tournament. I couldn't believe there was that much going on - especially since they were out until all hours of the night every night and then got up and did it again the next day. They pretty much ate, slept and drank each other all weekend long (heavy on the drank part of that).

It was a good thing for me to go to to sort of re-energize me being supportive of Ryan and his work. A lot of times I have the tendency to be like - can't you just do the bare minimum and get back home to us? But hearing them talk about all the residents made me remember that yes, I do want my him to be the good guy, the hard worker, the one that will stay and help if you need it. Plus it makes me remember what a great program he's in here - the top ophthalmology program in the nation, as I'm sure I've mentioned. They had a really fun presentation at the banquet too complete with a video of hilarious skits they put on, a lot of it making fun of the faculty and the residents and stuff. It's pretty cool that they have such a fun tradition. You can tell a lot of work goes in to it.
















Here we are pictured all hot and sweaty at the drunken bash at the piano bar. Kind of a funny thing that bar going. Too loud to have a conversation, so everyone just sings drunkenly at each other while shifting around in little patterns all over the floor making their way to different groups of people. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fun and I can sing at you with the drunkest of them, but certainly not for a good 4 or 5 hours like many of them did. Maybe you don't notice your legs getting tired when you're drunk?

Ryan had to work for part of the day on Saturday too, and since I'm on kind of a cupcake roll here (and wanted to try a slightly different filling this time), we took in a little treat for Father's Day.
It was a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Weighty matters

Well, for about 15 months now, I've been waiting for my chance to do the "I finally lost all the baby weight!" post. I have two other friends who had twins and did that post at about two or three months after they had their babies. (Yeah, love them but grrrr.) Apparently that is just not me. And everyone else who manages to lose weight nursing? Also not me. In fact I gained weight while nursing. So at a year after they were born, I was finally back to what I weighed two weeks after I had the babies. Go figure. Yeah, I lost weight coming home from the hospital, then the more they ate, the more I gained. It was really depressing. In fact, I've pondered that over the past year, how crazy it is that gaining weight can really do so much to your mood and your disposition. It's really too bad it has to have that much effect.

But for the last couple months, I've almost been back to the pre-twins weight. I keep waiting for that last three pounds to come off, but then I remember that it was at that point with Cash that I finally got nasty food poisoning to get that last little bit off. Well, since I'm not hoping for food poisoning, apparently it's not coming off any time soon, and some of you were nice enough to notice, I guess this will be my at-least-I-almost-got-the-baby-weight-off! celebration. I guess I should just not eat for a couple days to see if I can at least hit it once so I can say I did, huh?

But I will tell you this, it sure has made me appreciative of my body. Even 10 lbs ago I started feeling so much happier about my body and wondering why in the world I spent time in high school and college complaining about my weight or worrying about it when I would've given anything to have it back! Really, I will never do that again. I don't have to be rail thin. And I don't want to waste time worrying about getting weight off when I'm already fine. Especially at this time in my life. I have more important things to do and I don't have all day to work out, so for now I am just happy with things the way they are! Don't get me wrong, I've been working my butt off. In fact, sometimes it seems so unfair that I have to work my butt off running around after these kids all day and the still go work my butt off at the gym after they go to bed. But I am super grateful that I'm not toting around an extra 25lbs anymore. And my clothes fit. Phew.

But I wonder if that's why I feel like I'm in a much better mood than I was 6 months ago. Or if it's the fact that I'm getting more used to Miami. Or that I love the stage the babies are at right now. They are so stinking cute. And slightly less crabby. And lots more fun. But we have to get out a lot or everyone here does go crazy, which actually has forced me to exercise more than I would otherwise. Too hard to go to the playground by myself, so we go on lots of walks, and since I know I'm going to be dripping sweat in this weather anyway, I might as well make it into a work out. And then adding in weights helped me to start noticing a difference. And pilates, and yoga, and swimming. In fact I've become a real fan of switching it up, especially when I realized that even doing yoga - which I didn't really think was exercise because you aren't running your butt off - still makes a difference. It makes it more enjoyable for me that way. (Yeah, but don't worry - I've taken to getting yoga videos and trying it in the privacy of my own home now.)

Anyway, I don't really know where I'm going with this post. I guess I'm happy right now: happy that I accomplished something that obviously didn't come as easily to me as it does to others; happy that the kids are cute and fun and interacting with each other, pretending like they can talk, and a little more flexible now; happy that I'm enjoying it here; and happy that in two more weeks Ryan will be a second year and hopefully have more normal hours! Hooray!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Cash!


We had a super fun birthday weekend around here. Luckily our month straight of rain let up enough that we actually had a fairly decent week and an absolutely perfect day for a beach party. Good friends, good food and no babies! (Had a sitter - like I would attempt bringing them while trying to do anything organized, besides, more attention for Cash. Uh, sorry you missed the party, guys.)
















We did a few games like three-legged races and a water relay. We had a few other things prepared, but really everyone was so happy being at the beach that we didn't really need anything else.


























