34 weeks ago

Today is an anniversary, of sorts.
Today marks 34 weeks that my babies have been here, on the outside. 

Why is that significant?

Because that’s also how long they were on the inside.

And perhaps that’s pretty insignificant to most people, but it feels special to me.

The past 34 weeks have been, without a doubt, the best 34 weeks of my entire life. So many smiles, tears, ups, downs (but really, mostly ups). So much laughter and LOVE. So. Much. Love. But that’s not to say the 34 before this weren’t special too.

  
Maybe it’s the time of year & sort of reliving my pregnancy on the other side, maybe it’s that it seems many people are pregnant right now, or perhaps it’s even that I see my babies growing & developing so quickly. I don’t know but something has me really missing being pregnant these days. 
I’m feeling a little sad that 34 weeks ago today I woke up a pregnant woman for what could’ve been the last time. We’re not permanently shutting down our baby making parts or anything (TMI? Idc.), it’s just that we don’t know if more children are in our future or not. And if you ask my husband about it he will tell you, “No. absolutely not. No more kids.” 

I know how lucky I am to have experienced being pregnant at all, let alone carrying two babies at once. 

And let me tell you, luck doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about actually being a mom to these guys. There are truly no words to describe how that feels. I’ve learned, in the past 34 weeks, that there are no limits to my love. And in the 34 weeks before that, I learned that there is simply no way to prepare for the ways in which your world will change. But you can prepare for each week beyond the birth of your child(ren) to be the best of your life. 

It just keeps gettin’ better.

Friday Favorites

Ninja Coffee Bar – Best new parent Christmas gift EVER. You can brew a single cup, half a pot, or a full pot of coffee. Classic brew, over ice brew, or specialty (espresso strength) brew. No little pods or filters. MILK FROTHER. Perfection. We have big, exciting plans this weekend to pretend we’re baristas and whip up some of the “fancy” drinks from the included recipe book.

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Bridesmaiding – In 2011 we attended seven weddings, including our own. Between the two of us, we stood up in five of those weddings. It was a really fun, really expensive year. Since then we’ve had minimal weddings, but numerous baby showers. 2016 is shaping up to be another wedding-filled year for us. I am completely honored that a dear friend has asked me to be a part of her special day!

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Dove Dry Sprays – Influenster* sent us his and hers dry antiperspirants to try. We love them. Honestly. The men’s spray has a nice, fresh smell that is cologne-like but not in an offensive way. Justin is allergic to many deodorants but hasn’t had any reactions to this and has said multiple times that he intends to buy it on his own. Major bonus that I love the smell of it too! While I really like the women’s spray, I probably won’t buy it until summertime when I’m more concientious about underarm clumps. Also because I’m perfectly happy with the current deodorant I use. Coincidentally, that is also Dove and receiving these sprays made me realize how loyal I’ve been to Dove products, completely unintentionally. Works for me though, because I also love their mission!

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Making a Murderer – Whenever I watch I sort of get this this eerie feeling that I “know” these people, simply because it all takes place right here in Wisco. I do distinctly remember Teresa’s disappearance and subsequently, this trial, being all over the news. I can’t say that I think Steven Avery is an innocent man but I also cannot say that I would EVER trust the Manitowoc police force. Some seriously shady stuff went down there. I love to hate the phone calls in each episode. I literally cringe while listening. But you probably do too, right? Yeah? Yeah. Yeah. I laugh cry emojied at these tweets.

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Cauliflower “rice” – I finally jumped on the bandwagon and gave this a try! 101% did not miss real rice at all. I essentially followed this recipe for the rice itself, but swapped traditional fried rice ingredients like peas and carrots, with zucchini and mushrooms (aka what I had in the fridge that was going to go bad soon). So good! What it lacks in the photogenic department, it certainly makes up for in taste!

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And these two. My everyday favorites. Eating/wearing sweet potatoes.

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*Influenster provided these products at no cost, but I’m receiving no compensation for reviewing them. Opinions are all mine, per usual. :)

of this I’m sure

You come home from the store to find your husband holding one baby at an arm’s length, headed for the changing table.

