Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being "mom" stinks ... in the sweetest possible way!

When I was out running today (yes, I've successfully gotten out 4 days in a row - success!) I realized I hadn't brushed my hair or teeth, I hadn't showered or washed my face, and I hadn't done my laundry in over 6-weeks (the time I've had the boys - I've done theirs, just not mine). The good news is I was running alone and the street was filled with French tourists for some odd reason (who smelled much worse than I). Also, I was not donning a dirty shirt as I have hundreds it seems from races and tradeshows, so I sported a JavaOne shirt to tout my geek pride. Teeth, hair, and face aside, the neglected shower is and was the grossest (still gotta shower). Over the course of the morning Cole managed to puke down my pants so I have a nice milk mark cresting my abs and legs, Wilson decided to poop on my while I was changing him instead of pre-change, and Cole wanted to top the puke off with pee all over my arm and hand (which I threw up to block further drenchage). I guess I'll make the end of this blog short as writing that I realize I REALLY do need to shower.

Come home I was greeted by two sleeping angels. After fussing and messing much of the night and morning, Cole and Wilson are in prime form reinforcing why it is so amazingly great to be a mom. I'm happy happy happy ... and stinky. Off I go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hills, and stairs, and stench - oh my!

Well, I got my 6-week clearance! No, I'm not having a big sale. I am, however, allowed to work out again - woot! Now if I only had time ... This weekend time played on my side as Matt and I were both home in the mornings and neither of us had early morning plans (ok ok, we haven't really had plans in some time, but we will again someday). After doing the 6am feeds yesterday and today (Matt does the 3am and I do the 6am - it's nice so we can both sleep ~4 hours) I geared up and headed out for a run while the boys stared at each other and dozed (if they hollered, Matt would jump up and comfort).

I am LOVING being back on the road again. It hurts, I've slowed down a lot, not sure what happened to my breathing or where my pace went ... but being back on the road makes me feel normal again.

Saturday run:
I enjoyed my old loop - down to the water, along the water to Ft. Mason, up the hill to the field, around and home. It seems the homeless population around Ft. Mason has quadrupled with the heat. Ah the sites and sounds of running in SF.

Sunday run:
Up Union St. to Coit Tower, down the Tower stairs to Bay Club, around Levi park and down to the water, along the water to the Ferry Building (where I rocked the Rocky under the arch trying to catch my breath), back through the Financial District, stripper district (Broadway), and North Beach. On the homestretch a bum stopped in front of my sticking his face in mine and attempting a wolf whistle (what came out was a smokey bad breath stench tinged with beer and whisky - nasty nasty - it seems my now GIANT boobs are getting (unwanted) attention, ick).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Taylor Twins go to Candyland

Yesterday they turned Lombard street into one giant Candyland strip in honor of the game's 60th anniversary. The street was packed so we (my mom - "Grandma Lucy," myself, Cole, and Wilson) only stayed a minute (the boys were much more interested in walking).


After getting home, it was party time for the boys as they roared it up in the jungle...

The game (Candyland, not jungle party) spurred my first in the Taylor Twins series - yes, that's right, I've decided to write even more. Mind you, I wrote this on 2-hours of sleep and haven't edited it a bit - so you get to be my guinnea pig readers if you read on!

The Taylor Twins go to Candyland:
(Prelude to the magic thermoses)

They Taylor Twins live with their mom and dad in San Francisco, California. They live in North Beach which is nestled between China Town and Telegraph Hill. Part of the Barbary Coast trail, a 3.8 mile path winding through the streets of North Beach hitting historical sites like where Sam Brannon started the 1848, North Beach is filled with history. There’s always something going on around their house like music festivals, movies in the park, and Fleet Week where airplanes come in to put on a show. The Twins enjoy all the activity, but their favorite thing to do is learn about the past.

One afternoon, the Twins’ grandmother took the boys to enjoy one of North Beaches many fun activities. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the game Candyland, Lombard, one of the windiest streets in San Francisco, was being turned into a huge game strip! The boys were excited to go check out the game street – being 8 years old, as they of course couldn’t drive yet, they much preferred to play in the streets than to stay on the sidewalk.

To beat the tourists, the Twins and their grandmother walked up to the top of Lombard before the street was officially turned into a board game. Despite getting there an hour early, the street was already swarmed with tourists. The game was cool, thought the Twins, but they didn’t just want to play on the giant lifesize gameboard – they wanted to know where it came from. Not where the game pieces came from – those were from some factory, but where the idea came from.

When their grandma wasn’t looking, the boys silently walked off to the corner of the street and took out their magic thermoses. Without a word, they looked at each other, nodded, and twisted their thermos caps three times. In an instant, the boys were transported to San Diego in 1949.

