Thursday, May 31, 2007

Adventures in Parenting: Lesson Two

Stranger anxiety is my next big lesson I have been learning about. The girls have entered that stage and it is so sad. From what I have read this is a developmental milestone, so in a sense it is good that they are experiencing this, but very sad at the same time. Stranger anxiety is when the baby learns that he/she is actually a separate person from the mother/father, but it is very scary for them. Last weekend Tom's mom and dad came over and the girls instantly started crying...not just crying shaking and heaving and reaching out for me. Natalie eventually stopped, but Maddie was so upset she just kept burying her head in my shoulder. Then I took them to the store the other day and as usual people kept coming up to us, only this time the girls would start crying every time someone would walk up. After that experience I started doing research and reading up on the topic. That is when I discovered this to be a milestone. I also discovered how to handle it, which has yet to be tested. It is recommended that if a child gets upset then they should go back to the parent to calm down. Then once the child is calm you should sit and engage the child in an activity along with the "stranger" then once the child warms up you should have an easier time either leaving or letting the other person interact with the child. Also, never sneak out of the house if your child is upset because this can cause the anxiety to increase because in their eyes you have just disappeared. You need to kiss and hug the child and tell them where you are going and that you will return. This way they can see you leave and return and they will not be upset. If all else fails know that this is just a phase that they usually outgrow by the time that they are 1 and explain it to your family and friends what is going on, because these situations can be embarrassing for the parent and hurtful for the "stranger" but like they say, "this too shall pass!"

Baby Signs

A few weeks ago Tom and I embarked on the long journey of teaching the girls baby sign language. They recommend starting around 9 months, but say you can start anytime, but to be patient with younger babies because it will take longer for them to pick it up. Well, here we are a few weeks later and Natalie can already do the sign for milk! It truly is amazing that she can already communicate with us and it is only going to get better. We have started with a handful of words...they recommend only doing about 5, but there are so many, around 12 or so that we say over and over again on a daily basis that we just go ahead and use their signs and we are just waiting for the girls to catch on. The words we are signing at the moment are: Mommy and Daddy, (of course :-)) Milk, kitty, book, sleep, cereal, bath, diaper. Then sometimes we will just sign something if we remember the sign. We bought the baby signs program, it came with a dvd, a guide of 100 words and 4 cardboard books to read with the girls that show the signs in action. It really is cute and we cannot wait to be able to communicate with them and to be able to understand them sooner. From what I have read sign language helps them speak earlier too! I know this system works because I had a co-worker who taught his son sign language and it was awesome when I would babysit him because he wouldn't cry when he wanted something he would just sign it and I could get it. So here is hoping that the frustrating crying and not understanding will diminish and open communication will start sooner!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Quiet

For the first time in a really long time the girls are actually taking a nap in their own cribs...A Miracle really, I cannot tell you how long it has been. To be honest I guess they never really take afternoon naps in their cribs, even though they would sleep more peacefully if they did. Today, however, I finally got them to go down in there, no telling how long it will last, but for now I am enjoying the quiet. It is amazing how loud little baby laughs and talking can be at times, when componded with the television, the cats, the cars driving by the apartment and the air conditioner running. The laughing of the girls I love, their happy shrieks are amazing and I find myself laughing so hard I am crying at times because they are too funny. But for now I am going to enjoy the quiet, while I have it and try to catch up on Harry Potter. I am re-reading the 5th book, for the movie that comes out in July and then I will do the same with the 6th since the 7th book is due out a week after the movie...I am to excited, but sad to know that it is the end of the series. But anyway, back to the peacefulness while I can.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Trail

Today as I stumbled into the shower tripping over the girl's bath toys I couldn't help but laugh to myself because they have taken over. You cannot make it from one side of the apartment to the next without stepping on something or having to move something else. It is pretty funny when you think how small the girls are and how much space they take up. Their toys and shampoo and bath stuff cover the bathroom...they don't even have that much hair yet, they have 2 different shampoos, no more tears and selsun for their cradle cap, 2 soaps, lavender nighttime calming and regular, a bazillion toys...that is just the bathroom. We still have both swings set up, I know, but they still use them EVERYDAY...they love them, so we aren't getting rid of them just yet, then the bouncy seat and the pac and play and don't forget the exersaucer...which we only have 1 of...thank goodness. But that is okay, we love them. It is just funny, tonight even Tom said, man you don't realize how much clutter comes along with kids until you have them and ours is multiplied. At least in the new house we will have more space to spread the clutter around and a designated area for the girls in their bedroom and the loft for all the toys! Can't you think we are excited...haha!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bad Mood Days

