twins


Forgotten Bathing Suit Breast Pads and The Swim Lesson from Hell

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 03/10/14 12:18 PM
CATEGORIES: 1015 The River, Blog, From The Files of You Can't Make This Sh*t Up, Glass City Parent, Recipes, twins

It all started out with the best of intentions.  The twins are two, we have a pool in the back yard, and sometime…hopefully soon…swimming season will arrive.  So, in the interest of safety, Sean and I thought it would be prudent to schedule Isabella and Reagan for swimming lessons.

Perfectly normal.  Right?

Except there’s a glitch, which shouldn’t surprise any of my readers.  There’s always a glitch.  In fact, in retrospect, I probably should’ve named this blog (and our book for that matter), “The Glitch”.  It’s cathchy and conveniently rhymes with bitch which is fitting because the “glitch” always results in “the bitch”…at least in our home it does.

Anyways, since this isn’t my first time at the toddler-swim-lesson-rodeo I knew they required a parent participant–which is a glitch—because Sean has always been the CEO of mommy-and-me swim lessons.  It’s not that I don’t like to swim.  It’s that I don’t like to swim in public pools.  I have issues with communal bath tubs.  Trust me when I tell you there’s  not enough chlorine to kill the sceevy back-stroking critters of my imagination. But, seeing as how we have two toddlers, and in the interest of not wanting them to drown, I figured once a week I could swallow some extra anti-anxiety meds, squeeze into my bathing suit and endure thirty minutes in a public pool.  So, I signed them up, gave myself a mental pep talk, and packed a swim bag.

Which is where things went terribly wrong.

Because I wasn’t just packing one swim bag.  I had to pack four swim bags.  One for Sean, because he couldn’t be trusted to pack everything needed.  (See…glitch equals bitch.  I admit it.)  One for each twin because I couldn’t picture showering two slippery, wet toddlers on my own.  I was going to have to sacrifice one to the men’s locker room with Daddy after the lesson probably to be traumatized for life—you know—in case she got a visual of some random Mr. Happy taking his own shower. And one bag for me.  Which begs the question…

Why is it when mother’s have multiple people to pack for they tend to short-change themselves?

Because that’s what I did.  I underestimated the amount of time it would take to prepare four swim bags and by the time I got to pulling my own gear together I was in a mad rush, the results of which were damn near catastrophic.  How?  Well, when I grabbed my bathing suit out of the drawer I hadn’t opened in months I failed to check that all parts of the suit were accounted for.  Meaning, when I finally pulled my own suit on I realized—much to my horror—that the bathing suit I’d grabbed was missing its breast pads.

Sh*t.

There I stood, in a YMCA that is clearly having budget issues as evidenced by the fact that the temperature in the pool area was hovering at what felt like 52 degrees.  Which is a big problem because we all know what happens when it’s freezing cold and your sisters are shoved into a bathing suit.

Upon the realization that I was in danger of poking someone’s eye out, I rummaged through my swim bag for a solution.  I was desperate.  Could I stuff my suit with a sock?  Toilet paper?  Do I have any duct tape?  Should I ask some other woman in here for duct tape?  After a minute of sheer panic I relented.  I had no solution and time was up.  So, I did what any other woman would have done in my shoes.  I connected my elbows to my nipples and vowed to stay that way for the entirety of the lesson.

When I exited the locker room my eager beaver husband was waiting for us.  I must’ve looked off because he immediately gave me the what-the-hell side eye.  I couldn’t explain, however, because before I knew it we were ordered into the water which I swear was covered with a thin layer of ice.

At that point I was accutely aware my problems were escalating.

Turns out mommy-and-me swim lessons require arms.  Full, long, bending arms.  For instance, you know when you have to hoist your two year old out of the pool and sit them on the side?  Arms.  You know when your toddler jumps to you expecting you to catch them before they drown?  Arms.  As the lesson progressed, I actually wondered if the instructor recognized my predicament and was screwing with me.  Things got really bad when he pulled out a Little Tikes slide and instructed me to catch my kid.  All the other parents were gently reassuring their children by holding their hands as they slid.  Not me.  Nope.  My kid just looked at me and my T-rex-like appendages and I shot her daggers that said, “Sorry, Sweetie. You’re on your own.”  The result was multiple unfortunate underwater plunges and probably a lifetime of trust issues for my girls.

