Friday, December 29, 2006

A Few Random Pics

I am working on Christmas pics to post but here are a few that I had on my camera before it died in the middle of Christmas.

Here is Janie meeting her first reindeer. Actually, I think it was my first also. We went to a festival in our little town and they had some great things for the kiddies!

This pic is of Owen and his older brother. Well not really but this is my girlfriends son that Owen looks a lot alike. We always joke that maybe he is there baby. He has the same mannerisms as Grant and certainly resembles him more than his twin!

Here is Owen again. When Janie came home from gymnastics one night, he begged to put her leotard on. He slept the entire night in it.

And for some reason I have trouble lining up the pictures with the photos but I tried!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Doing Christmas Twin Style

Preparing for Christmas with 20 month old twin boys is exactly what you can imagine it would be. We waited two extra weeks to get the Christmas tree, have limited our decorations, have not put presents under the tree and still it is not easy. The boys love the tree! They love to touch it, they love to point and say "ball", they love to take the balls off and throw them and soon they will love climbing it! Notice the tree does not have any ornaments under 3 ft.

Most other decorations are fine. They can play with them or throw them or eat them - I don't care! We didn't hang our stockings in fear that they would pull down the stocking hangers and knock themselves out. We didn't however worry about the 5 pieces of Dickens Village on top of the mantle. They some how got a hold of a cord brought two of those crashing down too! I should be happy that they didn't get hurt correct? Notice that nothing has been done with it since the accident!

Christmas morning should be interesting...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Same Ole Kid

I am a bit frustrated after just writing a long entry, I lost the entire thing. Anyway, I have a few more minutes so here are the Cliff notes...

Kyle had inguinal hernia surgery on Monday. They asked us to arrive 1 hour early, dress him in loose clothing and bring his favorite blanket or toy. Well, we didn't take Owen and that is his favorite toy so who knew what the outcome would be!

We met with a team of Dr.s and nurses and then they took our little one away to be "put under". After spending 30 minutes talking to the surgical nurse, the Dr. came out and we were called into recovery. Everything went great! The Dr. even said that his reproductive system all looks good. Grand kids, here we come!

Anyway, recovery was a bit hard. He cried a lot which I guess is normal. We got him home and after a bit of lying aroung, we put him down for a nap. Three hours later we went up to get him and only to find him diaper and pantless. He hasn't missed a beat since. He eats like a champ, sleeps like a champ and I am constantly having to stop him from jumping off the couch!

Once again, I am very blessed with the amazing Dr.s and nurses that we have. I talked to the surgical nurse yesterday and she told me that she has the best and easiest job ever because of the great kids. Amazing, just amazing...

Friday, December 08, 2006

What's new!

I thought I would write a little update on the family. Tis the season and I am busy finishing shopping, wrapping and doing Christmas cards. I am trying to stay ahead so not to stress myself out!

The kids are great! Janie is doing so well in school. She is reading like a champ and I love it. The only hard part is that I am struggling with her homework already. Uugh! She has her first gymnastics meet this weekend. It is a fun meet to get the girls used to competition. I will take advantage of having a babysitter and do a little shopping!

The boys are crazy as ever. Their new thing is taking off their pants and diapers. I caught Kyle peeing on the floor tonight. I guess it is onsie time! Kyle is really struggling with his exema right now so we are trying to get that under control. He has his surgery for his hernia on Monday. They told us to bring his favorite toy or blanket. The problem is that his favorite toy is Owen and he will be staying at home with Grammy. Hopefully all will go well. He is such a strong kid!

Owen is sweet as ever following his brothers lead. He is talking a lot and will repeat almost anything you say. I am so happy that he is talking more than Kyle just because Kyle does everything else first.

Mike and I are fine and continue to try to balance schedules as he works mostly nights. We see each other 3 times a week right now. Somehow, it is fine. I am just grateful for what I have!

I think that is all for now...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tis the season

I am trying really hard to stay ahead of the game this year and get my shopping done, wrapping completed and Christmas cards written. Blogging doesn't seem to be a priority but neither does decorating. I don't have a sign of the holidays in my house. I think I may not be motivated to do it because the boys will tear it up. Literally! The Christmas tree is waiting at least one more week.

We did have a good Thanksgiving. We went to my Aunt and Uncles in Ohio. We enjoyed spening time with family and eating and eating and eating...My aunt has a house full of country nick nacks (not sure how you spell that because I don't own a nick nack). I was very concerned that the boys may destroy. We brought 2 gates and they did pretty well. Well enough that I really ejoyed myself. However, bed time was a different story! They were able to climb out of their pack n plays in a matter of seconds. One night I put Kyle back in 16 times! Being someone who enjoys putting children to bed and not hearing from them again, it was rough! When we got home on Saturday, I did the you-can't-get-out dance with a glass of wine in hand after putting them to bed.

Here are a few shots from the day. Back to wrapping...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Here we go

With cold weather comes sickness, as we have experienced the last few weeks. Our strep, sinus infections and flu have minimized to coughing, green noses and wheezing. Owen is officially back on steroids for the winter and breathing treatments as necessary (3 a day right now). Not so fun and he did not get better at it over since we stopped in July. Meaning, he fights us through the entire treatment!

We are close to being done with antibiotics. It has been a fun week trying to get those down. I hold an M&M in one hand and shove it in their mouths with the medicine in the other. It is actually humorous to me that bribing works at this age.

