Saturday, August 29, 2009

going once, going twice...

anyone else interested in the craftiness that is kate? (see craft-o-rama post below.)

i even had a brilliant idea on what to make... (ok, maybe it's not really brilliant, but i think it's cool!)


sorry for the swearing in the title. i try to be clean, but some days you just need a 4 letter word, & today is one.

N got his unofficial notice today. Officially, they have to be given 30 days notice of any layoff per their contract, & good old gov. granholm came out this morning & told the "state unions" to prepare their members for layoffs this fiscal year. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, & the only state union is the troopers association, so essentially she told all the state cops that their notice is coming this week. awesome.
of course, if our state reps ever manage to pull their heads from their rears & get going on the budget, things could hypothetically turn around at the last minute. but the way things have been going in michigan of late, we can't count on it.
N is going to start putting out applications to local agencies on monday. i'm scared for our family, but i'm also really sad for him on a personal level. he wanted to be a state trooper since he was 12-- this is (was) his dream job & he is excellent at it. i know he'll do whatever he needs to in order to keep our family secure, but i know what a blow it is to have your dream job taken from you. of course, at the moment he's mostly furiously angry, but i know the disappointment will come.

i guess we just have to have faith that we'll get through this ok... i told N this morning, it's kind of like he told me when we lost our son last year-- just bc a path leads you through some very dark valleys doesn't mean that its going to end there. we can't read the future, so we just have to do the best with what we're given.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

not to be outdone by his brother...

con man is teething too!
he has one working its way thru on top, in front. he's such a good baby we've barely noticed extra grumpiness, but i gave him a frozen washcloth & he gnawed on it like his life depended on it, so it must have felt good. poor little dude!

so lately i have been getting really bored in the afternoons. i have no excuse, as there is always stuff to do around the house, but when the dudes are up & active i try to play with them instead, but i think we've hit a rut. anyone have any brilliant ideas to entertain 4(ish) mo. old babies?
i should probably bite the bullet & start taking them out by myself during the day, it's just SO much work to load up all our gear & move them all by myself... & really, what do you do out by yourself with 2 infants? its too many carseats to go shopping (i can't push both a stroller & a cart), it's rainy & yucky so we can't go to the park, so other than walking random circles around the mall, what is there?

here's our usual activities (in no particular order):
- we read (lots of dr. suess-- the dudes love it)
- we spend lots of time on the floor, playing
- we do some tummy time (they aren't huge fans of this)
- we sing (or i sing, they listen & kick)
- we go for walks (when its nice out)
- we eat (cereal takes a LOOOOONG time with 2 messy mouths feed at each sitting)
- we take sporadic naps (you all now they aren't great nappers)

they're just starting to sit up with support & reach for toys, so playtime is alot of grabbing & chewing & almost rolling over at this point. maybe it's not them that's in a rut, maybe it's just me....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

another first!

the valinator is cutting his first tooth!!!! :)

i gave him my finger to suck while we were waiting for bottles to heat up & lo & behold-- there it was, a sharp little tooth sticking up thru his bottom gum, right in front. my poor little booger! no wonder he's been such a cranky pants today. he's going to be a little jack-o-latern baby by halloween! lol! :)

the con man still has his charming toof-less grin! :) i love it-- i know my babies have to grow up, but they're so darn cute without teeth!

Craft-o-rama (pass it on!)

ok, i'm borrowing this from Melissa (she's probably craftier than me, but i promise to try to make soemtihng that doesn't suck!)

here's the deal:

The first 5 people to respond to this post will get something made by me, especially for you. I promise I'll make it worth your while!

This offer does have some restrictions & limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I hope you will.

2- What I create will be just for you.

3- They say I have a year to get it to you. But I promise it will NOT take that long. I'm shooting for 30 days. (If I don't give myself a deadline, it will never get done!)

4-You have no clue what it's going to be.

