What's the secret....?

to fabulous tasting shrimp cocktail? In my opinion, Red Lobster has it down. What in the world do they do to their shrimp cocktail to make it so fresh and nummy? And why in the world do they have to charge $7.75 for 6 stinkin' shrimp? If anyone out there knows the secret, PLEASE let me know!

At the grocery today, I walked past the bagged shrimp. Now previous experience has told me that I cannot make shrimp cocktail. I have tried numerous times. I honestly have followed the directions on the back of the bag. There's no science in running cold water on shrimp for 5-7 minutes and then letting them drain for 3 minutes. I can do that.

Shrimp cocktail sounded good and even better, it was on sale. Trust me, I looked....it wasn't expired which is a good possibility when you're talking about Wal-mart. So, I grabbed a bag. While everyone slept, I opened my bag of shrimp and followed the 2 easy-peasy steps in thawing shrimp. I even took extra care and thought about presentation. I'm worth it, right?

Well, it looked "okay". Not stellar, but edible. I snapped my picture and brought my cocktail into the dining room. It took only one bite, but it was enough. I might as well have been chewing on someone's dirty underwear. Blech, blech, blech!!! Fishy, rubbery, freezer-burnt nasty, and enough to make me wanna vomit. They instantly went into the trash. That was a total waste of money and time.

It's really too bad. Now I have a hankerin' for some good shrimp cocktail. I guess I better call Red Lobster on my way to work.


A snapshot

I managed to get both girls sitting on the couch, looking at momma. Knowing this moment would last...well, a moment, I hightailed it to my camera. Well of course, the lighting was not optimal and Colton was running between the TV and the girls. They were smiling at one point, but that didn't last very long. I knew one of them would start fussing soon so I popped up the flash and got one picture of them looking at the camera at the same time. It's not fabulous, but they're my girls and my mommy goggles make it a perfect picture. I'll count my blessings now. If Colton is a preview, I'll never get both of them to look at the same time when they're older.


Equality among siblings

is next to impossible. I know there will always be a reason for it: being older, more mature, having the ability, talent, or skill, money, time, patience, persistence, etc. Valid or not, it is a truth I have come to realize very quickly. For example, Colton is more demanding of my time and attention. Whereas Keira and Carly grow through their sleepers so fast, I feel like I do nothing but buy baby clothes. There are times that I have to let one cry while I tend to the other. I hate it and it makes me feel horrible inside. I am but one person and as much as I'd like to be supermom, I'm just not.

I think every parent goes through the attempt of creating equality among siblings. I know it's just not going to happen. But as a mom of twins, I worry about equality a lot. I want friends and family to pay as much attention to Colton as they do Keira and Carly. I make sure everyone holds one girl and then the other. I don't want anyone to have a favorite. I want them all to be separate identities and loved just as much as the other. Then I wonder "Am I always going to have to buy two of something in order for my little girls to know that they are just as important as their sister? Or will they be ok with two different toys because then they'll have more?"

My main concern of equality lies in Carly. She is so laid back and likes to watch while her sister is more outgoing and tends to be the center of attention. Will she be on the sideline while her sister is in the spotlight? Will the things we do affect this? Or is this just the way she is? Keira smiles a lot, Carly is just attentive and it's rare to catch that beautiful smile and dimple. For this reason, I spent some time taking pictures of Carly today since Keira was the main focus yesterday and Colton the day before. I hope they never feel that I gave more of anything to the other. I hope they all know that I truly do love them equally.


It's in the eyes

I had started out making this blog about how my sweet Keira fell asleep in her jumperoo. A task both Keira and Carly have accomplished, but Colton never did. She was jumping around with her bottle and the next thing we knew, she was out. My sweet baby. Doesn't she look comfortable? :)

But as I got closer to her, I realized....man, this kid's got great eyelashes. I mean, look at those. They look like centipedes on her eyelids! Most women would kill for lashes like that.

I always knew that Colton had beautiful eyelashes, but isn't that how it goes, anyway? The guys always get the long lashes? I mean, he got them from his dad, after all....certainly not me.

But for some reason I assumed the girls wouldn't be blessed with such extensions. I was pretty shocked to see their fabulous lashes when they born. Now that they're 6 months old, they just keep getting longer and longer. They are so lucky. I envy them all.


The things I do to have memories of my son

I know it seems as though I don't have a son if you look at the pictures on this blog. It's not that I don't want pictures of him. He just won't cooperate with me. Lately, I have to sneak up on Colton in order to get a picture. Or make an obnoxious or loud noise to draw his attention. He's just so busy doing other things. Either that or he KNOWS I want a picture and he'll be damned if I'm gonna get it. So, here's Colton. I snuck up on him while he was watching Spongebob. All pictures taken after this one were half-side profiles or the back of his head. Sigh. Maybe one day he'll actively participate in my new obsession.