We attempted to get our Christmas pictures taken yesterday. My dear friend dealt with us for an hour as we had tears, chased kids and cleaned up kitty litter that they thought would be fun to play in. It was not my idea of a good time. Our Christmas card could easily end up being a hand drawn picture by Janie!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Apparently my parenting skills are to be tested right now. I am not so sure that I am coming out with flying colors. In fact, I almost threw the towel in today!

Yesterday was a rough day with very irritable children. I had to hold and pamper the twins all day. Janie on the other hand was just highly neglected and watched entirely too much TV.

Today was much of the same. Owen however woke screaming and did not stop. I finally took him to the urgent care at 9:30a. Yep, strep! So we had one healthy day between the stomach stuff and strep.

Of course Kyle will get this, if he doesn't all ready have it, since they swap cups and pacifiers all day and I have no control over it! So, although I feel a bit under the weather also, I had a brilliant idea. Owen fought me to take the Penicillin from the get go. I called the Dr. back to see if they would prescribe amoxicillin instead. He did and now I have two antibiotics! This means no taking Kyle to the Dr. Bad mom or brilliant?

The kicker is that our nanny called today and her child is now throwing up and she will not be here tomorrow!

Uugh, make it go away!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Caged or Safe?

Here they are- the nets, the bed bras, the cages, the best thing ever! As I said a week ago, I am not ready for the boys to be out of their cribs at 19 months. Since they think they are ready, we are telling them otherwise. These things are great and they seem to be fine with them. It is like they are camping all the time!

Anyway, they are now safer and we are buying some time before the move to bigger beds!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I think I can, I think I can...

This seems to be my slogan over the past few days. I will try not to go on and on about my pitty party here but I must update on the Mitchell adventures.

It all began on Friday night when Owen started not feeling well and it has continued still to today. Owen has had 103 temp since Saturday and spent all night Sunday vomiting followed by the few random vomits on Monday. I joined in on Sunday night with the adventures of puking my brains out. Meanwhile, Kyle has not had a fever but did one random cover-half-of-the-living-room-vomit on Saturday followed by filling-up-Daddy's-car-with-vomit yesterday on the way to the Dr. Yes, the Dr. We found what seemed like an egg-like thing in Owen's testicle. Mike took him in yesterday and he does have to have surgery to remove what is a hernia. We have our pre-opp appointment next week to see when this will happen.

So I got side tracked! I took Monday off to spend 30 minutes babying myself because remember I have the flu too! I came to work yesterday but then left early because Owen was not any better and the Dr. thought we should bring him in. I called the Dr and after much discussion and me informing them that Owen's heart rate was at 160, they decided to send us to the ER. Remember Owen was born with an SVT of the heart which is an irregular, rapid heart rate. He has been doing very well and has been off of meds for almost 1 year.

So we go to the ER for the next 5 hours. They gave him an IV, took all kids of blood, monitored his heart and we left with a virus. Yes, the unexplainable virus! At least that is what we think for now. He was dehydrated and has low levels in several areas but nothing that points to anything other than a virus. Poor little dude!

We arrived home around 6:30pm. My best friend Theresa graciously watched Kyle and Janie and put off going to her daughter's gymnastics class to help me out. Did I mention that our house is full of vomiting germs that will clearly make their way now through their house. Of course I came home to some yummy pizza, breadsticks and salad that she had ordered. Really is there a better friend than one that will stay with your sick kids, miss their kids activities, infect their kids with germs and have dinner on the table. Honestly, I am so lucky!

I am almost done...

So after getting kiddies drugged up and in bed last night I finished cleaning carpets and washing puky and poopy clothing. I signed off myself at about 10:30p. Janie arrived in my room about 11:30p and spent the rest of the night praying to our in need of cleaning toilet. I called Mike at 11:45p to see if he was on his way home. He had spent the 4th night on a new job vomiting in the sink, all over the stairs, and in the garbage.

Sickness go away! There must be an end soon....

The above pics are of Owen in his usual position for the last week and Kyle not realizing that he is sick!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The NICU Fashion Show

On Thursday night the entire family participated in a fashion show fundraiser for the NICU at the hospital where the boys were born. It was great! Despite having to chase the little guys around for a couple of hours before the start, it went perfect. A couple of really great stores were generous enough to sponsor the clothing (that we don't get to keep) for the show. We all looked hip and ready to hit the town. The best part - the boys were awesome! The walked out holding our hands, smiling and capturing the crowd forever. It certainly could have gone the other way so we were so proud that they were happy (especially since the whole thing began 30 minutes after their bedtime). Enjoy the photos!

Hopefully we raised tons of money for our group, the Family Advisory Board, so that we can continue to pursue positive things for the NICU!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Halloween was good. We went over to our friends the Fishes. The boys did great in their cozy frog costumes. Janie thought she was pretty hip as a Rock Star. On to eating candy...

For some reason this picture is posting black but if you click on it, you can see the image.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sooner than later

I knew this day would come. After all, we have conquered most gates and can climb out of anything with straps. Yes, my children have officially climbed out of their cribs at 18mths old. If anyone knows me well, bed time is a very important thing for me. When it is bed time or nap time, I put my kids down and that is all there is to it. This is my time (right..) or my time with Janie or Mike or laundry time or whatever-I-have-not-been-able-to-do-why-the-boys-are-awake-time! Whatever it may be, it is important to me and fortunately, my kids go to bed well.