The catch? You must repost this on your blog & offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


i remember when we were trying to get pg, before the guys were born, i was so jealous of women who already had kids. even if we were in the same boat-- trying to conceive after pregnancy loss, when i'd see them talk about how badly they wanted to be pg, i'd think to myself "but at least you already HAVE a child" & feel extra sorry for myself that we had none.
i feel horrible about that now. we'd like to start trying again when the guys are about a year old, & lately i've been wondering if i'd be ok if the boys were the only kids we ever had. of course i wouldn't love them any less, but i so want a 3rd child i think it would be very hard to come to terms with the fact that it might never happen for us. & then suddenly i had insight into how those women must have felt-- longing for a LO that might never come & trying to make peace with the fact that you must be content with the children you have. funny (in a not very humorous way) how short sighted we become when dealing with our own grief.
another blog i read has been dealing with the loss of their little girl while still be a wonderful mommy to her other 3 kids, & i understand the depth of her feelings now in awaythat wouldn't have been possible for me a year ago. i so regret those horribly selfish thoughts i had when we were trying to conceive. loss is loss, no matter what stage of life you're in, or what size or shape your family takes. i hope i kept those thoughts to myself, but if i inadvertently hurt some one, i'm so sorry,i didn't know how it felt & couldn't understand what it felt like to face the fact that your family may forever feel incomplete. i know better now, & i apologize.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gratuitous Heritage Festival Pics

i know photo posts are kind of a cop-out, but i'm ok with that.

the boys' aunt m & a mini-cow (steer, whatever.) i'm not sure what purpose miniature cattle could possibly serve on a farm, but he was a nice cow.
me & a charming pygmy goat.

the dudes cruising in their new stroller. (karianne-- check the outfits! soooo cute, & they are even a little big yet, so hopefully we can wear them into fall. thanks again, girl-- we love them!)

me & the dudes with the BOB. have i mentioned how much i love this stroller? it's about a million times easier to push/turn/manuever/set up than our old stroller. we've only used it once so far & i'm already convinced it was worth every penny. parents of twins-- invest in a BOB!!! only downside to pushing a giant orange stroller around a small community fair-- on our way back to our car we got stopped at least 3 times by folks saying "oh, you're they people with the twins!" & wanting to talk. not the end of the world, but by then i really had to pee, so i was a little less than patient. :)
update on N's job-- things are looking more hopeful. nothing is certain yet, but the rumors are turning from pending layoff, to re-hiring 15 troops. so we're still keeping our fingers crossed, but it looks like enough public pressure came down on our charming governor to get her to reconsider laying off more police. (knock wood!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

weekend update

So we made over $400 at our garage sale. i've never made so much before! we're pretty geeked, since its enough to buy the dudes their new car seats, as they are rapidly outgrowing the ones they have now, & it won't cut into our Christmas fund. :)
We just got back from our local Ypsi heritage festival-- our first outing with our awesome new stroller. (i'll post pics when i get them uploaded.) & now we're all vegging & watching an ancient star trek movie (yup, we are that nerdy!)
dental hygiene is definitely on-- i'm officially registered for classes, & they start next week. it'll take me about 4 yrs to finish, since i can't go full time until i start the program for real (we don't want to put the kids in day care.) which is a bit farther out than i'd hoped, but do-able.
i feel like i should have something more interesting to say, but i'm at a loss, & quite frankly, very happy just to be doing nothing. it's been a busy weekend!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

cute, cute, or cute?

"working" our garage sale this weekend. i love baby hoodies :)

thanks kids

i really appreciate the kind comments on my last post. i feel very lucky to know such generous women (even if it is in a "blogging" way!)

melissa- embrodery is pretty fun.... i tried that recently... i just don't have the talent to do real sewing, so if you learn how i want to see samples so i can gawk in awe! :) if you can sew a handkerchief, i'll be impressed. not bc i don't think you're talented, but bc i am so hopelessly inept when it comes to sewing.

& yes karianne, baby farts are hysterical. it never ceases to amaze how such huge noises can come out of such little butts. i'm actually giggling just thinking about it... :)
when we were visiting my in-laws, con was sitting with his grandparents, & ripping some HUGE ones. no one was saying anything, & finally my MIL looks at N's dad & goes "geez, what's wrong with you?? go to the bathroom!" & got mad at him when he tried to blame the baby (the real ripper.) a truly priceless family moment :)

((hugs)) to everyone else kind enough to send me some "chin up" words-- you guys rock.

