Friday, March 29, 2013

Stitch Fix #2 and New Hair!

So, I got my second Stitch Fix today. I completely forgot I scheduled one until they sent me the shipping notification! The stuff was cute. Here's what I got!

GLAM 3/4 sleeve tie waisted tunic.  No.  Nothing flattering about this.

BB Dakota Colorblock Racer-back tank.  Cute.  But not worth the price tag.

BB Dakota A-Line capsleeved dress.  Loved this, but I just bought a dress in almost this same pattern, and it was a bit too short for my liking.  It would probably be perfect on someone who is 5'9".

41Hawthorn Cardigan.  Love.  

Rachel Eva Mini circle necklace.  Meh.
Again, if you want to try StitchFix, please use my referral link.  It's a $20 styling fee per "fix", and you can put it towards anything you purchase!

In other news, I chopped my "famously" long hair today. I like it. It's really cute, but I do already miss my long (long) hair. haven't cried over it, so that's a good thing (and yes, I have cried over my hair in the past ;)). I'll probably grow it out again eventually, I always do. But it's fun to have a change for now!

Holy poop, that's a lot of hair!

All gone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Important Things in Life

There are always things that seem important but in the "grand scheme" really are not. Sometimes you just need a punch in the gut to realize how lucky you are, and that the small things are really just small things. An acquaintance of mine from high school is also a mom of twins. Her and her husband have been through the ringer for the past few years. I was invited to a fundraising event for her and her family last weekend, and although I was unable to make it, I and felt like I should share their story (written by her). I, personally, could not imagine going through what they have. She is a much, much, stronger person than I.

"We thought we led a pretty normal life. Met in 2002. We were married in 2007, decided on our first anniversary it was time to try for a baby. That is where the normal part ended. We were so lucky to become pregnant so easily, so lucky that we later found out we were expecting TWINS. 2009 was filled with many ups while prepping for the arrival of our children. Finally, after 39 weeks, Olivia and Ethan were born in August 2009. The following months are a blur now, trying to care for newborn twins together while both working full time. But we did it. Together.
February 3, 2010 came and Eric had been experiencing some odd symptoms, so we took him to the ER. After many tests, they found “something” near his liver. Given his age, the doctors thought it was some sort of stone. After a four day stay in the hospital, they released him with a referral to see a surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus. The February 11, 2010 came. The morning we thought he had a stone turned into an afternoon where he had cancer. BIliary tree cancer. Cholangiocarcinoma if you will. A cancer normal for men aged 65-70, not the young father I sat next to that day. The surgeon explained to us that Eric’s tumor was located in his bile duct (Bile, required for the digestion of food, is secreted by the liver into passages that carry bile toward the hepatic duct, which joins with the cystic duct, carrying bile to and from the gallbladder, to form the common bile duct, which opens into the intestine.) The plan was set. Eric was to have his bile duct reconstructed, remove the tumor, remove 80% of his liver and completely remove the gall bladder. Eric was 32 at the time, so the doctors were confident he would be able to recover from surgery since the liver is the organ that regenerates.
That day, he had a stint inserted to remove the blockage in his bile duct, which relieved the jaundice. The next day, he had another procedure done to basically shut down one side of his liver, so that the side we were keeping would beef up. Our children were five months old.
Eric had the eight hour surgery on March 8, 2010. For those of you familiar with the Clinic’s surgical procedures, you receive a pager with updates from the operating room. Eric sent me a joke before he went under. Because that is how Eric is, always making sure I am OK with a joke. It was after that, I took a deep breath and felt OK.
The surgery was successful and after six days in the hospital, Eric came home. Only, we had temporarily moved into my in-laws’ home so that I would have help with the twins while I worked and Eric would have help with his recovery. His mom and dad really kept us together and I am forever thankful for it.
After Eric’s eight week recovery, he went back to work and we moved back into our home. But then the next day, he started chemotherapy. The tumor had been removed, but doctors wanted to make sure it stayed away. Eric had chemo for about five months and then was scheduled for a check up scan. On September 20, 2010, Eric was officially cancer free! The surgery and chemo had worked!! But one more precaution, the doctors wanted a quick 28 day round of radiation. So as of November 24, 2010, Eric was free. Just come back every three months for check up scans.
There we were, 9 months later. Changed and burned. But we tried to live as a family of four the best we could. Getting over the horrific year we had, was probably the hardest triumph we had faced. But we knew it had to be a new normal.
364 days after being cleared, we found out that there was cancer on his liver. Obviously, we were shattered. But Eric knew he had to do what the doctors recommended. So a week later, Eric began chemo again.
Despite this being our darkest hour, his parents were always the ones who helped us. We had plans for new child care in place, but then, I got the call from Eric’s dad that I needed to find a new sitter.
Eric’s dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a mere three weeks after Eric’s recurrence. Another sucker punch.
Eric and his dad continued with treatments. Until Eric’s dad could not do it anymore and he passed away on March 30, 2012. We had lost the guy who “had all the answers.”
Despite our heartbreak, Eric’s chemo had been working and the tumors on his liver were smaller and was able to take a break.
We celebrated with taking Olivia and Ethan (along with our best friend, Davey) to Disney World. Very brave to take two two and a half year olds to Disney, but it is something we wanted to do while Eric was feeling good.
Mickey was good on the soul and then Eric started doing an oral chemo, which would hopefully maintain the size of his tumors. Which it did, until November 2012.
The tumors had grown on his liver and he was having back pain. Another scan showed two tumors on his spine.
In January 2013, Eric had two Stereotactic Spine Radio surgeries to hopefully alleviate the pain from the spinal tumors. On January 19, 2013, we renewed our wedding vows in a beautiful ceremony planned but some of our dearest friends.
Eric’s pain was not subsiding, so his last day at work was in late January 2013. He then started another round of chemo (his fourth), but this time he was not as strong as he had been in the past. Eric then spent six days in the hospital."

