FAQ

How long have you been married?
We were married August 13th, 2005 at the ripe age of 20 and 23. It will be 10 years this August (2015).

What do you do for a living?
I am a Registered Dietitian.  I love my job!  I currently work 4 days a week - occasionally from the comfort of my own home, and a run the Wellness Division for my firm.  Corporate Wellness, public speaking events, and sitting on panels as a nutrition expert for The American Heart Association, and most recently for The Blue Zones Project for the City of Fort Worth.  I also have a great hand in meal planning and providing nutrition education where needed. 

Do twins run in your family?  Did you seek fertility treatment?
Yes and sort of.. check out our fertility story, PCOS to Pregnancy, and for our try for babies the second time around HERE

What hair products do you use?  Will you be doing a hair tutorial?
As far as hair and makeup go- that's another almost constant request; which is so flattering to me! I am working on a post to tell all about my hair.  But, I’m hesitant to make a video for fear of my clumsiness and being totally awkward! The thought actually terrifies me.  For now, here is a basic run down of my routine.

First of all, my hair is naturally curly and pretty thick, which definitely helps with the volume aspect. I use a lot of different hair product on my locks, but my favorite is GUTS10 by Redken, and I use quite a bit.. I suggest when you think you've used too much, add a little more:) I also like TIGI Bed Head Superstar thickening spray.  A little goes a long way.  I don't use it as often as I use GUTS, mainly because I cant go as long between washes as I can with the other product.  I also use Redken 25 One-United leave in conditioner for an extra layer of protection and of course to help with frizz control. If I am straightening my hair, I wash and blow dry with a paddle brush in sections. If I am curling my hair, I wash it the night before, add all of my hair products and allow to air dry over night.  The natural volume my hair has in the morning helps to hold the curl (not to mention cutting down on my morning routine).  To curl my hair I either use my GHD straightener or a 1 1/2 in barrel curling iron. Again, I separate my hair in sections and curl, not running my hands through just yet, but spraying the curls with Kenra 25 hairspray (best ever!) as they set. Once I finish my sections of hair, I run my hand through, twisting the curls with my fingers as needed. I then tease the top sections and around the crown of my head for addition volume. Learning to tease my hair changed my life.  Kate from The Small Things Blog has a video tutorial on how to tease your hair.. And seriously, my good hair days went up by 100%. Finish with (more) hairspray once you have the desired look!

