Thursday, April 29, 2010


So as you can see I had a very productive morning. Four down three to go. This time I fried up some extra apples and made a big batch of quinoa too. It's a little easier to make a salad with the quinoa if it's already ready already. Ha.

Now for the ranting portion of this post, which I will call "Really!?".. here we go..

Really BCBS REALLY?!?! After two years of covering my Zomig prescription you suddenly need authorization from my doctor.. really? Did you really send me a letter saying that I should try all the other migraine medications before I continue to take Zomig... did you really do that? Did you really tell me, self righteous A-HOLES, that Imitrex is an alternative to Zomig.. really? Oh I didn't realize that... when I took it years ago and it A) made me throw up and B) didn't help my head.. I was sure I told the doctor that it didn't work and he said there were other things we could try.. like Axert.. yeah Axert.. that worked for awhile.. you are right that could have been an alternative to Zomig. But then it stopped working. Were you there that day when I threw up in the subway because Axert couldn't get rid of the pain ? Oh that's right.. you were in your offices drafting b***s*** letters. Would you like a list of all the medications I have tried .. the ones that have worked.. then failed.. or failed right off the bat? Let me see if I can even remember all of them.. Fioricet, Fiorinal, Phrenalin, Midrin, Imitrex, Effexor, Thorazine, Flexeril, Maxalt, Relpax, Axert.. and Zomig. Want me to try them all again to see if they work.. ? Want to know how they made me feel? Have you ever even had a migraine? Ever.. ? No? Oh ok.. so I guess you don't understand what it's like to actually find something that works.. something that makes you NOT want to smash your head to bits after you have had a migraine every frickin' day for a month.. guess you don't understand that. So you say call my doctor.. get them to fill out a form and tell you how I have tried so many other things and this is all that works.. Ok.. I'll do that. Hold please.

Hi, Dr. X. Oh you are familiar with this request.. every insurance company has been having you guys fill out these forms? What a drag. What's that you say? You can't fill it out and send it in because it's been over a year since you wrote the Rx ? But you know I have migraines.. you know it still works for me, right? That doesn't matter to you Dr. X.. really it doesn't? You don't have my history of migraines.. ? OH .. MY BAD.. I didn't realize that you didn't have my full history since my HISTORY is SPREAD OUT ACROSS 4 STATES AND AT LEAST 8 DIFFERENT DOCTORS. So what now Dr. X ? Go find a primary care you say? Oh ok.. that should be easy.. I'll just take my 19 month old twins with me to the office and wait in the waiting room with them until I finally get seen blah bitty blah blah blah.... all so I can tell yet another doctor my history.. hopefully convince them that yes in-frickin-deed.. the only drug for me is Zomig.. and then go through all this again when my buddies at BCBS reject it again.. awesome. Thanks alot Dr. X for sending me on this new journey.. I thought we were friends.. you did, after all, perform my D&C.. sure wish you could have cut me some slack.

Why don't you all just go jump off a big, tall, cliff. I'll just be here with my migraine.. trying to figure out how NOT to lose my mind from the pain. You guys really.. REALLY SUCK.

End of rant.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Swimming laps as become my most effective therapy. I have been a member of the gym since Saturday and I have already swam 74 laps! That is 4.1 miles. I love how I feel when I climb out of the pool - calm, contented, relaxed. The only thing that I wanted to change was having to keep a count in my head of how many laps I was swimming during each visit. Sounds a little pathetic but I have so much in my head, keeping count of laps is an extra that I can't seem to manage. Joyce said she felt the same way so, we set out to figure out a way to track them without have to memorize what lap we were on. Above is my first idea, put together with things I had laying around the house. That beetle incased in plastic is from an old keychain we had.. and it's not where the magic happens anyway.

The beetle is just an anchor for a strand of thin ribbon with 18 tiny knots in it (18 laps = 1/2 mile). Each time I complete a lap I move the button one "click" over. The knots are just the right size so I can slide the button quickly without having to wrestle with it, but not so small that it could slide on it's own and mess my count up. As I am sure you have figured out, once the button is at the end.. I have reached my goal. I am currently trying to swim 18 laps each visit. Planning to add 2 laps each week until I reach a mile but last night my asthma was bugging me so I left out the last two and settled for my 18.

I am sure this seems like a silly gadget for anyone who was ever on a swim team and has no trouble keeping count in their head, but as I don't do flip turns anyway .. stopping for a second to move the my button allows me to let my mind relax and be completely empty.. something that I really need these days.

