Friday, December 23, 2011

Update to the magnet adventure

My first post on this subject is seen here.

Nathan had his follow-up endoscopy on Wednesday. He did amazing and was such a good boy the entire day. It was stressful for us because I've been dreading this day for months. However, Nathan is going to be just fine! The ulcers that were there three months ago, are no longer present. The GI specialist said that the magnet most likely caused additional acid in the stomach and the ulcers formed after that. But now, his system looks fine and there is no follow-up needed. The minute the doctor left the room, I burst into tears. The weight of that anxiety has been heavy over these past few months. So glad that all is well.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters to my boys...

Dear Gavin,

December is here and you are 23 months old. Only one month left until your second birthday. This year has gone by so quickly! Christmas is nearly here and I'm so excited to spend this time of year with you.

You are loving the tree this year. Although you do want to throw things at it from time to time. Overall, you have been very good with it. You thought it was so fun to put the ornaments on. You are getting so big. Talking up a storm and completing sentences left and right. You are really good about asking for what you want. You have progressed so far in such a short amount of time. You are really loving Dora the Explorer right now and I'm so excited for you to get some of your Christmas presents. You have been doing great with the sitter while Mama is at work. You seem to be opening up toward more people now. You are still a pretty good eater. You will eat pretty much anything we put in front of you. You sleep well, although you've had two ear infections so far this season, so we are constantly on the look-out for that. You seem to be nearly ready for potty training. You have been telling us when you are wet or dirty. I'm going to give it a little while and then we will start with you. I can't believe how big you are.

Merry Christmas my sweetheart. In our family, we celebrate Christmas with giving and spending the day with our families. I love you so much!

Always,

Mama

---------------------

Dear Kai,

Christmas is right around the corner Kai! You are 23 months old today. I can't believe that you will be two next month. This year has gone by so quickly.

You loved putting up the tree this year. Although you think it is fun to run into the tree at full-speed, overall you have done well. Next week we are going to see Santa. I am curious as to what your reaction will be. You tend to be a Mama's boy and stick pretty close to me. You give the best snuggles. So far this season, your tubes in your ears seem to be helped. Gavin has had two ear infections and you haven't had any. I'm glad that you aren't in pain anymore. You are still a very picky eater, although we have recently discovered that you will eat anything if you have some Ketchup to dip it in. You think Ketchup is awesome! You seem to be doing really well with the sitter when she watches you while I work. You are slowly talking more and more, but after the new year we will be contacting First Steps to see about speech therapy. Hopefully that will help you. I'm really looking forward to Christmas with you Kai-bear.

I love you always,

Mama

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nathan can draw!

A picture of "My family" drawn by Nathan Cole. I love him.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Letters to my boys...

Dear Nathan,

Hello sweetheart! You are 4 and a half years old today! So much has changed since your last letter. You are doing and saying so many things it is hard to keep up!

The new school year has brought about so much change in you. You seem so much more mature and can stay calm about more things now. It is easy to take you someplace because your behavior has improved 100%. You have learned so much with school. You are writing your name perfectly and beginning to learn how to recognize words. Reading will be right around the corner. I can't wait for that. I'm excited for you to learn. Something new this year is the bus! You love riding the bus. I honestly think it is highlight of your day. You wait patiently with your backpack and hat on while standing at the door. The bus pulls up and you say "Mom! The bus is here. Bye!" And you trot right on out there. It always tugs at my heart a little bit. You are looking so grown-up. Miss Diane says that you are doing very well with school. Your speech has improved greatly and it is hard to tell that you ever had a speech delay at all.

You are 43 inches tall and 38.2 pounds. You seem to grow overnight. You are still loving your "upstairs" bed. You sleep really well and wake up in a good mood every morning. I'll be wishing for these days in the teenage years. You are still a very picky eater. You would rather go hungry than eat something you don't like. Although we have had success with "just take one bite!". You know what you like and you don't like to stray from that.

Gavin and Kai are quickly becoming your best buddies. You all play well together (most of the time) and you are teaching them all sorts of stuff. Like how to eat an Oreo cookie, for example. I'm so happy that you three have each other. It warms my heart to see you play together. You love playing outside! Halloween was a blast this year. You went as Buzz Lightyear and thought it was the greatest thing ever.

You are growing and changing and on your way to 5. Time just flies by and soon you will be in Kindergarten. I love you so much Nathan Cole.

Always,

Mama

---------------------

Dear Gavin,

November is here and you are 22 months old! Only 2 months left until your second birthday!

I'm convinced that you are very advanced for your age related to speech and knowledge. You talk all day long and can talk about anything. It surprises us what you know and how much you are paying attention. A new phrase is "I don't want it" or "I don't like it." You even are starting to recognize some colors and shapes. You are just learning so quickly! You love Dora the Explorer and will ask (or demand) to watch it in the morning. You are sleeping well, although you had an ear infection last month. Thankfully we just completed some antibiotics and you seem to be much better. A new thing for you is football! You are so interested in it and love to watch it on TV. It cracks us up when you ask to watch it. Now, if only the Colts weren't doing so poorly this year...but that's another topic for another day. Halloween was very fun this year. I was so surprised that you did so well! You marched up to each house and held out your bucket. It was a great time! You really enjoyed it. You went as Thing 1 and Kai went as Thing 2. We got so many compliments on your costumes. You both looked adorable.

I love you so much Gavy!

Always,

Mama

----------------

Dear Kai,

Hello sweetie! You are 22 months old. November has arrived and the colder weather is coming. Thankfully we have had a nice fall so we have been able to get outside alot.

