It Takes A Village

One mom friend of mine once told me that you find out who your true friends are really quick when you have children. The people that come around and try to help. It’s amazing to me how true that whole statement is but more so, how surprising it is of who actually does come around.

I’ve had people from all over the place…acquaintances even, help me more than I ever thought!

When the boys were brand new a friend from high school sent me the best coffee mug. It keeps my coffee warm for up to 6 hours and it’s amazing because we all know that being a mom doesn’t always mean we get to sit down and actually finish a cup of coffee…and it still be warm! Mind you, this “friend” is someone I barely knew. We may have ended up at the same parties once in a grand while but we certainly weren’t in each others circle of friends.

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Once the boys started teething and trying out solids another acquaintance of mine from high school who, again, was not in my circle of friends but we knew each other, sent me a giant package of homemade bibs and tethers. These were ADORABLE since she stayed within the theme of their room which is more or less nautical. Can’t pass up lobsters and boats! 🙂 This was just so sweet and really heart-warming.

The people who said they would help didn’t and people I never knew even thought about me came out of the wood work to help me along this path of motherhood I was navigating. I’m not sure I can ever express how important it is to be there for someone even if you don’t know them. These little things made all the difference in the beginning especially since I was juggling the post partum depression.

I’ve been trying to pass on this bundle of kindness ever since and I just can’t seem to get enough of it! Pass it on friends, pass it on.

Cheers to kindness!!!

2 To 1 Transition Hell

Nap time is in general a load of nonsense. You spend most of your time trying to train the kids to go the F to sleep and then finally once they get the hang of it for a day, you have to train them all over again with later sleep time or longer wake times. UGH! The insanity.

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Of course just as I sat down to write this little tidbit…they both wake up from their one and only nap of the day. That’s right. Gone are the days of three or two separate naps to give me a glimpse at my sanity. We have now officially transitioned to one nap. This means the devils are awake from 6:30/7am until about 11 or so and with any amount of luck they will atleast sleep until 1:30pm. Today we are a half a buck short. Which just means…an earlier bed time! 6pm….WOOHOO!!!

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In some ways this one nap a day thing is great because its a longer stretch of time (usually if everyone frickin cooperates!). I can get a lot done in that time and I also feel like I’ve had a real break from the chaos. However, that massive long stretch of awake time on either side of that nap is horrendous. Its enough to make me want to poke my eyes out with a rusty fork.

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The boys are in an INCREDIBLY clingy/whiny/jealousy stage which is driving me up the wall. I can’t even wash bottles without someone pushing on my legs or crying on the floor about how hard their life is. Days are long…and hard…and they definitely make me think about why I went through IVF. But then…nap comes…and bedtime also comes…and its all worth it again!

Anyone else in the transition phase? I need good ideas of what to do with them on hot summer days. Some kind of good activity for them. Any hints? Other than me drinking on the deck and letting them soak themselves at the water table? HA…just kidding. I don’t day drink alone. That’s just wrong!

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Cheers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Don’t Believe The Hype

You know how you hear the basic squabble about being a twin mom? Or even just a mom, period! The comments about how easy or hard each stage is?

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“Oh…twins?!…you have your hands full! Just wait until they are crawling.”

“Once they start walking say goodbye to the happy days.”

These types of comments are pretty standard. I feel like people have heard others say it and so they think it’s appropriate to say. And then, as first time moms, we start to believe in what they say. We wait for the moments they start crawling or the moments they start walking and wait for the hard part.

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But I’m here to tell you…stop listening to all the banter. It’s just blubber what comes out of people mouths. That’s right…whale fat. Pouring out. Blubbering blubber mouths.

The truth is…I kept waiting in anticipation of my days to be harder than they were. Two infants is hard. Period. When they both started to crawl, my life got easier. They could then go and grab their own toys.  They could play with each other, they could play with me! It was a whole new adventure.

And then just the past two weeks the both of them started walking! Woohoo!! 14 months and on a roll! This new phase is so exciting for us. I absolutely love them walking towards me with those big “hey ma! Look!” faces falling straight into my arms.

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I have not yet found the hard parts. Maybe it’s because each day has been difficult in some ways but eventually it just becomes life. It’s not any different than the mom next door with one kid. This is my life and I love every last minute of it. And you should to!

Enjoy the milestones, don’t fear them! Fear-mongers be damned!!

Cheers, loves!

It’s Been A Year

On February 24th, 2016 I had my sweet babies. Little did I know that having kids would be such a ridiculously hard job. Somehow I forgot what those two nights with my baby think-it-over was when the damn robot screamed non-stop so I put it in the car around 2am. Unfortunately, I can’t just throw my kids in the car when they decide to have a party in the wee hours because that would be cruel or something, so I’ve been told.

