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Monday, May 30, 2011

My First Blog Award!

I will start by thanking Andrea for this award.  I came across Andrea's blog one day and our stories were very similar, infertility, twins, nicu..etc.  Her kids Luke and Molly are beyond adorable and you should check out her blog if you haven't already. 

She awarded me with The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks so much Andrea, I am honored!
So I have to list 7 things about myself.  Thing is I'm pretty boring and live a pretty routine boring life. 


Here we go


1.  I have lived in Washington my whole life, I was born in Eastern Washington and moved over to Western Washington when I was 5.  Personally I miss the sunshine that Eastern Washington gets but I love the green of all the trees and being so close to the water over here in the Pacific Northwest, I guess it's a good thing a lot of my family still lives in Eastern Washington so I can get my dose of vitamin D.


2.  I got married young, like graduated high school in June and got married in November young, we were high school sweethearts of sorts, my hubby is 3 years older then me  and we met when I was a Freshman and he a Senior, the rest is history.


3.  My best friend is my dad, I call him every day, I can talk to him about ANYTHING, yes anything, you name it I'm sure I have talked to him about it, he is the kindest, most amazing person I have ever know, he even quit his job so he could be a stay at home dad back in the 80's with my sister and I.


4.  I have an obsession with Target, just slightly, it has gotten better since I had the twins simply because I do not have the time to wander the aisles sipping on Starbucks like I used to on a Saturday morning (note to self, maybe this can be my "me time" at some point in the future)


5.  I LOVE Christmas I mean love, I don't mind the stores putting up Christmas stuff in October because I get excited, I start listening to Christmas music after Halloween.  I love the decorations, the meaning of the season, the trees, the smells of Christmas, everything about it, I love that theres almost a whimsy feeling in the air around Christmas time.


6.  I have to furbabies, Mogley who is my Great Dane, is wants to be your best friend, the twins love him.  We got Mogley in September of 2008, he is almost 3 now, he loves to be lazy with you and cuddle.  Toby is my best furbuddy, he is a Cavachon and just the cutest thing you've ever seen.  He was my loyal buddy throughout my bedrest with the twins, he spent all day and night in my bed with me to keep me company.


7.  I never thought in a million years I would have twins, never, actually if you had asked the 5th grade me, I probably would have said I didn't want any kids at all, that I wanted to travel the world and live in New York.  Well now I can't imagine my life without the both of them and New York is too BIG for this girl, I like the hometown feel, where you can run into someone you know at the grocery store.  I still only ever thought if I had kids I would have two spaced by two years, a boy and a girl, obviously god had other plans and gave us both at the same time...now I kind of want another one or two.


Anyways, there's 7 things about myself.  Now to pass this along to some fellow blogger, I'm going to choose a few blogs that I recently started reading and now can't wait to read what they write.

1. From Mrs. to Mama

2. Raven @ A Momma's Desire and Pacifiers

3.Me and You, plus two

4.Gretchen @ That Mama Gretchen

5.Holly @ Twins Plus One, Three times the Fun

Alright Girls, can't wait to read 7 things about you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Off To McMinville...say where...McMinville...It's in Oregon

We are off to see my sister do this
From Here


Be back soon!! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend!! Its raining here...go figure...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Please exuse my mess

I have caved and decided I wanted a look of my own for this blog so I am working with this gal to spruce this place up and come up with something I love, I have spent too much time trying to figure this out and frankly I am out of time to just play with it while I should be better about posting.  So for now it looks messy and totally boring but soon it will look A.M.A.Z.I.N.G I am sure of it!

Seriously Thursday!

This Thursday I am linking up at  From Mrs. to Mama for Seriously Thursday because well seriously its the cool thing to do, just read her blog and you will understand.


1.  Seriously... My "baby" sister graduates this Sunday from Linfield College in Oregon...shes like crazy smart and already has her "big girl" job lined up, shes an accounting and math major...I'm seriously proud of her.

2.  Seriously...I'm ready for some summer weather, I am so sick of rain/sun/rain/rain/sun, I mean come on mother nature make up your mind already.

3.  Seriously...Couponing is so amazing...just saying

4.  Seriously...I wish this chest cough/cold of mine would vacate my lungs and move along.

5.  Seriously...Walgreens totally screwed with my medication this month... I'm mad at them now..I mean how hard is it, I get this same shot every month and on the 5th month they screw up...seriously.

6.   Seriously...This is fun...Seriously.

7.  Seriously..I acutally feel kind of bad for Teresa from Jersey Housewives, I feel like Bravo brought her family in to bring the drama, I mean I know its for ratings but it's just not as funny when its family and not just a random lady down the street.