I actually wrote this post a few weeks ago, but felt it was appropriate to post today. I just found out that he passed this morning. I am heartbroken for her...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Picture post

I had all kinds of ideas for posts I could do, but I'm so tired. Kevin and I got a babysitter and went out for dinner on Friday night. It was a lot of fun, but we stayed up well past my usual 11pm bedtime. Last night we had dinner at home and watched a movie, and were again up until midnight. So, I'm going to be lazy. Here is our weekend in iPhone pics!

Yay.  Mommy and Daddy date night!

This place has the best margaritas!

We went to see the Easter Bunny Saturday.  As you can tell, we only had one willing participant.  (Although she looks THRILLED ;-))
<3 <3

Gotta love the dual duck face ;)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

22 Months

Didn't I just post a 21 month update? It sure feels like it! Even though this winter is dragggggggging on, time is still flying! The girls are going to be 2 years old in a few short months. We're going to have two year olds. Whaaat? How is this possible?!?

New things in the last month:

- The girls have been getting along really well lately. It's been so nice. They give each other tons of hugs and kisses, and even hold hands in the car. It's not that they always haven't gotten along, but they used to fight a lot over toys, books, mommy, etc. For the past couple weeks they have been just loving on each other and playing together so well. It is so adorable to watch. Last week they were playing and laughing at each other, and Kylie kept saying "Oh, Kendall!" I almost died from the cuteness. Being an only child myself, it is so intriguing to see siblings interact. Twin siblings at that. Having twins is awesome.

Not the best picture, but you get the idea.  Heart melting...
-Kendall has SUCH a good memory. While reading books, she often remembers what is on the next page and blurts it out before I read it. She also can say the whole alphabet (always skipping "J" and running LMNOP together). She can count to 10, but always seems to forget 4. We'll get there! And as on the video I posted a few days ago, she knows "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". She constantly seeks to amaze us!

