Friday, June 29, 2012

Favorite Posts Friday {6.29.12}.

Favorite Post Friday is turning into an every-other-week kind of a thing.  I must be busy or something, right? Oh well, when it's your own little part of the internet, you can do what you want.  Whatever, whatever, I do what I want!  (South Park anyone?  Anyone?  No one?  Alrighty then...)  

OK, back to being an adult.  My very favorite post this week was from Laura of Project Hope, who was a guest blogger for Diana over at Hormonal Imbalances.  But I already wrote an entire entry on the subject, so if you haven't checked it out yet, please do so here.  It's such a worthy cause and one that's very very near and dear to my heart.

As for the rest of my faves, here they are.  There's a little bit of seriousness, a little bit of sweetness, and a little bit of hilarity this week.  Hope you enjoy them all as much as I did!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Project Hope.

<project hope

I've written about Diana from Hormonal Imbalances and the loss of her twin boys before.  She writes beautiful words and has a sweet soul and she's one of those people that I can tell I would just "click" with if we ever met in real life.

Today, she featured a guest blogger - Laura from Bits of Splendor and Project Hope.  Like Diana, Laura lost a child part way through her pregnancy.  She tells the beautiful story of how a bear given to her in the hospital when going through that loss helped her cope.

Having worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse for almost 6 years, I've seen my share of fetal and newborn loss.  Taking care of a bereavement patient is emotionally draining - though it's nothing compared to what the parents are going through.  The thing that always got me through those tough nights was creating a special memory package for the parents.  We would dress and wrap the babies in donated clothes and blankets, take newborn photos, make handprint & footprint ornaments, put the baby's handprints and footprints on a certificate, provide the Daddy with a birthstone coin, the Mommy with a birthstone necklace, cut a lock of the baby's hair (with permission of course), provide the parents with a teddy bear, send them home with a wealth of literature and numbers for support groups, and send them a sympathy card signed by all of the nurses who cared for them during their stay.

Naptime snuggles.

We have been changing our naptime routines around here a bit.  Now that both Beckett and Kiernan are crawling, they have been joining us for Brennan's pre-nap story time instead of playing in the family room.  When I make the nap time announcement, Brennan grabs his blankies and says "Come on brothers!" and they crawl down the hallway after him.  The twins are a bit rowdy during story time, but Brennan doesn't seem to mind and in fact frequently asks me to put his brothers in his bed with him for a few minutes - a few minutes that closely resemble a cage match with Mommy constantly on guard to catch small bodies that get flung off the side of the bed.  I'm learning very quickly that being a boy mom is a very physical job.

After we read books and he gets "tucked tight", he likes to "watch" one brother while I take the other one to the family room and dash back to Brennan's room to grab the other before the one I deposited in the family room gets back into Brennan's room.  It's nice to read stories to all 3 of my boys, even though I'm frequently trying to keep Kiernan from climbing on Brennan while trying to keep Beckett from eating the books.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The intricacies of learning how to be a twin mom.

People very frequently tell me that I'm lucky to have had twins.  While I whole-heartedly agree, I often jokingly tell people that if they're going to do it, do it before having any other kids.  Because in my opinion, ignorance is bliss. 

One of the ways my Mom tried to keep me calm during my pregnancy when I would get overwhelmed by the thought of the chaos that was going to consume my life was to tell me that at least I was a seasoned Mom.  I had the luxury of already knowing how to take care of a baby, so I didn't have to learn while taking care of 2 babies. 

But in my mind, that was a disadvantage because it was terrifying.  I knew the huge amount of work that came along with taking care of a baby - and I had 2.  Plus a toddler.  And that's a big PLUS. 

Either way you look at it, it's a learning curve.  And I had to re-learn a lot of tasks and how to do them more efficiently for 2 babies - from carrying to feeding to getting out of the house.  Of course as the boys get older I've had to adjust my methods and create new ones for many things.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hold on to your ovaries {Wordless Wednesday}.

Beckett & Kiernan - 9.5 months

Back at it {Twin Weight Tuesday}.

I'm back in the saddle again.

I didn't get started back to the Couch to 5K training as quickly as I wanted, but after an emotional week and some soul searching, I took the plunge and got back on the treadmill.  And honestly, it felt good.

Sunday night I was on the treadmill when Brian left to take the dogs for a run.  I was on the last interval of my workout, and feeling really good, when I started wondering if I could run a mile.  I was running at a 12 minute/mile pace, so I did the math and decided I would just keep running til I saw that magic number on the screen or until I just couldn't run anymore.  A few minutes in, Brian walked in the door and I told him what I was doing and he stood right there next to the treadmill and talked me through it.

