Sunday, January 29, 2012


At the zoo

for a walk


Trying for a hug

The twins

My 3 kids


Eva Rose


Being silly

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Illness and Other Things

I have been fighting a cold/bronchitis since Thanksgiving.  Finally, I went to the doctors 3 weeks ago and got the Z-pak for bronchitis and was feeling so much better.  I was feeling great for about 2 weeks and then my daughter got sick just before her 3rd birthday.  She was miserable this past weekend.  The poor thing was sick on her birthday party and her actual birthday, though she started feeling better on her actual birthday.  I brought her to the doctor who felt that her fever was related to a virus and that it would just have to work it's way out of her system.  He gave me some things to strengthen her immune system and help her body do what it needs to do to help her get better.  She was fine the next day but guess who is using everything that she was told to use?  I am once again sick.  I am using the echinacea, the vitamin C and vitamin D and am hoping that I will start feeling better soon.  I also need to start using  my nasal rinse as well as eating better and probably starting my allergy shots again.

I started a Biggest Loser type program with another twin mom blogger.  I have lost a little weight, but given the illness here, I have not exercised anywhere near where I should be.  I am going to try to get on the treadmill today since I really am not sure who I feel about being out in the cold when I am sick or with my daughter who was recently sick.  I am hopeful that I can at least use this challenge to lose a little bit of weight and get myself on the right track.  Losing weight is so much harder when you have kids.

Here's a few birthday party pictures:

Sick birthday girl!

Birthday boy!

Big Brother

Birthday Cake Nonna made

Birthday Cake from Costco

In another month and a half, we'll be celebrating Michael's 4th birthday, but for now we are a house of 3, three year olds!  Hopefully no one will be sick for Michael's birthday!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Test Results

If you didn't know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just about 1 year ago.  She has gone through chemo and radiation treatments and so far things are looking positive.  Her lump was caught early, unlike my grandmother her mother, who almost 6 years ago died of breast cancer.  Since my mom got diagnosed, she also got tested for the BRCA gene.  She got confirmation that she is a carrier for the BRCA 2 gene.  Currently, in my family, my mom, my grandmother, my grandmother's twin sister, and my great grandmother all have had breast cancer.  My grandmother's younger sister also had and died of pancreatic cancer, which the BRCA 2 gene puts you at higher risk for.

Now that my mom got tested, my sisters and I had to decide if we were going to get tested.  At first, I was leaning totally against having the gene test.  After talking with my doctor, I decided that it would be better to find out if I had the gene, because with my family history, without getting tested, I would need to have increased testing to ensure that things were caught early just in case I was at higher risk and didn't know it. I got met with a genetic counselor right after Christmas and with my husband decided to have the test.  Just about a week ago, I found out that I tested positive for the gene.

I wasn't totally surprised at the results, but I was still in shock from actually seeing it on paper and having one of my worst fears confirmed.  Of course, the immediate recommendation was to have a bilateral mastectomy and oophorectomy.  I was told that I needed to meet with an oncologist and discuss my options.  If I decided not to have surgery, I need to have a mammogram and a MRI every 6 months alternating each time.  If I don't have the oophorectomy, I need to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test every 6 months.  Even though I don't have cancer, I left that appointment feeling like I had been given a a death sentence, especially if I didn't have surgery.  Not exactly a great feeling to have especially not actually having cancer. I thought that since my family tended to get cancer later in life, I have a decent amount of time to decide, but no, they just lucked out (if getting cancer at all can be considered lucky) and got cancer later in life.  The BRCA 2 gene tends to cause earlier cancers, something I did not expect to hear.

I am still trying to figure out where to go from here.  I have 3 small kids and a great husband.  I don't want to get cancer.  I don't want to go through the pain and suffering and even potentially die, but I also don't want to have surgery.  There are too many reasons to go into right now, and at some point I will probably write about it just to put it in words that I can actually read.  My New Year's goals go along with the changes that I want to make especially now that I have tested positive for the gene.

My diet needs to change and so do my exercise habits.  I have joined in with another twins mom's blog for a healthy challenge.  I am hoping that this challenge will help me make the changes that I need to make and hopefully make theme stick.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting Our Family Healthier

One of my big goals this new year is to work on being healthier.  I don't want to make this a resolution, but with the new year, I decided to start thinking of new goals, or at least re-focusing on goals that I have already had.

My husband and I decided to start eating healthier, both us and our kids.  For me, this is a tricky goal.  I want to be healthy, but I have horrible food cravings for foods that are not good for me and unfortunately often give in.  Also, my kids are on the very, very bottom of the growth scale, so I am always conscious of how much they eat.  They are also very very picky eaters.  With the new year, my husband and I started green smoothies again.  Much to my elated surprise, my oldest son is loving them.  He liked them the first time we started and he was about 18 months old, but quit  eating them soon after.  Now he is still loving them and having easily 2 shakes at breakfast.  This means he is getting some sort of leafy green (kale, swiss chard, red leaf lettuce, etc.), and fruits.  Finally I can feel like he is getting some good nutrition easily instead of fighting to get him to eat healthy foods.  My twins, on the other hand, barely touch the shakes.  The good news is that they are eating vegetables much better than before so I'm not as concerned with their healthy eating.  I am trying to be better at meal planning which means I am not so crazed at dinner time trying to figure out what to cook.  Also, I spend less money and waste less food because I know what to buy for when.

