Archive for May 2014

Potties in the driveway, a cat on the loose, and a feline Adkins diet?...Just Another Day With The Twins

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A true story...
The day started out normal enough.  Loaded up the girls and our cat in the car. Dropped off the girls at my parents' house, and took the cat to the vet for her annual check up.  But that's where the normal part ended.

Our cat, Camden, is an eight year old calico and she weighs almost 20 pounds!  She is ridiculously fat! She has been on a "diet" for the past two years, but apparently it's not working. She is a VERY lazy cat. Her ideal day would probably be spent curled up in my lap while I hand fed her cat treats and brushed her fur.  If only I could find some little ankle weights and a mini treadmill then maybe we wouldn't have this problem. So anyway, this morning we saw a new vet at our clinic.  First, she gave me the guilt trip for having a fat cat. Of course I can see she is obese, and no I don't want her to get diabetes. So what can I do?  She suggested we try a feline Adkins style diet. Seriously?  I laughed when she suggested it. I thought is was a joke. Nope!.  The diet consists of weaning her completely off of dry food and feeding her canned cat food that is high in protein and fat. Who knew? 

After we finish up at the vet, I help Camden squeeze back into her cat carrier, (she really is fat).  We go pick up the girls and head back home.

Once home, I begin the process of unloading the four of us and all of our stuff by taking Juliette out from her carseat behind me. She walks into the garage towards the inside door.   I open up the back of our SUV on my way around the car to get Genevieve to remind myself to take out the potties I had brought to my parents'.  The girls are in the throes of potty training.    Just as I set Genevieve down, I see Juliette running back towards the car with a trail of pee following behind her as she's shouting," MAMA!".  I grab a potty from the back, throw it down on the driveway, as she yanks down her pants to finish.  Her pants, shoes, and socks are now soaking wet. All of which I begin to remove.  

Meanwhile Genevieve has run to the inside door and is crying, anxious to get inside.  "Strange she is in such a hurry to get inside", the fleeting thought passes.  Whatever, I'll let her in and then finish cleaning up Juliette.  I let her in only to have her quickly emerge running back outside and shouting, "Potties are missing!"   This can only mean one thing, GET THE OTHER POTTY! I grab it from  the trunk just as she pulls her pants down!

Juliette, still sitting on the potty,  is having a fit that she needs clean pink pants now! God forbid she wait the 15 steps it takes to get in the house.  No, she needs pink pants, here, in the middle of the freakin' driveway! I'm trying to find the extra pants in the bag I packed for Nona's house when I see Genevieve bringing me her potty.  Pee is sloshing over the edge. But she is beaming,. Grinning ear to ear!  "Mama, I tinkled! I so proud!"

That's when I hear a tiny, whiny meow.  I look up through the open rear door and see two yellow eyes staring at me.  The cat has managed to escape from her carrier and is standing on the center console ready to jump. At this point I also realize that I have left the rear passenger side door open and she is about to make an immediate exit. She is an indoor cat and despite her rather obtuse size, she would be completely useless in the wild. Ignoring the screaming child, and the sloshing pee, I hurl myself through the opened rear door, over the top of the back seat, and attempt to trap the cat with my body. Miraculously, I manage to wedge her in-between the seats, the floor, and me.  She is trying to pancake herself to slide out from under me.  Good luck with that, fat cat!  I am literally hanging upside down,  trying to get my left foot unstuck from in-between the back seats and the ceiling.  I grab her by the scruff (luckily there is a lot of excess to grab),  pull her close, and unwedge my foot so we can both safely exit the vehicle.  Fortunately, the crying has ceased because the girls are staring at the spectacle I created.  Although I can't say for certain whether in awe or in fear for me... or the cat.

I get the cat inside, carry Juliette in, sans pants (one point for mama), and Genevieve follows us in.  Luckily, I don't have to worry about the spilled pee or the trail Juliette created earlier, because sweet Genevieve has used her favorite pink blanket to wipe everything up off the driveway and the dirty garage floor! Oh well, I've already got laundry to do today!

