Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The one bite rule

Where has the time gone?????

5 years ago this very week I underwent my IVF procedure that resulted in Summie Lou & Coley Boley!  Seriously.... they are almost 4 1/2!!!!!  And at some point a long the way they stopped eating dinner food.

Our schedule has not been so normal.... so I will give them that.  For the first 3 1/2 years of their lives, Jim didn't get home from work until after 8pm since he worked west coast hours.  Although that schedule really did help our mornings be less hectic.... I would get home around 6pm with the kids feed them quickly since they want to eat as soon as we walk in the door most nights.  Then I'd cook later after they were in bed (since they went to bed at 7pm at the time). 

Well bedtime has gotten later, Jim is actually home by 6pm and I still find myself throwing something quickly together for them as soon as we walk in the door and then either cooking later or more recently resorting to take out once they've gone to bed.  On the occassion that I actually do prepare a nice meal or maybe we have dinner at someone's house.... the kids don't want to eat it.  They want cereal or eggs or no lie Cole ate just wheat thins for Thanksgiving dinner! 

What happened?  When did they become picky eaters?  They ate anything insight including salad at the age of 2.  Why now would that never ever happen?

In comes "the one bite rule".... I forget where I saw this, but probably Parents magazine because I seriously find so many good things in that magazine (love it!).  It's supposed to take people like 10 times or something of trying a new food to decide that they like it.  I don't want to force them to sit in front of a plate of food all night that they don't like, I don't want it to turn into a power struggle where they won't even try because they don't want me to win, and I don't want any long term issues or even fighting over food.  Last weekend I made my first beef brisket (which was awesome I might add), with oven roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans..... and of course... the kids wanted no parts of it.  I warned them as I was cooking that we would be starting the "one bite rule" that night.  They would need to try one bite (no spitting out) of each food and if they didn't like it... they didn't need to have any more, but if they did like it they could have more of whatever they wanted.  Guess what?  It actually worked!  Summer didn't like any of it, but she did try a bite of each.  Cole liked the potatoes (which neither one will typically eat.... even though I'm half Irish and could seriously live off of all the different types of potatoes!) and the meat and even came home from school the next day asking if he could have more!!!!  This weekend I made a big batch of pulled pork for the football games on Sunday.  They asked what I was making.... I told them and they said "eww... we don't like that".  I reminded them of the "one bite rule" and they said ok, but when we don't like it we can have something else right?  I agreed, but after their "one bite" ... they both liked it!  Summer had a sandwich with it and Cole ate it just in a bowl!  Hopefully we are getting somewhere with our new rule! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

A new year and hopefully soon a new me!

I have been thinking about starting the couch to 5k program for quite some time now. 

I've never been a runner....
I've never really been an athlete....

So where to start?  Little did I know, that to start running... you don't just jump in and run!  Who knew?!

My fabulous cousin is a serious runner and had recommended the couch to 5k program, and my aunt successfully went through the program last year and ran the donor dash.  I'm hoping to be able to do the same this year and run as a donor family member, we'll see if I can be ready. 

This week was my 2nd week on the program.  The premise of the program is that you do alternate running and walking 3 days a week for 30 minutes each date gradually ramping up each week until by week 9 you are running the entire time.  I completely week 1 pretty easily, but came down with a minor illness at the beginning of  week 2.  It threw off my workouts, but didn't make me stop completely so I am proud of myself.  I do think I need to repeat week 2 this coming week as I'm just not comfortable enough since I wasn't feeling 100% myself this week to ramp up next week.  I do have about 5 extra weeks before the run, so hopefully after repeating week 2 this week I'll be ready to move on to week 3, but if not... I'll keep trying. 

I'm trying not to pressure myself on too many other changes right now, because I really want to focus on getting into the routine of working out at least 3 days per week.  The kids are so cute about it... they want to know when I am getting on the treadmill and Summer actually keeps track of which days I need to get on it and which days are my "break" days and reminds me.  They also really love getting water for me and their support is really helpful.