Do you ever just wake up in a bad mood, not really knowing why, but just crabby? Well, today I did. Maybe it is because I went to bed after 11...a no, no, no in the land of Stahl. Then Maddie woke up at 12:30, so I rocked her and tried to put her back into bed, only to have her wake again. This went on for over an hour when I finally gave up and we slept on the recliner together for most of the rest of the night...I guess she just wanted to be held or something, cause she sure snuggled up and held on to me. So after sleeping a few hours in bed I woke up at 7:15 in just a horrible, horrible mood. Snappy and unhappy. Maybe it is the weather or the lack of sleep, or the fact that we are pretty much trapped in the apartment today because of the race and our street is a one way out, not in...but anyway, I guess I am just complaining and hopefully I will snap out of this soon...there is no point in being crabby, even on a rainy day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Prunes are the worst!

The girls have finally been introduced to all the first steps food. Yes, it took a really long time, but my family has a lot of food allergies so I took it slow and instead of introducing a new food every three days I did a new one once a week. Now that we have introduced them all I can honestly say that prunes are the absolute worst. While the girls really like them they are so messy. The stains they leave when the girls spit up are amazing. It is like black sludge that stains is really gross. The second worst food is the carrot. The girls don't really care for this veg so the stain should be minimal, but who would have thought that these foods could cause so much damage. The good news is that so far the girls aren't allergic to anything we have given them. So on to the next step in a few months...yippy!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


The past two days I have taken the girls for a walk in a park in Avon. As Tom would say, "Avon got it right." This park is wonderful and is located right behind the Town Hall. It has two playgrounds and a very nice paved walking path that is probably 1.5-2 miles long and it even has a frisbee golf course. It is quiet and serene and I really enjoy running around it. These runs are so peaceful and I have discovered that if I go in the morning after the girls eat they will take their morning naps while we are out either in the car or while we are walking. This gives me a good 30-60 minutes of peace and quiet. Time to listen to my Ipod and to think, while still being with the girls. Time to reflect on the day and what is going on and to soak up some sun and get exercise at the same time. It is almost like that hour of time is perfect. I pass very few people and the ones I do pass leave me alone, it isn't like going to the store where you can't walk down an aisle without some one talking to you. It is almost like there is an unspoken rule that everyone is there for the same reason, exercise and peace and quiet. I truly love these times :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Vote for Tom

MYSigg, a water bottle company is having a contest to design their next bottle and Tom has submitted an entry. If you have a chance go to:
and vote for his bottle, it is the bottle that says:
Bottle Name: Recycle
Stylist: Tom Stahl
SIGGART Saying: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Also, check out their other bottle designs. In an effort to do my part and to help the environment I have made the investment and purchased this bottle so I will stop using bottles of water everyday. While I use one bottle per day and fill it up I am still adding to the waste. Also, did you know that petroleum is used to make plastic bottles? Yup, that is right so I am trying to help with the gas problem as well. On another note, we will also be switching to more earth friendly cleaners such as Seventh Generation once our current cleaners are finished. So if you are earth friendly check out these bottles and seventh generation products!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Adventures in Parenting: Lesson One

