Tag Archives: birthday

Who said you could grow up so fast?

1 Jun

So sometime in the next few days, we will be celebrating some birthdays around here. Diva & Intuitive will be turning 7 years old.

 

Seven.

 

If I had broken a mirror on the day they were born, I’d be free of the bad luck.

 

Looking back, 7 years doesn’t seem like such a long time. Some days felt long, sure, but all thrown together, it’s just a clusterfuck of days and moments and minutes and seconds and memories. There were highs, there were lows. There were diapers. Oh, were there diapers. Sorry, landfills. I contributed quite a bit to the world being full of trash.

 

When I think back to the early days, it kind of feels like it was someone else in a whole different life. Are these two KIDS the same premature babies that couldn’t breathe or eat when they were born? Seriously? They were two mini little baby type things, and now they are, like, human-pseudo-grownups.

 

For real, who let that happen? Who said it was ok for them to sit up, crawl, walk, talk, THINK? I don’t recall giving them the ok to do all this shit. They are self sufficient, free thinkers.. With likes and dislikes, ideas and theories, strengths and weaknesses. I don’t know when these things happened. They are honor roll students, their teachers love them, they have oodles and oodles of friends.. It’s a crazy trip to see them interacting like miniature grown up humans.

 

I find something new to be proud of every single day, and I know I always will.

 

Diva, my brainy little princess, you came into the world squealing, making your presence known. I’m proud to be your mommy, and I can’t wait to see you grow up. Keep writing and reading and imagining things. Keep thinking up crazy “scenes” that you think would make great movies or tv shows. You can do it all.

Intuitive, my sweet little giggling princess, your laugh is impossible to ignore, and one of my favorite sounds. You do things your way, and you are one of the most stubborn people I know – don’t ever lose that. You are amazing and strong-willed, and I can’t wait to see where that takes you in life. I’m always here.

 

With that, I’m gonna go cry in my coffee. Happy tears, because my babies are growing and becoming amazing people… but there will be some sad tears, too.. I’ll never get those days back, and sometimes, I just wish I could.

 

 

The one where Daisy bows down to Violet.

5 Apr

Violet has been in the couponing game for quite awhile. She has also been attempting to school me in couponing for a while. Finally, I decided to give in and attend Violet’s Couponing for Dummies and Those With Short Attention Spansclass.

A few Sundays ago, I had Terry get me a newspaper. I sat down on the sofa with a pile of money saving papers in my lap. I called Violet.

“Ok, I have the coupons in my lap. Let’s get this shit started.”

In true teacher fashion, she ran our discussion like a lesson. She had questions, info, facts. Assignments. To be honest, I was a little frightened. We held our Coupon Sunday classes a couple of Sundays in a row, and finally, it was time for her to turn me loose in a grocery store with my new bright orange accordian file (ugh, it was the only color they had.).

Terry went with me on my first big couponing extravaganza. That was probably a mistake. I was a bit neurotic. I looked like those women in the extreme couponing shows. Before we embarked on the insanity, I sat in front of the computer with my grocery store’s website open. I went through their weekly deals and BOGO’s and compared with what coupons I had, and what I needed. This took me probably 45 minutes. I had a comprehensive list, marked with what items were BOGO or franken-BOGO, (refer to Violet’s couponing-basics post for that explanation) I listed which items I had coupons for, what quantities I needed for the specific coupons. I moved the coupons I was planning to use to a front pocket in my accordian. I was ready. It. Was. Intense.

We walked in, I situated my purse in the baby seat thing in the cart. Put my accoridan file on top, paper clipped my list to the cart, and got down to business.

Terry assumed that this would be like an ordinary shopping trip, grabbing what we needed in whatever order we found it. No. Not so much.

Sorry, honey.

I was militant. Organized. Totally type A. (I’m SO not type A. I so WISH I was type A.)

We made it through the entire grocery store, taking advantage of as many BOGO’s as we could. When we finally got to the check out line, after trying to unload our 2 carts of stuff as quickly as possible, I set up shop in front of the monitor to see my items and savings. I handed over my precious coupons and watched the price drop even more.

