March 28, 2016

Most dates in life are fairly insignificant. However, when a life changing event occurs that date can forever be imprinted on your mind. I have exactly six of these dates in my life so far. Three of them involve the end of a beautiful life. Three of them involve the beginning of a new life. March 28, 2016 is one of those latter dates. This was the day I found out I was pregnant after so many years of trying. It was a Monday. We had just returned home from a trip up to northern California. A trip that had to happen due to one of those three dates that involved the end of a beautiful life. It was a tough weekend for me; I had to say goodbye to my person. That being said, I remember so many details around this date.

Dave and I had been going through fertility treatments for about 3 years and trying for a total of six years. Because of this I was on a schedule and I had to take a pregnancy test if I hadn’t started my period by Monday, March 28. We were driving home on Sunday, March 27 from Sacramento. I had eight hours to let my mind take control and get lost in my feelings, and I had so many feelings to deal with on this drive. Dave was sleeping in the passenger seat. I love to drive. He hates to drive. We are quite literally a perfect pair. I drove in silence. I only had about 18 more hours or so to wait and see if I was going to get to take the test. I didn’t have any expectations for that test other than seeing the word negative as I had seen it so so many times before. I started having cramps on the drive home. My mind definitely spiraled at that moment. The thought of a negative was even stronger in my mind. Thinking about the fact that I won’t get to use yet another pregnancy test. I just continued the drive. Lost in my thoughts. That all to familiar feeling of loss, sadness, disappointment.

The next morning when I woke up I realized that I hadn’t started my period yet. I was still feeling a little crampy, but that was it. So I grabbed the test and thought I’d give it a whirl. I was not feeling positive while counting down to the time to check. Right before I looked I prepared myself for negative.

We could try again. We had two more cycles before the odds would change against us again. It’s not any different than the unknown number of times I had seen negative, if I even made it to test day.

I flipped the test over. Positive. I rubbed my eyes. Positive. I started shaking. I quickly took a picture because I had no idea how long it would read positive and I wanted proof. I put the test away and laid back down in bed. My mind was reeling. I checked the picture on my phone to reassure myself again. Was it really positive? I got up and checked the test again. Positive. I was starting to think it was real. I had to be sure though. I would need to take another test. But I was out. So it would have to wait until later.

I laid back down in bed. I had to tell Dave. Maybe then it would feel real. He was still asleep. So than I thought of all the clever ways I could tell Dave. He would be getting up soon to go to work so I thought I could take all day to come up with a fun idea. I had the week off and we were heading to Santa Barbara on Wednesday. So many ways I could share the news with him.

His alarm went off and he started to wake up.

I tapped him on the shoulder and showed him the picture of the test on my phone. Yep, I waited a whole whopping 20 seconds.

We were excited. We were cautious. We were hopeful.

We still had a while to go before we would hold our babe (babes, as it turned out). We still had confirmation tests to take. We still had hope.

March 28, 2016

 

IMG_0992

Hanging out in Santa Barbara. It was a good trip.

Happy Babes

Me and the Littles have been lucky to find some great new friends for us to grow with. Four first time mommas with adorable baby boys all within a month or so of the Littles. It is awesome having a great support group through text or in person! We meet up when we can, and I definitely always look forward to our meet ups.

This last week we were talking about when the boys were newborns and how they were/acted. The moms told me that their babes cried most of the time up until about three months old. I had nothing to add. My babes didn’t do that. Yes, they did cry… they were newborns after all, but they didn’t scream 75% of the time.

We attribute our happy babes to one thing. Well, really my husband attributes it to my rigid scheduling. Ha ha!! Ok, he doesn’t say rigid… at least out loud to me, but I am very routine and schedule oriented. That helped for sure. Our boys never had the issue of mixing up day and night. We started from the very beginning of naps in the living room, bedtime in our room in their 4Moms Breeze bassinets. We transitioned them to the 4Moms Breeze at four months for naps and night time. Nap time was unswaddled in their Dock A Tots in the thick of all the action of our living room. Bedtime routine was in our room: diaper change, lotion, pajamas, swaddle, bottle, book, lights dimmed, Pandora playing. Every. Single. Night. They were sleeping 4 – 5 hour stretches at 3 months old. Eight hours at 4 months old. Ten + hours at 6 months.