One of my friends, another twin mom, is doing a sort of biggest loser challenge on her blog  I wasn't sure about joining in, but I decided that it is only ten dollars to contribute to the winning prize.  Also, I figure maybe this would be a friendly way for me to challenge myself and have some accountability.  So here I am joining in.  My husband just bought new running shoes.  I bought new ones last summer, and probably only used them and handful of times so far.  The other thing that we splurged on is winter gear.  We do have a treadmill, but I like getting outside and I can take the twins with me even if it is just a walk and no running.

I actually can't wait to start exercising again.  My husband mentioned getting up early on alternate days so that we can go running without having to push the kids and then getting it out of the way.  I really don't like getting up early and for me the thought of getting up at 5:30am instead of my usual 6:45am is not something I am looking forward to.  I am however, looking forward to feeling better and getting in shape and hopefully liking how my body is going to look.

Plans are in motion to get at least a couple of my goals met.  Hopefully my husband and I can set a good example for our kids early in life so that they don't have to deal with for addiction, food cravings, inability to stop eating even when they are full, and hopefully they will be active.  Hopefully all of this will help them be healthy kids and even grow into healthy adults.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Post About Me

I usually reserve this blog to write about my kids, but today I'm going to write about me.  Just because!

I am someone who has always loved to be creative.  I gave it up when I became a teenager.  I was already not one of the popular kids in school and back in the 80's knitting and sewing were not the popular thing to do, not like it is now.  I guess it's probably not a totally popular thing to do, but the whole hand crafted arena is so much more popular with teens than it was back then.  After college I decided that I was going to start being creative again, and since then, I have not stopped enjoying anything hand crafted.  I love craft fairs.  I love craft shows.  And, I love actually hand crafting things myself.  At this time in my life I am interested in so many different crafts; everything from knitting, scrapbooking, jewelry making, and sewing to even wood working.  My biggest challenge right now is time!

One thing that would help, would be to have a designated area to work and keep out everything that I needed to work on a project instead of always having to put everything away even if I'm in the middle of completing a project.  I do have an area that I could do this, but we have a house guest that has been here much longer than I had planned (yes this is also a post for me to piss and moan about having my brother in law stay with us).  We are a family of 5 and live in a small 5 room ranch.  It works for us, but having another adult for 8 months in our basement is totally cramping my style.  I have all of my craft supplies in the basement and could actually organize it so that if I were working on a project, I could keep things set up so that if I found a small chunk of time, I could go and utilize it to my best way possible.  Unfortunately, the basement is where our guest is sleeping.  He will supposedly be moving out the end of this month, but I am not holding my breath.  I would love to have a space to work.  I would love to try to organize what little space I have so that I have a workable area that I can leave up that project that isn't quite finished so that I don't have to take up time setting up and cleaning up!

Last of the bitch session and on to more positive ideas.  My friend over at seems to post a bunch of fun tutorials (Thanks Liz).  I have printed out a few that I want to work on.  My 3 kids all have birthdays coming up.  The twins turn 3 January 23rd and then Michael turns 4 March 8th.  There are a bunch of things that I want to work on for their birthdays.  I also have project that I want to work on for my husband.  Since we didn't exchange gifts this year and I didn't get a chance to finish something else and since he has a new tea cup, I am planning on making him a travel mug cozy with lectures of the kids on it.  I am hoping that I can make it work out the way I want it to.  I love blogs and I love crafts so craft blogs with tutorials are my favorite.  I can't wait to start working on some of these projects and hopefully, next month I can start working on organizing a craft space of my own!

And now for some simple New Year's Goals

  1. Eat more healthy-cook more from scratch
  2. Exercise more-get off my but and move damn it!
  3. Organize my house-get rid of clutter, make sure that everything has a place to return to.
  4. Be more involved with the kids-Now that the kids are more preschooler, I need to start doing more organized play with them.  For now we have been just going with the flow (may be an excuse but finally having 3 kids so close in age is fun and not as difficult, even though it is still OMG so difficult) 
  5. Create more-Make time to create.  Try to find a way to keep projects out until they are finished or choose projects that are easy to complete and don't take too much time instead of having to set up and take down everything each time for the same project!
  6. Spend time learning more about the things I love- I need to learn more about gardening, herbs, art therapy (which will hopefully help me in my career someday), and many other things that I am interested in instead of just having limited knowledge of it.
Those are my simple goals.  There is much more work that needs to go into them, but for now that is all I need to post.

Here are a couple of picture of the kids!
Juice Break at Drumlin Farm 11/30/2011

Stone Zoo 12/1/2011

Santa at the Enchanted Village 12/4/2011