December 12, 2013

Working on our 'night time routine'

I should be crafting the Christmas gifts, shopping online for last minute Christmas craft supplies, working on my new blog project, cleaning, washing the dirty diapers, sleeping.

Since the twins have been home, my sleep schedule has gone in all different directions.  I'm currently on the "night time is my only 'me time' and I have stuff I need to do" (lack of) sleep schedule.  Then, during the daytime, I've been working to get them on the same schedule.  They have gone back and forth a couple of times, over the last few months.  Finally, they are back on the same schedule, but that also means

December 11, 2013

Recipe: Sausage and Cabbage Delight

During our [4 day] Whole30 experience we searched for new and healthy recipes.  My first stop was definitely Whole Family Strong and here is one of our favs!

Sausage and Cabbage Delight:
(I added 'baby spinach' in this batch)

November 17, 2013

One hour.

I just experienced my first hour away -all by myself. No nursing baby, and no talkative 9yr old. 

Since the twins were born, I've been alone with Elly several times. I've also had one time alone with Kj (I took her down the street for a hair cut). I had never gone anywhere well over 6 months!

Now, I didn't do anything extravagant.  I traveled 10 minutes away to purchased some cloth dipes from another momma (that I met for the first time when I arrived at her house).  I was only gone for an hour. 

Everything felt strangely normal, at first.  Probably because I was rushing to leave the house, as I normally am these days.  Then, driving there, I was so focused on directions, I didn't have much time to think about being alone.  Once I arrived, I had to check all the dipes and decide on what I was going to buy.  Again, my mind stayed very occupied.  *what did feel strange, though, was when I was in conversation and I would say "my son" or "baby girl".  I felt like I did before I had them and that I was making it up and telling stories. Haha!  I didn't have my babies there with me, so I felt like they were just all in my head. 

Once I started realizing how much time had passed, and I knew Elly would be needing to nurse soon, I started feeling extremely anxious and scatterbrained. The other mom might have felt like I had multiple personalities!  All of a sudden, I couldn't think straight.  I didn't remember how to function on my own. I think I kept repeating myself too. Haha!

I called Chris on my way home. I was sure I would hear Elly screaming over the phone. Silence. That's all I heard. Chris told me that he bathed Elly and then she fell asleep in his arms.  (Awww!)

I got home a few minutes later and was so relieved to see a calm and happy home. 

I stuffed my face with whatever I could find (because I hadn't had a chance to eat all day!) and I made something for Kj to eat --because Chris did a great job with all three kiddos; but apparently I wasn't gone long enough for him to get a chance to practice cooking AND hanging out with the kiddos. ;)

It was SO refreshing being out, even though it was just for an hour.  It was like a "reset" button... Wiping the slate clean... Starting fresh. 

I really need to do this more often!

Ps. Yes, I reeeeeeeally missed my babies while I was gone!!

November 16, 2013

Still searching.


Broken down.

Fixable.  But currently in a state of needing repair.

That's how I currently feel.

I'm tired...Exhausted... drained to the last drop  --Physically, emotionally, mentally... is there any other way to feel so broken; if so, add it to the list.

Earlier today, I did the only thing I know to do when I feel this broken.  I blasted the worship music throughout the house, closed my eyes, lifted my hands, and sang my heart out.  What a release I felt!  Wow.  God has never left me.  He's here --holding me and carrying me through.
*I was so desperate for some "me and God time" I forced it:  KJ was at the table, 8 ft away, doing schoolwork.  Liam was on the floor napping, 2 ft away.  And Elly was only centimeters away from the back of my neck, hanging out in the Boba.

I'm so very, very, thankful for the life I have.  I have three beautiful blessings and a hard-working husband.  However, it seems as though I'm still trying to figure out how to balance everything.  I'm not sure how to find that perfect balance.  Does it even exist?  Or is that what life is --searching and readjusting, constantly, and making the best of everything along the way?  Because, just when you think you have it . . . BAM!  Everything changes and it's time to start all over again.

 I feel like I suddenly have a thousand and one things on my plate and it's finally weighing me down...  I try not to complain (Chris might feel differently about this. Ha!) and I really try to stay loving and positive in all situations.  But, seriously, can I get some 'Personal Time Off' or 'Vacation Time' -even if only for an hour or two?  (I don't even know what I would do IF I had some 'time off' but laying still, staring at the ceiling, without a SINGLE interruption, really would feel like a mini vacation!)  In this new chapter of life, I either need amazing strength to continue pushing through; or I need to figure out a positive and loving way to get everyone on board and pull some more weight around here.  Or I'm afraid I just might seriously crash and burn very soon.  Hm, maybe a little of both?!

You know, I had always heard how going from one child to two children is the hardest adjustment and then adding a third is so easy.  But what about going straight from one child to three children?  Is there some kind of crash course, or Cliff Notes, for this kind of transition?!  Can't we just eat out or order-in for every meal?  Oh, and let's throw in house cleaning services while we're at it!  Wait, do they include laundry services too?

What's your household and family flow like?  Do you have any tips/solutions that you've learned along the way?  I'm sure it could save me some weeks, months, and even years, of trial and error!

October 23, 2013

Pack up! (leaving the house with twins.)

When I want to leave the house, I have to start planning two days ahead!  I don't just make "a quick run" out of the house. I plan a whole day of things to do (neccessity and leasure) because it just doesn't seem worth my time and all the hassle to just leave for one errand.

can't just wake up and get ready to leave. First I need to pump (and hope the babies stay asleep long enough to get it done without interruption (typically an hour, to hour and a half, from beginning to end -includes distributing ounces for the day and ounces to freeze and then clean up).  Then there's getting everyone "ready".

October 17, 2013

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash.w/ Meat Sauce

I have been hearing a lot about Spaghetti Squash, especially since changing up our eating habits.

We had purchased a spaghetti squash during our Whole30 and tonight was the lucky night!

I wasn't sure how time consuming it was, I kept thinking "oh, I'll just make pasta tonight -as long as we don't eat it often it should be fine... The spaghetti squash seems so difficult!  I'll just try making it another time..." But it kept bugging me, the thought of feeding my family pasta after how well we've been doing.  So I sucked it up and thought "okay, I'll try it. If it becomes too messy or too annoying, I'll just boil some pasta. It won't take that long anyway..."

