Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.


It's that time of year again. Time for rushing and bustle and the hectic days. We made a conscious decision that our December would be one of purpose and thought. Our holiday this year will be overshadowed by the loss of my aunt to cancer and the final chapter of my grandfathers life. Dealing with loss, end of life issues and grieving at the holiday is sad. No one wants to go through loss and really no one wants to go through it at the holidays.

I'm trying to take something more away from the grieving process. I have a feeling that if I asked either of my family members what piece of advice they would give me it would sound something like "enjoy your family", "spend more time with the people you love" or "slow down and enjoy life." So that is my goal for this holy season.

I want to wake up every day and instead of thinking of how much I have to get done, I want to think of ways to enjoy my children, my husband, my family and my friends. When my live draws to a close I sincerely doubt I will be looking back on the Christmas cookies that did not get baked or the half-done wrapping job. I will remember the time spent with the people I love.

I wish you all a family filled, peaceful and purposeful December!

On the mend

It has been an unfortunately long few weeks in our house. When the leaves start to fall the noses in our house start to run. Little lungs start to cough and wheeze and the allergy medicine comes out. All of us are allergic to something and mold is at the top of the list. Just about the time that the allergies kicked up we all caught colds. The kids had a small cold that lasted just a couple days. I, on the other hand, coughed… for three long weeks. I slurped my halls and drank lots of water and gutted it out. It was not fun but it finally passed.

Then, after just a few days of feeling better, the cough came back, worse than ever. It started last Thursday as a little hack and by Friday I felt off. I let my Mom talk me into going to the Minute Clinic where I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and bronchitis. I was unaware I was running a 100 degree fever but the diagnosis seemed fine to me. I got a mild antibiotic, an inhaler and some cough suppressant tabs. The Nurse Practitioners final words on my way out was that were were "doing everything possible, so if I did't feel better I would have to wait it out at home." I went home, did my usual routine but the cough got worse.

Saturday left me feeling feverish and feeling pretty awful. I couldn't stop the cough. I wasn't eating, sleeping or getting any rest. Then came Sunday and I could barely get out of bed. The fever was up to almost 102. So despite the NP's advice we went to urgent care. The Nurse Practitioner there rolled her eyes at the medicines I was prescribed saying they were totally inappropriate. They gave me a breathing treatment while they assessed me. She confirmed the sinusitis and bronchitis but she felt like something else was not right. They did a chest x-ray and found pneumonia. Good thing we didn't listen to the 1st opinion.

So now I am on a much stronger antibiotic, an expectorate, inhaler, prednisone and OTC cough syrup. I am still on the mend but feeling wiped out and short of breath. It's amazing how much pneumonia can take it out of you. You hear people having it all the time and don't think much of it.

I write in part to remind all of us "doctor avoiders" that sometimes we need to follow our gut. When something feels off, it probably is. Glad I let family "strong arm" me into asking for help.


When I had the girls I vowed not to turn into an overscheduler. We live in the suburbs of Philadelphia and it seems like East Coasters feel the need to keep busy at every waking moment. I am an Easterner by birth but sometimes it seems like a little too much. So, as the girls have gotten older, we have put them in classes and activities and sports. It was gradual but some days I take a step back, look at our calendar and question if I turned into what I had wanted to avoid. The over scheduling Mom who needs to fill their every moment.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of sports and activities. I love that we can provide these things for our children. A very good friend of mine reminded me how important and valuable these things are to a child. She herself was not given the privilege and I know that was a disappointment for her. I just have to ask myself how much is too much?

Our original rule was one activity per "season". But then we added religious formation classes, a Lacrosse training program for Grace, Lego club after school, Brownies, basketball starting soon, classes at the library and on and on. I feel like I have to watch carefully and keep a finger on the pulse at all times. With school and homework and sports and activities kids don't have enough unscheduled play time. Time to think and create. Time to use their little imaginations. Isn't it my responsibility that they get to feed their minds in every way. I originally thought they would tell me when enough is enough but they don't. Their little brains want more and more every day. They crave business.

It's all part of the tight rope we walk as parents. We want to give them everything they need but also have to know when enough is enough. I am sure that I fail the tight rope test at least ten times a day. However, I am thankful it doesn't mean I have leave the circus. (And trust me, I am living in one big circus!)

