Monday, October 31, 2011

Just sad.

This isn't going to make sense to most people, but today was a hard day. I'm feeling very frustrated with teaching and am wondering if this is the right path for me. (Crazy, considering that just a few months ago I was saying that I loved being a working mom). I am feeling like perhaps I need to consider if this is really the right path for me. I'm not doing something right if I'm coming home every day feeling like I'm not making a difference...feeling like I need to say to people "teachers are not the enemy." And it isn't just one student I'm struggling with...or one parent...or one colleague. It's the culture. It's society. It's this mentality that teachers need to do more...that teachers are to blame...that teachers should sacrifice their family in order to be better teachers. And I don't want to get political or take a stance. I just want to say that today, today I am struggling.

I read the following over the weekend and it struck a chord (from soyouwanttoteach.com): "Sad. That is what I am feeling right now. I can give you a good number of reasons why I am sad, but that is not the intention of my blog post. I can also add a whole bunch of other emotions such as frustration, disappointment, anger and exhaustion into sad, but for now, I will umbrella them all under sad…"

FYI, I have disabled comments today because today is just about documenting this for me and for my family. I know my friends are wonderful and encouraging and will tell me all the reasons I shouldn't feel that way; but today...today, I am just feeling sad.

Seventeen Weeks Old

Aiden both smiled and giggled for the first time this week. Of course, you couldn't tell by the photo! Because it's all still pretty new to him, it requires a bit more dancing around and lots of overdramatic gestures to get him to react. I'll be honest and say that last week I sent an email to our pediatrician because I was getting worried about his smiling. He would do a smirk, but never a full smile and I know I shouldn't compare, but Izzy had been doing it since she was about 6 weeks old. There are, of course, things that Aiden has done before Izzy (like holding his head up) and he actually is much better at it than she is (surprising because his head must weigh twice what hers weighs).

Yep. That photo above pretty much sums up the period we're in right now. There are really, really good days (like today), but for the most part Aiden and Bella just want to be held and held and held and held. The minute I give up on what I'm doing and pick both babies up, that's when Connor decides that he NEEDS a hug. Whew! It's exhausting.

I do have a huge, huge confession though. I'm not sure I'm done having babies. The last month or so, it's been on my heart a lot! I finally got up the nerve to ask Mr. Howard the other day if he would ever consider having more (we have no desire to have any more biological children...this would be adoption) and he said that if we were in a better place financially, he would very much consider it. I am completely, COMPLETELY on board with him. We could never afford it now. But perhaps some day, in a few years, we would consider adoption. And that's a big PERHAPS. It was always in our plans to adopt, but God had different plans for us when he gave us twins, which is why I think I'm having a hard time letting the idea go.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lurkers

I know I have some lurkers who visit from time-to-time. I know this because I can see my page visits go up each day/week, but my followers don't! =) If you visit on a regular basis, follow me. I'm on my 1,200 plus post and I'm thinking about doing a giveaway when I get to my 1,500th post. It will only be open to followers, so get a good headstart.

(1) Go here first: Thehowardbunch.com (if you're not already)
(2) Scroll down until you see "Join This Site." You'll also see 16 tiny little images in a square (I showed you what it looks like above).
(3) Click "Join This Site" or "Sign in" if you're already a member
(4) Fill it out!

I posted this on Facebook

I posted the following on facebook with the title "A Quiet Car ride with three kids. Are you jealous?" I got quite a few clever responses. =)



A few people said, "How are you so calm?" Ha! What else am I going to do, right? I just try to distract, distract, distract. This is the reality though, right Moms? Sometimes we have full blown tantrums or freak outs and then five minutes later, everything is peaceful again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So Busy

Whew! It is hard being a working Mom (although, in my opinion...it's still harder being a stay-at-home mom, just in a different way). We have been soo busy, soo busy!

Teachers at the Fright Night Dance
On Tuesday I had a meeting late at work, so I didn't get home until Connor was already in his pajamas and getting ready for bed. Friday I chaperoned my 7th and 8th graders' "Fright Night" Dance! *See the photo above* I didn't get home that night until almost 8pm. All the other nights I was home around 5pm and Mr. Howard (who picks up the kids) was home with all three around 5:30pm.