I threw the ingredients together for my meat sauce:
1 lb lean ground beef 
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 small onion (slice or chopped. We love cooked onion so I like chunky pieces or even thick slices)
2 tsp minced garlic (or approximately 3-4 garlic cloves)
2-3 tomatoes, again, sliced or chopped to preference (I leave mine chunky to give more texture)
3 handfuls if baby spinach leaves
2 handfuls of sliced mushrooms
*optional: shredded carrots
1/2 tsp sea salt
1tsp Sage
1tsp Italian seasoning (the one I have is a mixture of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil)
1/4 tsp paprika (or something spicier if you like a good 'kick')

I ground the beef, on a medium-high heat, with 2tsp coconut oil, and the onions and garlic. Then I add the veggies and toss it around. I add the spices and mix it around a bit. I add the crushed tomatoes last.  Once it starts to bubble just a bit, I lower the heat to a high-simmer, cover and leave the heat on for approximately 15 mins (until everything is tender and heated all the way. It normally starts to bubble again right around the 15 mins.).

I had already prepped my spaghetti squash last night, I thought to make it for yesterday's dinner. One of my favorite blogs, for Paleo recipes, right now is Nom Nom Paleo. I followed her directions for Spaghetti Squash.  Mine needed extra cooking time but turned out great!  And even though I really had no idea what I was doing, we were able to sit down and enjoy spaghetti squash, topped with meat sauce. (Although, will someone please tell me if it's normal for it to have a slight "crunch" to it... I enjoyed the crunch! Haha. I hope I got it right.)

I really enjoyed it!  But Chris only ate half of his serving, saying it was "good" but it was "different".  Hm...  And Kj didn't get to taste it tonight (she's getting over a stomach bug tonight).

It's definitely something I look forward to eating again and it sure filled my 'spaghetti' craving!

October 13, 2013

What we learned from our W̶h̶o̶l̶e̶3̶0̶ "Whole4" challenge.

It's not for everyone.  Plain and simple.

(I could just end the blog at this...haha)

1. Setting healthy goals, as a family, is very important!

2.  We are very capable of controlling our out-of-control cravings.

3.  I can Not spread myself too thin and stay sane (and still produce enough milk for Liam).

4.  Meal and snack planning/prepping really does help control crazy "eat whatever is in sight because I'm starving NOW!" habits.

5.  Grocery shopping is much more tedious and time consuming when you don't feel like eating only chicken and veggies.

With that said, Yes, we stopped our Whole30 challenge.  Basically I stopped and now Chris feels relieved to eat some yummy "yuck" food without too much guilt.  haha!

Okay.  So, we were really mentally ready to do this challenge.  However, I was not physically prepared for everything that came with such a challenge. 

I was literally in the kitchen from the time I woke, until around 4am, sometimes even5am, serving food, cooking dinner, breakfast, and lunch for the next day (so Chris could have it ready to take to work), pre-serving snacks, prepping whatever I could for the next day's dinner, and then cleaning everything up!  Of course, I was still Breastfeeding Elly and bottle feeding Liam, and pumping once in the morning and once at night, doing the daily diaper laundry and trying to help Kj stay on top of her school work... And then trying to keep up with pesky housework and all the other laundry.  (Many, many, kudos to other twin mommas who have already found their "balance".  One day... I believe it will happen for me.)

Chris ended up havining to go to the store several times during the week because I was not used to preparing meat and veggies only. (We ran out of food a lot faster since there were no "filler" [junk] foods being served.  Imagine that! Ha!)  So we blew right through our weekly grocery budget.  

My body was crashing... Slowly. By Thursday ('Day 1' was on Monday), I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to get out of bed because my body hurt so badly from being on my feet all day and juggling everything by myself, 4 days in a row, with only a maximum of 4 hrs of sleep each night. (Before The Whole30, I'd cook on some days and on other days, when I was just too mentally and physically exhausted, Chris would bring home food.)

So, the budget:  we could have sucked it up and eaten chicken and veggies for the rest of our challenge. But then I'm sure we'd miss the whole point of learning how to ENJOY healthy foods. 

The physical and mental exhaustion I was fighting: I could have sucked it up and pushed through.  Chris and I had talked, and I expressed how I really needed him to pitch in even more than usual. BUT he was already pitching in from the time he got out of work until he just couldn't stay awake (around 10pm/12am. He wakes up at five-something in the mornings, to be at work by 6:30am).  I weighed the options... "Push through it to see whatever results I get and know I fought hard to "finish".  But be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted every day for the next 26 days?!  I couldn't even imagine it!  I felt I'd miss out on these precious moments with my babies!  I felt that there had to be a better way to get healthy, stay sane, and make precious memories with my children.  Getting healthy with what I put in my body should never take away from being mentally and emotionally healthy, right?  I started to see that, as I had been in prayer about whether to continue the challenge or not. 

I don't like to "quit" anything. I LOVE a good challenge.  So this was really bugging me. I didn't want to "quit"!  

The deciding factor for me was when I was only able to pump 6oz of milk Thursday morning, before I went to bed.  

God has been amazing in allowing me to provide more than enough milk for Liam. Now, it took much prayer and some serious hard work and determination!  I re-started my "exclusively pumping" journey on July 14, and started with 10oz, for the entire day, pumping 3x.  Then it went to 13oz and eventually hit 20oz, as I pumped 4 and 5 times in a day.  By mid-August, I had days when I would pump as many as 8 times, getting a daily total of 39oz of milk!  I was pumping and storing as much as I possibly could.  By the end of August I was pumping as much as 43oz in a day, with pumping 4-5x.  I was beyond happy and thankful to God.  It only got better, still!  In early September I was able to pump 52oz in one day, with only pumping 4x!!  Praise God, right?!  By mid-September I started to only pump once when I'd wake up and once before I'd go to sleep.  That routine was giving me 30-38oz of milk, daily.  I had FINALLY gotten into a GREAT pumping schedule (allowing me to continue to store milk (I currently have over 500oz in the deep freezer) for the future AND still provide his daily intake).  I was no longer being "milked" all day, between nursing and pumping.  I finally felt like I could breathe and enjoy my babies and my days!  And then I started The Whole30 challenge...