Over the last several months I have gotten very sloppy about the contents of my diaper bag and I have been moving to a smaller and smaller bag, thinking I need less and less stuff. Well, yesterday I paid the price and learned a very important lesson: IT IS BETTER TO BE OVER PREPARED, RATHER THAN NOT PREPARED AT ALL. See, yesterday we went for a walk around the new hood and I was taking Maddie out of the stroller, only to find her completely soaked when I picked her up. That would have been fine and dandy had it only been pee, but no such luck, it was poop too, all over...very gross. So there we were with my tiny diaper bag, a few wipes, some diapers and a onesie to put her in, no clothes or shorts or anything to put the dirty diaper in and we were off to the store since we were already out. So the poor thing had to wear only a onesie to the store because of her momma's lack of organization or laziness if you will. So, today when we set out to go look for a couch I was prepared. Back to the big diaper bag with several onesies, extra shorts and tons of wipes and diapers and bags for dirty diapers, hoping we wouldn't have to use it, but ready all the same. After a little while we walk out of one of the stores and Tom says he thinks Maddie needs to be changed and I asked if she was poopy and he said he didn't think so, but that he kept smelling poop somewhere. So I set to change her, taking off her pants, only to find poop ALL over her leg, her pants the onesie, everywhere. It was to much and I just started laughing because I couldn't believe it was happening AGAIN. But, at least this time I was ready and got her cleaned up and dressed and headed out to the next store. The whole ordeal was so much for her she fell right asleep and slept until we got home. So, to all you parents out there, don't get lazy, carry the bigger bag and have everything you might need every time you go out. I used to do this and forever more will do it now!

Friday, May 18, 2007

People really are ignorant

This week the girls turned 7 months old. Very weird to think they are that old already, but hey time flies when you are having fun...right? It has been great being able to get out of the house and show them around the world...they like going to target and watching all the products pass them by in the cart, their eyes get really big and it is pretty cute and it is great not being house bound. This freedom, however, comes with a price. The price of having to deal with ignorant people. Tom and I usually want nothing more than to do our shopping or have a nice peaceful meal out with the girls, but that is not a luxury anymore, because you would think we were traveling with a circus or something. Everyone stops us and says, "oh twins," or "oh you poor thing," when I am alone. I do not consider myself a "poor thing" I consider myself lucky, lucky to have 2 great daughters to love and who love me back. The worst are the people who stop us and try to touch the girls or ask pretty dumb questions, like "are they boys?" I want to say, "yes, they are boys and I am raising them to be gay, that is why they are in all pink clothing and pink car seats" Come on people give me a break. The best was when we went out to eat last week, we had both girls in their car seats and the guy seating us asked how far apart in age they were...are you serious? My mom says this circus feel will only get worse as they get bigger and look more alike, but all I want is to be able to get in and out of the store without being bothered. Oh, well I guess this is about the only down side I can see about having two instead of one, but once again I wouldn't change it for the world, I just wish people wouldn't be so ignorant and would mind their own business, like we mind ours!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What $30.00 will buy you

I remember when I was a freshman in college and you could buy gas for $1.00. Now that was 9 years ago, but for about $15.00 bucks or less I could fill my entire gas tank up. Well, now I could buy a quarter of a tank of gas for that amount. Yesterday, much to my dismay I realized that I was completely empty and had to break down and purchase gas. I told myself I was only going to spend $30.00 in hopes that this will tide me over for awhile and prices will go down. Well, as the ticker kept on ticking I realized I was barely going to get 8 gallons for $30.00, but I still stopped the pump then, got in my car and turned it on...holding my breath I looked at the was half full. The sad thing is, I was actually happy that it was half full, because I thought for sure it wouldn't even be that much. So, I guess now I am going to cut my driving down even more than I already do, no more going out just to get out of the house, because those prices are just to ridiculous. I will sure enjoy when our house is done so I can just step outside to go for walks and I won't have to drive somewhere to feel safe...but until then, the driving will be limited :-(

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A+++++++ Customer Service

I have always known that LLBean had great customer service and great products. I know I know this is going to sounds like an LLBean pitch, and okay, it kind of is, but they are the best! I have loved LLBean for a really long time, their fleeces and duffles are the greatest. So, last week I ordered the girls some little duffles for our little trips planned this summer and for when we go to their YaYa's, my mom's house. :-) Well, the bags arrived today monogrammed and everything and I took them out of the wrapper and they were so tiny, not the size I thought I had ordered. I have an overnight/weekend duffle from there which I thought was a small, oops it was a medium. So I thought I was going to be screwed because I had them monogrammed and everything, but nope, LLBean said no problem, ordered me up new ones in the bigger size, set up the monogram again and said they will be here by the beginning of next week. I couldn't believe it, even after the monogramming, it is amazing. This isn't the first time that LLBean has surprised me. Back in High School I had an LLBean back pack that had a zipper that got caught on my locker and ripped. I sent it back to LLBean asking them to fix it and they sent me a brand new bag...mine was at least 4 years old, now that is what I call quality customer service. So if you ever need a bag, a fleece, clothes or you are just bored surf their site, it is great!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Diaper Me Please Daddy