You are doing better with speaking this month! Still a little behind, but overall, you have improved. I will still be making a call to get you evaluated after the holidays, but we are working with you now too. You and Gavin were sick this past month, so we just completed a round of antibiotics. Your tubes in your ears are working well, because Gavin had an ear infection and you didn't. I'm so glad we did that. You are sleeping much better since completing the antibiotics. Halloween was really fun this year. You amazed me with how well you did. You pulled me up to each house and stuck out your bucket for candy. You thought it was so fun! You went as Thing 2 and Gavin was Thing 1. We got so many comments on your costumes because you looked so cute!! We have discovered a new food that you like. You ate almost all of Daddy's tomato yesterday. It was so funny! You just kept asking for more.

Only 2 months left until your second birthday! And Thanksgiving is coming. I'm excited for this time of year. I love you Kai-bear.

Always,

Mama

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dear Amanda,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted for admission to the master’s component of the graduate program at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing for Winter 2012.

:) I'm excited!

Now I'm just waiting on Georgetown and then I will make my choice. Although Georgetown has informed me that they no longer offer the full-time CNM program, so it won't take 18 months. It will take 2 years as I will have to go part-time. So that changes things a little bit. I'm now back to leaning toward the University of Cincinnati due to cost. Either way, in about two months time I will be back in school!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another application submitted

Originally I had planned on only applying to one school for my master's degree. However, when it came down to it, I decided to have a back-up plan in case I didn't get accepted or something. However, now it seems that the back-up school has moved into being my first choice school. And I'm all confused. I submitted my application for Georgetown University in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

Georgetown:
Ranked as the number 1 distance learning CNM program in the country. Number 2 distance learning master's program.
I would be done with my degree in 18 months.
Georgetown allows dual degrees in both midwifery and women's health nurse practitioner.
The downside? It costs over twice as much as University of Cincinnati.

University of Cincinnati:
Lower cost
Lower ranking program
No dual degree
Degree would take 2.5 years.

I have a lot to think about. Although right now, I am just in the waiting phase. Waiting to hear back from both schools about whether or not I've been accepted. After that, I imagine it will be more waiting to see about the financial aid offered.

I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Gavin and Kai as Thing 1 and Thing 2! They got so many comments as we were walking around the neighborhood. They did great with Trick or Treating. Walked up to each house and held out their bucket. Said "bye!" before leaving every house.
Nathan as Buzz Lightyear. I asked him a month ago what he wanted to be for Halloween. He said: "I want to be Buzz and I want a purple bucket." So that's what he was! He really enjoyed Trick or Treating. Although after the first hour, we came back home to hand out candy because it was getting cold out. Nathan enjoyed this part even more! He stood by the door and said "Mom! I see a princess, a frog, and Mario coming! Get the candy!" He loved it. Said "Happy Halloween" and "I love your costume" to everyone. Adorable kid.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update on our parent teacher conference

It went really, really well!

Nathan's teacher and speech therapist were there. They are both so sweet and it is obvious that they really care for him. His teacher told us that Nathan was doing much better in class. He has some friends that he plays with and is overall doing very well. They are impressed with his writing and how far his speech has come.

His teacher and speech therapist both agree that they don't think that Nathan fits very well under the Mild Autism label either. However at this point, we aren't sure what else to call it because Mild Autism covers a lot of Nathan's issues. However, some of the main markers for Mild Autism are missing (lack of social skills, eye contact, affection, etc) in Nathan.

So the plan is this:

Right now, Nathan is on track 100% to go to Kindergarten next year (yay!). He meets all the required milestones at this point. His teacher actually thinks that Nathan will thrive in Kindergarten because they have a more defined schedule (something that Nathan really likes). So we are going to keep the Mild Autism label for the remainder of this year to allow Nathan to get speech therapy in class. We are going to have him reevaluated after a couple of months in Kindergarten to make sure that he is fully caught up to his peers. If at that time, he is caught up and doing well in the Kindergarten setting, they will remove the label and Nathan will just be a regular kiddo going to Kindergarten. If he isn't doing well in class, we will reevaluate and attempt to get another diagnosis label so that speech therapy can be given.

All in all, I'm happy with the where things are at. He is going well in class. The teachers are communicating well with me about his progress. He is on track to go to Kindergarten next year. And he has shown remarkable progress. He is such an awesome and amazing kid.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The boys in their playhouse!

Parent teacher conference tomorrow

And I'm so nervous.

Nathan is making so much progress. So much. He has blossomed. And if you remember from this post, I'm planning on rejecting the Mild Autism Disorder label given to him last year. From everything I know about Nathan, I just feel that it is not accurate. So I will update after our conference. Hopefully she has good things to say.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Letters to my sons

Dear Gavin,

You are 21 months old! 2 is getting closer by the day!

Halloween is right around the corner. We are trying to figure out what you should be for Halloween. I was thinking a ladybug, because you love a certain ladybug in one of our books that we read. You scream out "bug!!!" whenever we turn the page. It is adorable. Not much has changed since last month. You are learning more words and phrases by the day. Your newest phrase is "I fall down". Then you demand for me to kiss your "boo-boo". It is cute. We are getting ready to take our fall family pictures. I hope it goes well. You and Kai don't seem to like picture taking so much right now! You are still my adventurous eater. Today you had cheese ravioli and shrimp scampi! You love pretty much everything and will follow me around saying "bite!" over and over. Even while your mouth is full of food. Cracks us up. All is well with you sweet boy. I love you.

Mama

-----------------

Dear Kai,

21 months! I can't believe it! October is here and our family pictures are coming up. Hopefully you boys cooperate.