Well, this all changed on Sunday. Janie and I were up at my Mom's for my Sissy's baby shower. Mike stayed home with the boys. He put them down at noon for their daily nap. 10 minutes later he heard a loud thud. He thought "great, Kyle has learned how to get out" So, he ran upstairs and no, it was not Kyle. Kyle was already out of bed playing, it was Owen who had fallen. I can see Kyle running over to his bed trying to coax him out. My little Owey would never do this on his own!

They went to bed fine last night. So I was thinking maybe it was just a one time thing. No such luck! When Mike heard the boys this morning and went into get them, Kyle was out and about playing like he is 4 years old. Oh my!

This is not safe. I fear that they will hurt themselves very bad crib climbing. Kyle may have conquered it quietly so that he does not tune us in but Owen is not quite strong enough. I read in Parents Magazine to move them at this point into big beds. Guess what? I am not ready. I am not ready for them to roam their bedroom for hours each night and I am certainly not going to lay with them until they sleep! Call me selfish!

I am going to by nets! Watch for an update....

Friday, October 27, 2006

Have I told you about my Brother?

It seems so often that we are so busy and caught up in our daily routines with jobs, children, spouses and nameless other things. My brother is no exception to this. He is in a very demanding political career, commutes daily 70 miles each way to work, and has endless evening meetings and events. And oh ya, he also has a wife at home that he occasionally sees. Despite his crazy busy life (just wait until he has kids), he never and I mean never (unless something major is happening) says no to helping me out when I need it. I can't tell you how many times I have been in a pinch having to work with no one to watch the kids. He has absolutely no problem with it. He will change diapers, he will play and play and love and play. All I have to do is feed him and he likes Hamburger Helper.

When I got caught at the Dr.'s office and was told I needed to go and deliver the boys, I called him and he went and picked up my daughter from school and took care of her all night. Just this last week I had concert tickets and Mike had to work. It was one of the few days that John got to work out of his house in Lansing. So what did he do? He drove down to Detroit to watch my kids so that I could go to the concert. And, did so willingly.

Anyway, it is so nice to have someone in your life like my brother. I can count on him. I can ask without guilt or compensation. I trust him as much as I trust anyone to care for my children. For this, I am grateful!

The only thing he doesn't do...pick up! Love you bro!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A month later...

It has been a very long month with a lot of ups and downs and therefore I could not bring myself to blog. In fact, there have been days that I could not bring myself to do much other than give my kids what they need and get through the day.

Mike lost his job on Sept 29th. The circumstances are not something I really want to discuss right now but ultimately, he resigned his position. So, we have been living with the stress of trying to make it on my salary while he is diligently looking for a job. There are so many factors to consider. How can we keep our babysitter that we love and has taken incredible care of our kids? How can we keep Janie is gymnastics? How can we not get ourselves into such a big whole that we can not get out? Where can Mike begin looking? Can he work an hourly position until he finds something? Will my husband fall into and unmotivated rut? And on and on and on...

Fortunately, things seem a bit up. He has started to get some interviews. In the meantime he is working as a temp at my work. He may start an interim gig next week at a new high end restaurant in Southfield. So, we are making it, trying to keep our kids happy and our marriage intact.

What I have learned through this whole ordeal is that I do have so much to be thankful for. I have healthy children, a loving family who would do just about anything for me (thank you!), great and supportive friends and I am still in love with my husband. Many things in life will come and go but my life is filled with the most important things! Now all I need is a paycheck damnit!

The kids are great! The boys continue to be out of control. Fortunately, they keep us laughing. Janie continues to do well in school. She told me the other day, as she giggled, that she has two crushes in her school. She made me promise not to tell Daddy or anyone else. See how I don't listen. It is so cute.

Despite having one unemployed we are managing to stay busy. My sister had a baby shower in Columbus this past weekend so we road tripped there. She has another this weekend up near my mom's and I think Janie and I will skip off by ourselves. We have a big fundraiser next week for the NICU where the boys were.

Other news:

~One of my best friends had a baby a week ago~ Congrats Mere and Jon and welcome Talan
~The nursing home where my grandma lives dropped her the other day and she has some serious bruising and cuts but is doing okay
~I saw the Indigo Girls concert last Friday and it was great!

I think that is it for now. Here is a pic of the boys enjoying their first powdered donut.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Off to a new week

I guess we are almost half way through this week but I am glad it is here nevertheless. I don't want to be a complainer because I certainly feel that my life is good and I am fortunate to have what I need however, LAST WEEK SUCKED! So here is how it went...

Friday (Sept 8) I got a call from daycare and Owen had a fever and was spitting up. Meanwhile I had just gotten a call for a potential huge event 10 days later and they wanted to meet with me that afternoon. Fortunately, Mike was able to skip out of work, for a change, and get Owen. He continued to have a fever until Sat. however, he never got flu like symptoms. On Monday, we found sores in his mouth which then verified that he had hand, foot, and mouth. Bummer!

We had continued to give both boys Tylenol since "crabby" was an understatement. So, when Kyle broke out with the sores also, we never even had known he had a fever. Yes, I'm sure he exposed many others at daycare.

Realizing that I had this incredibly crazy week at work still happening, I thought we were over the hump and I could just focus on planning this really big event, putting on other really big events and returning phone messages that were days old. WRONG! I raced home, like I do everyday, to get Janie off the bus by 4pm. My girlfriend picked her up at 4:10p to rush her off to gymnastics so that I could go and pick the twins up. I get the boys home, feed them and begin baths before running to pick Janie back up when my phone rings and it is the gym saying that Janie is in the lobby crying because she wants me. I re-dress the boys and run to pick her up (leaving behind my friends daughter that I am supposed to pick up). It turns out, Janie had a fever and needed to stay home the next day. Yes, another one with hand, foot and mouth! Fortunately, my husband came through again and took the day off!