I attribute our happy babes to this book: The Happiest Baby on the Block written by Dr. Harvey Karp. I had never heard of this book, but received it as a gift from some dear friends. It is an easy read for sure. I read the book in a few days (Summertime, teacher, pregnant, to hot to do anything) and was totally hooked with the thoughts and ideas presented in this book. I won’t give it away, because you really need to read the book, but he talks about the Five S’s and the fourth trimester. Let me tell you… the fourth trimester… It’s a real thing! Now we don’t have scientific data backing up our claims, but we do have two babies that were conceived, gestated, and born under the same conditions at the same time. Little A was perfectly content as a newborn. Ate well, fell asleep easily, stared into my eyes while melting my heart. Little H was not ready for life outside his cozy little womb. He needed more soothing than his bother to make it through the fourth trimester. He would cry and get upset very easily… except, he didn’t. We mastered the Five S’s. We had two happy babes.

For any friend of ours that is expecting, I will be sending them this book. I believe this book is the reason we had a great fourth trimester together as a new family getting to know one another. If you are expecting, or you have a friend that is, I highly recommend this book.

IMG_0739

Little H docked for his nap.

IMG_1638

Little A cozy and relaxed with his arms up. Always.

IMG_1865

Sleeping Babes are the sweetest thing.

IMG_1866

Little H needed to be swaddled all the way through four months. Luckily he didn’t start rolling until then.

 

51Rnxe88QWL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe book that I think played a significant role in our happy sleeping babes early days.

Happy sleeping!

Little Fish

I was so excited when my boys turned six months because it meant swim lessons! We don’t have a pool, but I was happy to have them experience the water. I bought them adorable custom bathing suits (2 months early) from Deuce Swim which is a local small shop right here in La Quinta. I am slightly obsessed with cactus right now, and luckily so was the shop owner! Anyway, between the bathing suits and the joy of playing in the water with my boys, I was beyond ecstatic that we were finally here.

Luckily the boys took to the water like naturals. Kicking and moving their arms right away. We were the youngest in the class and couldn’t do everything, like climbing out of the pool or blowing bubbles, but we practiced and did back floats and some underwater excursions. They loved grabbing for toys under the water and splashing.

We only did one session because they are so young and we don’t actually have a pool so it was more to get them used to water and exposed to pool survival skills, like floating on their backs, kicking, and climbing out of the side. Who am I kidding, it was more for me! Plus we live in the desert, so cooling off in the pool was a much needed reprieve from the heat. We will wait another year and go again, but in the mean time we have floatie seats to enjoy our friends pools during our boiling summer days.

fullsizeoutput_9c9

I mean look at these babes in their suits. I melt.

fullsizeoutput_a4a

You better believe these little certificates will be kept for ever… possibly framed. 

Catching up

I have been a mother to the most amazing boys for over half a year now. Seven months and 3 weeks to be exact. Being a mom has been everything I ever hoped it would be. Of course there are tough days, but overall being a mom is the best thing I have ever done. I feel at ease and so natural in this relatively new title. Sure, I am tired some days and the house isn’t spotless, but I love that my babes would prefer that I sit right next to them as they play with toys rather than clean up the kitchen. Their laughs and smiles completely wipe out the day of 20 minute naps, and 3 – 4 minor wake ups during the night. I know how lucky I am to have these two.

Watching each Little reach their various milestones has been amazing. Seeing how different they are in just normal development leaves me in awe daily.

Little A has been crawling around for almost a month now and Little H has no desire to move, but has two adorable bottom teeth. Little A gets so frustrated because he can pull himself up and cruise around the couch, but wants to move more. Little H loves to ‘talk’ to his hands and toys and make them ‘fly’ around.

These boys have my heart.

 

IMG_3066

Little H didn’t even fuss when his two teeth came in. Little A has been so fussy and slobbery we thought for sure his teeth would show up any day. Then one day Little H bit me! Ha ha!! Surprise… he has teeth!

IMG_3039

Oh and we missed this milestone, among many others, here on the blog…

Outings with twins

Twins are not hard in itself to take care of. It’s finding facilities in the outside world that make it difficult. Here is a list of my favorite twin favorite places that I will update as time goes on.