Monday, Whole30 Day 1:  27.5oz
Whole30 Day 2:  21oz
Whole30 Day 3:  16.5oz (rethinking the Whole30 challenge)
Whole30 Day 4:  19.2oz (ooh! Maybe it's getting better!!  Although, I was extremely concerned about my supply when Elly was needing to nurse every hour and a half to two hours!  Her "norm" is between three and three and a half hours, sometimes four!  And I never really felt a full "let-down" like I was used to feeling throughout the day.)
Friday, Day 5:  8oz (I really can't chance loosing my milk supply anymore! I ate a bowl of oatmeal to help my supply but everything else stayed "Whole30 approved".  I know I was already off of it since I ate the oatmeal, but I already had all the right foods available, so why not continue what I CAN?! )
Saturday:  8.5oz (yikes!  Come on milk!!)
Sunday:  23oz!!! (18oz was from my morning pump session!! Oh praise God, things are finally getting back to "normal"!!  AND Elly had more milk than she could even drink throughout the day!! I'll take engorgement pain all over again, if it means I can provide my babies with more than enough milk!!)

So that was the main factor for me. I could NOT stand the thought of either loosing my milk supply (which, by searching online, I realized that it has, unfortunately, been quite common for some mommas, when starting The Whole30), or even having to go back to pumping every 2-3 hours a day, on top of nursing Elly.  Those days were rough and exhausting (I was already beyond exhausted... I had to know my limits --not push past them!)

I did what I felt was best. I prayed and prayed about how to go about getting off of The Whole30 because it wasn't just me, it was KJ too!  She had done an amazing job!!  I didn't want to give her the wrong idea of how to handle "goals".  So, I sat with KJ and discussed how trying to be healthy in one area should never cause you to be unhealthy in other areas -there needs to be a balance.  Surprisingly, she was sad that we weren't going to continue the Whole30 as a family. Turns out that she loves family challenges too!  :)

That night, over our pre-cooked, "Whole30 approved" meal, we discussed how we could balance out some new goals, "challenges", for our family.  We also discussed how we can all pitch in a little more so Mom doesn't carry the entire load of "keeping the family healthy".  

This is what we came up with:

We are still amped to make a conscious effort, daily, to be healthy, together. It feels great to have found something that works for our family right now.  We definitely learned a lot in those four days. We are using that knowledge daily and working towards our new goals, as we continue to cheer on my mom and sis, now on Day8 of their Whole30! :)

So, here's to finding the right balance for your family...

September 17, 2013

Learning to survive

Reality has been setting in very very slowly for me.  The twins were born on May 20; but they didn't come home until June 19th.  In just days, they will have been home for three months.  How wonderful!  And we are finally getting into a good routine.

Our "getting into a good routine" looks a little like this:  I wake up anywhere from 9am-1pm, depending what time I went to sleep.  I pump and store the milk.  I prep a bottle for Liam and I get their prefolds and covers prepared and set them aside.  Sometimes I can take another little snooze and sometimes someone is already waking up.  Whoever wakes up first, gets changed and fed first.  I either breastfeed Ellyana or bottle feed Liam --sometimes they wake at the same time and I have to feed them simultaneously!  After they eat, Elly can stay awake for about 2-2.5 hrs and Liam only lasts about 1 hour, sometimes a little more.  They nap --hopefully around the same time.  *sometimes by the time Elly is ready to nap, Liam has already taken his nap and is ready for 'mommy time'.

Now, take that little chunk of schedule and repeat every 2-3 hours...


Sometimes it goes so smoothly, it feels like I'm running a home daycare again.  Other days don't go as smoothly and it feels like I'm secretly being tested on my multi-tasking, ability to fast several meals in a row, and potty break effeciency --like washing my hands while I tinkle... I'm joking!

If I'm still sane and able to function well by 9pm, I will remember to change them into their 'night time diaper' and pajamas.  They will usually get their last feeding between 10pm and 12am.  At least, that's the plan.  Ha!  *If there's one thing that I've definitely learned and come to terms with is that I can do all the planning in the world and sometimes it just doesn't make a difference!  Twins need things at different times, same times, and all the time.

Liam used to be asleep by 11pm and wake up 12-14 hours later (usually).  However, these last few days, he has been staying awake with me while I pump and then needing another bottle before he finally falls asleep for the night.  So, recently, that's been around 2:30/3am.  There are even nights that he just doesn't want to be put down until he is asleep and that leaves me pumping at 3/4am.

Ellyana used to be up all night long and fall asleep closer to 6 and 7 am.  Some mornings were as late as 8am!  You're thinking, "oh my!", I know... I still think that when I go to sleep with the rising of the sun.  Thankfully, the two of them have some what flip flopped.  Elly has been going to sleep around 11pm/12am and staying asleep for approximately 12 full hours.  These nights are definitely easier to manage.  Nothing like the earlier nights where they were both awake and wanting mommy.  And of course, the majority of those nights happened at the same exact time that I decided to hook myself up to the darn pump!  That's a whole other blog post...

So, this brings us right back to when I wake up and pump in the morning.  Now, repeat that schedule . . . everyday.  It never ends.

There is no "break" for me; I just eat whatever I can, whenever I have a free moment.  I rush to the bathroom inbetween bottle-feeding, breast feeding, pumping, carrying babies, and changing diapers.  (It's amazing how a new mommy's body accommodates the new demands --I'm drinking approximately 90-150 ounces of water a day and have realized that I can survive on approx 2-3 potty breaks during the "day time".  Where all that water goes, I have no idea!)

Do I shower?! Haha! Again, right now it's all based on "how important is it?"  Am I leaving the house or expecting guests that might care (haha! -seriously!)?  Do I smell funky? (Lol -gross!)  Do I need a few minutes to myself?  If the answer is "Yes" to any of those, then my response is "of course I shower!" (And when I do, it's normally in less than 10 minutes, normally around 3 or 4 am.  Or right before we plan on leaving, while Chris is awake and sitting with the babies)

There's no such thing as "night" and "day" really.  I do whatever they need as soon as they need it, whether it's the sun or moon that's shining.  (Including diaper laundry)  It all still pretty much feels like one long, very long, day.

What I am happy about is the fact that my "sleep" doesn't feel like just one of several naps anymore.  I'm actually getting a good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep at night.  The most I've gotten has been 9 hours, I think (that ONE time)!  Now that's crazy impressive in my book.

