Outdoor Maternity Photo Shoot

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

When I was 27 weeks pregnant my photographer, Carrie, did a lifestyle maternity photo shoot. She really wanted to capture my belly when I was bigger but we were afraid if we waited too long that I would have another pre-term delivery like I did with Blair.

Well, 35 weeks rolled around and I was still pregnant so we decided to capture me in all my round glory. :) I remember these photos were taken after my little stint in the hospital due to some pre-eclampsia symptoms and my ankles were crazy swollen. I was not dying to shower and "get beautiful" but I'm so glad I did now! Since that was my last pregnancy I am so glad we documented it. My belly was HUGE and I don't even recognize that body of mine. It's amazing how God created us and I'm so thankful I was able to carry these babies to term!

Flower crown by @juniperandmint.

Breakfast Date

Monday, October 24, 2016

Over the weekend I had a break down. While twin life is amazing in some ways it is also hard. Very hard.  And even though this time around my sob fests are fewer and more far between (thanks placenta pills!) M knew it would be good for me to get out of the house. 

At first he suggested a pedicure but then we thought that some time spent with just me and Blair would be good for both of us. I've been wanting to have special one-on-one time with her since many people have suggested it to make her transition easier. Turns out they were right...it really meant a lot to her. And OMG taking one 4.5 year old out to breakfast is LOVELY. I almost forgot how fun my pre-schooler was. Lately I feel like all I do is discipline her. "Shhh, no stomping! You'll wake the babies!" Or, "Stop shouting! You'll scare the babies!" And, "Be patient! I'm feeding the babies!" :( 

When we were at breakfast I didn't have to tell her to "stop" once. We went to a real restaurant, ate french toast and an omelet, and colored in her Finding Dory book. It was good for both of our souls. 

Our conversation flowed from talking about what she wants for Christmas (an RV for her Barbies), to the boy in her class named Patrick who she wants to marry, and how when she's older she wants to have three kids but only one at a time. ;) She truly is a precious sweet girl and I can see how dates like this are important for us. 

Twin Essentials

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lately I've had a few requests to do a post on items that I think are necessary for twin moms-to-be. My advice?

Get a nanny.

I realize that not everyone can do that or wants a stranger in their house but OMG it was the best decision we ever made. We worked it out in our budget and decided my sanity was worth every penny. I'm so much happier knowing that my laundry is done, the dishes are clean, and that someone can take/pick Blair up from school. The added bonus is that we have become friends and she even lets me talk her ear off about sleep training! Ha ha I should be paying her extra for that...

Aside from getting help here are some other items that have been super helpful with twins.

1. My brestfriend nursing pillow- this is the mother of all nursing pillows. It clips in the back for added back support and it has a pocket for your phone and water bottle.

2. The double boppy nursing pillow- so I didn't even know this was a nursing pillow. I thought it was just a place for the twins to hang out. After googling it I realized you can nurse with it AND use it as a place to rest the babes when they are done eating.

3. Double monitor- it doesn't really matter which monitor you get but I like to see each baby perfectly in their crib. Having a monitor with two cameras allows me to get a closer look at their little faces.

4. Weego double twin carrier- this carrier is actually crap. But it's the only twin carrier on the market and does help us. Typically M takes both babies on a walk in the weego to give me a break. Otherwise we carry them individually but you need two people for that. Like I said....get a nanny!

5. Dockatot- I love the dockatots. It is a great place for the twins to hang out after I feed them. I lay them down in it and they look out the window while I change and burp the other one.

6. Swings- We have two swings because one used to be at my mom's house for when Blair was a baby. I'm sure some people get by with one but it has been really helpful to have two. Babies usually love swings and this gives my back some relief.

7. The City Select stroller- This is one of the only strollers on the market that allows for two car seats to attach. So far I have really liked it!

I hope this list helps you twin mamas-to-be! For lack of a better phrase.... shit's about to get real. Now GO! Find that nanny! ;)

Fresh 48: Cal and Evie

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I will never forget my labor and delivery experience with the twins (You can read about it HERE). My friend Carrie took photos 48 hours after the twins were born since she was not allowed in the OR where they were delivered. I will cherish these forever! 

Baby Wise (ish) at Two months

Monday, October 17, 2016

I hope you had a great weekend! We went on our first date since the babies have been born... FREEDOM! For a while we contemplated running away to Mexico but decided against it. ;) Instead we went to our favorite sushi spot (since I can eat it now) and took my engagement ring to the jeweler to be resized. Exciting stuff right there. ;)

When we got back my brother's girlfriend said, "Man three kids is a lot of work, Now I know why you say this is so hard." Finally! Someone who understands! :)

Moving on.