  1. Nordstrom, Fashion Valley in San Diego. Now, I love Nordstrom for many reasons, their amazing customer service for number one, but now that I am a mom I love their Women’s Lounge! A separate room away from the stalls, with comfy seating and a large area for littles to run around. Now had I known this was the case, I would have brought in a blanket so that one little could lay on the ground and play while I fed the other, but laying them on the couch with me blocking them worked fine.
  2. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey. Talk about making life easier. I don’t breastfeed, but seeing the ‘baby room’ here definitely made me wish again that nursing had worked out for us. Rocking, reclining soft leather chairs, separated by half walls, facing a screen with serene ocean scenes and soft music. PERFECT. Just one little thing, the changing table was still in the bathroom in another room. There was a sink in the baby room and counter, so I just wish they had put a changing table in there, but perhaps they didn’t for sanitary reasons. Anyway, still amazing with two! When the boys are older there is a small play area too in the baby room.
  3. Westfield Mall, Palm Desert. I am sure most of the Westfield Malls have lots of seating areas which are great for tired shoppers I assume, but also nice for laying one boy down while feeding the other. My main concern when I am out with my boys is not making one sit in the car seat or stroller for so long, so anytime one little can be out while I am feeding the other, it’s a great place.

 

More to come as I discover them. Unfortunately most places are not very easy for me and two babies, but I go out as much as possible so I am bound to find them all! Places that are the worst… No changing area available at all! When we are all out together I can just take one little to the car to change (which is clearly obnoxious, but possible), but if it’s just me, I am not packing everything up to go change, then come back. I will just leave. You probably won’t get my business, and as annoying as it is to my husband, I like to spend money.

Drink it in!

Super late post. D had a work conference in San Diego, and of course the Littles and I tagged along. We love San Diego. D and I met and married there and our dog is named after the wonderful city. It is pretty much the most perfect city – And two weeks ago, a month ago, I got to introduce this wonderful place to my most precious babes. Bonus points: The weather was beyond perfect!

We started off with some lunch in Old Town at Fred’s. D and I enjoyed the one in PB quite often, so we figured it was a good starting off point. By the time we got to the hotel and all unpacked and settled, it was getting late, so I just went to the restaurant in the hotel for dinner that night. The next day, however, the Littles and I headed down to Seaport Village. It’s a fun little touristy place to walk around and was only a mile from our hotel. So, perfect. Little A and Little H slept through the sites though, but they would have been in awe at the size of the Midway! As a twin mom, it is a little more difficult to get all three of us in a selfie, so I try to take whatever pictures I can. It is a lot easier for D to take our picture… when he is there, or when I remind him too!

IMG_1721

Our view was spectacular.

IMG_1725

So nice to have fresh air.

I loved having the view of the bay from the balcony, however the open door sure made me nervous. They were not really rolling yet, but I still made sure we were blocking the opening with our bodies or the door was locked tight!

IMG_1734

D and his happy boys!

IMG_1735

Just taking a selfie on the beach with a daddy photobomb.

IMG_1740

D showing off his photog skills using Snap filters.

IMG_1741

This just made me laugh.

Luckily D’s conference wasn’t the whole week so we got a lot of family time too. We started by heading off to PB (Pacific Beach) and went to my favorite eatery… World Famous. I absolutely LOVE their lobster bisque. Yummy! Then we walked along the boardwalk and stopped at a bar that used to be called Nicks. The boys needed to eat, and D needed to get out some work emails (yes, he works when he’s not at work). It was early afternoon on a Thursday so it was nice and empty downstairs which was perfect for us. Little H fell asleep in the Ergo on our walk, and I didn’t really want to wake him yet and since D needed to do work, I just fed Little A. D started laughing and thought it was a perfect photo opportunity. He is an amazing dad, and we love being on this parenting journey together, but sometimes it’s just nice to have fun!

Friday we went to some craft breweries with friends in the day, but started off with a morning walk along the water. The night before we went to a beach bonfire for our friends that were getting married on the weekend. We even managed to get a photo of all four of us! The Littles were just bundled up in the Ergo’s to stay warm and away from the bonfire smoke.

fullsizeoutput_669

Our little family. All dressed up and ready to party.

IMG_1784

Little H and I getting ready to dance.

IMG_1785

Little A and D. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, Saturday. Our friends got married. The Super Bowles Wedding. Great wedding tagline. This was the first wedding for the Littles, and they got dressed to the nines. They were quiet for the ceremony and slept through the beginning of the reception. Then they woke up, ate, put on their dancing shoes and partied. They were trying not to steal the show, after all a wedding is all about the bride. Em’s 4 Bubs were perfect to protect their tiny ears from the loud music and the loud cheering and whistling. Weddings are loud. I don’t think I noticed this before I became a parent.