You are slowly saying more things. I got the words "love you" out of you last night. It was so sweet. You are my little sweetie lately. Always giving hugs and kisses and cuddles. Today for nap, you cuddled right up to me and fell asleep. It was so nice. I think you have just been missing me because I've been away a lot for work. You've made the adjustment nicely, but I can tell you are glad to see me when I get home. You are always waiting by the door and jumping up and down when I come in the door. I immediately pick you up and you grab onto my neck so tight! It warms my heart. You have such a kind and sweet spirit Kai. I wonder all the time what you will be when you grow up. I just want you to be as happy as you are now, no matter what you are doing. Nothing makes my day like a Kai-bear smile.

Love,

Mama

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some new pictures

Me and my hubby


Gavin and Grandma
Mama and Kai
Nathan and Will (my nephew) attacking Uncle Tommy (my brother) while Gavin tries to throw a ball at them all. We have lots of boys in our family. It gets crazy!

6.2

I ran for 6.2 miles yesterday. A 10K! It feels weird to type it. Considering where I started, I'm amazed at my progress. I set my sights on a 5K many months ago and now I can run twice that. It was a good run. I won't lie and say that it was easy. Those last two miles were especially tough. My joints were sore and my body was tired. But oddly enough, I had no problems breathing and I didn't feel like I was about to die or anything (a common trend among some of my runs). I feel really good about where I'm at and I don't think that I will try to up my distance right now. I'm going to work on maintaining my current level. I'm also going to work on more strength training. My weight hasn't changed much and I'm thinking that I've hit my healthy point. I'm happy with where I'm at (for like the first time ever).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The great magnet adventure

My sweet boy Nathan Cole has had a rough go of it these past few weeks. Here is the timeline of what when down at our house:

September 11th- Nathan was playing with two heavy duty magnets on our fridge. We turn our backs for a second and Nathan comes running up to us holding one magnet and grabbing his belly. He says "My throat hurts" and then "My belly hurts". We asked him if he swallowed the magnet and he says "Yes". Off we go to the local ER. They do an X-ray and say that the magnet is in his stomach and it should pass in a few days.

September 16th, 1:00am- Brandon hears Nathan vomiting his bed. Brandon comes to get me and we agree that we should probably take him back to the ER because we are worried that the magnet still hasn't passed and now we are freaking out thinking that the magnet is causing the vomiting. Brandon takes him to the local ER while I stay home with the twins.

September 16th, 3:00am- Brandon calls me and says that the new X-ray shows that the magnet has not moved from his stomach. The ER doctor is concerned that it hasn't moved in 5 days and suggests that we transfer Nathan to the children's hospital for further evaluation.

September 16th, 5:00am-After waking my mom up and having her drive over to sit with the twins, I am able to join Brandon with Nathan at the local hospital. We are transferred to the children's hospital. We are admitted. All of us are exhausted.

September 16th, 8:00am-Another X-ray shows that the magnet is still in the stomach. We meet with the pediatric GI doctor and his team of residents. They show us the X-rays and they tell us that Nathan needs to have endoscopic surgery to remove the magnet. Brandon and I freak out, but agree that the magnet needs to come out.

September 16th, 11:00am- We are taken down to surgery waiting where they give Nathan some Versed to calm him down (they do this for everyone). Nathan is adorable and saying things like "Look at this truck...it has four wheels. Wheeeeeeeeeeeels!" Nathan drifts off to sleep and I lay him down on the gurney so that they can take him to surgery.

September 16th, 12:30pm- Two exhausted, terrified parents wait anxiously in the waiting room as it takes twice as much time as what they said.

September 16th, 1:00pm- The GI doctor comes out to tell us that he could not find the magnet. But he did find some white tissue on the side of his small intestines that he took a biopsy of. He orders another X-ray to see where the magnet is now.

September 16th, 2:00pm- We finally get to see our baby boy in the recovery room. He is sleeping and I am crying looking at him all hooked up to monitors and IVs.

September 16th, 3:00pm- Secondary X-ray shows that the magnet finally moved! The GI doctor thinks that the anesthesia relaxed the smooth muscle of his stomach and allowed the magnet to pass through. He seems confident that the magnet will pass on its own. We are told to watch his poop to find the magnet (the joys of being a parent). We are discharged and head home with our sweet boy.

September 21st- Magnet is OUT!! We jump around like idiots and are thrilled!

September 23rd- The GI doctor calls to ask about Nathan's status. I should have known something was up when I heard his voice. Doctors just don't make those follow-up phone calls. Anyway, he tells us that the white tissue biopsy came back and it turns out Nathan has ulcers. He wants Nathan to have bloodwork to measure his Gastrin (hormone that controls the production of stomach acid) level and for him to start Prilosec. He also wants him to have another endoscopy at the end of December to be sure that the ulcers are resolved. This is all well and good except Brandon and I immediately panic. We are so terrified that Nathan has Crohn's disease. My mother-in-law has it and we are just scared to death. So now, I get to worry frantically for the next three months.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Letters to my sons

Dear Gavin,

September is here! You are 20 months old today!

Not much has changed since my letter to you last month. You are saying more and more words every day and starting to string small sentences together. "I do it" and "I found it" are common phrases heard around here. Life has been incredibly busy now that I am back to work. You have made the adjustment beautifully though. I really miss you during the day but it is so nice to come home to your smiling face. I'm only working a couple of days a week but it still seems like forever. You are beginning to use forks and spoons better now. You seem to be getting the hang of that. You really love going shopping with me. I put you in the cart and you say "hi" to everyone that passes you. Such a sweet boy! Sleep is still going well and you continue to take one nap a day. You eat pretty much anything that we give you. A recent favorite of yours is pulled pork. You really love it!

