Friday, March 30, 2012

spring break coffee date.

Wow, has it really been Monday since I've come around? Andy has been on his Spring Break, so we've been enjoying family time and going on more outings than usual...and I was shocked when I opened up my dashboard to see that it had been five days since even a hello!

Yesterday, we had arranged for some family friends to watch the girls while we went to the Hunger Games movie. I haven't read the books due to the recommendation of a friend, who suggested last summer that I wait. I'm not sure if she thought they'd be too sad - us new moms tend to be a tad fragile at first. I think I'm ready, because I loved the movie!

Before we dropped the girls off, we met some good friends at Coava for a chat and some tasty coffee. We sat the girls on top of the table with something to chew on, while Ruthie stuck her hand in my cappuccino foam. I'll be honest, I miss the days of wasting an afternoon at a coffee shop.


Luckily, the girls like being out in public, people watching, and are generally easy-going. They'll last about 20 minutes in a high chair, so we're not yet to the point where we can linger over a meal, but we're getting there!



Monday, March 26, 2012

swingset photo shoot.

Ah, the first days of Spring mean one thing: putting babies in swings and taking cute pictures.

In my parents' neighborhood there is a small park with swings. I couldn't resist, so I borrowed my sister's DSLR and took a billion pictures.


 

They liked it, once they figured out how to lean forward.

There really is nothing cuter than babies in swings, except maybe TWIN BABIES in swings, amiright?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Booty Buns Giveaway Event!


Booty Buns Giveaway Event

Welcome to the Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers! Over 175 blogs have teamed up to present this amazing cloth diaper giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering.

Here's your chance to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!

This amazing cloth diaper prize pack includes:

20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers

(these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!)

20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes

40 microfiber inserts

20 cotton flannel liners

Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)

First, a little about Booty Buns...

Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers

In case you haven't heard about them, Booty Buns Cloth Diapers are incredible one-size cloth diapers that truly fit from birth to potty training! They feature a snap-down rise with 5 different snap settings (most one-size diapers only have 3!) and a waist with 10 regular snap settings plus 2 crossover snap settings. The diapers have hip snaps to prevent wing droop on smaller sizes. The incredible size range of this diaper fits from 3-45 lbs!

Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers

Booty Buns Cloth Diapers are pocket diapers and each diaper includes 2 snap-on microfiber inserts that can be stuffed into the diaper or laid on top with the included cotton flannel liner against your child's skin. The diapers have a waterproof PUL outer and a soft suedecloth inner with dual gussets on the inner lining to ensure everything stays IN the diaper! Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers come in an assortment of bright colors and each diaper includes a matching handmade flannel/terry wipe. You can find out more about the diapers at Booty Buns, or check out the detailed Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diaper Review at Daily Mothering!
Booty Buns Cloth Diapers

Booty Buns is dedicated to encouraging others to "go green" and "give charity." Shannon, the owner of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers, leads by example. For every diaper that Booty Buns sells, she donates one Booty Buns Cloth Diaper to a child in need in the US and third-world countries. Booty Buns is the exclusive cloth diapers donator for Operation Showers Of Appreciation, and they are also donating diapers to babies that have severe medical issues here in the US. Shannon hopes to donate a lifetime supply of cloth diapers {20 diapers} to every baby in need around the globe. You can join in this effort by purchasing your own set of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers and telling your friends about Booty Buns!

Make sure to stop by and follow Booty Buns via Facebook, Twitter and Blog for news and giveaways!

And now for the giveaway!!


Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway

ONE WINNER will receive this gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546!

And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Sign in using your Facebook account OR your name and email address.

Click "Do It" for instructions on how to complete each entry.

There is no mandatory entry. Complete as many entries as you wish.
The more entries you submit, the better odds you have of winning!

guest post: 3 little men and a mommy

Today I'm talking birth story and expectations at 3 Little Men & a Mommy. Krystle is a real-life friend of mine - we grew up together - and we are both twin mamas! Her blog is always real and always an encouragement to me.

Head over to her blog and read about how my birth plan went from a three-page manifesto to a one-page list of "hopes"!


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

just write: I want to be a good wife.


This thing that we have done, it's changed me.

I don't reach for your hand as often, not because I don't want to hold it, but because my own hand feels absurdly huge, like Andre the Giant's, like I'm having a constant out-of-body experience because I've seen things and done things that have tweaked my mind and my heart.

I look down at my body and it feels like someone else's, in minute ways. The fresh-faced girl of 22, standing at the altar, is still here but at this moment, she feels lost and not sure she'll ever find her way back; she's road-weary from the journey and suffering from mild shock.

It's not that you haven't stood by me 100, 110, or 1,000,000 percent, because you have and you do, and I know I'm an undeservedly blessed woman. You prove that to me every single day. 

But there is a cross that I bear, all mothers bear, that you can't bear for me and I don't know how to share the burden because I'm new at this; I've only stumbled a few steps along the path that stretches out endlessly. And I want to explain this to you in a way that means something, but I don't know how, and when I can't explain I'd rather not talk about it at all, because this is now all a matter of life-and-death and the tone matters.

My mom said this to me:

"I have figured out the secret to marriage: Love God more than your husband, love your husband more than your kids, love your kids with all your heart."

I am trying to figure out how to do that and do it well, but my attempts are sloppy. I watch everything from outside eyes and I feel like a stranger. Five years of marriage next month - it seems like so little but also so much.

I want to hang up my stranger's cloak - resentment that parades as strength - and stay awhile.

Just Write. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sneak Peek: $500+ Cloth Diaper Giveaway Starts Saturday!



Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
Would you like to win a LIFETIME SUPPLY of cloth diapers?!


The Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers starts this Saturday, March 24th!

Over 175 blogs are coming together to present this fantastic fluffy giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering. Mark your calendar because you don't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!

ONE WINNER will receive a gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546!
And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!

This amazing prize pack will include:

20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
(these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!)
20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes
40 microfiber inserts
20 cotton flannel liners
Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)
This giveaway will be open to U.S. and Canada.

Come back March 24-31 for your chance to win it all!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

breastfeeding update: 8 months

I haven't written an update on this blog about our breastfeeding journey, and it's because there is so much I want to say but don't know where to start, and my thoughts jumble up and interrupt each other, so I end up distracting myself with something else and putting it on the back burner.

So, how's this for a start: we're going strong!

When I think about how hard it was at first, and how once we estimated that I spent 12 hours a day in my nursing spot, I get a tad emotional. The last eight months have been the hardest but most rewarding of my life, and most of it has revolved around their feeding schedule. You can read my breastfeeding beginnings post, which covered the newborn/NICU/pumping stage of our lives, or my interview at Milk-Friendly, but a lot has happened since then.

Maybe I could reign in my thoughts and break it down more effectively by just using bullet points, instead of trying to tell a story, because that story would go on and on, and on, and probably bore you all to death....

3-5 Months

- Still using nipple shields, but attempting to go without a few times per week. Sometime around four or five months, the girls decided that they didn't need the shields anymore and quit using them altogether. It was amazing how fast it happened. They were ready.

- The time it takes to feed slowly shortened, from an hour to about a half hour. I was still in the chair a lot, but it's because I started feeding them individually. They just do better by themselves: they take in more, are more relaxed, and it's not so hectic. If they were both starving or freaking out, I pulled out the big pillow and fed them both, but usually ended up feeding them individually again a short time later.

- One night while visiting my parents, I sat in bed and cried because I was so tired and the girls kept waking up every 2 hours. My mom came into the room to help and said, "Why don't you just lay down and feed her?" A light from heaven shone down, and my life was changed. If your babe(s) like to lay down and nurse, do it.

- I started pumping again, 1x per day, so some nights Andy could bottle feed one of them.

- Dealt on and off with soreness but didn't go see an LC. I should have.

- Their bodies were less floppy and easier to feed in the car or on the go.

- Sometimes I would get a "restless leg" attack while feeding and it felt like I was going to jump out of my skin, and my legs felt uncontrollable. I researched RLS and discovered that it's a vitamin B deficiency, so I bought a good B-Complex and tried to remember to take it every day. It's the weirdest feeling! I asked my mom about this phenomenon and she knew what I was talking about, so I'm wondering if it's a hereditary thing. Anyone else experience this?


6-8 Months (currently)

- Must get rid of all distractions when feeding! This means quiet room, laying or reclining on the bed. They don't eat much when we're out and about or at other people's houses, usually just enough to get by. If all is quiet, they finish in 10 minutes. I still feed them individually, unless they are both starving at the same time.

- They are still eating every 3 hours, and I'm ready for a longer stretch of sleep at night!

- Not pumping regularly, but I try to keep a stash of 10-15 ounces in the freezer.

- Afton doesn't like bottles anymore; she'll drink one ounce and then chew on the bottle nipple.

- They are busy little bees while eating - swatting, petting, rubbing their eyes, stroking my skin...

- I AM HUNGRY ALL THE TIME!

- Experienced my first "nipple clamp" while Ruthie was having a bad teething day. Um, OUCH!

- I still get "restless legs" occasionally, which sometimes is so distracting and unbearable that I actually have to unlatch whoever I'm feeding and get up to walk around (happened last night). I pop a B-Complex at this point to try and take the sensation away.

- I try to nap or lay down with them for at least one of their three naps. The short rest has made a huge difference.

- Still dealing with off-and-on soreness, shooting pain, and blanching, and wondering if I have Reynaud's Phenomenon. I finally visited the LC and she gave me a couple different treatment options. Reynaud's is treated with a therapeutic dose of Vitamin B6, so the restless leg syndrome problem makes sense! Anyone else have experience with Reynaud's?

- Contemplating becoming a milk donor. When the girls were born at just shy of 35 weeks, donor breast milk was available until my supply came in, and I am so thankful every day that the option was available to me. I'd like to give back, and I know that there are always babies who need breast milk. It's a commitment of 50 ounces over a period of time.


Maintaining Milk Supply

- I'm still trying to eat 3,000+ calories per day to keep up with high-quality milk for two babies. Good fats like coconut oil, full-fat coconut milk, Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil from Vital Choice, cod liver oil from Green Pastures, Kerrygold grass-fed butter, eggs, gouda cheese, and organic heavy cream (not UHP) are staples. I fill in with vegetables, grass-fed beef, chicken, fish, and sourdough bread. I can tell a difference in my supply when I skimp on these foods.
(disclaimer: I'm kinda a crunchy-traditional-foodie-nerd, and if you're interested, you can learn more about it here, or you can email me. I don't talk about it very much here because people take food choices very personally.)

- If I eat well and stay hydrated, I don't have to use any lactogenic supplements, like Fenugreek, although I know they work for so many people and are thankful they are available if I need them.

- I hope to put together a list of the best lactogenic foods to share with whoever is interested. Foods that most people wouldn't think of - like quinoa and coconut water - are proven milk-makers! If you're interested, you can email me and I'll send you a copy when I have one ready.

Advice

My advice at eight months is this: relax, be flexible, and stick with it. Breastfeeding gets better the longer you do it. It becomes an art instead of a struggle, and with twins, it's a relaxing way to have one-on-one time with each girl. Keep eating, keep drinking, and just enjoy your growing babe(s)!


I love hearing others' stories and advice. What is your favorite (or least favorite) thing about breastfeeding? Did it get better for you as your kids grew older? Oh, and have you ever experienced the restless leg sensation?


Thursday, March 15, 2012

growing up west coast style: interview at (she always loved) larking.

Courtney from (she always loved) Larking came up with a creative series about becoming our parents and asked me to join in! She posed a series of questions about growing up, family life, discipline, and visions for the future, and I must say, I'm so thankful she did.

Being a mom is a lot of doing, and answering her questions made me stop and ponder. I wrote what came, and it took me longer than I thought.

You can read my answers here. She also interviewed four other women, and it's so fascinating to see where our answers meet and where they diverge. I've some fresh new insights into parenting from reading the others' responses, and my desire to live intentionally was renewed.


As for Courtney's blog, I could spend the whole afternoon reading her writing, especially her Adventures in Motherhood posts. She has a beautiful, honest way with words!

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