The birthday outing

Today is my father-in-law's birthday. I'm not even sure how old he turned, but I know it's older than me! LOL We met this evening and went to eat at Outback Steakhouse. I tried to get some pictures of the family there but the lighting was low. To be honest, I could have fiddled but I didn't feel like missing out on hot food while the kids were being good. I did get a picture of my niece, Makayla and my sister-in-law, Angie as they were walking out the door. I tried to get the little ones but they were just too active and Kirsten kept giving me silly faces. No pictures of the birthday boy either. He avoids the camera. I managed to capture my mother-in-law doing what she always does.....blinding everyone with her P&S.


I'm not a morning person

But apparently, my children are. I'll never understand how anyone can wake up so early in the morning and be so happy. I'm glad they are because it does help me get the sleep out of my eyes when I see their beautiful smiles. I'll appreciate it for now because by the time they're teenagers, they'll be sleepyheads in the morning just like me.


Sometimes you gotta resist the urge to be polite

And just pick it! But unlike my son, you should probably make sure no one is watching, or worse, taking your picture! LOL


The Anniversary

One year ago today, Colton was diagnosed with septic arthritis of the knee and had emergency surgery performed on his knee at the age of 11 months. For the ten days prior to his diagnosis, I watched him deteriorate. It started with crying when he put weight on his left leg. It progressed to him refusing to crawl and being a complete fuss-bucket. His knee was reddened and swollen, extremely hot to the touch. He then developed a fever that stayed over 102.9F for days and didn't respond to Tylenol or Motrin. He stopped eating and became lethargic. Now, I know what you're thinking. My God, woman, why didn't you do anything?? Well, I did. Every single day. For 10 days.

During this time, I took him to the pediatrician two days after I noticed he was guarding his leg because it was the first appointment available for a non-emergent situation. It was blown off as a sprain. We went back the next day and I convince another pediatrician to order x-rays. We then went to a children's orthopedic to review them. We were told it was possibly a small fracture, but it didn't need to be casted. We should just call back in 2 weeks if he wasn't crawling again. Two more days went by and his fever was out of control. Again, we trudged to the pediatrician and it was blamed on a virus, no doubt, picked up at Children's Hospital when getting the x-rays. I was getting the run-around and my son was really sick. I'm a nurse and I'm expressing my concerns about my child, but no one is listening! I got fed up and took him to the emergency room when his fever hit 105.1F.

They were able to get his fever to come down, but I had to endure watching 3 grown men restrain my 11 month old for blood work and a urinalysis. My poor little boy who had no energy to eat was really giving them a run for their money. And I could do nothing to comfort him or explain to him why they were "torturing" him. That is something no one should ever have to see. We waited all night to find out that his bloodwork and urinalysis came back negative. I began to wonder if I was crazy. I knew there was something wrong, but I didn't know what and no one was finding anything.

The next day, I called the orthorpedic back and demanded Colton be casted if it was in fact fractured. We went the following day and the orthopedic took one look at his leg, said it was horribly infected, and he needed to have an MRI right now. We rushed him to Children's Hospital where he was drugged and taken in for his MRI. Immediately following, he was prepped for surgery. His fever had spiked to over 105.8F and he wasn't responding to touch or sound. There was such a rush and I was so scared for him. They took him into surgery without letting me kiss him or hold him or tell him that I loved him. I was absolutely devastated and I stood there in the waiting room crying. I was sick to my stomach, but I prayed and prayed for my little boy. We had waited 14 years to have him and I was terrified that I was going to lose him.

The surgery (originally told it would take 45 minutes) took 3 hours. It was the longest 3 hours of my life. When the doctor came out to tell us everything was done and he was okay, I nearly collapsed from relief. They brought him into the room and he looked like an angel in his yellow robe, sleeping so peacefully. I cried tears of joy that night, sleeping right next to him in the hospital. And every night for the 5 day stay. I only left his side to go home, shower, or change.

They ran cultures of the pus they took out of his knee and nothing ever grew, although his white cell count in his knee joint was 20 times the normal amount. He had to get a PICC line and I gave him antibiotics twice a day for 4 weeks. Every day he got better and better. He had lost 2lbs. in those 10 days, but was now regaining his weight and his healthy glow. By his birthday, the PICC line was gone and he was the little boy he was before. It took him a while to get the confidence to crawl again and it did hinder his walking attempts. By the time April came around, he was walking full force and by May, running.

My pediatrician has called my home several times after hours to check up on Colton and his progress. He has apologized profusely for missing the infection, claiming it is very rare and there were really no indications for it as fevers can stem from many things. You might think I'm crazy, but I believe him. I think he feels bad that he didn't listen to me when I said I knew something was off (and he just might be afraid that I'd sue! LOL), but that has changed. When I make a comment, he is quick to respond. It all worked out, thankfully. Now my little man is running me ragged. And I love it. You'd never know he went through such an ordeal. The only things left now are the memories and a barely visible scar on his left knee.


