Just pictures

Well, Fall is upon us and it is my favorite time of year so we celebrate by doing a lot of fun activities to keep the boys busy and enjoy the weather although it has been 90+ degrees for the last week. There was a couple of great window opening days and we should get back there soon but we have had fun anyway!

Enjoy the pics,

XOXO- busy twin mom

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Thankful

I am very happy that a new month has come, not only because September was a very difficult month for me but because I love Fall and cannot wait for open window weather and scarves/sweaters. Having kids has really brought out my creative side for Halloween and I am excited to pick out pumpkins, make pumpkin bread and do all the other fun things that come with fall.

It is no secret that I have gone through some very difficult times lately and feel that I have been in a funk so I am trying to look at things in a different light and talk about what I am thankful for today. At the end of the day, I am still struggling with a lot of things but I am thankful for the following and hope that looking at things in a more positive light will help things work themselves out and I hope that October is a good month.

I am thankful for:

Having healthy children. I cannot even express my emotions around this as my kids were born very early and very sick and I am truly blessed that I have two healthy boys. Unfortunately I have seen some friends with kids that have some serious health issues with their children and I cannot imagine. I truly thank God everyday that I have healthy thriving perfect little boys.

Having children that love me unconditionally. My kids are at the age where they really like to show their affection for me. I get kisses, hugs and the sweetest words from my boys. I may not have done everything right but I have taught my boys unconditional love and it is so nice to see them express that to me and each other.

People who have shown me support and love during difficult times. It is not always the people that you expect but there have been a couple of people that have really gone above and beyond to reach out to me and show me love and support during times of tribulation.

The drive that I have been given to try to get healthy. I have been trying to use exercise as therapy  and have been really active lately and I am thankful that I have that drive.

Being able to provide my children with a home and what I consider a fulfilling life.

Being here and being present, I am thankful for another day not matter how challenging they may be, I am thankful for being here.

XOXO- Thankful twin mom

The good stuff

It is no secret that I am very honest when it comes to the difficulties of motherhood but today Ethan told me something that literally melted my heart. Ethan told me in Spanish (I will translate for you):

“Mommy I want to go to work so I can make money to buy you flowers because you are pretty”

I literally died, he also has been giving me extra kisses because he says I look sad. Aiden also says sweet things but Ethan is a lover and very expressive of his emotions and it made motherhood feel amazing today.

I really needed this.

XOXO- In love twin mom

2o facts about me

I saw a post on IG that somebody was tagged and they had to post 20 facts about them and thought it would be fun to do the same. I mean I am obviously a mom, have twin boys but I want to try to think outside of the box, so here it goes…

  1. I am 32 years old
  2. I live in Arizona and have lived in San Diego but was born and raised in Arizona
  3. I studied Microbiology at the University of Arizona and wanted to be a doctor…but somehow ended up in Corporate HR
  4. I have never done any drugs or smoked any cigarettes (pretty boring right)
  5. No tattoos either (I am getting more boring by the question)
  6. My husband (um, kind of not really right now) asked me to marry him in Paris on top of the Eiffel tower (ok, not so boring and this was way before Tom Cruise did it!)
  7. I am very frugal, I grew up seeing my parents mismanage money so I am very good at budgeting and spend money on certain things (like vacations) but I use coupons and ad match and am always looking for a good bargain.
  8. I love the ocean and have all of my life, it makes me feel at peace with the world
  9. I speak fluent Spanish
  10. My favorite season if Fall, I LOVE it
  11. Costco is my favorite store, if you told me I could only shop at one store my entire life it would be Costco!
  12. I can decorate cakes, I worked at Baskin Robbins in High school and learned out to decorate cakes. I love having this skill and can make some pretty decent cakes for my family. I really like party planning too 🙂
  13. I have worked since I was 13 years old
  14. I love school, I was very involved in school and was involved in debate, national honor society and was my class president in high school. If I was rich I would probably just go to school and learn!
  15. I drive Honda cars and I love them. I have a Honda Odyssey (minivan, and it is the best thing ever) and just bought an Accord.
  16. I love to dance
  17. I am obsessed with plucking my eyebrows, literally I think I have a problem. I pluck my eyebrows everyday and have had multiple people threaten to take away my tweezers.
  18. I did some modeling when I was young and was approached by an agent from Lane Bryant and when I looked at the contract which said that I was not allowed to lose or gain more than 10 pounds I swore that I was going to get skinny and did not move forward. I do wonder what my life would be like if I would have signed that contract.
  19. I would not say that my favorite color is black but definitely a staple in my wardrobe and most of my outfits are black or have black in them.
  20. I have a terrible sweet tooth, I don’t want fried food or chips but give me a cookie anytime!
  21. It is national coffee day so I get to add one more, I LOVE COFFEE!