We’ve got a poop here!” he exclaims.

He then goes on to tell you that in the short while you were gone, you missed a piano concert and an assault with a turtle. The details of the turtle assault are cut short by the realization that we’re not dealing with just any old poop. No, what we have is a POOPSPLOSION.

And because you know that your husband would much rather be watching the Packers game in the other room, you dive in willingly to clean up after the fallout. But you soon realize that there’s no way those tiny clothes are going to come off without smearing poo all over this baby’s smiley, not-so-little head (88th percentile). So you tell your husband to start the bath water. This diaper change is going to require more than a few wipes.

It’s a bit early for the bath/eat/bed routine so you take your chances, get both baths out of the way, and hope that the babes have at least 20-30 minutes of happy time left in them. But of course they do not. And meltdown immediately ensues. Dad does his best to get bedtime bottles prepared but he’s just not fast enough. Luckily you’ve (finally) had enough practice with this type of situation and you’ve got it handled before he can place the nipple on the first bottle.

One baby lying across your lap, nursing away the tears. The other, his head resting assuredly on his big brother’s lap, relieved that mom has not one, but two boobs. Before you know it, they are both fast asleep. Your heart soars. This is one of those moments you want to burn in your brain forever.

And in that very moment, you realize that it’s this.

This is the thing.

Of this one thing you are sure.

Completely, absolutely, one hundred million percent sure.

You’re sure that you were meant to be a mother. Their mother.

If you are sure of no other thing in this entire, uncertain universe, it’s this thing of which you are sure.

In fact, this is the thing of which you are surer than sure.

lapnap

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half a year

*pardon me while I word vomit about how much I love my children. i’ve been writing this post for about a month and a half. some of it’s probably not even relevant anymore. things change pretty quickly around here these days.*

T & N,

Never in my life did I think I was capable of loving two beings the way I love you. Yet here we are, six months later, and my love for you grows by the day, the hour, the minute.

Your smiles, your laughter, your stubbornness, your tears.

Every single thing you do makes my heart feel as though it may just burst right out of my chest.

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//Theo//

My first born, my eager little man. The one that could wait no longer to meet us. You kicked and somersaulted and punched your way through seven months on the inside and you’ve been a mover and a shaker on the outside as well.

Your steel blue eyes are curtained with dark, lush lashes (for dayyyys) that will undoubtedly get you out of so much trouble some day. At a very young age, you somehow learned that sticking out your bottom lip was the key to getting exactly what you wanted. You’ve since mastered “the lip” and can turn it off and on like an old pro.

Your once shy smile has turned into a wide, sparkly-eyed, beaming expression that makes everyone near you light up too. People say you look a lot like your daddy and they are absolutely right!

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At your six month appointment you weighed in at 15lbs, 11 ounces, 26.75 inches long, which means you remain the little big brother, though not by much. Of course I love everything about you but I simply cannot get enough of your tiny hands. There is something so sweet about them I just can’t describe it.

You once screamed any time my breast was near your face. Even if it’s the only battle I win for the next eighteen years, I am so glad I never gave up the fight to nurse you. You fought hard, but in the end we both won. You nurse beautifully. A perfect latch, not too rushed, one aforementioned tiny hand gracefully perched upon my chest or grasping onto my finger. It was worth the fight.

Some of your favorite things include playing airplane, playing your “piano”, music in general (especially grandma singing to you!), blowing raspberries with dad, playing in your Exersaucer, and watching tv (yep- daddy’s boy).

You can roll over, both ways, but back to front is your jam these days. You’ve been working really hard on perfecting that roll lately.

Other than some cooing, you’ve been fairly quiet up until the past few weeks. But as of late you really like to use your voice. It is soft and sweet and angelic. You make a noise that sounds an awful lot like the word “Hi!” And every other “word” that comes out of your mouth starts with ma, much to your daddy’s dismay.

You’re becoming more and more interested in your brother and seem to enjoy being near him, now greeting him with smiles rather than the blank stares you once gave him. This goes for your furry brother, too. Luckily he doesn’t seem to mind when you grab a hold of his hair.