I did end up spending more than I usually would on 2 weeks worth of groceries, (but not by much) but I was able to stockpile a bunch of things. Things that we will inevitably USE. Cereal, beef/chicken stock, mac & cheese.

My bill would have been around $550

I paid about $360

The little box on the bottom said

Today you saved: $191

We are so set on non perishables now. I won’t have to do a MAJOR grocery shopping expedition for at least a month, probably more. Unfortunately, produce usually doesn’t have coupons, so a lot of my money went towards that. I was able to take advantage of some franken-BOGOS on produce though.

Planning and setting up my couponing was a bit involved. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Savings are savings. They are even better if you are saving on something you were going to buy REGARDLESS. I look forward to getting a Sunday paper and building up my stockpile of coupons and comparing weekly adds to see how to stetch my money.

I also wanted to share something sort of related to money saving tricks..

Pterodactyl’s birthday is coming up, and I was planning on buying her a cute little slide from Little Tikes. I actually was going to order it today. I found a nice coupon online from retailmenot.com, and the Little Tikes website had free shipping.

The slide was $89.99. I did find it for a little cheaper on other websites, but no one else offered free shipping. Shipping was around $30 on other sites. Anyway, I was out running errands (like one to get the First Husband some cases of diet coke at a great price thanks to coupons lol) and on my way home, I drove by a little thrift store near my house.

What was sitting outside?

The exact slide I was going to get Pterodactyl.

The. Exact. One.

I did a u-turn and parked. I sauntered (yeah right, I fucking ran) to the slide and quickly examined it. The thing had to be used, like, once. Whoever got to play with it before had stuck about 20 stickers to the slide. Other than that, it was perfect. I ran in and asked the lady inside for the price.

She looked over at the slide and said… Get ready..

TWELVE DOLLARS.

“I’ll take it.”

 

I somehow managed to shove the whole thing in one piece into my truck. Got that baby home, brought it inside, and started taking it apart. I laid the slide down on my coffee table, and liberally applied Goo-Gone. Five minutes later, all evidence of the previous owners’ stickers was GONE. I took the entire thing apart, and cleaned every inch of it with antibacterial multi-surface cleaner (so I’m a little crazy about having other people’s germs), and it looks like it just came out of the box.

Not only did I get an amazing deal; I mean, really, $12 as opposed to $89.99?! I also feel as though I did my part to be sort of “green”. Giving a gently used piece of indestructible kid stuff another life, while saving.. what? 85%?

I’m not that great at math, but I do know a good deal when I see one.

-Daisy

Happy Birthday, Violet!

23 Mar

Happy, Happy birthday to Violet!

I couldn’t do this without you!

Love you!

<3, Daisy

To C-section or not to C-section

21 Mar

What the hell is with all these people saying that elective c-sections are sooooo much easier. Seriously? Easier?

It’s major fucking surgery. What is easy about that? Sure, shooting a kid out your baby maker is tough. I’m not saying it’s rainbows and butterflies, just ask Violet.

But major surgery being a simple alternative? No, dude. It’s not. I’m not huge on statistics, but I know without a doubt that 100% of c-sections involve MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY.

My c-section experiences were fairly easy. No complications, no bumps in the road, and at the end, healthy babies. Does that mean it would be my first choice for myself?

NO.

I had two pretty normal c-section experiences. If I could time travel back 7 years, I’d probably do things a bit differently. When you are 19 years old and in a high risk pregnancy expecting twins, often times if the doctor you trust says jump, you’ll jump. (Well, unless you’re 34 weeks pregnant with twins and have been in the throes of pre-term labor for like 7 weeks. Then you’ll probably just sit.) My doc said a c-section would be better, safer, quicker, so, figuratively, I jumped. Looking back, I wish I would have tried to go natural. Sure, it would have taken longer, sure it would have been uncomfortable, but those babies were in the perfect position to coast out of the womb smoothly. In fact, they had to work harder to get Diva out because she was in such a great natural birth position. That means that Diva had a huge bruise on her head for a week thanks to the vacuum. After the “easy” c-section came a short trip to hell. All expenses paid!

