Thursday, July 2, 2015

What I Wish I'd Known..

I had to opportunity to share a tidbit of mom advice over at Grace's blog (one of my favorites!) last week and it was so funny that she asked about my own personal 'what I wish I'd known' story because it had been on my mind for several weeks leading up to the tail end of this pregnancy with baby number three. 
---
There are so many ideas/topics/words of advice I could write about in relation to new moms like "..if someone offers help, TAKE IT..and don't feel bad about it.." or .."you'll never use the bathroom alone again, so get used to that now.." but something that has remained on my mind throughout my entire (second) pregnancy and really brought to reality during this last trimester, is directly related to what I didn't remember to do during my first pregnancy with the twins.  I  absolutely failed to take time to soak in the idea of being a mom. 
a M O M.  That's huge.

The number one question I get from friends and strangers alike goes something like "I bet carrying one is soooo different from your twin pregnancy.."  Well, all things considered, yes.  I am less whale-ish, but really it was the emotional aspect of the entire thing that has caught me off guard and brought me to tears a couple times. 

Okay.  A lot of times.

It was simply the unknown surrounding my entire pregnancy the first go round that caused me to actually take a few weeks (a month?) before I  was able to realize that I was a mother.  A mother to two precious little beings that I carried, nourished, and now was flung into caring for (and keeping alive).  Motherhood is such a beautiful thing to step into, and I let myself get caught up into the 'what-ifs' of the days, weeks, and months prior to and following the birth of my girls.  For lack of a better word to describe the situation .. it was actually a JOB.  It was hard work.  From weeks 24-37 I found myself on what felt like permanent bed rest to keep them incubated until they were ready to be born.  Then it was birth.  C-section or natural - singletons or multiples, that's hard work.  We are amazing creatures to be able to endure any of that.  I realized looking back that there was a lot of recovery that took place postpartum, and not just from birth, but the hype of the last 9 months had all come to a head and here I was at the end of it now with two babies.  Of course, I wouldn't change a single thing about any of it - and if I knew how amazing this motherhood thing was going to be like, I would have figured out how to have done it sooner in life.

With all that behind me, and sort of knowing what is expected of me on delivery day and sort of having an idea of what I am doing as a new mother for the second time around, I daydream.  I daydream not about the 'what-ifs' and unknowns of pregnancy, delivery, and motherhood...

...but of her sweet little nose. 
...those squishy baby cheeks.
...what the shape of her eyes will be. 
...rubbing her teeny (and oh-so-fuzzy) baby ears. 
...and ultimately getting to hold her tight after 40 weeks of waiting. 
Moral of my sappy story: Don't get caught up in the crazy of life.  Take a moment to think about the beauty of it all. The beauty of motherhood and pregnancy.  You wont regret it. 

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

37 Weeks + Styled Bump // Stripes

Today is July 1st.  Its birth month, ya'll.
I still cannot believe how quickly time has flown by since finding out we were expecting on a random Saturday afternoon in November.
'Pregnancy' had become a four letter word in my book and I was so tired of the dreams and desires to continually be coupled with loss and sorrow.  And then, God chuckled at my own plans for this last year and breathed life + reality into our hopes for another baby.
Here we are.  I'm in the last days.  Thats right, days.  
f o u r t e e n days.
pocket tank c/o pink blush maternity
maxi skirt c/o pink blush maternity