The kicker of the story that I have now babbled on about is the morning that Janie had the fever, I went in to check her and kiss her before I left and she woke up. 45 minutes later, I finally left for work, late, with her in the garage crying and asking me why my job was so important! Are you kidding? I wasn't leaving her with the wolves but it certainly felt like it. I cried the whole way to work wondering if I had my priorities straight. Am I raising my kids right? Do they know how much I love them? Am I around enough to teach them right from wrong? Do they know that I would give my life for them? Maybe we should sell our house, move into an apartment so that I can stay home!

The thing is, I like my job. I like the balance that it gives me and the adult time. I feel like I am a better mom because I work. I appreciate the time I have with my kids more. But, these times make you question that. I am usually able to stay home when I need to or leave work when I need to but this was just one of those weeks! For once, I felt like the balance was not good. I didn't have complete control.

So I worked another 17 hours on Thurs. and Sunday too and now I am slowing down enough to rid the guilt! It is catch up time but I think I have a handle again.

The cool thing is that the event that I landed for this past Sunday was sponsored by a car company and Daniel Powter was the entertainment. He was fabulous live and does have songs other than "Bad Day".

I didn't mention the major traffic jam or my back pain being back or all of the NICU stuff I have to do because that would be complaining!

Now back to my life and my family and the way I like it...I hope.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

So much catching up

I haven't blogged in so long because my life seem like a whirlwind. Getting through the days and trying to balance work/home life seems more challenging than ever. Certainly I don't want to complain because life is good, just chaotic.

Let's back track...

We took the kids two weeks ago to the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth and had a ton of fun. It is such a perfect place to take the family. They have five swimming pools, a miniature golf indoors and the rest of the hotel is like Chucky Cheese. The pools were great~ 90 degrees and just right for the kids. We had a horrible night sleep with 5 in the room but it was worth it. I have to say that the chicken dinner the next day was not perfect. The food was good but the kids were not. For the first time ever, I had to leave the restaurant with the kids (K and O). Yikes!
It was fun meeting another set of twins with a very similar background to ours in the pool. They were born at our hospital 1 year earlier and had the same length of hospital stay. Crazy! Then we ran into a couple celebrating their anniversary. Really? Would you really go to the most kid friendly place I know for you anniversary? I would rather stay at home.

Last weekend (Labor Day) we just hung around home and did stuff with the kids and my mom. We went to the petting zoo at Kensington. It is so nice to get the boys out to run because it really does not happen that often. It always takes two people not taking their eyes off them. The boys really didn't care much about the animals but they loved running on the open ground.

Mike and I also went on a date last weekend. My mom was down for the night and suggested we go out. We made plans and actually went to a movie. I have not been to the movies in eight years. Now some of that is because I would often rather go out for a drink then go to a movie but we finally did it. It was crazy to sit in the movies, hold hands and realize how much I love spending time with the man I married. Something that I don't find time to think about often. We did manage to hit a local watering hole on the way home for a beverage.

The update on the kids...

Janie started first grade this past week. She now goes full days every day. She seems to be doing okay with it. She is a bit more tired and very sassy (that may be normal) but overall seems positive. It is just hard for me to believe that my little girl is now in 1st grade. This just teaches me once again to enjoy my kids every day because it goes soooo fast!

She is still very involved in gymnastics and now goes two nights a week for two hours each time. She is part of a pre-team group called Shooting Stars and will compete in seven meets this year. My girlfriend Theresa helps me so much in the running or we would not be able to do it. I wonder every day if this it too much of a commitment for a 6 year old. I just don't want her to miss out on other things.

Owen has been sick again. We got a call from school on Friday saying that he had spit up and had a 102 fever. Fortunately Mike was able to pick him up. He only vomited one time and had a fever until Saturday morning. I am not sure if it was just a virus or what. Now he is just really irritable and and whiny. He is continuing to break molars so that may have something to do with it. If he is not back to himself in a day or so, a trip to the Dr. may be in our future!

Kyle is good however he had a fever tonight. His spirits seemed to remain positive so we will see where it goes.

The boys are just such characters and tons of fun. The are very busy and have to be locked down (by gates) all the time or something will get destoyed or broken. It is awesome to watch them laugh at each other and play more and more together.

So along with Janie starting school, my job has been insane. We are now back to school at work also so there have been a ton of events. In addition, we have had several weddings and large outside groups in to keep me crazy. Our nanny comes back in two weeks so that will help with the running of the kids and trying to be home to get Janie off the bus every day. In the meantime, I will just continue to try to parent to the best of my ability and not get fired from my job!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fevers, Allergies, Fevers

I had a phone conversation last week with a friend discussing how sick-free this summer had been for us. We haven't even had as much as a cold! Right...

Starting last Friday, Owen and Kyle both came down with fevers. No other symptoms, just fevers. They slept fine through the night, ate fine, demeanors were okay but the fevers continued. I kept expecting Roseola or hand, foot, mouth or vomiting but nothing. And then Sunday, the fevers were gone. Owen has been in a mood ever since this started. He throws himself down, arches and doesn't want anything or anybody. He is also getting 3 molars so who knows!

