Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Recent reads 1/30/18.

Here are a few books I've read recently. I have a long book list that only continues to grow, so I doubt I'll ever catch up (especially in this season of life), but I do love reading when I get the chance. If you've read any good books lately, let me know! I love hearing good reviews, and I get the majority of the titles on my list from other's recommendations.

Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley- I was excited to read this book, because I had heard good things about it, and know many people who have loved her Simplified Planners. My MIL gave it to me, and it was a good read. The author has 3 kids (a single and then twins, just like us), and it's about offering yourself grace and talks about her journey towards balancing/simplifying/prioritizing her life, relationships, motherhood, job, pursuing dreams, etc. She offers lots of great tips and ideas for staying organized and little things to try to make your days run smoother. She has a new book out that I want to read too!

Simply Tuesdays: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Paced World by Emily P. Freeman- I heard many good recommendations for this book also when it came out (it came out in 2015, so I'm only 3 years behind, ha), so I had been wanting to read it for awhile, and I was excited to get it for Christmas. (Just to be clear, I received this for Christmas in 2016, but it's read, people! Got it done.) It has similar tones to the previous book, in that it talks about slowing down and embracing the small moments, even though the world tells you to move faster. Ordinary moments happen in the everyday Tuesdays, and we need to slow down and embrace, like Jesus did. She talks about being more compassionate, living in the moments now where God has you, and finding contentment.

Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship by Melanie Shankle- I have read this book about marriage and this book about motherhood by her as well, so I think that speaks pretty well of her that I was willing to read a third! This book is about friendship. She shares a lot of memories and stories from her own personal friendships. It's an entertaining, light, funny read and she writes in a really personable style. It's a beautiful reminder of how precious and necessary true friends are! What a gift.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lucy and Ellory- Eleven Months.

Lucy and Ellory are 11 months! It's so fun to watch them grow and develop. Hearing mama and dada, seeing them stand and move all around, and laugh/smile are such precious moments! So thankful for these great babies!

Stats/Doctor visits: Ellory and Lucy both had colds for awhile, but Ellory seemed much worse. After two nights of not sleeping well and a raspy sounding cough, she went to the doctor on 1/16 and had an ear infection and RSV. Poor baby! She was on antibiotics and nebulizer treatments. The doctor said we could give the nebulizer treatments to Lucy too, depending on how she sounds, and we did some and I think it helped, because she never got as bad as Ellory thankfully. She had a slight fever, was more lethargic, diarrhea, and lack of appetite, but was in good spirits mostly! She weighed 19 lbs 6 oz. Lucy went to the doctor on 1/23 with a slight fever, lack of appetite, diarrhea, not sleeping well/pulling on her right ear, but they said everything checked out okay- no ear infection or influenza. They said the probably had RSV since Ellory did, but her lungs and breathing sounded okay. She weighed 16 lbs 13 oz.

Teeth: Ellory got her 7th tooth, her bottom right lateral incisor, on 1/8 (45 weeks). She also got her 8th tooth, her bottom left lateral incisor, on 1/16 (46 weeks).

Feeding: Both girls are good eaters! Both didn't care for food for a few days when they were sick, but overall they are both doing great! They are still eating purees for the majority of their real food content, but also eat soft pieces of things like bananas, pears, cantaloupe, bread, muffins, cooked carrots, avocado, and noodles. They are still huge fans of puffs! They also started practicing with sippy cups of water at 45 weeks. They don't really get the tipping it up part yet, but they have fun trying. They still nurse 4 times a day (well, one of those is a 7 oz. bottle), and still have another 4 oz. bottle after the nighttime nursing session before bed. They have baby food twice a day, along with a few “snacks” of soft things when we eat too.

Diapers/clothes: Wearing size 3 diapers and switched to 12 month/12-18 month clothes on 1/11 at 46 weeks. Fun to have a new wardrobe!

Sleeping: Sleeping habits have been about the same as past months- yay for good sleepers! They sleep all night (but sometimes have a hard time falling asleep or wake up when feeling sick) from about 10:45, then nurse in the morning and go back to sleep until about 10. They take a good afternoon nap from about 1:45-4:15 and an evening shorter nap from about 7-8. Some mornings they've been sleeping until 10:30 and the evening nap has been longer than it used to be, but I think that's because they've been under the weather for most of the month.
Words: Ellory says mama and dada a lot (dada the most), and says them pretty consistently. She also says baba a lot. Lucy has said mama and dada a few times, and likes to say gaga and baba too.

Developments: Lucy had her first hair cut on 1/7 (45 weeks). She had some wispy pieces and it was longer on the sides than in the back, so Amma (grandma), just trimmed it a bit. Both girls are active movers now and love to crawl around and pull themselves up on things and walk along them for a few steps. Both can stand for a couple seconds by themselves, but Lucy does it more often. Lucy loves to wrestle (as much as a baby can). It's fun to watch their fine motor skills develop and watch them reach for certain things and try to do a specific action. Both girls now realize when something gets taken from them or they can't do something they want. Lucy likes to throw her head back when she's mad. Both girls will crawl over to you and reach their hands up when they want to be picked up and it's the sweetest. They are starting to sit somewhat still and pay attention to a couple books. Ellory shakes when she gets excited and Lucy bounces up and down on her knees.

Favorites: Both girls enjoy taking baths and going for walks (when it's not completely freezing out!). They love exploring and playing with anything and everything. Lucy is a daddy's girl and gets so excited when he comes home. Lucy loves to climb on top of the dishwasher when it's open and pull stuff out. Ellory loves to sneak in Norah's room when the door gets left open to play with her dollhouse. Ellory loves soft things, like those little taggy blankets. Both girls love their big sister Norah, and she has the greatest ability to make them laugh (especially Lucy). We love you so much, Lucy and Ellory! You bring us lots and lots of joy!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Lucy's first hair cut.

