Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tis The Season To Be Shopping

Fa la la la la. La la. La. La!

What do you think about Black Friday? That's the topic for this week's ToT post. Hmm, what do I think about Black Friday.....

Did I go shopping on Black Friday? Yes. Did I go shopping on Thanksgiving Day? NO. I have no problem with folks trying to get a good deal on something that they want or need. If that means that they want to get up at the crack of dawn, so be it. But the new thing about stores opening on Thanksgiving took it a little far. Well that was my first thought. Then I began to think about all the others working on Thanksgiving. Movie theaters have always been open, at least it seems that way. And that is one of our family traditions, to go to a movie Thanksgiving night. I've never had a problem with that. And people go out to eat on Thanksgiving. I've been out to eat on Thanksgiving. I didn't have a problem with that either. Grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving, at least for a few hours. I've been to the grocery store on Thanksgiving. Nope, no issue there either. So, why did I have such an issue with Wal Mart, Target, Khol's, and Toys R Us opening their doors on Thanksgiving day?

I suppose my problem with stores being open on Thanksgiving is because I feel like people are just going to snag the hot item that's on sale. It's not about running to the grocery store because you forgot to buy pumpkin pie spice. Or hanging out with your kid and relaxing and seeing a movie together after your feast. Maybe I'm justifying what I feel is appropriate to do on Thanksgiving. And I guess if you would rather go shopping after your feast, by all means, who am I to stop you. Go for it. For me, I would rather not.

My Black Friday tradition involves spending time with my sister in law and nieces. We look at the sale papers on Thursday and make our plan for the next day. I usually get picked around 4am and we hit a few stores. We don't go crazy. We don't just spend a ton on money to get a "deal." For me, its more about spending time with them rather than all the consumerism. This year, I got some boots for myself, 2 sets of sheets and a Christmas gift for each of my girls. Stuff I was going to get anyway, we just did it at 4am the Friday after Thanksgiving.

In addition to Black Friday shopping, I also participated in Small Business Saturday. I was looking forward to doing more Small Business Saturday shopping, but Nolan was sick so we just hit one store. A friend of mine opened a store close by our house called Homespun. It's got all sorts of handmade goodies in it. I love it. So, I went there and then called it a day. I do plan on doing more of my holiday shopping at more stores like this!

And apparently Cyber Monday was a huge hit this year. I did get our Christmas cards with a Cyber Monday deal. Hey, you can't beat 40% off something you were going to get anyway.

So, while I don't like all of consumerism that goes on this time of year, I don't mind folks getting out and finding a good deal. I do mind people getting into major credit card debit in order to get all the stuff that they think they need.

And so, before I say goodnight, I leave you with this little quote from the loveable old Grinch.....

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
Dr. Seuss
Remember that Christmas is about something more! And to all a good night!

Gratitude

November. All month long we think about Thanksgiving. I don't know a single person that doesn't enjoy this holiday. This holiday is about gathering with friends and family and giving thanks for every thing we have. It's not about gifts, which is what I love about this holiday.

On Facebook I have been letting everyone know what I'm thankful for in my status updates. So I thought that I would do a top 10 list of things that I'm thankful for on my blog.


Nancy's Top 10 List!!!

10. I'm thankful for being an American. I'm not overly patriotic, but I do know how fortunate I am to be born here. With all the arguing about politics, with all the dooms day thoughts going on, with all of the things that I don't like.....there isn't another place that I would want to live other than the good ol' US of A!

9. My furry kids. They drive me crazy....they make my house a MESS with all of their hair...but I love them. They are my babies. I would do just about anything for them. Myrtle and I have have bonded over the years. She wasn't always so keen on me. I can't blame her, I did chop the tip of her tail off in a door. That's a story for another time. But now, she is my snuggle buddy. And Herbie, he's been my baby from day 1. While he's not a trained guard dog, I'm almost certain that he would protect me and the girls no matter what. He can sense when I'm sad or having a bad day and comes over and puts his head in my lap and tries to make it better. After we found out that Violet died, we came home for a while. And while I was sitting on the couch crying and numb who was next to me? Myrtle was curled up next to me on the couch and Herbie was laying at my feet. That's usually not the case....they just knew something was wrong. They are my buddies!

8. My home. It's small...we've out grown it, but it's where we are staying. Are we staying forever, I hope not. I have dreams of moving into a big ol' historic home. But when we do move, it will be bittersweet. This home was our first major purchase as a couple. We brought all our babies to this home. It's the only house Georgia has ever known. So, while it would be nice to have more space, it's nice to be cozy!

