Monday, December 31, 2012

A thankful month - Days 28 - 31

I slacked a bit the last few days - the babies have been keeping me quite busy - so here is a cumulative post for the last 4 days of my thankful month.

I am thankful for all the wonderful and generous people we have surrounded ourselves with.    From family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and even co-workers friends.

Specifically, many of the above classifications of people have been so generous with their love, time, gifts and hand-me-downs that have been so helpful in keeping our costs in line the last 5 months.    We have been so lucky to get A LOT of Nathaniel's clothes handed down to us from neighbors and old co-workers, even some from my co-workers neighbors; and more recently, we have received a large number of toys from another co-worker and neighbor.

Of course there are all the gifts that family and friends have given them/us, plus all the time my parents have watched the kids for us, and then a neighbor who keeps telling us they will watch the babies (who doesn't love baby snuggles and there is one for each!).    We have just been so blessed with the people we have been able to surround ourselves with and I am super blessed for all those friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

Although I won't be continuing these thankful posts into the new year, I will continue to be thankful for everything that my family and I have been blessed with.    We surely have, and continue to, endure some tough times, but I will do my best to remember to good times and think about how lucky we are.

From my family to yours - I hope 2013 is as good a year for ourselves, my family, friends and readers as 2012 was for me.

Happy New Years (Eve)!

Friday, December 28, 2012

A thankful month - Day 27

I'm thankful I don't live near a firehouse or police station.  The below video was taken on Christmas Eve when Santa came around on a fire truck, so we had to listen to this ALL DAY LONG!   Unfortunately, I left when he came through our neighborhood so I couldn't actually capture the most entertaining part of sirens - when they both HOWL back and forth.   This video just shows Charger barking his head off while Kalas howls - nonetheless, still entertaining, and still thankful I don't live near a firehouse or police station :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A thankful month - Day 26

Im thankful that I don't have to go to Hawaii this year (well really next year).    For anyone who reads this and doesn't know me that well or what I do.   Im a program manager/meeting planner, and I travel a modest amount of time on business.    Every year my company heads up a meeting in Hawaii that takes us there for about 10 days.    In theory, it sounds really cool.    That is unless you work in my field and know that all business trips entail LONG days, LOTS of work and no time to explore.

A typical day in Hawaii consists of waking up at 3/3:30am local time (approximately 8/8:30am ET) and many times you are staying at the property "next door" - aka 1 mile away - and you have to walk over in the pitch dark at 4/4:30am - well before the sun is rising.    The meetings officially start at 6:30am, and you are on cruise control from about 5am-2pm.    If you are lucky and don't have a lunch program, the meeting ends at 1pm.    But that just means the meeting portion is over, you usually don't get out of there until about an hour later than that.     Sometimes you get a few hours to sit on the beach (as the sun goes down) or take a much needed nap.   And then it might be an evening program/reception, although those have been going by the wayside due to finances or just dinner with your co-workers - and then its groundhogs day each day thereafter.

You do get the last afternoon free if you can run out of there before anyone needs something from you, but even then, you don't typically get much to do because its 2pm and you have to catch the 10pm red eye, and the airport is always backed up there, so you need to arrive no later than 8pm, so no time to travel.

So - yes, I have been to Hawaii 5 times over 4 different islands and 5 different cities, and I can usually give you some good tips on things to do and places to eat - but other than eating, drinking and working (well last year it was just eating and working), there really isn't much else I get to do.

So for the 26th day of my thankful month - Although I have taken some awesome pictures there, I am thankful that I get to stay back and hold down the fort in the office and go home at night to my husband and children.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A thankful month - Day 25

On this Christmas day, I am thankful for the Jewish homeland, Israel.

I have only been there once, and that was 13 years ago - well overdue for a trip back - but even though I have not been, I am thankful that the Jewish people have a place to call theirs.    It is filled with a long history of ups and downs and survival, and much of the history we do share with our Muslim and Christian friends.

I pray that one day Israel will be a nation filled peace and understanding across all sectors and religions, but in the meantime I stand by her to protect and defend herself and allow the county and its citizens to prosper.