When the boys appeared in 1949, their found themselves in a hospital lounge. In the room was one other person – a little girl. At first the girl looked startled to have two new people in the room – she hadn’t noticed them before. Then she softened, appearing to like having company, and introduced herself, “Hi! I’m Eleanor Abbott,” she said. “Hi!” said Wilson, “I’m Wilson and this is my brother Cole.” “What are you doing here?” asked Eleanor. Before the Twins had a chance to reply she said, “I’m here because I have polio.” “Oh my gosh! We’re sorry to hear that.” Said Cole, evading her earlier question about what they were doing there.

Wilson noticed Eleanor was working on a craft project. Wilson was a wiz at crafts, and loved working with other kids on projects. “What are you working on?” He asked. Eleanor’s eyes lit up happy to share the details of her project. “Well, over the past few years I’ve been working on a game where you need to find the lost King in a strange land to bring happiness and fun to other kids who are stuck with what I have. You can’t do much with Polio so I’m really hoping this game makes people happy.” “That’s terrific!” Said Cole. “When will you be finished making the game?” Unlike Wilson, Cole liked enjoying the end product of something rather than making it and he wanted to play. “Actually,” Eleanor said, “I finished a year ago, but now this company called Hasbro wants to buy the game. I’m just adding a few things I hand it off for them to produce.”

Just as Eleanor finished telling the Twins about the game and the corporation purchasing it, she drew the final candycane on the board. “Done!” She shouted. The Twins were thrilled – this meant they could maybe play with her. Just as Cole walked over to pull up a chair, he noticed Wilson was fading. “Rats,” he said. Eleanor looked up wondering what was going on. “We have to get going.” Wilson was just about to protest when he looked down and realized why Cole was starting to pick up the pace. “It was great meeting you – and good luck! I have a feeling you’re going to make it big.” Said Wilson over his shoulder as the boys walked out the door.
A moment later, the boys landed back on Lombard street in San Francisco in 2009. The boys found their grandma looking at a large candycane cutout – because when they traveled in time or location, the boys always returned just seconds after the real time they left for their adventure, she didn’t even notice they had been gone. Cole started towards the candycane, “Cool! We saw Eleanor drawing this very same candycane!...” “Who’s Eleanor?” asked their grandmother. Wilson jumped in, “Oh, she’s just a girl at school. She loves this game.” The boys turned to each other and smirked, tucking their thermos’ back in their bags.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To (not) buy: Mia Bossi Tobey Rootbeer - what I'm craving today

I stumbled on this bag when doing online "window" shopping on Mamas and Munchkins. Since the boys arrived I've been trying to get a lot better about spending money - in fact, browsing my credit card statements the only things I've spent on are groceries, delivery (a must), and diapers. Go me! But my God do these things add up.

So, instead of spend, I'll crave.

It may be dorky, or "so 90s," but I am loving this Mia Bossi hip pack. I've talked hip packs before with a nod to Sex and the City and Cari's infamous Gucci pack, but this one comes with purpose! It's stylie, for those dorky minded like myself, and practical ... if you only have one baby - it holds diapers, some wipes, cell/makeup/money, and a bottle. I think wearing one on each hip would ditch any cool potential so this one was an easy one to talk myself out of it. But I do love it so...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strollin' along

Now that the boys have hit the 5-week mark (side note, they're also almost 8 pounds now!!!), I'm trying to work a bit more normalcy into life. The first weeks were learning to feed (still working on that), recovering, and thinking oh-my-God-we're-parents (still thinking that and loving it). Yesterday the boys, Leanne, Wonder and I did one of my all time favorite things - hang with good friends and get outside moving! The boys loved walking along Chrissy Field, and so did the moms.

More weekend roundup to come - it's go time in the feeding arena.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Money Saver Monday: College Fund

As if saving for diapers, doctors, and daycare were not enough we're come to the (painful) realization that longer term our wishes of saving for a house is not the only big ticket item - yep, that dreaded but well worth it expense, college is going to sneak up on us. With my mom's help, we discovered college alone will set us back nearly $200,000 (!!!) eeeeeeeek! While I'm sure our boys are going to be nearly famous by college time, and schools will be lining up with full scholarships, the price tag is astonishing and it's time for us to save.

After comparing possible savings accounts (below is a handy chart to reference), we went with the UGMA/UTMA Custodial Account. This account allows us to direct deposit every paycheck to start saving for the boys now and when we pull the money out for college time the tax is paid for (i.e. we're paying the tax now - we chose this as I believe taxes are lower now than they will be in 18 years). Being a Custodial Account, when the boys are 18 the money is theirs (but shh, don't tell them that - they have to use it for college).