I didn't make my mile.  BUT I ran for just over 7 minutes straight.  That's way longer than I've run in a long time.  My legs felt like they could've gone on for days, but my lungs disagreed.  And having been an asthmatic for years, I know when to say when.  I was a little pissed off, but Brian reminded me that it's better to remind myself of that anger next time I don't want to go for a run than to beat myself up about it.  He's a smart cookie sometimes.

I'm not worried.  I'll hit that mile very soon.  And it'll be a proud moment.  Until then, I'm just going to keep getting back on the treadmill.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Who has advice for road-tripping with kiddos?

Brennan's first road trip - February 2010

In exactly 11 days, the Gase family will pack up and hit the road for the 1000 mile journey to Michigan.  

Holy bananas.  

By now we are fairly seasoned airline travelers with our family of 5, but we really only have about a year left until we will be forced to buy 5 plane tickets instead of 3.  Not to mention the fact that we'll be in Michigan for 2 weeks and it would be inconvenient to have to borrow my poor Mom's vehicle the whole time.  So we decided that we wanted to try our hand at road-tripping with the boys.  

Brian and I really enjoy road trips, but we've done the majority of our trips in our pre-kid days.  We've done 2 trips with Brennan - one from MI to FL when Brennan was 4 months old and an 8 hour trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula when Brennan was 10 months old.  He did amazingly well on both trips, and Beckett and Kiernan are both good car babies like Brennan was, so we're hoping for the best.  

But hoping won't get us very far.  We need to have a good plan, but we need to be flexible too.  We're planning on lots of stops for potty breaks and eating and stretching.  Our SUV has a built-in DVD player for Brennan to watch movies, and we can adjust the babies' mirrors so they can see the screen too.  We'll have plenty of treats and snacks and new toys for Brennan.  We're even going to plan a scheduled stop somewhere along the way (which is yet to be determined) where we can get out and spend a few hours doing something touristy.  Hopefully this will be a good way to take a break from the car and tire the boys out a bit.  

I'm interested to hear some more good advice for hitting the road with kiddos?  Any favorite tricks for surviving the trip?  


Friday was my 29th birthday.

I had a bit of a rough week on the PPA/PPD front.  I was on edge, sad, impatient, and just plain unpleasant.  

When I described these feelings to my therapist on Friday morning, she asked how I felt about my birthday.  And I can honestly say that it wasn't bothering me.  After some talking, we arrived on the thought that it was probably because Brian worked a lot last week and I didn't take any time to escape the house by myself.  It's something I really have to get better at just DOING.

But our conversation got me thinking about my birthday and how I feel about my age.  Brian had a rough time turning 29.  He feels old and while I can understand it, I just don't feel the same way. I feel old too, but it's not the number that makes me feel old.  29 is not old.  Neither is 30.  Or 40.  Or 50.  Or even 60.  I think 70 might be getting there though, but who knows if I'll feel that way when I'm 70.  

It's where we are in life that makes me feel old.  Our lives have changed so drastically in the last 2 years and I feel like it has rapidly aged us.  But it doesn't make me sad.  Just tired.  Very very tired.

I'm embracing 29.  29 is going to be a good year.  It's going to be the year of me.  Because in order to be the best wife and mom I can be, I need to take care of myself first.  While it's something that I know and that I'm quick to preach to others, it's something I'm not good at doing.  So that's what 29 is going to be.  More ME.

Birthday dinner at The Melting Pot.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

When motherhood gets in the way of fitness {Twin Weight Tuesday}.

I'm going to be completely honest - I'm struggling.

I knew it was going to be tough to start running again.  The original plan was to take a week off to rest and ice my ankle.  Then I ended up with kidney stones and a kidney infection, so there went another 5 days.  Then I started Cipro, which is a nasty, albeit effective, antibiotic which has left me with nausea that rivals the early days of my twin pregnancy.

I got on the treadmill last night despite my nausea to just get in a nice fast-paced walk.  I took my last pill this morning, so I'm planning to run tonight, but I wanted to get on the treadmill to see how my ankle was feeling before I actually tried to do a run.

Good news - the ankle felt great.  Bad news - Brennan got out of bed LITERALLY 23 times last night.  TWENTY THREE.

I'm honestly not exaggerating.  So after the fifth time getting off the treadmill to take him back to bed, I just called it quits because it was quite clear that I was going to have to get all Super-Nanny on his behind.

Luckily, Brian doesn't plan to work late tonight so he will be able to handle bedtime duties while I get on the treadmill.  Not to mention when I inevitably decide that I'm too tired to do it, he'll provide me with some words of encouragement (read: say things that are a bit harsh but that I've asked him to say to motivate me and that I'm not allowed to get mad at him for).