I literally let out a sigh of relief when I close the door behind me.

My mind starts to wander for a split second, always moving ahead,  thinking about what I should make for lunch? When I hear, "Mama, pink pants!"  Oops!

What a morning!

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Can You Get Your Body Back After Having Twins?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I gained about 60 pounds when I was pregnant with the twins.  That's right 6-0! Sentenced to bed rest at the start of my third trimester,  I had to let go of my after dinner walks and pre-natal yoga classes. Nothing was more important to me than keeping those babies cooking for as long as possible!
After graduating college, I really took control of my life by eating healthy and working out most days. I constantly stayed current with exercise and dietary trends.  I worked hard to keep my body healthy!

But after having the girls, the task of getting back in shape when I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted seemed daunting.

How was I going to return to a healthy weight and feel better about my body?

Finally, two years later and back at my pre-pregnancy weight (give or take a few pounds), I wanted to share what's been working for me.

*I have to admit, I was sort of nervous writing this post, I definitely don't have a "perfect" body.  But, I am having  success losing the baby weight.  I thought maybe these tips might be useful in helping others to take back their bodies:) 

In the beginning...

The first few months after the girls were born, I didn't have much time to think, let alone to think about my body. Since I was nursing, I tried to make healthy choices about the food I ate.  I would also take the girls for walks around the neighborhood. I found that a little over half of the weight I gained came off. An added bonus of nursing twins:)

At the one year mark...

I was determined to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans.  Since I wasn't nursing anymore,  I knew I had to do more than just watch what I ate and take leisurely strolls. So I decided to... 

  • Sneak in exercise Pre-pregnancy I would find myself  at the gym for an hour or two after work.  How was I ever going to find time for that?  No way! Instead, I found ways to sneak in 10-20 minutes of exercise here and there. Pop in a DVD during naptime, do some triceps dips while out at the playground, or load the girls into the jogging stroller and go for a walk/jog.  Some of my favorite quick workout DVDs were exhale core fusion 30 Day sculpt (30 20-Minute workouts day-by-day plan), the 10 Minute Solution Rapid Results Pilates, and Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 (each workout is about 35 minutes). I also downloaded the RunDouble C25K Pro app on my phone.  I liked having a scheduled planed for me (run 3 times a week for nine weeks), and the verbal reminders of when to walk and when to jog were helpful at motivating me to step up my leisurely strolls.   
  • Schedule workouts By simply writing down my workouts on the calendar, I found that I was more likely to stick with them.  I tried to do something active everyday. I wasn't running all the time or even able to spend a half hour on a DVD every day, but I figured even a 10 minute walk was better than nothing at all! I felt happy if I could squeeze in 2-3 longer workouts a week.  Of course chasing around the twins also helped keep me moving.  
  • My closet As a new stay at home mom, I didn't have the need (or the means) to spend a ton of money on a whole new wardrobe of clothes in larger sizes!  Seeing all of my pretty clothes hanging in the closet just waiting for me to lose weight was very motivating to me.  
  • Track what I eat I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on both my android phone and iPad (free on both).  I lost weight instantly, just by becoming aware of what I was putting into my mouth.   I was shocked at how much nibbling I was doing.  A leftover bite of the girls' PB sandwich here some cheddar bunnies there, it adds up quickly. The app lets you enter your goal weight and gives you suggestions on how many calories to consume based upon your activity level and desired weekly weight loss goal. You can sync the app between devices so it's easy to enter food at home or on the go.  I love the scanner feature that lets you zap a bar code and instantly enters the food into your daily chart.  You can also enter your workouts, and the more you workout the more calories are added back into your daily goal.  I have been known to squeeze in an extra 10 minutes of activity so I can add on a glass of wine at night:)  I don't track my food on the weekends.  I decided a few weeks ago to stop.  I still try to make good choices, but I don't stress if I want to enjoy a gelato with my girls or a nice dinner out.  
I remember the day I fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans! I was ecstatic! 

Now at the two year mark...

