Wednesday, February 29, 2012

weigh in | february goals.

It's time to check in on my February goals!

Sadly, I did not do as well this month.  I feel like I accomplished a lot but I didn't stick to getting my goals done.  I worked on other things and got sidetracked.  

Make two presents :::  CHECK!

My first gift was not a Christmas present.  I was in Raleigh and went by Courtney's (my brother's girlfriend) house.  When we pulled up, I noticed that her door needed a little wreath.  Sooo, I had just seen that Shawna posted about a wreath she made and decided one like that would be perfect!  Here's what I came up with:

I gave it to her this past weekend.  I think she was excited about it!

My second gift is a Christmas present so I don't want to show the finished product!  But, I "monogrammed" a set of coffee mugs.  Here's a shot that shows you part of it.  I'm excited to give these!  Unfortunately, I'll have to wait 10 more months!

Read Organized Simplicity :::  CHECK!


This book is good!  I loved it.  I'm super excited about my March goals because of this book.  I would definitely recommend it.  Especially if you are feeling a little overwhelmed.  By your stuff.  And by your schedule.  And by your crazy life.  

Organize the Pantry :::  CHECK!

This is what I started with... 

...a mess.

I asked my dad to build me a shelf to store all of my cans on.  And then I labeled them with my new label maker!  

This is what I ended up with:

I haven't been grocery shopping in a while so I'm not quite sure where I'm going to put everything when I buy more food.  Aaaannddd, I still have a basket of snacks I have to find a place for!

Talk sweetly to Jordan :::  check-ish!

This has gotten better this month!  I did a little project that kept me on track.  I'll share it sometime.

Make and monogram an outfit for the boys  :::  fail!

I did buy a pattern for a bubble but I'm not sure if it's the one I want to make!  I hate I didn't get to this :(

Make a menu and stick to it ::: fail!

I'm having such a hard time following through with this!  Do y'all have any suggestions?  Someone suggested freezer cooking which sounds like an awesome idea if I can just get a plan together!  What other suggestions do y'all have?

Blog  :::  CHECK!

Can't wait to start my March goals!  I'll be back tomorrow with those.  How did February go for you?

Friday, February 24, 2012

project 52.7


We went on our first run yesterday in the double BOB.  It was different than the other walks we've taken.  Typically you're in your car seat which is snapped into our other stroller.  You can't see out as well.  You just are kinda looking up at the sky.

But not today!  Y'all were in on the action.  Front and center. And you both loved it!  

It's funny how y'all have made me see everything through a new lens.  And I mean, everything.  I thought I appreciated nature and the views when I used to go on my runs every afternoon.  

But yesterday I saw everything differently.  And heard everything differently.  And felt everything differently.

You stared at everything.  It was all so new and exciting.  Even the tall tree that you couldn't stop staring at when I stopped to check on you.  You were mesmerized.  Looking at the tip-top of the tree.  And, I too, looked at it.  Stretching up to the sky and noticed for the first time, that it was beautiful.  The same tree I've run past for the last four years.  I looked at the store fronts differently.  At the people we passed by.  At the gorgeous sky as the sun started to set.  It was all new for you.  And it made it new for me again too.  Watching you see all these things for the first time.

I hear things differently too.  The loud motorcycle that drove by that made you cry for just a second.  The horns honking.  The boys playing baseball out on the field we ran by.  I thought about what it was probably like for you to hear those things for the first time.  I thought about how fun it will be to sit in the stands and watch you play baseball.  I thought about how all of this was new for you.  And beautiful.  

And, I felt things differently.  I wondered how the breeze felt on both of your faces.  Really touching your face for the first time.  It had to have felt glorious.  So I felt it too.  The fresh, cool air hitting my face felt new.  Somehow different.

All of these new things made me realize just how much God has created just for us.  His people.  We were just talking yesterday morning (well, I was doing the talking), about how God had created the gorgeous, 70 degree, February day.  Just for His glory.  And for His people to enjoy.  

And then, we did just that.  We went out and enjoyed it.  And I was able to enjoy it more than ever before.  Seeing how excited you were about everything.  How content you were.  Basking in the warm weather.  And the fresh breeze.  

It was new.  
For you.  And somehow, it was new for me too.
I am thankful for that.  