XOXO- Hoped you learned more about me twin mom

It really starts this early?

The day I decided to have kids I knew that I wanted them to be involved in sports. Not in the really pushy parent way but I just wanted to them have the option to be involved in a sport that makes them happy, their choice. When I grew up my parents could not afford things like dance, soccer or any of the other things that we wanted to be a part of and I get it…it is expensive and my mom had 4 of us.

When I had the opportunity to involve my children in soccer, one of my favorite sports I jumped at the opportunity of starting them at a young age. Most leagues require players to be at least 4 years of old but this new league on my side of town (bonus because I live in the sticks) is offering a league for 3 and older. I was so excited, I mean I don’t really know if the boys like soccer but we kick around the ball at the park and they seem to enjoy it. I registered the boys and went a little crazy with supplies: shin guards, cleats, shorts, jerseys, socks, soccer balls, etc. Then the first practice came and it was hectic to say the least. Practice starts at 5 (which is not really convenient for working mothers) but I managed to wrangle both kids into all of their gear (I mean do 3 years old really need shin guards???) and get them to practice by 5:05, not bad…right? WRONG! You would have thought I was the worst human being on earth from the daggers shooting out of the eyeballs of the other mothers. You would have thought they were playing a world cup game and I had Messi himself and was late to the starting kickoff. Anyway, nobody spoke to me other than the comments I heard under their breath. I truly don’t know what I did to these women, by the way the male coaches seem to like me just fine but I am the odd mom out. I mean I was dressed in a black suit because I just rushed home from work and did not even have time to go to the restroom let alone change. I don’t know if they were intimidated or mad because I work or maybe they were just mad that I was 5 minutes late. The practice was one of the hardest things to get through as my kids are much younger and smaller than the kids on their team, again I am the asshole parent trying to chase them around. Then snack time comes and what is it…soda and chips! Um, my kids rarely eat chips and have never had soda in their life so again I am the asshole that does not let my kids have those things and they throw the double trouble tantrum because all of the other kids get to eat those things and mine don’t. So second practice, same thing, rude glares, comments except my then husband was there and they were peachy and sweet to him. By the way the stress of that entire day is what eventually led to him moving out but anyway, 2 minutes late so an improvement. Kids interacted a little more so that was good but all in all it was pretty stressful. Both kids had to poop in the middle of practice so I am over there with their “emergency potty” trying to clean up poop while being attacked by flies and still in my work clothes and dripping sweat but oh well. Oh and did I mention that my kids primary language is Spanish and when we are at soccer practice I speak English so other people do not think I am rude but when I am having private conversations we speak in Spanish so hearing derogatory comments about living in America and speaking English are really offensive. To be honest, I am Republican and not the liberal person they think I am but I know that speaking Spanish not only makes their brain grow but will give them opportunities for jobs and many other things in the future. I guess my point is, stop judging me. Snack time was the same except this time it was candy and juice boxes, neither of which my kids are allowed to have. I know I am strict but I grew up overweight and very unhealthy and want to give my kids the best health that I can. They get treats, they eat ice cream but I don’t need to overload them with sugar. If that is your parenting choice, OK that is fine but please respect mine. So today was game day, I no longer have a husband so it was all me which is overwhelming but I am so proud of them. Because game day is doing more of just running around and kicking the ball, they had fun and did great. I heard mommy gossip and sat by myself while the other moms made comments to each other but you know what that is OK. I mean it is not ok but I don’t care, if you are miserable enough to talk about other people, I feel sorry for you. I feel bad because this is supposed to be something fun and my kids are so young but this is giving me a sneak peak into how things will be when they get older. I thought to myself as they made me feel like an ass hole, maybe if you knew that I struggle with depression…you would be kind.