Before I jump into the next topic I have to throw in a disclaimer. I know that sleep training, vaccines, discipline, etc. are all topics that people get opinionated over. Can we all just agree that as mamas we are all doing what we feel is best for our kids? I'm not down with mom-shaming so if you don't have anything nice to say then please keep it to yourself. I'm doing what I have decided is best for my twins and I would appreciate only encouragement! Being a mom (especially a mom to twins) is hard enough without criticism!

With that said, we started sleep training this weekend. We did this with Blair and were successful with it and it has really benefited our whole family.

Matt and I thought long and hard about keeping the twins in the same room or not. We have the space to separate them and knew we were planning on doing that eventually anyway. So, we decided to bite the bullet and do it.


Now at bed time I don't fret (as much) over one waking the other. Everly always has to fuss before she falls asleep whereas Cal doesn't. She was constantly waking him up which would frustrate the daylights out of M and me. One crying baby is hard enough, we don't need two!

Also, now that they are separated, when one wakes too early for the day we let them fuss/self soothe themselves back down. For example, yesterday morning Everly woke at 6:10 am (no thanks) so we let her fuss and she was back asleep 5 minutes later till 7:30! If they were in the same room then Cal would have woken up too, and he's not quite as good at putting himself back down like she is.

Nights at our house aren't too terrible, (usually) knock on wood. The twins either wake once or twice. When one wakes to nurse I always get the other one up for my sanity so I'm not nursing all night long. Unless one wakes too early...then they need to go back to sleep.

We start our bedtime routine at 7 or 7:30 and they are typically in their beds by 8:30. I give them a 2 ounce bottle of my best friend's breast milk (she has a TON) and then nurse them afterwards. They drain me every time. We do this so that the twins continue to practice taking a bottle and don't eventually refuse it. Plus, a little extra milk at night never hurt anyone. ;)

Someone usually wakes around 2 am so we change and feed them both. Then I let them get up for the day around 7 or 7:30. Of course this is best case scenario and doesn't happen every night. Sometimes they are up every four hours. But, again, now that they are in their own rooms and can cry without waking the other one this might change. Before we were running in to pick up the crying baby before they woke the other one and wearing them in a front pack till it was time to eat. No fun.

Daytime naps are a struggle. They were with Blair too. I know that nighttime sleep usually comes before daytime sleep so I am trying to be patient. Everly has seemed to figure it out quicker than Cal but I say that loosely. We wait till they show us tired cues and then take them upstairs and lay them down drowsy but awake in their own beds.

Everly usually fusses a bit and then will sleep. If she does wake up then she is more capable of finding her hands and soothing herself back down.

Cal will be content in his crib for a while and then will start fussing. We go in and soothe him after a few minutes and then eventually he puts himself down. He throws quite a fit though before he gives in.

For now they are getting better at self soothing and crying less and less every nap. I've only been doing this one day and I already see progress (thank goodness!). My doctor told me it could take as long as a week and that sleep training is always harder on the parents.

My pediatrician told us that she used Baby Wise and thinks that it is the best thing. She was very encouraging and reassuring. I trust her and I trust our past experience so we are continuing to persevere. It is difficult now but I know that we will benefit in the long run. I'm trying to think big picture here!

And as I currently type this I have my eyes glued to their monitors and am jotting down every time they fuss and/or self soothe back down. Sigh. M says I must enjoy torturing myself. This is all temporary though, right?!

Annnnnd I never have to sleep train a baby again so I may as well enjoy it. ;)

Oh. And in the meantime Blair has decided to put herself to bed for naps. Ha ha there's light at the end of the tunnel!

PS If you are still reading this you must either A. Have twins also or B. Have an incredibly boring job.


Calvin and Everly: Newborn Session Part 3

Friday, October 14, 2016

*Come see if you were the winner of the SwaddleDesigns zzZipMe Sack HERE!

Since I sent out the twins' birth announcements earlier this week I can now post the rest of their pictures from their newborn session with Carrie Johnson Photography. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Cal and Evie's Birth Announcements by Tiny Prints

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Getting mail is one of my favorite things. I especially love getting pictures of all my friends' squishy babies! I teamed up with Tiny Prints to put together the twins' birth announcement and I just love how they turned out!

 I chose a simple template so all the attention would be focused on them (naturally!). I love that Tiny Prints has so many options for twin announcements too. I was able to customize everything I needed to for my announcement including the font style, color, the shape of the card, and more!

One of my favorite features that Tiny Prints offers is the envelope liner. You can chose a coordinating print to line your envelope or you can personalize it even more with your own photo! Of course I took the opportunity to include one more cute picture of the twins. :)

Thanks Tiny Prints for the beautiful announcements! We will cherish these forever and I can't wait to add them to the twins' baby book!

*photos by Carrie Johnson Photography