An Oldy, but a goody

My Mom and Dad are in the long-avoided task of going through their attic. Inside those angled walls are years and years and years of memories (and dust). While they have the calamity of deciding what stays and goes I am reaping the benefit. I received an old box of letters and memories. Inside was an old birthday card with money STILL INSIDE! I also found my old "letters" from high school softball (the patches that go on a letterman jacket), my middle school glasses (epic!), some old baseball and football cards and my membership to the art museum (I loves it there in high school and college).

Aside from all the wonderful memories that can up with the dust, my kids are also benefiting. Some of the old toys that were hand made for my siblings and I as youngsters (by my Dad and Pop-Pop) are being reborn. In a world where kids have ipads and cell phones I was astonished that an old dusty hand built and painted castle/fortress would bring all three of them to the floor. The same castle I played with alongside my brother has been given new life.

It amazes me that my kids are as interested in learning from my history and memories as their own. It's all part of their story.

**Reminder - Go get those old albums out. It will keep them busy for HOURS!

So different

Recently I was weather treating all of the fall shoes and it occurred to me that it was a physical manifestation of just how different my twins are. Same womb. Same environment. And yet they could not be more different. 

It's not just how they dress or what colors they choose, it's how they experience the world. 

One is fearless and bold. One is more timid and cautious. (And I bet you don't know which is which.) One takes on ever moment with a smile and a laugh while the other has to think first. One loves nothing more than to run and leap and climb. While the other would prefer to read and watch. 

It's an amazing experience watching their personalities develop into the people they will be. The uniqueness of THEM is often highlighted by the comparison between them. I hear all the time that people has wished for twins. I usually jokingly say "no you didn't" but in reality I know just how lucky I am. 

What passes for normal in my house

Sometimes I look around and I am shocked by the level of weirdness that has taken over my house. It is not uncommon to cook dinner while wearing a super hero mask. 

It's normal to find the dog dressed as Thor. 

When I turn around I rarely see my little boy, instead I see Captain America. 

Or Iron Man. 

He even accompanies me on my morning walks. 

With a sword in hand to ward off Bad Guys. 

And we wonder where it comes from???

Helmets are optional but common. 

Just in case I guess. 

Not sure when my life got so weird but I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with the males in it. 

And when he isn't a super hero or a crack test dummy, he sometimes can be spotted as a garden gnome. 


I'm not sure if this is a regional thing or not but here in NJ there are several opportunities to go to Touch-A-Truck shows. Kids can sit in, touch, climb on and get close to a bunch of different kinds of cars, trucks and vehicles. We have been once before and the girls loved it but we thought Jack would have a blast.

I think Daddy might have enjoyed it as much as the littles. 

Grace of, course has not met a wall she didn't feel compelled to climb. 

My Little Box Troll

She has not yet seen the movie but somehow she felt very called to the life of a Box Troll. 
Somehow it suits her. 

She regularly falls over and can't get back up. 

Even the dog tries to help hoist her back to her little feet. 

She usually figures it out. 

So far so good

We are just a few weeks back into the school routine and it already feels like it has been months. The girls are loving their new teacher and the school did decide to keep them together again this year. They did largely because both girls are in inclusion. Abby is now getting twice a week OT and PT. She is doing really well. Her math, reading and writing are all out of this world. Grace is finished with speech but is still overseen by OT.

Mr. Jack is learning his shapes and letters. He has mastered colors and numbers already. I would love to take credit for those but he really just picked them up on his own. The kid is smart as a whip. Sometimes too much for his own good. He is in his own version of the terrible two's, which includes a lot of "no's" and plenty of tantrums. I guess by child #3 the tantrums don't get to you as much. Or maybe the fact that he isn't two two-year-olds... either way. :D

It's hard to believe that summer has come and gone. As someone who lives from Spring and Summer this time of year can be a bit of a struggle. I am however, quite happy in my work and being able to work from home. I love contributing and being able to put them on the bus every day. It's a more difficult juggling act than I can really explain adequately. But I refuse to take it for granted.

Back To School

Last Thursday was the kids first day back to school. I was expecting nerves but was pleased that the anxiety and nerves were very minimal.

And some old ones, just for fun!



About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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