They had a Photo Booth. I ❤️ Photo Booths! My obsession will live on with my boys.

So, I think that was our San Diego trip in a nutshell. Perfect weather the entire time, minus rain on the night we got there. I can’t wait to get back to San Diego… permanently. Hopefully someday soon!

Milestones

I’ve swaddled my last baby. Little H started to roll over. In his sleep no less. And now I am out of babies to swaddle.

These milestones are wonderful. They are proof that my babes are growing, thriving, and developing. They are also tough. Each one we meet means one less milestone to achieve.

I absolutely love being a twin mama. I can not imagine any other way to be a parent. One of the many benefits of being a mom to twins is, even though Little H started rolling over just last night, I am thankful for the almost full month of swaddling extension Little H gave me after Little A started rolling over.

My little glow worm sleeping peacefully in his Ollie Swaddle.

 

IMG_1865

Little A in his newfound favorite way to sleep. Normally I just transition swaddle him, but he doesn’t necessarily need it. Plus it’s already warm here in the desert

 

CB93578E-399E-4AB4-8294-50093FA6409A

Little H ready to rock and roll.

 

Little A celebrating his new found skill! This was the first day of consistent rolling over. He started to roll one way a little more than a week before this.

I love capturing these milestones with these wonderful Milestone Baby Cards! So easy to put the card in the several pictures I would already be taking anyway.

 

Everyday

Today the Littles and I went to baby story time at our local public library. I absolutely love going out and doing things with the babes. Yes, it is a little challenging to get in and out of the car with two babies that can not move or do anything for themselves, but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Plus, how terrible would it be to just sit in the house all day, every day?? The Littles were a little overwhelmed by all the kiddos running around and the toys and balls all over the place. Little A wanted to get out there and run around I think, while Little H was content with just watching from the safety of my lap! Their little personalities are so unique and it is one of my favorite things about being a twin mom. The librarian stopped reading mid story to comment on the littles, “one is more social and one is more reserved”, yep, they are two different boys.

After our library time we headed to Panera so they and I could eat. Side rant here: We needed to do a diaper change before we went in, so I got out the stroller and changed the boys in the back of the Jeep. Little H was done and in the stroller and I was changing Little A. There were a TON of empty parking spaces. In fact I parked far away from Panera so I would have some space to change diapers and stuff. Well this guy comes and starts parking right next to us! I had to quickly pull back the stroller. It wasn’t in the other space, but it was close so that I could have it next to me while I changed Little A. What is the matter with people?!? Then he gets out and says, “set up shop here I see.” What does that even mean!?! Oh well. Panera was of course yummy, and after the boys ate (and Little A flirted with the two older ladies next to us), I got to eat. They got the normal comments about how good they are. They really are. I may or may not be biased.

After lunch we went shopping at Whole Foods, it always takes me about thirty minutes longer to shop than it used to. Only because we get stopped every few minutes by people asking a plethora of questions: “are those twins, are they fraternal, are you sure?” And now I use the Binxy Baby – which I love – and even though theoretically it makes shopping easier, it actually makes my shopping trips longer because of all the people that stop and talk to me.

Saturday we went to Palm Springs because, well for no reason other than we are in the ‘sweet spot’ weather-wise right now. We had a nice walk around Downtown, stopped for dinner at a little restaurant (Marisol’s), and then stopped for dessert at Great Shakes. If you are ever in Palm Springs, I strongly urge you to make this stop. It’s all shakes and malts, and they all come with a mini donut on the straw!! What more could you ask for??

IMG_1935

Salted caramel with hot fudge… and yep, mini donut! We shared because, well, we actually don’t eat sugary food all that much.

 

 

IMG_1818

Little H enjoying his Binxy Baby Hammock.

IMG_1947

Little A fell asleep at one point. Good news: They both love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would love to have two Binxy Baby’s, but they are a bit pricey, so I just wear the other babe for now and it works fine. Unless someone wants to give me a second one!

Anyway, this rant, I mean post, is getting lengthy. I just love everyday. I love every second of every day. Spending so much time with my babes is the absolute best!