Maybe if you knew that my husband just left me and I am trying to take care of these kids by myself you would be kind.

Maybe if you knew that one of my close friend just died of cancer, maybe you would be kind.

Maybe if you knew that my best friend just put her dog down this morning and that dog had a huge part of my heart, maybe you would be kind

Maybe if you knew that my job was so stressful that I have been throwing up everyday at work, you would be kind.

Maybe if you knew that I am struggling with serious health problems, maybe you would be kind.

I know I am not the only one that has these battles but I really try to be kind to people and I wish so badly other people would do the same. So I am going to ignore these people, enjoy watching my kids run around like uncaged animals and just be me because that is all I can do and if it starts this early I better start having that attitude now.

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XOXO- Struggling twin mom but proud of my soccer studs

I will always leave the light on

Well, something huge happened this week, something heartbreaking but I am not really in the mood to get into details.

I will say that we have had almost 13 years of fun, love, heartache, difficulty, partnership and tribulation and I am not sure if it is over. You left me, you left the kids and you walked out during a time that I needed you most and that makes me very sad.

Marriage is so hard especially after you have kids. I don’t know a magic potion to make it work except that if you love each other, you always fight to stay together. It takes two people to fight constantly, fight for each other. Divorce is easy, I heard a quote years ago I think from Will Smith that said “Divorce is not an option, when you get married you take that option out…if not you will be divorced.” This is true, divorce and not fighting for your love is the easy way out. I am not saying divorce is easy by any means I am just saying that if we don’t hold true to our vows, for better or for worse then it is easy to stop fighting for your marriage especially when you have stress like kids, money, work, etc.

I often thought if I did not marry my soul mate, walking away would be easy but I did marry my soul mate, the person that completes me but it is still so hard and we are both just so tired, we have no help, no support, no time alone and that has all gotten us to where we are. Well where I am, alone in a big house not knowing what is going to happen but I will always leave the light on hoping you changed your mind.

XOXO- incomplete twin mom

Mompetition

Mompetition: The one-up rivalry that moms play making their child seem better, smarter, and/ or more advanced than yours. May involve two or more moms and any number of children, even full-grown. (According to the Urban dictionary online).

So let me let you in on a secret, Motherhood is HARD so why are we in competition with each other when we all have one thing in common that can bring us together?

I feel like this unspoken competition is really prevalent with stay at home mom vs. working moms. Here is another secret, both stay and home moms and working moms work very hard and are struggling. I have been at stay at home mom (kind of) when the babies were first born as my company pays for 6 months off so I stayed home for those six months although technically I was still employed and getting paid. For the other 2.5 years, I have been a working mom. I can tell you that being a working mom is hard from my own experience and a lot of companies are not friendly or empathetic to a working mom. I have to admit, I used to be one of those people that thought moms used their kids as excuses to leave early, take extra time off or not work as hard as others. After having kids I realized the truth, we still are hard working but are kids are and will always be the most important thing in our life and if that means leaving early to get them from daycare sick, that is what it means. What a lot of people don’t see or hear about is the long hours that we put in at night or in the wee hours of the morning to make up for that work. I don’t think everybody has my work ethic and it has not changed but the way I do work is different especially if my kids are sick and need me. This means in order to keep up with my career, I have to put in the hours after the kids go to bed and honestly this is exhausting. My day starts at 5AM and ends at about 9PM when I can barely function anymore. There are days that I want to stay up and watch TV or read but that is usually not top on my priority list after days of utter fatigue. I also know stay at home moms and they work hard too, they spend all day attending to children and that is not easy day after day after day. The only thing that at stay at home mom has that I don’t is time at home to get “home” stuff done which I also have to do early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends. Sometimes I wish I had more time at home to tend to these things so I could actually sleep in or enjoy a good book at night.