7. My church. FMC has given me a great place to worship, build relationships and raise my children. I'm so thankful for every person there.

6. My friends. Some I've known since the age of 5 and others I've just met. Many of my friends are like family. We would do anything for each other and we love and support each other. 

5. Photography. I absolutely love taking photos. I love capturing a moment in time for others. I have a creative outlet and I get paid for it. BONUS! 

4. My family. This is not only my immediate family, but my in laws as well. I know that if I ever needed anything I all I would have to do is call. It's nice to have people you can count on in your life!

3. My health. Hearing about so many people who are sick just makes you want to hug everyone around you. I can't imagine not being able to see my children grow up or not being able to grow old with my hubby. It just makes you count your blessings, for sure!

2. My girls. I've learned something from each one of them. Georgia made me a mother. Violet taught me that I'm stronger than I ever imagined I could be. Evie brings joy with her many toothless smiles. June, my baby, makes me realize how much I'm needed with her need for endless cuddle time.

1. My hubby. Hands down, the best decision I ever made was to marry him. I knew a couple of months after we started dating that this was the guy I had been waiting for. I truly think that I got the cream of the crop. The diamond in the rough. He's the peanut to my butter. The blue in my sky. The flip to my flop. The milk to my shake. Well, you get the idea. He's the best really. There is no one else in the entire world that I would rather be with. I've been telling him that he's my favorite for many years now. He's my favorite....not just my favorite guy, he's my favorite everything.

That's my list. What's on your list?

A Day In The Life

I've had several people ask what our days are like now that June and Evie have arrived. Now that we've gotten into a bit of a routine,  I thought that I would give you a little run down of what we do around here normally. So, here you go....this is a little glimpse into the life of a mom a 5 year old and newborn twins.

6:30am-My day begins. Actually, I'm not the first one up around here. Nolan gets up around 6:15 and gets Georgia up. He is in the shower by now and Georgia is sitting down for breakfast. I get up to help her get dressed and make her lunch.

7:30am-Nolan and Georgia are out the door. I usually turn on The Today Show and catch up on some AM news. This is also the time when one twin wakes up, give or take. And now begins our AM nursing marathon. You see, I haven't mastered the skill of nursing both babies at the same time, so I'm still doing one at a time. It works for me. And I get cuddle time with each baby every morning. That is the bonus of nursing one baby at a time. Yes, it takes a bit longer, but that one on one time is so awesome!

8:00am-I eat breakfast. I know that I better eat when I get the chance, otherwise it won't happen until after I get Georgia from school.

8:30am-Usually the other baby is awake by now and I'm nursing again. My early riser is either playing in the floor or in her bouncy seat while I'm feeding and cuddling her sister.

9:30am-The early riser usually wants a snack now...so more nursing!!!

10:00am-The sleepy head now wants a snack....you guessed it MORE NURSING!

10:30am-Time to get dressed! I change and dress each baby. This is when I would try to give a bath if its needed.

11:00am-Both babies are usually HUNGRY at this point and ready for lunch. I take a break from breast feeding and give them each a both of formula or if I have pumped breast milk, I will bottle feed that to them. I can bottle feed both girls at the same time. I sit in the middle of the couch and there is a baby on each side of me sitting in her Boppy. Also, this is when The Today Show goes off and so I usually turn the TV off.

12:00pm-Time for another diaper change. The babies are either playing or taking a nap or fighting sleep. Why do babies and kids fight sleep? Don't they know how AWESOME sleep is. No, they don't! Anyway, if it's a good day, the girls will take a nap now. Sometimes if they are playing, I will turn on the local noon news just to see whats happening around town. I've been watching more news recently.

12:30pm-Time to shower and get dressed. I know, it seems late in the day to just now be getting dressed. Since I'm breast feeding most of the morning, it's just easier to do that in my PJs. It never fails that when I try to shower, one or both of the babies will start crying as soon as I start my shower. Now, if I've already taken a shower the night before and all I need to do is freshen up and get dressed, no babies will cry all day. WHATEVER!

1:00pm-Time for my lunch....if I'm lucky. Sometimes its a bit later before I get to eat. You just never know how the day will play out.

2:00pm-If June and Evie haven't woken up yet, I will wake them for another bottle feeding. And I'll feed them both at the same time again. It really just saves so much time. After they eat, I check their diapers and we get ready to get Georgia from school.

2:40pm-Time to walk out the door to get Georgia. Both girls are in their car seats. Thank goodness they like their seats and the car ;)

3:00pm We are waiting on Georgia to get out of school. Sometimes I come early to get Georgia so I can have time to eat lunch or just have some quiet time and read a book or magazine or check my email! The twins almost always fall asleep on the drive to Georgia's school.