I think I am going to figure out a way to keep a tracker on here somewhere.. I want to see how many miles I swim this year.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

twins in a basket

Sunday Morning

We are going to the 11:30 service today. This means a morning in of cuddling with curly headed babies and watching CBS Sunday Morning. They mentioned the artist Bill Viola this morning and I suddenly remembered why he is one of my favorites. Absolutely one of the most mesmerizing installations I have had the pleasure to experience. I am pretty sure we saw his "Five Angels". Whitney Museum, completely darkened space, five huge and beautiful plasma screens.. the sound of rushing water drowning out every thought in my head.. images of humans rising from and falling into the water.. I watched each screen at least twice as it slowly made it's way, dreamlike, from start to finish. If time travel was a reality, this is a slice of my existence that I would visit again, and again.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Prom Night

Stephen and I went to prom tonight. He was chaperoning and asked if I wanted to come along - why not? Ada and Margot got to play with Joyce and Diana while we were out. The last time we got all dressed up and didn't get a picture the grandparents were sad so.. tah-dah! Here we are. Margot was feeling a little tender, so she and Soft joined us in the snapshot.

Not too shabby.

One tiny observation from this evening. Private school proms are absolutely - nothing - like public school proms. Don't hate.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I decided to do some dyeing today. I have been enduring my ultra funkified kitchen towels for far too long. Even bleach couldn't make them fresh. iDye to the rescue!!!

I decided on "gun metal" for my terrycloth towels. Just for fun I threw in a couple of t-shirts too. One was grey but had a few bleach spots, the other two where white and had sweat stains (yes I am one of those people who gets sweat stains). They had been banished to the back of the closet and relegated to being worn underneath sweaters.

This is the only before picture I have. Lookin' good preggo me!

.. and here is the finished result. I think they turned out wonderfully.

I did my tea towels in yellow.

I always forget that this is an option when something gets stained or bleached or just plain starts to look old and worn out. It was so easy and super fun. I'm already scheming to do some of the girls onesies.. baby girls toddling around in pale pink onesies ?! I think it's a must.

When a "soft" disobeys

Not long after Margot was released from a time-out of her own.. I came around the corner and found this. I wonder what he did?

After a few minutes, Mama came back and explained (in her own sort of way) the reason Soft had gone to time-out. She gave him kisses..

.. and a good hug... and sent him on his way.

three weeks down.. four to go

Week three of building my new habit to slice, dice and steam my veggies the day they come home from the grocery store. I did this on Wednesday and I have already gobbled up one of my containers of broccoli.

And now for some fabulous news. I recently found out that the school gets a special discount at the Gold's Gym at North Hills. This meant little to me, seeing as I have never stepped food on a treadmill and much prefer to do my exercising out of doors. THEN I FOUND OUT THEY HAVE AN INDOOR POOL. Not just any pool.. it's a SALT WATER POOL. Holy Lord. Suddenly the monthly fee of $29.99 didn't seem so frivolous. Swimming and yoga are the only two forms of exercise that my sore joints can do on a regular basis. I don't know why my joints get sore.. I know I am young and all that. I do know I have "sensitive knee caps" so after running I have hard time walking for a few days and I used to have to wear knee braces when I rode back in the day.. as well as during my very short stint on the cross country team in HS.. but I digress. THEY HAVE AN INDOOR SALT WATER POOL. Joyce and I went to tour the facility as fast as we could throw the babies in their car seats yesterday. The place is beautiful, wonderfully maintained, and has every fitness option you can imagine including but not limited too "Cinema Cardio" - a huge dark auditorium filled with cardio equipment in which a huge movie screen plays a different movie each day.. you can strengthen your heart and watch a movie at the same time. This might actually get my tail on a treadmill, if it's raining outside or something that day I mean. The rep told me the pool is hardly ever full, there are 3 lap lanes and if the doors to the gym are open, the pool is open. I went last night to check it out and swam just over half a mile.. I haven't swam laps since college.. I can't believe my old lap swimming suit still fit me! I - was - in - heaven. I didn't want to overdo it on my first visit so I forced myself to cool down and leave after about 20 laps (and by laps I mean real laps.. as in two lengths of the pool = one lap)... what a feeling. Afterward I considered a steam in the sauna but decided on a hot shower instead and, feeling like I had just had a full body massage, sauntered out to my car and leisurely drove back home. I have been trying to join a pool since Stephen and I got married but we could never afford it or there were none close enough to be practical in any way... this is the perfect storm. Affordable, and in the same complex where I do my weekly shop.. just down the street from the school.