My mom was SUPER SUPER generous and put the minimum $2,500 into each boys' account. We're going to start direct depositing immediately (my philosophy - nothing is too small right now, and if the money comes out of my paycheck before I see it, I can't miss it). We're also hoping that our parents will put money into the boys' accounts for Christmas and birthdays as the gifts.

Handy chart:
Features 529 College
Savings Plan
(Custodial Account)

Any earnings grow tax-deferred and qualified distributions are federal income tax-free.

See Income Tax Benefits
Part of investment earnings may be tax-exempt
High annual exclusion transfer tax limits.

See Gift and Estate Tax Benefits
Up to $65K per Beneficiary in a single year ($130K per married couple)2 Standard $13K annual ($26K per couple) $2,000 annual account contribution limit
Beneficiary can be changed1.

See Ownership and Control

Parent (account owner) maintains control over distribution of assets.

See Ownership and Control
Distributions must be used for minor
Contributions not limited by the income of the parent (account holder).

See Ownership and Control
Cannot contribute if AGI is over $110k (for a single filer) or $220k (for a joint filer)
No age limit for beneficiary (child).

See Contribution Limits and Other Features

Low impact on financial aid.

See Effect on Financial Aid

Choice of investments.

See Investment Management
A choice of Portfolios managed by professional fund manager Owner (Custodian) researches and chooses investments Owner researches and chooses investments

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Field Trips!

It's been a packed weekend - lots of firsts, and a bit more feeling like a person again (rather than just a cow living on the sofa).

Friday we had a real "grown up" dinner with Rob and Emily:Saturday Ryan and I did brunch (which was a HUGE treat!) - then Ry came over for some girl chat and boy time:Today, the boys met their great Grandparents, great Aunties, and visited with Gma and Gpa Wilson; seeing as we were in Marin, we even dressed them in their "cool" duds - pop collar, coordinated, and everything - we went all out:

Tonight, Courtney brought us an awesome home cooked meal of roast chicken (which she roasted!), green beans, brown rice, caprece salad, and carrot cake (my fav!):
We capped the day off with footprinting the boys:+ a lot of Matt's trying to slow moving feet ... = Wilson and Cole rounded it all out with a staring contest while trying to put off sleep - surely reflecting on their busy weekend:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Baby talk

The boys are now a month old. A month old?!! Time is flying and I just can't believe it. They'll be throwing parties in our house and then in college soon. I'll have wrinkles (more) soon. Maybe there'll be a few steps (crawls, tumbles, crashes) in between, but time really is flying.

I have a handful of new favorite things to do now - in order, they are:
  1. Baby cuddles
  2. Watching the boys when they sleep
  3. Walking with the boys
  4. Walking alone (gotta get 10min at least alone daily for my sanity)
  5. Looking at really expensive shoes on eBay and then patting my back when I close the window without buying them (although I never would have bought them before, somehow now saving money is a million times more important than it was when it was just Matt and I)
I had more but my brain just remembered I only slept an hour last night so it canceled the portion of this post that requires memory.

Let's talk about #2 (not the poopy #2 that happens at least 8-10 times a day PER CHILD) - the #2 from the list above. Watching the boys sleep is something pretty amazing.

Grooving and Moving
I don't think they're supposed to be able to turn over completely yet, but these boys really can move. Cole and Wilson now sleep in the same crib and when I went to check on them at 5am this morning (running the 3 feet from our room to theirs answering their beck and call) Wilson was laying vertically just as we had put him, and somehow even in his swaddle Cole maneuvered a horizontal position (maybe he's trying to act our an old Phish song?)

Cooing and Talking
Wilson too likes to move, but not half as much as Cole. His talent is "talking" in his sleep (sorry Wilson's future wife - I think it's adorable and I hope it sticks). I can tell when Wilson hits REM because he cracks a smile, arches back, and begins coocooing and awwing and any number of other sounds. He's like a mini Bobby McFerrin parlaying the sounds of an entire band from one little mouth.

And they wake - back to mommyhood.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The baby shift

It seems moms and babies are the "it" things these days. Last week Matt and I were musing about the increasing number of maternity and baby stores - there are three new ones in Union St. (yes, even in the wake of countless other stores and restaurants going out of business). Recently my mom sent me a few articles (NPR and Orpah) on how marteters are targeting mom bloggers to tout products - no wonder all the mom blogs I check out have "my favorite things" almost daily pushing random mommy-must-haves ... wait, I've done that myself! Unfortunately I never got free stuff for my efforts I really did buy the goods.