I only wash my hair a couple times a week, which drastically helps with style time as well as volume. Every time I run out of shampoo and conditioner, I don't usually go back to what I was using previously.  I switch it up, not because I hated it, but just to give my hair a break.  Right now I'm using the Bonacure Repair Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner for Colored Hair.  When I had lighter coloring in my hair, I used baby powder to absorb the oil in my 2 (or three..or four..)  KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray is a product I was introduced to by my hair dresser friend.  Guts and KMS is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Complimentary.  day old hair, but now that I've gone to the dark side, this has been amazing and not overly 'gunk-y' after a couple uses.  Plus, I use it to revamp all-day hair before an evening out to re-volumize my limp locks.
What is your hair color?
Highlights foiled in with (Paul Mitchell Syncro Lift) 20 volume developer.  *This enlightener is chosen because I like to add more texture to my hair and it keeps it from being SO soft*
Auburn color achieved by the following
Schwarzkopf 5-80 Light Brown Red Natural (entire tube) mixed with 1 ribbon of Schwarzkopf 0-88 Red Concentrate and 10 volume developer.  
Leave on for approximately 40 minutes.  
Both processes are done simultaneously.
What is your make-up routine?
See my hair, skin, makeup, & body favorites HERE
Where do you shop?
The majority of my wardrobe is from Ann Taylor Loft.  I worked there for about 6 months when we first started down our road for fertility thinking we would need to extra money for treatment.  I usually ended up spending my paycheck before it even was in the bank!  I also love The Limited (for work), Gap, White Plum, and Target.
How did you lose the baby weight so quickly after having twins?
Two words: Breast. Feeding.  It is the best diet I’ve ever been on!  I also think that my eating habits during pregnancy were pretty balanced and I didn’t gain too much excess, making it easier for me to lose post-babies.  By my two week post-op appointment I had lost 35 pounds (most of it was water and babies), and then the other 5-7 pounds by week three.  I can honestly say I am comfortable in my pre-pregnancy clothes, but the skin on my stomach is still loose and the tightening process is much slower than losing the weight was for me.  Another plus on my side: my body did not change the way a ‘normal’ woman’s body changes in preparation for delivery and pregnancy.  My hips stayed exactly where they were before pregnancy.  My OB made this discovery during my c-section, informing me that I will never be able to deliver a baby the natural way.  My pelvis is abnormally small “like a kitchen funnel that has been run over by a truck” .  Good for pre-pregnancy jeans, not so good for delivering a baby or two:)
How much weight did you gain while you were pregnant with the twins?
40 pounds
How much weight did you gain while you were pregnant with a singleton?
25 pounds
What kinds of foods do you eat while you were pregnant with the twins?
Even as a dietitian this was a serious struggle for me.  I never dealt with nausea (thank goodness).  I was expecting the most horrible morning sickness due to the fact that I was walking around with hormones through the roof, but I never got sick.  On the nausea end of things- I do know that carbs will help it to subside and pass quickly- pretty much the only thing that will work on that issue.  For a twin pregnancy: The daily recommended caloric intake for normal-BMI women with twins is 40-45 kcal/kg- which meant I needed anywhere between 2,200-2,500 calories/day.  For the most part I was able to hit this goal every day.  In the beginning of my pregnancy this was much easier to do.  I would focus on small meals often throughout my day.  A typical day during my first and early part of my second trimester of carrying twins:

BREAKFAST 7am: (home) 8oz decaf coffee with creamer, 6oz Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup pumpkin flaxseed granola mixed with 2 tablespoons wheat germ (for a good source of folic acid).
SNACK 10am: (work) 1 apple with 2 tablespoons peanut butter or 2 (2%) string cheese sticks.
LUNCH 12p-1p: (work) leftovers from dinner or 2 cups mixed steamer veggies with 5 ounces natural deli turkey or ham (I like Boar’s Head) and some kind of fruit with more plain Greek yogurt.
SNACK 3:30pm: (home) 2 slices whole wheat toast with peanut butter and small banana, graham crackers and peanut butter, or a bowl of Cheerios with skim milk.
DINNER 6pm-7pm: varied, but most often it was a grilled or baked meat, veggies and a carb (potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice).
SNACK 9pm-10pm: dry cereal (Life Original or Multi Grain Cheerios) 

I had a weird issue with chicken and craved seafood!  So, often times my protein in the evening was plant based or shrimp, tilapia or some kind of beef.  We usually eat meatless a couple times/week- so a homemade bean burger or something like that was regular.  I love, love, love to cook and was thankful to still have some energy to cook a dinner meal.  About the middle of my 2nd trimester I found that I couldn't eat much at all before I felt miserably full.  I started having to limit my intake of fluid during meals or else I couldn’t finish the already small portion of food I was consuming.  The biggest thing for me was making sure I got enough protein in my diet. Protein is the building blocks of development and tissue production, so I wanted to make sure I was getting enough!  Carrying twins you need 175-200 grams of protein/day.  SERIOUSLY. I couldn't believe that either!!  There was no way I was getting that on a daily basis.  Although protein from food sources is best, I knew I had to do something extra to get all I needed.  I bought Isopure Zero Carb (Vanilla) and mixed it into plain Greek yogurt. One plain Greek yogurt (Oikos brand) is 15g protein and one scoop of the Isopure is 25g protein.  I would do this 2-3 times/day. At the end of my pregnancy I was living on it practically- but getting plenty of protein for sure. It's kind of pricey- about $49 for a (really) large tub at Vitamin Shoppe. I'm sure you can get it elsewhere, but the VS is near our house. I like this particular powder bc it doesn't have any saturated fat or artificial sweeteners. I recommend it to my nutrition clients, so I figured I would take my own advice.