Whatever trips your trigger

Nothing can prepare you for having 3 kids under the age of two. Nothing. No matter how much you want it, no matter how hard you fight for it, no matter what you would give up to have them. Nothing. I love being a mom and I feel very blessed to have my three little munchkins. But let me say it again, nothing can prepare you for having 3 kids under the age of two. Taking a shower, doing my hair and makeup, and getting dressed are three things that no longer occur on the same day. My wardrobe has widdled down to yoga pants and t-shirts, completed only by the mommy ponytail. My name isn't even Lynne, anymore. It's Momma. I do not aspire to clean house, I simply maintain. A fact my husband really hates. My daily goals include getting all the kids to nap at the same time so I can watch Y&R in peace and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Goals are not always accomplishments. Most days, I keep up with them and as long as everyone's alive and well by the end of the day, I consider it a success. However, there are some days that I know I make it through only by the grace of God. And drinking lots and lots of coffee.


Musta been the boogeyman

This morning at 5:00 a.m., Colton woke up screaming bloody murder. His screams were so piercing that it woke me from a dead sleep and scared the holy crap outta me. I literally ran out of my bedroom, down the hall, and across the house to his room. I found him at the standing at the edge of his crib with blanket in hand, jumping up and down, still screaming. He stopped as soon I picked him up. I have no idea what in the world that was all about it. My heart was racing and I really couldn't think straight, but I wasn't about to attempt putting him back to bed in his crib. So, off we went to my bedroom. I tucked him in with his blanket, he kissed me goodnight and promptly fell off to sleep. I wish I had been so lucky. I tossed and turned until 7:30 a.m. when Carly woke up. Oh well. Who needs sleep? My best friend, Kathy, used to tell me that she'd sleep when she's dead. Apparently, I will, too. When I went back to wake him up at 9:30 a.m. (1 1/2 hours past his normal wake time), this is how I found him. I guess the boogeyman doesn't visit my bedroom. Either that or my bed is just really comfy.


Rub a dub dub, three babies in the tub...

and 16 foam letters, 4 rubber duckies, 3 washcloths, 3 goldfish, 2 toy ambulances, 2 parents, 1 grandparent, and a camera. Makes for a very crowded bathroom. :) To be honest, they weren't all in the tub at the same time. It's more like an assembly line. Colton gets his bath and then plays. In goes baby #2, gets her bath, and then plays. Off she goes with the Pajama Fairy for a baby massage, diaper, medicine, song, and bottle while baby #3 gets in, gets her bath, and then plays. Then it's her turn with the Pajama Fairy while the Pajama Man (Scott refuses to be called a Fairy LOL) gets Colton. It's a well organized system and it ends up with three clean kids and two water-logged and tired parents. Who could ask for anything more?

Anyway, here's Carly in the tub.

She loves laughing at Colton.

Here's Colton. Notice that lovely lip? He split it open today on my knee. He didn't even cry. What a brute.

Here's Keira. She's fascinated by water dripping off the washcloth.

Keira chillin' while Colton plays with his ambulance.



My brother, Travis, came to visit for a bit. I twisted his arm and made him sit in my new chair. I was so excited to play with my new toys. Let me tell you, it's definitely harder than it looks and I really need to read/play with it a lot more! I'm glad he was willing. Here's my FIRST attempt at OCF with my AB400, softbox, and reflector....of which, btw, I have to use my on-camera flash to trigger without the use of a light meter, so please be kind. :)

The best toy ever

I learned with Colton that often times the best toy isn't a toy at all. When he was about 9 months old, we became his favorite toys. He played on us like we were a live jungle gym. Everyday Scott comes home from work, he and Colton wrestle on the floor for about 30 minutes. It's their male bonding time. He plays with me during the day, but it's not the same. Daddy is just 'da bomb when it comes to floor play. The girls aren't quite old enough for wrestling matches, but they do have tickle fests and they love it. Their giggling is just magical and you can't help but smile. Here's all three on them playing with Daddy. I can only imagine what it will be like next year when the girls can really tackle him. Oh, the squeals. And the bruises. I think Scott might need to invest in a protective cup. Hahaa! These pictures are not portraits in any way, but I couldn't help the Mommy goggles. There's something beautiful about a man with his children. And their drool. :)


It's all about the flowers

It is not my intention to photograph flowers. I really do want to take more pictures of my children. However, on the weekends, I have very little time to sit with my camera since I'm at work or sleeping. During my down time, it's easy for me to run up to a nurses' station and snap some shots of the bouquets left behind by patients. I'm always amazed at the beautiful arrangements that are discarded when a new mom leaves the hospital. It's probably for the best. They're more enamored by their newborn than a pretty flower, I guess. I know I was. I still am, actually. So much so that I tend to forget to pull out the camera or I'm just too slow to capture the moment. Maybe one day I'll get faster or they'll slow down. Something tells me neither will happen any time soon.