A thankful month - Day 24

I am thankful for nice, fluffy, light-falling snow.   We did not get much the other night, but we got just enough to call it the first snow for Sara and Nathaniel (unfortunately no pictures as it was cold and dark, and gone by the morning), but most of all - I LOVE how much of a puppy Charger becomes in the snow.

Yes, the same dog who is deathly afraid of rain, loves the precipitation when it comes to the white fluffy stuff.    He runs out like a big ball of puppy making big laps around the yard and then runs around eating as much of the snow as he can.   And when it is time to come in, he stands there (like seen to the right) with a "why?!?!" look on his face and tries to stand his ground.  

I am more of a spring person, I don't like the extreme temperatures or weather, but the snow is totally worth it to see my "puppy" become a puppy again!   I'm super glad this was just a covering that melted by morning, but it is even more exciting to watch him when we have significant snowfall!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A thankful month - Day 23

Another added benefit is that we have become each others built-in dog sitters.   Its so nice to know that if I just need someone to let the dogs out, or someone to watch them while I go on vacation 9 times out of 10, they will be able to help out.   Well - actually I haven't come across the 1 out of 10 times that they can't yet, Im just assuming there will come a day and time when our plans overlap:)

I am thankful for our wonderful neighbors and "built-in" dog-sitters.    We had the luck and pleasure of moving into a home that backs up to a super, wonderful family (with a dog).    When we got Charger, Charger and their dog became best buds.    Now that Kalas is here, they are all good buds - albeit their dog loves to come over to see Charger and Kalas go crazy on their own...and he just watches and grazes the backyard - how funny dogs can be!

Anyways, during the course of living here, my neighbor found a wonderful woman who became his wife this past summer, and the few opportunities we have all gotten to hang out together (outside of the doggy playdates that is), we always have a great time.  

I am thankful for everything they do for us and to be able to call the entire family our friends!

A thankful month - Day 22

I am thankful for coming out in the positive at the casino last night.    We went to celebrate hubby's bday using a groupon I had.   I paid $20 for Valet Parking, $20 credit for food and $30 gambling credit.    Since we were new card holders to the casino, we each also got $10 free play credit.   So we had $50 of slot money to play with from the top (that we had to spend all that night).    We walked out with $48 in winnings - all from the penny slots :)    And we could have walked away with more, but by the end of the night I had $5 of free play left, but I wanted to head home, so I went to a $1 slot and quickly played that $5.

In the end, when you consider the cost of the groupon, the extra money spent on dinner and the tip to the valet parking attendant, we spent $15 to celebrate Adam's birthday - those are numbers I like to see :)

Maybe we will go back every once in a while and have similar luck with our own money - and Ill be sure the buy that Groupon for Adam's card if it appears again (you can only have the groupon on your card once)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A thankful month - Day 21

I'm thankful for my house.   We worked hard to have the money for a house, and we work incredibly hard every day to continue to afford it and everything that we do to make it our home.   In this current  economic time, no matter how hard we have it with layoffs or low commission months, we know that we are incredibly blessed compared to many others out there and hopefully we will always be able to pay our mortgage and other bills and debt.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Starting off with a bang - #26ActsOfKindness

On facebook, I've talked a bit about how I want to do #26ActsOfKindness, but I was "concerned" that I wouldn't follow through til the end if I didn't have some support.   Another concern of mine was cost.   By all means, you do not need to spend money to complete a random act of kindness, but everything that was coming to my mind was regarding money. 

Well, I'm only 1 act in, which did cost me some money, but once I thought of it, I was SUPER excited, and I'm even more excited now that its ongoing.   

My company has pretzel Friday's - they bring in pretzels, but you have to pay 35 cents for your pretzel.   People still love it and have their 35 cents ready every Friday morning, waiting for the email.    I decided that I was gonna pay for the pretzels so today would be FREE Pretzel Friday and all it cost me was $30 and I was able to reach over 100 people - most of which did not know about the campaign.

I went to get my pretzel and the happiness and excitement on the people's faces was such a nice feeling!

