First Baseball Game

Jack had his first baseball game today. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, since none of the boys could actually catch the ball or throw it with much accuracy. And they certainly didn’t understand the rules.

When we arrived the other team was lined up and practicing. They looked like stiff competition for a bunch of five year olds! I was worried that we didn’t coach Jack enough.

In the end none of it mattered. More practice didn’t equated to a better team. In fact, not being able to throw or catch worked in the both team’s favor, since that meant no one was tagged out and everyone got a home run.

Essentially, our team batted our kids and ran all the bases while the other team stood on the field. Then the other team batted all their kids and ran the bases while our team stood on the field.

It was so cute to watch, all of them so proud in their uniforms! Even knowing that Jack didn’t understand so much of it, I still couldn’t help yelling at Jack to run faster and giving the high five afterwards.

I realized today a sad but inevitable fact. I will be unable to help myself – I will be one of those crazy, screaming moms in the bleachers at all my kids games.

Angus, Jack and Grant in the Line Up

Batting with the help of Coach Mike

Jack's Loyal Fans

Good Game!

Good Game! (Jack is number 2)


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Fresh Picks for the Week (Apr 25)

This week I received Beets, Asparagus, Red Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Crimini Mushrooms, Ramps, Parsley and Green Leaf Lettuce.

Fresh Picks for April 25th

That evening I grilled the asparagus with a little salt, pepper and olive oil on the grill along side the home made turkey burgers I already in the fridge.

I had never heard of a Ramp before and had to do some research. Turns out it is from the wild leek family and has an oniony-garlicky flavor. It has a very small season, after winter and before summer.

In the end I substituted the ramp for leek in a potato and leek soup. I found this recipe which was creamy but didn’t actually have cream in it.

This pregnancy has gotten to the point where going to the supermarket, picking Ben up to put him in the cart and walking all the aisles to get what I need is a daunting task. In fact, just standing up long enough to cook these meals is a struggle. I hope I get through them all before I pop!

I decided to combine the onion, crimini mushrooms, some of the parsley together to make a risotto. But then I realized I didn’t have risotto rice so I just used white rice and made it more like a mushroom pilaf. Sautéed chopped onions and chopped mushrooms in a little olive oil, then added rice until it showed clear, then added double the amount of chicken broth to rice ratio, brought to a boil, then covered and simmered on low for 20 minutes. Added grated parmesan.

The green leaf lettuce got paired with the tomatoes, cucumber, roast chicken, red onion, and feta, oregano, olive oil and lemon juice that i had in my cabinets and fridge already to make a greek salad.

The beets made me smile. I love them, but normally buy them cooked already since they take so long to bake in the oven and I seem to be the only one who likes them. Still, I wondered if cooking them at home would drastically change the taste. Since I didn’t want to venture out, I’m going to try simply baking these with some olive oil and salt. I’ve read you scrub them, then add olive oil and salt then wrap them in tin foil and bake until tender. Can be 20 minutes and up to and hour depending on the amount, size and temperature you use. I’ll let you know how they turn out in my next update…


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Pregnancy Update – Week 37

Last friday I had a non stress test, a growth ultrasound, and an Ob/Gyn doctor’s appointment.

Now we are nearing the final stretch, they are monitoring me very carefully.

The non stress test went good, as usual. A short 20 minutes and I got the report back that the babies look beautiful.

The ultrasound measured the babies, estimating that Twin A is 6 pounds 5 ounces and Twin B is 6 pounds 1 ounce. The thin line between them was 3 cm, which the ultrasound technician said means the twins were dizygotic, or fraternal. She said if the line was thinner it may prove differently.

I weighed in at 174 pounds, a gain of 54 pounds. I also was checked for effacement and dilation. This time I was 2 and 1/2 cm dilated! When I texted my sister with the news, she wrote back, “tick tock, tick tock.”

That evening I thought I was going into labor, but it turns out I just had a bowel movement.

Also this week Adam explained to me that the red lines across my belly were stretch marks. I had never seen them before and thought they were bruises. I guess 50 pounds is my limit when it comes to stretching gracefully.

Pregnancy, so beautiful and so ugly all at the same time!

So big that my belly has a double chin!

Starting Tuesday I really felt the weight of the twins on my body. I decided to start driving the short 2 blocks to Jack’s school to pick him us as I just can’t walk that far anymore. Sometimes I am scared to sit because I don’t want the pain of getting up, but in the end I have to sit because my back hurts too much to stand.

Adam and I were looking at the very expensive photos we got of our first pregnancy from Classic Kids. We were giggling, remember how big we thought I looked at the time. So, we did a spoof on it….


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Lakeshore A-crap-emy

When Ben was first born, Adam took Jack to a tumbling class at The Little Gym. It was their special bonding time, and I got some alone time with Ben. Jack loved it.