Then, Tuesday night Janie woke me at 1am and was feeling awful. I could tell she was burning up so I gave her Motrin, some water and took the temp. Well it read 105.5. So, either I have a misreading thermometer or I was too out of it myself. Anyway, I took the day off on Wed. to stay home and watch old Little House on the prairie episodes, eat soup and baby my little girl. Kind of fun since again her only symptoms were the fever and with meds, it was controllable.

Meanwhile, I let Kyle fall off of the bed and clobber his nose (see picture), I have some nasty allergies going on, and my husband has been working every night! But, all is well now.

My sister has her first ultra sound today and will find out about her baby, we are going to order a new kitchen floor today and we are taking the kids to Frankenmuth for the weekend to have a little family fun!

Until next time...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Six years ago

Six years ago today I lost the most generous individual I have ever known, the person who taught me about courage, the first man I ever loved, one of the two people who gave me life, and the person that I called Daddy. Yes, six years ago, my dad, who had suffered from cancer for 15 months, was relieved of his pain and struggles and moved on to a better place.

I think there are many things in life that you do not appreciate or recognize as being as important as they are until you are without them. Not to say that I didn't appreciate or realize how important my father was to me when he was alive, but I feel that in the six years that he has been gone that it has really come to surface what an amazing person he was. I did not realize the impact that he made on so many lives. I did not realize the impact he made my life.

My daughter was only 3 months old when dad died. Now that I have been a parent for a while I realize more now how he lived his life. He thought, as many parents do, that his wife and children were everything. He would have and did give anything and everything to make us happy. What he may have never known is that the important things that he gave us will be with as we grow older, make new friends, have children and survive marriage. He taught me that giving is easy. He taught me that making a difference in others' live is easy to do. He taught me that friendships are important and worth taking time for. He taught me that marriage is not always easy and showed me how a woman should really be treated. He taught me that parenting can be a challenging but is the most precious gift ever.

My dad wrote so many letters. He wrote letters to people who were going through tough times, or people who just conquered something great, but most of all because he knew it would make someone's day. My favorite letter that he ever wrote was to my husband when Janie was born. I can't quote exactly but part of it went something like this - "There is something special about having a daughter. One day when Janie has gone off to college and the phone rings, Ali will yell to you and say "honey, the phone is for you, it's Janie" and there will never be a better feeling"

Now I just miss my dad. I wish I could see him hold my mom's hand. I wish I could feel like he would do anything in the world for me again. I wish he could meet my kids today. I wish I could get his approval that I am a good parent. I wish he was here...


Today is our 4th day in daycare. So far, okay. Initially the boys were very excited about there classroom, lots of toys, friends, creative things to do that mommy probably would not do at home (finger painting, markers, etc...)and so on. Janie had a harder time the first day. I could tell that she was feeling anxious about not knowing anyone. She had tears, I had tears and then I left.

The update four days later is that Janie is doing great. Despite the getting up in the morning, she is doing awesome.

The boys are both doing fine. Apparently Kyle has been very sensitive in the morning and a bit whiney. Yesterday and today he stood at the door screaming when Mike dropped him off. Owen is whining some but overall pretty content. This is funny because typically Kyle is the clown and happy most of the time and Owen is the serious, temperamental one. The challenge here - SLEEP! These boys have gone from sleeping 8:00pm-6:30am with 2-2hr naps a day to 7:15pm-6:00am with 1-1hr nap a day. I am not sure that they are ready to go down to one nap. I know that this transition usually happens at 12months but maybe not for my crazy boys. The unfortunate part is that the time we have together now is not as pleasant because they are spent.

The bright side - I love Hearts and Hands! It is a Christian based childcare/preschool. Janie went to preschool there and we have always been happy. A lot of the same people are working there that were there when we left over a year ago. It is the perfect balance between play, education and Christian education.

So, we will continue to transition and look forward to our nanny coming back in hopefully 5 weeks!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Catching up

It seems that the time between my updates gets longer and longer. This time I have an excuse~I was off of work last week and it is not that I didn't have time but I have a super slow computer that is still on dial up. So, if I do get on line, it takes 20 minutes to look up the weather. I know we need a new computer and high speed but truly, I have access all day long at work so what is the need.

Anyway, our nanny had her long awaited baby girl on Wednesday and named her Alivia Lynn. She is just a peanut at 5lbs, 4oz and beautiful as can be. So, with her needing to be gone, I took vacation time. I stayed home with the kids. And when I say stayed home, I mean in the house. It was great quality time and we did get out for a bit of shopping and visiting but mostly we stayed home. The reason for this is that I can not handle these kids on my own in any place but the house. I tried to play outside and once Kyle discovered the street, it was all over. I met a girlfriend at the park and tried to keep track of which steps which child was climbing. It is truly crazy.

My week off meant a bit of catching up on sleep, a lot of projects left undone but fortunately some QT with the kids. I do feel that Janie always suffers. She always has to help mommy with the boys. I try to give her all of my down time. The second the twins go to sleep, I try to play catch or a game or watch her ride her bike. It is just hard finding the balance. Fortunately my mom and I were able to take her school shopping on Sun. (alone) and that was great!

The kids all started in a new childcare (well new to the boys but the same place Janie had gone before) yesterday. I will try to blog about that tomorrow but have to run now and pick them up!

Our regular routine ~mommy the jungle gym!

Monday, July 31, 2006

The good ole' buddies

We spent this past weekend at my mom's and visiting with my best friends from high school. I know it is amazing that after all of these years, my best friends are still from high school.