I'm planning some of my others now, and hope to spread some more holiday cheer and kindness and just hope that my recipients pay it forward! 

Oh and my concern about following it through isn't a concern at all.   I've gotten so excited to plan these acts, spread joy and keep the campaign going that I have no doubts that I will finish my 26 Acts, and maybe even more.

If you have or are participating in the campaign - please comment below with some of the acts you have done/plan to do to help share the ideas with everyone!

Oh - and here is a good sample of ideas, as well as the template Im using when I do my acts to let people know what's going on!

A thankful month - Day 20

I'm thankful for the decent healthcare I have.   America has a LONG way to go to make healthcare better and more affordable, but the technology and advancements have come such a long way.   40 years ago, I never would have known I was having twins before they came, and I probably would not have had such a successful ending if not for all the "interventions" that go on with a high risk pregnancy.    3-5 doctors appt's a week for the last month or so was a lot, but it is because of all those appts that both babies were born alive.   And it is that same great technology that gave Sara all the necessary medical attention needed for her to be a bustling, chunky little 5 month old. 

Now I'm just hopeful that same healthcare system, with these advancements and technology can provide the same positive output for my best friends dad!   You can go here to read a little more of that story and donate to help support LLS.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Thankful Month - Day 19

I am thankful that my babies sleep through the night.   Well, mostly.   

Nathaniel goes down so easily and sleeps until we wake him.   If he could sleep later, he probably would, but I wake them to nurse them in the morning before I go to work.

Once we finally get Sara down, not an easy task, she used to sleep straight for about 7 hours, but then she wakes up a bunch starting at 4am until we get her up at 6am.   The good part is she easily goes back to sleep with the pacifier and mobile, but that just means that she isn't soothing herself yet :/   Unfortunately, over the past week, she has woken up a couple times in the middle of the night - again easily going back down - so I think she is teething, or its her congestion :/

But none-the-less, they sleep pretty well for 5 month olds, and I get a solid 6 hours of sleep, and the only reason I don't get more is because I get up to pump.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A typical visit to the ILs

So, we went to the ILs this past Sunday to celebrate Hanukkah, and I wanted to share what a typical visit with them involves when you aren't getting yelled at:

- We arrived 20 minutes late (I used to always be places early, with 2 kids in tow, Im always late now :/) and they had the front door locked and we waited a few minutes before they finally came and let us in.    Who locks the front door when they are expecting guests?   Especially when 2 carloads of guests already arrived?

- We walk in the door, each with one hand carrying a car seat (and baby of course!) and the other carrying bags of gifts, and the first thing that happens is MIL pushes her gifts onto us.   What happened to most peoples tradition of sitting down all together and exchanging gifts - typically AFTER you sit down and eat. 

- We sit down for lunch/dinner (2:30pm meal) and the first thing MIL does is hand each person - including a 7 and 3 year old, a bag of chocolate.    Ummm - I know grandparents spoil kids and all - but how about we eat first?

- When we start eating, they have lasagna out, but the chicken wasn't ready - and didn't end up being ready until 3pm - an hour after we were supposed to sit down.   When the chicken finally came out, it was enough for about 2-3 people - and there were 9 adults (albeit 2 barely eat much) and 2 children (not counting the babies).

- As I'm in the middle of feeding Sara, MIL encourages my nephews to open up the gifts we bought them and then has them start taking things out of the bags and bringing them into the dining room where I am.   SHE couldn't wait 10 more minutes for me to finish feeding my daughter and for us to go into the den where the gifts were and give them to the kids.   So instead I was scrambling to figure out who's gifts were who's and had to pass Sara off to Adam to get fed - but Adam didn't pick up on the "finish feeding part" so our daughter was jipped (I of course realized this and eventually finished feeding her)

- During the 2+ hours we were there, there was about a dozen or so times that they made it clear how much they haven't been a part of their grandchildrens lives and tried to make us feel guilty (we don't - its all their fault).

- The next day I got an email thanking us for the gift we made them and saying they are glad we could come to celebrate hanukkah and how it was "better late than never".   Mind you it was STILL Hanukkah and I know a ton of other families that celebrated that same afternoon.