8.  Seriously..I'm sad that Grey's Anatomy is over for the season...actually I'm sad that all my usual Thursday night shows are over for the season...I guess I'm glad for Bravo.

Ok folks I think thats all for today, if I think of anything else I'll be sure to let you know.  If you want to join this link up head over to From Mrs. to Mama.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The 12 things I learned about MoMmyhood in the first 12 months!

1.  You will still buy too much crap, even if you think you need a lot of crap, especially with twins, I thought I needed double of EVERYTHING...turns out, I didn't. I should have returned all recieving blankets, bottle warmers, and half of the clothing....

2.  Two babies is hard work.  Especially when those two babies both had to be woken up at 4 am after coming home from the NICU to be fed, burped and changed...all by myself since my hubby and I split shifts. 

3.  Boppy pillows are necessary, they serve many different fuctions, first as a feeding support, then a resting spot for the non-mobile baby, then a back prop for the almost sitting baby, now sadly we don't need our boppy pillows any longer.

4.  The first few months are easier then right now, at the time I never thought I would see the light at the end of the tunnel with newborn twins.  It turns out I now miss the days that they would lay there under their playmat and stare and the flashing light and animal mobile.  Now one goes       <------this way and the other------> that way.  I am now always chasing someone.

5.  Plan at least an extra hour when running errands, little old ladies love to stop and ask you a GAZILLION questions about your babies...for example my favorite
 old lady: "Are those twins"
 me: "yes they are"
 old lady: "o boys or girls"
 me: "a boy and a girl"
 old lady: "identical?"
 me: "um...no"
old lady: "wow, you must have your hands full" (like I have never ever heard that before)
 me: "yes but its lots of fun"
old lady: "well they are just adorable"
 me: "thank you"...walk away
 ***rinse and repeat about 5 times per store...***

6.  Its true once you have babies that your friends change, you now identify with the "moms", even if those moms are 10+ years older then you, you have the biggest thing in life in common, you both have children.  The friends you once had who don't have children yet may still come around to play with the babies, but don't understand your priorities any longer.

7.  My once clean and spotless HOUSE has now become a toy infested, cluttered HOME, while some days it still irks me to my core that the bathroom or bedroom literally look like bombs went off and I contemplate the fact that buying new clothes might be easier then washing the ones on the ground.  I have to remind myself that no amount of cleaning is worth missing out on precious baby time!

8.  Time really does speed up.  I've always heard people say that after you have kids time just flies.  Its true it does, our first 4 1/2 years of marriage felt quick but we were in a very comfortable routine, once the twins were born its like someone hit fastforward...everyday is different, there is a kinda/sorta routine regarding the twins schedule but everything else has just been set aside.

9.  Can someone remind me why I thought I needed every baby book there was, every book on multiples or the first year.  I have opened these books, but motherhood is natural and not one book out there is going to identify with your exact situation...EVER. 

10.  I'm now a sappy sappy person, I used to be the "I don't cry at the dying anything in a movie" gal.  Now I see anything remotely emotional and I tear up...the worst being the Grey's Anatomy episode where Callie gave birth... I just started crying as I saw what was happening, NICU terms, APGAR scores...etc. 

11.  Being away from your babies suck!! I know I HAVE to work, its just not an option for us at the moment for me to be a stay at home mama.  I used to never ever ever think I would want to be a stay at home mom but now its all I can think about on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8-5!

12.  And last but not least...I never knew that a love like a mother's love for her child actually existed, sure I had been told, but I did not truly understand the meaning until I was wheeled into the NICU and held their teeny tiny little hands, if I could I would never let that little hand go.

Well those are the 12 of many many things I have learned this first year. 

PS...It took me 2 weeks to write this, hence the mobile twins thing in # 4....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A confession...

I have a confession...I have a new obsession to tell you about...I've had this new obsession for a few weeks now.

Are you ready for it...

I've become a couponer... A real live couponer.  Not a hoarder but a Ihavetwinsandhavetofeedafamily couponer.

I'll admit I've been watching Extreme Couponing on TLC, and I am hooked, now I'm not going to be buying 100 bags of cat treats even if I don't have a cat but I fully intend on stockpiling items that my family uses often.  Such examples pasta,sauce,juice, anything that can be put into my pantry along with all personal hygiene items (body wash,deoderant,shampoo & conditioner).  I took a class a month or so ago from Queen Bee Coupons.  She is amazing, she quit her job to be a stay at home mom and had to cut their budget by 60%, so for every 1.00 that she was going to spend, she needed to cut .60 cents off of that.  She is also so friendly and humble, she doesn't clear the shelves at the grocery store and she is realistic, her motto is "Think meals, not deals" which is perfect.