Any day now we will have another two kids. So Adam suggested another weekend gym class for Jack, Ben and himself. However, we thought now that Jack was 5, it was time to start him in a more serious class, less bubbles and parachutes and more actual gymnastics. Also, we were looking for a place that Adam could drop Jack at a class and take Ben to a class at the same time. (After 3 years of age, most classes for kids are drop off.)

So for the past 2 weekends we have started attending classes at Lakeshore Academy.

The first week, Ben loved it. I’m not sure if he did well following the instructions. I know I didn’t since there didn’t seem to be any instruction. Every time I turned around the parents were doing another activity and I blindly tried to follow along. Ben enjoyed using all the equipment, though.

Jack didn’t fair so well. The instructor, Tina, never called Jack’s name, and after 15 minutes we were forced to wander around the gym asking which class was Jack’s. Not a very welcome start. His class was composed of 5 other girls and a woman instructor. By the time we joined, they were doing floor exercises. Jack was shy and hid behind either Adam or I. Tina mostly ignored him, except when she made a token effort to give him a blue circle to sit on. Besides being fairly unwelcoming, I watched her make comments that seemed counter productive for an instructor.

She asked them to practice bridges. To a little girl named Samara who was struggling, she said accusingly, “Come on, I know you can do it. I saw you do it last week.” 

Then she left her to struggle on her own, no helpful hints or a lift up to get her started.

Instead she turned to Jack and I and said, “Boys normally can’t do this”.

How is that comment going to help Jack join the class?

In the end he barely participated. Adam talked to him about the class and the fact that there were no boys in it bothered him. He promised if there was a boy in the class next week he would participate.

Next week there was another boy in the class. Adam took him by the hand and led him to the mat where class was starting. On the way, the instructor, Tina said, “You can stay for 5 minutes but then you have to leave.”

Adam asked Tina, “Well, what do you suggest I do to get him involved?

Tina had no ideas. But after 5 minutes where Jack clung desperately to Adam’s legs she said, “You have to leave. I will get in trouble if you stay. He’s old enough.”

Trouble with who?

After Adam got kicked out, I picked Ben up mid-class and we all left. We asked for a full refund of our $500 for the ten week session we paid for our two kids. We were told that that they normally don’t give refunds. But we were given the manager’s name since there was no manager on duty (they couldn’t supply a card because they didn’t have one at reception!) to call and ask for our money back.

Hopefully in the least we will get our money back. I’ve heard from friends that during the week there are better instructors, but after this experience we didn’t want to go back and find out.

FYI Tina teaches the 9:30am class on Sunday mornings.

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Blueberry Moon Spa

Today I decided to use the massage gift card that my girlfriends bought me. Perhaps I should call it another push present?!

Last weekend I walked 5 blocks to have some lunch at Potbelly’s. When I got there I realized 5 blocks was the limit my body could handle.

This weekend I barely made it the two blocks to the Blueberry Moon Spa without stopping to bend over and rest. By the time I got there, I really needed a massage!

The scents that wafted over me when I entered reminded me of my days in Hong Kong. This spa is an Aveda spa and I was an Aveda junkie back then, in large part because of my gay best friend’s job as Managing Director of Ferragamo and other brands they owned including Aveda. Oh how I miss you Tom! I haven’t taken such good care of myself before or after we lived in the same town. He always knew what a girl needed.

“I must come back and buy some of these wonderful products that I’d forgotten all about!” I thought.

As usual, my uterus proceeded me. I am not able to go anywhere nowadays without hearing twin stories, asking when I’m due and getting guesses on the sex. And I love it. I’m really going to miss all the attention I’ve been getting lately! There is so much positive energy people throw your way when you are pregnant.

The massage, put on my a lady named Puji, was heavenly. It was done on a regular massage table but she strategically placed pillows all around for comfort. I tried my hardest to stay awake but her rhythmic motions lulled me into a coma like state. All too soon the hour was up.

I could have used her again after I walked to two blocks back home, but overall I was pleased that I managed to squeeze in another massage before these babies popped out. Who knows when I’ll have that kind of freedom again after they are here…

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How many moms out there have had the same experience I’ve had with old Disney films? You remember them so fondly and want to share them with your kids. But when you sit down to watch the film as an adult, you can’t figure out why you liked it in the first place?

We bought Dumbo recently. And sat down to watch it as a family.

He can fly!

The story line was basically that if you are different, you will be punished. But after an alcohol induced hallucination where you wake up in a tree and realize you can fly, you can use your talents to become famous and get what you want.

Not sure what the lesson is here. Or even if they had one. It certainly isn’t like modern day animation, where the lesson is clear. Even the bad guys can turn good (Megamind, Despicable Me), or the importance of family (Incredibles, Lion King), or even loyalty (Toy Story).

