Monday, February 20, 2017

These twins are loved!

Some of my friends here threw a diaper shower for the twins, and it was the sweetest! It was a huge blessing to be surrounded by people who love not only me, but my family as well. They each brought a box of diapers, which will be amazingly helpful, but the best part was that they each prayed over these babies. 

It was a special night, as I was reminded of and so thankful for God's faithfulness. I remember moving here, feeling lonely and praying quite often to God for good friendships, and it was so sweet to see the fulfillment of that prayer all sitting around the room with me. The saying, "it takes a village" to raise children is true, and I am so glad to have such a great one! So many people have offered help in numerous ways already as our family grows. 

Twins, you are already so deeply loved, by your Heavenly Father, and by many family and friends too. Can't wait to meet you!

So grateful for good friends!

So glad that my mom was able to be there as well!

Norah loved the balloons afterwards!

Friday, February 17, 2017

We love having visitors!

We've had a lot of visitors recently (friends from college and all our siblings but one), and it's been very fun! It's nice to see them all again once more before the twins come. This past weekend we had my brother, Keaton, sister-in-law, Rose, and sister, Karlie here visiting us. The indoor pool is becoming a favorite winter activity, and Norah was very excited to hit it up again with her aunts and uncle!

Waterslide with Aunt Karlie.

My favorite picture!

Waterslide with Uncle Keaton.

Chatting it up with the boys.

Norah has the best Daddy!

Thanks for coming to visit us guys! We love you very much and are very grateful that our siblings are some of our best friends!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Twins- Third Trimester #2.

We are so thankful for a healthy pregnancy! I am very grateful to not be on bed rest and that the babies are growing well. We don't have a ton to report, which is good. Can't believe they will be here so soon! Can't wait to see their faces and find out genders!

30 weeks

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

We had another ultrasound at 33.5 weeks, and they couldn't get very good pictures because they are bigger and were moving or turned away, but they could tell that both have hair! Both heartbeats were strong and both measured 5 lbs. 5 oz. Good sizes! We did schedule our c section, but we are keeping the date a secret. 

Baby B (They couldn't get one of Baby A because he/she was facing backward.)

Only a few more weeks and then we'll be parents of THREE! Can't wait to meet our babies!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Norah recently 2/10/17.

We have been trying hard to treasure up these moments as just the three of us before we very soon become the five of us- can't believe it! I had an inner bucket list in my head of wanting to do all these fun things with Norah before the twins come, and I think we've done a pretty good job. In the last few months we have visited our local Kid's Gym, the bakery for donuts, Chuck E. Cheese's, the indoor pool (including going once at night so Daddy could come and take Norah down the big waterslides!), and had lots of playdates and trips to her regular favorites like Kindermusik class and the Babygarten class at the library.

I mentioned that Norah transitioned to her big girl room/bed in my last update, and that is still going very well! She likes her room and enjoys showing it off to anyone who will look. She sleeps well in it and stays put, which we are so thankful for. Her latest big change was potty training! She has now been potty trained for about a month. It was exhausting for a few days, but so worth it and we are proud of how well she is doing! We started off naked, then loose pants, then added underwear last, and I'd recommend that method. She is now in full time underwear, even for naps. She still wears a diaper to bed at night, but has been dry about half the time now and sometimes wakes up in the night to go to the bathroom. She does pretty well with saying when she needs to go, but still needs reminders sometimes (because when she says she needs to go she needs to get there quickly!). We are very glad she picked up on it rather quickly and that we got it done before the twins arrival. She has Minnie underwear and loves them!

Norah is excited for the twins to come and understands that there are two babies in my belly, as much as a two year old can. She has enjoyed getting baby things out and will say hello to them in my belly and says that she wants them to come out so she can rock them. She's still learning about genders, so when people ask if she wants sisters or brothers, she usually just offers a blank stare. She doesn't really understand naming yet either (she still calls all of her dolls "baby"), but her suggestions so far have been, "mama and daddy," "Kley and Kelsey," "sister and brother," and "Samuel," who is a boy in her music class.

