Crib No Longer Contains Ethan….AKA Monkey Climbs, Monkey Makes HUGE MESS!

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Ethan (2) has discovered he can climb out of his crib. He shares a room with his older brother, Charlie. This morning he woke up, climbed out, woke up his brother and the two of them proceeded to take out every toy and book and put them in a big ole pile in the middle of their floor. Luckily we had a taste of this monkey act the night before so we reversed the door knob and locked them in when it was bed time (yeah…that’s right).  So at least they didn’t get into craziness in the rest of the house. So now we have to figure out what to do next.

Reverse knob so lock is outside -DONE

Box up 90% of toys and books and put in the babies room -Pending

Introduce Ethan to his new bed – DONE, but yeah that lasted like 2 minutes well he slept in it, but was free to move about the room when he woke up.

Keep Introducing Ethan to his bed – Continuing operation

Enlist Big Brother to help encourage bed – Continuing operation

Get Big Ole Toddler Rails – This worked with Charlie, but he was never as….monkey-like as Ethan is. But worth a shot so -Pending

We shall see how this goes. Charlie has gotten used to knocking on his door and hollering for me if he has to go to the  bathroom in the middle of the night. I hope we don’t have to do this very long. A baby gate won’t work. The kid can scale ANYTHING. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them! Maybe a half door? Wish I could have a Charlie exit that responded to his voice so he could go to the bathroom on his own. (Illuminate…De-luminate…Open….Close) 

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Accountability..AKA How I Use Twitchy Tendencies To Force Myself Up

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To help myself stay on top of my work outs I print up a calendar and have it somewhere I can see it everyday, my bathroom door. If I see a week is not going to have at least 4 X’s on it, then it makes me feel evil and lazy so I have to get my butt up and add more X’s. (Orange = Cardio and Yellow = Strength Training) This week I am hoping to do at least 5 X’s to make up for the holiday NOMs. On the right track! (Hmm maybe I should draw a picture of a pie slice on thanksgiving to remind myself why I need the extra X’s) (Yeah cuz I def will be eating pie and other NOMS. I am bad, holidays are automatic cheat days in my book)

I was hoping to get a post in this week about exercising with my babies, but time ran away with me. Probably won’t post again until next week so hope y’all have a great Thanksgiving!!

Oh and good news! Hit my last 2014 goal..in my size 8s! WOOHOO!!!

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Paleo-ish Recipes: Chicken and Mushroom Stew..NOM!

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So this recipe is more time-consuming that my past ones, probably take about 30 minutes prep and another 2 hours to cook. But so worth it. So FREAKING GOOD! And the left overs the next day are even better. We got this recipe originally from our Bon Appetit magizine here and modded it up a bit so it was less carbs, so really, nixed the dumplings and subbed out the flour. I LOVE mushrooms and this combo was awesome.

So first…assemble ingredients and dutch oven.

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We have bacon, chicken thighs, chicken legs, white wine, chicken stock, LOTS of mushrooms (shitake, baby bellas and oyster), a yellow onion, 6 garlic cloves, arrowroot flour, fresh thyme and salt/pepper.

Start with cutting up half a package of bacon into 1-2 inch pieces and throw in the dutch oven on medium heat. In the meantime cut the onion into 1 inch chunks, clean mushrooms and smash the garlic cloves. (oh and feel free to open that wine early and have a glass while you cook) Give the bacon a stir. When it is browned, put it to the side but keep all the bacon fat deliciousness in the pan.

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Toss the chicken in the flour (arrowroot flour for paleo) and some salt/pepper and then place to the dutch oven. Make sure you just add enough to cover the bottom of the oven cuz you are looking to brown/crisp up the skin. You may need to do multiple batches depending on the size of your pan. Sear for about 6 minutes on both sides and the take out, set aside w.  bacon.