Then this weekend Mr. Howard has had to work and I've been trying to accomplish a few things with three kids. Who's laughing? I know...nothing will get done.

In fact, as we speak I've got a load going in the laundry (because God knows I won't get any laundry done while the kids are up); I'm trying to blog and edit photos; and I just caught Jake going into Connor's room. Of course, this now means that he is standing in his crib screaming on the top of his lungs, thinking it is time to get up.

And yet, through the screaming and the temper tantrums, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am in love!
Aiden, Connor, & Bella
 Bella
I have so much to catch up on...so stay tuned!
  •  Halloween Costumes
  • Seventeen Weeks
  • Giggles
  • Video from Car Posted on Facebook
  • And anything else I can think of!
  •  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm linking up with Jamie today for...
I am loving my  three, adorable cutie's!

I am loving zulily in general, but specifically these ADORABLE outfits. We just spent money buying a ton of clothes for Izzy, otherwise I'd TOTALLY buy this outfit in "I" (for only $13):
or these ones for both of them:
I am LOVING that Halloween is coming up and we will finally get to put all three in their costumes! We never put the costumes on, because we wanted to give ourselves something to brighten our Monday, but we'll see if I can hold out. I might put them in them this weekend! Mr. Howard and I had a party to go to and we were going to dress up, but alas, we have been so busy we don't have time. That's okay - our kids will still look cute!

Sixteen Weeks Old

 We had a rough time getting photos this week. They weren't upset about being in them, they just didn't want to do anything to make themselves look cute either. Ha!

They're getting soo big! People stop us all the time and just are in awe. We actually haven't gotten as many rude comments either. Don't know what it is. Maybe by the time they're this age, people stop because we've heard it all. I'm happy it's stopped though.
The babies slept the night through three times in the last week. But two of those times, Connor woke up multiple times (I think the first night it was 3 times Connor woke up and the second night, it was twice). Grrrrr.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What a precious big brother!

We have this really nice HD video camera and for some reason, I put the setting on a weird profile...so the video looks horrible. I assure you I have fixed it for next time. If it's too small, you may want to click on the bottom right (with the arrows) to make it bigger. I love this video. Aside from being a little rough, he is SUCH a good big brother!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Car Show

On Sunday morning, my parents, Mr. Howard, the babies, and I went to a car show. My mom and I HATE car shows (I mean, really HATE them). But we've been to this one and it's pretty small. The boys walked around it two or three times (because it was so small) and my mom and I kept joking about how we live to be accommodating and flexible...and how we'd be happy to walk around again JUST for them (seriously, we were there for MAYBE 25 minutes - it was sooo short). As an aside, one time my mom and I agreed to go to a car show with them in Reno. It was HORRIBLE. There had to have been 100, 000 cars (okay maybe not really, but seriously there were more than the eye could see). We're always incredibly hesitant any time they suggest going to one now. Normally we stay home.

 I always pick out all three babies' clothes. I'm kinda controlling - okay, maybe VERY controlling when it comes to their clothes. If I'm being fair, it isn't just that I have a strong opinion about what they wear, it's also because I do the laundry and get them ready six days out of seven (Thursday's are the only day I don't have a say...because I'm not home when they wake up) and so I know what fits them and what works well for play outfits, daycare outfits, going out outfits, etc. So imagine my surprise when we took Aiden out and put him in Mr. Howard's front carrier and noticed I picked out the perfect outfit for Daddy's boy. THEY WERE MATCHING! It was so cute!
 Grandpa and Connor:
Connor can now independently identify jeeps, trucks, and porches...gotta start em' young!
 In case you're wondering, Mr. Howard usually wears Aiden and I usually wear Isabella only because he is a little heavier and Mr. Howard's a little stronger. When we carry their car seats, we do the same thing (I carry Izzy and Daddy carries Aiden). 

Don't worry I get plenty of Aiden Snuggles throughout the day! 