You obviously like us a lot because you refuse to fall asleep, no matter how tired you get. I keep telling myself it’s because you don’t want to miss one minute with me. We know you’re tired because you do this weird thing where you move your little hand quickly to and from your mouth. It truly is the funniest and strangest thing. Your FOMO has forced us to use the cry it out method on you. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve done but we have made progress so I know it’s working.

It seems like you’ve been teething for two months now, yet there is not physical evidence of any teeth surfacing in the near future. Just tons of drool, the occasional “drool rash”, gnawing on everything, a little irritability and some night waking.

Even before you were born, Theo-Bo-Beo, I knew you were a force to be reckoned with. In the first few weeks I was truly concerned that we had a fussy boy on our hands with you. But you have become the absolute sweetest, most lovable boy.

//Nolan//

Nolie Polie, Nolie Cannoli, Noliesaurus Rex, Nolie Gator. Also known as the boy with too many nicknames. Sometimes I feel guilty for giving you a name that is so easily translated into nicknames, and other times it’s just perfect. You are such an easy going guy, and a goofy one too. You’re so laid back, unless you’re hungry, in which case LOOK OUT!

With sky blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and ears that stick out on top, you take after mom in the looks department. Your entire face smiles when you’re happy and you have a positively infectious giggle. You are such a joy!

Lately it’s been a little more difficult to capture that joy, as you’re pretty intrigued by the phone…

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You may be the younger brother by 26 whole minutes, but that doesn’t mean you’re the little brother. At 16lbs, 1oz, 28 inches long, you’re quickly growing out of 6 month clothing and more comfortable on the 9 month end of things.

You battled some pretty serious reflux for those first few months and nothing seemed to help. We had a scary episode of you (presumably) choking on spit up, and briefly not breathing, that warranted an overnight in the children’s hospital but you handled it all so well! You continue to spit up like its your job but at least there doesn’t seem to be pain involved any more. Just lots of wardrobe changes.

You love to stand. If you’re in our laps, you want to stand. If we lay you down, you immediately try to sit up. You have some serious core strength, baby boy. And if I had to guess, right now I’d say you’re going to walk before you crawl. You can roll over, but you don’t seem too interested in doing so most of the time. You’re pretty much just content whenever we place you so no need to roll. :)

You’re obsessed with your feet, you love mom’s hair, and you are a talker. Sometimes you just make babbling noises, other times you say lots of ma sounds, and even your daddy will admit that you straight up said mama the other night. I won’t fool myself into thinking that you know what it means but it doesn’t break my heart that you said it! You also love the Exersaucer and piano mat and you just love your brother, beaming at the sight of him. Bath time is also a favorite. You love to splash water everywhere. I can’t wait to get you in the pool!

You’re much more capable of self soothing so sleep training has been a breeze with you. If you cry once we put you down its usually because you have a gas bubble that needs out. Speaking of gas…you, my dear, are a farting and burping machine. You already think farting is funny so I can only imagine how funny you’ll think it is when you start school and have classmates to “impress”.

You’ve always been a fan of nursing so that continues to go well for us. If you’re on my lap and the least bit hungry, you know just where to go for a snack. We’ve reached the point where you like to grab my hair, my eyes, my lips while nursing. Or just sort of slap my chest. You think that’s really fun.

Actually there isn’t much that you don’t find fun. You truly find something to smile or laugh about in almost any situation.

I’ve always felt the need to coddle you a bit more, due to your extra needs at birth, your trip back to the hospital, etc. but you are proving to be such a strong, healthy boy, Nolie Polie. You don’t need my extra attention nearly as much as I need you and your brother.

 
//you two are my universe. my heaven on earth. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my half years watching you learn and grow.//

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holiday gift guide for new[ish] moms

New[ish] moms want one thing. 

It won’t cost you a dime so there’s no reason you can’t wrap it up and put it under the tree for your favorite new mom.

She’s wants a nap.

An incredibly long, soul reviving, mid-afternoon nap. One that involves a cozy bed all to herself, drooling, some serious REM, and maybe even snoring if that’s what it takes to get a deep sleep.

