raising twins,momo twins,monoamniotic,premature,identical,multiples The good, bad & the ugly...real life!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February, the month of LOVE...Love #1 The Pioneer Woman-Ree Drummond (and her recipes)

Here I am stepping back into the blogging world.  We have had an interesting turn of events at our house over the past few months (a blog post or twelve all their own) that have caused us to live in survival mode, but we have survived and here I am...
To get myself back into the groove of things I decided that I would put a little twist on Opera's favorite things and mix it in with those November everyday I am grateful for things that I have been guilty of making fun of a time or two.  I am going to post about something that I love (in no particular order) everyday, at least until Valentine's.  Hopefully I will be able to mix in a new post or two in the meantime.

February 1
The Pioneer Woman.  Oh, how I love her.  She cooks, blogs, homeschools her children, gardens and much more, those are just the items I find most amazing, particularly the cooking.  I am almost obsessed with her recipes at the moment.  Probably because after years of drooling over it I finally ordered her recipe book and the box with the Amazon smile on it finally arrived on my doorstep.  What a great day.  She has also just started doing a show on the Food Network.  My DVR is set and all of the episodes are locked, to avoid accidental deletion.  None of her recipes are low calorie or healthy, most of them are not real complicated, but boy are they tasty.  My favorite recipe at the moment is her chocolate sheet cake.  If you haven't tried it I highly suggest you do.

*Remember these items are in no particular order of importance.  I love you, Ree, but not more than my children!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Preschool Update

This post has raised a lot of eyebrows, not to mention blood pressure, so I decided to give you all an update on the situation.  Hudson finished out last two weeks of the school year at the preschool where he escaped.  I can't say that it went great or even good, but it was ok.  It was a bit unsettling dropping him off each day and I would hold my breath and say a lot of prayers until I picked him up. Every time I would drive close to the school I would see another hazardous scenario that could have happened when he escaped.  I have some serious doubts about him going back to the same preschool in the fall.  Not only is the safety issue a big factor, but a couple of other issues have come up:
1. If he stays at this preschool it is not likely that he will be in the same class as his brother.  The teacher informed me that the principal has some very strong feelings against twins being in the same class and if they do allow Nick to go to that preschool they boys will be there on alternating days.  I have very strong feelings about keeping them together, as does the school psychologist.  At some point I am sure that they will need or want to be in separate classes, but I am not about to start them out that way as three year olds because the principal had a bad experience with a set of twins being in the same class 25 years ago.
2. I have discovered that the same type of preschool that neighbors the boundries of the preschool that Hudson has been going to has an average of seven students each day. Occasionally there are ten students in the class with one teacher and two aides, but most days they have six or seven students.  Much better than 27 students with one teacher and three aides.
With all factors involved I am going to be doing a little bit of homework over the summer involving the school district and/or the state or federal department of Special Education and hopefully getting things ironed out before school starts in August.

All of these pictures were taken on the same block as the school where my little boy 
was wandering around by himself and missing for 40 minutes before it was noticed that he was gone.

Construction Site-when he escaped it was just a foundation that went down approx. 15 feet.

Creek #1-running very high & fast
Creek #2

Creek #3

Highway-Not real busy when this was taken.  The speed limit is
 50mph and it is a main thoroughfair into the city.
The school is the building toward the back.

Creepy looking trailer park
Another stream in the trees

Abandoned house

Behind the school

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Twin Friars Die on same Day at age 92

By CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press – Fri Jun 3, 9:39 pm ET
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Identical twins Julian and Adrian Riester were born seconds apart 92 years ago. They died hours apart this week. The Buffalo-born brothers were also brothers in the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor. Professed friars for 65 years, they spent much of that time working together at St. Bonaventure University, doing carpentry work, gardening and driving visitors to and from the airport and around town.
"It was fun to see them, just quiet, gentle souls," Yvonne Peace, who worked at the St. Bonaventure Friary for nearly 21 years, said Friday.
They died Wednesday at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., Brother Julian in the morning and Brother Adrian in the evening.
Both died of heart failure, said Father James Toal, guardian of St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, where the inseparable twins lived since moving from western New York in 2008.
"It really is almost a poetic ending to the remarkable story of their lives," St. Bonaventure spokesman Tom Missel said. "Stunning when you hear it, but hardly surprising given that they did almost everything together."
Julian and Adrian Riester were born Jerome and Irving on March 27, 1919, to a couple who already had five daughters. They took the names of saints upon their ordination in the Catholic church.
"Dad was a doctor and he said a prayer for a boy," Adrian once said, according to St. Bonaventure. "The Lord fooled him and sent two."
After attending St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, the brothers were turned away by the military because of their eyesight, the university said. One had a bad left eye, the other a bad right eye.
Eventually they joined the friars of Holy Name Province in New York City. They received separate assignments before reuniting at the seminary at St. Bonaventure from 1951 to 1956. After serving parishes in Buffalo for 17 years, they returned to St. Bonaventure in 1973 and spent the next 35 years there.
They had separate rooms in the friary but one telephone extension that rang into both, Peace recalled. It was usually the more talkative Adrian who answered, though Julian possessed a quiet authority. They never said who was born first.
"Brother Julian was like the big brother. Brother Adrian would defer to him," Peace said. "They picked up one of our friars at the airport one time and the friar said, `Can I take you to dinner?'
"Brother Adrian looked at Brother Julian and said, `We aren't going to dinner?' `No, we'll go home,'" Peace said. "So that was it. No discussion, no contradicting. `No, we aren't going today.'"
Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Church in St. Petersburg. Afterward, the brothers' bodies will be flown to Buffalo and buried Wednesday at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, across the street from the university.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Remembering those we love and those who have served our country...