Izzy & Mama

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little Pumpkin Carving

On Sunday we had a little Pumpkin Carving Party! We put on some Halloween music, grabbed some spoons, put the babies in chairs, and showed Connor how to carve a pumpkin!
When he sees me with the camera, he says "picture?" and poses!
He was a bit creeped out by the pumpkin insides!
He kept pulling Aiden closer and closer and saying, "Aiden watch!"
Such a big boy!


And then after a bunch of pumpkin carvin' we had to have a little dance party to some Halloween music!



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chatter Matter

Connor has been chatting up a storm and it is hard to keep up with everything he knows. My hubby and I will literally stare at each other with our mouths gaping because we can't believe what independent thoughts he's come up with.
  • On the 18th we called Grandma for her birthday and said to Connor, "Say happy birthday," and he started singing the happy birthday song (not to any recognizable tune, of course).
  • He's really got the "Daddy's working. Mama's home...Mama's working? Daddy's home" concept down. In the morning he goes over who is where with whoever gets him up.
  • Isabella was crying and Connor went over, poked his head into her carseat and started talking to her very sweetly. I couldn't make out what he was saying, but he was shaking his head up and down at her; so he obviously wanted her to agree with him. Oh my heart!
  • Isabella was giggling up a storm the other day and Connor got a kick out of it! "Mama? Izzy funny!"
  • Connor has a "lovie" (an item that calms him down and helps him sleep). His particular lovie is a monkey my sister bought him and he's kinda obsessed (even taking it with him to time out). A few weeks ago we left it on daycare. I literally almost called them Saturday because Friday was kinda a nightmare. I love the lovie for when it works for us, but my-oh-my when we don't have it...it causes such problems!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can you believe it?!?

On the couch
 We have done something so drastic in our household for our family that I still can't believe we did it! Let me first start off by saying that the idea took hold a few months ago when Mr. Howard and I were talking about our finances and what we needed to do to make up for our daycare costs TRIPLING!!! ((Some day I can share more about some other potential changes we want to make...but I don't want to share anything too prematurely)). We were chatting about what things we could give up completely and this particular idea came up and both Mr. Howard and I laughed at how we didn't think it would be possible.

A few weeks later, we talked about some more ideas and again this idea was brought up. During that conversation we mentioned a way we could maybe trim back in that area, but not completely get rid of it.

Yesterday I came home to a PERFECTLY, SPOTLESSLY clean house and a husband who was in the midst of scrubbing our kitchen counters. That's never a good sign in our household, because if you know me and my husband, you know that I am the cleaner and he is the mess-maker. He only gets the urge to do deep cleanings when we're having people over or, in the case of yesterday, when he is really stressed. Again we chatted about the cost of daycare tripling and the effect that it is having on our finances and we decided that there was no reason to put off the inevitable anymore. We were going to take the plunge and...

Have you figured it out yet?
Get rid of our U-Verse digital TV!
I know we're big babies. We actually have a lot of friends, mostly teacher friends, who've eliminated television from their households and are normal, functional humans (probably more normal and more functional than we are). I actually think this is going to be good for our family and Connor, but it will be an adjustment. I am sad to admit, but I am a television person. I love, love, love that escape. So, I'm going to have to become a "television series on DVD" person if I want to continue with any of my favorites (like Grey's, Private Practice, Real Housewives, Desperate Housewives, Sister Wives, Whale Wars, Little People, Little Couple, American Choppers, Top Gear, American Idol, and probably a million more). I'm still sad and horribly embarrassed to admit that I won't get to see the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Part 2. But I'll survive.
Right?
I love how big Aiden looks on Connor's Lap!

Two Videos

This one is from a few weeks ago!


This one is from last week


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BULLYING!!!

Come and visit my site (if you're reading in google reader or blogger) and please, please take the pledge to STOP BULLYING!!! This is super-super important to me as a teacher!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are you getting sick of baby pictures yet?

In all those twin facts I did when I was pregnant, one fact I don't think I ever wrote and a question we get asked A LOT is about fraternal twins and how alike they are.