It doesn't sound that bad individually, but add it all together and its just incredibly frustrating.   I ahve no clue how they raised 2 boys - and how those 2 boys are great, successful adults.

A Thankful Month - Days 17 and 18

I was a little busy last night, so I didn't get to write my thankful post, so today's post will be two different things to make up for yesterday :)

Day 17 - I'm thankful for social media - WHA? WHA? Lynda just said that?   That;'s right, the person who refused to join facebook until a year and a half ago is thankful for it.   Without it, I wouldn't have connected with so many other twin and local mommy's, which are able to provide so much advice.   Additionally, it was our use of social media that got Adam a new job within one month!!   For all the negative that social media can be known for, I have found some of the positives.   Unfortunately, as expected, I got addicted along the way :/

Day 18 - I'm thankful for moments like tonight when the babies let me cook dinner (and by cook dinner, I mean boil water, place pasta in water, drain pasta and cover with jarred tomato sauce) and enjoy a glass of wine!   In the last 5 months, I have rarely gotten the opportunity to sit down and eat dinner, better yet cook dinner.   Im fairly certain I can count on one hand how often I have cooked dinner.    But now that the babies are getting a little older and have started solids, we are able to all sit down for dinner together!   I enjoy this family time and can't wait to continue this tradition as the babies get older.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A thankful month - Day 16

Today, I am thnakful for my sister-in-law and my "aunt" .   I put Aunt in quotations because Adam's uncle is much younger than his dad, and his wife is younger than him, so the age gap isn't that much that Aunt just doesn't flow :)  Anyways, Im not sure how I would EVER survive my crazy ILs without them!

My SIL truly helps keep me sane when we are over there together, and they both are great in listening to whats going on both with the ILs or just family "relations" in general.   Im not sure I could survive the family without them!   And best of all - we all get along so well and I am proud to not just call them family, but good friends!

Can't wait for another ladies night with them!!

A thankful month - Day 15

I had a very busy day yesterday (and expect today to be even busier), so yesterday's thankful post is coming this morning.  The main reason for my absence yesterday was because I had my boss's wedding, and that has a lot to do with today's thankful post.

I'm thankful for my job.    During the last 5 and a half years, I dates a couple people, married one of them, moved into our own home, had children, but along the entire way, my job has always stayed the same - well, my place of employment has always stayed the same :)

There were times where I couldn't wait to get out of there, especially the first 2 years or so.   But a lot has changed at work, a lot of the "bad eggs" have left the company, boss's have changed, we have been more recognized within the industry and are now one of the top CME providers, which means much more work on my plate, and my role has also changed a lot, moving up the ladder and even over a little bit.    As always, money and benefits could be a little better, but now that I've been there for so long, as has most of my department, our working situation is so much better, it would take a lot of time to be able to duplicate a lot of that somewhere else.   (And I've learned through Adam's jobs that the benefits can be that much worse!). 

I look forward to the situation continuing on the upswing and hopefully sticking around a little while longer.     Working closer to where I live would be much nicer - and I have NO intentions of moving into NJ.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A thankful month - Day 14

After the awful news of today, I am so thankful to be able to hold my kids in my arms and hug them tightly.   I am thankful that they are so young, I don't have to worry (yet) about explaining to them the awfulness of what occurred in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. 

With all this thankfulness, I have to say there are some things that I am not thankful for, which the news of today has brought out even more of. 
  • I am not thankful for the right to bear arms.  That constitutional right was put in place when we we had the English barging into peoples homes and raping and killing them, and our forefathers needed to fight them off.   There are plenty of other developed nations with gun control laws and see 1% of the violence we see.   It is way past time to put some laws into effect!!
  • I am not thankful for the "adequate" health care that most people have.   Although there is still plenty more to be learned about the murderer, it is apparent he had mental health issues.    We need to be more accepting of the mentally ill and get them the help they so need and not make them feel worse for their illness.
  • I am not thankful for what this world/nation has become.   My biggest fear about having children is that this world is changing so much, and not necesarilly for the better - and it scares me for my kids future. 
But I digress, this is a post of thankfulness - and I am so thankful to have my babies sleeping in our home tonight - healthy and (presumably) happy.