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Put all the mushrooms in the dutch oven and give it a stir to get the fats all over it. (DROOOOL)  Throw in a bit of salt and pepper and add some olive oil if it looks too dry. Let them cook for about 7 minutes. Take out and put aside. Throw in onions and garlic, let them caramelize about 7 minutes.  Add the wine and let it reduce by half. Then add back the chicken and bacon along with chicken broth and thyme. Put it on low, cover her up for about an hour. At one hour, remove the cover. Have more wine 🙂 (And yes that is a Kraft Mac n Cheese box, Charlie and Ethan love that stuff)

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Another hour of cooking and OMG it smells so good, looks so good, you wanna just dive in. Throw the mushrooms back in and let them swim for 15 minutes. Then you are ready to clean it up (remove bones, thyme sticks and fat/chewy bits, gross but necessary) THEN….NOMNOMNOMNOM! And make sure you save some, cuz I swear its even better the next day warmed up.

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The Twins are 8 Months Old!…AKA the Art of TWIN JUGGLING!

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The twins turned 8 months old this weekend and are now both crawling. This is on one side adorable and on the other side horrifying. Now I have to like…sweep…ugh. They put everything in their mouths. And just like their older brothers when they hit this stage….they have discovered the dog food and find it an irresistible taste sensation that they must come back to again…and again….and again…

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Miles is loving blowing raspberries, adores his big brother Charlie and is a total Daddy’s boy. I can get a lil smirk out of him, but Daddy walks by and HUGE HONKIN’ SMILES. Even happy dances. He loves to watch everyone and makes the most expressive hilarious faces while doing so.  Wants to be held as often as possible (does uppy arms)  which causes me to often double carry the lil guys around the house. It is an art…and I have now rocked it. Pictures at bottom of post.

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Jack is my Porkchop. He is a laughs a TON, has the cutest dimples, crawls at a crazy fast pace (srsly one second he will be on his activity mat…two seconds later at the dog food…again) and is now pulling him himself up to stand (along with falling over and giving me mini heart attacks) He sticks his tongue out at people and will screech at you to demand your attention. If that fails, he will crawl to you and attempt to scale your legs to get in on the action.
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These little guys just crack me up. Can’t stop giving them kisses! So now…twin juggling!
Holding both while feeding Jack. He finished. Next put him in baby superman against my hip..
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Kneel down and place Jack on the floor, and now Miles!
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For my next act: Pick up fussy Jack while holding Miles! Kneel down and place Jack on my knee
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 Pop him up on to my hip in one smooth motion! (No babies were harmed during this photo shoot..yay me)
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Cold Weather Running…Not as Bad as I Thought!

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Decided to run on my gym off days, even in the cold this year. I want to do a 15K this spring so have to keep up with the training! But…my nemesis, winter, has decided to make an early arrival. Wind Chills down to nearly 0. How the heck am I supposed to run in that? Layers!  Srsly, I was HOT while I was running. The only part of me that was aware of the cold were my eyelashes, when eyes would tear, my eyelashes would freeze together (yeah…srsly…why am I not in Texas or Hawaii?). Must troubleshoot that one. If anyone has suggestions let me know. Sunglasses fog up due to the girder thing covering my mouth/nose area. (My steampunk goggles?…I would look pretty cool running in them…maybe if I ran fast enough I would travel through time! jk…kinda…)

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Now I haven’t gotten all fancy-pants and bought official running layers for the first layer. But this worked just fine. Black cotton leggings, long sleeve cotton t-shirt and warm socks

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Layer #2

Fleece jogging pants, thermal hooded jacket (that I got from my Hot Chocolate 5K, HOLLA), Running gloves with that magic lil finger tip that lets you play with your phone, thermal ear headband thingy, girder (I had no idea this thing had a name, its like a scarf, but with out the extra fabric, covers mouth, nose, neck, very cozy). 

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Things I loved about this get up:

1-I was super warm, it was awesome. The cold never got to me, I even had to vent a couple of times.

2-I also loved that this hoodie had zipper on the pockets. The phone was nice and secure in there. I like the arm bands for phones, but not as effective in winter.

3- That magic finger thingy for your phone is srsly awesome. I can’t believe it took me this long to get on that band wagon. I have always been partial to ladies leather gloves in the winter. But I am now a convert.

Things I need to remember for next time:

1- Bring tissues. Nose was running like a faucet

2- Chapstick, scratch that, Blistex or Burts Bees, I like that medicinal tingly stuff.