How far along? 37 weeks + 2 days
Total weight gain: 24 pounds
Maternity clothes? Like I've mentioned time and time again - my all time favorite pregnancy wardrobe staple has been the maternity maxi skirt and a tank top.  My last pregnancy was spent in bed during the cooler fall and winter months with little need for trendy maternity clothes, so dealing with the need for comfort in my clothes as well as staying cool while pregnant during the heat of the Texas summer has been my priority this time around.  Maternity dresses are well and good - but the skirt gives me shape and helps to distinguish where my boobs begin and hips end.  I've been caught in a tent a time or two this last trimester, and its not super flattering.  The skirt I'm wearing by pink blush maternity is really comfy (I say that about all of them..), stretchy, and long.  I am not a short girl by any means - just under 5 feet 7 inches and this skims the floor when I wear it- the way I love it.  This maternity maxi skirt, this cute maternity dress, and this one are currently hanging in my closet and have been in regular rotation for the last 37 weeks - not to mention they are perfect for postpartum, too!
Sleep: Finding comfort has been really interesting this last month, but honestly I am sleeping really well.  I am getting into bed about 10pm and sleep until at least 4am before I wake to use the bathroom.  Naps in the afternoon are still a normal thing. 
Best moment this week: We got to peek in on our growing baby girl earlier this week! We loaded up the girls to come to the appointment with us (we usually bring them for the sonogram appointments) and the moment we pulled into the parking lot they started asking if they were getting to see "baby"  They have really made my heart explode this week with their excitement about the littlest sister.  They must know she's going to be here soon and can pick up on our excitement about it all, too.  
BABY GIRL
She is 6 1/2 pounds of baby squishy-ness with cheeks and lips for days.  She is head down and laying into the right side of my pelvis.  We did notice on the sonogram that the umbilical cord is right near the nape of her neck - and the sonographer couldn't tell if it was just laying there or if it was actually wrapped around her neck.  Parker had the same issue and she did in fact come out with the cord around her neck (twice).  I was instructed to count her kicks, and this child moves non-stop, so I would know if something was up pretty quickly.  As far as my OB can tell, the scheduled day of July 14th seems to be the d-day!  And we just cannot wait to meet her.
quilt / anthro
slouch beanies c/o sweet eloise designs // peplum tank / old navy // fox socks c/o top knots + twirls

Miss Anything? Nada
Cravings:  I have zero desire for food right now.  I don't feel the sensation of being hungry at all whatsoever and I have found myself lightheaded and feeling really sick to my stomach because I am actually hungry.  This baby girl is taking up all my space and my appetite, too.  Peanut butter + banana toast, yogurt, fruit, and cereal have been my go to.  I mentioned sushi for our last date night and Jordan about hit the roof with excitement- because, yea.. I'm ready for some sushi.
Symptoms: Heavy belly.  No appetite.  Exhaustion.  The usual. 
Looking forward to: Meeting our sweet girl.  We are so ready.  I mean, really ready.  Nursery is done- her space is just precious and I cannot wait to share.  Baby items that we lacked or needed to upgrade have been purchased.  Bags are packed.  Lets do this!
Special thank you to PinkBlush Maternity and B Faith Photography (as usual) for styling this 37 week bump!
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WE EAT | Tomato + Cucumber Greek Salad with Farro

Really, this is for my eating.  While meal planning for this week, and browsing through the most recent issue of Cooking Light, I all but doggy-eared the entire magazine.  I have been looking for quick and healthy things I can make a big batch of and graze on all week - and this seemed to do the trick for my brain. Not to mention- the easiest lunch on the planet?
I have made this twice already - the first time I didn't change a thing, and the second time I didn't have everything I needed for the dressing ingredients, so I used a regular old store bought red wine vinaigrette dressing I had on hand.
Both equally delicious!
Greek Tomato + Cucumber Salad with Farro
serves 4
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons black pepper
2 cups cooked farro (I cooked mine according to package directions; used chicken broth)
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved 
1/3 cup sliced red onion
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound small pickling cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-in slices
4 ounces feta cheese (about 1/2 cup) 
--
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in farro and the next 4 ingredients (through cucumbers), and toss gently to combine. Top each serving with feta cheese.
I was able to find the farro easily in my grocery store, but you could surely sub out the farro for quinoa, whole wheat couscous, or even brown rice.
I also made sure to use pasteurized feta cheese - just flip over the package to the ingredients list and the first one or two ingredients should say made with pasteurized milk.
Most recognizable brands are usually pasteurized and safe for pregnancy, but I always double check.







