Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I am so happy to be celebrating my first "real" Mother's Day as a mom to my twins. One year ago today, I announced that I was pregnant with them and now I get to cuddle them and reflect on everything I had to do to get Boston and Lyla here in my arms. 

But Mother's Day isn't all about celebrating yourself and all the work you have to do as a mom. It's about celebrating the wonderful women in your life. I looked up definitions of mother and I really like this one I found: "one who looks after kindly and protectively." I've been fortunate to have many wonderful women in my life that look after me.
 
  • She is one of the many women that have touched my life for good. Taught me, supported me, fought for me.
  • She is my life-long family friend that would drop everything just to help me with my high school math homework.
  • She is my best friend's mom that fed me, helped me, and treated me as her own.
  • She is my childhood Sunday school teacher that still cares for me and follows my life.
  • She is my friend. Whether an experienced mom, first time mom, soon to be mom, or someday mom.
  • She is my grandma. The only one I got to meet and is now watching me from above. 
  • She is my sister. The best aunt in the world because she treats her nephews and nieces just as lovingly as her own.
  •  She is my birth mother, the best of them all because she sacrificed and continues to sacrifice everything for me and my family. She exceeds her calling as a mother by being the best grandma I could ever ask for to my children. It's no coincidence her name is Grace. 
Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women in my life. Your don't have to bare a child to be a mom. If you have cared for another with unconditional love, celebrate this special day because you have a mother's heart. 

I love you mom!



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thoughts On Exclusively Pumping

First off, happy half-birthday to my cute little twins! Boston and Lyla are 6 months old! I can't believe they've blessed my life for already half a year! They LOVE bananas, Boston loves to roll around, and Lyla has become the binky thief!



Before I had the twins I planned on just nursing them. That's what you do when you have babies right? Just nurse. Just. Ha. While in the hospital I would try to nurse Lyla but she wouldn't nurse long enough and wasn't gaining enough weight. Boston was having a difficult time nursing too. I was told to pump for 10 minutes after each time I nursed but that usually got lost in the hustle and bustle of juggling two babies that were 3 floors apart. When we got discharged I was so overwhelmed with family being around wanting to hold them that I would just go in the other room to pump so they could be held instead of trying to nurse them. It was a downward spiral from the beginning between having two very sleepy and tiny babies that weren't interested in nursing and not understanding the discipline it took. So I became one of those exclusive pumpers. Yeah thats a thing. It's not widely known and there are not many resources on the topic. When my milk really started to come in I wasn't worried at all. Then a week later it seemed like my milk production was going down the drain. I spoke with a lactation consultant and she suggested a few tricks. Ever since then I take fenugreek every day, I eat oatmeal twice a day, drink Mother's Milk Tea, make lactation cookies (my favorite recipe is here), and try to drink lots of water. Ever since then it's been a battle to keep up enough supply to feed two babies. I set a goal to exclusively give the twins breast milk for 6 months, which meant a lot a lot a lot of pumping. Every now and then I would try to nurse them again, but it never really worked out. Plus can you imagine nursing two babies at once? It's hard!

Well, I made it to my goal. I have exclusively pumped for 6 months. I spend a minimum of 5 1/2 hours sitting and pumping a day. For me it takes a full hour to pump enough for 1 feeding for the twins. I'm not a pumping supermom, but I'm trying my hardest so my babies can eat what's best for them. People have judged me, others have applauded me, but the truth is I'm pretty exhausted. My pumping "schedule" (currently every 4 hours, except for at night) dictates what I can and can't do each day...where I can go, how long I can be out for. Part of me wants to quit since I reached my goal, and the other part of me thinks, "I've made it this far, what's six more months?" I know there are so many mothers out there that wish they could give their baby breast milk but are unable to. Since I am able to I feel like I should and that I need to keep going. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do moving forward. My mom nursed me for 2 years! There's no way I could ever make it that long, but I'm happy I made it to 6 months. If I can have more children I will definitely try again to nurse, but I don't think I will ever exclusively pump again. I have spent enough time with the constant sound of "ehh err ehh err". Exclusively pumping is hard. It takes a lot of planning ahead. I can't do things on the fly. I can't just go to the mall and whip out a boob when they're hungry. It's exhausting, time consuming, restricting, but I think I should be proud of myself for trying to do what's best for my little ones.