So here's my new chair

What are the odds I can get someone to sit in it? My husband suggested that I set up a studio so that all my stuff would be in one place. I think that was his way of saying "Get your crap outta here." :) My "studio" (and I use that term loosely) is in the basement, which means no natural light. I researched a bit on studio lighting and I decided on a softbox, AB400, and a reflector kit. I also bought some seamless paper to go along with my new setup. Don't you just love the crimson? Perfect for Valentine's Day, isn't it? Anyway, I have A LOT to learn on studio lighting. In fact, the more reading I do, the more I realize that I really shoulda sprung for a handheld meter as well. It will be my next purchase. However, I can't even practice until I get someone in that chair. Hmm....maybe I need a cat.


Activities with toddlers

There are many things that we as moms do to keep our toddlers occupied, learning, and most importantly, quiet. LOL A post on my Born in March board (hey Beth!) got me thinking of all the things I do with Colton during the day. Especially now since we can't go outside in below freezing weather. We're able to spend some quality one-on-one time while the girls are napping. It gives us a good 30 minutes twice a day. This morning, we played with his Diego mini Aqua Doodle. It has a black and white picture on it that becomes colored when you run the waterpen over it. It was a Christmas gift from his Mamaw and Papaw. It was our first time playing with it and he loved it! It looks like he's really concentrating, doesn't it? Hahaa! I might have to spring for a full-sized Aqua Doodle in the near future.


Colton's other obsession

Along with cars, Colton has an obsession of lining things up. Cars, blocks, letters, stickers, clothes, even shoes. While Scott worked on his computer and I watched my soap, Colton took his cars and lined them up. They started at the TV and went all the way to the opposite wall. I couldn't get them all in a picture so here's a small view. Lightning McQueen is his current favorite. I need to take the batteries out. I'm tired of hearing "Ka-chow!" and "Hey, watch the paint!" Toy manufactures are cruel sometimes.


On the inside looking out...

It's really snowing outside today and I want to take Colton out to play. I have to wait until my hubby gets home from work so he can watch the girls. In the meantime, I took the kids and sat them in front of the sliding glass door to practice on my exposure. I blew a lot of shots, but I still liked some of them because the kids were actually looking at me or kissing or hugging. After I figured out what I was doing wrong, none of the kids were in a mood to look at me. Figures. It was naptime so I gave up. Colton and I will go out later and we'll get some good shots. Hopefully.


Cars, cars, cars, cars

I told myself that if the day came during my 365 that my children did not cooperate then I would use their toys as subjects of my shots. Well, today was one of those days. My baby girls got their 6 month shots and were total grumpy-butts today. And Colton? Yeah, he won't look at me when I have the camera even if he is in a good mood. So, I resorted to his toys. His cars, that is. At this moment in time, he is completely obsessed with Cars the movie and his matchbox cars. They are strewn about the house...under the couch, beside the refridgerator, in his crib, on the coffee table, on the floor, etc. etc. Let me tell you, you will NOT say a kind word when you step on one of those babies in the middle of the night! Anyway, cars are everywhere. Everywhere except his toy box. I'm constantly saying "Pick up your cars, Colton." He will, but before we know it, they are back all over the house. This picture shows you a very small portion of his cars actually picked up. By the time I uploaded the picture, the cars were back out.


Snow covered cherries...err, crabapples

We were blessed with a beautiful snowfall last night. The flakes were huge and slow, watching them fall was mesmerizing. It was the kind of dangerous snow that put you in a trance when you're driving. Luckily, I wasn't driving. But unfortunately, I was working so I was unable to get any shots of this gorgeous snow in action. My neighbor's tree is stunning with the bright red cherries (or whatever they really are) and snow covered branches. I just wish their neighbor's ugly green truck wasn't in the background. Phle!
Edited to add: My dear friend MaryAnn informed me that these little red dangly things are not cherries (as I suspected), but rather they are crabapples. Now the funny thing about that is I grew up with crabapple trees when I lived out in the country. And my crabapples NEVER looked like this. These are the sorriest little crabapples I've ever seen. LOL Thanks for letting me know, MaryAnn!! :)


Dreaming of Spring

A large bouquet of flowers sat at the nurse's station all night. Everytime I passed the flowers, their fragrance would drift and follow me down the hall. When I had a moment, I took out my camera and snapped some shots. Their colors were so vibrant. It reminded me of early spring when you see the first blooms of the season. I wish I could feel some of that warmth now. It's just too dang cold, windy, and icy. Blech!!