So, we finally have some kind of schedule starting and I'm so glad!  I'm starting to feel a little more "normal" again, just over the last few days.  I feel like I can breath --just a little.  Phew!

Well, this is it... how I survive.  :)

September 11, 2013

Facing Reality

I'm still awake.  The twins have been sleeping for about an hour now; yet, here I am —still awake.  I'm just not sleepy.

I've neglected blogging for many reasons.  The main reason is I lack time management skills right now.  The hidden reason is I don't know exactly what to write about anymore.  Strange, I know.  This blog has gone through my many different seasons:  happy marriage, troubled marriage, parenting a public schooled child, homeschooling, fostering/adoption journey, infertility/trying to conceive, aggravating health issues, IVF, twin pregnancy, and now... learning how to raise babies all over again and readjusting to a "new normal".

I wish I made time everyday to write a little something about our day.  But honestly, each entry would basically be the same:  "I fed the babies.  We played with them.  They smiled and coo'd.  Cloth diapering is still awesome and going very well.  They cried.  They napped.  I'm exhausted.  KJ had a great (or not-so-great) day.  My emotions kind of suck again today... etc."  ::pause::  yeah, my emotions really do kind of suck and that's what I'm choosing to blog about tonight.  I've always tried to be myself and keep things "real" here, on my blog.  Well, this is real.  My life right now is super crazy at times, with feedings, diaper changes, sleep deprivation, 9 yr old melt-downs, and unspoken tension.  However, my life right now is also super blessed!  I mean, serious prayers have been answered.  God blessed our family with way more than we ever imagined.  But hormones and emotions still feel out of whack and sometimes I feel like I'm loosing my joy (not my "I'm in love with my babies" joy (that's still at 100%!!).  More like my "I'm in love with life", as a whole, kind of joy).

All I want to do is lay around and only get up to feed my babies, really.  In my mind, I always plan tomorrow out to be different.  "I'm going to wake up at a decent hour and do something with my day."  I always plan to go for a walk or clean 'this' and 'that'.  I always plan on organizing something around the house to get somewhat of my 'old self' back.  But I either feel too exhausted and I'd rather not use up my "resting time" to clean and organize or I just don't "feel like it".  Yet, I can't stand that every day goes by and I don't do enough cleaning or organizing around here.  Doesn't make much sense.  I want to but I don't.  I think it's more like I've lost the "care" to do anything other than take care of my children.

That can't be healthy, right?

Now, after having my first daughter, back in 2004, I fell into [postpartum] depression.  I had no idea then.  I didn't figure it out until years later.  I looked back and realized that I really wasn't the healthiest, emotionally, that I could have been.  This time around, I kept saying I knew what to look for.  I fought hard in the beginning to stay focused on all the positive around me.  I openly discussed my thoughts and feelings with Chris and others that asked.  I felt "ready", in a sense, to tackle the postpartum stage.

Lately, I've started to wonder "what really qualifies as clinical depression?".  I'm only human.  I know that it's okay to have some low feelings.  I know that not every moment of every day will feel wonderful.  I know that this is just a phase and horrible concoction of 'new mommy hormones', sleep deprivation, mixed with health issues and a very slow recovery from the c-section —all on top of Chris recently going back to working 12+ hr days (after having 12 weeks off), leaving me to feel like I'm doing this all alone.  And I feel like such a baby when I fall into the "I'm just so tired" [whiny] mind set.  I knew I was going to have to be the one up with them during the night, since Chris leaves for work as early as 6am on most days.  I knew that I would be caring for three children during the day.  I just had no idea that my body would take this long to fully recover.  I had also forgotten what it felt like to get absolutely NO break from the never ending 'baby days'.

I will definitely take responsibility where needed:  my eating habits.  I have gone nuts-o with eating whatever I want, however much of it I want.  It's so HORRIBLE!!!  I've always been an emotional eater and right now it's probably at it's worse!  It's just a viscous, never-ending, cycle.  I wake up feeling blah, so I eat whatever I find.  Then my body feels uck again and I think of something else "yummy" to go and munch on.  Then I get bummed out that I'm just eating junk . . . and yes, then I go and eat more junk!  And I've read and heard so much about how food affects moods.  These last few days, I've really tried to be more mindful about what I'm putting in my body.  I'm trying to get back to the healthier mind-set I had while I was pregnant, working hard to keep my babies healthy and in as long as possible.

So, I decided to be a bit transparent about this phase of my life right now in hopes to gain some insight from others' experiences and also in hopes to help others know that battling these ups and downs is "normal".  It might not be a healthy normal but regardless, it happens and no one is alone in this.  That I do know.

I am in constant prayer and I do know that soon I will be able to look back on this time and know it was only part of this wonderful journey I am on.

... and now I shall pump and try to get some sleep!
Thanks for your constant support, love, and prayers.

July 23, 2013

Breastfeeding: "it shouldn't be painful".

It sure IS painful, extremely painful, when one twin has had latch issues for five weeks and the other twin spontaneously develops an 'Epstein Pearl' on the front outer part of her lower gum!  It's just been one painful challenge after another.

Liam is starting his second week of bottles.  :(

The frenotomy went well. The doc only snipped the thinnest part of Liam's frenulum.  It released some of his tongue-tie, but, in my opinion, not all of it.  The doc didn't want to do too much cutting so that it wouldn't be too painful (they do not numb the area for this procedure! 😳😒. Poor baby --but the doc says the skin is still super thin, at this age, and doesn't cause much pain at all).  Liam slept through the procedure. He only woke to cry when the doc stuck his fingers in his mouth to lift the tongue.  As soon as the doc took his fingers out, I mean immediately, Liam would doze off again!  I was so shocked; but prayers were definitely answered! πŸ’• Liam wasn't bothered by it one bit.  (Thank you, everyone, for all the prayers for Liam!)

However, getting him to nurse/latch on is still excruciatingly painful for me and is not successful.  I'm so scared to keep trying because every time we "try" (I work and work and work to get him to latch on and when he finally, painfully, latches on, I try my best to deal with the pain to give Liam a chance to "get the hang of" it: open mouth, latch on, suckle, "I get milk!".  Not sure what else to do at this point. I end up injured and it makes it difficult to then nurse Elly, who latches on just fine. 