In all seriousness, I love these little bugs and I am so impressed with how we all survived the first year together. Them as first-time humans and me and the hubs as first-time parental units. Its been a crazy transition from our selfishness as a couple to complete selflessness as individuals. Eye-opening to say the least.

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A year of tears, laughter, proud moments, sad moments, worry, discussions, and a mountain high pile of dirty diapers. I love what little individuals these two little guys are becoming and I can’t wait to see where their life takes them!

I put together a little video of their growth over the past year so please feel free to head on over and take a little peek!

Click her to see the video of babies 1st year

Happy Birthday, little dudes! Thanks for making me love alcohol again! Cheers!

 

 

So Its Been Awhile

I tend to do this with blogging…sometimes I find time, sometimes I don’t. It’s hard to juggle a new business, twins, my post partum depression, the dog, the schedule,the meal planning, and the list goes on and on. It’s rough!

So I need to update you a little bit on whats been going on.

The boys are about to turn a year old (OMG!) and I am beyond excited. Not so exciting is the fact that my in-laws are coming to visit for 2 weeks. I mean…I love them, I do. But I see them more than I see my own family. They come all the way from Germany and have spent more time with the boys than my own two parents. This is because America sucks in the vacation department (and the president department currently but I won’t get political on ya).

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I just wish my parents had the opportunity to be with the boys more. Luckily, my mom will be retiring this June so then I can ship her here for months at a time and get my fill! I haven’t talked about it much but my mom also got breast cancer last year and was fighting it with radiation all on her own. Brave soul. I hate that I couldn’t be there with her during this. So I’ve got some catching up to do.

I’ll do a whole different post about our trip to Germany over Xmas and New Years (yes…a little behind here) because that takes a whole different kind of energy to write about it. But, needless to say…it wasn’t successful and has currently changed my way of thinking when it comes to traveling with the boys again.

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My sweet little babies are crawling now! Both of them like a little baby stampede! It’s so sweet and they are sooooo snuggly. I am obsessed! Which has brought me to the decision of when to transfer our next embryo. (We did IVF…just FYI) I think we may try this Fall and see if it takes. Not looking forward to boatloads of injections again. I need Progesterone shots which are the absolute WORST! But I truly believe it kept my babes going in what was a not so strong Uterus. The truth is…can I handle another baby? By the time this singleton baby arrives both of our mother’s will be retired. Which means we have way more help since we are alone out here in Michigan. I just always wanted a big family but my depression has been holding me back from being a better mom. At the same time, I can’t just leave my other babies in the freezer in some lab. I need them here with me! (We have 3 left!)

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Anyways, today was kind of a ramble of sorts. I’m just trying to get back on this blogging kick! Trying to get a schedule going somehow!

By the way, Hubs and I went wine tasting last night and had a blast! Finally a proper night out! AND I’m not paying for it today…which means, more wine tonight!! 🙂 Cheers!

 

 

 

 

How I Kinda Sorta Sleep Trained My Twins

There are a million different ideas out there about how to sleep train your children. There is the cry-it-out method or more commonly known as “extinction” as if that makes it sound any better! (ha!) Then there is Ferber, Weissbluth Method, The Sleep Lady Shuffle (seriously…who came up with that name?!), Parenting by Connection, The Sleep Sense Program, The Shush-Pat method and the damn list goes on and on with a million variations of how to get a kid to sleep.

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Sometimes I think I always had an upper hand in having twins first. I was one person with two babies and not enough go-go-gadget arms to snuggle them all to sleep. From day one, I never cuddled them to sleep. I placed them down in their bassinets. It wasn’t all daisies and puppy dogs, let me tell you. Most nights I found myself reading all the sleep training books ever written but the one thing I found in common was that allowing your baby to figure it out and to understand their new world was the best thing you could do. Shut those books and listen to your mother’s instincts. Think about how they did it hundreds of years ago! We are capable and I think too much information is telling us we aren’t.

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Now my kids are not and never were the swaddling type. They were cool all baby burrito-ed up the first 2 weeks but after that they wanted to be free. Those arms were wild! We dealt with horrendous acid reflux and we did what we could but truthfully, the first few months (5-6 months) are, what I think, the learning stage. The kids need this time to understand themselves, and you, and it takes that long to get into a good routine.