Diva & Intuitive were in the NICU. I was in recovery, scratching myself silly and shaking because I was freezing. They finally take me to my room, where I proceed to be almost overdosed on morphine because some nice nurses wanted to make me feel good, but forgot to record how much they gave me. That made for a nice day and a half. The girls were born at around 1 am. On the trip from recovery to my room, I was taken by the NICU to see them for about 2 minutes. I don’t remember much of that. By 8 am I just wanted to see my kids. At this point, I’m informed by the nurse that in order to go see my babies, I must show them that I can walk one loop around the maternity floor. Then, and only then, will I be allowed to go see them.

At this point, I’m thinking “What the fuck. The NICU is like 7 miles away from Maternity. Are they going to make me WALK all the way there 7 hours after major surgery? Fuck it, let’s do this”

With minimal help, I threw myself out of the hospital bed, thinking, “I’ll show them. Let’s go!” Perhaps it was a good thing there was so much morphine in me? They got me a wheel chair to push around the hall for support, and off I went. Cursing in my head, and feeling like my innards were all about to fall out on the hospital hallway floor.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I seem to have dropped a fallopian tube. Would you be so kind as to pick it up? I can’t quite bend yet. Oh, I have to pick it up? Hmm. I can do without a fallopian tube. I have another. Shit, there’s my bladder. I DO need that.”

We make our journey around the Maternity ward. I get asked once when I’m due. When I looked up with a scowl on my face and say “Yesterday at 1 am”, she looks confused. I keep walking. I’m pretty sure that my family apologized for me. We arrive back at my room, and the nurse smiles and says,

“Alright, hop in the wheelchair, and head over and see your babies! Enjoy”

Hop. In. The. Wheelchair. ?!?! I don’t have to walk there? You made me walk for NOTHING? I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. In my morphine induced stupor I begin to have a panic attack on the way to the NICU. Upon our approach, I see 87 of my ex-husbands family members, including his video camera obsessed grandmother. Full panic attack NOW. The First Husband takes me down another hallway, as I start the waterworks and the “PLEASE LET ME JUMP OUT THE WINDOW”, which quickly turned into “PLEASE LET ME THROW HER FUCKING VIDEO CAMERA OUT THE WINDOW”. My mother ran some damage control, got the video camera put away, and the large numbers of family into a waiting room so that I could see my babies for the first time.

I got to spend lots of quality time walking back and forth in the NICU to each baby. Then, back to my room, because my nurse and doctor needed to check me out. I thought that meant they would take my vitals.

No. This bitch lifted up my overhanging ex-baby belly to examine my incision. Just lifted it up like it was a curtain. Then she poked around. What. The. Fuck. (She redeemed herself by letting me know that she was recommending I stay in the hospital for a few extra days because she thought it might be damaging to my mental health to kick me out while my babies were still there. Thanks, doc.) We talked about the morphine issues, and at that point, I told her that I didn’t want anything except for Tylenol for pain relief. She looked at me like I was insane. I don’t think it was insanity, I think it was more of a deisire to be PRESENT and not HIGH for these early days with small, sick babies.

You know how when you have a c-section, they tell you to rest and not do much? Yeah, well, having a couple of preemies in the NICU kinda overrides that. My 5 days IN the hospital were mostly spent in the NICU, unless my nurses called down in a tizzy wondering where the hell I was. Sorry guys, more important shit to worry about than having my temperature taken. Laying low wasn’t really an option. I was walking the halls of that hospital on the regular. Once I got discharged, it meant LESS time to rest. The hospital was about 45 minutes away from home, so we’d leave at around 7 so I could be there by 8 and spent the day there, leaving around 10:30 or 11pm. I popped a stitch at one point, and had no idea. I didn’t really care either, I just wanted to be with my babies.