I used the left over olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese for this Watermelon Salad - because, watermelon in the summer is just required. 
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Weekend in Pictures

The weekend!  We have just two more of these before our sweet little girl arrives and this one couldn't  have been more full.  

Dips in the pool, picnic with friends, pizza date night out sans babes + another date night on the patio with a couple of our favorite chickies and more water play at the splash pad.
We stayed up ways past our bed times and naps were an after thought.. although it had to have been a record of how many times my girls fell asleep NOT in their own beds- which is rare.  We ended with Sunday morning praise + lunch with friends and lastly, our Sunday evening adult Bible study while Jordan's Aunt Sherrye spent some silly time with the twins - marking many things off our bucket list.
This is what summer is all about:)
poolside wraps /shelby chic // swim suit / gap


 flower bow / jameson monroe // tee / riley clay



 sippy / nuby // glitter clips / averie + jane

 maxi dress / vintage crown

I think just about every friend and stranger made comments about how low I am carrying our littlest - directly to me or not so discreetly under their breath mentioned that there is no way I would make it two more weeks.
Here's hoping, folks.  I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekend DIY

Its been one of those weeks where I just felt like today would never everrrrr get here. 
ever.
I have officially reached the stage in pregnancy when I am completely unmotivated and just want to be incredibly lazy.  My co-workers are lucky that I arrive to work (late) every morning in a 'presentable' manner.  The no-pants club hasn't made its debut to all these biz professionals.
yet.
My nesting comes in sprees and most often when I am awake to midnight doing piddle-y things to make me feel more accomplished and free to go to bed.  Other times I cant bring myself to get off the couch to do a darn thing.
BUT- I promised a Weekend DIY in the title of this blog post, which is what likely drew you in to read.
Truth be told, this little blog-o-mine will never be a credible DIY blog, as badly as I wish to be crafty.  I have plenty of ideas, but my OCD brain never allows the follow through.
BUT..
..for your Weekend DIY: The perfect bubble bath.
I have become pretty crafty with getting the perfect suds for a couple of my favorite girls - and while its not a great big secret, I get asked about them often.. because, well a lot of my grammable material is in the tub.  It is absolutely their most favorite place to be right now. 
Did you know there is like seven hundred different recipes for making your own bubble bath via Pinterest? You wont find a recipe here.

Tubby Todd Bubble Bath + a couple squirts of regular dish soap
=
bubbles for dayyyys.









If you really want to get a good sud going, you could also soften your water first.  If you have hard water, add a little baking soda to the water and stir that around and then add the bubbles- they will froth up a lot more.

The best end to my week is looking forward to a weekend with these two bubble babes and their daddy.  Bring on the weekend!

More #bubbletubfortwo sweetness










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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Bucket List | 2015


