Saturday, September 12, 2015

DIY Bathroom Remodel

Our last two home purchases have been straight from the builder. To say that Dave and I aren’t into the whole DIY scene is an understatement. However, after moving back Intown to a fixer-upper type neighborhood, we had to change our perspective.
The seller of our new home was lucky we didn’t run screaming from her horrible painting efforts. Not only are the colors offensive to the eye, and dark for such a small space, but the quality of the job was atrocious. Drips and blemishes are everywhere and I think I spent more time sanding, spackling, and kilzing, than I actually did painting our first big project of the house.
We decided to tackle to smallest room in the house. When I say small, I mean it. This bathroom is tiny. The previous owner wanted to box you in even more by painting both the walls and ceiling a very odd shade of green. Y’all. Green is my favorite color. This made me hate green.
Not only were we going to paint, but we also wanted to remove the rather dated (and gigantic) sink and medicine cabinet. Why these were chosen in the first place is beyond me. There is zero storage under the sink and that is maddening to me. We also switched out the vanity light fixture. For some reason everything in this bathroom is chrome, yet the rest of the bungalow has craftsman bronze fixtures.
Here’s the before:
Lots of curse words were uttered.
The Gals spent entirely too much time on iPads.
We survived and are still married.
So here’s the finished product:
The space is so much brighter now. By lightening up the walls and removing the large fixtures, we were able to really open up the room. Not to mention, we now have some great storage space!
I’d say our first project was a success!

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Haircuts

I finally did it! The Gals got their first haircuts!
They always had such bald nuggets, so when their hair started to get longer, we just let it grow. 
Amelia went through the amazing toddler mullet phase and looked like a tiny Terry Bradsaw. Madeline’s hair grew wild, just like her personality. I never attempted the at home bangs cut either. I didn’t trust myself and I’d just probably end up scarring them for life.
Fast forward to today. The gals will be off to preschool in a couple weeks and seeing as this is their first foray into school, we might as well make it all official and get a haircut too!  They need to look somewhat put together at school, right?
We headed on over to Salon Red Kids. They have a train table, so it’s perfect for occupying one twin while the other gets their cut.
Both gals did great and we were in and out in no time! Madeline got a shoulder length cut and we just evened up Amelia’s and kept it longer.
All Finished!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kids are Awesome

They have no preconceived notions. They just want to have fun and when there is an opportunity to meet new people, they jump on it.
I ran up to our local park this morning for the first time. The gals are always happy to find a new playground and this was no different. After we had played for about 10 minutes, a group of about 10 kids from a local church camp came cavorting through the park. I knew the gals would be excited, because they were a bit older. Maybe in the Kindergarten to 1st grade range. The gals love big kids. They spend most their days with a 9 year old, so they love engaging in that style of play.
The entire group hit it off with the gals. They started including them in their play even though they were far bigger and more advanced. They called them both “baby wonder women.”
Baby Wonder Women! How awesome is that?
As the kids enjoyed themselves I started chatting with their group leader. I used to work in camps, so this is something I enjoy talking about and their leader was a delight. She told me that the kids in this group are from homeless shelters and halfway homes. The camp was established to help their parents with a daycare option while they were at work.
Wow. I would have never guessed it, and all I could think about was THIS is why we moved back intown. My kids are meeting children from all walks of life. They are seeing that it doesn’t matter about your background, that all types of kids are good kids. Our burbs experience was nothing like this. It was so very…privledged.
This group was having a blast, they included my much smaller children in their play without a bat of an eye. They were caring, sweet, and even showed Madeline how to slide down the fireman’s pole.

They thanked me when I gave them a leg up for the monkey bars & squealed with delight when I congratulated them on their climbing accomplishments. Not only were these kids awesome, but it made me really miss my camp director days.
There was a tiny girl in the group that immediately took to Madeline. They held hands and giggled the entire time. She showed me she could do cartwheels & even convinced me to do one as well (I was actually really impressed with myself after I completed one without falling on my face).
As the group packed up to go back in for lunch, they squeezed the gals and said goodbye.