At 3.5 months and after a trip to Germany and back to baptize them I started following proper wake times. I literally owe it all to this graph for getting our routine in place. This gave me a better idea of how they should be sleeping. Again, it’s not a magic wand and it’s not like POOF your kid is sleeping but with consistency and time, it will come. I PROMISE YOU! I “trained” twins, at the same time, who are two completely different birds. If I can do it, anyone can!  Note: I follow what my kids show me they need. At 10 months they should be awake for 3-3.5 hours. Sometimes its less, sometimes more. c4655f49ea841211855d467ff30e4e66

From one day to the next I went cold turkey and started putting those rascals into their own room, their own cribs. Naps and sleep time all in bed. I read a lot about starting one than the other. I guess do what is comfortable for you. But I wanted them to start getting used to the idea that this is their new special place to sleep. It took a while but my routine is like this for naps:

Lay in their room

Read a book or two

Sing a couple songs

Put on sleep sack

Turn on white noise machine

Sing our special “goodnight” song and place baby into bed while continuing to hum this song as I leave the room.

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I did this every day, all day. This was our new naptime routine. As for sleep time, I did it a little bit different. Its the BBB method for me. Bath, Bottle, Bed. As tedious as it was, and exhausting as it was, I bathed them. It was my one moment with each boy alone at the time. Now I throw them both in the tub together but back then, it was special. Cleaned and so fresh-fresh, we snuggled up and had the last of their bottles (well, not me…but the boys…obvi!) Then I followed the same pattern of the nap time routine.

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I won’t lie and say it was easy. Some nights/days were hard. There was some crying but I never let them cry for long. I also allow them to have pacifiers, loveys, and blankets. All the crutches possible, they can have it all. Because that is how I parent. And “training” is possible with all of those things, regardless of what you read about. I am living proof, and so are my boys.

I do need to stop and talk about our sleep sack success. This goes for swaddled babies too! Initially I just kind of wrapped our boys in a blanket but this seemed to always scare us a bit too much when the blanket would creep towards their angel faces. But then I discovered sleep sacks. Our absolute favorite, ever, ever, EVER is the sleep sack from Nested Bean. They also have a swaddle blanket for those babies who love to be as snug as bugs in a rug.

So why is this one so impressive? Well, I’ll tell you why! Keep your pants on!

A few times in my distress during the first few months and because I couldn’t hold both screaming babies, I placed my hand on their bellies/chest to try and help calm them. To give them the idea that mommy is there. Well, in walks Nested Bean with the brilliance of it all! A swaddle and a sack that has a light weight on the chest area to resemble the comfort of sleeping in your arms. I mean, people, this is BRILLIANT! A sleep sack that actually does something!

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So, instantly, I noticed that the boys were sleeping better. Once in a while they would wake up and need a pacifier replaced or what have you but they were sleeping through the night a lot better!

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And just to note, My brunette dude was sleeping through the night at 7 months and the blondie at 8.5 months. Just to give you perspective.

This ended up being a longer post than I had expected it to be but there is a lot to be said about sleep training as you can tell from all the thousands of books written about it. I’m hear to tell you to listen to your mommy instincts. Not one kid will ever be the same as the kids that are describe in those books. Sleep begets Sleep. It is never too early to put your kid to bed. Note: Our kids are in bed by 5:45/6pm every night. Never later!

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You can do this! Sleep will come again! I promise! Lets all raise a glass to that precious thing we easily gave up in our 20’s and desperately need back in our 30’s. To you, Sleep!

Cheers!

 

An Early American Christmas

Two more days and we will be taking our tired asses to Germany! Myself and Landon have come down with the common cold. Our first ever! We survived 10 months without any sickness, I’d say that’s pretty impressive!

Also, Christmas is a HUGE deal for me and this is only my second Christmas spent in Germany even though I lived there for 4 years. I always swindled my way back home to the states. So, we will see how this goes. But I think it will be great.

The husband’s grandmother is 92 years old and Christmas Eve is her thing. Everyone goes over and sets up the tree, lights real (yes…REAL!) candles and sits around and drinks and sings all night long. Lord help me!

While we are there my brother-in-law will be getting married. They get married twice over there. It’s recognized by the state (think town hall ordeal) and then they have the church wedding as well, which for these guys will be in May. Another trip once the boys are over a year old..again..help me! lol. Then after New Years we are headed to a spa hotel in the Alps to live out the rest of our trip. I’m HOPING for a nice break! You’ll find me naked in the sauna. Yes…naked. Lots of nakeds in there.

Anywho…we had a little Christmas here for the boys since there is no way on Gods green earth I was carting all that crap to Germany with us. They got a wagon from Grandma and Grandpa and a few other toys. Books and bath toys from mom and dad. All in all a good day I think! It wasn’t nearly as exciting as Christmases past have been but its a start into tradition!

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I got the husband this nice sentimental gift of his hometown in Germany. It’s Map Art that was made on minted.com. He cried when he opened it and realized what it was! So sweet! Momma did good this year 🙂

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Of course bows and wrapping paper was more exciting for the little turds but all is well! Santa came to the US and now we can head off to Germany!

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Cheers!!!