So in short, soon I will be able to swim whenever I want, and take as many yoga classes as I want (classes are included in the monthly membership fee).. whenever I want. Color me the happiest girl in the neighborhood today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fresh Habits

Since the start of 2010 I have been working on building some new habits. Some are for my own sanity (figuring out a filing system for bills and important papers that works for me) and others are for the good of our family... and my own sanity. I suppose it really is all about me.

One of my new habits that I have actually kept up with is making a weekly dinner menu. I go shopping once a week. Before I leave, I have all the dinners for the coming week figured out, written down, and posted on our calendar. I make my lists, one for Target, one for Trader Joe's and that is that. I cook with whole foods, mostly fresh fruits and veg (some frozen). Nothing irritates me more than letting fresh food go bad and having to toss it out. It irritates me because I could have prevented it and I didn't. It makes me feel a bit like a failure. Dumb I know, but true nonetheless. Anyhoo, the last two weeks I have been working really hard to make a new habit. This one involves spending about an hour each week, when I get home from grocery shopping, prepping my food so that it doesn't spoil. For me that means, frying the older apples (with a little butter and pumpkin pie spice) to make room for the fresh ones, steaming the broccoli while it is super fresh, and cutting up celery and carrot sticks. I store all these things in the fridge and then when I feel like having some broccoli, I just pull out the container and grab a stalk or two. This is in no way an original idea. Women I know have been doing this sort of thing for years (shout out to my mom). What is new is that I finally allowed myself to come to grips with the fact that I have been too lazy to do this before. I always talked myself out of just going ahead and prepping my fresh produce. Who knows why.. I was always too tired or too busy or just plain didn't feel up to it. I don't want to be lazy! Time to work on creating a new habit. After all, my reality is that it really doesn't take that much time and I am so much happier during the week because of it.

As insane as it sounds, I have always craved fresh fruit and veggies. I am that girl that eats way too much cauliflower at the crudite platter. What is even more insane is that I would have celery in the fridge, want to eat a stalk so bad.. and just refuse to pull it out! So now that it is all sliced and keeping fresh in some cool water I have eaten it every day this week. I can't get enough. Such a nerd I know but the more you eat this stuff, fresh foods, I swear you start to crave it. I am proud to say that this week I saved 8 apples from being tossed (the girls love them cooked with the spices) and a gigantic and beautiful container of strawberries that my precious mother brought us on Sunday. I was sort of hoarding the strawberries until I pulled them out today and noticed they were starting to head south. So I spent about 15 minutes slicing them all, let them macerate in a little sugar and now they will keep for a few more days. Just long enough for us to enjoy them over oatmeal in the morning.

Cooking has become my new therapy and I feel really dorky that I get so excited about seeing neatly packaged fresh food in my fridge but it just makes me so happy. I feel so decadent, so prepared, so on top of things. So here's to two weeks of a fresh new habit. I think they say it takes doing something 7 times in a row to create a habit. Two down, five to go.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't tell me..

..that if you turned around from preparing lunch and saw this you wouldn't run and get your camera too. They are not allowed to sit on the coffee table, but they are allowed (and encouraged) to sit in their chairs.. what's a fair minded mother to do? Marvel at their creativity, take a picture, and giggle right along with them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Date Night

Tay-Tay and Ray-Ray came to play-play with the girls yesterday-day. Couldn't help myself. Look how much fun they are having!!!

So cute I almost can't take it.

The girls had a messy dinner of blueberries and thus they were in diapers when we left. Good thing Tay-Tay and I realized this before we walked out the door. Totally forgot that it would impossible to tell them apart! So I gave Ada her first Sharpie tattoo on her shoulder. It was still lingering around this morning. Like a hand stamp from some exclusive toddler night spot.

Thanks to our precious and generous sitters, Stephen and went out on the town last night. We had a quick meal at our new favorite restaurant up the street and then went to see the school play. They were doing Fiddler on the Roof which neither of us have ever seen. It was absolutely wonderful! I got a little emotional watching those kids act and sing their hearts out. The play itself is enough to get you going but as I sat there watching them perform for a packed house, I realized how much I am going to miss them next year when they are gone, off to college. There was a sampling from the Upper and Middle Schools in the acting crew but it was watching the seniors that really touched me. We have really loved getting to know and love these kids the last two years. We are so excited for each and every one of them to fly away to college and on to bigger and better things as they take their first steps into that long journey to adulthood.. still.. we will miss those late night pop-ins.