Here's a fun one for moms and non-moms to take advantage of: "Mani and Nanny" - a Pac Heights nail spa with an on-site nanny who watches your kids behind a 1-way mirror. Today there's a half off deal to take advantage of - my boys are 4-weeks so they're not yet old enough for me to take advantage of the daycare, but you can bet when they hit 6-weeks I'll be in a chair drinking tea and having my feet beautified.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Facial for therapy?

Something happens when I lay down for facials - the past two times it's opened the door for more than I ever wanted to know. Yesterday I left the boys with my mom for an hour (I hate leaving the boys!) to get my "push gift" (Matt gave me a facial as a push gift ... then immediately asked where his "catch gift" was - what a comedian) downtown.

I'll cut to the punchline - about halfway through the facial, my facialist started talking about how she was in an unhappy marriage and got married as a favor. She went on about how her husband could just be mean and his sign (Scorpio on the Libra line) explained that. Then she pointed out I have the same sign (birthday on the sign in sheet) but that as my birthday was 2-days earlier than his, it was probably different. The facial wrapped with me telling her the importance of happiness in life, yadda yadda yadda (on 2-hours of sleep a night I can be surprisingly deep).


A few months back when I was 6-months pregnant, I got a facial and the woman talked at length about how she just had a miscarriage and was in her 40s so really hoped she could have kids.

I guess during facials I'm a captive audience - hence the full (and then some) disclosure. Maybe if I ever leave tech I'll go into therapy ... then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A lift on pelvic tilts - getting my gut and groove back

I still haven't been cleared to workout (T minus two weeks and three days ... but who is counting ;o) ) so I'm definitely in the "take it easy" mode with short walks (time allowing - and time is minimal so these are short short walks) and light stretching. I'm a huge advocate of the "listen to your body" philosophy in recovery - this rang true for recovering from races and it's proving to be true for recovery from the c-section.
Side-note, there's no such thing as listening to my body to recover from the 2-hours a sleep I'm getting a night - I think that's a have-to-deal-dilemma.

The past few days, I've been incorporating VERY minimal core work back into my routine and I'm thrilled to learn that my old running stretches are proving helpful and effective. My favorite of the day? The Bosu aided pelvic tilt. Here's how it works:
  • Lay on back with feet on a bosu ball - knees at a 90 degree angle
  • Lift pelvis 6in - 1ft
  • Roll feet forward extending legs almost straight
  • Roll feet back
  • Lower pelvis
  • Repeat!
I've been doing 20 of these a day and loving it - it's not only a great baby step back into core work but it helps ease the pain in my lower back (leaning over cribs and Boppys 100+ times a day is a killer on the back) and stretch out my legs and rear (I want to keep a few years between me and mom jeans.

The boys like them too:

Wilson's version: ................................................... And Cole's:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Living on caffeine and mommyhood; "training" on empty

(Insert Sheryl Crow's "Everyday is a winding road" song as the soundtrack to this post)

I never realized how much I love(d) sleep ... until I lost it. The boys are on a 2-3 hour eating schedule which looks a little like this:
6am feed > 9am feed > noon feed > 3pm feed > 6pm feed > 9pm feed > midnight feed > 3am feed ...
and repeat! Between each feeding are diapers, puke cleaning, and of course - the best part - cuddles (which make everything totally worthwhile and then some).Our hungry hunters - post-feed (and post-pee on mommy), pre-cuddle.

We occasionally squeeze a walk in and maybe even washing a dish or two; and there are of course the mommy and daddy "feeds" (side-note, I've been eating way more now than I did when I was pregnant). As you can probably guess, this doesn't leave much time for sleeping - a 2-hour "nap" maaaaaaaybe 4-hours when one of us takes feed duty - not much.

Recently I've been thinking of how in the world I'm going to train for the Nike Marathon (which is October 18th). I'm not allowed to workout yet (I just barely got cleared to walk again) so right now it's just the daydreaming and planning phase. This planning came at an ironic time when I read an article in the latest Runner's World on the importance of sleep. My new sleep habits don't really work with this advice. But, there's hope for me - in the print mag this month, there's an interview with Tera Moody - a world class athlete who runs 100 miles a week on only 5hours of sleep a night (BTW, 5hours sounds like such a dream ... ah to dream). Here's an interview she did a few years back for an online reference.

Bottom line - there's hope! Besides knowing others have blazed the sleepless running trail before, I do know that the boys will start sleeping longer.

p.s. contrary to the song, I am not living on nicotine. The caffeine on the other hand, don't even try to take it away.