Did you know that fraternal twins are no more genetically alike than siblings? So, Aiden and Isabella are no more genetically alike than Isabella and Connor are. Aiden and Bella just happened to be hatched at the same time.

 Bathtime is hard on days when Mr. Howard has class and I'm home with all three. I'm usually trying to occupy and distract Aiden and Isabella, while Connor bathes. So this past week, we put Aiden in the tub with Connor. It went really well and Connor was soo gentle with him. We decided on putting the bumbo in the tub because we figured it was the safest, easiest way to put Aiden in the tub without the fear of him going under the water or Connor being too rough. It made it so much easier on me too because I could hold Isabella and then just watch Connor and Aiden.
 Connor kept pointing to his little brother and saying, "funny!" You know how when kids get excited they smile and bite down and kinda shake (am I explaining that well at all? Can you picture what I mean...)? Well that's what Connor did when we put Aiden in there with him! He gave him a hug and smiled really big and shook with excitement!

I just hope they are the best of friends some day!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fifteen Weeks Old

Isabella is SUCH a smiler. Her smiles are big and bright and all encompassing. Aiden doesn't have as big of smiles, YET!! But what he lacks in smiles, he makes up for in words. He is just constantly chit-chatting and I adore it. I wish I could know what is going on in that big little head of his!

This week we decided we needed big brother in the teddy photo with the babies. Want to know why? Check out the photo after the one below. 
 They look so happy don't they!? The photo beow was a disaster!
 My brother and his girlfriend, Rebecca, got us these ADORABLE outfits for the babies!
They surprised Connor in the mail!
 Wonder how you carry two babies that can't hold their heads up?
Below:
 Aiden's Sweet Tiger Butt
 Aiden & Izzy
Have I mentioned how wonderfully blessed I feel?!?

On Saturday I was home by myself. It always creates a little anxiety in me beforehand, but it always goes so well! I texted a few friends the following message: Three dogs + three babies + one Mama - one Daddy = chaos! There was a moment when, and I'm not joking, all three dogs were barking and both babies were crying and Connor was literally throwing dog food across the house. I could have lost it. Instead I smiled. I am so lucky. So lucky.

Today Mr. Howard, Connor, and I had a dance party to Happy Feet. Someone tell me how I can freeze time! It's impossibly hard for me to believe that some day Connor won't desperately WANT to have dance parties in our living room. Heartbreaking!

Our October 15th

Last year on 10/15 we had just lost Cole and we weren't ready to participate in any remembrance ceremonies, but this year we went to a Balloon Release in our hometown!

Aiden, Isabella, Connor, & Daddy
The outside message (we also wrote messages and put them inside the balloons): 
 Daddy's Balloon:
 Mama and Connor in his "My Little Brother is an Angel in Heaven" shirt!
The sky was seriously breathtaking!
We all stood in a circle and they read each baby's name outloud.
When they said Cole's name, we released our balloons! It was perfect!

Afterwards we came home and lit our candle (at 7pm everyone is to light a candle all over the world!):
Mama, Daddy, & Cole's Candle: 
 We couldn't figure out how to put the babies in the photo:
 We explained to Connor that we were lighting a candle in his little brother's honor. He said, "Cole?"
Last night we thought about all our friends and families who also have lost a little one.

Here are the candles we received via text:
(from The Handl's):
 (From my brother, Colin, and Rebecca):
 (From Mr. Howard's Parents):

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Denny's Birthday

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you know that my family is big on birthdays. Every person in our family gets a birthday celebration at my parents' house just for them. They get to pick what they want for dinner and we have everyone over. It's a lot of fun!

Denny, my sister's boyfriend, turned 29 so we celebrated!

Denny, Aunt Katie, and Izzy

 Denny (Billy's in the background) and Bella
 Mama and Isabella
 Aunt Katie and Isabella
 The birthday boy with his birthday cake!
 Isabella Lynn:
Connor partied with us until it was his bedtime and then off he went. Aiden was in my arms for a good part of the evening (and I was the photographer...hence the reason you don't see him) and then he was in the swing, happily napping the rest of the evening. Apparently Izzy didn't get the nap memo, because she was awake for a good part of the evening!

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