Thanksgiving in March

I have been MIA for quite some time now, and have actually been procrastinating this post for a few days. I thought about doing a “thankful” post while on our drive home, but have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things I am thankful for. Not something to complain about – I know! Anyways, I am just going to get started and add over the next few days if I need too.

I am thankful…

… that when we drive to Vegas from LA we are going against the traffic. I do not envy the people going the other way!

… to my family who DO drive the other way about once a month to come visit us.

… our house felt just as good as I had imagined it feeling when we got home.

… for the case of Durango Wheat Beer I rediscovered in the guest room closet, brought to us by our friends the Collins.

… that I am done nursing and can enjoy said wheat beer. (I just opened one!)

… that I was able to exclusively pump for over a year and give our girls what I believe to be the best start possible.

… for the connections I have made through my Mothers of Multiples groups.

… to Holly and Allison for providing me support and encouragement, for being friends.

… for the various people who have lent/gifted us money, resources, and time during this unstable period in our lives.

… to Russell’s parents who covered our airfare to TX and made it possible for us to attend Brad and Jessica’s wedding, and introduce the girls to more of their family- including 3 great grandparents!

… for all our family and friends who made time to come visit us as we made our way down CA and back to Las Vegas.

… to my very best friends Robin and Erin. They have been with me through so much and are always there when I need love, advice, laughter and even criticism.

… for my parents.

I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am to the amazing people I have guiding me in my life. They always make me feel loved. I know that they are behind me even if they disagree with my choices. (When I wanted to move to TX when I was just 19 to follow some guy?) <— Didn’t turn out too bad since I ended up marrying him! I know they would be there at the drop of a hat if I needed them. They give me feedback, council, and truck loads of encouragement. They adore my husband and treat him just like he was their own son. When I am crying and need someone to talk to, when we needed help moving in and out, when I feel like I have no where else to turn – my parents are there. And you can tell, whether it is some sodas for the road or an envelope full of cash, it brings them so much joy to be there for us. So Mom & Steve, Dad & Joanne – I love you all so much. Thank you for being exactly what I need and the best parents I can imagine!

… for my daughters.

I am not ignorant. I know the risks and statistics for a pregnancy like mine. I have read too many stories about families losing one or both babies. I look at those girls and feel joy and thanks EVERY day. They blow my mind how healthy, smart, sweet and brave they are. I feel so lucky I get to spend every day with them and I look forward to getting to know them more and more as time goes on.

… for my amazing husband.

I am choosing to keep this one short and sweet. Some things I would like to keep special just for us. But I will tell you I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life by his side.

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Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm  Comments (3)  

Wednesday Wonderings, 3-23

Back when the girls were first born, they were too small for our cloth diapers. (Alyssa was less than 4 1/2 pounds) So for the first couple weeks of their lives they wore disposable diapers. That time made me ask a serious question.

Why do they put cartoon characters on diapers?

Especially little tiny diapers. Was there someone out there that said “Babies won’t want to wear diapers unless Elmo is on them”? The girls barely knew who WE were let alone Winnie the Pooh. And it isn’t like diapers aren’t expensive enough already. Couldn’t they skip the cartoon printing and save us all a few bucks?

Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Limerick Lane Review

Russell and I were fortunate enough recently that we were able to go wine tasting in the Russian River Valley. For Free! I had picked up some coupons for free tastings from the California Welcome Center in Santa Rosa, and we had a friend come watch the girls for us (the first time we EVER left them with anyone other than our parents!) and off we went.

The first, and by far our favorite, winery we visited was called Limerick Lane. This one had stood out to both of us in advance. Russell liked the name and the brochure, I liked that they specialize in Zinfandels and Syrahs (my two favorite wines). When we arrived for our free tasting we soon learned that the property is only 30 acres and employs just four full time staff in addition to the owner. They had four wines open for us to taste. The Pinot Noir, the Zinfandel, their Zin/Syrah blend called 1023, and the Syrah. After they discovered how much we enjoyed their wines and that we had chosen this winery specifically for these types of wine, they opened their limited Old Vine Zinfandel. Of the 30 acres on the property only 4 remain from the original vines planted in 1910 – the Old Vines. Well, was I ever glad that they opened that one for us, it was amazing! Needless to say we left with a bottle, and made sure we could order more online. After we were finished with our tasting we were given a small tour of the property and even got to see the old vines that our wine was grown on. It was so much fun.

If you are ever in the area and have the chance to visit Limerick Lane I highly recommend it! If not, visit their website and try a bottle. Guess what I’d recommend…

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 11:04 am  Comments (1)  

Bradley And Jessica’s Wedding Day!

My husband’s brother is getting married this evening to a very sweet, beautiful girl who I am thrilled to have as my first sister-in-law! Woohoo. I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures of their nuptials as soon as I can (provided the girls let me take some and behave during the ceremony… fingers crossed!) Until then, please enjoy my favorite of their engagement photos taken by ever whim photographs.

Congratulations Brad and Jessica!

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 8:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Oakland Zoo Review

A couple of weeks ago I promised to do a post about our trip to the Oakland Zoo. Well, here it is. Finally.