Getting so big, sweet boy! Just 4 months left until you are two!! I can't believe it. I love you so much!

Always,

Mama

-----------------

Dear Kai,

Fall is nearly here and you are 20 months old today!

Life hasn't really changed much since our last letter to you. You are still slow to talk, although you've started to use more signs. I'm thinking that we will probably have you evaluated for speech soon. I have a feeling that you will take after your big brother Nathan and be a slow talker. That's ok though sweet boy! You are still Mama's cuddlebug. I've been worried about how you would adjust to the changes after I went back to work, but so far you have done wonderfully! You really like the sitter and we've had no problems. Thankfully I only work a couple of days a week now. I sure do miss you when I'm gone. Speaking of your big brother, I think you are going to take after his picky eating too. You don't really like trying new foods and tend to stick with your favorites. We are slowly working on it, but I have a feeling that you may have some sensory issues like Nathan too. Hopefully we can address those when we get you evaluated for speech. But I'll love you no matter what, Kai-bear.

I can't believe you are 4 months away from being two! Time has just flown by! Soon it will be time for our fall family pictures.

Love you,

Mama

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The next step

As many of you know, I have been debating for years about going back to school. My original plan from years back was to finish nursing school and immediately return to get my Masters in Nursing and become a certified nurse midwife (CNM). Well, kids and life and everything got in the way and I put that dream on a shelf for awhile. I've posted several times about going back, but I've been really unsure.

However, as of this Thursday, I will have all my paperwork and application turned in to the University of Cincinnati! Their program is just perfect for me. My entire first year will be online, so that I can still be the busy mom that I am. My clinicals will start during my second year. It will take two and a half years to become a CNM. That seems like forever, but I know that it will go by quickly.

I'm excited and nervous and ready! Just hoping that I get accepted!

Pictures from the wedding

I love this dress. As an aside, it is amazingly different shopping for clothes now. Being a size 8 affords me with a lot more opportunities for fashion. For the first time in my life, I am excited to shop and buy pretty clothes for myself. It feels wonderful. This dress is Nine West from Macy's.
Showing off my ring. I love it! It went with this dress perfectly.
The Music Hall in Cincinnati. It was a wonderfully elegant wedding. The ceremony was the first Jewish wedding I had been to and it was really neat to see all the tradition. I cried through the whole thing!
Brandon and I enjoyed our night away!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September goals!

-Run, run, run! I'm currently in week 3 of 10K training. I've gotten a little side tracked as I was waiting for my new shoes to arrive. But they are here! So I can run again! I may repeat week 2 so that I can have a slower build-up. But by the end of this month I would like to be at least halfway through the training program!

-I have been at a standstill with my weight. I haven't gained or lost anything in quite some time. I would like to get back to the losing side of things but I worry I've kinda hit my body's normal, healthy weight. Still though, I have a goal to be 150 pounds. I'm at 153 today, so three pounds needs to come off!

-Finish one month of scrapbooking! I'm going to do this next weekend.

And that is really it for me this month. Starting on the 11th, I will be working for 16 days in a row. I have to do an orientation at my new job and I'm still working weekends too. Gonna be a long month! This weekend, we have a wedding to go to! One of my dear friends from high school is getting married on Saturday and Brandon get a night out! I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some pictures of my babies (er...big boys)

Gavin's hair is getting a little crazy.
Kai is so funny. He always makes this face.
Brotherly love.
My favorite picture of them. They are so cute.
Big boys!!

Gavin's words

Up
Light
Dora (ha!)
Mama
Dada
more
bite
foot
bye bye
Barney (ha!)
fork
No
Love you
Water

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rejecting the label

You may remember some of my posts on this but I've pretty much decided that at this year's school case conference for Nathan, I will be rejecting his label of Asperger's syndrome. First, of all, I am positive that he doesn't have Asperger's. Mainly because people with Asperger's have above average intelligence and while Nathan is very smart, he just doesn't exhibit the signs of this. Also, people with Asperger's don't tend to have the language delay that Nathan has.

Asperger's wasn't actually the latest "diagnosis". If you look at my latest post in the Asperger's section, his official diagnosis is Mild Autism disorder. I plan on rejecting this label too. And here's why:

First of all, I am not one of those mothers who thinks that their child is perfect. It is plainly clear that Nathan has speech delays. We've known this from about 18 months (seriously have a look at my letters to Nathan from around that time, I knew something was up) and we got proper therapy and treatment for him. I know that he also has some sensory issues. We've also known this from very early on.

However, I am 100% positive that he does not have Mild Autism Disorder. He exhibits no signs and symptoms of this outside from the speech delay. Nathan doesn't do any sort of repetitive behaviors or flapping. Nathan looks you into the eye when he is talking with you, is capable of conversing in a back and forth manner, and shows affection readily. He responds to his name every time and is extremely social when he gets to know people. All of these things do not add up to Autism in my book. I'm comfortable with his speech delay diagnosis and even now, he has come so far (talking to us in paragraphs and saying things like "Mom, I would like to go outside, I'm going to get my shoes on, please and thank you".) I am not comfortable with the autism diagnosis and I don't think that this is my "mamabear" speaking.

So, I'm hoping that it won't be a battle with the school. I'm looking forward to the conference this year because I'm far more prepared and I understand Nathan better so that I can be a better advocate.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nathan's first day of school!

Nathan Cole all ready to go! Today marked the beginning of Nathan's second year of preschool! Thankfully, he is going to the same place with the same teachers and he seems comfortable already. We are lucky that we have such a great school so close by!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Orlando!

My mom and I went to Orlando, Florida this past week! The trip was a gift for my birthday so that I could see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was amazing to see that and to spend time with my mom.


Looking down at Hogsmeade. I took around 200 pictures so these are just some of my favorites.
No big deal, just me hanging out at Honeydukes drinking a Butterbeer. :)
Standing in front of Hogwarts!
Me and my mom outside of the Twister ride at Universal Studios. I'm totally rocking a Gryffindor shirt like I'm 12 years old.
For those who don't know, Back to the Future is my favorite movie EVER!


One of the best parts of the trip. Ahhh...
Relaxing at the pool with my Nook.

All in all, it was an awesome trip! I had so much fun and it was nice to get some time away from Mom duty. Although I was very glad to get back to my babies!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Brandon's class reunion

On Saturday the 13th, Brandon had his 10 year class reunion! We ventured to his home town and his parents watched the boys so that we could go out! We had a great time. It was really nice to see all his old friends and to meet new people. I was a very proud wife that night. It was so easy to see that Brandon was a good friend in high school. He is friendly to everyone which is one of the qualities that attracted me to him in the first place. After the reunion, we headed out to their local town festival Beer Garden. It was so fun!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Letters to my sons

Dear Gavin,

August has arrived and you are 19 months old today!! Getting to be such a big boy!

This summer has just flown by. Not really much has changed since last month. You are still trying to chat up a storm with us. You are saying things like "light", "book", "diaper", and "water". You've come a long way and we are really starting to understand some of your words. You have been putting on your shoes all by yourself lately. You get them on and go stand by the door because you want to go "bye-bye". It is adorable. This past month has been very busy for us all. Mama started a new job and we found a new sitter for you guys! Her name is Tara and she is really nice. I only work a couple of days a week but it is still great to have someone available to watch you if needed. You do really well when I'm gone whether it is with Tara or your grandparents.

I know this is a short letter, but I feel like I covered everything in the last one! I love you so much sweet boy!

Always,

Mama

-------------------------

Dear Kai,

19 months old today Kai-bear! August is here and you are getting so big!

Not really much has changed in the last month. You are sleeping better all the time and are slowly starting to try to talk to us. We don't understand many words from you yet, but I know that will come with time. I don't know if I have mentioned this or not, but I'm fairly certain that you are going to turn out to be an engineer of some kind. I have never seen a kid so fascinated with figuring out how things work! You love things with moving parts and you could spend hours trying to figure something out. It is really something to see you with a new gadget! Your favorite is the vacuum cleaner. You love removing the hose and reattaching it. You love wrapping the cord around and figuring out how the hinge works. So sweet! In other news, this month has been a bit of a transition for us because Mama went back to work. I only work a couple of days a week, so it has been a relatively smooth change. We hired a new sitter. Her name is Tara and she watches you when I have to work through the week. She is really nice and says that you do well when I'm not there. On the weekends, Daddy watches you while I work in the mornings.

Getting bigger by the day Kai! Although you still have your adorable little run that cracks us up. And you still make your Kai-bear piggy noises that you've made since you were born. I hope that never changes.

Love,

Mama

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Update on my running

So after completing the Couch to 5K, I thought about trying to train for a half-marathon in October. I figured that I had plenty of time to slowly build up my mileage. However, life got in the way (new job and kids and all of the stuff I talked about in my update post). So I got behind on my running and right now the half-marathon seems unattainable.

So I decided to switch gears and train for a 10K instead. A 10K is is 6.2 miles, which sounds more doable to me right now. I can already run for 5 miles, so this seems like a good stepping stone. I'm starting a new 10K training program today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update of sorts

Things have been INSANE around here!!

Brandon had a week off at the beginning of July, so we spent a lot of family time together and my poor blog was neglected. We went to the pool and the zoo and Brandon and I had a date night. I also went to Chicago for a night to visit a friend! It was nice to get away.

On the 9th a dear friend from high school had her bridal shower and bachelorette party! That was so fun.

Then on the 11th, I started my new job orientation and was swamped with work and kids and the house! I work every weekend so it is hard to find time to blog.

In my free time, I have been trying to sneak in workouts and cleaning. I've only lost around a pound this month, but I've been so busy that many of my runs have been put on the back burner. Thankfully, we are starting to get a routine going and I've been back at it!

August will be even busier! My birthday is on the 8th. Brandon and I are having a date night for that.

Then on the 14th, my mom is taking me to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando!! It was a surprise for my birthday! Just me and my mom are going for two whole days. I'm so excited.

Then on back to back weekends, both Brandon and I have our high school reunions. It has been 10 years since we graduated.

And in between all of that, there will be more work and kids and Nathan's first day of school!

Been a great summer so far. Just wanted to catch up a little bit!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Letters to my sons

Dear Gavin,

You are 18 months old today!! A year and a half has just flown by in the blink of an eye. You are getting so big and have transitioned (overnight it seems) into the toddler years.

You climb on everything. If there is a surface that looks remotely fun for you, you climb on it. You have absolutely no fear! You love the chairs and the tables and the counters. You love playing outside and really enjoy playing in the water. We took you to the pool recently and you had so much fun! You are my adventurous eater and will try pretty much anything we give you. Your favorites are pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and blueberries. You have started to prefer using a spoon or fork and you like eating off a plate instead of your high chair tray. You are sleeping through the night and taking one nap a day. Life has certainly calmed down since your early days! Last month we finished nursing and you have made the transition beautifully. I think that it was a perfect time for weaning and am so proud of you for being a big boy!! We also went to the zoo last week when Daddy was off from work. You had fun and really enjoyed seeing all the animals. You hung out in your stroller and were so good! You are wanting to talk so badly. I can make out several words and am hearing more all the time. The sweetest is your little "love you". It melts my heart.

You are on your way to your second birthday now! I can't believe that 18 months have come and gone. You are such an amazing little boy and I love you so much.

Always,

Mama

----------------------

Dear Kai,

July is here and it is so hot outside. We are in the middle of a heat wave. You are 18 months old today sweet boy! A year and half and in full-blown toddler-mode.

You have started taking lessons from Gavin in the climbing department. You are learning how to climb on everything. Your favorite thing is to pull the chair over to the light switch and turning the lights on and off. You are such a little innovator. You are constantly trying to figure out how things work and trying to fit things together. It is amazing to watch you figure things out. You could play with the vacuum cleaner for hours. I think you may be an engineer someday. In other news, we have been so busy this past month. We have gone to the children's museum and the zoo and the pool! You love the water but are more reserved. You prefer to be near Mama. Which is right in line with your personality. You are a Mama's boy through and through. You are sleeping through the night now (still very close to me, but sleeping all the same) and taking one nap a day. Last month we went through the weaning process and you have done beautifully. I am so proud of you for taking this change in stride. You are a picky eater, but making progress daily. Your favorites include spaghetti and blueberries. You also love cheese!

You are growing up so quickly now, Kai-bear. I can't believe you are one and a half! On your way to your second birthday already. I love you so much and that will never change.

Always,

Mama

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Update on my June goals

Now that the month is nearly over, it is time to evaluate my goals and see how well I did this month!!

-I want to run at least 10 miles a week. By the end of June, I would like to be able to run for 5 miles at a time. I think this is a pretty good goal. Last week was the first time that I ran for 4 miles, so I think that a goal of 5 miles is totally reasonable. I did awesome at this! I did at least 10 miles a week, and last week, I hit 12 miles. I haven't ran for 5 miles yet, but that is on the schedule for today!

-Rock my next 5K! I want to beat my last 5K time of 40:10. My next race is this weekend June 4th!! I'm excited because it is in my town so I don't have to get up so early! I'm ready to do it! I did really well at my 5K on June 4th. I cut 3 minutes off my previous time! I don't have a race on the schedule right now, but I'm looking at another 5K on July 16th.

-I've been sticking very closely to my half-marathon training plan, so I'd like to keep that up! I do Pilates or Kettlebells on off days. So I'm going to stick to that for the month of June. I have stuck pretty close to my half-marathon training plan. I'm going a bit slower than I would like, but building my mileage up is hard work!

-I would like to weigh 155 by June 30th. This may be a lofty goal actually. I didn't do very well on my diet over Memorial Day (damn you Red Velvet Cake), so I gained two pounds (although this could be fluctuation too because my weight likes to yo-yo from day to day). Either way, I was at 158 this morning, so I've got 3 pounds to lose this month! I rocked this goal! I was at 153.8 this morning! Which means I lost 4.2 pounds this month!

-I want to continue tracking my calories and control my portions. This has become such a habit now and I've been doing really well.

Non-health related:

-I want to get last Summer completely scrapbooked. I am about a year behind and would like to slowly get caught up. I didn't do so great with this. It was hard to dedicate my time to sitting down this month. It seemed like I was always busy.

-Now that Nathan is out of school, I would like to do 3 trips a week with the kids. Either to the park, pool, or to visit Grandma. I helps for us to get out of the house and break the monotony. Daily (for nice days) walks are also in the plan. We've done this for sure! We've gone to the Children's museum and to visit my mom and the park. We've been outside every day we possibly could.

-Stick to my cleaning schedule so that the house stays somewhat nice. House is clean! I've been doing pretty well at keeping up.

-Continue my long and depressing job search. I actually have an interview this Saturday afternoon, so I'm hoping that goes well. We shall see! Job search is OVER! I have a new job and I start on July 11th!

All in all it was a great month. I'm happy with my work-out schedule and my weight loss. Kids are doing well and I'm enjoying the summer. Coming soon: a list of goals for July!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My longest run

I ran for 4.5 miles today! One hour total of running!

I felt great for the entire time. In fact, my last mile was much faster than my first.

My legs were achy but overall I felt that I could have kept going beyond that.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm no longer a nursing mother

We made it 17 months.

I'm both sad and happy about this. Sad because it means that my boys are growing up and that I'll never get to nurse another tiny baby. But happy because I did it. I did so much more than what I even thought that I could.

This has not been an easy journey. It started here. At not even 2 months into nursing these babies, I was doubting my ability and will to keep going. I spent 8-10 hours of my day nursing back then. All day, around the clock. It was in that post that I expressed my feelings of pain and frustration while nursing. But I also committed myself to nursing for one year.

I had to tell myself daily to keep going back then. I cried through nearly every feeding. After months of struggle, I learned about D-MER and I could relate that to what I was experiencing. For those who don't know, D-MER is dysphoric milk ejection reflex. More common among twin moms, it basically explains my sadness and feelings of hopelessness and restlessness while nursing. I did not have this issue with Nathan, but did with the twins because I was experiencing two let-downs at once.

It was up and down for the following months. Rare moments of peace and a lot of tears (mine and the babies). But I persevered because I had to. We tried bottles of pumped milk and they weren't impressed.

After two rounds of thrush and two rounds of mastitis, I was sure that I would quit. But I didn't. I kept going.

At a year, I celebrated. I had made it to my goal. I felt amazing. I felt so proud of the amount of work that I had put in over the past year. I agreed to start the weaning process.

Weaning was slow-going. I began by dropping one feeding every month. I knew the process would take awhile as they were nursing 6 times a day at a year.

I pushed through. One by one the feedings decreased and I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Sunday, June 12th, I nursed the babies for the last time. I sat down to feed them and I hit me how big they were. I just felt done. It was like a switch had been flipped and I allowed myself to be honest. I was just done. I kissed their heads and told them I loved them. I breathed them in one last time and watched their sleepy faces as they looked up at me.

It has been four days. They are doing great and I don't even think they really notice. I really have to thank my husband for being so supportive. He has held my hand through hours of feedings and let me cry on his shoulder when it just got to be too much. I wouldn't have made it without his support.

As I close the book on my nursing journey, I feel happy. I'm so proud that I have done this for my babies.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Letters to my sons

Dear Gavin,

17 months old now! June is here and it has been so hot! We have been outside a lot lately. We are definitely enjoying the summer so far.

17 months old and you are chatting up a storm! Granted, only I can understand what you are saying, but it is adorable. You've gotten several teeth in this past month. Although getting teeth doesn't seem to bother you as much. We've also started to give you some juice. You love it. You smack your lips together and down it in seconds. You love the book "Little Blue Truck". We read it every night and you are starting to get the hang of some of the motions we do. It is fun to see you so interested in books and reading. You love playing outside in the pool. You love going to the park. You look way too small to be doing some of the things you are doing! You can climb up the ladder and go down the slide all by yourself. It nearly gave me a heart attack the first time I saw you do it. You run all around with Nathan and you think that you are 3 years old or something. It is adorable. You love it when we go on walks around the neighborhood. You ride in the stroller with Kai and you both are so content. You are still a Daddy's boy. The minute he gets home from work, you are in his arms. It makes my heart smile to see that. You are pointing to all the people in our family now! I'll say "Where's Nathan?" and you point straight to him and say "There!".

Tonight was your last nursing session sweet boy. I've decided that we need to be done. It is such a hard transition for me, but you will be just fine. We were down to one session right before bed, so we are just going to have to find another way to get you to sleep. We made it 17 months, just you, Kai, and me. This is hard for me because I know that you are growing up and my sweet babies aren't really babies anymore.

I love you so much Gavin.

Mama

----------------------

Dear Kai,

June has arrived and the hot weather has been crazy this month! You are 17 months old now!

You are getting so big Kai-bear. Your personality is so inquisitive and you are constantly trying to figure out how stuff works. You tend to play on your own and prefer the quiet. You love playing outside in the pool. You take cups of water and pour them over the ground. You love getting dirty and muddy. You have learned how to go up the ladder and down the slide. You also like to scare mama by leaping into my arms from the top of the playset. You are a picky eater and you know what you like. If you don't like it it ends up on the floor. You have learned that throwing things is fun, so we are working with you on that. You love reading time at the end of the day. You bring me books and sit so contently while I read them. You are mama's boy and you look for me all over the house so that you know where I am. You have gotten several more teeth in and are sleeping so much better at night. You love smiling for pictures and turn on your cute Kai smile whenever I say "Picture". You have adorable expressions. You love going for walks in the stroller. You love cookies. You are pointing to all the people in our family now! I'll say "Where's Gavin?" and you point straight at him.

Tonight was your last nursing session Kai. I'm sad that my babies are growing up and moving on. We were down to once a day, but I realized that I need to be done now. The three of us made it 17 months. I know this will be a transition for you, but it is the right thing to do.

I'll never stop loving you.

Mama

Saturday, June 11, 2011

12.5 lbs down!

My goal for June was 155! .4 pounds to go! I'm so happy!

And these posts are tagged as Biggest Loser. The competition is technically over, but I'm keeping it up!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2nd 5K results

Finished 31st (small race)

Time: 37:21

Average pace: 12:03

I'm very happy with how I did. And I know I can do even better next time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The job hunt is OVER!

I was offered a position today!! It is at an Outpatient Treatment Center. Mostly doing IV therapy and chemotherapy. It is perfect hours, I can choose when I want to work.

I never pictured myself doing something like this, but I'm excited for the change. It will allow me to learn and grow as a nurse while making money for my family. I will also be able to not miss time with my kids because I will be working mostly weekend mornings.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm never going back

Yesterday, I bought a bikini.

I haven't worn a bikini in years. For some insane reason, I had it in my head that I didn't deserve to wear one. I was too heavy. Too jiggly. Too soft. Too many stretch marks from carrying three kids. I wasn't worthy of a pretty bikini.

It has three months of work, but I know that I deserve one now. And it isn't just the weight. Sure, that is a big part of it. I graduated college at 185lbs. So I'm almost 30lbs lighter than I was then. During fertility treatments, I went up to 195lbs. At 40 weeks pregnant with twins, I weighed 230lbs. The weight is a big part my journey. But I'm such a different person in other ways too. I'm healthier mentally too. I have more faith in myself now.

I will always have these stretch marks. No one has gained 50lbs in 9 months and doesn't have them. But it is ok. I'm still worthy of wearing a bikini.

And, I'm going to rock it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My 2nd 5K race!

I had a great race this morning! It was just starting to get hot, so I was a little slow, but much faster than last time! Brandon had the kids so I didn't have pictures of the start. It started at 8am this morning. This race was really small. Maybe 100 people? But it was fun and well-organized. Although towards the end, I was all alone and I was kinda confused on where to go. And around 1.5 miles, there was another monster hill, but it was ok. I really do have issues running in this heat though. And I've started to have some leg pain on the days of my runs. I'm wondering if I am pushing it too hard. I may scale back my half-marathon training and just try to maintain my current mileage for awhile.
Coming toward the finish!! I see my babies! Brandon brought them to watch me race. Best hubby ever.
Finish line! Look at that time! Almost a whole three minutes better than last time!
Me and my boys. Brandon said they were so good while waiting for me! It was the best feeling ever to see them all waiting for me and clapping.
109 this time!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goals for the month of June

Now that the Biggest Loser is over...I WON!!!! :)

I really need to set-up some goals so that I can stay on my path to weight loss and healthier living.

-I want to run at least 10 miles a week. By the end of June, I would like to be able to run for 5 miles at a time. I think this is a pretty good goal. Last week was the first time that I ran for 4 miles, so I think that a goal of 5 miles is totally reasonable.

-Rock my next 5K! I want to beat my last 5K time of 40:10. My next race is this weekend June 4th!! I'm excited because it is in my town so I don't have to get up so early! I'm ready to do it!

-I've been sticking very closely to my half-marathon training plan, so I'd like to keep that up! I do Pilates or Kettlebells on off days. So I'm going to stick to that for the month of June.

-I would like to weigh 155 by June 30th. This may be a lofty goal actually. I didn't do very well on my diet over Memorial Day (damn you Red Velvet Cake), so I gained two pounds (although this could be fluctuation too because my weight likes to yo-yo from day to day). Either way, I was at 158 this morning, so I've got 3 pounds to lose this month!

I want to continue tracking my calories and control my portions

Non-health related:

-I want to get last Summer completely scrapbooked. I am about a year behind and would like to slowly get caught up.

-Now that Nathan is out of school, I would like to do 3 trips a week with the kids. Either to the park, pool, or to visit Grandma. I helps for us to get out of the house and break the monotony. Daily (for nice days) walks are also in the plan.

-Stick to my cleaning schedule so that the house stays somewhat nice.

-Continue my long and depressing job search. I actually have an interview this Saturday afternoon, so I'm hoping that goes well. We shall see!

All in all, it will be a busy month! I'll post along the way about my progress and post at the end of June for a wrap-up!

Friday, May 27, 2011

My biggest Loser Results- Also...pictures!!!!

Before.
After.
The first time I have ever posted a picture of my belly POST-THREE-KIDS-INCLUDING TWINS!! Please don't note the stretch marks. Comes with the territory.

Today is the last day of the Biggest Loser competition!!

I've rocked it. Really. I'm amazed at my results.

I started at 167.8

I'm at 156.2

I've lost 11.6 pounds.

12+ inches from every part of my body.

I'm so much more fit and healthy.

I've lost 5% body fat. And a total of 6.7% of my body weight.

I've gained muscle in every part of my body.

I can run for 4 miles or over 50 minutes without stopping.

I'm in a "normal" BMI for the first time since high school.

I can keep up with my kids.

I watch what I eat without depriving myself.

Whether I win or not...I've done it. Thanks for your support along the way. I feel awesome.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Results are in!

40:11 finishing time.

12:56 average mile time

700+ people participating

I came in 129th

I was 12th in my age group (20-29 year old women).

Not too shabby for my first race! Sure, I'm slower than a grandma with a walker, but that's ok. I have years to get faster!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My first race!

Look at me, I'm an official runner! We got to the race early so that I could get an idea of the course and get my race packet. I got the shoe chip all tied down to my shoe. And took a picture (of pretty much everything).
My race number! I felt like a real runner!
Before the race. Ready and nervous.
I was in a goofball kind of mood this morning. Thanks to Brandon for putting up with my silliness and taking all the pictures!
See this? Yeah, this is the hill at the end of the race. You can kinda see it, but the trail zigzags back and forth up this hill. This started at the 3 mile mark, so a whole 10th of a mile! Yeah, this pretty much ruined my time. I'm not sure of my finish time yet, I'm thinking a little over 40 minutes. But this hill was awful. AND...probably 1/4 of a mile was on pea gravel. That is A LOT harder than I expected. Like running on sand.
And we are off! I was pretty wired at the start because it started 15 minutes late. That was annoying.
I was so excited! It was a family event, so there were lots of kids (fast little things).
This is around the 1/2 mile mark. I was feeling pretty good at this point! After about 2 miles and the long ass stretch of pea gravel, I was having a tough time. Mentally, I was tired and hot (76 degrees and sunny) and my legs were hurting. But I kept it up!
3 miles in! Getting ready to start the dreaded hill. This hill was such a mind-game for me. I worried about it the whole race. Next time, I will be looking for a flatter course (even though the race information said it was flat!)
Coming around the last zigzag. I was looking at Brandon and just kept thinking "I can do it. Almost there. He is right there."
Coming towards the finish!! I was so ready to be done! I was cursing this hill.
DONE! I was so tired and so relieved. I went over to Brandon and just sobbed. It was so hard and so tiring. But so worth it. 10 weeks worth of training.
Number 107 is done! My legs were shaking at this point.
I'm a 5K runner now. I came, I did, I got the T-shirt. All in all, I loved the whole experience. I'm already planning my next run because I want to go faster (without hills). I loved the excitement and build-up. I loved running with people and pushing myself. My time isn't published yet, so I will update that when it is. I'm guessing about 40:10. I wanted to finish under 40 and I would have if not for the gravel and that hill. BUT, I did it. I'm proud and ready to get back out there!! Thanks for all the support along the way. It means a lot to me.