I've been trying out different times of the day and although I'm not one for getting up earlier... I am finding that I do better and feel better if I get up and do my workout before work.  It is really nice to have that 30 minutes to myself before anyone wakes up and I'm more likely to have a conflict at night that would make me miss a workout.

Wish me luck!  Now that I've made this public.... I am determined to continue.  I hope to make my kids, my husband and most of all my mom proud.  I want to represent her on at the Donor Dash for the lives she saved on the day that we had to let her go and she gave the ultimate gift to perfect strangers.... the gift of life.

And here is just a tiny plea from me..... make sure that your family is aware of your intentions about organ donations.  I know it is not ideal conversation material to tell the ones that you love that if something should happen to you that you want them to donate your organs.  Who wants to talk about those things?  However, the reality of the situation is that you never know when your last day will be and if it does come.... you likely won't be able to express your wishes at that time.  There are tons of people waiting for life saving organ transplants.  Wouldn't you want someone to choose to be a donor if you or a loved one needed it?? Why not do the same for them??

"Don't take your organs to heaven.... heaven knows we need them here"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Looking forward to 2013

I can't believe we've entered another year already.  Looking back at all we've done this year... We had our carpets on the main level taken out and replaced with laminant flooring (we had the kids' room done at the end of 2011) as recommended by our allergist for Cole's asthma/allergies. Our oven broke, our washer broke and our dryer broke (luckily the washer was still under warranty) but the rest were old and needed replacing), I had my gallbladder removed in March. We lost several beloved members of our family.  Cole had his 5th bout of pneumonia in August which prompted my decision to switch allergists to CHOP and I am SO happy that we did this.  It has made a huge difference in his health.  We discovered that Summer is allergic to milk, which has completely changed the quality of her life.  She is happier and nicer, her craddle cap clears up when her diet is kept strict and her nose has finally stopped running constantly!  I only wish that we had discovered that this was the cause of most of her issues sooner.  Summer & Cole started Pre-K at daycare in September and I am absolutely amazed by how much they have learned so far!  We enjoyed a week in Disney World in October with my in-laws (you can read about our week in previous posts).  And we had a fabulous holiday season.  The kids are really starting to understand and get so excited for all of the celebrations, decorations and holiday cheer.
January marks 9 years at my job and 5 years from our successful IVF cycle that resulted in our beautiful twins.  Looking forward to what another year will hold for our family.  We know for sure that means registering for and starting kindergarten and another trip to Disney World in September.  I'm sure it will also include trips to the aquarium before our membership expires in March, trips to the zoo thanks to our membership from Nonna & Poppy, and trips to Sea Isle for the beach and the rides.  We hope to do a few more renovations to the house as well during the year.  Keep checking in and I will do my best to update more frequently this year. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

We wish you a Merry Belated Christmas....

Christmas time is just about my favorite time of the year.... granted I do allow myself to get completely overwhelmed with preparations.  I typically swear to myself in the process that I will never commit to hosting Christmas at my house again as I rush to finish everything in time and then after a great day I decide that I overreacted and will do it all again next year.  This year... add in a ton of computer issues at work, organizing gift donations for my multiples club in my basement/playroom and 3 friends having new babies in 2 weeks, plus two 4 year olds who I actually need to hide "Santa" things from now and it was a little bit crazier than usual!  But you know what?  I really wouldn't have it any other way. 

Summer & Cole enjoyed 3 sleepovers with family members this month which is definitely an all time high (other than when we've been away).  They had a sleepover at Aunt Juli's in Philadelphia.... highlights included getting to watch tv while they were sleeping, breakfast at a vegan restaurant so that Summer could enjoy a variety of dairy free choices, and a ride on the choo choo (speedline) to get home.  The next weekend they had a sleepover at Aunt Judy's while Jim & I went to my company Christmas party at the Borgata.  They enjoyed playing with the dogs and doing crafts.  Then they were invited to a sleepover with Uncle Chris & Crystal where they got to go Cosmic Bowling and had an absolute blast!  We are so lucky to have so many people that want to spend special time with our kids. 