I hope we run into them at the park again.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

We Were Story-time Dropouts

Last Fall I decided that we would commit to going to weekly storytime at our local library. We had gone sporadically in the past and the gals had always enjoyed it. They were in the 0-2 range, and there were never any expectations, so the gals just did their own thing and everyone had a ball. However, since they don’t go to daycare or preschool, I felt it might be good to add to our routine.
I was so excited to go on that first day. They had aged up to the 2-3 group and I was hoping that they might actually understand what was going on. The crowd was small that day. Some little ones looked a lot younger that my 2 year olds. Hmm. First tip-off that things might not go so well. Strike One.
There was some free play at the beginning and Madeline tried to interact with a girl around 18 months. The mother instantly said to Madeline “don’t touch her.” Ok, she wasn’t touching her, but that’s fine and I respected the mother’s wishes (there could have been a good reason why she didn’t want her child to be touched), apologized, and moved Maddie in another direction. Maddie does some laps in the crowd, mingles, then heads back in the small toddler’s direction. On her way she trips over that same mother’s outstretched leg. Goes flying. Shakes it off. The mother just glared at Maddie. Awesome. Strike Two.
Moving on…
Song time! Sing! Dance! The whole crowd loved it.
Another Song! Yay! This one has puppets! EVEN BETTER! But you guys, in this librarian’s head, it might have been a song, but you better sit down for this one. Because it was honestly too much for her. The gals were up and dancing, still reeling from the last song, and several other children were too. “I’m sorry, I have to stop” said the librarian. “I cannot concentrate and must have everyone sitting. I can’t go on until they do.” All said while staring in my direction.
COME ON! They are 2! You really expect them to be sitting the whole time???
We are done. Strike Three, we’re out.
I have a tendency to speak my mind in unjust scenarios, but that’s when I decided this just wasn’t for us. It wasn’t worth getting worked up over.  We weren’t ready and that library had forgotten how kids work. I swooped up the Gals, apologized, while throwing in some sarcasm (come on, it’s me) as we left the building. Twitter talked me down off the ledge after that nightmare, but as far as I was concerned, we needed to take some time before we hit up the library again.
A few weeks ago, I got the notice that my library card was up for renewal, and since we no longer lived in that county, I decided to finally get one for our new address. The whole experience was night and day. As soon as I walked in and stated my business, the librarian showed us the kids area. The gals were free to roam and even, GASP, make noise! This library has a separate quiet room! Genius! While the gals played, I was shown around and issued my card. I even laughed with lady helping me about our last library experience and she was horrified that we had to go through that.
After I had gotten my new card, another librarian approached me because she saw I had kids. She let me know all about their children’s program, their storytime, and other fun activities that they held through the month. She even gave me a couple of tips on how to read to the gals to help them learn how to read in the future. After her invite to storytime, I shared my previous story again. She couldn’t believe that the librarian expected 2 year olds to actually sit for 30 minutes.
I felt so comfortable now! Not worried about how the gals would behave, I brought them to storytime yesterday. They made several laps around the library, played with the iPads, felt board, and tapped on the keyboard of a computer. They yelled and giggled. They ran away from me when I tried to herd them towards the storytime section.
Then the story started…and this magic happened.
One gal SAT DOWN. The other gazed over from the felt board, but was actually LISTENING and responding to the librarian’s questions.
It was amazing, and I actually have hope for these two rapscallions. They finished out the story, stayed for the song, and peaced out at the end during ribbon play (darn iPads).
So I’m calling it a success. The librarian was extremely nice, and encouraged us to come each week to create a routine. Now that we are actually welcome at a library, I plan on adding it to our regular schedule.
We are no longer storytime dropouts!
Now shopping at REI is another story…

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Flight of the Tubbs: How I Survived Flying Alone with Twin Toddlers