We typically (at least for the past 5 years) take a little vaca away together every year. No kids, no hubbies, no distractions - just good conversation and a bunch of wine! This year had been difficult because one friend had a baby in Feb. and two others are due in early Nov. (I, of course was ready to fly away) The greater challenge is that one of us lives in CA. (We used to all be in 5 different states but now all are back in MI but one) Soooo, we had the opportunity to all be together this weekend.

We started off Saturday with some fantastic kayaking down the river. I had never kayaked before and it was relaxing and hilarious. Within 2 minutes of entering the river, we had almost all crashed and one tipped. What a blast! We continued the day with an dinner shower for the two prego friends followed by a few late night brews for some! We were able to get the kids and moms together for the shower portion. about some beautiful pregnant women! I loved pregnancy and thought I looked okay (until I saw pictures months later) but let me tell you, these girls are all tummy. Cute little bodies with a little tummy. So pretty!

What fun and super refreshing to hang out with these great friends, the best of friends! Mere, Tara, Kristin, Jamie - love you guys!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All is well

I haven't posted lately because there is not much updating to do. The Mitchell house is far from quiet but uneventful in the same token.

I will go from oldest to youngest~

Janie is having a busy summer with play dates, neighbors, gymnastics and trying to fit in all of the little kid stuff in. She continues to put me on a guilt trip daily as to why I have to work. Such a hard thing to listen to! She came back from our vacation with swimmers ear and just finished antibiotics for that! Overall, she is busy and well.

Owen is a little stinker. He was always the mellow baby and I feel that the roles with Kyle and him have reversed. I used to be able to do anything with him and he would not make a peep. I took him for a chest x-ray once and he laughed through the entire thing. Well, times are a-changin! He is now the fit-thrower (probably not a word). It is usually over a book that he wants off the shelf or a hat that he wants down from the coat rack. Nevertheless, no more mellow baby!

Kyle has turned into a pretty happy entertaining kid with an awesome disposition. He is constantly getting into trouble because he thinks it is so funny (and I am sure because we laugh at him).

Overall, all are well. We are enjoying some summer festivals, lots of projects and good ole family time. I am looking forward to a weekend at my mom's with my best friends from high school. It is always refreshing to catch up!

My nanny is 38 weeks pregnant, +45 lbs and ready to pop. I am pretty much on call all the time because who knows when this will happen! Scary!

Monday, July 17, 2006

We're Back

Some things about returning from vacation are refreshing - sleeping in your own bed, putting your kids and their beds, having the place child proofed and seeing friends again. However, returning to work is not one of them! I am back in full swing this morning (actually I came back to work for a huge event on Sat.), playing catch up and blogging while I should be calling clients.

Our vacation was great! We enjoyed the beautiful lake, did tons of fishing, ate lots of grub, had plenty of QT with family and chased babies. Overall the kids were great. Janie was at my side, as always, as much as possible. I tried to make this vaca as much about her as possible by taking her fishing alone, swimming a lot and including her in the evening smore making/bonfire. The boys were the boys. They slept great (past 6am) and enjoyed running around and getting into everything that was not for them (the fire place, cupboards, toilets, cleaning supplies, etc...) Kyle really liked the water and Owen still has the jury out. It was hard to have them just playing down by the water because Kyle wanted to be running on the dock or diving in the water, not building sand castles.

As always, Higgins Lake was beautiful. The clear was and blue line are just amazing. We voyaged out on the pontoon rental often for cruises and fishing. Janie caught her first fish and I added about 10 more total. The problem - nothing was bigger than about 6 inches. The satisfaction I get from catching is good enough for me!

I best get back to reality now...

Friday, July 07, 2006

We are outta here!

After I get things stable at work (right), stop the mail,grab a few more things at the store, mow the lawn, get through the evening of dinner, baths, etc..., pack the entire house, we will be off! We will leave tomorrow morning for our week at Higgins Lake. My mom, sis and hubby, bro and wife and the Mitchell 5 will officially be vacationing! Let's hope for good weather, well behaved children, and many good times.

Lots of pics and updates when we return!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Family Time

We had a wonderful weekend/4th of July. All of the days are running together and truly I have to think hard to remember what day is what as July 4 mixed me all up and now I am frantically trying to prepare the fam for our vacation up to Higgins Lake next week.

Let me start by saying there was a sad part of the weekend. My best friend Theresa lost her grandpa last week. He was 96 years old, married 68 years, had 4 children, tons of grandkids and and uncountable amount of great-grand kids. As Theresa always said, they take a tackle box of vitamins and eat grossly, healthy foods (like liver and wheat germ). It was a sad but happy celebration of an amazing life! It makes me think about the whole healthy life style and wonder if it really works. He was still riding his bike daily. In fact, he was on his way out to mow the lawn when he collapsed. What a great way to go and pain free! The hard part is now thinking of Theresa's grandma who is also a very healthy 90?? year old who has never lived alone and is used to doing everything with her hubby. Hopefully she will move into a senior community or something (as if it is so easy to just clean out 60+ years of "stuff" from a big farm house and pick up your life and move it).

So, once we got through the sad part of the weekend, we were able to enjoy our first trip to Detroit Tastefest. It was an opportunity for us to get out, enjoy some grub, people watch, let Janie rock climb for the first time (she was amazing) and see what it is all about. We often are very cooped up in the house so it always feels refreshing to take an outing. When Mike is working (which is always Saturdays and often in the evening) I can't handle the kids outside by myself unless they are in the stroller. The twins are out of control and for my sanity and their safety, we hang out a lot inside.