Fun baking.... The kids really loved baking this year.  Baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite memories of my mom.  This year we only baked chocolate chip cookies together, but Summer was oh so excited that I adapted the recipe to be dairy free (since I knew she'd be partaking in probably too many dairy ingredients as we made our rounds through the holidays I figured why not try for some dairy free ones at home).  I found that Shop Rite chocolate chips are soy based, so no milk!  And we tried butter flavored crisco instead of regular butter (margarine also contains milk).  They came out great.... I know this because even Jim would eat them and not cringe.  They loved measuring the ingredients helping to bake them!  Cole even ate a few while they were still soft and liked them (the kid doesn't like cookies... I really don't know where he came from).  By the next day he was back to not liking them again.  The kids also got to make and decorate cutout cookies one day at Mom-mom's which was tons of fun too!

The Christmas List... last year I had made the kids Christmas lists by cutting out pictures of the items that they liked and gluing them to a piece of paper since they couldn't read.  Well this year they learned how to use scissors in school, so when the Big Toy Book came in the mail... Cole grabbed it and told me he needed his scissors, a glue stick and paper.  He worked on his list daily and pretty soon had the front and back of his paper filled with wishes. I decided it was time for the you can ask for whatever you want, but Santa can't bring everything talk.  It didn't go over so well at first, but he soon began revising the list (which isn't so neat when glue is involved).  When he found something new that he wanted i would see him evaluate whether he wanted it more than something else on his list.  He would then rip something off the list and cut the new item out and glue it in the now open space.  I think next year I will be setting a time limit on this list as I learned from some other friends and we will mail or take the list to Santa so that no last minute week of Christmas revisions can be made. 

A week long of Christmas celebrations... we have tons of family in the area which means tons of visiting for the holidays.  We started out on Sunday with pretend Christmas morning at Mom-mom & Pop-pop's house.  Mom-mom sets out the gifts and stockings under the tree and we have a nice morning exchanging gifts with each other and having breakfast together.  Cole has caught onto the fact that we try to get him to leave some things at Mom-mom's to play with when he visits.  In order to make sure that he doesn't have to leave any of his gifts behind he immediately asks for a bag and packs up all of his gifts so that they are all ready for him to take them all home.  We finished out the day with my annual cousin gathering at Carol's.  The kids had a great time playing with each other and we got some cute pictures.... although Cole has decided that he doesn't like to pose for pictures (kinda like Aunt Liz used to do).

Monday, the kids went to school, Jim went to work and I went to Shoprite and started cooking for Christmas the next day at our house!  I picked up the kids up early from school and we headed to Mom-mom's for her annual Christmas Eve celebration and then headed to my Aunt Patti's for the rest of the evening.  When we got home we had to put out a glass of milk, with 2 chocolate chip cookies and 8 baby carrots.  We discussed at length what needed to be left out and this is what the final decision was.  We didn't want to leave too many snacks for Santa and each reindeer since they would be stopping at so many houses they would get a belly ache if they had too many treats. 
Christmas morning was magical... The kids ran to the tree and found the Disney World monorail and Cinderella castle setup for them.  Cole was very happy about this, but had TONS of questions about how it happened.  Did Santa set this up? That was so nice of him.  Do you think the elves helped him? How long did it take? (Love this kid).  Summer was just happy that there were presents.  We had lots of visitors and hosted Jim's side of the family for dinner and more presents.  LOVE this holiday and next year vow to take off the day after to recover and hang home so the kids can enjoy their goodies. 

I hope that you had a fabulous holiday season and a blessed new year!  I'm hoping to keep this a little more up to date this year :)