Last night Maddie woke up screaming at 1:00 am. This isn't to untypical, the girls will usually do this when their pacifier falls out and they don't want to suck their thumb. Only the typical response is pacifier goes back in and the girl goes back to sleep. Only last night Maddie opened her eyes looked straight at me and had this look like "are you crazy?" then she proceeded to scream, so I went to pick her up to rock her for a little bit only to find her soaked, bed soaked, pj's and her sleep sak, so I take her into the living room to change her and as I am stripping her down each article of clothing is wetter and wetter until I get to her onsie, where I then reach for her diaper, which isn't there. That's right, NO diaper. At that point I am really annoyed because Tom had dressed her after her bath, and had forgotten to put her diaper on. The poor girls must have wet herself several times. So Tom wakes up because of crying and I am like next time can you please put a diaper on Maddie and he tries to tell me that I was the one who had dressed her, because I gave her the bath, but then we had switched and I also did Natalie. He then realized what he had done and went to change her sheets. The longer I sat there the funnier this all turned to me and I found myself sitting in the dark livingroom laughing to myself. It was all to funny to think that at 7:30 pm a diaper was missed and we have gone several nights of sleeplessness and we have never done anything like that before. Hopefully in the future we won't make mistakes like this again, because the only person I feel bad for is little Maddie who woke up cold and wet...poor thing.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mini Anyone?

Yesterday as the girls and I were watching the Mini Marathon on TV I couldn't help but wish I was there running it. I know it sounds crazy, but I really enjoy it, it is such an accomplishment to say you have done it. I have completed it 3 times already and every time I say I am never going to do it again, but I always find myself running again. So yesterday after watching it I decided I am going to do it next year and I signed up. A whole year in advance...haha CRAZY! Then I was thinking, man it would be really fun to get a bunch of people or moms together and we can all train together with our babies...are any of you out there interested? We would have a year, good exercise time to chat and fun at the if you think you might want to give it a try let me know. I am NOT a fast runner, my best time was 2:18 and that was a couple years ago before kids and such, so if you wanna give her a try lets do it!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Today is graduation. I am not walking, but I will get that diploma soon...still a very surreal experience to know that it is all over, no more classes or lectures. The past couple of days I have been reflecting on the whole experience. The three years of driving to the near southside, beating traffic, writing papers and cramming for tests. The stressful semester when I was pregnant and then the semester off when the girls were born and I was on bedrest. Would I do it all over if I had the chance? You bet I would. It was a challenging experience and I am stronger now for having completed the degree. I don't know what I will do with it, or where my future career will go, but I am glad I had the experience and that I was able to achieve this feat. I guess what I am trying to say, is if there is something out there that you have been wanting to accomplish, but you think it will be to difficult, give it a try anyway, do it. Do it for you, or do it just to say you will thank yourself in the future and you will feel very proud of yourself too!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I did it!

15 weeks, 4 papers, 3 presentations, 5 exams and 2 A's later I am finished with school. I cannot believe that tomorrow is graduation. I am not walking, but the simple fact I am done, have my MBA and still had my baby girls amazes me. I am very proud of myself and it feels so great to say I did it. It is a very surreal feeling though. After three years of studying I cannot believe that I don't have to read any more textbooks or write anymore papers or sit in anymore lectures. I can now spend more time with the girls and I won't be getting frustrated when they don't want to nap and I need to study. So yippy for me... I DID IT! :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In Progress

Well, our house is officially in progress. They have already dug the hole and poured the walls for the basement...very exciting. It is fun to drive by each day or every few days to see how things are going, but we just can't wait to move in. Once the house is framed we will get our closing date. Hopefully sometime in the middle of July, so we are counting the days. It is hard to believe we have already lived in the apartment for a month though, so at least the time is passing quickly. So yippy skippy we are progressing along!