It’s been a week since we flew back from Ohio, and I’m happy to say all parties returned home safely. Our trip was a whirlwind, hilarious, but most of all, fun. And while I shared our adventure live on Instagram, I thought I’d give an update here as well!
The day we left Atlanta we woke up bright and early so we could take the train down to the airport. Thank goodness for the massive stroller or else I wouldn’t have been able to carry all of our stuff!
Here’s where learning as I go began. The car seats didn’t do well in the space below the gals. I rearranged everything once we got onto the train and placed the car seats on top. I recommend Cosco brand for travel. Cheap, slim, and are well rated for safety. Another must that made our travel easier was wearing an old hiking pack instead of dragging luggage.
The girls were thrilled to ride the train. It was pretty awesome to watch the sun rise as we traveled through the city. At this juncture I was happy to report that iPads were not needed just yet. Instead we played a rousing game of “let’s count the stops till we get to the airport” on the closest train map. It was quite entertaining to say the least.
We made it to the airport with good time. As we approached security, the TSA agents opened up the line and sent me straight through to the family security check. That was amazing as it was a part of the trip I was dreading. We slowly but surely unloaded the stroller and the girls walked through the metal detector with me. After the agents checked the seats and stroller, we loaded everyone and everything back up again. Boy am I glad we have ourselves some extra time!
We were flying out of Terminal A, so I opted to walk instead of taking the airport train (it was a bit to crowed and we had the time). Once we arrived at the gate, the gals got squirmy and thus began round one of the iPads.
We boarded early and I got the car seats installed and the gals all situated. Apparently at this age a seat isn’t necessary, but I’m pretty sure their good behavior was directly related to them being buckled in with a 5 point harness!
I was nervous about their ears for takeoff and had fruit snacks at the ready. However, as the video shows, they loved taking off!

I packed the gals backpacks with new toys, puzzles, new Contico water bottles, coloring books, headphones and our old iPhones loaded with fun apps. We rotated through it all, so I’m glad I came prepared. I also got them little planes which I purchased  before our flight. The planes in the gift shops at the airport are ridiculously expensive.
After we landed, and by the time we got ourselves organized and off the plane, we arrived at baggage claim with our bag ready to go and my mom waiting to pick us up! The gals did so well, and I even had a few people tell me that as they were leaving the plane!
The only thing I didn’t prepare myself for was the gals kicking the seats in front of them. As much as I pleaded with them, they just didn’t get it. To the people in front of them…I apologize!
Our trip home was much of the same. We had a slight delay in Detroit, but of course, the iPads saved the day. We had a blast in Ohio, Baby Caton is the cutest thing ever, but man were we exhausted by the end of the trip.
I can now confidently say that I no longer dread taking the gals on an airplane!

Monday, February 9, 2015

First off...
Baby Caton is here!

Thursday, January 8, 2015


An old Instagram picture popped up in my Timehop today.

It was a sad blurry pic of my foot on a treadmill.

However, that sad blurry picture reminded me of where I was two years ago. I had put the health and well being of my preemie twins first for all of their short life, and I felt it was finally time to work on me for awhile.

Their first trip to the Y was interesting, in fact that first year was always touch and go. Would the gals let me actually get in a workout today? Or would I be constantly looking over the shoulder, wondering if the daycare attendant would be searching for me to come get my inconsolable child. If anything that made me work out with more intensity, who knows how much time I would get today! 

It's been 2 years since I started going to the gym regularly and it's been such a breath of fresh air in my day, both mentally and physically. Now, while the gals enjoy the daycare, I workout, read a book, or just completely veg out on my phone.

Over the first year I was able to lose the 50lbs I had gained while pregnant with the gals, and then because I was on a roll, I went for 40 more!

I've also learned a lot about myself these past two years and I'm continuing to grow. The joy of lifting, running isn't for me anymore, and now this year's venture is Yoga and Mindfulness. 

So don't think all those New Year Resolutions are a sham! I'm proof that these goals are a great way to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. 

Happy New Year Y'all! 

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