Once I went on bed rest and wasn't nearly as active as I had been I found that I was hardly hungry at all.  I learned to make every bite count.  Meals became anything that sounded good at the moment.  I got to a point that nothing sounded good at all and would go all day without eating anything really.  Not good for me and not healthy for my babies.  I began to make serious effort in planning my 'meals' and snacks out.  I could no longer eat foods that were too filling and didn't provide enough calories (I was stuffed after about 3 bites of pasta) I had terrible insomnia and was up every night around 3:30am until about 7am then back to sleep until nine or ten in the morning- so I would always eat something small during that window I was awake.  Good thing is that this was my only preggo complaint for the most part- so not too bad if you ask me.  
  
SNACK 5am: 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
BREAKFAST 9am: 8oz decaf coffee with creamer 2 pieces sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and sliced banana
SNACK 10am: 1 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup mandarin oranges or pineapple
LUNCH 12p-1p: 6 ounces natural deli turkey or ham on whole wheat pita bread with flax 9Joseph's) with about a tablespoon of basil pesto and olive oil mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion, and veggie chips or  some kind of fruit.
OR
Protein Fruit Bowl: 1 chopped apple, 1 sliced banana, 1 chopped plum or 15 grapes, 5 chopped strawberries, mixed with 6 oz plain Greek yogurt and 1.5 scoops protein powder
SNACK 3:30pm:  Bowl of Cheerios with skim milk.
DINNER 6pm-7pm: varied, but most often it was something super simple.  The hubby was forced to take over cooking and so it was always some kind of grilled meat and a veggie for me.
SNACK 9pm-10pm: 6 oz Greek yogurt with 1 scoop protein powder and dry cereal (I was burnt/grossed out by Life cereal by the end of my second trimester so I started eating only Cheerios.)  
SNACK 3am-4am: dry cereal or saltines, honey wheat pretzel sticks and string cheese

I really couldn't eat a whole lot of carbs or I wouldn't be able to get in the protein like I needed to.  I found that my peanut butter and banana toast would fill me up all day and into the evening if I wasn't careful! Often times I would eat the protein fruit bowl (again) for dinner, but with 2 scoops of protein powder instead of just 1.5 scoops.  The protein powder and yogurt before bed was a treat for me.  Almost like eating ice cream.. a healthier version of the stuff, but still with the calories but  lower saturated fat, and higher in protein.

See also a sample of my food journal while pregnant with a singleton HERE

How did you prevent stretch marks?
I am a lucky girl and didn't have stretch marks come about- but I do know it is totally hereditary, so if you get them there is not stopping or preventing.  I didn't use stretch mark cream, but I DID use pure coconut oil to help with the itch that comes along with the stretching of the belly skin.  I ordered  a tub of oil off of Amazon- but I know you can get this brand at Whole Foods.

If you choose to get coconut oil, make sure it is unrefined, pure, and organic.  Anything thats absorbed into your skin has potential to crossing the placenta over to the babies.

p b + j b a b e s

Where did you get the letter beanies the girls wore in the hospital? 
I ordered them from Amber @ Cotton Cupcake Shoppe on etsy.  She has all kinds of fun things for sale in her shop, but here is a link for the specific listing.  I ordered the twins hats in organic pomegranate with grey (#9) lettering and Baker's hat in the purple with polkadots

Where do you buy the girls' headbands?  
jameson monroe
guguberry
june park
baby jules boutique
shelby chic boutique
free babes
two sparrows headbands
sutter sisters
ruby blue inc
a little lady shop
mint + arrows
bub + bug studio

See also THIS post for more of our favorite shops!