My heart breaks for the 26 families that are missing their loved ones, especially the 20 families that had such young kids taken from them before their children even had a chance to live.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A thankful month - Day 11 and 13

I missed my thankful post the other day, and said yesterday that I was going to lump that one in with todays, as they are somewhat related.   So without further ado, Im thankful for American University and its Greek Life.

I remember when I was a junior in high school going to a college fair at school and just picking up a bunch of pamphlets on a bunch of schools.   The only thing I knew at the time was that I wanted to go somewhere that wasn't local (Philly region) and that I didn't want to go to Penn State (its a great school, I just knew I wanted something a "tad" bit smaller :).    I looked at 4-5 schools that ran the gamut of TINY to mid-size - and unfortunately for my wallet, none were state schools.   During the tours, I learned that I needed something that was bigger than my high school (3,000 students from 10-12) and that I felt at home in.  The schools were good, but nothing JUMPED at me.   That is, until we went to DC.   We were going to take a tour of GWU and AU, and the minute I stepped foot on AU's campus, I was in love.   Everything was just so perfect throughout the tour.   I don't even remember the details, I just remember the feeling of comfort.   And so I applied early decision and got accepted!   And the positive experience continued throughout.   The only negative I really have about AU is an issue across the country - and that's the cost of my college education.   But even in that regard, I was lucky.   I am the middle child and always had another sister in school while I was there, which helped get me better financial aid; and then I became an RA in my junior and senior years, so I didn't have to pay for housing; so with those things going on, my debt is pretty equivalent to my sisters who went to a state school.

In my freshman year, in addition to my school work, I took on THREE jobs,   But one of them was one of the best jobs ever.   I was hired to be a DR (desk receptionist) in Anderson/Centennial Hall.   This job gave me the opportunity to meet tons of wonderful people (including my future roomie!) either because they were DRs (or RAs) or because I saw them walk through the doors.    It also helped that I was a "stupid" freshman that didn't know any better so I picked the Tuesday 11p-2am shift - so I saw TONS of people going in and out of those doors during those hours!   So in my spring semester I decided to go through rush, even thought I NEVER thought of myself as the sorority girl.   I didn't get what I (thought I) wanted, and so I dropped out before being offered anything.   But in the end someone just wouldn't leave me be (ahem - Diana) and so two friends at the time and I decided to rush Phi Mu.

Through my 3 1/2 years with the sorority, I experienced some ups and downs, and I will fully admit that I still have a hard time letting bygones be bygones - BUT I am so thankful for the great friends I met along the way, especially the life-long ones who are still by my side!   Additionally, my time with the sorority also gave me the opportunity to become a leader outside of just the sorority.  I took a leadership role on the panhellenic board, and I am very thankful for my time on panhel.  I made good friends across all the sororities because of my time as Vice President and then President, and it helped increase my leadership skills while in college.  And best of all - I didn't have to do cheesy recruitment skits - and I got to drink through the entire rush process.   Oh wait - we never drank :)  I know I don't talk to anyone from EB anymore - but we had so much fun on Tuesday afternoons and at our summer leadership retreat!

No matter the bad times, stories and situations that came from my time and experiences within greek life, there are that many more good times, stories and situations.   Thanks to everyone who was a part of that time in my life!   I am thankful for all of you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A thankful month - Day 12

I missed my post yesterday, but I will actually end up adding that on to tomorrow's post.   Tonight, on 12-12-12, many of us are watching a great concert on tv.   But, as we are reminded of throughout the entire concert, this many great musicians and presenters all came together to raise money for all those affected by Superstorm Sandy and to help celebrate love and life.

So on this day, I am thankful to have all my friends and family survive the storm with only "minor" damage.   I put minor in quotations because I do have a friend who had some pretty major damage, as her house is currently uninhabitable and they also lost a car, and another friend whose rental is uninhabitable - and both friends had to move (temporarilly) in with their parents.  But putting that into perspective where others lost their lives, or don't have family or friends around to support them, or even worse had no insurance in place to cover even a portion of the damage, its "minor".