One where the babies are in good hands and far enough away to not wake her or “alert” her milk supply with their coos and/or cries.

A nap that leaves her confused upon waking. A nap that makes her think she can conquer the world when she wakes.

She wants to sleep like her baby (or babies!) sleep.

  
More specifically, the way they sleep when she needs to take them somewhere, or really any other time that is not a time period in which she needs to get something done.

  
The way they sleep for the nanny! For at least two hours, sometimes three!

So call her boss, tell them she needs an afternoon off, and put your mom pants on because a nap is the best gift you can give a mom that already has everything she wants and needs.

fashionably early.

*The title of this post absolutely, positively, does NOT refer to me. I fear that I will never again be early for anything. In my life. Ever again.

For example; World Prematurity Day was Tuesday. And here I am, posting on Thursday...

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While I never expected to carry twins to term, I also didn’t expect them to come six weeks early.

Though 34 weeks isn’t too incredibly early for twins, we were hoping for 37-38 weeks based on my healthy, complication-free pregnancy. We had plans for an induction around the first of July if they hadn’t come spontaneously by then.

But our boys couldn’t wait.

  
And just in that statement it’s so crazy to me to think that just over five months ago we didn’t even know that our boys were boys, yet at times it seems we’ve known them all of our lives. The personalities they display today are the exact same tiny personalities they displayed in the womb and in the first few weeks during their stay in the NICU. Of course their character traits have become more defined, and their personalities have certainly grown over time, but at their core, their individual natures remain the same.

Twin A is determined to be the twin slightly lower, in the position to come out first. And in our case it makes perfect sense, as Twin A was Theo. Our strong-willed, Type A, little man. He’s quick to pick up on things, even if he doesn’t do them correctly, or remember how to do them long term. HE. MUST. BE. FIRST. He came out first. He learned how to eat first (at least a bottle- he screamed anytime a boob came near his face for two months). He came home from the hospital first. He rolled over first (at 5 weeks- multiple times, and has never done it again). But then he just sorta forgets. Or gets so excited about the next thing, or focused on something else, that he loses interest.

  
Twin B, our relaxed Nolie Polie, doesn’t always catch on to things so quickly. For instance breathing outside of the womb. He needed some help with that. And eating. He didn’t really catch on to that so quickly either, which earned him a couple of extra days in the NICU. He’s shown no desire to roll over, however I’ve seen him use strength that would allow him to do so and I’m almost positive he could do it, if he wanted. But he’s just content wherever he may be. So very Type B.

  
Both are so incredibly sweet, so full of smiles and love and laughter. Theo smiles widely, then shies away. It’s flirtatious and adorable. Nolan smiles, his whole face smiles, and there is nothing shy about it.

  
They own my heart. They light up my world. They bring me sunshine when I’m faced with rain. Today, on World Prematurity Day, I feel so lucky that they decided to come out to meet us six weeks early. No amount of time could ever be enough with these two, but we’ll forever have those six bonus weeks.

  

What a year!

One year ago Monday I discovered I was pregnant. There’s no way I could possibly sum up what an absolutely crazy year it has been since that discovery but I am loving the idea of reliving it all this year, on the other side. 

  
Now it’s fun to look back and think things like “oh, I was pregnant in this picture but nobody knew”. Or tell my family stories about how I was drinking non-alcoholic wine & faked that shot of Rumchata at Thanksgiving last year. 

  
News of our pregnancy got out much sooner than we’d hoped it would, and while I’m grateful I didn’t have to fake drink or pretend to have energy through any more holiday events, I have to admit I wish I’d had a little more time with the secret all to ourselves.

Nonetheless I’m so excited for what this next year holds, and if the past year is any indication of how quickly it will go, I’d better buckle my seatbelt and get my camera ready because I don’t want to miss any tiny bit of this!

All this to say, it is truly incredible what a difference a year makes. How much can change in one single year. And just how swiftly one year can go by. Whether you’re in a good place right now, a bad place, or an in between place. Know that within a year, you could be in such a different place that you don’t even recognize yourself. 

Here’s to growth. To change. To living in the moment. 

And here’s to the freakin’ weekend.