For the 4th we went to the cottage and met my cousins new baby. She is fat and cute and sweet! It was interesting to watch the boys response to a baby. There did not seem to be any jealousy when I was holding her. Kyle was so sweet and would put his head right down on her lap or stroke her leg (I think it was cute???). Owen however just smacked her. Twice! He still just not get the hitting thing and does it as he wishes.

So, that is it. I will begin my grocery shopping for our trip tonight and the packing will have to start tomorrow. I probably should be making a list for packing but haven't yet!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Tempers are Raging!

Owen's demeanor is much more prone to temper tantrums. It is not uncommon for him to throw himself down, back arched several times a day. He usually is over it in a matter of minutes. I do know that one day in the near future, we will be in a public place and he will be on the floor screaming. Because of this, I will have to leave behind the great outfit that I was about to buy and depart for home. Worse, it could happen in a restaurant just as our food has arrived. Nevertheless, it is the inevitable!

Last night was Kyle's turn. I thought it would be a great idea to take both of the boys up to my bathroom and bathe them so I didn't have to do one at a time. (this upsets them to be the one left behind)Janie joined us and decided to get in the tub. Kyle did not want to stay seated so after washing him, I pulled him out to get dressed. Well, it didn't go over too well. He spent the next 15-20 minutes screaming bloody murder! I couldn't resist getting a few pics. My favorite is the one of him banging his head. Somehow he thinks that will resolve everything when he is mad!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No Bronchs Here!

We got great news last Friday. I took Kyle back to the Polmonologist for an eval before his 6am Bronch this Thurs. The Dr. listened, asked a million questions and concluded that we do not need to go through with the Bronch, at least not now! He is pretty sure that we are battling asthma and that there is not a blockage somewhere else. We will continue on the inhaled steroids for another month and then stop cold turkey to see what happens. He is still on Albuterol when needed.

Owen however continues to sound wheezie occassionally. When we go for their 15mth check up next week, I will ask their Dr. about Owen going to see the Polmonologist. He is also on Pulmocort (the steroid) and another med for the wheezing, as needed.

Anyway, I am much relieved that my baby does not need to be "put under" this week!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Quality Time

I started my Friday night as I usually do, tired and anxious for the kids to go to bed so that I can do the same. After reading to Janie and spending some time snuggling, she began the guilt trip! This happens every few weeks or so but this was the first time in over a month, I would say. She asked when the boys were going to go to a place like Grammie's for a while so that we could just hang out, watch a movie together, eat Hamburger Helper (her fav), make popcorn, do our nails and sleep together. Basically, she was referring to her life before-brothers. Yikes! This was followed by "why can't you just be a stay-at-home-mom?" A common questions that I have become fairly numb to.

So I spent much of my evening trying to figure out how to make this all work. How do you raise twin boys that demand so much right now while maintaining a relationship and the needs of a mature, intelligent but sometimes needy 6-year old girl? And truth be told, our schedule does revolve around the boys. It isn't always easy, in fact it sometimes hurts. You question whether you are doing things right, whether you are giving enough, whether you are selfish at times. As I always say, you just want to make thing great for your kids.

The great part is that we had a fantastic rest of the weekend. We spent some good time on Sat. night playing ball and bike riding after the babies had gone to bed. When I asked Janie what she wanted to do, she said "really??? - we can just do something?" Am I that neglectful? On Sunday, the day was pretty much about her. When the boys took there morning nap, Mike Janie and I hung out outside as she showed us all of her bike tricks. ( I do feel like I have missed a bit. I didn't know that she could skid out or pop wheelies)Then we went grocery shopping, Mike took her bowling, I went on a bike ride with her and then Daddy and she went for ice cream. We topped the day of with a little toe nail painting all while watching Little House on the prairie. She told me yesterday "it was fun hanging out with you today". Oh, and I forgot - Our conversation on the bike ride was all about the cars that she is going to have. Apparently, her first car is going to be a red convertible. Her second, a silver Saturn and her third a silver Jeep. She might get a black convertible for her second car but she is not sure yet. Who is paying for all of this?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No Eyeglasses for Us!

Our trip yesterday to the eye doctor resulted in a positive outcome! After chasing the kids down the hallway numerous times and trying to keep them from entering exam rooms, we met with the very nice doctor. She did a brief exam then dialated their eyes for further examination. The outcome is that they are both very far-sided and apparently this is good and normal for now. She did say that most likely they will both need glasses down the road (maybe school age). Since they are so far-sided now, they will probably become very near-sided in the future. For sure we should be home free for the next 2-3 years. I figure that if glasses are in our future, it is a lot easier to negotiate that with a 4 year old than a 1 year old.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day

Wow, two posts in one day. I am trying to catch up.

We had a great, simple Father's Day! Mike slept in (I did too until 7:30a yippee), I made breakfast, Janie and I grocery shopped, I made dinner and we went to bed. It wasn't really relaxing but it wasn't stressful.

Here is my favorite man with his kiddies. I am lucky to have such an awesome father to my children!

Summer is here!

It has been a while and that is mostly due to this crazy job of mine that has consumed all of my energy and most of my time for the past two weeks. I keep thinking that it will slow down tomorrow...

Let me begin with the updates!