When they finally got released, at 8 days old, I FINALLY got a chance to rest a little. Well, as much as someone who had their guts split open and now has two high maintenance premature babies to take care of CAN rest.

While it was painful and uncomfortable, I feel that mind over matter is helpful. I didn’t GIVE myself the option to sit around and deal with the pain. I had things to do, and babies to take care of.

When I was pregnant with Handsome, I was hellbent on a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). I just didn’t want to deal with the unknowns of major surgery again. I wanted to run into the hospital hollering “MY WATER BROKE!” not walk in at a scheduled time. Mostly though, I was just scared of ANOTHER major abdominal surgery. They move a lot of shit around during a c-section. They take shit out and put it back in, and do the hokey pokey while they’re at it. I really didn’t want to have my organs moved around AGAIN if it wasn’t necessary.

So my doctor and I discussed the VBAC. She was on board. I was happy. Then, friends, I did the very thing I proclaim to dislike. I scheduled a c-section. My ex-husband was in the Army at the time. He was set to leave for 4-6 weeks ON Handsome’s due date. I couldn’t handle the thought of him not being there for the birth and the first few days. Now, while I’m all for letting shit happen naturally, it was kinda nice to be able to call my parents and get travel plans all set up. They would be coming up (we lived about 6 hours away from them at this point) two days before the birth, helping with final junk we needed to do, and of course, taking care of Diva & Intuitive. Scheduling sure turned out to be convenient in that respect.

Scheduling also turned out to be a major stressor. I had days to think about everything that could easily go wrong. Days to worry about spinal blocks and anesthesia and complications. Oh, and the MAJOR SUCK of the day after.

Finally, it was time to go. I kissed my baby girls, hugged my mommy and daddy, and off we went. Sat and waited for about 3 hours. (Thanks emergency twin c-section. Been there, done that!) Finally, time to go. Smooth sailing. So smooth, in fact, that my ex-husband was able to cut Handsome’s cord. Like, the real first cut, placenta still inside and attached. That doesn’t often happen in c-sections, apparently.

After this c-section, I felt a bit better than the first. Maybe it’s the fact that my kid was healthy and off to do normal after-birth activities. I was itchy, again, but in great spirits, trying to sit up in recovery. Nurse chewed me a new one for that. I got on the phone in recovery and called the Mayor.

Me- Hey mom!

The Mayor- Hey!

Me- What’s going on?

The Mayor- Nothing much, girls are asleep. You still waiting?

Me- Nope.

The Mayor- WHAT?!

Me- Yeah, he’s here. 6lbs 15oz of awesome.

The Mayor- I’ll be there in a bit. I can’t wait until tomorrow

Or something like that. Headed off to my room and surprise of surprises, they BROUGHT MY KID TO ME. In a huge flip from my first birth experience, my kid got to stay in the room with me. I didn’t have to walk ANYWHERE to see him. He was right there.

I decided that we would get out of that hospital as soon as humanly possible, and less than 48 hours after Handsome was born, we blew that popsicle stand.

Recovery from my second c-section was much more difficult. I knew what to expect, but I also had 2 18 month olds at home PLUS a newborn. Even with my ex-husband and my parents being there for a few days, I still had shit to do. I didn’t allow myself to rest, EVER, and I know that prolonged things.

I fully believe that if I would have had a vaginal birth, even a difficult one, my recovery would have been quicker and easier. Running to and from the NICU would have been much easier. Running after two 18 month olds would have been much easier. I hate the fact that I’ve pretty much guaranteed myself another c-section should I ever decide to have another child. Honestly, the fact that I would have to have another c-section is one of the biggest reasons that I don’t want another child. I really don’t want to tempt fate. I had two relatively simple c-sections, and I’m just worried that the 3rd time would be catastrophic.