Im thankful that most of us "only" lost power - even if it was for up to a weeks time without power, heat, hot water, etc.

I'm thankful that no one I know directly lost their lives.    Overall, Im thankful for life! 

So if you can spare, please try and donate to the Robin Hood Relief Fund to help those affected by this storm.  Or if you want a more personal connection for your donation, and not get a tax deduction - message me :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A thankful month - Day 10

I know on Day 1 I said I was thankful for my parents, so this one is gonna be pretty similar.  

Today, I am thankful to have such supportive and helpful parents/family so close by.    Our childcare provider got sick and wasn't able to watch them today - and this week is just a bad week for me to call out as my boss is getting married on Saturday and will be out until after the new year, and Im her backup, so Ive gotta get everything from her.  

Anyways, long story short, I was able to call up my parents and my dad was able to come over and watch them both today and tomorrow.    Even though I know I can call on them, they are both working full time, so this was my first lesson that I won't always be able to call out of work, and I should find a back-up for instances like this :)

A thankful month - Day 9

Today I am thankful for my in-laws - okay, i kid i kid :)   In all seriousness, today I am thankful for my wonderful sisters (my real blood sisters, Ill make it to the sorority later on this month).   We fought plenty as youngsters and even had hair pulling fights as teenagers, but as young adults we have all grown to become friends.    We still have our times where we would love to strangle each other, but I couldn't imagine life without them.    

I know I'm quite different from my sisters, both in looks (I had a former co-worker think that the professional picture I had on my desk was me and my sorority sisters when I said it was my sisters) and personality - but there is never any doubting that we all love each other and will be there for each other.   Even though I've been blogging for a year and a half, and sometimes can be great with my words, Im not so great with my words when it comes to matters so personal sometimes, so Im just gonna say: Aimee and Lauren - always know I love you very much and always will - no matter the distance or "issue" I will always be here for you!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program....

Today/Tonight will be a two post kinda night, because I must interrupt this months regularly scheduled thankfulness program to show my other, truer side - the one where I bitch about the ILs.

Adam was so nice as to text them last night and wish them a Happy Hanukkah.   Most sons that have decent parents would have done more than text probably, but when all your calls turn into them yelling at you for what you do wrong, and the only way they chose to communicate with you 90% of the time is via text message - well then, texting is the most appropriate and polite thing one can do.

The polite thing to do if you receive a Happy Hanukkah text would be to reply with one of the same.   And if you don't feel nice enough to wish someone the same gesture, then the polite thing to do would be to not say anything at all.   But as we all know so well, the ILs are anything but polite.   Instead FIL responded with a text about how disappointed in who his son is and how they have to sit down and talk (they've been telling Adam that for about a year now...) and about how he has no relationship with us and its not right that they one see the babies once every 2-3 months. 

Well, I would like to point out that this is a TWO-WAY street!   Do I want to see you?   No, not really!   Do I want my children to see you often?   No, definitely not!   BUT, I have made it abundantly clear that - unlike my MIL - I will NOT be the one to cut-off ties with family members (unless they are truly a danger to me or my family).    I did not have the opportunity to grow up with 3 of my 4 grandparents - and the 4th passed away just a week and a half after my bat mitzvah, so I am keenly aware of what its like to not have grandparents around.   Therefore, if the grandparents are actually living, I will not cut them out of the picture, no matter how much it pains me. 

My plan was for the babies to get to see FIL + MIL two times a month and no more, lest I might be in a mental institution.    We put out great appearances that we are handling things well, and that's mostly because we really are.   But no matter how true that is, we are still raising two newborn babies and have 2 dogs and a house to take care of while we both work full time jobs.    [And I wouldn't trade ANY of it in for the world!   Hell, Ive been caught admitting that when we are ready for baby #3 (yes, I want more), I would actually welcome another set of twins as its been so much fun (maybe I'm already ready for the loony bin, who knows!).] 