Wish me luck kids.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Favorite Posts Friday {6.15.12}.

Didn't get a FPF post up again last week so these are from the last few weeks.  Two posts about anxiety, one about motherhood and changes, and the last is just a big-ugly-snort-worthy-laughter inducing post.  And I got a bit wordy about most of them.  Apparently I'm feeling chatty.

Baby RabiesDo I Make You Nervous? -- I have a confession to make.  When I take the boys for a walk around our nearby park, I purposely try to keep the playground out of Brennan's sight.  Taking all 3 boys to the playground by myself is a terrifying thought for me.  Just thinking about it makes my heart beat a little faster and my hands start to shake.  Trying to watch Brennan from a distance while pushing the babies in the stroller around the little path might seem like an easy gig for most Moms.  But to me, it's a panic attack waiting to happen.  The whole time I'm afraid that he's going to hurl himself off the 5 foot tall opening to the monkey bars or try to slide down the 6 foot tall climbing wall and snap his neck in the process.  Oh and let's not forget the panic that ensues when he's out of my sight for more than 2 seconds.  Because Lord knows it would only take that long for someone to snatch him.  So yes, I'm that helicopter Mom.  If it's just the 2 of us at the park, I'm much less crazy.  I still follow him, but at a distance, giving him room to spread his wings and explore.  But the constant juggle of keeping all 3 boys safe is painfully exhausting for my nerves.  So it was a relief to read Jill's words and know that I'm not alone in this struggle.  It'll just take me a little time to get the hang of it, but I'll get there.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

9 months old!

I know I'm a bit late with the boys 9 month post, but we had to push back their appointment with the pediatrician and I wanted to wait for official stats.  Judging from their doctor's office measurements, it seems like I wasn't too far off with my unofficial measurements last month.  They're growing and changing so fast.  Today when the pediatrician said, "Well, looks like they're all set until one year" I nearly died.  How can we be talking about that already?  Weren't they just born?!

The twins'  9 month pictures are hilarious and very indicative of life these days.  They do not sit still well at all!  Now that both boys are moving, life is getting a bit more hectic.  It's a blessing and a curse as while they get into more trouble, all 3 of the boys entertain each other very well.  Between eating table foods 3 times a day, giving them bottles before they go down for naps, and chasing them around between naps, I don't have much down time during the day.  I like to spend time with Brennan during the twins' morning nap and when all 3 are napping in the afternoon, I either run around like a madwoman trying to get things done, or I take a nap J

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Brennan has ALWAYS been a picky eater.  Even as an infant, I had a hard time getting most foods into him.  He has always liked yogurt and most fruits, but hates pretty much any vegetable and a lot of meats and other things.  From the very first time I tried to give him pureed green beans, he has hated them.  Spit them out and gagged.  We tried and tried until just a few weeks ago I put them on his plate for the first time in awhile.  Brian made him eat one and he gagged and threw up on his plate.  I couldn't get too mad at him because I did the same thing with broccoli when I was his age.  So maybe he'll decided he likes green beans when he hits his twenties.  Until then, no more green beans for Brennan.  

7 months old - not interested in some kind of vegetable

Bum ankle {Twin Weight Tuesday}.

This is kind of a pointless post, but I vowed to myself (and to my 10 readers) that I would keep up on Twin Weight Tuesday posts.  So here it is.

I'm still nursing my bum ankle.  I've been icing and elevating it for almost 2 weeks now and it's finally not causing me constant pain.  I'm going to try running on it later this week.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that it doesn't hurt to badly.  I'm OK with a little pain, I just don't want an injury.

I was going to try earlier in the week but Sunday night by bladder decided that it hates me.  I either have a bladder infection and/or stones.  After talking it through with my doctor I think I passed a stone Sunday night.  If you've never witnessed something like this, let me tell you, it's a painful, ugly process.  Anyways, I need this to clear up a bit before I dare go for a run because at this point, that too would be painful and ugly.  

Bodily functions & chaos.

Some days the chaos around this house is enough to make me want to yell "Cut!" because I'm sure I'm on a sitcom set.  Or as my nerdy engineer husband and his nerdy engineer friends say, makes me want to hit Control-Z and undo what happened last.  Yes, they're giant nerds.

Last week we awoke to find dog poop on the family room rug.  It had been storming the night before and the dogs didn't want to go outside and someone must have decided that the family room rug was a suitable place to defecate.  Brian cleaned it up and while I made the morning "snack" bottles and we fed the boys together.  Brian got ready and left for work as I emptied the dishwasher and got the boys breakfast ready.  When I walked back into the family room to get the twins, I found Beckett happily playing with a turd with smears of poop all over his face, hands, and even his feet.  I thought I was going to vomit right there on the spot. I pulled myself together, bathed Mr. Beckett, and sent an angry text to the husband about his inability to get all the turds.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Seeing spots.