Norah is getting really good at retelling stories and remembers quite a bit of detail. She sings many songs and can "read" several of her favorite books pretty accurately. She still counts to 13 and then keeps repeating, and still spells her name NORH. We have been working on tracing some letters and learning a letter each week. She is getting better with colors, but still mixes them up. She used to say that everything was red, and now says most things are blue, but will occasionally throw in other colors. Her favorite color is blue and she almost always chooses blue when coloring/painting. She knows a good amount of shapes- circle, oval, square, diamond, star, and heart. She would never do this in public, but at home she likes to sing into Kley's microphones and will sing quite loudly. Kley has taught her a lot about music, and she can identify several different instruments, even by their sound on the radio.

She recently went to the dentist and did very well! She was scared but handled it bravely and didn't cry. All of her two year old molars are in now. For awhile, three were coming in and the fourth one was slow. A few months ago, she complained for a couple days about her mouth hurting before they ever popped, but that was it and she's never complained again.

A new favorite game is hide and seek, and she's understanding the two different roles and thinks it's so funny. She now smiles on command for the camera and even looks, though not every single time. It's a fake, cheesy smile, but still adorable. She says that her best friend is Ainsley (a friend we babysit a few days a week). Just recently they've started to fight a bit more, but for the most part they get along really well and she loves it when she comes over. She understands/repeats so much- you really have to be careful what you say in front of her, both in good ways and bad. She will repeat you, and also you can't talk about anything fun or exciting unless it's going to happen, because she remembers. Like when we went swimming with Daddy, I had commented at the pool a couple weeks before that it would be fun to come back sometime with him, and she brought it up numerous times for weeks about wanting to do that. She remembers things from weeks/months ago and will bring it up in conversation. She is an excellent communicator, and many people have commented on that. She usually speaks pretty clearly and I very rarely have times I don't know what she is saying. She regularly speaks in 5+ word sentences, and I've even counted a few 7 word sentences.

She doesn't throw a huge amount of tantrums, but when she does she gets pretty upset. Thankfully, they are usually fairly short lived and at home just for us, and she will bring it up matter of factly latter like, "I was crying about ___" with a funny look on her face like she doesn't know what got into her. For the most part, she is a great listener and follows directions well. She loves to help with things (literally even scrubbing toilets; she likes to clean), and is good at cleaning up her toys. Her favorite things are her doctor kit, Bitty Babies, making eggs and coffee/tea in her play kitchen, brushing her hair and mine, Kindermusik, Kid's Gym, trampoline, watching youtube videos on the Ipad, watercolor painting, and helping me bake/cook (especially mixing things). She's sneaky and cute about what she wants and when she wants to jump on the trampoline or watch the Ipad she will ask "for just a couple minutes." She does this with stalling her bedtime routine too when asking for her "you make me happy when skies are gray" song again, a prayer from each of us (in addition to the one we already said when reading her Bible story), a hug, kiss, back rub, and massage (yes, both a back rub AND a massage). It's pretty cute though, and how can we say no to extra prayers and kisses?

Norah, you are a light in our lives and we love you so much!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My most favorite baby items.

I've been asked recently by new expecting moms what the "must have" items on their registry are, so I thought I should post about my all time, most favorite baby items that I would tell any first time mom they should definitely get. It's been fun to pull these things out again as we are prepping for the twins! Here they are! (These are all my own opinions.)

1. Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat- I absolutely love this seat and Norah used it for a long time- from when she could hold her head up/sit up with support all the way until just after her first birthday. I personally like it much better than the Bumbo seats because it offers more 360 degree support and lasts much longer. (As soon as Norah's feet could touch the ground and she was more mobile, she could tip the Bumbo over, but she could never do that in this chair.) They also have different fabric patterns too.

2. Ikea Antilop High Chair- This high chair is only $20, which is amazing. The tray and legs can come off for smaller storage if you'd like. (It's not super smooth to remove, but can be done, but the only time we've ever had to do it was when a friend borrowed it.) We didn't use this seat until after Norah turned one, so I don't know exactly how it works with younger babies, but I was so sick of cleaning the pads of her other high chair after every meal once she started self feeding. This one is my favorite for the price, durability, and easiness to clean. 