Small World

So our friend Nathan showed us these a few years ago. Or was it Thomas.. either way.. it was one of them. I watched them and laughed until I cried. Then I forgot about them. A couple of days ago Stephen reminded me of them and a little something else. They were made by Vintage!!! How insane is that!? I had no idea about this when we decided to start going to Vintage. Small world right?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Breakfast Genius

Stephen is a breakfast genius. For the last six months at least, he has been making oatmeal for the girls for breakfast several times a week. Oatmeal is so healthy. But we found it a bit hard to get the girls to eat it. So he came up with the above, genius solution.

Once the oatmeal has been cooked (he adds dried fruit to it instead of sugar), he pours it onto a plate and sort of smooshes it into a big oatmeal cookie. Once it has cooled you can cut into slices like a pie and this makes it easier for the girls to handle.

They devour it each and every time.

On another note, Margot only has a 99.4 temp this morning and seems to be feeling much better. Crossing fingers that it stays that way.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


No, not a radio station. Just a sad little Margot who woke up from her nap this afternoon absolutely on fire. I was suspicious this morning when she wanted to be held at the part instead of running and playing with the other kids. Daddy and Ada went to the cook-out and we are here resting and watching.. say it with me now.. Kipper! Really hope the Motrin kicks in soon...

My Oliver

I don't write about him much anymore. Sometimes I feel bad about that, but I am pretty sure he understands. I love my dog. I love my Oliver. He was my first baby, and even though he has siblings that require much more attention these days.. he is still my baby. I really can't explain how much I love and appreciate this pup.

He has been there through thick and thin, with an ever wagging tail and a supernatural ability to cuddle in any circumstance.. even on a giant pregnant belly.

He is my nap buddy every day and my snuggle bug each night. He is my precious boy and while I do understand that he is .. "only a dog".. he is my dearest friend and I am so thankful to have him in my life. I love you, tiny bear.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Margot and her baby bunny


The girls got new shoes for the summer. Payless. I think I ordered Ada's about 1/2 size too big. Grrr. I'm afraid she will trip once she tries to wear them outside.. am I crazy? They look a little big right?

Margot's are a little big too but they look like the sort of big that one can grow into in the course of the summer. Right? Help! I am so bad at shoe shopping for myself let alone my kids..

The shoe boxes were immediately put to use by Mama Margot.

Monkey was a tight fit. He looks none the worse for wear.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I (heart) Vintage 21

Because I didn't take any baby pictures get to look at me staring at myself in our green mirror.

Blue Steel? How did you know?

Man the teaching and worship at Vintage was AMAZING this morning. Tyler was in his element or something. I walked out of there so pumped and ready to take on my world. The worship was equally fantastic. It's pretty much like this every Sunday. Sunday morning arrives and I jump out of bed with a spring in my step ready to get the girls dressed and fed and head off to West Street. Stephen and I both can't wait to get there. What is it that makes us so excited ? I really don't know what it is. I love seeing our friends there, but I have had friends at other churches. While that was equally as satisfying on any given Sunday, it wasn't the same as this. I get lost in the worship. I feel like I could stay there for hours. Sing until I lost my voice.

We go get the girls once worship starts and bring them back to sing with us. This morning Ada snuggled on my shoulder and sang softly into my ear. I love that our kids love the Children's Ministry workers. That they dive for them when we approach the door to their classroom. I love that the girls there love my girls. I love that they know us by name.

I love the way I can feel the Lord moving there. I love being part of something I am excited about... and I am so excited about being a part of Vintage. I have never been this excited about a church before. I loved being able to listen to Tim Keller teach at Redeemer every Sunday when we were up north, but we never got involved in the community there. We were just there on Sundays, taking notes but.. just another nameless face in the crowd. It was inspiring every Sunday. I left there deep in thought and processing what Keller had taught on that day. Still, I never sat next to friends.. because we didn't have any at that service. I regret that. I regret not getting more involved. I regret not getting involved period. In retrospect it was my own selfishness that kept me going on Sunday to soak up Keller's inspired teaching, while making excuses not to sacrifice my Thursday evenings to join a community group. Being in community takes work. It takes sacrifice. I wasn't willing to truly commit. I loved this part of His Church when it worked for me. I loved the idea of this part of His Church. I was a taker, not a giver.

I don't think I ever truly valued community. Now I do. Maybe that's it, maybe it's the community that feels so right at Vintage. It feels like this is where the Lord wants us to be right now. Being excited about that community makes me even more excited about my community here in Raleigh. It makes me excited about my family, my country.. most of all it makes me excited about Jesus. I am so thankful to Him for leading us to this church home. I have always had more blessings than I deserved, more than I could count but lately..counting my blessings has become an endless endeavor. Just so thankful, so happy, so blessed. Want to shout it from the rooftops!!! Loving this feeling.