I'm in a tough place. I want to nurse Liam; but I don't want to go through the excruciating pain I experienced for three straight weeks (it got worse and worse over those weeks).  But at the same time, I'm heart-broken to have to bottle feed Liam while Elly gets to breastfeed. And then I'm worried that I'm going to eventually run out of milk from my "NICU supply" (pictured below) and not be able to keep up with nursing Elly and pumping enough to keep up with Liam's bottle feedings. 

Any and all suggestions are welcome.  I've searched and searched for any info and suggestions, online; but I have found nothing about this exact situation. I know I'm not the only one... But I just haven't found a solution that works -yet.

God willing, either Liam will get the hang of nursing properly, or I'll find a way to have peace about bottle feeding one baby and nursing the other :(.  (But then there's always the huge concern about supplying enough  breastmilk for Liam's bottles.)


May 3, 2013

Week 31: Pineapples and "baby parts"

How far along?
31 weeks on 5/2/13

How big are the twinkies?
According to TheBump, the babies are approximately the size of

*On 4/26/13, my fundal height measured 36cm, I believe.  And then on 4/30/12, my fundal height measured 41!  Baby girl is super high again —and seems to be loving it.

How am I feeling?
Same 'ol, same 'ol... large and exhausted.  My lower abdominal muscles feel like they are barely being held together, like they are "busted". lol  It's quite painful to walk now —but I'll do what I can to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy.

I'm also feeling super grateful, still.  I recently told Chris that, in the beginning of the pregnancy, I felt 5% like I was living real life and 95% like I was lost in a dream, so grateful, "pinch me I can't believe I'm really pregnant" state of mind every single day.  Now, I feel about 45% like I'm living real life and 55% like I'm still lost in a dream, "this is real?  this is really happening?" state of mind during my "real life".  I definitely have more moments where I'm just doing my regular routine, which is now resting, drinking water, and plenty of potty breaks —but then I realize, "Oh yeah, I'm pregnant!  Wow, this actually feels normal now...".  Sad thing is, we are coming to the end of the pregnancy already.  *But I'm just now getting used to being pregnant!  lol


What do I miss?
I miss being able to put on socks and tennis shoes, and tying them, without feeling winded, like I've run a mile [or more].  I guess I'm just missing all the 'little things' I used to take for granted: showering, dressing, walking, and getting up, with ease —etc.

Again, same 'ol, same 'ol... nausea and no appetite here and there.  Restless/sleepless nights.   Super heavy belly (a bit tough to move around lately).  Extremely sleep/tired during the day.  Swelling is still very mild and rarely happens.   ...aaaand new stretch marks, again.  Oh, and the "nesting" phase has definitely kicked in; but I can't actually do anything! :(

Cheese and pretzels.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Anything chocolate: candy, baked goods, ice cream, etc.  Mmmm Chocolate!  Watermelon.  (I think I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time!)

Highlights of the week? 
KJ and visited the Zoo with some friends (where I actually felt like a side show for all the non-mannered zoo guests!  I can't believe the stares, sorry looks, and even comments that came my way --from ADULTS!!!  I heard several gasps, and even giggles, followed by some form of "oh my gosh, she's huge!", "Oh my goodness, poor thing.", etc.  I'd just smile and keep walking.  But by the time I was on my way out, I was done even making eye contact with these people.  I just kept walking.  And I promise you that it wasn't just in my head.  These people were so annoyingly obvious, turning their entire body, watching me pass by.  —oh well, right?! ugh!)

at the zoo

Fiesta pinata for the elephant
at the zoo
A "bug hunt" at the zoo.
Resting after the zoo (with a pointy, lopsided, contraction)
Playing with the big 'ol baby belly.
playing with the big 'ol baby belly.

I got a haircut!  —It was well over due.  And Chris and I got to spend some "alone time" together.  It was so nice.  We didn't do anything super fancy.  We went to La Cantera, where I finally gave in to my growing belly.  I bought some new stretchy shirts that will hopefully last to the end of the pregnancy.  We enjoyed a nice yummy treat together (without hearing "I want some!  I don't want to share!  I wish I could have the other one..." lol).
btw, I did NOT eat all that frosting.  I had to scrap it off —way too much!

Okay, not much of a 'highlight' of the week; but definitely needs to be remembered... I finally got to the point of NO SHAME.  lol  I have refused to ride in an electric scooter, in order to grocery shop.  Normally I just tough it out, or I just don't go -and Chris does it all alone (which he actually enjoys!).  However, I wanted to buy what we needed, along with some prop items for our upcoming maternity photo session.  So, I went straight for the electric scooter and [slowly] zoomed my way around Walmart.  LOL!!!  yup.  I reached that point.  *Oh, how I wish I had the energy and strength to walk through Walmart.

We took our maternity photos this week!  :)  What a WONDERFUL milestone, since we missed out during our first pregnancy due to being on bed-rest, in the hospital, during the time we would have been taking photos.  There's a blog post with more details of that day, and our first 'sneak peek'/preview:  A great [sweaty and humid] day for maternity photos

We also did some more odds and ends in the nursery.
...and this is what KJ did...  lol!
This is what I was doing while Chris dove in to the "nesting" phase.  Eventually, I went to sit and "watch" him work in the nursery.

I got to attend Robin's midwifery class, where students had a chance to feel around on my belly and figure out that I had twins.  ;)  It was a lot of fun!  My favorite quote was "oh, I feel a back over here (feeling baby boy's back) . . . wait, (feeling around other areas on my belly) there are a lot of baby parts everywhere!" lol!  And then KJ's favorite part was getting to meet, and pet (uck!!), a wonderful furry 'pet' opossum!  (another pregnant momma that was there happens to work with wildlife, and had just come from a 'wildlife encounter' with the little (not so little) opossum.)

Weekly prenatal visits will start on Friday, May 10... wow!  We're here!!  It kind of feels like "the end" already.  :(  Yes, I'm uncomfortable, but I'm just not ready to be close to "done"; I love being pregnant.

Belly watch:

May 2, 2013

A great [sweaty and humid] day for maternity photos.