 We attempted to teach our kids about their ancestors and those who have selflessly served our country on Memorial Day.   It was a nice thought, but didn't turn out exactly the way I thought it would.  I think the girls learned and enjoyed it, but we have got a long way to go in terms of teaching respect.  Our little lovelies were stepping on the headstones, stealing flowers, scaling fences, and at one point Nicholas was wearing some rosary beads.  Fortunately my husband put them back where they belonged before I had a chance to snap a picture.  I also just pulled an entire handful of flowers out of a couple of pockets while sorting laundry.  I'm sure they were meant to be souvenirs.

Grave Robbers (Above & Below)

Sorry, mourners of Mr. & Mrs. Roach, but this is my worst nightmare.  I'm really fine with my children never coming to visit my grave, but I am not fine with them decorating it with plastic flowers, especially not the entire plastic flower department at Walmart.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A look at basic baby economics

May 16th, 2011 @ 5:58pm
By Kim Vatis, NBC News
CHICAGO — What costs more? Raising a child or buying a home?
There's no doubt that a bundle of joy brings a bundle of bills. Online calculators will help you anticipate the costs from groceries to insurance to a bigger car.
"All of those things really add up, and it's something you don't think about when you are picking linens for the crib," says Sarah Tims.
Tims is a financial planner and mother of three. Just as "how to" baby books are required reading, Tims says parents need a "financial baby formula." She has a suggested five-step plan:
  1. Find out what your pay will be while on maternity leave. If it's reduced, live on that lower amount while you're pregnant as a test.
  2. Save for health care costs — higher premiums and more doctor visits."It could be something between $200 and $300 a month, depending on your premium," Tims says. "And the ‘well baby' co-pays could be anywhere between $15 to $30."
  3. Research not only life, but disability insurance as well.
  4. For savings, investigate dependent care tax credits for child care. It's up to 35 percent of expenses with a maximum of $3,000 per year per child.
  5. Consider a Roth IRA for triple duty savings. Sims says you can take out contributions if you need them for living expenses or emergencies. You can use that money for college without paying a penalty and ultimately it's there for you when you turn 59 and a half and need it for retirement.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Grumpy, but Grateful Mama

My little Hudson is developmentally delayed.  In our state children with developmental delays receive services through a non profit agency until they turn three and then turned over to the local school district where they are required to start preschool on their Birthday or the first school day following their Birthday.  He recently turned three, which means that he also started preschool.  I usually comply with the things that I am asked to, as I have with this preschool thing, but I have not been all together happy with it for a couple of reasons. (1) There are only three weeks of school before summer break.  Why not just wait until school starts in the fall? (2) The program is 1/2 special needs and 1/2 "normal" kids.  I really like that idea, but the Federal Government has recently lifted the 15 person per class cap and there are now 25 kids in his class 25, 25!!!!  Not only is that an insane amount of children in the class room, but the class is full of three year olds with special needs.  Since the class is so big that means there is not room for his twin brother because they are only allowing the special needs kids that they are required to by law.  Even though I have been a little grumpy about it I have done what I am supposed to and taken my little guy, all by himself to preschool.  I have actually been enjoying the one on one time with Nick, Hudson has adjusted well and I have been very impressed with his teacher and the program.

This morning things have been a little different.  About an hour after I dropped Hudson off at preschool I received a call from his teacher informing me that he had "gotten away from them".  She said that he had gotten from the classroom, which is in a separate building behind the school, through the parking lot and across the street.  That is not even the worst part.  Someone found him (not sure if it was someone that stopped their car to keep from hitting him or someone came out of their house and just happened to notice him).  Whomever found him had enough time to go around to three or four daycare center/preschools nearby to see if he belonged at any of them and called the police all BEFORE the school noticed that he was missing.  His teacher said he had been missing for about 20 minutes  20 minutes!!!!  There is a busy highway less than 100 feet from the school where the speed limit is 50 mph, which could have been deadly, not to mention if the person that found him could have been a kidnapping pervert, he could have been attacked by a dog, etc...  As you can tell my mind has gone crazy with this one.  My husband was very skeptical of him ever even going to preschool in the first place.  He is young and does not talk well enough to tell us if someone is doing something to him that they shouldn't be or to even know if someone is doing something they shouldn't for that matter.  I assured my husband that the preschool is done through the school district, regulated, background check checks are in place, etc, etc..  It's pretty much as safe as we are going to get and I feel like we need to get our little boy all the help we possibly can.  With that in mind I convinced him that our little boy was going to be safe and we sent him off to preschool.  He was not a happy camper when I called him with the news this morning.  He made the drive from his office to the school in record time where we "hashed things out" with the principal and his teacher.   As for now we came up with a plan of items that are going to be done in order to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future and they are going to let us know when they are all taken care of, we will check it all out and then take him back to preschool.  I really don't blame the teacher.  I think she is doing things as well as she possibly can with the class size that she has.  I would really like to share my concerns with the state or federal government somehow without getting the teacher in trouble.  In the meantime we are very thankful that the situation turned out the way that it did and are certain that he was being watched over.

I received the incident report from the teacher stating that I dropped him off at 9:00 AM and they discovered that he was missing at 9:40 AM.  They are assuming that he "escaped" shortly after I dropped him off as other parents were bringing their children into the classroom.  The 20 minutes just went to 40.  Not settling so well with me.  I also spoke with the police officer who said that a man driving by saw him and stopped his car.  I'm not sure if he had to stop suddenly to keep from hitting him or if they just noticed him wandering.  I will be forever grateful for this man.  Not only was he not texting or distracted in some other way while he was driving and actually saw my little boy rather than hitting him or just driving past him, but he took the time to get out of his car and take care of my helpless little boy.  I also have no doubt that my baby was being watched over from above.  I think we will be taking a break from preschool while we wrap our minds around this situation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Study: Twin Moms Live Longer

www.harktheherald.com  May 10, 2011

Karen Ellingson got a couple of surprises when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.
One surprise was her third child.
The other was how healthy her second pregnancy was, even though she was pregnant with twins, which typically see more problems than single births.
"For whatever reason, my cravings were for things like vegetables and strawberries, whereas my first baby, it was like, give me a Big Mac and french fries or I will die," the Springville woman said.
Ellingson's twins didn't come early, as twins are prone to do; she actually was induced at 40 weeks and two days, which is about as full as a full-term pregnancy can be. She was never on bed rest; she said she walked consistently throughout her pregnancy.
She could be the poster mother for the results of a study from a University of Utah professor that found mothers of twins tend to live longer than mothers who only give birth to single babies.
It's not that having twins makes you healthier, family and consumer sciences professor Ken Smith said. It's that healthy women are more likely to naturally conceive twins and then continue to be healthy.
"Whatever the mystery ingredient is, that's what's leading to the association between twinning and longevity," he said.
Smith looked at almost 60,000 Utah mothers born in the 1800s, during a period without modern birth control or in vitro fertilization, who lived to at least 50 years old. About 4,600 of those women gave birth to twins, which is one of the largest samples available. Twin moms averaged about a 5 percent lower chance of dying each year after age 50 than single-birth mothers.
The significance today is that something made those women healthier and more robust, and it's possible that something is still floating around in Utah families.
"If it's this innate healthiness that is what the mother of that twin had, that's the ingredient that we're kind of circling around, that could be and probably is being passed on to her descendants," he said.
The study does not extrapolate toward women who have undergone fertility treatments. It also didn't take into account those mothers who died young; the researchers looked at those who made it past menopause.
The good news is, most mothers did make it past 50 years old, and from there those who gave birth to twins had an edge on moms of singles.
In some ways that seems counter intuitive, since having a newborn is stressful and having two newborns increases that stress exponentially. Smith admitted he was surprised, especially since these pioneer women were likely to see their longevity decrease as the number of children they bore increased.
"That was probably the most stressful time of my entire life because I was so sleep deprived," Ellingson said. "There's always somebody who needs you."
Springville resident Janette Weakley, a mother of 3-year-old twin girls, found the conclusions interesting, although not exactly surprising. She spent the last couple of weeks of her pregnancy in bed, and the twins came five weeks early, but mother and babies were fine. Weakley said she actually recovered more quickly after that pregnancy than the two before it or the one after it.
Part of that, she suspects, is in addition to two newborns she had two toddlers to chase. But she also started running sooner. She also, however, considers herself fairly healthy; she runs frequently, which both serves to keep her fit and helps to relieve pent-up frustration, and she and her family eat healthy foods.
But she also could see a correlation between wrestling twins and longevity.
"It's definitely a lot of work, and I believe hard work can you make live longer," Weakley said.
She's 31 -- "who knows if I'm really going to live longer?" -- but said she constantly talks to people when she takes the twins out who have a twin or know twins or are related to twins; she's intrigued by the variety of people who experience double birth.
Smith would like to look into whether this trend is still continuing, but the numbers are much harder to see today than they were 100 years ago. He suspects the natural robustness and the tendency toward twinning is there, but the rate of women having twins has dropped as fewer women have children and those who do don't have seven, eight or in one woman's case, 22 live births.
It certainly poses a number of questions about life span and health, he said.
"People age different, people survive at different ages and there's lots of variation," Smith said. "What are the contributing factors?"