BUT, I digress, we still have a lot of responsibilities and are barely keeping our head above water when it comes to our house, bills and our relationship with each other.    If they want a relationship with their son (because I know clear well they don't want one with me) and their grandchildren, it isn't just something that will get handed to them on a silver platter.   They need to work at it too.   That starts with actual communication, not just texts and phone calls filled with berating and belittling, and then ending with how you need to have a serious, sit-down, in-person talk.   It means the phone works both ways to just say hi and check in.    It continues with you getting off your lazy, unemployed asses and coming to visit the babies instead of expecting their parents to traverse out to you and your disgustingly, unkept house (and Im not talking just clutter, Im talking YEARS of pee splatter all over the bathroom walls, floor and toilet disgusting - UGH!) so you can see them.   You are (or should be) grown adults that can call to make plans to come here once a month and drive the 25 minute drive here, instead of expecting us to make the plans for you AND come to you.   We don't have the time to do that!   And it "ends" with you being honest and allowing others to be honest with you so you can make actual and meaningful changes to your life, including getting serious help!   

You raised two great boys (although I have NO CLUE how) and those two boys have each brought you two amazing grandchildren - learn to love and respect both sons, accept them for who they are and who they chose to marry and how they choose to raise their families (the good, the bad and the ugly), and finally learn to allow them to have their family moments without you having to involve yourself where you don't belong!   If you start to do those things, you will end up being more involved in better ways.

Wow - I feel so much better now that I got all that out.   I should REALLY re-read what I wrote, and edit, because I know I ended up babbling and not really continuing with what I started, but if I do that, Im bound to clean up the post too much, so thanks for letting me vent and I hope you enjoyed todays "commercial break"

....and Happy 2nd night of Hanukah for those that celebrate!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A thankful month - Day 8

Today, on the first night of Hanukah, I am thankful for traditions.   Much of Judaism is based on different family traditions.   For instance, its traditional of Ashkenazi Jews to name their children after someone who has passed - so keeping with that tradition Nathaniel Riley was named after his paternal great grandfather Nathan and his maternal great grandmother Rose and Sara Lily was named after her maternal great grandfathers Samuel and Leonard.

On Hanukkah, it is tradition to light a menorah - unfortunately, I was a bit busy and never got around to buying hanukah candles - so we "lit" the electric menorah.   But it was still so special to spend the first night of hanukah with just my husband and babies.  

And as Hanukah is based on miracles, we just happened to have a few miracles of our own during the day and night!

Miracle #1: Out of nowhere, both my dogs came up and sat down right in the middle of the babies and posed for a picture.   Okay well maybe they didn't pose for a picture, but it was the perfect picture, and they stayed still long enough for me to take the phone out and turn on the camera!

Miracle #2: I was able to cook dinner for the first time since I went back to work and probably only like the third time since I had the babies!   I made sweet and sour meatballs, but they didn't turn out too well :(   I think the issue was the ground turkey I used..

"New Tradition" #1: Nathaniel "helped" me cook dinner.   Obviously he didn't do anything, but I do hope to keep/start the tradition of cooking and baking with the kids once they are old enough!

Miracle #3/"New Tradition" #2: Nathaniel and Sara skipped their evening nap and sat at the dinner table with us!!!   Hopefully the start of many family dinners together!   (Ignore all the laundry in the background :))

It was a happy and successful first night of hanukah!   I hope all my readers who celebrate also had/have a happy hanukah, and if you don't celebrate then I wish you a happy holidays!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Thankful Month - Day 7

Yesterday, I talked about how thankful I was for one of my best friends, so today Ill continue that trend.  I'm thankful for my other best friend, Kim, whom I also met at American, through Phi Mu Fraternity (yes its a sorority, but officially they are a fraternity).  

Just like Nikky, Kim and I also have kids close in age, except they are only 2 weeks apart (to the day).   Not sure how we became so close, maybe it was our Philly-ness, but Im glad we are such good friends and I can't wait for our kids to grow up together - they should have plenty of bonding time in the next 6 months as we train for the half marathon we are doing for Team In Training.   Kim has seen some ups and downs in 2012, and I hope that the positive things that we had going for us continue to go to Kim and her family in 2013!