We had BBQ beef sandwiches (a family recipe that I LOVE - it's all about liquid smoke, I'm telling you), and managed to keep the food fairly sand-free (my big fear, that whole gritty teeth thing drives me crazy).



























And then there was my pride and joy:

My beach bash cupcakes. (You can click on the picture if you want a closer look.) Teddy grahams in swimsuits, sunbathing, surfing, floating in inner tubes, building sand castles; flamingos, fish, octopuses, water, sand, beach umbrellas...I tried to cover it all. It was fun. I probably should have reigned in my ambitions and not made everything from scratch - two kinds of cupcakes, two types of frosting (wow, never made buttercream before - that's a pain, plus I'm pretty sure all that butter will be showing up on the scale this week), and I filled the cupcakes with a cream-type filling. Mmmm. I don't think I'll ever make non-filled cupcakes again. One of the mom's even commented - "Did you do something inside these cupcakes because the kids are eating the whole thing." And I realized, yeah, that's totally true huh? Once you're done eating the part with frosting, the rest of the cupcake just isn't that interesting. The sand was even yummy. (And in case you're wondering - I tried just brown sugar first - just ok. Then crushed graham cracker - still ok. Then I mixed raw sugar and graham cracker - perfect amount of sparkle to the sand with a really yummy kind of crunch to it.) I must say that heat and humidity aren't so great for buttercream frosting, so by the time we ate them they were super soft and said more like HA P P Y B I R --------- C A ------ , but they were still yummy. And thanks to my friend Betsey who came over until late in the evening helping to bail out my ambitiousness. They were a hit.




















Really, couldn't have asked for a better day. Warm, sparkling clear water, Beach Boys playing in the background, great group of friends, and a sting ray even paid a birthday visit (apparently swimming around in labor, we heard later - even more fitting for a birth day, right?)


You are one funny little dude, Cash (I'm going to blame this new high-heel obsession on an absentee father).

He is sweet as can be (and sour at times of course), shy around others, can keep a better poker face than anyone I've ever seen when we're with other people (elated or ticked off - it all looks the same), and he rarely misbehaves in public (thank goodness, because I have two that don't hesitate to), which makes other adults fond of him. A few weeks ago I heard about seven voices screaming in the church nursery so I went and peeked in the window and saw every single kid climbing up on a chair, up onto a table and jumping off...except one (Cash), who was, of course, sitting in the corner quietly by himself playing with his cars. He's pretty dang smart for his age (can spell words, recognize numbers separate from each other, count to 100, and today walked around the parking lot reading off every license plate), and so much fun. A little socially inept and not quite the athlete yet (pretty much turns his head and gets hit in the face anytime we throw a ball to him), but I couldn't be luckier to have such a chill little boy. Especially with what followed. :)




Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If I were an ipod....

...and had been confiscated by a 15-month-old, where would I be? I've searched all the favorite spots for randomly hiding things, like between our mattresses (our insurance cards somehow got shoved in there - that one took months to find); the garbage (too many items to name, plus all the items we can't name because we never knew that's where they ended up. We're suspicious for all the missing cars though); inside the casing on the back of the elliptical machine (favorite car, that one also took months to find); in a random bin in a random cupboard full of hair supplies that I only look in once every few weeks (my doorstop - pretty hard to get the SUV stroller out the door without it...or at least without shredding all the paint on the walls and the door on the way out. Too bad I'd already bought a new one when I finally found that); the black hole behind the twins cribs (I swear we look there all the time and find random toys we've been looking for forever, Lightning McQueen cars, and of course old bottles, although this week a bottle finally turned up that we'd been looking for for a month. EW.); under the couch (almost a weekly sweep that turns up a gold mine of paraphernalia); kitchen cupboards, fridge drawers, random slots in various toys.... ugh. I'm out of ideas. I've even combed the house on all fours trying to think with the mentality of a 1 year-old. Anyone else got any suggestions from brilliant places your kids have hidden things?

I think that's what I get for not paying attention to my kids. And a chipped tooth. Yesterday. Ashton. Well, I think it was yesterday, that's how poorly I can keep track of my children, apparently. I think it must have been at the park while I was busy calming another of my crying children (for some other accident I also didn't see). So a friend was trying to console him, and was like, um, he doesn't really seem to want me. Yeah, no wonder he was mad. Although honestly, I need to get out my camera and look at pictures over the past few days to get a clue about whether it even was from yesterday. What if it's been there for days? Then I'm even lamer. But frankly I'm kind of mad. Now I have to look at that chip for the next 5 years or however long it takes for that tooth to be replaced! It's not that bad, but see? That's what I get.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Catching up

Here are some random pictures of stuff we've done over the past few months. We went to the Everglades while Ryan's brother was in town. The trip started out like this (I know, the kids already look so happy).




Then we started seeing alligators. It was so surprising the first time you look over and see them RIGHT there on the side of the road. Ready to eat you. It was funny to see Ryan jump to the other side of the road with the stroller, his parental instincts kicking in.