We had our maternity photo session yesterday, done by my wonderful bff, owner of M.Y. Photography.  To be honest, I was not looking forward to taking pictures.  I never look forward to "picture day".  I'm too picky —I want my hair, clothes, make-up, smile.... everything, to look perfect.  I do know that might be close to impossible, but I have that type of mind-set and it really makes me dread being in photos.  I was, however, excited to get photos of my big 'ol pregnant belly.  :)

We bought some prop items and Chris worked on some little frames to add into our photos.  Things like that made me excited.  Anxious to see the final product makes me excited.  Getting dressed and ready made me exhausted!!  I had already started my day not feeling so well.  *the night before, at 3am, I started contracting pretty regularly for about an hour.  After I finally fell asleep, I woke up several times due to feeling contractions —which had not yet happened during this pregnancy.  So, I didn't sleep all that well and then, when I woke up, the contractions were still bugging me.  Chris suggested that we try to reschedule but I really just wanted to get it done and over with, not having to plan for another day of "prepping for pictures".

I took about two hours to get myself all primped and ready.  I was exhausted.  Unfortunately, we ended up running a little late and it didn't leave much time to soak in any of what was really going on.  It wasn't until I was driving to the location that it all hit me.  On the radio, in between going over the photo session "check list", I heard:
"Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me..."

I broke down and choked on my tears until I just couldn't hold them back any longer.  I told Chris how I was feeling, "We are here.  We're finally here!  Pregnant.  On our way to take maternity photos!"  The song that was playing, on the radio, was one that encouraged me many, many times when I just felt broken and knocked down from years of infertility —I knew that God was holding me.  I knew that He had not left me to handle it alone.  I knew that He had a very special plan for me (us).  He never let go of me, through every high and every single low.  Such comfort.  Hearing that song just brought it all back to me.  Yet, being on this new journey, I am able to look back and see how God had a VERY special plan for us -one I could have only imagined, never thinking it would become a reality: pregnant with twins! 

During that moment, I forgot about my make-up, hair, and ways I wanted the photos to be perfect.  All I could do was praise and thank God for the wonderful miracles we've been so blessed to enjoy over these past months.  Even as I type this, I am in tears just thinking how everything eventually comes together, full circle, sometimes in ways that you least expect.  All it takes is the tiniest bit of faith... not always easy, but definitely always worth it!  Nothing gets better than what God can do.

All in all, I think the session went really well.  I previewed just a few photos from her camera and I am so in love already.  I can not wait to see the rest!   

Unfortunately, KJ and Chris forgot to take water for themselves; so we ended up sharing my 34oz BubbaKeg of water (which, on a hot and humid day, will NOT keep three people hydrated).  I believe I ended up sweating more than I could replace and that led to contractions 5 mins apart (started around 7:15pm).  After about 2 hrs, they had spread out to 8-10 mins apart.  Nothing painful; just concerned me since nothing like that had ever happened, yet.  I was drinking water like crazy!  But it still didn't seem to do much.  Midwife Robin suggested Benadryl, Gatorade, and rest.  I did all three and I was finally asleep, without contractions, by midnight.

Well, that pretty much sums up our day yesterday...  Today, I am 31 weeks pregnant, only 6 weeks away from our full-term goal.  Stay in babies!  Stay in!!!

Here's our first 'sneak peek' that we received:

April 19, 2013

Week 29: Butternut Squash and Dessert

How far along?
29 weeks on 4/18/13

How big are the twinkies?
According to Parents, the babies are approximately the size of a butternut squash.

*Our most recent scan, on 4/16, showed that baby girl weighs approximately 3.7 lbs and baby boy weighs approximately 3.3 lbs.

How am I feeling?
Large and exhausted.  I'm pretty much always sleepy now.

(didn't change -yet.)

What do I miss?
I am definitely missing having more energy.  Still, in my head, I'd love to get up to do a number of things around the house and out and about.  However, my body just wants to sit back and rest.  

Nausea and no appetite creep back here and there.  Restless/sleepless nights.  Annoying endo.  Some very mild swelling has started showing up (but I'm so happy I can still wear my wedding rings!).  Is outgrowing my clothes (again) a symptom?! —oh and new stretch marks.

dessert items. Chick-fil-a.  nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc).  Milk.

Highlights of the week?
I had a prenatal appointment with my midwife.  Everything is going well.  :)

I got to see our babies, at our specialist appointment.  I was only able to get a photo of baby girl because baby boy was not cooperating during the scan.  Also, the sono tech complimented me very nicely.  She said that she always enjoys when I go in because I am always so happy and in such a great mood.  It sure made my day! :)  Everything went really well at that appointment also.  Praise God!  I couldn't be happier about how everything is going!!

I took a trip to Austin, to visit my sis and her family.  I haven't done that in a very long time.  Driving the whole way was tougher than I expected.  I'm used to Chris doing the long distance drives right now.  By the time I arrived to her house, I was ready for a nap!  —but me oh my, I had my fill of the yummiest homemade veggie pizza.  I really hope that my pizza cravings are done.  haha
On the way back home, KJ and I enjoyed some quality time.  It really was nice to be able to do something like that.  :)

KJ acting like a horse for her cousins, during our Austin trip.

Belly watch:

April 11, 2013

Week 28: Kabocha Squash and Embarrassing Meltdown

How far along?
28 weeks on 4/11/13

How big are the twinkies?
According to Parents, the babies are approximately the size of a kabocha squash.

And according to my What To Expect phone app, the babies are "as big as a small cabbage (17 in, 2.9 lbs)". 
*I'll get an approximate measurement of the Twinkies, on Tuesday, April 16th.

How am I feeling?
Emotional —a roller coaster of highs and lows.  :(  I'm also feeling extremely HUGE lately and so exhausted.  I still enjoy going out and doing things; but I get so tired very easily.  I'm hungry right after I eat. lol  And... I'm not feeling very ready for the quickly approaching due date!  I just want to be pregnant FOREVER (right now).  haha!

(Eeek! . . . the additional 24 pounds gained during this pregnancy isn't what gets to me —it's the brand new digits I saw on the scale.)

What do I miss?
I miss moving around without huffing, puffing, moaning, and groaning.  Seriously, even I get annoyed.  lol  I can't even imagine how annoyed Chris must be.  Poor guy! 

Heartburn/acid reflux.  Sensitive asthma. Endo :(  It's been at it's worse, so far (coughing, laughing, blowing my nose, rolling over, standing up, sometimes even just walking...) —and I can't take my regular meds! :(
*Still, none of these make me feel anything less than grateful, thankful, and completely blessed!