We had a very wonderful time at the Oakland Zoo. I had heard we should go there vs. SF Zoo because it was a little smaller, less crowded and the animals had room to roam. I have never been to the San Francisco Zoo so I can’t compare, but Oakland was very nice. It was easy to get to, had a nice size parking lot and was clean and stroller friendly. The size of the exhibits was nice for the animals, but sometimes you did have to time it right to be able to see them. For example, we visited the elephants during feeding time and only saw one, but after lunch came back and there were 4-5 nearby. We never did manage to see the lions as they were being lazy and slept the whole time we were there. I would just suggest making a second trip around if you missed some animals the first time through.

While I am making suggestions, let me also say plan your food ahead of time. We did bring along some fruit and muffins for the girls (they actually do let you bring in your own food which is rare for places like this!) but had also planned to get something hot for them inside the park. We did have a map that showed food locations throughout the park, but found out not many were actually open on the day we were there. (a weekday) So be sure to check out which ones are open when so you don’t find yourself on one end of the park with two (or insert your own number here) small kids ready to eat and the only food at the opposite end.

The best part of the zoo was how close we were actually able to get to the animals. Here are a couple pf pictures for perspective.

my step-dad impersonating mr. tiger…

the girls and a camel

our family, someone else’s arms, and a giraffe…

Kylie, me and a couple giraffes…

Kylie and a zebra…

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 9:47 am  Comments (3)  

A Household Word

I confess I am strange, and sometimes I lead others down the same path. Today I want to share with you a word that we use in our family that steamed from a high school summer camp about a decade ago.

Trout.

Family and friends just laughed when they read that. They laughed not because this type of fish is known for their comedy, but because in our house that word has a different meaning. It means poop. It is a long and actually not very interesting story about how that word came to mean what it does to me, so I will just share with you some funny pictures and stories. Since trout is a fairly common word (and often associated with food) it becomes very funny to see and think of it as poop.

It is not uncommon for people to give me trout socks, pens, notepads, as gifts. (<— my in-laws) I have been known to get phone calls from people driving saying “The car in front of me has a license plate cover that says ‘We Love Trouting’!” (<— my brother) and one from my best friend (who was in a bathroom at a funeral) who called to tell me the bathroom wallpaper was covered with fish and it said TROUT in big letters all over.

On a drive back from Dallas I yelled for Russell to pull over immediately because I saw this billboard:

People often take pictures of trout things for me, or send me articles from the paper about trout. Here are a couple others I have saved.

Russell recently set up my Google Reader to alert me when new articles come out with ‘trout’ in the title. A couple of my favorites include this story about 100 Iowa Trout Tagged With Prizes, and this one about a lake with a bunch of new trout thanks to the boy scouts. If you have found this funny at all, please go read that article. It features lines like:

“But we’re talking trout here.”

“But why were the trout even in the lake.┬áThe Boy Scouts were having a camporee this past weekend.”

and “Hundreds of scouts, 500 trout…”

I hope this post has made you smile. I think you’ll be smiling the next time you see trout on a menu, and hopefully you’ll take a picture and pass it along to me with any fun ‘trout’ things you find.

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 8:32 am  Comments (1)  

Congratulations Russell!

Today I had the amazing opportunity to watch my husband graduate from his National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger Academy! He spent the last 10 weeks working so hard learning everything from defensive tactics to constitutional law. While most days he had a blast (shooting guns, driving backwards, and visiting busted marijuana grow sites) some days were less than fun (like the day he got pepper sprayed). But he made it through and is now able to get his dream job.

Congratulations Russell!

I am so proud of you and I love you with my whole heart. I am very excited about this next chapter in our lives. Thank you for working so hard for our family. May your perfect job be just around the corner!

Published in: on March 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm  Comments (3)  

Wednesday Wonderings, 3-16

Why do stores that are specifically for babies and kids have the smallest aisles in the world?

Are we the only parents out there whose kids try to grab every item off every shelf and rack? And yet places like Gymboree and Carter’s aisles are so tight that while it can be difficult to even maneuver a stroller (let alone a double stroller!) it is nearly impossible to keep little hands from pulling down everything we walk by.

Is this simply to help the economy? Are we creating employment for the people in those stores?

Published in: on March 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm  Comments (1)  

I Am Never Making Rice Krispie Treats Again!

PLAIN rice krispie treats that is…

…since I discovered the amazing goodness of peanut butter rice krispie treats covered in chocolate. (Are you sensing a “covered in chocolate” theme lately?)

Anyways, it was so easy. All you do differently is add peanut butter before the rice krispies and then pour melted chocolate over the finished product.

Here is the recipe.

3 tbsp butter

4 cups mini marshmallows

1/2 cup peanut butter

6 cups rice krispies cereal

1 bag chocolate chips

Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring regularly until melted. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Add rice krispies. Pour into greased 9×13 pan and use a buttered spatula or wax paper to smooth out. Melt chocolate chips over low heat. I use a small bowl over lightly simmering water. Pour over top and cool. Cut and enjoy!

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm  Comments (4)  

Why I Can’t Wait To Go Home, Reason #7

Furniture.

Not a mattress thrown on the floor, a real bed.

Not the cat scratch tower, a real chair.

Not the girls’ giant stuffed turtle, a couch.

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment