2.26.2015

Texas Snow | 2015

Typical Texas weather. 
Texas is weather is somewhere between bi-polar and just plain crazy, if you ask me. For the last couple weeks we spent the glorious weather days outside - t-shirts and leggings.. the girls may or may not have even worn pants some days.  I thought- this is what summer is going to look like.  Spring was arriving after a pretty mild winter.  I am one that relies on my weather app to tell me what to expect, and being that I actually hadn't really looked at it for awhile, I really didn't know of the 'ice storm' that was upon us until we walked out of church on Sunday morning to blistering cold, wind, and freezing rain.  And boy, did it rain.  The entire afternoon. 
Every year for pretty much the last 10 years it has snowed in February or March - so this came as no surprise.  I really thought we were going to get away without being 'iced in' this winter.. last winter we were stuck in the house for over a week due to the weather conditions. Sunday night the freezing rain froze to ice with temperatures that didn't get above 25 degrees, keeping us four home by the fire for the day's entirety.  I was okay with that.
Day 2.. the conditions didn't get that much better.  So, I was home again while Jordan made it into work safely.  Day 3 - well, day three brought us snow.  About 15 minutes of big, beautiful snowflakes.  
At 7:30am I brought out shoes and Parker and Jolie's puffy parka vests (I thought for sure we would need this winter) in talks of going outside to "play in the snow".  
The eye roll and chuckle followed, because Jordan knew the photo request was coming.

But c'mon.  I'll take a little ice and eye rolls for memories like these.









I waited out the traffic and accidents - because it was pure insanity on the roads between the hours of 7am-9am.  It started snowing right at the start of 'traffic time' and people usually freak out when weather changes like that.  So, I took the advice of our school districts and went into work a little late.
By the time I pulled out of the driveway, there was no 'snow'.  Any remaining ice was completely melted, and the sun was shining.  By the afternoon it was warm enough for me to pull off my sweater for the drive home.

We live in a place where you basically turn the heat on in the mornings and then completely switch to A/C in the afternoon.
There you have it folks, the Texas Snow of 2015.   

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2.25.2015

Lily + Sam{s}

I've never put a lot of thought or effort into a diaper bag.  I wanted the Vera Bradley diaper bag from the very beginning - not even thinking about its ability to hold everything I could possibly need while toting two very new babies/infants around.  As they got a little older, it was easier to carry less and less, and then they hit the potty training stage of life, so.. that was life changing.  
Two sets of clothing, extra panties, hand sanitizer, + sippy cups and every snack you can think that a toddler's brain could desire, because I, for one, have not mastered the whole reading of the mind tricks, yet.
I first met the owner + creator of Lily Jade at The Hundred Event last August and I was completely intrigued by their mentality of the diaper bag.  WHY does it have to be difficult and why does it have to consist of sixty seven bags?  I honestly have gone through several bags trying to make the transition from 'twin mom' to 'working mom' (..ah, reminiscing of the entire 13 months of my life carrying the pumping tote around with me - on vacation to Mexico.. that was fun) to 'going out on a date with my husband' mom.

The trouble I have is that I need a bag that easily transitions from all of the above 'mom' hats I carry in my back pocket.  When I am away, the girls most often are with there daddy or with their BB, so it made it hard to even attempt to carry or be organized in just one bag - they needed something to carry the girls' things if they went somewhere with them.  Not to mention the fact that my work things never could fit in addition to the toddler things I needed to carry around.
     Enter Lily Jade.  My lifesaver in this area of stress.  It really had started to become an area of stress because I actually thought I was doomed to be carrying 11 different bags at any given time for the next years of my life.  With Baby Three on the way, I can't even image trying to fit all her infant things + toddler things into one bag.
Problem solved.  
Plus.. isn't she just gorgeous?
Just a little description of these diaper bags for those have have never had the pleasure of getting to feel, see, use one in real life:
Each bag comes with a detachable 'Baby Bag'.  The Baby Bag snaps in and has about a bazillion pockets and zippers and perfect places to keep all your diaper bag needs.  It does come with a changing pad (as pictured), and while right now I don't need that, I will pretty soon. Even with the changing pad in the bag, there is still plenty of room to hold everything else.
Whats even better is that this detachable Baby Bag can be removed, washed, and replaced without worry about getting your leather handbag a mess.  PLUS, the ease of moving the organizer of the entire bag to drop down into another bag is absolutely the most connivence I've had in about 2 years.  
The ease of transition to working mom is done in a snap - literally. 
 Traveling with toddlers, for even the smallest of errands, takes a lot of work.  We spend a lot of time at the grocery store + Sam's + Costco. I confess to making a trip nearly every week to 10 days.
Pictures I share on the blog and social media can make it seem like its all unicorns and roses, but really, I can confidently confess to the occasional thought in my head of straight up abandoning the Target cart in embarrassment because of my demanding, screaming, hair pulling, cat fighting toddlers. Not even Frozen on the iPhone can do the trick on trips like that.
Time out is warranted in more ways then one when that sort of behavior thing happens.
 ONE thing is for sure.  I am most successful in errand-running with Parker and Jolie when I am organized.
Can you tell which one of them started this Sam's run with a talking-to and time out?  
I'll give you just one guess.  #fridgeface
 THE best things about Sam's/Costco (yes we have both memberships, and yes we use both of them equally as often) is the snacks.  As terrible as the Saturday/Sunday crowds and check out lines can be, they have the best snacks during that time and can more of less feed these two lunch during our 45 minutes spend shopping in the bulk aisles for chicken nuggets, strawberries, and paper towels. 
 If the snacks that day are just okay.. I have a buffet of options in my Lily Jade.
Parker had just scarfed a buffalo chicken wing and decided after he fact that it was too spicy and needed a drink.  Which is why she is chugging her water/grape Crystal Light mix in the next, well, all of the pictures.  
 The Madeline has not only shoulder straps that actually stay on my shoulders, but an option to make it a 'backpack' style bag to carry when, perhaps, I need to carry two babies on my hips.



 hello, bump.


While there are several bags to choose from, I chose the Madeline simply because it is the most feasible for carrying it as a true diaper bag AND as a work bag (future post to come!).  

It literally is a never ending pit of space.. but in a good way.  I have never been a 'bag' person in my entire life, but working with Lily just might do the trick.    

madeline in brandy c/o lily jade
sippy cups c/o nuby
p+j
sparkle bows c/o shelby chic boutique 
poncho / camden & kate
jeggings / target 
moccs / hello moccs
amber
cardian / banana republic (old)
maternity jeans c/o motherhood maternity 
wedge booties / blowfish (similar)
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2.24.2015

What's In a Name | Baby Three

When we found out we were pregnant with our sweet baby number three, Jordan and I had already been discussing names. I have an enormous powerhouse of a name list in the notes section of my phone.  It has been a running document, so to speak, of names I/we have come across in the last six years that struck our desire and heart strings for naming future bab(ies).
When we heard the name Parker for the firs time, we were watching a random television show, and one of the main characters in that show carried the name Parker, and did it well.  She was absolutely adorable, spunky, and really, really funny.  Almost in the same instant, we looked at each other and nodded in agreement that Parker was an amazing name, and we were going to use it.  
When we heard our top boy name for the first time, about 6 years ago, I was standing in church and turned around to introduce myself to the young guy next to me, and he sounded out his name - I almost rhetorically responded by asking him to spell it.  
He was so cool.  Long beach wavy hair, olive skin, and tall, tall, tall.  So.  Theres that name. 

Choosing Jolie's name was a little different.  We had an entirely different name selected for that sweet baby A in my belly.  Things changed after a few comments were made.. and honestly, I couldn't imagine her being any other name but Jolie Grace.  Jolie was a name I had only seen about a billion times in the tabloids (see also: Angelina), but never met anyone with that name before.  In fact,  that name was at the bottom of my master name list - but over dinner one evening, Jordan mentioned that name and I couldn't get it out of my mind.  
So, she was named and we never looked back.  
 Up until the excitement of this baby girl number three came about, I had never ever, ever, ever, 
e v e r  
shared my powerhouse name list with anyone. No one.
I keep calling it a powerhouse name list, because thats exactly what it is.  
Its long.  Its good.  Good for me/us anyway.

I made the mistake of sharing it recently, and the names I had kept secret and near and dear to my heart for years were being shared all over the place.. even being used for names of their own babies.  I want to be clear that I KNOW I do not have sole ownership of ANY name, but it was very clear that those names were gleaned from my list.  And these are friends I'm talking about.  I was crushed.  I cried my little pregnant heart out for a week straight.  Probably wouldn't have bothered me as much if hormones wouldn't have been on their usual roller coaster.  But, everyone had their opinions, thoughts, and expressions that I didn't care to hear at all one bit - and basically it hurt my feelings, and I am allowed to have those.  
Names at the top of my boy list being called 'girly'.  
Names at the top of my girl list being called 'interesting'. 
This was all before we actually knew what we here having yet.  I was already over the name selection before it even had a chance to be started.
 After the short lived annoying chaos that was naming Jolie, we decided then that we would never share another baby name ever again. 
And after the experience I had in recently sharing my baby name list, it solidified my reasonings of not wanting to share our 'top names' even more.  
We have selected a name, and it is perfect.  I started praying for her by name and calling her by name, and talking to her by name.  It sticks.  It is precious.  It is perfect.
Honestly, I don't care if you hate it.  When it came to naming this sweet girl, I am the one that has to love it, and I completely understand if not everyone loves our decision. But once this sweet girl has arrived.. I double dog dare you to tell me you hate it.
When I told someone that were not sharing the name, their smart comment in return was 'I hate the name already.' 
Good for you.  What is actually GOOD for me is that I know the name and YOU do not. 
Not for another 20 weeks or so, that is:)   
It is the number one question I get these days- "Does baby girl have a name?"  Yes, yes she does.  
I sent my running name list to Jordan the week before we found out gender, and he picked his favorites out of that list, and the name we picked for her name was one of them.  The name we picked wasn't a name that was in my own 'top' list at all.  Wasn't even a name I thought I liked all that much.  The moment I read his list and thought about it, and pictured our family of four calling our newest member by this name, I couldn't get it out of my head.
      
Above all other reasons for not sharing her name before she arrives, we want to keep her special.  Parker and Jolie get a lot of attention for many reasons, but also simply that they are twins.  There are two at the same time, and that in itself is absolutely amazing to people.  I wanted to keep Baby Three and this pregnancy as special & different as I possibly can.  Carrying twins was such a unique experience, and I want this pregnancy to be just as unique:) She is SO special to us.  Literally our miracle baby.  The baby that I was beginning to think that I was never going to be able to carry beyond 10 weeks.  The baby that happened on God's timing, and we are so very thankful.
20 more weeks, and you guys.. it is flying.

disclaimer: 
I am in no way trying to seek attention on this post.  
It is my way of expressing our reasons for not sharing out baby girl's name before she is born, and in no way am I attempting to offend anyone.  
This is my outlet and a safe place for me to express my own opinions:)  
Harassing and just plain rude comments will not be tolerated or published.
I will not be attacked from behind a computer screen for many reason but most importantly because you are not only attacking me, but those that commented with support.
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2.23.2015

Sleep Transition | Beddy's Review

Sleep in this house has been a weird source of frustration, joy, discouragement, confusion, and peace. So many, many things can happen in two short years, but one thing is for sure- sleep has not blessed us with it's presence on a regular basis.
I am one of those people that had their twin newborns sleeping through the night at 2 weeks.  We had to wake them for feedings every three to four hours or else they and we would sleep right through. With their petite size, we couldn't afford to have them miss the opportunity to eat, so we were setting alarms.  ALL was well until month 2.  Jolie was diagnosed with torticollis and we were flung into a time of forcing her to sleep in a rather uncomfortable position - causing her to basically scream about 60% of the night.  Welcome to the sleepless nights that were 2-6 months.  Parker, however, slept right through it all.  She was our master sleeper.  
Until month 6.  Jolie finally gained full range of motion in her neck and found sleep easily, and Parker started teething, and stopped sleeping.  
From 6 months through 15 months, neither were very good sleepers.  If they were sick, stuffy, teething, feverish.. or just simply growing, they did not sleep well. Four out of seven nights we were awake with at least one of them.  We did everything, and everything worked - until it didn't.
Then finally the age of 15 months hit, and sleep settled in on this house. 
Can someone hear the angels singing?  
Since then, teething and stuffy heads keep these girls awake on occasion, but for the most part, they sleep well.
Right before their second birthday, little petite Jo Grace started having nightmares (what else..) and while we attempted to keep her in the bed, she made every way she could OUT of it.  Even after dropping the entire mattress to the floor, she still managed to meet me at the bedside.  
There is something unnerving about waking to your young child 4 inches from your face asking for a banana at 2am. 
So, we pulled off the front ends of their cribs. Getting them to stay in bed for the first week or so was cake.. and then the cake was old and, again, they were strolling though out bedroom at 2am.  Not just Jolie, but Parker, too.    
Finally, two months in, they have started to stay in their cribs again.
The biggest problem we're having is keeping their blankets and baby dolls and pillow on their beds for the entire night.  Most common reason for waking at night is that they have lost Puppy, or Wubby,  and are cold. 

When I was contacted to try out Beddy's, the video (here) had me at hello. I couldn't event image how much easier it could get when it comes to toddler's and keeping their beds tidy.  
Growing up I was obsessed with order and my room was immaculate- even to the point that I would sleep on top of my made bed so I wouldn't have to make it in the morning.  
Jordan and my youngest brother used to move things around in my room at my parents house to drive me mad and then laugh about it. 
If only Beddy's was around 22 year's ago.
 When we tried them out on Parker and Jolie's toddler day beds, they were a little too big, but nothing that a few sheet grippers couldn't fix.  Beddy's basically takes the place of your fitted sheet, your flat sheet, and comfy quilt.  All three zip together for easy making in the morning.  
Jolie & Parker absolutely LOVE to 'make' their bed.

The entire outside is quilted in gorgeous fabrics - I am obsessed with the Perfectly MisMatched    Beddy's for Parker and Jolie's room.  It goes perfectly with their original nursery color scheme, but gives it a grown-up big girl feel to their room.   
There is no way I could financially re-do their room into a big girl room + build the dreamy nursery I have planned right now.  This is a perfect transition.  
The zipper access for the quilt is on both sides, along with expanding comfort panels. This makes it comfortable and cozy for sleeping without feeling confined to a 'sleeping bag'. The comfort panels (in sweetly soft minky fabric) offer more coverage and feels like a “normal” comforter or blanket.
Parker and Jolie stay covered all night! 
For washing, the entire comforter comes right off and straight into the washing machine.  
E A S Y.
 Each set of Beddy's comes with the option of additional throw pillows to match.  
So in love with the coral and touch of turquoise. 
 With each Beddy's set comes a standard size pillow sham and matching pillow case.


 Their 'new bed' made these girls feel extra big.
And so excited to go to sleep!  Jolie was up under the covers the moment we put it all together.  
 Nap time was the first time we got to use the new Beddy's comfort system.
I'd say she's cozy.
 ...45 minutes later.  Hasn't moved a muscle.  
 Jolie is in there.  Up under the covers, her Puppy..and Elmo is in there somewhere.
I've already got my plans laid for baby girl number three and her Beddy's.  They have a new Vintage Blush option, and holy excited am I.
I mean, I am already planning a toddler bed for the baby thats still in my womb.
I'm telling you, Beddy's is the way to go.

If you are thinking about all things (and stresses!!) that go along with transition to a toddler room/bed mark the thought of bedding off your list.
Even better - Beddy's has the option for Twin, Full, and Queen size! I'd say you're all set.
Who's ready to make that 2 year old move to a twin bed?
:)
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2.21.2015

19 weeks

banner / little dovie 
cardigan /  (old) banana republic 
jeans c/o destination maternity  
How far along? 19 weeks 
Total weight gain:  7 pounds, even though I feel so much bigger.   
Maternity clothes? YES.  I finally organized myself and transitioned one half of my closet to my maternity and its made selecting something to wear so much easier (go figure..) It was time I stopped digging through bins of wrinkly clothing, only to just be frustrated and late for work.  I did receive a few new things, and its amazing what a little wardrobe change can do for a girl's ego and confidence in her changing body.
Sleep: Way, way, way, too good.  Honestly, I am sleeping 7-9 hours at night, and I definitely could sleep longer. I get in a nap any time I can get one - literally snoozing through 24 minutes of Mickey Mouse at least once per day- don't judge me. This is all insanity to me as I am usually a late to bed, early to rise, but not so much these days.  
Best moment this week: I got up to pee at 2:38am the other night, and made the mistake of attempting to wake this baby girl with a few pushes on my belly to see if I could get her to move a bit.  Well - move she did.  For the next hour she didn't stop the tap dance on my bladder, my ribcage, and up under what felt like my diaphragm!  She was everywhere.  Although I wasn't sleeping, she was well worth staying awake for.
Worst Moment this week: Hormones.  All of them.  Its a wild pendulum of emotions, and poor Jordan.  Our house is covered in egg shells, and even though I am aware of whatever swing I'm in/on right at that moment, I can't help but breath fire about 65% of the time.  I'm working on it, and Jordan is so good to calm the flames.    
Miss Anything?  Confidence.  I know that might sound silly, but for whatever reason I feel SO pregnant WAY sooner this go-round.  I feel like my body exploded in this last week, and I have found myself really self conscious.  I pulled on a pair of maternity jeans that were an XS, mind you, and I basically fell out in tears standing in front of the mirror in my room because  'my thighs were huge'.  EXTRA small, people- my maternity jeans are size XS and my brain is telling myself that my thighs are huge.  So silly.  So emotional.  Again, don't judge me.  This pregnancy has me all kinds of crazy.        
Cravings: Salads of any and every kind.  Seafood - especially salmon.  All I can think about!  Oats every morning. Greek yogurt and fruit.. and donuts.  They opened a Krispy Kreme not too far from our house, and I have yet to take advantage of the drive thru, but I want, I want, I want. 
Symptoms:  I was fortunate to come down with a head cold over last weekend (read awesome sarcasm), and another 10 days of antibiotics for me.  It was just after Christmas the last time I took the same meds for the same symptoms.  I was reading back through some of my old pregnancy bump posts and sure enough I was sick multiple times dead in the middle of summer.  I stopped getting sick when I was put on bed rest - and basically never left the house.  So, its clearly just the way my body responds to such a lowered immune system with pregnancy.  Makes me SO thankful for my health.    
Looking forward to: The countdown for the big growth scan begins!  We get to see baby girl next week for the first time since we were 12 weeks - and I cannot wait.  Its been too long!  I am so eager to see how much she's grown and changed - and just to hear that she's a healthy little girl:) 


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2.20.2015

Friday Favorites

Its Friday again..and let me just say for this week to have come and gone already, I'm not mad about it.  I'm ready for a couple days home with my girls and my favorite man.
Speaking of those three.. I'll just jump right in to my favorites this week - and they are at the top of my list.

These two.  Fight.  Fight.  Fight.  A LOT lately.  And its exactly as you would envision a 'girl' fight.  Pulling hair, scratching, screaming..all ending in overly animated sobs.
In true 'girl' form, they are besties (frenemies?  Might be a better word..) in less than three minutes time.  We have been working HARD not to send them both to time out when they argue and cat fight like this.  A heart-felt 'sorry' and hugs seem to do the trick in resolving their issues at the moment.  Better for everyone, really.  I (or Jordan) do not have the be the 'bad guy', and the word "sorry Jowee/Ah-kaah" coming out of my 2 year olds' mouth is perhaps the most precious thing you have ever heard.
..and I'm back to my place in line as the third wheel.  But I'm okay with that, I think.  Because I get to sit back and watch them interact, and thats reward enough for me.
Literally 30 seconds after scratching Parker across the chest, they go in yelling "HUGS!"
..as if they were mocking our new found resolution to their fighting.
They would't mock me, though.  No way.
On the other side of the fence, theres this guy.  He's a fireman.  You knew that, though.. BUT did you know that he actually fights fire?  I forget nearly 100% of the time, and when I call him while he's at the station, and he doesn't answer, the thought of him possibly being in a fire situation isn't in the forefront of my mind at all.. maybe its that fact that 9 out of the 12 years we've been together he's been doing this job, and in 9 years I've become accustomed to his work-life.
In Irving they have a Citizen's Fire Academy, and these people would absolutely do anything for those guys - and they have one man that comes to the fires and takes action photos of our burley men doing what they do best.  When I got my hands on some of these this week, my pregnant heart basically exploded in pride of my husband.
 ..they saved those birds.
Really.  They save everything.
 Like- the coolest.
 ..IN OTHER NEWS.. 
I got the best mail day earlier this week when my new Lily Jade diaper bag arrived on my front door step.  YES.  Thats right - that beauty is a diaper bag.  I cannot wait to share how I use this bag in my work-momma life.  So easily transitioned to my work bag on a daily basis, but perfectly usual for running errands with the girls.  So, stay tuned for that:)  Gah - I'm obsessed with it!
 -
MANY of you all asked about the salmon recipe that we ate in my Photo Every Hour post earlier this week.  Well, for good reason, because it is so delicious - and so very simple. Its loosely related to Cooking Light's Broiled Salmon with Marmalade Dijon Glaze
Salmon filets (we usually stick with 4-6 ounces each) + dijon mustard (I love Grey Poupon for this recipe, but have used other varieties with success, too!) + brown sugar (dark or light, doesn't matter) 

Throw it on a cedar plank (or foil if you don't have a plank) and grill for about 20 minutes, making sure your wood doesn't catch fire.  I usually soak my cedar plank for double the amount of time it calls for (more like 6 hours).
Thats it!  Easy, right?
-
LAST, but certainly not least favorite of this Friday - White Plum is giving away a FREE WARDROBE.  Holy mackerel - and yes they are serious. 
CLICK
WHO wouldn't want a chance to enter into this giveaway.  I know me and my pregnant self entered.. pregnant or not, their clothing is so versatile that I can make it work with the bump.  I could definitely use a little update to this wardrobe-o-mine.  I spend all my monies and time and energy on Parker, Jolie, and of course we can't forget the littlest sister.  But $1200.. a $1200(!!!).. shopping spree for MOMMA would be amazing. So how do you enter?  That's even better.  No loops, no following, no long term commitment to anything.. just join their mailing list.  Giveaway runs through February 22nd - so just a few more days to enter!

What are you waiting for?  Go.  Now. Enter HERE. You're welcome:)

Happy Weekend, loves!
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