With the official start of summer over the weekend (July 21st), what better time than now to share our Summer Bucket List?  in resolution to keeping you all fooled with my organizational skills.. I've been meaning to knock this list out since early May, but that hasn't happened yet.  Something about being pregnant and marking things off my 'to-do' list don't mesh well in my brain.  
BUT- we are here now, and I'm excited to share.. as well as continue with my theme of foolery in that we will get everything marked off this list before baby girl arrives in three weeks or less.
Yea, nope.  
Regardless, some of these bucket list items have been checked already and some will be marked off as a family of f i v e before the summer comes to an end.
--
//make homemade ice cream//
When I mentioned doing this soon to Jordan (he's a pro), he basically lost his marbles with excitement.  Homemade ice cream is his favorite!  The girls haven't ever tried it yet, so this will be fun for them to help daddy with.  I found many Pinterest ideas for making homemade ice cream in a bag and all kinds of ways to do it.. but for the girls' age the traditional ice cream maker is the route we are going this year.
//go to the farmer's market//
There are TONS of small markets in and around the cities we live.  You can easily find a local farmer's market through googling your own city.  I love the idea of walking around the market and letting the twins pick out their own piece of fruit or veggie to take home to 'prepare' or eat right away!  
//mom + daughter mani/pedi date//
This was so much fun to do with my girls.  They loved to paint their toes and request it often at home.  For our first time, Jordan dropped us off and hung around close by in case I sent a panic S.O.S. text for him to come to the rescue.  But really, they did great and sat very still while they had their fingers and toes painted.  We have plans to do this once again before baby girl arrives- because mama is in need of a fresh pedi:)
//watch fireworks + play with sparklers//
This is an easy one with all the bajillion options for the fourth of July.  I have a feeling the sparklers may scare them a little, but cant hurt to introduce them!
//puddle jumping//
With all the rain we have been having- it is really easy to find a puddle!  Not to mention.. just let them be little- get a little messy, a little wet, and have a lot of fun.. even while wearing white!
Not my smartest move, but hey we were in the moment.
//make homemade pizza//
We cook at home together a lot.  Allowing them more time in the kitchen with me makes for a fun activity.. perhaps after visiting the farmer's market?  
//go bowling as a family//
Pull out the bumpers and order a pizza for the table to share.  This one would is super easy and affordable to do with young kiddos- especially the twins' age.  
//build a living room fort//
Auntie and Uncle J make the best forts for their sleepovers with the twins and I am determined to be just as fun:)  They pull out the blow up mattress and make a legit fort that consumes their entire dining room.  I think their daddy and me have a challenge.
//sleepover with Auntie + Uncle J//
Baby Greyson will be here in just a couple weeks (or less !!), so we are hoping to squeeze in just one more sleepover before he arrives.  The girls ADORE spending the night with those two.  
//paint with water//
When the girls visited their Granny, Woogie, and Bunny last month, Bunny had the genius idea of painting with water.  The girls talked about it (and still do!) non-stop upon their return.  One $6 pack of paintbrushes and two $1 plastic pails and you have cheap toddler entertainment for eternity.  Okay- for like a half hour to 60 minutes- but thats like forever on a mom watch.
//visit the splash park//
We've done this many times- and its f r e e!  Really great way to meet up with friends and run through  the water on a hot day.  We love the splash pads!  Again.. google your city and those surrounding to get an idea of local pads in your area.
//finger paint//
Its been a couple months since we transitioned our dining room into a play room for more space (the smaller room we had it in was way too small).  Truth be told there is nothing to share about it because it is relatively incomplete.  I got in nursery planning mode and lost interest.. but finger painting a couple of canvas prints (cheap and occasionally on sale at places like Hobby Lobby or Michael's) would be fun to hang on the walls of the room for added decor.  Not to mention- it would be way fun for the littles!  Jordan and his dad are 3rd generation painters on the side of firefighting, so they have 'drop cloths' to be able to lay out to protect the patio.  I would find something similar to protect whatever your allowing the kiddos to paint on.
//chase the ice cream truck//
Not always but sometimes I hear the ice cream truck music playing through our neighborhood.  We will track you down - even if its for a scary Spongebob ice cream head.