Lucy got her first haircut! My MIL, who went to beauty school, did it, so it was easy and just did it at home. It was looking a bit scraggly, so she just evened it up a bit. Lucy has more hair on the sides than she does in the back. It turned out cute, and we distracted her with enough combs and mirrors that I don't even think she knew we cut it. (Lucy and Ellory are 10 months right now.)

Norah was also excited to get a trim and sat very still.

Ellory was around, but not pictured because she is still working on growing her hair. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Twin thoughts/update in words and photos!

I can't believe our babies are nearing turning ONE! What a year it's been. I've heard people say, "just make it through the first year with twins" or "the first year is the hardest." I, obviously, don't know if that's true since it's the only year we've ever done, but overall the joys definitely outweigh the challenges/adjustments and we are thankful for the sweetest babies! 

I will say the first 3 months were the hardest for me. It was really challenging to nurse them so often, adjust to a new life with two babies, and everything was compounded with the lack of sleep. That was the hardest part; I was so very tired. Norah also had a tough time for a couple weeks, which made it hard too. There were good moments spliced in there too, but overall it was a blur and pure survival. After 3 months, I felt like we were getting into more of a groove, I was starting to get more sleep (hallelujah!), Norah was adjusting better, things started to feel a bit more routine, and I felt like it was more manageable vs. survival. 

Most of the time, our days thankfully go pretty well. We have tough and overwhelming moments, but we are grateful that they are just moments. Yes, it can be hard to keep that perspective sometimes when things are crazy, but I try to remind myself often to enjoy even the crazy, because I know I will miss it when this season passes. 

I was so scared to be a twin mom when I was pregnant, and I'm so glad that we are where we are now. I love them so much and I can't imagine my life without them. I knew logically that I would feel that way, but it's hard to comfort yourself with that before just experiencing it through time. So, to any other twin mom out there- we've so got this! Yes, two babies can be harder than one sometimes, but we also get to live all the baby cuddles, smiles, giggles, etc. times two. 

I took these pictures to try to get something I can upload to their first birthday invitation, and man, I know I'm their mom, but are they cute or what? :)

Check out those teeth! 

Ellory is the happiest baby!

Poor Lucy with another bruise on her head. Although she doesn't view it that way- she's the wild child of the bunch and she loves it that way!

Love that little lip.

Lucy also drools like a fountain. Bibs all day, every day.

Then things started to go awry and we had to quit, but it went better than I expected, so yay!

I had to take a picture of Norah at the end, because she was so sweet in helping me try to get them to smile. (And I also don't ever want her to feel left out if I just take baby pictures and not any of her!) 

Norah is the sweetest mom to her dolls. Since we took pictures of Lucy and Ellory in this chair, she really wanted a picture of her twins too. I almost deleted it, but I'm glad I didn't. (After we took it, she exclaimed, "Look! They sat so still and smiled right away!" Yes, Norah, your dolls take photos a lot easier than the real babies. Ha.)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Be glad.

This is one of my instagram posts recently that I want to remember:

Sometimes motherhood makes me want to hide in the closet for a few moments of quiet until they find me, and sometimes it’s so magical I don’t want to miss a second. I love this season, but sometimes I have to remind myself to love it, you know? I’m thankful for His continual grace and consistent love for when I get overwhelmed or don’t treasure it enough. Norah’s new favorite is playing McDonald’s drive through in the gap of the chair. I told her I was so hungry that I’d like 7 cheeseburgers, and she just laughed and said I could only have one or I’d get a tummy ache. So when I wanted to clean up lunch and she asked me to order one more time, I’m glad I played. I’m glad I had to step carefully through the living room when I laid the girls down to avoid the strewn legos. I’m glad the girls were pulling on my pant legs and wiping drool on my legs because they still want me in that desperate way. Even if I have to remind myself sometimes, I want to be glad, for this is such a full, rich season. I know I will miss it when my clothes are stain free and floors are clear. Be glad.😊

Friday, January 5, 2018

Christmas 2017 part 2.

This Christmas was so great! Kley and I said it was our favorite one yet. It's so fun that Norah is old enough to understand and that it was Lucy and Ellory's first Christmas! It was the perfect mix of getting quality time with both of our families, and it was relaxing too! Hope you all had a great Christmas too- what a great season of celebrating our Savior's birth!

We spent the first part of Christmas at home with Kley's family (you can read about that here), and then the second half in Des Moines with my family. 

While in Des Moines, we had a wedding of a family friend, and it was extra fun because we got to see my good friend Stephanie there! She lives in DC, but was home for Christmas too. It's so fun to see her, not only because she's my friend, but she gets so excited to see the girls too and is so good with them. 

Out of all the attempts, this was the best one. Way to go, Norah. 

Kley and I don't get many solo pictures these days. Love you, Kley!

Thank you, Lucy, for taking awesome photos. :)

My entire family all together- one of my favorite things! Another favorite thing is that my SIL, Rose (on the right end), is pregnant! I'm so excited that we get to be aunt/uncle for the first time and that our girls will have a cousin! Cant wait!

Merry Christmas! Norah refused to take the lego bucket off her head for about 10 shots. Oh well.

So fun to celebrate Christmas this year as a family of 5!

We love Grandpa and Grandma!

My siblings are such great aunts and uncles! Very thankful.

Opening presents!

"I'll just keep the wrapping paper, please."

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

(My family celebrated Christmas on New Year's Eve, and I was so wrapped up in mom world that I totally forgot it was NYE and was very confused when asked if I was staying up till midnight. Oops. I am aware my coolness level is going way down. I can't tell you what the latest fashion trend is or the coolest pop song on the radio, but if you want to talk baby gear/development, I'm your girl. :)