& m- i love you too :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

an explanation

that last post seems pretty pathetic, doesn't it?

i just feel like i should KNOW what i'm doing by now, you know? i wanted to teach in college, (hindsight, that's probably what i should have stuck with), but was talked out of it by my dad's near constant stream of how little teachers make, why did i go to U of M if i wanted to teach, blah blah blah. & so i went to law school, which is what everyone expected of me. i got into a good school, got scholarships (only partial tho, which is a big bummer now that i'm not making bank anymore), & did everything i was supposed to-- ended up at a big money job in chicago, at a big firm, working 100 hrs a week, exactly like i was supposed to. my dad got bragging rights ("my daughter's a lawyer, etc") & i hated my life.
i know it probably sounds stupid to people who grew up in normal families, that i could be so affected by what other people think of me. i think its a legacy of growing up in an abusive home. don't get me wrong, i was never hit, (although i can't say the same for my brother), but the emotional abusive was insidious & constant. as an adult, i know it was the alcohol, not us, that was the problem, but the WHY something happens doesn't matter nearly as much as the effects. whatever your intent is, its your actions that matter. i try very hard to make my actions match my intent, bc i know too well how it feels to be told "of course he means well, he loves you" & KNOW with every fiber of my being, based on everything that i saw, felt & experienced, that those words were lies.
i think that's why i've always gone to such great lengths to please & impress. it's the "if i'm perfect enough, i'll be loved" syndrome. & maybe that's why i feel so guilty & loser-like walking away from my history master's. i really think, in my heart of hearts, that the right thing for me to do is to invest my time & money in a career with more certain prospects. so what if it's an associate's degree. no, "my daughter is a dental hygienist" doesn't sound as good as "my daughter is a lawyer", but in the real world, who cares? shouldn't it be more important that i am happy & satisfied as a wife & mom, pursuing a career that i'll enjoy & that will help provide for my family?
10 years ago, even 5 years ago, i would have let the off-the-cuff remarks about how i'm wasting my talents push me towards another bad decision. i've stopped letting this kind of self-defeating crap change my mind, but i haven't been able to banish the thoughts. & so i'm left here, second guessing myself & beating myself up for another "failure".
i love my dad, & he can be a wonderful person, & now that's he's stopped drinking, he is more & more the person he should always have been, but 25 years of behavior can't be erased in 3 sober years. i'm not even sure he recognizes how his behavior affected my brother & me. i'd love an apology, some understanding of how he hurt us, but i'd settle for him learning to love & respect the person i am, instead of the person he thinks i should be.

a footnote-- this is private stuff, so please keep any remarks about it on my blog & no where else. (including in the real world, miss m!) thanks guys....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

second guessing

am in the process of registering for classes.

is this latest school attempt going to be just one more false start? i feel like such a failure sometimes....

TEETH! (or- Kate's 4th Career Change)