//visit a children's museum//
We discovered Play Street a couple weekends ago after attending a birthday party and LOVED it!  They have open play during the week and it would be a great place to take the girls for a couple hours of make believe fun. I also would love to take them to the Perot Museum of Nature + Science - we've been meaning to go for months - but I think this summer would be a great time for their age to go for a half day. 
//go to a baseball game//
My favorite part of summer.  I LOVE going to baseball games.
//stay in our pj's all day//
I'm thinking PJ's + movie marathons + living room fort.
//go to the zoo//
We've been a couple times to the Fort Worth Zoo as well as the Dallas zoo, but not yet this summer!  With my maternity leave coming up, going on a Wednesday when its half-price would be opportune- not to mention that the FW Zoo just opened a splash pad!  We are SO there.
//swimming until the sun goes down//
We've done this nearly every day since the pool opened.  Every available afternoon after I get home from work we load up the strolled and walk to the neighborhood pool.  This makes for a little bit later of an evening (dinner at 730p vs 6pm), but we have really been enjoying the days being longer so we can catch a few rays before bed.
//have a park picnic//
We've done this a couple times with friends and plan to make several more attempts to getting outside and doing to more often this summer (in the shade, mind you..).  I usually pack easy things like cut up fruit, popcorn, crackers/goldfish, cheese sticks, and nuts.  Easy things that aren't super perishable and don't need an enormous cooler to tote around.  We have a park date this weekend, actually- coupling it with a splash park playdate:)
//see a movie in a theater//
We've successfully seen our first movie in the theater!  Aside from 3 potty breaks in between, Inside Out proved to be a success - not to mention super cute for the adults!  We decided this would be a great idea for our 2.5 year olds because they will actually sit through an entire movie while at home.  I think the first time they needed to go potty, it was a true need..and the rest of the trips were because they found it to be a game to take their very pregnant mother up and down the stairs:)
//make homemade smores//
This is sort of like the homemade ice cream and swimming until dark.  Its summer.  You just have to.
//visit the water park//
I mentioned of our recent trip to the water park HERE after winning a family pack of tickets on the radio, and we had so much fun that I am dead set on making another trip before its over.  It is affordable (girls still get in for free!) and really focused on the little kiddos. 
//eat sno cones//
there is a place almost within walking distance of the house- my pregnant brain is dreaming of a cotton candy (pink) cone as I type this.  I think I might just have to leave and go right now.
//play with side walk chalk + scribbles//
Another fun way to pass up the time with toddlers.  Daddy has been working in the garage a lot recently, and while mama is at work he brings them outside with him to play and there is almost always chalk involved.  We decided after seeing all the toddler doodles on the garage floor that we wanted them their forever.. SO- Jordan's amazing idea was we to let the girls color all over the garage floor, making sure to drawn puppy and wubby, and definitely including the newest little sister (mama can take care of her coloring) and then sealing it up forever.  
//blow bubbles//
I just bought one of those enormous bottles (I mean h u g e) of bubbles and plan to use them all up before the summer is through.  It is the most favorite thing for the girls to do!  Bubble love has turned into bubble bath love - if you follow on IG you have definitely seen my #bubbletubfortwo photos.
//feed the ducks at the pond//
You mention the d-word around Parker and Jolie and the day is over unless you find something to feed them and a handful of ducks to chase around. 
//visit story time at the library//
Barnes and Noble has story time during the week (it is on Tuesday morning where we go) as well as our public library.  There is a splash pad right next to our B+N, so its like knocking two birds with one stone before nap time.  Thats a win!
//attend open gym//
We have several churches in our area with 'open gym' that allow, during certain hours, the public to come and play.  Its free and provides some great indoor playtime when it feels like it eight hundred degrees outside.
A couple local that are our favorite: The Ark at Grace Pointe Church, The Treefort at Watermark Church, The Tubes at Irving Bible Church
There is also places like Jump Street ($4 for under 4 years) and Pump It Up that the girls will wear themselves out in. Of course the indoor mall areas are always a win (and free).
...
//have a baby//
We will get that marked off the list here pretty quick, I think..