I basically walked away thinking that when Jack sees us drink Champagne he probably thinks we become delusional, and that if your parents stand up for you they might get locked away.

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Push Present

Nikon D3100

I always said it was a stupid and unnecessary idea, the ‘push present’. The idea that your husband should buy you something just because you pushed a kid out. In the past, I always vetoed it. Newborns are expensive enough, and they are something you both decided on together. No one expects the stay at home mom to give her husband a present for supporting your growing family, do they?

But now that I’ve gotten my own push present, I take it all back! Yesterday Adam bought me a very expensive new camera that I have been eye balling for a long time. He called it a ‘push present’.

I didn’t protest. Thanks Adam!!!

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Pregnancy Update – Week 36

At my last doctor’s appointment I learned that I was 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated. This made me want to go home and pack a bag, but apparently you can be effaced for weeks without going into labor. Still, I never heard that I was effaced before labor from my last two pregnancies and it makes me constantly think with any pain – am I in labor? I don’t want to deliver these kids on my bathroom floor!

Belly Shot - 36 Weeks

The doctor also said no sex, no exercise. Ha ha ha! It wasn’t my normal doctor, who was delivering someone else at the time and I completely ignored his advice. I admit I’m taking it easier with this pregnancy, but I still have to walk around, run errands, pick Ben out of the tub, etc. I have no idea how people do when they are ordered on bed rest.

We get to see the twins again this week for another growth ultrasound. Even Jack asked if he could come. It won’t happen until Friday, but since the bigger they get, the harder it is to get a good picture, I didn’t bother waiting for a photo to post my weekly update.

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Family Grounds

Last weekend we went to a birthday party at Family Grounds. When it first opened we went a few times with my friend Pam but it dropped off our rotation and I had forgotten about it until the birthday party.

When I went to visit it again, it seemed smaller than I remembered. Ironically now that I’m so pregnant I looked at this as a bonus. I could sit down in one spot and see my kids no matter where they were playing.

Family Grounds

I went again with my friend Sarah this morning. Not only did one of the staff members stop in to read books to the kids, but another staff member played a guitar and sang some songs. I’ve never seen live music including in the admission price for any pay to play space, which made it quite special.

They also have a cafe attached. You can bring your cafe bought coffee right into the playroom to drink while watching your kids. We didn’t try the food, but I could have easily gotten a sandwich for lunch before leaving. Another nice touch.

This morning it was not too crowded, never more than 15 kids in the room. I booked a reservation for the 9-11 slot, but I probably could have easily just walked in and paid. At 11am, they didn’t kick us out. We stayed until about 11:30.

You can become a member, but for individual visits, it’s $6 for adults and kids.

I’m going to have to remember this place when the twins start walking as well. I’ll need to frequent smaller spaces or get eyes on the back of my head!

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Fresh Picks for the Week (Apr 11)

This week I received parsnips, tomato puree, asparagus, yukon potatos, arugula, spinach & chives.

So, what to do with this assortment?

April 11th Fresh Picks

I had already bought a pound of grass fed ground beef which I was planning on making into bolognese sauce. So I used the tomato puree in that. Just saute finely chopped onion, carrot and celery (recipe suggests 2 tablespoons but I add much more and it tastes great) in olive oil for about 5 minutes until tender. Then add ground beef and some salt. Get some of the pinkness out, like about 3 or 4 minutes. Then add a cup of milk, simmer for 10 or 15 minutes. Then add a cup of white wine for another 10 or 15 minutes. Finally add two cans of diced tomatoes (I used the tomato puree and one can of diced tomatoes). Simmer at your lowest setting for 3 hours. Serve over whole wheat pasta and top with parmesan. Yummy!

The parsnips, yukon gold potatoes, and asparagus got put in with roast veggies. I like to clean out my fridge this way. Anything I have, zucchini, sweet potato, carrots, peppers can be added. Just toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 for an hour. I put it next to any meat. I decided to bake salmon in a little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper this time. I still had extra parsnips but they last a long time in the fridge so I can use them again the next time I need a veggie clean out.

Spinach was paired with almonds, cranberries, and feta with a balsamic vinaigrette for a side salad.

Chives also got put in a salad. I love Jamie Oliver’s chopped salad. If you’ve been to my house a few times, chances are you’ve had it. Romaine, tomatoes, diced red pepper, diced red onion, feta, chives, basil, mint and parsley. I add chick peas from a can and sliced salami to make it a meal.

I didn’t think I could pass another salad off on Adam, so with the little bit of arugula I had, I made a little salad for myself for lunch. Used a recipe from Ina Garden with stuff I already had in my fridge – Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad.

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