I'm pretty sure I'm gonna do it. I have been doing a ton of research & calling around to local schools & I think dental hygiene might just be the place for me. Of course, I can't just apply to the DH program I want, I have to take a bunch of science classes & other stuff first, since I was a English/history major in college & law school doesn't really cover alot of human biology, you know? So-- this fall, I think I'll try to pick up a couple at the local community college here, & hopefully be ready to apply for the 2010 school year. Worst case scenario, I have to wait for the 2011 class & then graduate in 2013. Still not bad, all things considered. & then I could be (finally) done with school forever.
It really irks me that the program I want has some random stupid classes, totally unrelated to anything dental, that I still have to take. I understand needing a First Aid course, & nutrition makes sense, but come on-- American government? are they kidding? I have TONS of history, plenty of American-specific history, 3 years of law school, & they need a government class? Part of me feels I'm too old for this sh*t. Sigh.
I've also had some mini-tiffs with N about financial aid. Obviously I will apply for anything & everything I qualify for, but when I told him not to expect too much in the way of grants, etc, he got all pissy with me, like I'm intentionally throwing away free money. Now, I've been in one higher education program or another since I was 18. I am practically a professional student. I also worked as a financial aid counselor for kids applying to high school. When it comes to finding $ for school, I know my stuff. I don't know what he expects from me, but I can't force people to give me free money, just because he thinks they should. I'll try, but I also think we should have realistic expectations about what this will cost us, you know? It's not a huge deal, & I think he's coming around, I was just really annoyed at him treating me like a 17 yr old kid applying for college for the 1st time. Some times I think he forgets that I actually have capabilities beyond that of a mom & homemaker. (& lets be honest, I'm a pretty crappy housekeeper! although I think I'm a good mom, & I'm turning into a decent cook...)
Anyway, I'm back from my tangent now.... I also talked to my mom about babysitting while I'm in class, & she's willing. She sounded supportive of my decision. It's my dad who will no doubt have something to say about it, but whatever. Like N said-- he's not footing the bill (& hasn't been since I was 18) so he has no say in the matter. I just have to keep reminding myself to quit letting him in my head.

Just Because I Like Pictures

I got some awesome new toys for the guys. They're wooden, moveable chewy things. THey're made by some German company called HABA, & all non-toxic. & kinda pricey-- N thought I wasa nuts for ordering them. But the dudes LOVE them-- they are totally enamored of these things-- they're easy to grab, they have nice bright colors, they change shape, basically thye're awesome. (& I got to say "I told you so" to N!)

& we've been giving the guys their own spoons to hold during cereal feedings. They love it, especially Val (who thinks he need to do everything by his own self!) Con jsut seems to think it's all part of the super fun game that is spoon feeding, but Val takes his spoon very seriously. It's super cute, & pretty funny.

maybe i'll be back later with a more substantive post, but for now, i just felt like putting up some pics! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sweet Dreams

All my men, sound asleep.
this is what they were doing while i did laundry, washed the dishes, vacuumed, & made dinner. i might almost have been annoyed. at least with the big guy, but they were all too cute for me to do anything but smile.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Career Change?

ok, once again i'm back to debating my future career plans. i just cannot justify continuing with the historic preservation degree. i love the subject matter, but the pay stinks (not a huge factor, but something to consider since i'll be incuring even more student loans), & the job prospects in MI are slim to none. the economy here isn't likely to turn around any time soon, N's job is in constant peril from stupid politicians, & we have 2 hungry little dudes to take care of. so i think i need something cheaper to obtain & with more reliable job prospects.
don't get me wrong, i'm not about to rush off & tackle something i'd hater doing. i just think it's pry time to grow up a bit. i knew when we decided to try for the dudes that there would be some sacrifices, & i think this is one that i'm willing to make. our family's security is more important than my infatuation with history, & i think i've finally found sometihng that i'd really like doing.

ready for it? i want to go back to school to be a dental hygienist. yup, i want to clean teeth. i really think i'd like it. i like dealing with people, i like focussing on details, i think i'd dig the whole tooth-realted health care scene. the catch is i have to pick up a bunch of science classes before i could start the program, since i was an english major in college. so my plan is to get organized this weekend, & then call the univeristy on monday & talk to a counselor about getting into their dental hygiene program. in theory, if i started work on the pre-reqs this fall hopefully (or this winter at the latest) i'd be done with the whole deal in 3-4 years, just in time for the kids to be starting pre-school, which is when N & I had always planned on me returning to work.
N thinks this is all a fabulous idea, but i haven't mentioned it to anyone else yet (parents especially) for fear they'll think it's just kate being flaky again. i hate having to defend my choices, & i'm kind of gearing up to go on the defensive with this one. especially since returning to school will require some extra baby-sitting time that we're really hoping my mom will provide.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spoons & Solo-Time