3. Fisher Price Rock 'n' Play Sleeper- Norah used this daily for the first several months of her life for naps. She even slept it at night for the first three months (which you aren't technically supposed to do, but we were in our apartment/moving and didn't have a crib yet). It's nice that it folds in half for skinnier storage, and it's pretty portable, so I would move it sometimes to whatever room I was in. They have many different fabric patterns to, and a vibration setting, and even the newest models can rock themselves. 

4. Boppy Changing Pad Liners- These are great for putting on top of your full sized changing pad liner. Newborns have a great tendency to poop/pee while being changed, and this usually can catch it, so you can just wash this liner instead of the whole pad. Along with these, make sure you have Clorox Bleach Pens for those blow out diapers!

5. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter- If you are a nursing and/or pumping mom, I would highly recommend this. I used it daily. I loved that it was lanolin free (a main ingredient in most other nipple creams), because I think lanolin is very sticky, and this was much smoother.

6. Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets- These blankets are great for sticking in the diaper bag. You can use them for a lightweight swaddle, for baby to lay down on, a light car seat cover, burp rag, nursing cover (before baby is big enough to pull/kick it off). We used them often! They have many different design choices too.

7. Halo Sleep Sacks- I wish I would have discovered these sooner than I did, but Norah has been wearing them for a long time, and still even naps in one. They run sizes S-XL and even make a Big Kids kind (in sizes 2/3 and 4/5) that have feet holes in them. Norah never liked to be swaddled when she was a newborn (she wanted her arms free), so these kind were perfect. They do make some that have a wrap around velcro to swaddle the arms in, but these kind are our favorite. It made me feel much safer that she was warm, but not covered by a blanket that she could move over her face. 

8. Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser- This is another favorite diaper bag item- so small and so helpful. These bags are great for when you have a dirty/wet outfit you don't want to get all over everything, and especially for disposing of poopy diapers when you are at a friend's house (or a place you don't want to stink up the trash). They also sell just the refill rolls too.

9. Skip Hop Waterproof Outdoor Convertible Blanket- We got this for Norah's first Christmas, and it's so nice to have. It's perfect for just playing in the yard, outings to the park, picnics, parades, etc. It zips up into a small square with a strap for carrying, but folds out into a decent sized waterproof blanket. It's super easy to throw into the wash, but it's nice that it's wipeable and so things don't stick to it like a regular blanket.

10. OXO Bath Toy Bin- This is kind of silly, because it's not like an absolute must have, but I really like this bin for the shower to store all the bath toys. It's nice because it's large enough but not too large, has a wide opening, holes at the bottom to drain water, and ours has never once fallen off the wall.

11. Trend Lab Fleece CribWrap Rail Cover- This was a life saver for when Norah started biting on the crib. My only regret was not putting it on sooner. As soon as she could pull herself up she started biting the crib, and by the time I could order this and have it arrive, she'd left many bite marks already, but it's a great protector! I would recommend putting it on before your baby can even stand in the crib, so your crib is protected before they even can start biting it. They also made a narrow version that's skinnier, and shorter versions for the sides, with different colors too.

12. Baby Jogger City Mini GT Stroller- This is the stroller we had for Norah, and we absolutely love it. The sun shade is great and is much more covering than other strollers. The wheels are great quality and are actual tire material, so they are so smooth to push. The seat can recline all the way back so they can lay down/nap too. The only thing I wish was that the bottom storage hole was slightly larger, but other than that it's perfect. For the amount we use a stroller, investing in a quality one was definitely worth it. I also love the Britax Stroller Organizer and the Mommy Hook.

13. I have had several different diaper bags, but my favorites have been the Skip Hop Versa,

and the Lily Jade Rosie.

14. I'm sure there are also many great activity mats, walker toys, activity tables, and jumper stations, but we have and love the Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Mat,

Bright Starts Havin' A Ball Activity Table (which is now discontinued),

What are your favorite baby items?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Happy Valentines Day 2017!

Happy Valentines Day from Norah!