This happens everyday in our society and I just find it so frustrating. We have this one really huge thing in common with each and every mother and instead of uniting and helping each other, we compete. My kids started soccer this last week and of course practice is at 5PM on a weekday on the other side of town so I get off work early (boss is pissed off), get home and try to wrangle to 3 year olds sans nap into cleats, shin guards and uniforms and drive as fast as I can to the park. I show up about 5 minutes late to be greeted by a group of about 5 other moms, assuming from their wardrobe and multiple infants I am assuming they are stay at home moms. You should have seen the glares, I tried to introduce myself with no response and heard a couple of rude remarks that I ignored. Do these women know what being kind is or assuming positive intent? They don’t know that the night before I was up all night with a kid that did not feel well, had had a breakdown at work over a stressful project and got into a fight with my boss about leaving early just to mention a few things. I am sure they are all fighting their own battles but the difference is that I don’t make rude remarks under my breath to make them feel worse than they already do. I was 5 minutes late, get over it, this is not the world cup. My kids just turned 3, yours are 5 so yes mine are a little crazier on the field, again…GET OVER IT. What I really don’t understand is they were the parent a year or two ago that had the youngest players on the team so why cant they realize that and just be nice???

On top of the working mom vs. stay at home mom battle there are also so many other unspoken ones. I cannot tell you how many times moms told me how their child was potty trained at 12 months (bullshit), reading at 3 (again bullshit) and so on. I don’t know if these moms thinks that it impresses people to brag about their children but I think it makes them look like ass holes. I mean I brag about my kids, I am proud of certain achievements and milestones but when I tell you that I am proud that my kids are potty trained at 3 years old I don’t need to hear about your magic potty pooping 6 month old, just say congratulations and MOVE ON. I don’t know maybe I am more secure in my parenting or maybe I just don’t care what people think, probably a combination of both.

I would really like to see us stop shaming moms that do things differently and accept and maybe even learn something from it. Another example, I don’t let me kids eat a lot of sugar. With all of the debate over sugar right now you would think I would not get ridiculed but I can tell you that almost on a daily basis I am told “let them be kids, give them sugar.” Um, no that is my parenting choice and I would appreciate if you would respect it just like I respect the choice that you give your kids sugar by the truckloads. I don’t agree with it, but they are not my kids so I don’t have any right whatsoever to express opinions about their health.

Can you imagine a world where we came together as moms and supported each others decisions and respected and celebrated the differences we have? Wow, what a difference the world would be for us moms and kids.

I can hope that one day, people realize that motherhood is not a competition but a part of life that is challenging and we could all use a little support from people who understand. So next time you want to tell somebody how to parent or overshadow their children’s accomplishments think:

Is it necessary?

Is it kind?

Is it helpful?

If the answer is no then don’t say it. Instead why don’t you offer to help a mom you see struggling, lend a kind word, give them some positive reinforcement. If we all made small steps, we could build a tribe of moms who support each other and maybe, just maybe make motherhood a little easier.

XOXO- not going to compete twin mom

MIA with great pics!

So, I have been MIA…I can’t believe it has been almost a month from my last blog post. I really need to make more of an effort to post more often and I told myself that I would not put it on the back burner but I have for some reasons that are reasonable and for some that are not. So first thing that happened is my in-laws came into town, ALL of them. I have had a few come before from time to time but it was my husbands entire family and it was overwhelming to put it politely.