I loooove feeding the boys cereal. i know it can get tedious, but i think spoon feeding is awesome. maybe its bc conrad likes it so much (& val is learning to), or maybe bc it forces some serious one on one time with each boy. multiples really get gypped on one on one face time, so diaper changes & spoon feedings are a big deal in our house. the little dudes get soooo excited-- big smiles, giggles, all kinds of talking; they love it & that makes me love it. they usually have to share attention when we're doing bottles, so we can feed them at the same time, they share playtime, reading, everything except activities that require individual attention, like diapers. i swear, changing stinky diapers is one of the guys absolute favorite things ever. it even makes the giant poopies easier to deal with-- stinky tho it may be, its hard not to smile at a smiling baby, you know?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

City Living

in the next 2 mos (sept & oct) we have 2 weddings to go to in Chicago for some friends from law school. they're actually 2 of my favorite people, & i could not be happier for either of them, but good lord, after only 2 years away i forgot how expensive it is to live in the city. we called to book our hotel for the wedding in september yesterday, bc in true kate style, i blanked on the date we had to book our room by at the hotel the couple reserved rooms at. so the hotel they reserved was full, & i ended up calling every hotel in the lincoln park/gold coast area trying to find something that was available under $400 a night. yup, $400 a night. we finally found something for the bargain price of $250, & i fully plan on emptying the room of everything that isn't nailed down when we leave. ;)
in spite of the fact that we'll have to carouse with a bunch of lawyers (most of whom really make me want to punch them & some of whom actually deserve it) i'm looking forward to it. i'm dying for some real deep dish pizza... it's just not the same if you aren't in chicago, you know? & we'll have to hit garret's popcorn for my folks, who will be on baby sitting duty that weekend. & i'll catch up with my old roommates, who are now married & engaged & both of whom are perfectly skinny & rich & will be showing off large diamonds for sure. sometimes i wonder how i ever fit in with that crowd... nonetheless, the groom to be (my old law school bud) is a fantastic human being & a genuinely good guy in a profession filled with slimebags, so even if i had to face every WASP in chicago, we'd make the trip!

a bit of randomness: are my kids huge, or is it just me? i've been thinking they're pretty normal size (oh, ok, i guess i know they're kinda big...) they're around 15-16 lbs & over 24 inches long.... (last doc appt was almost a month ago, so i'm guessing here.) i am not a big person & was a very petite baby/kid... i feel like i'm growing monsters! the little buggers will be taller than me by the time they start kindergarten.... geesh... not to mention they outgrow clothes as soon as i buy them. this is a normal baby thing, right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

i am a packrat.

i admit it.
we cleaned up alot of the crap in our house this weekend. stuff we've each been moving from home to home for years, & figured since we're now all "settled" & grown-up, we should purge. so we did. & for me, i was pretty ruthless, but n & i have very different theories on "ruthless". he tosses everything. & i mean everything. he's thrown out brand new books & mo vies. like never opened. & then 2 months later, wonders why they're gone. granted, i tend toward the other extreme, but at least i don't throw out stuff we still use.
needless to say, we had a few spats this weekend. one over my super fancy $200 jeans from my past life, that will probably never fit again, but to me are some kind of symbol of my former hotness (or something.), another over our wedding pics, & conrad's prevacid, both of which n tried to toss. it's like the man goes into hyperdrive, & if its not bolted down, it's gone. so i agreed to sell the jeans if he stayed far far away from all things baby & wedding related.
he also insisted that i keep some trashy bar-hopping clothes (that might as well be lingerie) from my college days. i have to pause here & say that i have plenty of nice, classy sexy little nothings hanging in my closet. what is it with dudes & sleazy outfits? i don't mind dressing up, but looking like a hooker past her prime is not my idea of hot. sigh... i guess as long as he's happy... whatever.