4:00pm Georgia starts her homework, if she has any. And if the twins are awake they each nurse.

5:00pm I start dinner or at least try to. I usually get a phone call around this time from Nolan letting me know that he is on his way home...yea!!!

5:30pm Nolan gets home and usually needs to give the girls a bottle while I'm finishing up dinner.

6:00pm Between now and 6:30pm I try to get dinner on the table.

7:00pm Both Nolan and I try to clean up after dinner. Most of the time, Nolan is stuck finishing the job while I am nursing the twins. That's just the way it goes. Georgia gets a bath if she needs one and gets ready for bed.

8:00pm Georgia's bedtime (I can't say that she is always in bed by this time, but we try). She usually gets a short story or two before she goes to sleep. Sometimes both Nolan and I get to tuck her in, sometimes it's just Nolan because I'm still feeding the twins. I hate that. I really like to tuck her in! And every once in a while I tuck Georgia in while Nolan finishes cleaning up the kitchen.

8:30pm Nolan and I hold babies and have some down time either watching TV (we are really into The Voice right now) or catching up on email and Facebook. We have been using our phones more and more to check email and Facebook. It's just easier when you are holding a baby. Lately they have been laying on the floor or sitting in their bouncy seats. It's nice not to always be holding a baby :) I know that I will miss this time, but right now the free moments I have are much welcomed.

9:30pm The twins usually start to get fussy and it's time for their bedtime feeding. Nolan will give them a diaper change and put them in their PJs. I usually lay on the couch and nurse one while he is cuddling the other. When the first twin gets done nursing, Nolan makes her a bottle. I start nursing the second twin while Nolan gets the other swaddled and rocks her. Most of the time, the twin who isn't nursing will take at least part of a bottle. When I'm done nursing the second twin, we switch. Nolan takes the second twins and repeats the process. I get to lay on the couch and cuddle the first twin. After the second twin finishes her bottle, Nolan rocks her until she is about asleep. Then she goes to bed. If the other twin isn't asleep cuddling with me on the couch, Nolan will rock her for a little bit and then put her to bed. This entire process takes a while, but it's now our routine and it works well for us. If both girls are still awake at 11pm, we will turn off the TV if it happens to be on and dim the lights in the living room.

11:30pm-Both girls are usually in bed by now. Hopefully they've been asleep for at least 30 minutes at this point. Nolan and I are doing the last few things that need to be done before we get ready for bed, like washing bottles, starting the dishwasher, doing laundry....whatever.

12:00am-Hopefully, we are both getting into bed by now. Sometimes a baby wakes at this point and needs a little rocking to settle down. Occasionally, that baby will want to eat again. So either Nolan will give a bottle or I will nurse.

Both babies have been sleeping from about 11:00pm until 7:30am. It's gotten SO MUCH BETTER. There for a while, I was waking up about every two hours to breast feed. And while I can do this laying in bed, it's not like I get to sleep through it. So, being up for an hour or so a couple of times during the night doesn't make for much sleep. It's kind of what you sign up for when you decide you want to have a baby, but that doesn't make it any easier or those nights any shorter!

We have more of a routine on the days that I'm home. The twins and I do get out and about....we don't like to stay at home all the time. Every Wednesday I go to help out in Georgia's class for 1 hour and I am back to doing some photography. My mom watches the twins for me if Nolan's not at home. It's a whole other process trying to leave the house without the twins. But I make it work.

So this is just a little glimpse into our world right now. Its always changing and always BUSY!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

1 Year Later


1 year has come and gone and I miss her just as much. October 11, 2011 I was in a much different place than I am today. October 11, 2011 I was waiting for my sweet baby girl Violet to enter the world sleeping. October 12, 2011 I was leaving my baby at the hospital and going home with nothing but tears. October 14, 2011 I was attending my baby girl's memorial service. October 15, 2011 I was trying to figure out how to go on with life.

Eventually, I did go on with life. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was pretty darn hard. But I feel like I've made it. While it still hurts that I can't touch my baby girl and it hurts that I can't see her running around and playing with her sisters and it hurts that I can't hear her laugh, I feel like I can go on and lead a happy life. And live a really happy life, not just pretend to live a happy life while the inside rots away.