I can't wait for more new experiences for you.
Knowing that they'll will feel new for me again, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

project 52.6


Yes, my hands are full.  

I get the comment, "My goodness, you've got your hands full!", every time I go somewhere.  This is how we go places.  I push the two of you in the stroller and I pull the cart behind me (both infant seats won't fit in a buggy).  The craziest trip so far was our trip to Costco.  Pushing the stroller and pulling behind the giant cart full of bulk items.  We were quite a sight to see.  

And, people are right.  I do have my hands full.  
But, honestly?  
I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yes, life is crazy.  Yes, it is quite a feat to go anywhere.  Yes, I am tired.  
But I love me a challenge.  
And I love having my hands full.  
And I love that my heart just about explodes every morning when I see both of your smiling faces.  

Because my heart?  

It's even more full than my hands are.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

breastfeeding | support.

Find support.

Breastfeeding is hard.
There, I said it.

It is this process that everyone thinks just comes about naturally.  Without work.  Without a fight. Without pain.

It is natural but, let me just tell you... takes a ton of work. have to fight for it.
...and, pain?  ummm...yes.  like toe-curling pain that I can't even begin to describe.  You can only understand when you've actually been through it. 

But, is it worth it?!

There are so many benefits for you baby(ies).  To get lots of details, you can look here.
But, here is the quick list from their website:

1.  Protects against infection.
2.  Protects against illness.
3.  Protects from allergies.
4.  Enhances Development and Intelligence.
5.  Long term benefits (Dental Health, Toddler Health, Diabetes, Childhood Cancer, Chron's, etc.).

Okay, so we can all agree it's tough, right?
But we can also agree it's worth it, right?

So where does this leave us?

In need of help.  In need of support.  

And my advice? 

Find it any way you can.  

You will experience opposition.  Especially first-time moms.  And especially twin moms.  People will scoff at your "idealistic and naive" plan to exclusively breastfeed.  Many times it's the same reaction you will get if you tell people that you plan to cloth diaper.  And, I understand.  There is a reason many of these seasoned moms scoff, or just smirk while thinking, "I'll give her three weeks before she's out buying pampers and enfamil".  It's because motherhood is humbling.  You do things you said you never would.  And you eat your words.  And I get that - because three months in?  I've already done that.  

But for me?  Breastfeeding was a non-negotiable.   And it can be for you as well.  
Commit to it. 
And then get some support.

Thankfully, my family is pro-breastfeeding.  And, I married in to a family that is pro-breastfeeding.  So this made everything a lot easier.  My sister-in-laws are willing to answer any questions I have.  My family is willing to work around our schedule.  Sometimes it's inconvenient.  But, it's our "normal".  Giving up is not an option.  My family has never once suggested that I stop breastfeeding.  And I am so thankful for this.  I had my mind made up that we would do this.  We.  Yes, I am the one actually breastfeeding every three hours. But, Jordan and our families have had to support me in this.   

[Let me stop here and say, I had my mind made up that I would breastfeed as long as my milk supply would allow.  I know there are many women who have wanted to breastfeed so badly only to find out that their milk didn't come in.  I know this is a sensitive issue.  And while I was pregnant, I worried that I might struggle with this.  Thankfully - after puking for four months straight, being on bed-rest for two months, going in to labor at 25 weeks and then delivering at 32 weeks - my milk supply is one thing that actually went really well.  I am so incredibly thankful that this was not an issue for me and I would never want this series to make someone feel any kind of "mom-guilt" because they are unable to breastfeed.  This entire series is strongly encouraging the women who are physically able to breastfeed to commit to it even though there are many reasons you may find you want to quit.]

So, allllll of that to support is super helpful.

And my secret weapon?

A fabulous lactation consultant.

Robin has been just that for me.  She is one of my mother-in-law's best friends.  She came to visit for a long weekend about a week after the boys came home from the hospital.  She stayed with my mother-in-law and came to help me during the days.  They even spent the night at our house one night to let me get a little rest!

Typically you have access to a lactation consultant while you are in the hospital.  They come and help you get started after you deliver.  Ask them questions!  Ask for them to come back and talk to you again before you get discharged if you still have questions.  Take advantage of having a professional who can answer your questions.  Who can show you how to get your baby(ies) to latch on.  Who can watch you nurse and give you tips on what would make it easier.