Anyways wanna see my free crap!!

Sorry for the crappy quality, they are off my phone.

Picture 1: I purchased 30 bottles of laundry detergent at .99 a bottle, they were on sale for 1.99 and I had a 1.00 off coupon =.99 (STOCKUP)

Picture 2: All my hubby's hygiene items, all with coupons (some Buy 1 get One free, some 1.00 off some 2.00 off) paired with sales at Target made all of this about 10ish dollars.

Picture 3: My favorite, all of this was free after manufacture's coupons and doubler coupons!! Actually the pasta was on sale 10/10 dollars so after my 1.00 off coupon it was totally free.

This is now like a game to me.  I walk in, I get what I'm looking for only, no more wandering around target (as sad as that is) I go up to the register, get rang up, hand coupons over and boom save $$$!!

My fun trip was Target when my total was $43.61 before coupons and I paid on $15.46!!

Anyways, I am sure I will be doing more posts on coupons once I really get this stuff down!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ugh

I had plans to post. Then I somehow caught a nasty cold! I will be back as soon as I can function without hacking up a lung (sorry but its no fun)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lets Talk about Birthday Food!

I went through a lot of different "menu" ideas in planning for their birthday party.  First I thought a BBQ, casual & easy right....The more I thought about it, I thought that so many people do a BBQ lets do something else.  So I though pizza...well that lasted about 2 seconds. I finally decided on simple finger/foods that are on a skewer. 

Fruit Skewers/Pasta salad/veggies

We just bought large packages of grapes, pineapple, and strawberries from Costco.  We purchased bamboo skewers (buy one get one free).  We cut the pineapple into smaller pieces and washed the strawberries and grapes and just started putting them on the skewers in an organized fashion of course.
I made a fuit dip that was very tasty as well.

Fruit Dip
8 oz cream cheese
1 jar of marshmallow cream
8 oz of sour cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
puree in blender till smooth, pop in fridge for at least an hour before serving.

The Pasta salad was a recipe from a friend of mine.  I made it as follows.

Pasta Salad
2 bags of multicolor rotini pasta
1 1/2 bottles of Tuscan(has to be Tuscan) Italian salad dressing
2 cans sliced olives
1/2 container grape tomatoes from Costco
Two handfulls of pepperoni(cut into fours)
Two big handfuls of jarred artichoke from Costco

Cook pasta, strain, mix in small amount of olive oil, let cool in fridge, Mix everything together let it marinate for a day, add more dressing right before serving for best results! It was soooo Yummy!

Veggies, well veggies are veggies, I used Hidden Valley packet mix, 16 oz container of sour cream, mix, cut veggies and serve!


Main dishes

We made chicken and beef skewers as well as pigs in a blanket for the kiddies. 

The chicken skewers consisted on chicken thighs (from costco) thawed, cut into strips, marinated in a secret..(ok fine I'll give you the recipe) sauce, which by the way if you are reading this you HAVE to make this, I promise you'll like it, if you don't then well I'd give you something but none of you live next to me so I guess you will just have to take my word for it.

Chicken Marinade
1/4 cup veg. oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (you can use low sodium too)
2 T ketchup
2 T vinegar
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t pepper

Marinate chicken anywhere from 1-2 hours, or more if you want.

Stab chicken with skewers, grill and serve! YUM!

Beef Skewers
We had our in-laws make these for us to help out with the food load, well that and they are AWESOME cooks! From what they told me they just seasoned some steaks with Montreal steak seasoning, placed on skewers and also added mushrooms and red/yellow peppers in between.

Pigs in a blanket are a classic staple for one simple reason, they taste good and they are easy! Just follow package instructions on the cresent rolls! I made like 3 dozen of these and they were gone in under 7 min!

Cupcakes

I purchased a Groupon deal a couple of months back for Jubilee Cupcakes in Tacoma.  They tasted as amazing as they look.  I was not dissapointed!


The Beverage

A couple of weeks ago I had a strawberry mango limonata from The Olive Garden, it was sooooo good! It was fruity and refreshing, the perfect drink to make for a crown.  I searched for a recipe online and couldn't find one anywhere.  I finally found a similar recipe and just went off of the ingredients, I didn't use their measurements, but it came out very similar to Olive Garden's.

Strawberry Mango Limonata
Concentrated lemonade
Strawberry liquid smoothie mix, I found this at Cash and Carry
Mango liquid smoothie mix
Sprite, or any lemon/lime soda

Mix up your lemonade as directed, add in small amounts of the strawberry to taste, same with the mango, mix in the sprite until you taste the fizz.  Add a bunch of ice and serve!! It will be a hit I promise!