By the end of the lesson we were all traumatized.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details that included an excruciatingly long version of aquatic “Wheels On The Bus” where the effing wheels kept going up and down, me repeatedly begging to move the lesson into deeper water and the absolute look of bafflement that continued to exude from my extremely annoyed husband.  It was truly the longest thirty minute toddler swim lesson in the history of womankind.

And, you better believe that EVERY SINGLE one of my bathing suits is currently assembled in it’s entirety.

Live and learn.

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*****

If you are interested in the St. Patrick’s Day recipe for Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage that I talked about on my weekly segment with Rick and Marybeth at 101.5 The River click here.

Thankful….Two Miracles

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 11/4/13 12:10 PM
CATEGORIES: Blog, gratitude, Holidays, Infertility, IVF, Love & Marriage, thankful, thanksgiving, twins

So November brings all kinds of happiness into my heart.  I love holiday preparations in November because November holds promise and anticipation of family fun. This past week held a few grateful moments for me–which is fitting.  We’re supposed to be thankful in November. Thankfulness is the theme.  So stay tuned for some special stories this month. The first of which is wrapped in a pink bundle (or two) of joy.

Celebrating a Miracle

Every once in awhile I get an email through this site asking for some insights as to our struggle with fertility.  The messages are always from women who are in the midst of their journey and are experiencing failure after failure.  About a year ago I received a message from a local woman telling me about her and her husband’s frustration with their path to parenthood.  We eventually spoke on the phone and after hearing her story I strongly advised her to seek treatment with a new doctor.  Of course, I’m not a fertility expert but after ten years of failures in between Ryan and Mary Kate; a mistake that required me to educate myself about every nook and cranny of the world of assisted reproduction; and a bumpy road to our twins I’ve realized that sometimes the most helpful advice one can get is from another who’s been there and done that.

The good news is that my new friend heeded my advice and low and behold after a single cycle of IVF with her new clinic she hit the jackpot.  TWINS!

I’ve kept tabs on her throughout her pregnancy and seeing as how she is only five weeks away from her scheduled delivery we figured it was time to celebrate in person.  Last Wednesday we met for lunch and it was so special.  We talked about her girls.  She shared pictures of their nursery.  And, we talked about gratitude.

Sometimes I wonder about the impact of our story on others.  As our struggle begins to fade into the past I question myself about the need to continue to share.  Is my time on this blog worth the time diverted from my family obligations?  Is anyone getting anything out of this space?  Of course, I know that the reason I write here is more about my needs than anything else so the question of selfishness is never too far from my thoughts.

This meeting didn’t change any of those questions  but…it did give me some satisfaction. There are two little ladies arriving in December that hold a whole lot of meaning for me.  Of course, I’m just a pin prick in how they came to be, but there’s satisfaction in that.  Sean and I have said over and over again that if what we went through positively impacts only one person in this world–than it was all worth it.

And it was.

I’m grateful for that.

*****

From our weekend…

So...the weather was horrible on Halloween so the entire city and all of our suburbs postponed trick-or-treating until November 3rd.

So…the weather was horrible on Halloween so the entire city and all of our suburbs postponed trick-or-treating until November 3rd.

In the spirit of "making due" we headed out to the mall to do some inside trick-or-treating...along with the rest of Toledo. Halloween

In the spirit of “making due” we headed out to the mall to do some inside trick-or-treating…along with the rest of Toledo. Halloween

The crowded event was salvaged when we ran into one of MK's classmates.  It was a Halloween miracle that she was there!

The crowded event was salvaged when we ran into one of MK’s classmates. It was a Halloween miracle that she was there!

Tired mall trick-or-treaters!

Tired mall trick-or-treaters!

Sunday brought us to the "real deal".

Sunday brought us to the “real deal”.

Trying to get a picture with the jack-o-lanterns.

Trying to get a picture with the jack-o-lanterns.

Isabella was none to happy.  Ryan was right there with her.