Does anybody really like their in-laws? I mean I think that some people are better at tolerating them than I am but I mean like really like and look forward to them visiting? I wish that was the case but it never is…it is always very stressful and has become worse now that we have kids. I thought having kids would help the situation but it just adds another element of stress like “grandpa” giving them candy for breakfast and deciding that they don’t need to take naps during the day.

Then the kids got sick, I mean really sick like I thought they had something serious. It turns out that it was a wicked bad virus that I caught toward the end of their trip. So then I have to hear how I should take them to this type of doctor because my doctor is not treating them properly and I should not give them Motrin because it is bad for them but instead sit down with them for hours and place cold rags on their stomach??? I don’t know how that would even help but to each their own, just let me do my thing and you do yours. Oh and when you are in my house, you do mine!

So after what was one of the most stressful weeks I have had in a very long time, they left, YAY!! I was really thinking they were going to try to stay but they left and I spent the entire rest of the day cleaning up the mess they left behind. And who does that anyway, when did people stop cleaning up after themselves??

So onto the better news. We went on vacation the day after they left. We have decided that our kids dont need gifts but instead to celebrate their birthdays we will take a family vacation. We are doing a little lower scale vacation for the time being as we tried a big trip to Cancun a year or so ago and it was a nightmare so for the toddler phase we are happy with a destination that is closer to home and does not involve airplanes and layovers. We went to a small beach town in Mexico (San Carlos). We rented a home right on the beach and literally just relaxed for the entire week. It was so exciting to see the boys want to go swimming and play in the ocean. Previous years, they were not thrilled with the water or sand but they now love to swim and look for seashells.

This trip was just what we needed after all the sickness and stress of the previous weeks.

Although life is crazy: work, kids, soccer, exercise, etc. I am going to try to not go MIA anymore. I need to get back on track with a lot of things including this blog so I hope to see you soon.

I am also including some pics we took on vacation 🙂

XOXO- no longer MIA twin mom

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Grief

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.

This last Saturday the world lost a truly amazing woman. My friend that was battling cancer passed away leaving behind a husband and two young daughters. Her name was Jena, she was not my best friend or somebody that was part of my family but she was a respected collogue and a friend and I am deeply saddened that she has had to leave this life so early. I am not sure on her exact age, 33 or 34. Jena was beautiful inside and out and so smart. She was very smart and great at her job and she was even featured in a magazine of up and coming successful women in Arizona. I remember having conversations with her before either one of us had children about how difficult having children would be then post children and talking about how great motherhood could be. Out of everybody in the office, I felt like her and I had a special bond. She also had this bond with a former collogue and friend Lori. We were all about the same age and had similar work ethic and lifestyles. We all have young children and we bonded over that. I remember Jena’s generosity with Lori and even with me when she knew I had friends that were expecting she gave me a lot of things to give away to help them out. Jena was laid off in 2013 but we stayed in touch and I remember the day she told us she had breast cancer prior to leaving the office. I figured she would get treatment, be in remission and move on raising her beautiful daughters. I remember specifically visiting her home after work one day and we talked about depression and PTSD as we had both been diagnosed with this. This was a secret she did not share with anybody and I felt honored that she shared this with me and we could relate as we had both been through trauma. We had a few lunches with Jena and I remember how happy she was to finally move on with the life that she wanted. Jena had also confided in me that I needed to follow my dreams and seek employment elsewhere and just live my dreams which is what she was trying to do. She thought the cancer was in her past, she passionately opened up her own business and started to make plans to move to California. Then she has a pet scan and the cancer returned all over her body. I knew that this was not good but her husband (who I follow up Facebook) wrote daily updates of how well she was doing. This last Saturday I did not check my email or my social media as I know that I am on it too much and want to “disconnect” when I am with my children so when we were eating dinner and the kids were taking too long to eat I pulled out my phone from my pocket to check the time and got a text from Lori telling me that Jena had passed away. You know that feeling when you get “that” call or text…. I immediately started sobbing and hoping that this news was not true. All the memories started flooding my brain and I was overtaken with grief for a young mother that was taken way too soon. I see so much outpour of love for Jena on social media and a lot of it has the same theme “It is God’s plan and she is in a better place.” I don’t know what is wrong with me but those are not the feelings that I have. I believe in God but I don’t believe this happened for a reason, I don’t believe that a 33 year old mother was taken from her innocent children for a reason and I am mad, I am sad, I am just so sad that this happened. I have had people pass away in my life but none that were my age. I know cancer is an ugly disease that does not pick and choose but I question why her, why such a great person had to be overcome with this horrible monster and ripped from her family? While bathing my children last night I thought about her youngest (2 years old) and how she cannot even begin to comprehend where her mommy went, I think of her oldest that is old enough to understand and I think of her husband who must be going through hell trying to keep it together for the kids.