C-sections are NOT an easy way out. C-sections should not be part of a “celebrity” birth plan. They suck, and should only be used when necessary. I don’t understand why so many people say that people are taking “the easy way out” in regards to a c-section. It boggles my mind. How is MAJOR surgery, with a laundry list of MASSIVE possible complications and outcomes, EASY? Since when is shooting a kid out the way nature intended harder than involving tons of doctors, anesthesiologists, machines, SCALPELS, and tons of beeping shit? I am in no way a crunchy granola all natural mom. I fully believe in medical intervention when needed, including c-sections.

But don’t tell me it’s easier. It’s not.

-Daisy

 

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

50, the new 35?

20 Mar

Good morning, guys! In honor of the Mayor’s 50th birthday, which is tomorrow… She asked me to post a little something on her behalf.. Here she is!

The Mayor is campaigning for 50 to be the new 35!

The Mayor turns 50 sooner than later and I do not feel 50.. actually, more like 34 and 3/4. My mother was 50; not me! 50 is a BIG number. It’s the golden anniversary for all milestones. I don’t wear 50 year old clothes, I do not act or react like a 50 year old, I have not used a comb on my hair in several years.  I have some ink (being Daisy’s mom and all), I do not like the word “No,” as I believe everything is possible if you try, I truly enjoy hanging with my younger friends and when I am out with Diva, Intuitive & Handsome, I am told I have lovely children… (Though I am sure they are thinking “Damn, she spent a lot on turkey basting”)

The Mayor

 

So, what are your thoughts on aging? Should 50 be the new 35? Do YOU feel your age? Do you think age is an irrelevant number? Let us know! (and be sure to wish The Mayor a very happy birthday!)

Mom – You’re one of my best friends, who woulda thunk it?! Happy Birthday, we love you very much!

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Conversations with Myself or Schizophrenics with a Bitchy Voice

12 Mar

With my birthday looming around the corner, I’m starting to feel the full weight of my adult self. This will be my first birthday as a Mommy; the first birthday I celebrate around a baby’s bedtime routine. Even last year, toward the end of my third trimester, my birthday plans focused on my favorite meals at my favorite restaurant. Granted, I required three Oompa-Loompas to roll me to my table, but it was still MY birthday dinner at MY favorite adult restaurant.

Ten years ago, I was a carefree teenager. Daisy and I were causing enough trouble to render us “rebellious.” I was filling out college applications, and my biggest stressor was my SAT scores. I thought I was really cool. Now, I know I’m about as lame as they come. As a matter-of-fact, I’ve recently visited with 17-year-old Violet, and she’s pissed. She doesn’t like me at all. She thinks I’m a sell-out suburban Mommy, and has threatened, on more than one occasion, to kick my plump, dorky ass. When I asked her to explain to me why she has so much beef with present-day Violet, the little bitch actually produced a list.

  • I’m not nearly as impassioned by politics as she was. I’m more moderate, where as she was a bit of an extremist. She read several newspapers online daily and watched the news religiously. I, on the other hand, learned that Davey Jones died through my Facebook feed.
  • She has always hated minivans. The ultimate sell-out machine, she believed minivans were for boring soccer moms with 8 kids. She scorns me for wanting one really, really badly. I fear that when the day comes that I trade in my fuel-efficient coupe for my Mommy-mobile, she might hunt me down and slap me.
  • The other day, I caught her eavesdropping on my phone call to Daisy. She later chastised me for the content of our conversation. See, she regularly talks to 17-year-old Daisy about INTERESTING things, like boys, school, music, boys, shopping, entertainment, boys, and our favorite bad behaviors. When she heard us discussing couponing for two hours (and don’t get her started on my use of the word “coupon” as a verb!), our favorite recipes, and baby poop, she put her head in her hands and wept.
  • 17-year-old Violet was a girl who embraced literature. She loved Austen, Shakespeare, Orwell, and Eliot. I had to plead with her not to tear up my English degree when she noticed me reading a trashy Chick Lit book.
  • Young Violet actually skipped school on a regular basis to go to the gym. (And not just because the sexy actor “The Rock” worked out at the same gym between noon and two p.m., either.) While never “skinny,” she was svelte, sexy, and in great shape. She saw the tags in my jeans, noted the double-digit size, and cried. I tried to explain to her that my body changed with pregnancy; that exercise requires time I just don’t have. She wouldn’t hear of it.