-Kylie has gone without a paci at daycare for naps for the past two weeks. Rachel and Bryce (Rachel's son) always make sure she has her blankie and Wolfie or Pegasus (two of Bryce's stuffed animals), and she's good to go. She whined one time, and has been fine ever since. And in all amazement, our paci addict (Kendall) took a nap without one yesterday and today. She didn't cry or fuss and just fell asleep. Rachel said she was really tired, so that may have been part of it. But there is a light at the end of the paci tunnel! They still both cry for them at home (they only get them in their cribs, and hand them to us before they get out). I tried to put them in their cribs for nap on Sunday without them, and it wasn't happening. We did only give Kendall one paci last night and she didn't cry for the other one (she usually has one in her hand and one in her mouth). I think we are going to try in a month to do away with them at home completely. I've read a lot about people poking holes in them, and may try that route if the "cold turkey" approach doesn't work.

-Nothing really new on the potty training front. Kylie still has not gone on the potty, but sits on it fairly often. Kendall went the one time, and has since lost interest. Rachel created sticker charts for both of them, so I'm going to see how the next two months go. If they are not potty trained by this summer, we will probably start really pushing then. Kendall has been waking up consistently from naps and night almost completely dry, so it's a start!

-The girls pickiness is starting to subside a bit, but is definitely still there. We made them meatballs for dinner last night, and they both ate an ok amount before Kylie all of a sudden declared "Yuck. Gross!" and started digging the bite of meatball out of her mouth. If nothing else, it makes us laugh. Kevin made them "green" blueberry pancakes for St. Patty's Day and they both were having none of it. They usually love pancakes, so I'm sure the green was just throwing them off! They have really taken to Coco Wheats and cereal with milk. At least both of those are a good way to get some milk into Kylie (who is nearing month 6 of her milk strike).

-We finally got the girls' feet measured on Saturday (last time we did was in October). Kylie is now a 7 (was a 6), and Kendall is now a 7.5W (was a 6.5W). Ooops. I feel bad for shoving their feet into shoes that are a half to a full size too small! I have a pair of New Balance sneakers and a pair of cute little plaid shoes from Payless for each of them on the way. I love Stride Rite's shoes, but they are so darn expensive. Even with their current BOGO deals, I would have spent about the same for two pairs of shoes from Stride Rite as I did for the four pairs I bought. I'm going to wait to get sandals until May or so.

On Sunday they were having fun on the stairs after dinner, so I had to get my camera out and take 8 bazillion pictures. :)

"Kenall funny"  - Kylie

Sliding down the stairs is the most fun EVER


Love Kylie's face in this one

They're too much!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Healthy(ish) Eating

So, I've been trying to eat a bit healthier lately. I would really just like to cut down on the sugar and processed foods. I have never eaten terribly to begin with, but we all have a little room for improvement right?!? My big, huge weakness is Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi. I kicked it when I was pregnant with the girls, but after I gave birth, I got back on the bandwagon. I try not to read about aspartame since I know its so SO terrible for you. I talked to Kevin about getting a Soda Stream as a way to still quench my need for carbonation, but cut out the crappy diet soda. We'll see.

But to be honest, I truly believe in everything in moderation. As long as you don't overdo it, I really don't think eating a "bad" food here and there is the end of the the world.

Anyway, I got this recipe from my friend Brittany, and I'm not sure where she got it from or I would credit the source. I also made some modifications from the original recipe.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Bites - makes 10

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/3 cup flax seed
2.5 Tablespoons honey*
1/2 cup pb2**
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips***
1 tsp vanilla extract

*Original recipe called for 1/3 cup honey. I cut it down a bit, and it worked fine!
**pb2 is powdered peanut butter. It's not bad. I mixed about 4T of powder to 2T of water and it made about a 1/2 cup. It's the consistency of peanut butter, but not "quite" the flavor. It's not bad though, and works just as well as peanut butter for recipes, with less fat and calories. If you don't have pb2 on hand, regular peanut butter would work fine!

You can find pb2 at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or (my old standby) Amazon!

***The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of chocolate chips which would be far too much in my opinion. 1/4 cup was perfect!

1. Mix all ingredients together with a spoon

2. Form into balls and let sit

3. Enjoy!

I also tried the below recipe yesterday (thanks Pinterest!)  I only used one banana, and cannot wait to use the other four I have cut up in my freezer right now.

I cannot believe how creamy and truly ice-cream(ish) this turned out. I just tried it yesterday with plain banana, but I may mix in some pb2 and cocoa powder or a small amount of chocolate chips for my next batch. Yum!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cutest Things Ever

This weekend we were able to capture some of the most adorable moments on video.

The first was yesterday morning (pardon the Christmas PJs!)  Kendall and Kylie were playing with their castle.  Kendall decided to lay across Kylie's lap and Ky said "I love you, Kendall".  I was about to die from cuteness.  (It's at the 15 second mark)

Then Kendall decided to serenade Kevin with her rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

These girls really do have some seriously adorable moments.  It even makes me forget about their sudden affinity for (playful) screaming in public!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What I Found Useful - Newborn Stuff

I recently got an email from a friend of mine. Her sister was going to a baby shower for someone who was having twins. She asked me what I found most useful for two little ones.  I thought it would be a great idea to put here too!


We use the monitor every day, and started when the girls were 6 weeks old.  We have the one by Summer Infant. We have two cameras mounted in the girls' room over each crib, and the handheld toggles back and forth between both cameras. Our monitor can handle up to four cameras. We will probably still use this if we decide to separate the girls at some point. (We will use these FOR-EV-ER!)...wink wink... They currently share a room, but once they are out of cribs I am wondering if it may be better to separate them for space reasons. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Diaper Genie

We still use the Diaper Genie. We initially had two (one upstairs and one downstairs), but since they can go up and down by themselves now, we do all diaper changes in their room. The bags are a little expensive, but I believe it contains the odor much better than just a regular trash can.

My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow

Once I figured out how to prop both girls on the pillow myself, this thing was a lifesaver. Kevin would actually joke that it was my security blanket because it went wherever I did! Joking aside, it was essential the first few months. If you are planning on tandem breastfeeding, this is a must!

Medela Pump-In-Style

This was a fantastic pump, and is well worth the money if you are planning on pumping. I personally HATED pumping, but when I had to, this worked great. I would also recommend getting the extra bottles for fridge storage. I unfortunately never made enough to freeze, but I've heard the freezer bags are great too.

Boppy's (or is it Boppies)?!?

The girls STILL love their Boppys. They have been relaxing in them since they were a few days old, and still request them. I found them very useful when bottle feeding when they couldn't hold their bottles yet. I would just set them up on the couch, prop them up on their boppys, sit on the floor in between them and hold each of their bottles up to their mouths. It really was easier than it sounds. And to top it off, they are super comfy. Heck, I even think Kevin and I have fallen asleep on a Boppy occasionally. ;)


This may be more applicable since I had late spring / summer newborns, but they lived in onesies during those first few months. I really didn't dress them in full outfits at all until they started daycare. It was just easier to get up, feed, change diaper, and throw on a onesie for the day. If we left the house, they were always wrapped in a blanket, so no one ever knew they were just wearing onesies. :) Plus, they aren't too expensive. So if they spit up or have a blowout, it's no big deal. My favorite ones were Gerber and Carters. And as much as I loved onesies when they were itty bitties, I found them to be quite cumbersome as they got bigger, and probably stopped buying them when they were around 9 months old.

Double Strollers

We had this one:

I loved it for the beginning months. We had the Graco Snug Ride 35 car seats, and they popped into this stroller so easily.

The stroller was a bit bulky, but we used it a ton. Definitely recommend!  The storage underneath this stroller was fantastic!

Now we have this one:

I really like it for everyday use now. Although we don't use it often (the girls...err Kylie...don't like strollers). It was great to take to Disney, and fits through most doorways and aisles. It seems to be pretty comparable to the Baby Jogger City Mini, but a bit less expensive.

Miracle Blanket

This was seriously the secret to good sleep for the girls. We loved the Fleece Halo swaddles, but the velcro ended up not working as well after a while. Once we found the miracle blanket, it was so much easier to keep them swaddled. We used these until they were about 12 weeks old. They became too long for them at that point. Kylie would kick out of the foot part and wake up. We used Woombies for a while, then stopped swaddling completely at about 4.5 months.

Activity Mat

I loved this one, but there are all kinds out there. This was great though, because even if they spit up on it (or whatever else), it was super easy to just toss in the laundry and hang dry.


This was amazing to have the first month or two. The girls "slept" in it every night, and it was easy for me to just reach in and soothe them, give pacis back, or get them out to nurse without having to get out of bed. The Original attaches to your bed, and has more than enough room for two babies. We ended up moving the girls when they were 6 weeks old or so, but I was grateful to have the co-sleeper for their first weeks.

Last but not least (and most importantly)!!!


Diapering two newborns is quite a task. We used disposables and would go though 16-20 diapers a day. I never knew how much newborns pooped. My goodness! I found that Pampers Swaddlers were the best diaper for us. They seemed to contain blowouts the best, and fit so nicely around their legs and waists. Diapers would definitely be at the top of my list for a registry gift. (or to register for). Our diaper stash from my baby shower lasted us almost my entire maternity leave. It was awesome. Also make sure to register for different sizes. My girls were in NB for about 4 weeks and were in 1's until almost 12 weeks old.

By the way, if you are a twin mom to be, I definitely reccomend joining Amazon Prime.  It's $75 a year and you get free 2 day shipping on many items, and the diaper savings through Amazon Mom is HUGE.  I currently get two 174 count boxes of size 5 Huggies Snug and Dry for $70 a month.  Much cheaper then what I can find Huggies for at BRU or WalMart.

I hope this is helpful for any twin mama to be (or anyone who is looking to shop for a twin mom)!

My baby shower haul.  Sheer awesomeness.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Operation Wear Them OUT: Time Change Edition

Whoever invented Daylight Savings Time obviously never had children (or dogs for that matter).  Since having children, each time we "spring-forward" or "fall back" I am highly annoyed with the disruption in sleep.  My ultimate goal was to get up at 7 AM today (6 AM body clock time).   I just wanted to get the day going in hopes to keep the girls on their normal schedule.  I heard Kylie start chattering at 7:30 this morning and instantly got up.  Not too off schedule...

Nap time didn't go wonderfully (but not terribly either).  They fell asleep about 45 minutes after we put them down, and stayed asleep for about an hour and 45 minutes.  When they woke, we initiated "operation wear them out!"  We were outside for about an hour and a half, and just enjoyed the wonderful 65 degree weather.  Ahh.  If only it would stay!

(I apologize in advance for all the pictures.  I took about 150 today, but scaled it back a bit...)

Kendall is ready to go outside!

So is Kylie!

Kev and Kendall

No one wanted to cooperate with the front stoop pictures



Kylie getting ready to go on a wagon ride

Kendall too!

"C'mon Mama!"

Happy Daddy

Kylie loved the rainbow and leprechaun on this person's garage

Kylie enjoying her ride!

Good pic Daddy!

I'm not always just taking pictures!

Let's run!

She was yelling "Mama hand!" so I could help her over the curb.

On the hill

...and down...

...and up...
...and down

They seriously ran up and down this hill about 50 times.

Kylie was saying "Go Kendall!"

Our little comedian
  We all had so much fun enjoying the fresh air.  Even though we had a few...


and tantrums:

As far as "Operation: wear them OUT", I believe we were successful.  We put them down at their normal bedtime of 7:30, and they were out by 8.  No fussing, either.  That's a win in my book!

We cannot wait until summer.  I have a feeling this is going to be a fun one!