Our A/C has been acting up and we had to leave it turned off for 3 whole days! (and we are still working on getting someone to come out and see what's wrong.  Thankfully, though, the weather has been great the past few days.)  The third day, Wednesday, was the absolute worst —it got up to 81ΒΊ in the house.  I had all windows open, fans blasting, I was down to the bare necessities, of clothing, while still being decent enough for anyone that might catch a glimpse through our wide open windows. 

Out-of-control EMOTIONS!!!  Wow.  Talk about 'crazy pregnant momma' over here.  :(  I hate to admit this, but it's true . . . I cried over pizza a few nights ago.  I was at my limit, emotionally, due to extreme heat (day three of no a/c in the house).  I was just mentally and emotionally tired.  I was excited to hear that Chris was picking up pizza.  I specifically asked for a VEGGIE pizza.  I had listed the veggies I was most interested in, the previous night AND again, over the phone, before he went to order the pizza.  Chris arrives and I am already drooling over the thought of yummy cheese, sauce, bread, and all the veggie options... I sit at the table, open the first box:  half cheese and half pepperoni with pineapple.  That one must be Chris's and Kryssa's.  I open the second box:  a full Philly cheese steak pizza.  The tears build up.  A lump forms in my throat and my stomach turned immediately.  I felt like a starving momma bear about to roar in the most scariest and loudest way possible.  I held it together and prayed for love and kindness.  I didn't want to snap at Chris, when I'm sure he meant well.  Although, I had NO idea how he could miss my request for VEGGIES.  (he ended up saying that he thought since I had previously liked the Philly pizza that I would be okay with it.  But then he also said that it was a 'two-topping' pizza and each additional topping was like $1.50.  So, I'm still confused as to which is the real reason I didn't get my veggie pizza.   lol).

I can totally laugh, in embarrassment, now, at the fact that I literally cried like a child over not getting the pizza I so desperately wanted.  Quivering and pouting lip while tears streamed down my face...  I don't think anything like that has EVER happened, as an adult!!! lol  And I really hope it never happens again.  I tried so hard to shake it off -but I just couldn't manage to bypass the tears and emotions.

'Hand-tossed', Cheesy-VEGGIE Pizza (lol).  Ice Cream. Donuts. Bean and Cheese tacos.  Anything spicy.

Highlights of the week?
KJ's 'Spring' soccer season has begun!  I LOVE seeing her so excited about it.  She had her first game on Saturday.  They lost; but it's all about the experience. ;)

I had to go for a 3hr blood glucose test... and I passed!  Praise God!

It's getting quite interesting now, how random people will stop and ask when I'm due.  I happily tell them "July fourth" and the looks and remarks have all been great! ;)  this week, I heard, "That must be a really big baby!  You look like you're due any day now!".  Of course, I end up sharing that I am carrying twins.  That puts them at ease . . . until it really sinks in and then they go right back to the look of "oh my!".  hee hee  It's actually quite fun/interesting and making this pregnancy even more enjoyable.  ;)

We got to see Disney On Ice, Rockin' Ever After —just the 'three of us'.  It won't be 'the three of us' for much longer and I really want to do a few more great outings, while I can, before the babies arrive.  We had SUCH a great time at the show!!!

Belly watch:

April 7, 2013

Week 27: Rutabaga and Special Deliveries

How far along?
27 weeks on 4/4/13

How big are the twinkies?
According to The Bump, the babies are approximately the size of a rutabaga.

How am I feeling?
Sleepy.  Hungry.  Sleepy.


What do I miss?
Sleeping on my tummy.  (again . . . still.) 

HeartBURN/acid reflux. Nausea.  Asthma (I'm now needing Flovent twice daily, without fail.  Whereas, before pregnancy, I just used Prventil about once a month, maybe a few times more, depending on allergens and weather.) 

Pizza.  Ice Cream.  Chocolate.
*the ice cream is the one I still think is strange.  Before pregnancy, I was very sensitive to lactose.  I didn't care for ice cream, in general, and when I would want a bit, I'd always regret it.  Now that I'm pregnant, I can eat it and not be affected in anyway (other than guilt. lol).  The other night, Chris went out to buy me ice cream.  I had a very specific craving: vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge mixed in and a bottle of goat's milk caramel.  I was one happy happy momma when Chris got home with exactly that!!! :D  (and a special surprise:  a Rico's jumbo pickle in a pouch)
*But I'm definitely not picky . . . right?! ;)

Highlights of the week?
We recently ordered some of the baby items we were still needing (some big, some small).  So, this week was full of "special deliveries" —always exciting, opening packages and getting to play with everything set it up and see how it all works.  hee hee  :)

Putting the Double Snap 'n Go stroller together
Double Snap 'n Go stroller
New pack 'n play
Stuffed animal hippos, hippo rattles, diaper pail wet bags, fuzzibunz diaper, Willow Tree Twins, Boba 3G baby carrier.
Thirsties diaper cover, Fuzzibunz diaper, Applecheeks diaper, Bidet a.k.a. diaper sprayer, wet bags, diaper pail.
Baltic Amber necklaces and an Applecheeks diaper
KJ loving on her siblings

Belly watch:

April 6, 2013

I just need a little "me-time".

Ever had one of "those" days?!

I wanted to enjoy a nice warm shower, shave my legs, and get some "quiet me-time". . . but I ran out of hot water before I finished shaving (so I had to dry-shave the last part of my calf so I could at least wear some capris.).
I wanted to wear a new shirt . . . but apparently, waiting three weeks to wear it, while growing twins, is a bad, very bad, idea (buttons are about to pop off!).
Those capris I had hoped to wear . . . nowhere to be found!  (where could they possibly be?!)
And to top it all off, I can't find any of my super comfy maternity undies in our clean laudry [pile].  :(

I guess I'm just going to have to make the best of non-comfy undies, with yesterday's jean pants, and some shirt I manage to find (that still fits) —while I sit outdoors and cheer KJ on at her first soccer game.  And I'll just have to shave the rest of my legs when someone isn't washing dishes AND laundry at the same exact time that I'm in the shower, trying to enjoy some "relaxing me-time" (ha!).

**But, on the bright side, I have to be thankful for the "someone" who IS at least washing dishes and laundry today...**

That's all.  I just needed to cry and let the crazy-lady hormones out.

Here's to making today better!  (I hope.)

March 19, 2013

The training wheels are off!