And, once you get home, if you start having problems or you're concerned that things aren't going well, or your becoming discouraged...find a lactation consultant.  Set up a home visit.  It is worth the money.  Or see if your pediatrician's office has a lactation consultant you can meet with.  Don't give up before you talk with them.  They will definitely be able to give you helpful tips!

Okay - so I might have painted a dreary picture to kick off the series.  And that was not my intent at all!  Breastfeeding is an incredible thing.  But it is difficult for many.  And you will have to commit to it.  And you will need support.  Just want you to be prepared :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

breastfeeding series.

I started my post about being "free" on Monday and I was just going to give a quick update on how breastfeeding has been going.  It started out as a general, quick breastfeeding post.  But, I then I realized that I've got a ridiculous amount of stuff to say.  And it was getting wordy.  And I wasn't even sure how to combine every aspect of this into one post, anyway. 

So, I thought how about I just write a pumping post?  Then I'll write a nursing post.  And then one about milk supply and storage and all of that.  And then...

I realized I typically don't follow through on these multiple post things.  I have to say what I want to say right then.  Because I often don't make the time to actually follow through.  But then I also realized, I will really write about this.  Because when I was pregnant with the twins I had so many questions about the actual process of nursing twins.  And I wanted to see, so badly, what someone's real life looked like while nursing twins.   I've become super passionate about it and I know that when I was pregnant with twins I searched and searched for a blog post that just showed what a real-life, twin mom was doing everyday with breastfeeding.  What it looked like for her.  I never found one that just kind of explained her process. 

So, I've decided to do a little mini series :)

This may be of interest to no one.  So, I'm sorry if I bore you with all these details.  But, if it helps one twin mom out there who's trying to decide whether she should attempt to breastfeed, or one twin mom who's going to go against all the people who attempt to tell her it will be too difficult and time consuming to do this with two babies, or one NICU mom who thinks that this would be too stressful under all the circumstances...then it will be worth it!  Plus, I've gotten questions from my friends and family about it so this will be a good place to just kinda get it all out there!

So, without further ado....I present:

I'm sure all of this will evolve as I actually write out the posts, but I'm thinking that these will be the general topics I'll talk about:

1.  Get help.
2. Pumping.
3.  Nursing.
4.  Breastfeeding while out and about.
5.  Milk supply and storage.
6.  Equipment you need.

I know that some of these will be individual posts.  But then others may morph into one post.  I'll throw a few funny stories in here and there from my experience so far.  And I may do a FAQ if people want to know something that I'm not covering.  

Are there other topics that you'd like to hear about?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

i'm free, i'm free!

On Sunday night I talked with Robin.  She's a friend of my mother-in-law.  
Robin is a lactation consultant and she is so gifted.  She has been such a blessing to me since the boys have arrived.

So, I've been pumping after I feed the boys every time.  I nurse them and then I pump to make sure I keep my supply up.  I've been pumping essentially every three hours since October 25th.  

Let me say that again.

I have pumped every three hours since October 25th!
[Give or take the couple of times I accidentally slept through while the boys were in the NICU and the few times that the boys have slept longer during the night.]

This was something that Robin told me to do so I could make sure I had enough milk to feed both boys without having to supplement with formula.  

My pump has become my third child.  I'm not kidding.  When we get in the car to go anywhere I double check to make sure I have Crews, Tate and my pump.  

Well, when I talked to Robin on Sunday night she told me the the twins are finally big enough and my milk supply is established enough to stop pumping after every feed.  I only have to pump if I'm not able to nurse the boys for a feed (like you would normally do if you were breastfeeding).  

When Robin told me this, I yelled:

"I'm a free woman!" 

I'm down to only two kids!  Well, and Jordan :)
But the pump is no longer attached to me eight times a day!

It's won.der.ful.

[ps.  I know that pumping after every feed has made such an impact on establishing my milk supply so it has definitely been worth it.  But, that doesn't mean I can't celebrate that I don't have to do it anymore :)]

Sunday, February 12, 2012

project 52.5


Slow mornings with y'all are the best.  
Reading books, getting you to smile, listening to you coo and grunt.