 

 

Every Decision Is Tough

I have heard people say that being a parent is the most rewarding and most difficult job ever. Four months into this twin thing and it is definitely the most amazing thing I have ever done. Every day is amazing. Every day is the best. Now granted there are more challenging days when I get frustrated with myself because I want to do the dishes or a load of laundry or clean my house the way I like it to be cleaned and I just can’t get to it. I have been getting better at just letting it go. Dishes and laundry will always be there and we are lucky to be able to pay for housekeepers.

Two babies is not the most difficult part to me. It’s the decisions. The choices that I make. I understand the importance of vaccines. I know they are a necessary evil, if you will. I just still feel terrible after their shots. I helicopter over the boys and note every slight little change in their moods, demeanor, behaviors, etc…

Little A was focused with intent as a newborn. He always observed and looked around and was content most of the time. After his first round of vaccines, he changed a bit. He became less focused and more spacey (if that is the correct word to describe him). He also became more fussy. I feel there are a couple of explanations for the differences I notice. One, he was such a young newborn (born at 37 weeks 2 days) that he hadn’t really ‘woken up’ yet. Two, we are inadvertently comparing him to Little H because with twins it’s hard not too. He is smaller than Little H and they reacted differently to the vaccines – just like they will probably react different to many things to come. I just wonder if I should have spread out the vaccines? I didn’t know that was an option though until I spoke with a friend. Maybe he was too little to get so many at this time? Perhaps it was the mixture of the vaccines and the Tylenol?

My point to this is, I know that skipping vaccines is not really the best choice, but maybe the doctors can be upfront with the information that we as parents can spread out the vaccine schedule more. Or not start vaccines until they reach a certain weight as opposed to meeting the age of two months. I have twins and they are not the same size, so age might not be the proper vaccine protocol. I know that now when we get their shots we are going to take a slightly different approach. We are spreading them out. We are forgoing Tylenol unless they are exhibiting a lot of pain. (Edit: we skipped Tylenol for the last round of shots and they did absolutely fine. Cried right after the initial stick, but we fed them and they were happy and acting normal after a good nap.)

These decisions will likely never get easier, but I will just continue to do the best I can as their mom. And in the mean time, soak up every bit of their moments!

IMG_1665

Happy Four Months Little A!

IMG_1647

Happy Four Months Little H! (Oh that face!)

fullsizeoutput_634

Of course I captured first St. Patricks Day pictures!

Four Months

As I sit on our comfy couch today I have one baby laying on me and the other baby in his Dock-A-Tot, I get a little teary eyed. I think about how fast these last 4 months have gone by. I think about how lucky I am. I think about how long I wanted this. My boys are my everything.

We have a wedding coming up next weekend and I am so happy I get to go with my Littles. I have dreamed of having a little one to take to fun events like this for so many years. I have been planning out their outfits for a month now and can’t wait to show them off! I think that was part of my tears this afternoon – staring at my Littles today and knowing how long I dreamed of these moments, these moments that I am now living. It is awesome.

So now I have four month olds. We have another trip coming up with them. It’s the longest one and to one of my favorite places in California. San Diego. D and I started our relationship in San Diego. We got married in San Diego. We named our dog after San Diego. I love San Diego and I am so happy to bring my Littles to my favorite place.

They have been doing so great with their routine and sleeping lately. Two-hour naps 3 times a day and sleeping 8-9 hours each night, followed by an additional 2 hours after a bottle. It is nice. I am hoping they continue this routine. Wishful thinking. Probably.

The Littles turned 4 months on Monday, and it is weird, but I swear the change in them was almost immediate. Little H grabs toys and puts them right into his mouth. I watched him do it Monday morning. Little A was rolling over by the afternoon. From tummy to back (he hates tummy time), then from back to tummy is almost mastered, if he can just figure out to move his arm. It is so amazing to watch them change. It is so amazing to see them discover new things. I am so lucky that I get to spend my days with them. I am so thankful that D is the best husband ever and supports my decision to quit my job.

And now for a swift change of subject, I am hoping to set up my in home photography studio soon. D and the boys got me a lighting kit and background screens. I am excited to set it all up and take some pictures. So be prepared. If they turn out well, there will be a lot of pictures posted!

We took the boys to the BNP Paribas Tennis Open here in town. We go every year, so it was fun to bring the boys this time. All of D’s coworkers loved seeing the Littles. D has decided he wants the boys to grow up and be professional tennis players. We will see. 🎾

IMG_1564

Family selfie in the suite watching Venus Williams get a comeback win.

 

IMG_1570

Some more father/son twinning.

IMG_1598

4 month photoshoot!