Other than that, It was great. Listened to some old 90’s party tunes which brought back great memories of listening to C&C music factory while working on my monster jigsaw puzzles  and memorizing that ridiculous dance from ‘She’s All That’. Oh the 90’s! I even added a mile to my run, bringing me up to 4 miles! And after the run I got to cuddle with this lil dude 🙂 So the cold weather running will continue!

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Paleo-ish Recipe: Pork Chops w Apple/Fennel/Leeks/Sage

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We did this one last week and YUM. I am not usually a big fan of pork chops, but this was so good that we made it twice in one week! Very autumny (even though now we are in January like weather, not cool November, not cool)

So first! Get your pan smokin’ hot and sear the pork chops about 4 minutes on both sides and then put on a covered plate somewhere to keep warm. (if you want the sweet potato on the side, stick it w. a fork a couple of times, throw it in the oven at 350, it will be in there about 45 minutes) (Please ignore my stove that desperately needs cleaning, OMG DON”T JUDGE MY STOVE! STOP LOOKING! STAAAHHHHP)

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Next, assemble topping ingredients for the topping. Leeks, Fennel, Apple, Sage, Butter, Apple Cider Vinegar, Beer and Salt!

Chop up the white/light green part of the leeks and throw into the pan you just had used to cook the pork chops along w. a slab of butter. Cook until lightly browned..about 5-7 minutes. In the mean time, core and cube your apple and fennel. Here are a couple pictures of the fennel prep.

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Add the apple and fennel to the pan. Prepare for delicious smells. Check on rugrats.

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Save Ethan from top of the dryer. Add a small palm of salt to pan, let cook for 5-7 minutes. Then add sage. More amazing smells. Let cook another minute then put in a bowl to the side. Give the babies those lil star snacks they love to keep them occupied for a lil longer.

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Put another couple slabs of butter in the pan. If you wanna be good w. Paleo add 2 tbsp of arrowroot flour or a tbsp of corn starch or else just use 2 tbsp of flour. Stir for a couple of seconds, let it get hot and lightly brown. Add a cup of either beer, hard apple cider or apple cider. We used Blue Moon, and add apple cider vinegar. If you just wanna be light w. the vinegar, about 2 tbsp…if you love vinegar, as does The Husband, add 1/4 cup. Pretty darn vinegar strong, but we likes it like that. Let it get a bit thick, should coat a spoon. Add the bowl of apple/fennel/leeks/sage and let it all coat and get delicious together for a minute or two. Serve on top of the pork chops. NOMNOMNOM. If you are also doing sweet potatoes, grab em, cut em long ways, add a couple slabs of butter and cinnamon. I also added a lil honey. NOM.

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Baking with Boys…AKA..THE GREAT COOKIE DEBACLE

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Yeah….This is what happens when you bake in my house. Took a bathroom break (yeah rookie mistake)…came back to baking soda…EVERY-FRAKING-WHERE. They would run and slide in it, make art in it and put other ingredients in random places. Like pieces in their pasta…

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Oh look found a random hot dog in the cookie dough…

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And this is how the cookies turned out. EPIC FAIL.

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So let the next day it snowed…”MOM IT LOOKS LIKE OUR KITCHEN OUTSIDE!”

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At least he tried cleaning it up? So…what have I learned from this? Don’t leave your rugrats with consumables, they will find fun in everything…including baking soda, I want a daughter and my boys love cookies no matter what they look like 🙂  Didn’t even get mad…just had to laugh…clean up the mess and take note (And for that I thank my anxiety meds, HIGH FIVE LOPRAM!)

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Working out with Baby: Stomach…AKA How to get baby drool ALL OVER YOU

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When I don’t make it to the gym, I try to get a little bit of a work out at home. Here are some of the ab exercises I do while holding one of the twins.

This one on top is Baby Side Crunch. Start in sitting position. Lean back at a 45ish degree angle, bend knees, feet slightly lifted. Hoist baby side to side.

Next up Baby Superman Sit Up Legs flat-out in a V, lay down. Sit up, stretch baby to toes. Lay back down while baby supermans (and flipping drools all over you….have a drool towel ready)

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Baby Crunches  Get in crunch position and do crunches while lifting baby up your knees.

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Baby Cross Lift Twists Stand up, bend over and put baby down on the ground to the right in front of you. Lift him up across the front of your body and high up on the other side (Make sure you have a good grip on your baby!)