I want this first year with y'all to be slow.

 One fourth of your first year of life is already over.  Crazy.
I want to enjoy every single second of every single day.  

I want to slow down.  
I want to choose not to go somewhere.  Not to follow the schedule.  Not to make sure the house is always clean.  

Instead I want to slow down.  Physically and mentally.  Not worrying about my to-do list.  Instead, I want to learn which songs you like.  I want to learn what makes you smile.  I want to take time to cuddle with you.  To rock you.  To dance with you.  

I want to be intentional about slowing down and making memories each day.

I want this year to be slow. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

project 52.4


Life with two preemies is eye-opening.  Crews, you had inguinal hernia surgery last week so we were in the Children's hospital overnight.  It was so eye-opening.   I have become so aware of just how blessed we are.   

There were children that came in to the pre-op area while we were in there.  Many of the kids knew the nurses by name.  A few were crying, because they knew what was coming.  They had been in that room before.  Surgeries have become a part of their lives.  On a more regular basis.  Thankfully, we have no more surgeries on our schedule for now.  We are blessed.

Health is a blessing. 

While we were there overnight, there were children on the same floor whose families weren't there.  Your room, on the other hand, wasn't big enough.  Both sets of your grandparents were there while you were in surgery and stayed with you afterwards.  Your twin brother, Tate, was there.  Your parents were there.  We are blessed to be so supported.

Family is a blessing.

We live near Duke Children's Hospital.  Some of the best doctors in the world practice there.  Dr. Rice performed your surgery.  He is the best.  We heard from multiple people how amazing he is.  And he was just that.  When we sent you down the hall with the anesthesiologist, the one who stopped halfway down to put your paci back in your mouth because he didn't want you to be upset, we weren't scared.  We knew that you were in great hands.  Because they are the best.  They know how to operate on tiny, little babies like you.  

Knowledge is a blessing.

My eyes have been opened to just how blessed we are.  We should be praising God daily for his sovereign plan for your little life.  We should be praying for those who have to return for more surgeries.  Those who aren't supported with amazing families.  And those who don't have access to amazing doctors with incredible knowledge.  

My eyes are opened. 
We are blessed.

See other Project 52s, here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

::: february goals :::

  • Make two presents ::  I've picked out my two gifts to make!  I'm can't wait to get started!
  • Read Organized Simplicity ::  I've been wanting to read this book since it came out and just a few weeks ago there was a free kindle download.  So, I downloaded the kindle app to my phone and downloaded the book.  I'm typically not an e-book kinda gal but it was free and I will always have my phone with me so I can read a few pages any time I have a few quiet moments.  Nursing, waiting in line at the bank, etc.
  • Organize the pantry ::  Our pantry is out.of.control.  It is just a closet with a few shelves that we kinda made into the pantry.  It is in need of a serious makeover.  On the cheap.  Have any good pantry organization tips?
  • Talk sweetly to Jordan :: Carrying this over from January.  My love language is not words of affirmation or physical touch.  Both of which are Jordan's love languages.  I tend to try to love him with my love languages (acts of service and gifts) but these things do not mean as much to him.  The combination of this and my sarcasm make it difficult for me to achieve my goal.  Not trying to make excuses, just trying to recognize my weakness and do something about it.
  • Make and monogram an outfit for the boys ::  I'my trying to decide what I want to make.  It's either going to be a jonjon/longall/shortall or a bubble.  With a monogram or an applique.   
  • Make a menu and stick to it! ::  This is one of my yearly goals.  Monthly menus.  I didn't do well for January.  But, I've realized that I need a menu list.  I need the flexibility to change our meals but I need to at least make a list of the items we can cook during that week.  Then, we need to commit to only eating out twice during the week (I know twice seems like a lot but right now, with the boys, I don't want to be unrealistic and think that I would cook six nights a week).
  • Blog :: Another yearly goal is to blog twice a week.  I don't think I even averaged twice a week during January.  Whoops!  I'm keeping up with my Project 52 (yay!) but other than that, I've had a hard time making the time to blog about other things going on.  I want to make sure I continue to blog because I know things are changing so quickly and I'm going to forget how life is and what our days look like!
Okay, I'm excited to start February!  What are your goals for this month?