I say i'm losing my mind all the time.  But it's really, honest to God true.

We went out to dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday recently and when asked how old I would be later this month I said 30. Brian looked at me like I had three heads and said, "um, you mean 29?".  Seriously, who ages themselves a year?  And a big milestone year at that?  Weird. 

Innocent enough mistake, you say?  Well just wait for this one.  I pull into a spot in the Target parking lot, turn off my car, and look down at my lap.  There are spots on my pants.  I wipe at them, and more spots appear.  I start to panic that I've really lost my mind as the spots keep coming and some slightly fade.  Then I look up and see raindrops on my windshield.  My hallucinated spots are simply shadows from the raindrops on my wind shield. 

Seriously folks.  These boys have sucked out half off my brain cells.  Brian really might have to lock me up and throw away the key someday. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Out-numbered in the airport {part 2}.

Onto part 2 of swimming in shark infested waters, ahem I mean surviving the airport with 3 kids under 3!  And this time, thanks to my friend Paxil, I was actually calm enough to take pictures!

While Brian and I thought our first trip went well, we definitely agreed that there were things we'd do differently next time.  We identified a few minor things right away, and didn't change other things until days before our most recent trip.

Carry-on luggage looked pretty much the same, with the addition of toys and snacks for the twins - both of which they were too small for during our previous trip.  We also got to leave out diapers for Brennan as we can officially declare him potty-trained.  Again we had Brennan's "pack pack" filled with his entertainment, a diaper bag for my carry-on, my small purse, Brian's back pack, and his carry-on suitcase that he insisted he didn't want to check.  It was more to carry on, but we managed and it saved us $40 so I guess I can't complain too much.

Out-numbered in the airport {part 1}.

There are few things less intimidating than your first time travelling with your child.  But usually, you do it the first time and find out that it's not really all that bad.  You have a 1:1 parent/child ratio, or even 2:1 if you're lucky, and everything is fairly under control.

I flew several times by myself with Brennan before Brian ever joined us on a flight and while it turned out to be a fairly exhausting experience as he grew into toddlerhood, it's definitely manageable.

The difficulty grows when you add more children to the mix.  As a parent of twins and an older child, you learn to adapt your parenting.  Everyday is a learning experience and for the most part you are able to make slow adjustments ... until it's time to travel.  Then, you're thrown into shark-infested waters with no life preservers and it's just the 2 of you keeping all 3 of your younger than 3 year old children alive.  OK, maybe that's a little exaggerated.  But just a little.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

May 2012.

May FLEW by this year.  We were insanely busy, but it was a lot of fun. The boys and I stay busy during the week.  The basic tasks of the day alone keep us quite busy, but we also sneak in time to go for walks, play outside, and run an occasional errand or go on a play date.  It's fun to see them start to play together as they get older.  Depending on his mood, Brennan likes to play and wrestle with them.  However he and Beckett cry a minimum of 3 times per day each because Kiernan has bitten/scratched/punched/pulled hair/stole a toy/somehow made him mad.  Someone is shaping up to be the bully of the family!  Brian is working quite a bit, so we make the most of our weekends together by spending time at the beach or finding some other fun activities.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week two, almost done {Twin Weight Tuesday}.

So, I'm not quite done with week two of the C25K training.

I did a day, which felt pretty good.  Then I tried to do another day and my foot was killing me, so I stopped, iced it, and decided to try again the next day.  Well, that day was consumed with packing for the trip.  As was the next day.  And then the next day was consumed with travelling ... the next two with wedding festivities ... the next with travelling.

The inside of my left leg, right above my ankle bone, is really painful lately.  It feels bruised and is sore to walk on, but there isn't any obvious bruising or bumps.  Brian is prescribing ice and rest and ice and more ice.  So I'm going to ice it for a few more days and get started again.

It's very frustrating.  I'm trying to do something healthy for myself and it seems that my body is fighting me.  My ankles and knees hurt, but that's something I can work through.  And honestly?  They're going to hurt.  They're carrying a whole lot of weight right now.

But there's a difference between pain I can work through and pain that I can't.  It's hard to describe.  It's not the severity of the pain, but more the type and whether it eventually subsides during the workout or gets worse.  Usually the joint pain subsides eventually, but this leg pain isn't subsiding.  The last thing I want to do is end up with a stress fracture or something of the sort that will throw off my training, so I'm going to take it easy, do what Dr. Brian recommends, and listen to my body.