Where do you shop affordable for two? Coming soon

What stroller did you pick for the twins?
We LOVE this stroller.  I wouldn't change a thing about it, except maybe the price. But, it is definitely worth the investment.  The City Select itself is in fact a single rider stroller that is manipulated to being a double stroller with the addition of parts.  Baby Jogger has double stroller, but I've watched other twin families attempt to maneuver through small spaces with the side by side strollers and it didn't look easy.  I also don't think that the City Select double converts for using a car seat.

The one we use is set up wonderfully because the seats are stadium-style.  A little longer than a standard stroller, but works best for getting through small areas- like restaurants and the grocery store.

To make the City Select compatible for twins, you'll need the following:
When we were buying/registering for the stroller and all the parts, we went ahead and got the second seat so we wouldn't have to worry with buying it later.  The second seat comes with the mounting brackets, so we didn't have to purchase those separate since we registered (and received it).  You could definitely skip the second seat and get the brackets separate to save a little money.  Either way you do it, you'll need the brackets for the car seat adapters. 

The stroller comes with a booklet with full instructions and pictures on how to set the stroller up for two.  Here is a link for baby jogger- it walks you through details of the stroller as well as the many different ways to arrange the stroller with two seats/car seats. 

Did you breastfeed the twins?
Yes!  I successfully nursed them until they were 13 months old.  Once I went back to work, they were getting 2-4 bottles of pumped breast milk.  In the early weeks I learned a lot from reading Kelly Mom.  So much helpful information that is backed up by credible sources.  I was very worried about keeping my milk production up, and tried things like Fenugreek (didn't see much change while taking this) and Mother's Tea (again, saw no real change). I did discover that oatmeal and multi-grain Cheerios worked well for my body and my milk production.  I reverted back to eating a bowl of dry Cheerios before bed each night to get ready for the next day of feeding and pumping:) Read more about my experience breast feeding the twinsies here & here and traveling internationally with my breast pump (+ returning to the states with pumped milk) here.

What breast pump do you recommend?
The Medela Pump and Style in the tote (it comes with a backpack option, too).  I had a love-hate relationship with my pump - and I'm confident to say that most women that pumped as often as I did would probably agree. It had become my best friend when I went back to work when the girls were just 4 months old- I felt like I took it everywhere! There is also an advanced pump that's $100 more, but I decided to go with the cheaper- I didn't need to additional bells and whistles that one offered. 

After the twins were born, I did end up renting a pump from the hospital for just two weeks after coming home per the recommendation of the lactation consultant. For whatever reasons those hospital grade pumps are great for assisting with milk production in the early days- helps it to come in. From what I read, the hospital grade and the pump and the Pump and Style are similar in that they both are cycle oriented and act as though your feeding your newborn. Not totally positive that it was necessary for me to need to rent, but since the lactation consultant recommended it, I was doing it. Anything to help me with the whole BF thing.

Others things I found helpful:
I purchased six (5oz) Medela bottles that I pumped into and occasionally used as storage in the fridge- I would definitely recommend getting 6-8 of the pumping bottles. I would go crazy when I pump and have to immediately wash the bottles so I would be able to have them for use next pump session. When I went back to work and was pumping multiple times a day, I found that the larger 8oz Medela storage bottles were more helpful.  In a normal work day, I would typically pump about 25-30 ounces, and it made it fairly easy to store my milk in three larger bottles rather than 6 small! The bags are really convenient for storage, but are expensive.  The the girls would eat between 4-6 ounces each feeding, so nothing much was really going into the freezer for storage. So we just used the bottles.
I would also get a second set of the pumping accessories (valves and membranes) to make your life that much easier. Your pump will come with one set already.  Don't forget the Medela steam bags for sterilizing once/day!  You can use these 20 times before you have to toss it. 

What diaper bag do you use?
I decided early on that I wasn't going to let the diaper bag rule my life.  So, I didn't go out and get some crazy huge bag(s), I just went with a normal size bag and decided that if I were to need a bigger one, I would go get it later. Currently I am using the Madeline in Brandy by lily jade

This is a growing list of FAQ's, so if you have a question, feel free to contact me


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