Even though I am pretty much at my pre-babies weight, my body is definitely not the same! Some parts are larger and some a little jigglier than they used to be.  But, the girls are getting older which means I am sleeping more than ever, and I finally have the energy to really take back my body!
Here are the changes I added...
  • Track my activity I love my fitbit.  I had an original one years ago, but it stopped logging activity correctly. My husband got me the new fitbit one as a mother's day gift, and I am loving it! Just attach it to your pants and it tracks your steps, floors, calories, and activity level throughout the day.  You can also sync it to the MyFitnessPal app so that it automatically inputs your calories burnt. On Monday,  I was so close to the 10,000 step mark I was walking in place after the girls went to bed just to add on steps.  Everything is displayed neatly for you to monitor on your computer, smartphone, or iPad.  You can even track your sleep!
  • Join a gym with childcare One of my struggles was finding time to workout.  The girls weren't too excited to sit in the jogging stroller for a half hour any more.  And I didn't want to lose all of naptime to workout.  So, I found a gym with a great childcare center.  Now I get an hour or two 2-3 times a week to workout alone or take group classes and the girls get to play with all of the "new" toys and teachers.  Win-win! 
  • Workout with friends Some days I don't feel like going to the gym, but knowing that I am meeting up with a friend helps me drag my butt out of the house.  I don't want to let her down by not showing up!   
  • Cut back the coffee creamer I love my coffee sweet.  But, once I started measuring and tracking my calories I realized I was adding close to a 1/4 cup of creamer. Yuck! I slowly weaned myself down one tablespoon at a time until I was using a much healthier amount. Every tablespoon I cut, I saved 35 calories. That was over 490 calories a week! 
  • Remember Slow and Steady wins the race The most important thing I learned during this whole  process was that the weight wasn't going to instantly fall off. I still have to continue to work hard and stay positive.  Building in a few incentives doesn't hurt either.  A pedicure when I've lost the next five pounds or a bubble bath after I worked out three days in a row can be just enough to keep me going! 
 I know I am far from having a perfect body, but I'll take this healthy one! 

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The Kind Of Mama I Want To Be

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This Sunday I will be celebrating my 3rd Mother's Day!

When I was thinking about what type of Mother's Day post I wanted to write, I started thinking about how I would want my girls to remember me as their mother.  Someday in the future, when they sit back and reflect about their time growing up with me, what will they think and feel?

That line of thinking inspired me to write this post...

I Want To...

Be PRESENT.  Put down the cell phone and the iPad.  Not only show up, but PLAY and really LISTEN.

Be able to FIND HAPPY everyday and SHARE it.  Life is full of challenges and obstacles that make some days hard. But, looking for the little things that make you happy everyday makes even the worst days seem a little more bearable.  Sharing those small joys with my daughters every night before bed makes us smile.

Be SUPPORTIVE. I know I won't always like or agree with my daughters' choices.  However, I want to support their dreams and goals, even if they aren't my own.

Be a SHOULDER to both cry on and lean on.


Find ways to be CALM when I'm fuming inside.

Be PATIENT when I'm in a hurry, and they are not.


Be THANKFUL.  Let go of comparing myself to others and be grateful for everything I have at this very minute on this very day.

I am blessed with two sweet, beautiful daughters and I am so lucky to be their Mama.

Here's to being the Mama you can be!

Happy Mother's Day!
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Springtime Chicks

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The sun is shining and the weather is warm.  Springtime has arrived!

I thought to celebrate we would make springtime chicks:)

In order to make these chicks you will need:
Construction paper (white for body, yellow for wings, orange for beak and legs)
Glue stick
Black marker for eyes (or wiggle eyes would be cute)
Yellow paint
Different textures to use as paintbrushes (we used corks and q-tips)

Instead of using a paintbrush to paint our chicks, I thought it would be fun to try out some different textures. I chose corks and q-tips (mostly because they were the first things I saw when I opened up our craft area) but you could use a paintbrush or get really creative here with a variety of objects.
After painting, we let our chicks dry. Then the girls glued the pieces together and added two eyes using a black marker.

Yay, for Spring!  
Have fun making your own Springtime Chicks!

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