It’s hard living with the ghost of your teenage self. The bitch leaves dishes everywhere, makeup on the counters, and stays up until dawn listening to music and talking on the phone. I can’t even get her to chip in for utilities! I’m going to have to kick her out soon, and I’m not looking forward to it. If she can’t deal with the fact that my life revolves around my kid; that I get a little high off of great savings through coupons; that my dream car has a third row, and that my favorite radio station is now NPR….
Well, she’ll just have to fuck off.

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Picky Eaters and Why I Refuse to Raise One

3 Mar

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve become hyper-aware of what I eat. I know that seems so trite, but in mainstream American culture, food is such a social and psychological medium that we tend to take our meals – and where they come from – for granted. It all started when I watched Food Inc. while pregnant. I think my hormones made me a bit psycho, but I couldn’t handle eating non-organic animal products for a while. A little bit of crazy remains, and I try to only feed Pterodactyl organic animal products (although I’ve loosened up on the fruits/veggies a bit). Recently, I’ve viewed some other food-related documentaries that caused me to give pause to the quantity and quality of fruits/veggies I eat, and how I perceive food.

I can’t stand picky eaters. I apologize to those of you who maintain specific diets, but I consider food a first-world adventure. I’ll try anything – all kinds of sushi, tripe, steak tare-tare, foie gras, strange fruits and veggies – you name it, I’ll eat it. I believe that picky eaters are depriving themselves of not only cool culinary experiences, but some important aspects of their nutrition. There are a few small children in my life who I consider to be “picky.” Their entire diets consist of “kid foods” like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs. I even have a good friend who is of the fussy variety. She has about seven or eight meals that she eats, and she rotates them regularly. My birthday dinners at the ceviche bar or sushi restaurant gave her zero meal options. I feel sad for her taste buds.

Now that Pterodactyl is learning to eat table foods, I’m making it my mission to encourage her palate. At ten months old, she’s already experienced tofu, seafood, tabouli, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and all manner of vegetables. Daisy offered me an excellent piece of advice many weeks back that I would like to reiterate here: she told me to feed my child what I feed Buddy and me, and over time, the kid would learn to like the foods we do. Boy, have I taken that to heart! My kid already gets down with some curried tofu over jasmine rice, and just about cleans her plate. (If you include the food that winds up on the floors, walls, and inside her diaper, then her plate is most certainly cleared.) So far, it’s working. Pterodactyl doesn’t discriminate; she’ll eat whatever I put in front of her. I hope that this trend continues, and much like her cousins Intuitive, Diva, and Handsome, she will get down with some sushi when she’s old enough.

I’ve seen persnickety eaters grow out of their preferences. My little brother was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. As a child, he would eat only meat and potatoes, and leave the veggies to me and my mother. Now that he’s a fitness-conscious adult, he has widened his repertoire to include most of the veggies we consider American staples. He gives me hope for the two little picky-eaters in my life. Maybe they will grow to be adults who enjoy a wide variety of foods; maybe their health won’t suffer at the expense of their finicky choices.

Buddy and I are going to start juicing as soon as our new gizmo arrives from amazon.com. Part of this dietary change means that we’ll keep fruits and vegetables in the house that we normally wouldn’t, like kale and beets. While I’m thrilled that we’re going to be making better dietary choices for ourselves, the real fun will be introducing Pterodactyl to unique flavors she hasn’t yet experienced, and cultivating her taste buds. Let’s hope that, in adulthood, she will enjoy a variety of foods, from the stinkiest, moldiest French cheeses to the spiciest Indian curries available. If that is indeed the case, I know it will be a result of what I’m feeding her now, and the amazing advice her Auntie Daisy gave us.

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