Thanks for being such a good friend Kim - and thanks to Kim's family for being so cool and always being so welcoming - its no wonder Kimmie is so awesome!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Thankful Month - Day 6

I'm thankful for my best friend Nikky, whom I met at American University through our jobs at the front desk of Anderson/Centennial.   We lived together for 3+ semesters when she saved me from the roommate from hell (maybe one day Ill blog about that crazy chic if I can even remember any of the craziness!).   Although we don't get to see each other often, we always have a great time catching up and hanging out when we spend time together!   And now that I have an iphone we can facetime - which I just did for the first time tonight with her (and AJ)!!!

Although we live in different cities, I feel especially lucky that my kids are so close in age (6 months difference) and they will get to grow up together.  And of course Sara will be marrying AJ so that we can be related :)

Thanks for always being there and being such a great friend Nikky!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A thankful month - Day 5

Today is Day 5 of my thankfulness posts and today I'm thankful for my two children - Nathaniel and Sara.   I was blessed with twins and 4 months in have enjoyed virtually every minute of it.   Some times have been harder than others, especially since Sara was in the NICU for her first week of life, but it has all been the greatest joy ever.

Watching them grow has been such a blast and I look forward to the months, years and decades ahead of continuing to watch them (and maybe others).    Although they will share this thankfulness post - they are definitely their own individuals and its been wonderful (and a challenge) to watch them grow and advance so differently!    I will do my best to remind them that although they have the priveledge of being twins and sharing so many things, they are also their own unique individuals and they should follow their own paths.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A thankful month - Day 3 and 4

In continuing with my thankful month (since I didn't do it in November)

Day 3:  I am thankful for Charger - our first "child". 

They say a dog is a man's best friend - and man does Charger show it.   Charger is always there for a cuddle when I'm upset and really knows how to just be my side and try and cheer me up.    His energy and love is enough to make the world smile.   He especially cheers up a room when he (of 80lb weight) jumps up on my lap, lathers my face and head with kisses and rubs his entire body all over me - as some of you have borne witness to :)  Trust me - it's an interesting and entertaining scene.    Charger is a big part of our lives and I can't wait for him to get more used to the kids so I can see the joy that he will put on their face and they on his!

Day 4 - I'm thankful for Kalas, our second "child".   Although he was supposed to be a she, and he can be a big PITA, he is such a lover and cuddle-bug.   And I love it when after playing with each other, he and Charger cuddle up with each other!   He also loves the kids and can be commonly found lying next to them and watching over them.

Best Buds...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's always Thanksgiving...

I started a post on Thanksgiving morning, and am just getting back to it now, so most of this is written as if its Thanksgiving - cause I didn't feel like going back and changing everything :)

Thanksgiving a year ago, I had no clue how much life would change - and how Thanksgiving week would unknowingly be the beginning of those changes (add 34 weeks - learning lesson: first two weeks of your pregnancy, you aren't actually pregnant, its from the end of your last period) .   We have been through many ups and downs, but still came out on top - and for that I'm very thankful.

Over the course of November, I have been watching different facebook friends start their month of thankfulness - and I feel like I missed out since I didn't pick up on it until about 10 days in - so since I waited til Thanksgiving to start, and here we are on December 2nd and Im finally getting back to the post, Im gonna turn December into my month of thankfulness, and today, Ill just include two days of thankfulness :)   Now lets see if I can get to the blog everyday to write this.   

Day 1 - I'm thankful for my mom and dad.   They are ALWAYS there whenever you need anything and did an amazing job raising 3 beautiful and smart daughters!   My mom and I have always been close, but over the past few years (and especially the past year or so), my mom has been my best friend and someone I can confide in and just get all my feelings out there with.   Thank you mom and dad for everything you do - I love you more than words can say!

Day 2 - I'm thankful for my husband, Adam.   We have had our ups and downs, but we always figure out a way to come out on top.    Thank you for putting up with all my quirks and compulsiveness and still loving me in the end.   If that's not a true test of endurance and love - I'm not sure what is :)