Janie completed Kindergarten last Wednesday. She is now officially a first grader and mom is just trying absorb it all. I tear up every time I think of the future and my little girl growing up. I imagine sitting at college orientation with her remembering back to the first time I put her on the bus. I also worry. I worry about her making good choices in friends, making good decisions about whether to try things (good and bad), and ultimately I just worry about her always being happy. From what I can tell so far, she is a well adjusted kid, gets along with others and knows right from wrong. Maybe it is just my fear of knowing how to parent correctly. As we all know, there is not a book on this stuff so it is all just a guessing game. We do what is best and what we know, and hope that we learn from our mistakes. I try to tell Janie and will always tell my kids that mommy and daddy are not perfect and I don't expect them to be either. I only expect us all to give it our best in this lifetime! Okay, enough preaching!

So Janie is home for the summer and the phones are ringing! Not boys fortunately at six years old. Friends, friends and more friends. I love it but I am just not used to her being invited somewhere all the time. I sometimes feel guilt because I am at work and not having these kids over to our house as often. We don't have any other big plans for her over the summer. She is doing gymnastics two nights a week at 2hrs a crack and that is enough to exhaust anyone. We will vaca to Higgins for a week in July. Once our babysitter has her baby, it is back to Janie's preschool for the twins and her. Hopefully that will go well.

The boys are well but just trouble. Kyle is participating in frequent time outs for hitting. For some reason I don't think Owen gets the whole time out thing but I could just be softy because he hits also! They are so fun to watch and hang out with but if you leave them for just a moment, the house is destroyed. They are breaking saftey locks all ready! Yesterday Kyle climbed onto the toy box (where Owen can not get up, took both sippy cups and put them behind his back. Oh my, it begins!

I am hopefully through my crazy period at work so I can get back to doing summer stuff and enjoying my family for the summer.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A few things

I am going to be incredibly busy at work for the next 2weeks so I am sure my posts will be minimal. I just wanted to get a few things out here before they are out of my mind.

On Sunday Janie had her first gymnastics "fun meet". This is a little meet for her "Hot Shots" class that is supposed to prepare them for competition. Meaning, they think these girls have team potential. Anyway, it was fantastic! She did a great job, got some ribbons and most importantly seemed to love it! The kicker - the $45 leotard that we had to buy for one day! Amazing! Let it begin. Here is a pic of her before the meet. My friend Theresa took the rest of the remaining awesome pics but I can get them posted here.

On another note, Owen had his first haircut on Monday. He did a great job! I had been procrastinating taking him in to get rid of his Donald Trumpp look but instead, Daddy did it. Kyle, is still sporting the no-hair-on-top, curly-tail-in-the-back- look and I love it!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Boys will be boys

I have heard before that boys are different from girls. But, I only had a girl so I didn't really know and quite frankly, I didn't really care! Well, now I do. It is so different. I remember when Janie and I used to sit and play outside on a blanket with her toys for hours. Not an option with the boys! One goes for the street and the other for the rocks. Now, part of the problem is that there are two babies, not one to keep up on. Nevertheless, it is different. They are always in some type of trouble. Kyle usually the leader with Owen following right behind. I have included some pictures of them doing things that could progress into problem. (see the pantry picture where they actually ended up with large sweet tarts in their mouths somehow!)

I have heard that boys are easier during the teenage years???

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Beautiful Weekend

What a great weekend! Despite the fact that my hubby had to work most of the weekend and that the kids had a horrible night on Monday night (I am assuming due to pure exhaustion), we had a funfilled, what seemed like long weekend. This was much needed because let me tell you, Friday was an aweful day!

Kyle did his Barium swallow on Friday. He had to go to St. Joe Hospital on an empty stomach so that he could drink the chalky white stuff while the Drs. watched it go down. What have I learned from this? You can not negotiate with a 13 month old and tell them that they can have McDonalds after if they are good! They took my baby and strapped him to a 6 inch piece of wood with his arms up. Truly, he is very strong and I was just waiting for him to breakthrough and punch the nurse. He actually did very well and everything looked really good.

Following our hospital gig, I returned to work only to find out that we had to let 7 employees go. For reasons I can not explain in my blog, we are now have 7 less employees as we go into 3 weeks of HELL at work. Not fun and sadly one of these people is a direct employee of mine that I have worked and worked with to become the best that he can be!

To top it off, my friend Nick died on Fri. This is a 26 year old kid that I worked with for a couple of years. He had lung cancer and had been in treatment for 2 years. So sad! Amazing guy!

Sooo, a great weekend needed to be in store for us. We started Sat. with a trip to Costo. I was so happy to find out that two kids can fit in the front of the grocery cart. This makes it possible for me to shop with the kids and not have to push the stroller and pull the cart. The result, I bought more!

Sunday the kids and I took off to our cottage on the Saginaw Bay. I had no intentions of swimming or even being able to sit in the sun but fortunately I did both. The boys loved the water and it was super warm. They sat and splashed for 45 minutes while their sister swam and built sand castles. Sun, sun, sun! It felt so good.

Mike was actually off on Mon. so we ventured over to our dear friends house that have a beautiful new swimming pool. (Did I mention that they live 3 miles away?) Another day of swimming, sun, awesome BBQ and a few beverages. Yippee!

The problems started when we got home. Janie was beat. This translates to having night terrors. So, after 2 hours of sleeping she wakes up kicking and screaming and it takes about 20 minutes for her to come out of it. It is not fun and only happens when she is super tired. They boys also had a rough time. They both went to bed fine and then woke up screaming thinking that they did not need to go back to sleep. Finally at midnight, they were all down.

Now it is back to work. I may not be blogging much for the next two weeks as things get crazy at work.

A few pool pics!