& the boys...
are both great. napping right now, con next to me & val in my lap. i don't care if this is spoiling them, they're sleeping dammit!!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Pics

Just bc they'er super cute:
My boys in their new UFC onesies N's old partner gave us. one says "crib fighter" & the other "ultimate screamer". :) In related UFC news, super bummed forrest griffin bombed so badly on saturday. anderson silva just seems unstopable... & should def be fighting in light heavy weights, if you ask me. so there.
N made some amazing ribs this weekend, which we shared with the WHOLE family (birds included!) the cheeps love pork, & ribs are apparently a new fav. here is cooper picking his bone clean:

& scouty, enjoying hers.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Finally Putting Together the Babies' Room

The boys' room in progress:
(I never put it together before they were born, & the cribs are still in our room, but at least I'm finally got some of the wall art up! the decals are from a site I found online-- they are removeable & I totally love them. they're really bold, graphic designs & the little dudes seem to like looking at them.)

this is the wall with most of the decals. the woodland scene is near the floor, at baby-eye level, & the savana scene is up by the diaper changing area.
a close up of the woodland scene

a close up of the african savana scene

the view from the door way, with one of the curtains my mom made for us. the cribs have matching bedskirts, & she made us a floor pillow out of the same material.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

furiously cleaning...

this weekend, anyways. so far, we're still a mess. so i'll be MIA a bit longer (i think).
kim, if you're reading this, i have not forgotten you!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

a first!

val rolled over today for the 1st time!!! from his tummy to his back! :) daddy missed it, but auntie m was here to see.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Post with No Topic. enjoy the meanader through my mind, folks.

karianne inspired this post, but i have to admit it's been on my mind for a while.

i want another baby. i can't say it any plainer than that. i love my boys, i think they are about as perfect as they come, but i find myself longing for another little one. i want to see the guys be big brothers. our family just doesn't feel "finished" to me, if you know what i mean. i've even starting to think nostalgically about my pregnancy, which as most of you know, was pretty rough.
N thinks i'm nuts. i know he'd like a 3rd too, but he can't believe i'd want to go through the whole pregnancy experience again. he's said outright that he doesn't want to see me go through it all again, & can't understand why i'm so gung-ho to do it. (that said, he already has names picked out for a 3rd, so i know he's willing, even excited about it.)
this is, of course, a terrible time for us to concieve, with N facing a lay off this fall & me not working at all, so patience is essential. (although it's never been one of my better qualities.) so i keep taking my birthcontrol, & hoping against hope that life settles down, so we can get on with our family.

updates on my dudes:
N- still grumpy & stressed out, but doing his best. i'm trying to encourage him to keep job hunting, without turning into an obnoxious nag about it. i'm willing to start looking as well, but N isn't in love with that idea, & no one wants to hire a lawyer right now. stupid worthless expensive education! sigh... i need a new career.. any suggestions? :P
boys- wonderful, of course. con man LOVES cereal-- eats it right up & thinks it's the most fun game ever. he just grins & laughs the entire time, i love it! val is less enthused by the cereal. i know he's hungry, & he doesn't seem to mind the taste, he just isn't on board with spoons. most of his cereal ends up coming right back out of his mouth, but we're persisting. i keep thinking he'll figure out eventually that it's food & then he'll take off. the kid does love to eat, so hopefully he'll catch on soon.

taking the boys to a little local fair this afternoon with my folks. my mom loooves showing them off.
we took them to ikea yesterday so i could check out some storage options, & we attracted a swarm of people where ever we turned. it was like no one had ever seen twins before. my mom, of course was in her element (although she is very good about not allowing people to touch, or get too close) but i get annoyed really easily with that crap. they're just babies, leave them alone folks! i always want to ask how they'd like being followed around by a bunch of strangers craning their necks to try to get a glimpse. i feel like its paparazzi without the cameras. there's always a certain amount of attention, but it was particularly bad yesterday. i don't know why this bothers me so much, i just feel like people treat them like puppies in a window, you know? they're people for pete's sake, give them their privacy. but, since i don't want to raise shut-ins, & it is nice to leave the house, i guess i have to put up with a certain amount of prying eyes when we take them out.
as long as i'm complaining, i also have a bone to pick with fellow twin parents. when we're out, why do you feel the need to tell me about your twins? an empathetic smile, & a "i have twins too" is a nice gesture, but i don't need to hear how you raised yours, or when they sat up for the first time, or how big they were, or any other gory details. if you're asked, great. otherwise, it's just an obnoxious overshare. every kid is different & i will not compare my boys to anyone, twins or otherwise. the "my kid(s) did X before yours" game sucks, & i don't want to play.