If you have any questions about exclusively pumping feel free to contact me!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Favorite Bedtime Songs

We finally have a good little routine going at bedtime! The babies go down at 9pm each night. First I change their diapers and tuck them into their zipadee-zips (it totally makes them look like they have penguin wings. It's hilarious), then I put them down in their crib and give them their bottles while I sing along to our favorite bedtime songs. Eventually I leave the room and let the songs play on repeat until they fall asleep. I think it would be cool to eventually record me singing these songs, but I cannot find the instrumental versions nor do I have a few hours of complete silence. Either way, I hope these are songs they will treasure forever!

Golden Slumbers sung by Mindy Gledhill
I used to be obsessed with The Beatles so I love this song and I especially love Mindy Gledhill's version of it. 



Child of Light - Mindy Gledhill



More Than the World - Mindy Gledhill
Okay...I really like Mindy's voice and how calming it is. Nice and peaceful to fall asleep to!


Dream - Priscilla Ahn



You'll Be In My Heart - Celtic Woman
I would sing this song to Boston and Lyla just after they were born. My hormones were crazy and I would just bawl my eyes out singing it to them. Love this version.


Sometimes I read to them too if they're not acting sleepy or I'll sing primary songs like "I Am a Child of God" and "A Child's Prayer". Such precious moments!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Very Very Overdue Update

I have started this post like four different times, but never finished.

The first time was back in January:
I have the whole world right here beside me. Everyone is asleep but I'm staying up to pump. I've got my husband's hand in mine and two precious babies snuggled up next to me. Tonight I was going to start transitioning them to their crib in their own room, but when it came time to go to bed I couldn't do it. I love sharing my bed with them. Go ahead and judge me, but I love cosleeping. I love waking up to their smiles, cuddling them, freeing them from their swaddle wraps in the morning and seeing their little arms and legs stretch about. (Lyla loves her wrap. She gets all giddy when we put her in it at night!) I still want to start training them to sleep on their own in their crib, especially since now is the time to end habits you don't want to continue for the next several months, but I just need a few more nights with my little babies. Gosh they grow up so fast. I love it and can't stand it at the same time. It's amazing to see them grow and develop, but sometimes I want to go back to holding my little 5lb babies.

Obviously I haven't blogged in awhile. The twins are now 3 months old! I have been enjoying this precious time, but I've missed making updates on the twins. This blog is basically my journal, so if I'm not blogging I'm not writing things down about my babies. So it's my goal to get back in the swing of things and to keep blogging on here! I think the mess with the plagiarizer is done. I don't think it will happen again and I've been taking more precautionary measures.

Now fast forward to February:
The other night Chris wasn't feeling well so he went to bed really early. The babies and I aren't used to going to bed at that time so we just hung out. It got to a point where I didn't want to wake Chris up so I thought I'd try having the babies sleep in the crib in their own room. Well guess what?! They slept through the entire night in their CRIB! Ahhh! I slept in the room with them just in case but they never even stirred. Gosh I adore them. They have been sleeping through the night since about 2 and 1/2 months, but I didn't think they would on the first night in their crib. Last night they slept in their crib without me in the room. I was actually super happy to go to bed. Our room was "our" room again! I still miss snuggling with them, but this is for the best. I am so thankful for these cuties. I'm sure it helps them to have their brother/sister snuggled right by their side.

Skip a couple days:
I am SO tired! The first two nights with the babies in their crib went flawlessly. And then it became miserable. Boston and Lyla realized what was going on and didn't want any of it. They cry all night and make me one very exhausted mama. They are coming back into our room just for my sanity and much needed sleep.

A little bit later in February:
Boston giggled for me today! It was such an amazing moment. Talk about mama pride. And Lyla has been "talking" a bunch. She can get hot tamale mad very quickly, but she sure is cute. We were saying family prayer the other night and she was just making the most adorable little noises....I guess she likes to pray! There has been so much joy in my life since having these two. I absolutely LOVE being a mom. I'm so happy I finally have my dream job.

And now to present time (March):
Well, the twins are officially in their own room for good. I'm not giving in this time! Some nights are great, others not so much. It takes 30 days to form a habit right?