Then we saw some tourists who said that about a mile down, there were like thousands of alligators in this big pond. So we walked. And walked. Because it must just be up around that bend. Or the next one. I was trying to be the voice of reason pointing out that we had three cranky kids, limited food and water, and that whatever distance we kept walking, we had to walk back.
Needless to say, the babies got tired of being in the stroller, and much of the trip was like this:


But I will say, I do love that picture. And then I flagged down the ranger to give us a ride back (of course those guys would have been too proud to do it.) And the ranger didn't even know what "thousands" of alligators they had been talking about.

Beaching it with some friends:

Looking cool:




















Kite flying:


Nothing like chocolate on a hot day at the beach:
















A friend's birthday party at a really pretty park on South Beach.

Water spray area:



















You could see the cruise ships leaving from where we were.


Story of our life:



















Of course:


































Then Ryan took Cash on their first father and sons camp out.














































































I really can't even describe my surprise at the amount of dirt they were wearing when they came home. I'm not sure what I was expecting (wet wipes, perhaps??), butI guess that's how it is when mom's don't go camping. I can't believe I didn't take a picture, but this one of my friend's little boy gives you an idea.






I love the totally clueless tug-of-war, and the fact that you still just play cars with your friends even when you're camping.

video



Sardines in the bathtub. I know it's tight in there, but really, you could spread out a little.
















Rare picture with mom:


















Phoenix:

Ashton:




















Monday, June 1, 2009

Limitations

Last night we went out for a lovely Sunday evening stroll with the family. It had rained a bit during the day, but had cooled off with a nice breeze and was quite pleasant. "See?" Ryan said, "Don't you love Miami?" A few minutes later he was telling me a story when I became a little distracted. I was looking a few buildings up the block, wondering if a pipe had burst because there were just sheets of water in front of their building. And then. "Oh no." I started pushing Ryan saying, "Go! Go!" But it was too late and within seconds the "pipe" that had burst was over our head and the rain was pouring down. On us. With our three kids in the stroller. In the middle of the park. So we ran and ran, children screaming and made it back to our apartment. Completely drenched, every one. "Yeah," I muttered as we dripped into the building, "I love Miami."

The thing is, this isn't exactly an isolated incident. It's not the first time this has happened to me. Not even the first time this week. It is, in fact the third time within a week we've been caught in a downpour. And seriously, there is about zero warning. One of the times I was walking and I heard one clap of thunder and tried to hurry home, but of course didn't make it in time, although it wasn't nearly as heavy a rain as yesterday's. Another time I was driving and decided I would just have to valet park my car and it took five adults, still getting soaked in sideways-blowing torrential rains, to get me, the kids, and all our gear in to safety.

It's been this way for weeks. It's rained every day for the last few weeks as far as I can remember. And with such little warning, and such a bad collection of getting-drenched experiences, I hardly dare venture out anymore.

But it's not the only thing limiting me. The list seems to be growing. We've already discussed bathroom limitations, which loom as large as ever. Not only can I not go to the bathroom, I can't even put anything away that belongs in a bathroom because of the ensuing tantrums and the following sour mood it puts everyone in. Which is actually what happens after any of the following events are put to an end. And the going to the park by myself limitation. Still in place. Beach limitation - check.

In addition, I can no longer take the dirty diapers out to the trash chute every time someone poops because I have three little shadows following me out the door and into the hallway where they promptly scatter in all different directions. It's great fun to them, and when I'm geared up for it, provides some sort of outing, but I've yet to have it lead to anything less than a half-hour, hit every floor in the building excursion. Then trying to get them back to our apartment, or any other coordinated direction is a total joke (Ryan always says it's like herding cats). And in a couple more inches when the little guys can reach the elevator button, I'm sure I'll have one running down to the elevator, pushing the button, getting on and going who knows where; one running out the door to the garage, should anyone happen to open the door; and one screaming blissfully as he runs down another hallway to make his escape.

So the poop must fester. Until nap time, high chair time, or some other confining moment. Like throwing all three in someone's crib (which happens fairly often. Like daily shower time).

Then there's household chores. I can't empty the dishwasher when anyone is around or I have two babies pulling out knives, breakable dishes, and nearly sixty pounds worth of baby sitting on the open dishwasher door. Nix that.

Computer time. Gone. Three kids pulling the mouse, clicking on advertisements, minimizing my screens until I can't see a dang thing, sending messages to people unbeknownst to me, and probably chatting with people in China for all I know. At present, Phoenix has just started a 91 page print job on the printer that startled him so much he hasn't stopped screaming for 5 minutes.

Which I guess means that's my cue to go. But really, what in the world do I do with all these kids as I see my options dwindling to just about nothing??

Well, plenty of this, unfortunately:






Seriously? You still have to stand this close even with the huge tv and life-size Elmo?













And the tv-induced thoughtless stupor:





















(But see, they're at least changing positions. That counts for physical activity, right?)

And eating. If you can't tell, every one here is really good at that. Hmm, maybe that's why I have such chunky kids...

But I'm up for suggestions because we're all going crazy in this house. Oh yeah, and coloring and play doh or anything else crafty - no can do. Everything gets eaten.

Anyway, Happy Hurricane Season. It officially starts today.