Friday, May 16, 2008

Two little helpers

Over the last few days, while our internet was down, I was able to get a lot done around the house. Some random and desperately needed mini-cleaning and organization projects (the major ones are still being put off to a future unknown time of abundant boredom or intense motivation). All this is a little discouraging as it becomes more obvious how quickly things go from clean to dirty these days. Still I am left with a sense of satisfaction; and the ever-present feeling of guilt associated with spending to much time with the computer and not enough time with a mop, is temporarily abated.
The girls have been trying to “help” me by unloading the dishwasher (I may need to look into steel-toed shoes), pushing the laundry into the dryer (they particularly enjoy slamming it shut), and occasionally even putting a toy or two away. I’m catching a glimpse of how truly helpful they will be in a few years, and find myself imagining what wonderful little baby sitters they might be to a future child.
Ahhh…my always overly optimistic expectations of the future.

Hand in hand

The twins get absolutely giddy when riding in the car. They squeal and giggle and kick their feet in hysterical anticipation of our trip to Target or to eat at Moes on Tuesday nights (kids eat free). (Those are the main two places we take them on weeknights, which is when they seem to be in the best mood). A few evenings ago we stopped by Dicks Sporting Goods to check on BPA-free water bottles (the selection turned out to be limited to a few Camelback bottles in the camping section). On the way into the store, Craig and I each had one of the girls by the hand, and they were bounding along in between the two of us, when they reached out and grasped hands. As they walked toward the store holding hands, I was overjoyed to see that adorable sister-bond. It was a milestone for me, a sign of their growing up into children that will learn to lean on each other, support one another and love one another. It was a moment I had pictured from the moment I first heard, “there are two in there”; and seeing it was just as thrilling as I had imagined. It is moments like these that make all the diapers and laundry and dishes seem irrelevant. And I can just be thankful for the blessing that is---twins.

Monday, May 12, 2008

BPA is giving me an anxiety attack...
Not that those are all that rare. If anyone hasn't heard about this, just google "BPA" (Bisphenol A) and you will be overwhelmed with confusing and frightening info. If you'd rather remain blissfully ignorant and continue to drink out of your Nalgene bottle, then please DO NOT continue reading this entry.

Apparently, some kinds of plastic are ok, so aren't. This involves a rather complicated and not always applicable number system you can try to find on the bottom of the bottles or cups. I've decided the simplest and least stressful option for me is to try to eliminate all plastic, however slow this process may be. After reading tons of stuff and simply trying to find something A) safe and B) relatively inexpensive for me and kids to drink out of, I found a few possible options:

These are probably my first choice quality-wise, with no ambiguity about their ingredients and highly recommended from consumers. Stainless Steel, pure and simple. Unfortunately, they are expensive from $15-$20 each and possibly involve extra accessories (sippy lids for the kids). However, from what I can tell they do accomodate Avent lids which is a good thing, however you still need to purchase the "sippy adapter" which will run another $4 or so. I am trusting at this point that the Avent sippys I have are safe according to what I have read. By the way, these Klean Kanteen seem to be selling out all over the internet, but I still have a lot of trouble getting past the "K" spelling. I HATE when people do that.

These are undoubtedly the coolest and prettiest that I saw and seem to have a huge following of dedicated users. However, I found just a little too much controversy about the lining to be completely sold on this option. Just too ambiguous for me to buy for the kids (although the patterns are SO cute) since the manufacterer refuses to reveal the specifics of the liner while still maintaining it is completely safe. These will still run about $20 each anyway.

Those first two options were easy to find and are both very popular. Now, here are the ones that required a little hunting and, for all their apparent virtue, unfortunately have less reviews to determine long-term quality and customer satisfaction., they deserve a closer look!

These are also stainless steel with NO inner liner and come in really cute patterns. I was excited when I saw them because they seem to have the pros of both Klean Kanteen and Sigg bottles, and their own fabulous pro of being only $10-$13! They also carry "wrapz" (again "cute" spelling that drives me nuts) to insulate, grip, and further personalize the bottles for only $2.50. Each bottle includes a clip to carry it, which is a nice feature. My main concern is when looking it up I found virtually NO customer reviews, (presumably because the product is new). Also, the company seems to carry only

These are also stainless steel, come in different sizes and are reasonably priced at $10. I did read a few complaints on Amazon about the painted outside wearing off. Then there were other fans who had never had the problem. My response would be to purchase the solid stainless steel to avoid this possible issue. They also offer a 12 oz cup that looks identical to the small Klean Kanteen for kids, but without the option of sippy cup. I am trying to determine via e-mail to the company whether the sippy lids might still be compatibleThe reviews on Amazon were not as positive as those for Kleen Kanteen, however I'd rather buy two $10 bottles then one $20 so that I will have a back-up on at all times. I found these on clearance online for even less, and will send the link in anyone is interested. . The icing on the cake (for some people anyway) is these were recently featured on Oprah during Earth Week. I expect her only endorse quality products, so I'd definitely be willing to take the plunge.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Something extraordinary happened today. Well, several things actually. We woke up at 8:30 and heard complete silence. Normally I wake up around 7 to yelling or whining, but this time we crept in to find the girls were awake and cheerfully playing in their cribs! They never ever do that; so Happy Mother's Day to me! The other remarkable thing is that the girls spent like 20 minutes actually playing with their dolls. I guess they know how much I love dolls and how I have always tried to get them to play with dolls, and for once they decided to indulge my girley dreams for them! It's so funny how the littlest things can give me so much joy when it comes from those two little cuties!
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