The other drink we had is called Brazillian Lemonade.  I'm unsure of the recipe since my in-laws made it. But I know it has lemonade, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar.  You also have to have a serious blender to make it since you have to blend it with ice to make it slushy like.

Thats all for today folks! I will be back tomorrow with all the details on the Twins cake and the Twins themselves!!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Decorations (1st Birthday part 1)

Cupcake Towers

Lets start with the Cupcake towers, I looked all over for what I had in mind for the twins birthday.  I knew I wanted two, I wanted something I could use over and over again, and something that had a large enough top layer to fit the bear cakes that my dad was going to be making.  I came across All Custom Gifts on Etsy.  I messaged them to see if they could do a custom order for me.  They were so great to work with it was so easy and in no time, they were on my front doorstep! The best thing about these is that the 1/4 inch grossgrain ribbon that you can find for 1.00 at Jo Anne's can be wrapped around them to add whatever color you would like to the stand, I also used these for a recent bridal shower I hosted.  I love them!


Cupcake topper, banners, and water bottle labels o my...

When it came to all of these I needed something that worked for a boy and a girl, I searched and searched and searched,  I am not someone who likes characters especially since my children aren't old enough to choose what they would want for their birthday so I was determined to find a good color combination. Of course I wound up on Etsy again.  I came across Inkberry Cards Cards.  She was awesome, I emailed her and said I wanted a colors that would work for a boy and girl.  She seriously must have read my mind because with that she sent me my beautiful PDF file full of cupcake toppers, waterbottle labels and their birthday banner! It was perfect! I loved it, she used their initials which I ended up using throughout the party as you will see.



Tissue Pom Poms...They have many many uses you know!

I found a great tutorial here.  These were so easy and so CHEAP.  These in my opinion is thee most budget friendly decoration out there.  You can purchase tissue paper for a couple of dollars and whip up a few of these and you will get compliments, I promise!! I was surprised at the amount of people that asked me where did I buy them, when I told them that I made them they were so surprised! They can be used anywhere, I made full ones and hung them from the ceiling and used them in the centerpieces and I used half ones to add pizazz to the banner and my front door as well as decorate the highchairs!


Centerpieces

I set up two large tables for guests to sit at.  Once I got my party package from Inkberry Cards I knew I was just going to run with the initial idea! So I headed to the nearest craft store and wandered until I found what I was looking for.  I purchased two of the large size cardboard 3D letters an A and a L, and some spray paint.  I decided we would showcase the twins pictures from their photoshoots from newborn to 10 months and I knew I had several matching frames but didn't want to drop a ton of cash on a whole bunch of frames when I came across tiny little art easels...50% off (yes please) perfect.  I just had my pictures developed all 5 x7's and "framed them with some cardstock paper to help them stand correctly.  I used two pom poms in pink and blue and I think that they turned out super cute! I was a tad impressed with myself {pat self on back}

You can find more information about the photographer here

Well I think that does it for the decorations, it took a lot of time but I decided I would work on one project a night and by the time the party was here I had everything put together and just had to set it all up.  I have to give some serious photo credit to my friend Jill  who came to the twins party and helped me by taking some AWESOME pics of all the decor/food/guests so that I could enjoy my babies birthday!! You can check out her photography website here, look closely at the teeny tiny twins on her babies page...yeah those are mine!! I will be back tomorrow to tell you all about the mouthwatering food we had!!

**I was not compensated in any way for the reviews given to any products/services I have posted on here, all opinions are my own and I would work with any product mentioned on here again.**

Monday, May 16, 2011

Look Mom Were One (A picture post)

We had the twins BIG 1st BIRTHDAY BASH on Saturday the 14th! Our whole family came out as well as all our friends and celebrated with us! I wil split this into a couple posts.  This one being mainly pictures! That being said....ENJOY!

 Birthday Girl
 Ava's cake (made by grandpa)


 dig in

 Centerpieces



 Favors


 Probably her favorite gift
 Cupcakes!

 Welcome
 This is the knockoff version of Olive Gardens Strawberry Mango limonata, easy and so tasty! I will share!

 The setup
 Fruit skewers






 Landon's cake (also made by Grandpa)






Well if you made it through those pictures...{pat yourself on the back}.

I'll be back tomorrow with the details on decorations, cupcakes, cookies, cakes and everything else birthday!

Hope you guys are having a great Monday. I'm still grieving the fact that my babies aren't "babies" anymore...