Chris is currently on vacation.  Today is his second day off and we decided to hang out at home and take it easy (cleaning and going through baby clothes, for the twins).  We watched Wreck It Ralph.  I made calls to our insurance, trying to get our midwife covered as 'in network'.  Chris cut the grass in the front lawn and as soon as I got off the phone, I went outside to join the 'fun'.  Little did I know it really would turn in to FUN...

KJ was riding her bike, up and down the side walk.  "Look at me mom!" —as she would zoom on by.  Out of nowhere, she came back and said, "I don't want my training wheels on anymore.  I'm ready to ride without them."  I thought to myself, "uh-huh, we've tried that one already and it didn't last long... I don't think I want to be here for this.".  I went in for a potty break and a refill of water.  By the time I came out, KJ was already being pushed by her daddy, without her training wheels!!!

I couldn't believe my eyes —and ears.  ha!  Last time we tried this with her, it was not her decision, she was screaming every time the bike would start to tip over.  She cried and was super frustrated.  She gave up after about three attempts.  This time, she was so confident and determined.  I was so impressed.  Chris was letting go right away and she was going all on her own!  Yay... and sniffle...

*Now, I should mention how ironic this is:  Chris had just told me, a few days ago, that he absolutely wanted KJ to learn to ride her bike without training wheels before the twins arrived.  I was super concerned and nervous because I didn't want her to feel pressured into it.  So, JUST yesterday, I purchased a "Balance Bike" (on —at a great price!).  I figured it would help get KJ ready to ride without training wheels without being "forced" by her daddy.  Go figure!  I spent money on a kiddie balance bike and out of nowhere she was ready to use her big girl bike without training wheels?!  Seriously!  The bike arrives this Thursday and was going to be her Easter gift... I'm now thinking I'm just going to have to save it for the twinslol.

She still has some practicing to do, but today, day one of riding without training wheels, she did an amazing job!!!  The big sniffles really came when she shouted out "Dad, let go!  Let go, Dad!!"  I smiled.  My eyes teared, and I just took it all in (and snapped a few pics).

Chris and KJ shared a very special moment today —a great forever memory.  We celebrated and ended the night with a trip to DQ to get her an ice cream treat.  She said it was "the best day ever!"  :)

When we got home, I shaved Chris's afro off (good-bye beautiful curls).  KJ asked him to join her for play time —they played with the Leap Frog Tag Map.  And then Chris topped the night off with installing some really cool lights (purchased at IKEA) underneath her loft bed.

Top left:  KJ ready for daddy to let go.  Top middle:  Chris being his fun, goofy, self, enjoying a ride on KJ's bike. haha.  Bottom left:  Play time before bed.  Right:  Crazy man about to get his afro buzzed off.

I'm not sure how we will top today... although, tomorrow, we should get to see our little twinkies!

G'night all.

March 13, 2013

Week 24: Cantaloupes and Endo

How far along?
24 weeks on 3/13/13
(6 months!)

How big are the twinkies?
According to The Bump, the babies are approximately the size of:
According to Parents, the babies are approximately the size of and ear of corn.  We should find out on Wednesday, March 20, an approximate size or weight —we have another appointment with the perinatologist.

How am I feeling?
I've still been feeling really great!  I absolutely love every single movement I feel (which has been a LOT lately).  I'm in love with my baby belly (although really scared of what it will look like after the babies arrive. lol!).  So, this week, I've felt GREAT! 

 I'd love to think it's the babies growing and growing away.  However, I can't really help but think that I give in to waaaay too many junky yummy foods.

What do I miss?
I miss having my emotions under control.  Things change out of nowhere! And it's really tough, sometimes, to sift through everything and level things out again.
I miss "me" time.  Somehow, I think I got more "me" time before this pregnancy.  I don't know how because I was working at home and still homeschooling.  So, I don't see how I had anytime for "me" time.  Although, now, I feel like I have absolutely none 
*Maybe it's that I'm making more of an effort to not tell KJ "mommy needs quiet time"; which normally got her to go play up in her room.  I'm trying to get as much mommy and KJ time as I can right now.  I don't want her memories of 'before babies' to be of mom always sending her to play in her room.
I really need to find a healthy, sane, balance —ASAP.

Serious indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux.  I've also noticed nausea creeping back in.  But I'm pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that baby girl is all up in my stomach area.  She bumps, kicks, and wiggles against my stomach and it causes all this crazy stuff to happen.  (have you ever had a belly full of water/liquid and jumped around or wiggled too much?  You know that sloshing feeling?  Yeah, that's what I feel, after I eat, with every movement she makes.  And I know I need readjust the amount I'm eating —again.  I need to eat less of a serving at once, now that babies are taking up more space.
The hip pain I I've been experiencing during sleep time is now creeping in to my waking hours.  :(  But I do manage to push through the pain, for now, because I don't want it to stop me from doing the little bit that I can.
Endo has been flaring up the most this week.  Very similar to what it was like before I was pregnant.  The pain just comes out of nowhere.  :(  No warning.  No cause.  Just horrible stabbing pain —in the same 'ol areas.  (I use those moments to focus on what I'm feeling and remind myself that I can get through that pain —just as I have done for so many years . . . like it's some kind of training, preparing me for my birth goals.)  I also remind myself that battling endometriosis, while pregnant, feels so much more worth it.  Like a big nasty slap in Endo's face. ;) hee hee!  Take THAT endo!

Sushi.  Pizza.  Milkshakes and fries (yes, together!).
*Why can't it be carrots, broccoli, and other healthy foods?!

Highlights of the week?
I survived a [short] trip to Sea World.  I never thought I'd be able to handle the walking... but I did!  Thanks to a great friend and her two kiddos. :)  Between feedings, snack time, diaper changes, potty breaks (mine included), nap time, kiddie-ride time, etc., there was plenty of "rest time".  It was the perfect way to survive Sea World!
Chris, KJ, and I took another trip to Ikea.  It was a much longer shopping experience than I had imagined and prepared for.  But I survived and we purchased the rest of the nursery furniture.  :)
Chris, being Super-Dad, building more furniture for the twinkies' room!
What we were doing while daddy built furniture.  :)

We had our very first prenatal appointment with Midwife R.  It was perfect and amazing!  
(look for the blog post [coming soon] to get more details.) 
Feeling the positions of the twinkies.

Belly watch: