Friday, May 22, 2015

The Littlest Sister Maternity Shoot | Part II

 
 One time, not too long ago it was just me and this guy.  It is so hard to believe what we've been through these last ten years of marriage.  PCOS, male infertility, treatments, twin pregnancy, bed rest, twin birth, more infertility, loss x 2, and now this rainbow baby of ours set to arrive in just a handful of short weeks.  So thankful for him and his devotion to leading this family.  I don't know what I would do without him!














blouse c/o white plum
heels c/o white plum
(accessories are old)

Special thank you to White Plum for sharing their adorable pieces with this pregnant lady.  
They have generously offered a special discount code to my readers.. 
Use code OHBABY at checkout for 20% your entire purchase through Memorial Day weekend:) 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Littlest Sister Maternity Shoot | Part I

I am so excited to share these.  I had a vision and Brittany, once again, delivered the most amazing pictures.  It has poured rain for a month straight, and literally rained up until hours before we were supposed to meet to snap some pictures in celebration of this growing babe.  
This little sister is just so special to us and taking time to capture this pregnancy is something I will treasure forever.
I am so super sappy this pregnancy, but I cant help it that I might just be tearing up to think about finally meeting her and having my incredible baby girls become the best big sisters on the planet.
Until then, we are soaking up these last weeks as a family of four. 






















photo credit: b faith photography
maxi dress: rent the runway
custom flower crowns: two sparrows headbands
crop tops c/o daily delilah
'bianca' tulle skirts: pretty springy
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

31 Weeks

banner / little dovie 
maxi dress c/o motherhood maternity
How far along? 31 weeks + 2 days
Total weight gain: 17+ pounds
Maternity clothes? You bet ya.  I have fully embraced maternity clothes after attempting my favorite pair of non-maternity white jeans.. with this whole hair-tie trick some of you prig ladies are fortunate to do.  That was a trick in itself.. and a hard belly laugh - literally.   As I was wiggling into them, Jolie looked me dead in the face and said 'mama- you belly big' Yes, Jolie.  Thank you.  The hair-tie trick ended about 10 weeks ago for me, so it seems. ALSO- My all time favorite maternity tanks/tees (here + here + here) are on super sale at Gap (I got the email this morning!) I have just about every color, and I wore them through to the end of my twin pregnancy,  post-pregnancy, and as nursing tanks (they hold their shape really well.. and then continued to wear them post nursing for layering. So.. in 3 years since being pregnant with the twins, these were never put away:)  Also, this dress.  I'm all over it - I foresee it to be great post-baby, too.
Sleep: This week I have started to have more trouble finding comfort when sitting/laying.  I start to get woozy when laying 'the wrong way' which almost seems like every way.  But, for the most part, no complaints once I finally find the sweet spot for sleeping soundly, it doesn't take me long before I am out cold.  20-30 minute cat naps on most afternoons when I can, and these get me through dinner, baths, and the evening spent after the babes are down.  If I don't, I'm ready for bed at 8pm with the twins:)  
Best moment this week: Spending this last weekend with my family - taking our last official pictures  as a family of four (something I didn't actually get to do/plan with the twins - but did more of a surprise make-shift maternity shoot after my last baby shower while on bed rest) and finally getting ourself into a family vehicle!  We made the official push on a GMC Acadia and absolutely love it. My little car is 10 years old (Jetta TDI bought brand new in 2006) and does not fit a third babe.. so we were in desperate need of a third row with the addition of a third carseat + I just needed a new car! 
Miss Anything? Its been a pretty great week!  I cant say that I am missing anything.
Cravings: The usual: Carbonation. Summer fruit. Greek yogurt. Peanut Butter.  Sub sandwiches.  Mexican food - I could live off chips and salsa.
Symptoms:  The occasional heartburn is super annoying.  Not something I deal with outside of pregnancy, so its completely unwelcome.  I am waking 2-3 times a night to pee.  Most of the time I am able to fall right back to sleep.  Actually, it is currently 2:09am - hungry and I had to get this baby off my bladder - glorious.  There has been a time or two when I am laying awake after having to use the bathroom for a solid hour (currently).  BUT- I can hardly complain about this when I dealt with such terrible insomnia in twin pregnancy.  Also- the belly button is officially nonexistent and I can see a very faint linea nigra forming, starting at the bottom of my once-button to as far down as my eyes can see.  I don't remember when this came last time, but I was just wondering about it recently.. and if it was going to come back with this pregnancy, and well, here we are.  Nesting is in monster swing.. I already cleaned out the twins' closet to get ready for summer 'stuff' and it just felt really good.  I am halfway going insane with any kind of clutter or 'mess'. Thankfully, I have a tidy hubby and one twin babe (Parker is a neat freak like her mama - everything has its place, you know).  So all that helps me to keep all that in check. 
Looking forward to: keep talking about her nursery, but as we make progress every single week I get more and more excited about it all coming together.  We finally have her changing table set up in her room, so this next week I have grand plans to go through Parker + Jolie's hand-me-downs and start to organize her closet/dresser.  It is so hard to believe that we have 8 short weeks (or less!!) before we meet this sweet little sister.. I cannot wait to just eat her baby cheeks off. Dreaming about it everyday- it is all I can think about.  Meeting her will be on the top of my list under 'best days of my life'.    

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Photo Dump

Well.. its still raining.  Raining every single day.  Raining morning noon and night.. and really, keeping my babies up at all hours, sleeping in the hallway, tapping me on the face at 2:47am, and requiring extra snuggles at 4:17am.
And the forecast shows rain - for the next 10 days.  
Friday was scheduled months ago for my maternity shoot with Brittany, the babes, and my one and only bae.  
For Mother's Day Jordan handed me what every mama dreams of: time.  
Time to myself for the day and into the afternoon.  I asked if I could 'save' it for pampering myself before the maternity shoot (i.e. mani/pedi + lunch + hair).  So, I held off a week and got up early on Friday morning to head out for a day of 'me'.  All by myself. 
It was raining (duh), but I was hopeful and kept our plans as scheduled, hoping the rain would hold out until the evening when we were going to be taking the pictures.
As I left.. my sweet littles were snug in my bed - the perfect way to spend a rainy morning. 
 My first stop was at the nail salon where the sweetest husband and wife worked to make my nails pretty - we talked about our kiddos the entire time.  They had a house full of boys, while I have the exact opposite, and its amazing the two different worlds we live in - but yet, a parent is a parent.
With very neon orange toenails I proceeded to grab myself some lunch. You totally guessed it- I ate a sandwich. 
I came across a Groupon to Blo dry bar about a month ago and hopped on it with plans to use it for that day and made the trek across what seemed like a million miles to Dallas (in the pouring rain). As I came out of the salon, the rain had stopped.. this was a good sign. 
Home to my sweet life and we were dressed and out the door.  We went to the Las Colinas Canals where they have the most gorgeous arch ways, enormous stone steps and, of course the water.
4 seconds into the shoot we had a couple of babes already stealing the show.  
custom flower crowns / two sparrows headbands // crop tops c/o daily delilah // tutu skirts / pretty springy
 The rest of the evening was spent bribing them to stand near mama, hold hands, kiss mama's belly..  'for suckers and smarties'.  The second part of the shoot was of just Jordan and me, and wouldn't you know that Jolie and Parker sat stone still and did everything we told them to do while Jordan and I took pictures by ourselves.  
Thats usually how it works out, isn't it? 

Saturday it rained.  Again.  But, after nap we met my sweet friend Amy to play for the afternoon outside - it was humid but cloudy.. and NOT raining.  
Sunday was a very full day of normalcy.  Church with my people (after it poured and stormed all night the seats weren't as full in service) and then a trip to the grocery store.. lunch, and then these two fell asleep in the car on the way home.  Those skinned up knees.. someone on instagram called them 'summer knees' and I'd say thats about right, wouldn't you?
Also- the look 13.  s t o p growing.
head wraps / shelby chic // tee c/o simply emelia // necklaces c/o lilmar + co // crocheted vests c/o top knots and twirls
After we got home, Jordan made a trip to meet JD of The Rustic Door to pick up the crib and the changing table.  After he got it all in the room (the crib has yet to be assembled..) I was in shock at how quickly it comes together with those additions.  I am loving how it all came out.  
Would you believe that this changing table was bought off the floor at a resale thrift store for a fraction of what it would have cost on Craig's List or at a garage sale. Jordan's 33 year old crib got an impressive face lift also and I am so excited to see what it looks like put together. 
I'm thinking about crystal knobs for the drawer pulls.. I've seen them at Hobby Lobby and all over etsy and thats the route I've decided to go.
Although there was too much rain (never thought I could say that while living in the heat of Texas), we made out for a pretty good weekend.  I am hoping to make it to the pool sometime this week with the littles.. I know all those neighborhood people are just dying to see this belly.
Happy Monday!

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grocery Games

Grocery shopping can be one of the most stressful times of the week (month?) for some people.  Growing up my mom probably went to the grocery store 3-5 times every week for whatever she needed - food, toiletries, or random household items.   My mom with 4 busy kids somehow found the time to make it out that way often.  Nobody's got time for that.  Or I don't, at least.  
In my former pre-babies life as a personal chef I taught myself the in's and out's of the grocery store,  shopping for all that I needed in one trip and really learning the importance of making a list.   I've been asked a time or two about my grocery list, my grocery budget, and how I make it all work together, so I decided to share how we do food in this house.
-BUDGET: We spend about $250 a week on groceries.  That is typically for 5-7 dinners, 6-7 lunches and all breakfasts and snack items for 2 adults and 2 toddlers.  We almost never eat out- and if we do, it is about once a week and usually on the weekend.  Honestly- we can go weeks without eating out somewhere, and then some weeks we swing through Chick-fil-A for lunch and sit down at our favorite Mexican place in the same week.  That being said, on a monthly basis, it is consistently just about once a week. So, if you are looking at my grocery budget every month with wide eyes, you would see the 'going out to eat' line item of our budget to be very, very small.  This $250 also includes the random purchases of toothpaste, cosmetics, and toiletries - and I compensate for other food items when I know I need to make those purchases.  I do not coupon, nor have I ever done so.. if I do come across a coupon that happens to be of something I buy on the regular - of course I will use it.  But, I don't usually take time to mess with it, and often I end up picking up something I don't need.  I do shop sales!  I'll get into that below.
-BULK SHOPPING: We do have a membership to both Sam's Club and Costco and make a trip about twice a month.  We have kind of 'cheated' the system in that we share the membership to both places with Jordan's parents.  We buy the Sam's membership and the in-laws buy the Costco membership.. and we hand over one of the cards to each other (you get two cards per membership).   I've learned that these kind of places have great deals on somethings while others are definitely duds.  I frequent my stores enough to know what is good and what is something to pass on.  I don't actually want/need 47 gallons of ketchup for $14.97, when I can get what we need at Walmart or Target for 98% less than that price.  Things that we go through quickly- like toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, bottled water, frozen chicken nuggets, frozen tilapia, wheat bread.. occasionally we buy fruit and vegetables.  Most of those things are a great price in bulk comparatively to buying them in smaller quantities nearly every week.  If Jordan happens to go without me, he's texting me pictures of random items the entire time he's there - as if to get my thumbs up or down on a good deal he's found.
-ONE TRIPMost of the time I go to the store on the weekends when I have a morning I can get to the store early enough to browse the aisles while they are empty, especially when I am bringing my girls.  I do prefer Friday or early on Saturday (by 8am or 9am).  I know when my grocery stores restock each week- Tuesdays and Fridays, so making a trip around those days promise the best time for me to get the freshest produce and meat as well as increases my chances for finding exactly what I need. By Sunday afternoon the grocery shelves are bare and I'm left to making random changes to my list mid-trip.  I only know when my store has big shipments come in because I asked:) If you don't know when your store restocks, it doesn't hurt to pose the question
What you see in my fridge/pantry is for just one week.  I like to fill up my fridge/pantry on Friday or Saturday morning and then have it empty 7 days later.  I know exactly what is in my fridge and each item has a purpose - whether it be included in a recipe for dinner or lunch that week or just enough for snacks all week long.  This keeps it clean and free of clutter.. I will admit that my Type A personality keeps up an organized refrigerator. When you keep an organized refrigerator, ingredients and leftovers aren’t pushed to the back and forgotten about, and eventually go bad because I forget they are in there and sitting behind I have a bazillion other things in front of it.
-WHERE I SHOPOutside of going to Sam's or Costco once or twice a month, my weekly shopping trip consists of three main places: Target or Walmart and Market Street (which is a local grocery store in my town).  Most of the time I go to Target because I can get things like diapers (we use the Target brand diapers) and shampoo/conditioner (honest co.) for Parker and Jolie in one trip.  I also like their store brand, archer farms.  There are some things I can only get at Walmart (do they do that on purpose??) so about every other week I'll plan my shopping around a Walmart trip.  Meat, produce and organic milk are purchased 90% of the time from Market Street.  I do the bulk of my shopping first and then run in to get milk (it is cheaper to buy the store brand organic milk at Market Street than to buy it at Target or Walmart) and the majority of my produce on my way home.
-BUILDING A LIST: My shopping list includes items that we’ve run out of for the week, but adding to it the ingredients I plan to use for meals that week prevents me from forgetting necessary ingredients.  I have my generic buy-every-week items (which I included below) and I build on top of that list for things we may have run out of that week as well as the ingredients for recipes I plan to make for meals that week.  I usually save the meal idea in the coordinating date on the calendar in my phone - so I know in the back of my mind what ingredients go with what and I end up not wasting a ton of food.  As far as the actual making of my list - I use an iPhone app called Grocery IQ.  I've used this list planning app for about 6 years and love it more than any other I've ever tried.  It remembers my 'History Items' (which includes those items I put on my list every week) and stores I have 'built' and frequently use and it allows me to organize the list based on the way my store is laid out.  This makes it really easy to build my list and prevents me from backtracking in the store because that item was at the bottom of my list (the worst!)  
-STICK TO IT: You’ve probably heard this 'tip' a millions times, but really, you must! Once I make my grocery list for week, I rarely veer from what is listed in my app. I occasionally make the mistake of shopping while hungry or being conned into a cereal thats on sale (because, yes, I am human), but otherwise, everything in my shopping cart has a use for it in the upcoming week.  Again- saving money and not wasting food.
-MEAL PLANNING: Unless I’m making a 'fancy meal' or cooking for guests (Supper Club), I usually only focus on the essential ingredients in the recipes I choose.  When a recipe is a mile long and I only have one or two items in my pantry to make it, I usually put it aside and search for a new recipe to try. I also make a lot of substitutions with whatever ingredients I have around the house (dried for fresh herbs, etc.) and I really try to use fresh items that didn't get used up the week before.  ALSO- those sale ads that come in the mail every week (mine come on Wednesdays) - use them!  If ground beef or fish are on sale, plan your meal around that protein rather than one that is full price.  Also, shopping in season for produce is going to be your best bet for finding the greatest discount on fruits and vegetables.  You can always count that the produce advertised as being 'on sale' are in season.  We spend about 75% of our groceries on produce which can become out of control expensive if you aren't careful.  Most of where 'healthy eating' gets the rap as being so expensive. Truth- Ramen Noodles are like $.60 a cup, so if you bought and ate Ramen for three meals a day it would be cheaper.. but you know.. thats a lot of pasta.  and sodium:)
The BASICS
Produce
Cucumbers
Fresh Cilantro
Kale/Romaine Lettuce
Mandarin Oranges (Cuties)
Onions
Apples
Bananas
Melon (on sale)
Grapes (on sale)
Strawberries
Avocado
Brussels Sprouts
Hummus
Fresh Salsa

Fresh Meat+Seafood
Chicken Breast
Ground Turkey (93% Lean)
Chicken Sausage

Deli
Rotisserie Chicken Deli Meat (Hillshire Farms)
Turkey Breast Deli Meat
Baby Swiss Cheese Slices (Sargento)
American Cheese Slices (Store Brand)
Light String Cheese Sticks (Store Brand)
Shredded Cheddar (Store Brand)
Shredded Mozzarella (Store Brand)

Dairy+Eggs
Coffee Creamer
Greek Yogurt
Eggs
Organic Skim Milk

Frozen
Edemame (shelled and/or in the pods)
Broccoli/Green Beans (Green Giant Steamers)
Brussels Sprouts  (Green Giant Steamers)
Quinoa (archer farms)
9-grain waffles (Kashi)

Grains + Pasta + Cereal
Look for the grains that contain ‘whole’ as the first ingredient.  Ensuring it is a whole grain product.  Skip those that say ‘enriched’ in the ingredient listing. Look for English Muffins that have at least 5 g protein, and 4 g fiber.
English Muffins (Thomas Double Protein)
Whole Brown Rice (Uncle Ben's Steamable Pouches)
Wheat+ White Corn tortillas
Carnation Instant Breakfast
Oatmeal (Special K Hot Cereal)

Canned Goods
Fruit (mandarin oranges and sliced peaches canned in 100% juice)
Beans (black and pinto)
Tomatoes
Veggie broth
*Honey mustard
*Lite Ranch dressing
*Choose dressings with 8 grams or less of fat, look for those with 300 mg or less of sodium per 2 tablespoons.  Choosing dressing with canola or olive oil as the main ingredient to make the dressing for the heart healthy fats, and dressings that high fructose corn syrup is not the main ingredient (among the first 3-5 ingredients in the list). 
Snacks
Dried Fruit (cherries, blueberries, raisins, cranberries)
Tortilla chips
Goldfish crackers/Wheat Thins
*Natural Peanut Butter
*Full-fat peanut butters trump reduced-fat flavor, and they supply heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and 7 grams of protein per serving. (Read the food label and choose butters without trans fats.) Seek ones that contain no more than 3 grams of saturated fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, and 4 grams of sugars. Skip any spreads made with partially hydrogenated oils or palm oils.  Reduced-fat spreads ­offer little calorie savings, and you’re ditching good-for-you fats. Crunchy or creamy it really doesn’t matter
Beverages
2-Liter Soda (most of the time this route is cheaper than buying canned soda and limits us to how much soda we actually drink- the hubby and I love the carbonation.) 
Drink Mix (Crystal Light + store brand)
Pear Juice (Gerber Brand- keeps constipation at bay for Parker and Jolie)
I wish I would have snapped a picture of my grocery cart this last week.. but the list above is about the gist of it for us in addition to these enormous gulf shrimp (on sale) and a couple of small steaks we decided on grilling up with a side of broccoli and mashed potatoes.  I hope you found it helpful- I would love to hear your tips and tricks for shopping!

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