Boston and Lyla are doing splendid. They are starting to play with toys and interact more and more each day. At their 4 month doctor's appointment a few weeks ago Boston weighed 11lbs 12oz and was 24in long. He's only in the 10th percentile for his weight so I need to beef him up! Lyla weighed 11lbs 7oz and was just over 23in long. She was in the 15th percentile for weight. They both took their shots like champs. Even though they're still small, they are getting so big.

Anyway, I wanted to do a quick update of the last couple months before hopefully getting back in the habit of regular posts. What sort of things do you want to read about? I'm trying to find my voice again after not blogging in months. I've just been busy...you know, being a mom!


And here are some Valentine's Day pictures I took!




Friday, November 21, 2014

I Have One Month Olds!

The past month has been some of the longest and shortest days of my life. I have one month old twins! How can that be?

After we got home from the hospital I was so emotional that I would cry every night as I would sing to them and think about how fast they're going to grow up. Have you heard Taylor Swift's song "Never Grow Up"? Yeah don't sing that to your newborns if you don't want waterfalls coming out of your eyes. After giving birth your hormones go crazy. Luckily I was never a "crazy pregnant lady" nor was I crazy after birth. I just cried A LOT. Not sad tears, HAPPY tears! I was so happy to be holding my babies after everything we went through to get pregnant. I would cry and cry because I just loved them so much.



Chris was extremely fortunate to have a two week paternity leave. We stayed at home all day and just held our little ones. We didn't have to worry about anything. Chris and I simply got to enjoy our babies all day for two whole weeks. I refer to this as the "honeymoon" stage because everything was simple, magical, and full of love. Plus sleep deprivation hadn't hit us yet. 

Then life hits.

After Chris returned to work every weekday since has been challenging. Nothing can prepare you for twins, especially when you're home alone with them all day. The hardest thing for me is choosing one baby's need over the other's because you can't tend to them at the same time. Then if you have a need at the same time as both babies you're in for it! I recall one night almost peeing my pants because my hands were full with the twins. Or I would forget to eat until the afternoon because I'm constantly feeding them instead. I'm learning how hard it is to try and take care of myself when I'm trying to take care of two newborns. I've had to place squeezing in a meal as a high priority otherwise I'm too busy and forget to eat, which is bad because I'm literally skin and bone right now. I lost 30lbs in two weeks, much to the concern of my doctor. I am constantly hungry because of breastfeeding/pumping but I'm not gaining any weight. Thankfully that's not the case for Boston and Lyla. They have been gaining the necessary weight like champs.


It's completely true when you think you'll raise your kids a certain way and then you have them and realize that was only wishful thinking. Take for example sleeping arrangements. We have a pack 'n play with a bassinet top for their bed. Well, they HATE it. To them it's an awful prison that only gives them reason to cry. So now we co-sleep in our king size bed...something that terrifies me and thought I would never do. We've finally found an arrangement as safe as possible for them and it works a million times better because they love sleeping on our bed. You'll do anything for a few extra minutes of sleep, trust me.



I've learned a lot this past month:

  • Nothing can prepare you for twins. Nothing. 
  • Get them on a schedule! I finally got them on a good schedule around 3 weeks. It will save your life. It's advised to feed on demand, but with twins it just doesn't work that way. 
  • Have your husband take as many days off work as possible after they're born. Having Chris home was not only extremely helpful, but it was wonderful family bonding time.
  • Accept meals like crazy. When I felt like I was done recovering it seemed silly to accept meals, but then I tried cooking dinner with two little babies. It's impossible by yourself. Accept those meals! (Huge thank you to everyone that brought us dinner!)
  • Breastfeeding can be super stressful, but you can do it. I'll be writing a post about this later.
  • You will feel like you will never leave the house again. I finally insisted on a date night even though I was super reluctant to leave my babies. It was exactly what I needed to realize life will turn back to normal...eventually. 
  • No other babies are as cute as your own.
  • Your heart will love like it's never loved before. Not only has my heart grown exponentially for these babies each passing day, but it also grows each day for my husband as I watch him be a daddy. 
  • Having twins is the most difficult BEST job in the world!

Anyway, I'm frantically searching for the pause button. Anyone seen it? These babies are growing too fast and I need to stop time.




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