I am still going through the various stages of grief and know that one day this will be in the past but I don’t want to forget Jena. I want to remember her vibrant blonde hair and how she used to laugh but still give me a look when I made an inappropriate joke (she worked in HR). I want to remember that she told me that when I became a mother that everything would be ok and that it was not as scary as I thought it would be. I want to remember that I was lucky that I got to know this person even if it was for a short time. I want to remember that she encouraged me to live my dreams and act on that. I just want to remember Jena.

XOXO- Grieving twin mom

Let them be little

As far as parenting goes, we all have our own philosophy and try to do the best that we can for our children.  I think we are all guilty of judging other parenting styles but we all know what is best for our own children. For me personally my philosophy is to let them be little. This is actually a pretty loaded statement in a world full of technology, television, IPods, video games and smart phones to let your child live the life of a child. To me, this means that I have to be actively engaged with my children each and every single day. We are working parents and there are days that I want to throw in the towel and not physically, emotionally and mentally engage with the kids but it is so important. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that the kids watch a movie and my husband and I sit on the couch enjoying the silence and ability to sit on the couch. These days are few and far between for us because we want our kids to be engaged in the world, have fun, love nature and learn new things. Some of our favorite activities include going to the zoo, visiting the airplane museum, puzzles, coloring, playing outside, building forts, swimming and going to the park. I know that we do a good job of keeping the kids active and busy doing fun things but the other day we did some crafts and it really hit home how important it is to engage your kids in meaningful activity. I made little picture frames out of popsicle sticks and glued on wood letters spelling out the names of people and things that they like. I gave them some paint brushes and some paint and it was magical. I have never seen the boys so engaged in an activity and so proud of their work (even though with the mixing of all of the colors it looked like vomit to me) they thought their art was fabulous. Ethan was so focused at one point that he was sticking out his tongue with deep concentration. Our painting activity had to end because of bath time but I think they could have gone for hours. Last night my husband went to the store after work and did not give me very much information as to where he was going so I thought maybe he was buying me flowers or something. He comes home with a bag full of clothespins, popsicle sticks, paint, stickers and other crafts. I was in awe that my husband went to the craft store and actually found the craft aisles and bought things. This is not in my husbands nature AT ALL so when I asked him why he did this he said that he wanted to start craft night because the kids had so much fun. It really warmed my heart that my husband bought crafts but this just goes to show that letting them be little and giving them fun engaging activates is a win/win for everybody. I understand that giving the kids an iPad or throwing them in front of the TV would probably make my life easier but to me it is not worth it. As soon as they hit school age they will be inundated with technology so while I can do it, I am going to let them have fun and do things that kids are supposed to do. Oh and did I mention that these kind of activities actually engage their brain and make them smarter. I know a have not done everything right in my parenting but I let them be little and that I know I am doing right!

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XOXO- Crafty twin mom