Isabella was none to happy. Ryan was right there with her.

Amazing how a binky and a favorite aunt can cheer a girl up.

Amazing how a binky and a favorite aunt can cheer a girl up.

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Ariel needed a hat in the frigid temperatures!

Ariel needed a hat in the frigid temperatures!

But the loot...

But the loot…

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All worth it!

All worth it!

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Happy Monday!

Finding The Smiles While in A Funk

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 10/7/13 10:11 AM
CATEGORIES: Authentic Life, Blog, Blogging Honestly, Choices, Focusing on The Joy, Home Projects, perspective, Resilience, twins

I’m in a bit of a funk right now.

I have no good reason to be but I actually think that’s what a “funk” is.  Feeling “blah” but having no reason to feel “blah”.  Knowing that a funk is temporary I usually just muddle through while looking for a way out.  The way out always comes from inspiration—or a good old slap upside the head in the form of a reminder as to why I have no good reason to be down. Then again…could be hormones.  I think mine are starting to change.

My poor husband.

One method of funk extraction I always try is cleaning and organizing.  I’ve written before about the positive impact a clean and organized cupboard can have on my mood.  The problem is I started in the basement which got me wondering if we may be hoarders.  Then, as every project goes, one thing leads to another and suddenly I’m overwhelmed—and annoyed—by the amount of organizing that needs to be done.  At that point I have two choices.  I can lower my head and barge through it…or I can quit.

I’m still deciding which way to proceed.

In the midst of my funk there were a few smiles…

First Smile –  College Roomie Visit

Last Tuesday my college roommate visited with her five year old daughter.  Amy and I met in 1987 during freshman orientation at Miami University.  We immediately hit it off and decided to room together.  Little did we know we’d live together all four years.  Twenty-five years later we both have five kids.  Her youngest is the same age as MK and as luck would have it…they love each other almost as much as Amy and I.

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Swimming on October 1st is not normal in northwest Ohio. But…we’ll take it!

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Second Smile –  A Reunion

Drew ran at the University of Notre Dame this past Friday.  It was his fourth meet for the Bobcats and seeing as how South Bend is only two hours from home, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the girls to see their big brother.  It was their first visit since he left in August.  There is no doubt they are  his biggest fans!

The start...

The start…

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Third Smile –  A Pumpkin Farm

After we waved goodbye to Drew we headed to my parent’s home in Michigan for the night.  The next day brought us to a fall festival for the girls with their grandparents.  It was a special trip because they got to go with Grandma and Papa.

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Wondering how Reagan got in that pumpkin?

Wondering how Reagan got in that pumpkin?

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It’s always interesting to me that a funk can have windows of smiles.  I remember a time in my life where my funk was more serious because the smiles didn’t come.  I think by remembering the difficult year that was 2010 I can keep my latest blah mood in check.

I’m so grateful for perspective.

Now…if you’ll excuse me I have a freezer to defrost and a refrigerator to clean.  God knows it’s the “cupboard” in my house that I open the most so I figure if I spiffy them up I’m sure to be giddy.

It’s the simple things sometimes…

Isn’t it?

*****

Would love to know how you pull yourself out of a funk?   I need a new strategy.  Cleaning and organizing is getting old.

That “Cover Yourself Up Teen Girls” Post…Some Thoughts

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 09/5/13 1:15 PM
CATEGORIES: Blog, Communication, compassionate parenting, Daughters, Health & Safety, Little girls, perspective, Prayers, Resilience, twins

So, unless you live under a rock or don’t have access to social media, you have likely seen  the viral blog post written by Kimberly Hall.  It was all over my Facebook feed yesterday and it seems to have struck a chord.  A most unexpectedly divisive chord.

Read Kimberly’s post here.

Interestingly, not every reader thought the article was awesome.  Many took offense and pointed out the dangers of “slut shaming”.  Personally, I didn’t find the article to be shaming at all.  I thought it was encouraging young women to make better choices for themselves.  Frankly, the post read like something I could have written.