1 year later. There are still things that I struggle with. I hate it when a day passes and I realize that I haven't thought about Violet. Ugh, that is so hard. How does a mother forget to at least think about her baby? Granted, those days don't happen very often. Usually at some point I will think about her. But there are days when I'm so busy tending to my girls here on Earth, that I just don't take that moment to stop and think about Violet. And then, all of the sudden, I get that moment when something reminds me of her and I'm taken back to how sad I was and how much my heart aches for her.

To mark the 1 year anniversary of Violet's passing, we did a balloon release at my parent's house. We got enough purple balloons for everyone. We passed around a few markers so that those who wanted to could write a message. We went into my parent's back yard and let them go. We watched them as long as we could. It was a lovely sight to see all those purple balloons in the air, floating up to heaven for our little girl.


This is Georgia's balloon for Violet. Since she couldn't write a message on the balloon, she drew a picture for Violet at school. Later that night she asked me if I thought that Violet liked her picture....she's such a sweet little girl and thinks of her sister all the time!


So, to those of you who helped us this past year through thoughts and prayers, meals brought to our home, cards sent to us, special gifts given to us or just having an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on, THANK YOU!

A Little Update

Hey all....have you missed me? Life here is crazy and exhausting, but really good too. All three of my girls are keeping me on my toes. The twins leave me feeling like I can't get anything done most days, but they are so sweet and so cute. Right now they are sound asleep, all cuddled up together on my bed. It makes me smile to see them snuggle together!

October has come and gone. It seems that it went so fast! It always does, just like every month! Sometimes I would like for things to slow down, just a little bit, but no such luck.

Here are a few of the things that we did this month....

October 1-5: Georgia was on fall break from school. I was a little bit nervous about having all three girls by myself everyday for a full week, but things went better than I expected. Georgia is such a great helper with her sisters, that she actually makes my day easier. She was usually willing to give them a bottle when needed or comfort them with their pacifiers when necessary. She likes playing the little mommy role, that's for sure! And we were able to sneak a few fun things in there too. She spent the night with Mamaw and Papaw one night, the three girls and I went to Nolan's office and met him for lunch, we met Georgia's friend Lilly and her mommy and little bro at the zoo for an afternoon, and Georgia was able to go to her good friend Rose's house. All in all, she had a good week. And I didn't hear those dreaded words, "I'm bored!" too many times during her week off!

October 4: My birthday! To celebrate my 33 years on this earth my mama made me a wonderful birthday dinner and then the following Friday, Nolan took me out to dinner. A date, the two of us had a real date. And it was fun to get away from our kids for a couple of hours. Well, we were planning to be gone for a couple of hours, but then that couple of hours turned into 5 hours. Who knew that it took so long to eat fondue?

October 11: Violet's birthday. Hard to believe it has been a year since we last saw our girl. I'll write more about what we did later.

October 18: The twins had their 2 month well baby checks. Two months! Whew! The first thing the nurse said, "My Evelyn, you've gained weight!" And she had....Evie is was up to a whopping 9lbs 6oz and measured 22 inches long. And little Junie weighed in at 9lbs 2oz and measured 22 inches long. So the littlest one is now the biggest one! I said the week before that I thought Evie was bigger than June. It's funny because they are pretty much on the same eating schedule. It's not like Evie eats more than June all the time. Sure, there are times that Evie eats more and there are times that June will eat more. I don't know if they are just metabolizing differently or what. They also had to get 3 shots each. That is always hard to watch, but they bounced back quickly and didn't fuss too much. The nurse said as she left the room, "Well that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  But the best news is that they are doing just fine. Their next well baby check is at 4 months. It will be interesting to see how they have changed at that point.

October 18-21: Nolan's Aunt Brenda came for a visit. What a helper! She did a lot of baby holding and playing with little girls and that's just what we needed her to do! Georgia LOVES Brenda. Who doesn't really? We enjoyed her visit and hope that she comes back again soon. These babies still need someone to hold them!

October 23: I had my 6 week check up.Well, it was supposed to be a 6 week check up, but it was more like 8 weeks. My doctor had to reschedule my original appointment, which was at the beginning of the month. And I couldn't get back in for another 2 weeks between her schedule and mine. Everything is good with me. I'm back to being "normal" again. Well, except for the lack of sleep! Before my appointment, I took  Evie and June to Nolan's office and showed them off a bit. There were lots of oooos and ahhhhs.

October 27-31: We did all sorts of fun Halloween activities. I will try and write about that later too! And there are photos!

So that is just a little update. We are figuring things out. There is just not a lot of extra time. The only reason I'm able to do this now is because it's 1 AM and there is a baby girl who is very tired but will not go to sleep. But at least she likes to sit in her bouncy seat. I'm hoping that helps her fall asleep and we can go to bed soon!