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One Nurse Re-Imagines The Precious Neonatal Babies She Cares For

This has got to be the sweetest gesture ever. NICU nurses are amazing! My first two sons were in NICU and it was a scary emotional experience. Coming in and finding them hooked up to different machines and not knowing what they mean. Constantly terrified you will get a negative update. Wanting to hold them constantly but scared you may over stimulate them. The nurses definitely helped get me through it. Explained the machines, the procedures, helped with breast-feeding. They even would give baby 101 hands on! Had help w. all our first feedings, first diaper changes, first clothing changes (and how to do it. w all those wires) and even first bath! Nurses are truly heroes! My OB/GYN Nurse, Pam, was my ROCK during all my pregnancies and could never go through it again with out her!

Kindness Blog

Nurse Jessica Wright spends her days caring for peaceful looking patients, but she knows the babies in her neonatal intensive care unit are quietly fighting a battle for their lives.

However, that doesn’t stop her and her fellow nurses from imagining the bright futures waiting for every child. In fact, she has big dreams for these babies.

A BEAUTIFUL ballerina.

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An AMAZING astronaut.

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A DARLING doctor.

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A CHARMING chef.

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An OUTSTANDING Olympian.

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Nestled safely in their homes, babies often fall asleep to lullabies about twinkling stars and jumping sheep. In a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), babies fall asleep to steady beeps from monitors and whispered conversations between parents and caregivers.

Writing for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s blog, Wright explains, “I like to think that I’ve cared for the next President of the United States, the scientist who’s going to help cure cancer, a Top Chef, an astronaut, an…

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Comparing Twins…I know, I know, big NO NO!… AKA Trying Not to Give my Kids a Complex…

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So I am told all the time not to compare the two littlest of my brood. But, dude, come one. How does someone NOT? First comparing looks. Very obviously not identical. Jack-Jack is brown-eyed, brown-haired, dimpled and is a TANK with a belly you just can’t NOT give raspberries. Miles is gorgeously blue-eyed, blond, taller, slimmer and has a nose perfect for Eskimo kisses. Jack is my mini clone. Miles is the husband’s mini clone. Then comparing personalities. Jack is easy to smile, loves to cuddle and loves EVERYBODY and wants to be in the action. Miles is shy with strangers, ADORES his daddy, loves to bounce when being held and is more serious and observant. Loves to watch, especially his older brothers. And Charlie can ALWAYS get him to laugh!

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The biggest thing I’m not supposed to compare is milestones. But yeah…of course I do. Jack is full-out crawling all over the house. He is FAST! AND PUTTING EVERYTHING IN HIS MOUTH. This week I have found him trying to eat a leaf, Halloween candy wrappers, the dog’s tail and my pants. He is pulling himself up to stand.  Miles is rolling over and pivoting around, getting up on all fours, but not crawling yet. Jack has been doing it for about 2-3 weeks. So part of me worries and the other part of me say SHUT UP! MILES WILL DO IT WHEN HE IS READY! I kinda wanna go back and check when the older two did this stuff….but then I remember that I don’t have time for that craziness.

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I’m sure everything going to go back and forth. One was a good sleeper, then the other one. Now they both rock at sleeping at night. (Separately btw. We used to let them sleep together but Jack has taken to climbing on his brother) Sometimes one is having a fussy, attention whore, grumpy time while the other is happy-go-lucky and then a week later its polar opposites. (The happy one is usually my favorite…yeah that’s right…I said it but hey, it switches so favorite status switches between all four pretty regularly) I just hope the comparisons aren’t something that is going to make them crazy with me when they are older. My older boys aren’t left out of this either. (Charlie is smart, cautious and loves to help me clean/do laundry/vacuum while Ethan does not care two hoots and will attempt jumping off their lil play kitchen to the couch and you just shake your head while chasing him down, with a hidden smile, because he charms all anyway)

But if you have multiple kids, isn’t it natural to comapre? Or am I totally nuts and going to drive my lil horde crazy?

In the meantime, here are some more ridiculously cute picture of the twins from when they were younger.

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Being all cute in their summer attire

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Smiling

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Newborn Pictures

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Awesome onsies from Opa

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