That being said, when I was perusing the comments on GivenBreath.com (Kimberly’s blog) I came across a link to a post about the same topic written by Nate Pyle.  It was a conversation that he hopes to have some day with his young son about how women should be “seen”.  The topic is in the same vein as Kimberly’s post, except Nate goes a step further by placing the responsibility to view members of the opposite sex with respect—regardless of what they are wearing—on the person doing the looking.

Please give it a read here.

I worry about the culture in which my three young daughters are growing up.  The all-to-common onslaught of  hyper-sexualized messages go against everything I want for the futures of my children.  I know that it’s my job, as their mother, to raise them in a counter-cultural manner.  In the Savage house we swim against the stream of provocativeness and disrespect that is peddled as acceptable in mainstream society.  So far, so good with regards to our sons, but these three little girls?

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

They scare me.

I know Sean and I have a lot of parenting ahead of us.  I also know our charge to guide them into an adulthood rooted in goodness is going to be a battle.  That’s why I’m so grateful to writers like Kimberly and Nate.  Regardless of whether I agree with them, they share their thoughts which causes me to hone in on what it is I want to teach my children.

I need all the help I can get.

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What a blessing.

****

More from the twins’ two year pictures.  They were taken by the amazing Allie Darr from Allison Darr Photography.  I love Allie’s work.  You can learn more about her photography at her website.

Isabella

Isabella

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

Reagan

Reagan

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

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For Drew...

For Drew…

Yup...that's about right.

Yup…that’s about right.

Happy Thursday…the weekend’s coming!

First Day of School for Them…All Alone for Me: Hallelujah

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 08/26/13 10:24 AM
CATEGORIES: Back-to-School, Blog, Choices, Daughters, Focusing on The Joy, Glass City Parent, perspective, twins

I am completely alone in my house right now.  Not even the cat is inside.  There are no toys tinkering;  No little…or big…voices chattering; Even the television is silenced.  I can actually hear the cicadas though my closed windows.

It.is. AWESOME.

It’s been so long since I’ve been alone in my house—over two years—that I’ve forgotten the feeling it elicits.   My present state-of-giddiness doesn’t come from being alone.  It comes from being alone IN MY HOME.  I think I can trace my love of being home alone back to my earliest days.  I’ll never forget the first time my mom deemed me old enough.  I must’ve been around eight—don’t judge…it was the seventies—and my two younger brothers needed a ride to a friend’s house.  As I watched my mother’s car disappear around the corner, I remember making a b-line for the fridge so I could sneak a can of my mom’s diet Fresca.  I pulled back the tab, listened to the fizz and took my first sip.  It stung as it went down.  Actually, I didn’t even like diet Fresca but drinking that can of soda wasn’t about sneaking a treat.  It was about independence.

When I’m home alone I answer ONLY to myself.

Of course, even my eight-year-old-diet-Fresca-snatching-self knew my time alone was precious.  It wasn’t to be wasted.  It was an opportunity to be unabashedly productive.  The difference was I could do whatever I needed to do while singing at the top of my lungs…with an English accent…half-dressed…because I was home alone.

All three little girls started school this morning.  It was a busy routine to get three dresses on, three pairs of shoes tied, and three heads of hair coiffed with matching ribbons, but I accomplished all of it with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.  I’m excited for them.  I love their school.  I can’t wait to see what they learn.  I’m so proud of the little people they are becoming.  All reasons to smile.

But the spring?

The spring was in anticipation of what lie ahead for me and is the reason I sprinted to my car and pealed out of the parking lot after drop-off.

An empty house.

Cue girly squeal.

So, if you’ll excuse me  now, I have responsibilities to carry out.  And, I may or may not be accomplishing them while singing at the top of my lungs…with an English accent…half dressed!

I’m home all alone.

Amen.

******

If you’re surprised to learn the twins are starting school at the age of two I can’t blame you.  There was a time in my life I would have scoffed at the concept of sending a two year old to school.  I wrote about our decision to send Reagan and Isabella to school at such a  young age over at WhatToExpect.com.  You can read our rationale here!  I’d be so appreciative if you’d go over and leave a comment!  Thanks!

*****

A few peeks at their first morning!

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Couldn’t help but spy on her through one-way mirror/window before I…you know…peeled out of the parking lot!