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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

36 Weeks

banner / little dovie  


How far along? 36 weeks + 2 days
Total weight gain: 23+ pounds -- after my appointment yesterday, the belly's fundal height is measuring exactly 36 weeks.  She also, after feeling around a little, is convinced that this little girl has turned breech.  It wouldn't surprise me- she kept me up the entire night before moving her little body all over the place!  I have a sonogram scheduled for next Monday afternoon, so we shall see!  I am not doing a VBAC, so her position doesn't really matter.. but I am curious due to the fact that she's been head down for about 5 weeks already.  I know girl, I'd be tired of my sitting on your head, too. 
Maternity clothes? Nothing fits this bump unless it has side-ruching.  I try to fit into regular tees and tanks, but its laughable and clearly only acceptable amongst the family at home:)  I is SO hot these days - even if its only 95 (95 !!) degrees outside, the humidity makes it feel like 148.  Pants are optional - and that is no joke.  I am notorious for wearing sweatpants in the summer time, but not this summer.  The more lightweight the material is, the better.. including those yoga pants I'm wearing.  They are definitely a splurge (hello, Nordstrom Bucks) but I know for a fact that these will be amazing post-baby belly also.  I never stopped wearing my Gap tanks (which are 40% off right now) after pregnancy/nursing the twins.. and I have a feeling those will fall into the same line.  

Peek-a-Belly. I have thought long and hard about just giving up and wearing a tent for the next three weeks, or so.
quilt / anthropologie
Sleep: Yep.  How amazing it is to not have to deal with insomnia this time around in pregnancy. That was numero uno on my complaint list with the twins.. and I am oh-so thankful that I don't deal with that now.  I have a feeling it has to do with a couple of busy toddlers and their energy level times a billion for 99% of their wake hours.  The moment they are in bed, I am ready to hit the pillow, too!
Best moment this week: I had to take the twins with me while solo to my OB checkup  because Jordan was working.. they did SO good.  I was really impressed with my little sidekicks- because morning appointments can go a handful of ways, and most often it isn't in my favor.  I made sure to bring books and crayons for them to sprawl the exam room, but they were so interested in what my nurse and Dr. Walsh was doing pertaining to 'mama's tummy'.  Parker was the sweetest and laid her hand on my belly as we listened to the heartbeat,  and then again as Walsh measured me for growth.  She was saying her name non-stop (Dr. Walsh and her staff do know her name..) and it was just so precious.  In the last month they have really taken mind to the bump that is always in the way.. I'm curious as to how they will act once the bump is no longer an issue for them and fitting into my lap.   
Miss Anything? The usual: tummy sleeping, normal eating, being able to make it through the day without a cat nap, being heartburn-less..and basically fitting into my regular clothes with ease.
Cravings:  Nothing really new from the normal of the last 35 weeks - except I've come to desire an iced (half-caf) coffee from Starbucks.  Never been an iced coffee drinker, and it really must be beach my body reads at nine-hundred degrees and I need something to cool it down.  Oh- and we've had grilled steak twice since the weekend.  Its Wednesday.
Symptoms: Nada much to complain about really - BUT the congestion has returned.. even with the humidifier going at full blast every night.  Its super mild, and I'm assuming related to being late in my pregnancy.  I have also come to start taking off my rings before bed at night.  I'm swelling in my hands only over night and into the morning, making it so uncomfortable for the first few hours I'm awake.  If thats all I've got- I'll take it.  Braxton Hicks are becoming more regular - again, something I dealt with the twin pregnancy really earlier on (about 24 weeks), so I know the drill with these.  We've gotten to the point where her sudden movements in the womb will promote a BH.  No biggie.  Walsh did make the comment that if and when I start to have contractions that are 10 minutes apart, I needed to head to the hospital. I know thats not the normal recommendation - but with a previously high risk pregnancy under my belt, she's taking all cautions. 
Looking forward to: We have finished her nursery!  Just weeks away from her arrival.  Ok.. well- we still have no mattress to lay her on, but I picked up the bedding yesterday, which was really the final piece to the puzzle for the nursery completion.  I cannot wait to share!  I had a huge sign of her name made to hang over her crib, SO.. her nursery reveal will be post-birth, but I promise it will be quick.. because I cant hardly wait.  We hung everything on the wall over the weekend, and it totally made the room come together as complete.  Now- we just have to wait for this sweet baby girl to get here.  3 more weeks!

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