Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

14 & 1/2 months!

I just realized that I am majorly slacking. I don't think I've done a girl status update in several months. Eek! These girls are little sponges and are learning SO much every single day that I need to write it down!

The biggest accomplishments for both girls over the last 6 weeks or so are:
Eating entirely on their own - i.e. - they won't let anyone feed them with a spoon or fork- they want to do it all on their own.

Walking around with shoes on - this is a big accomplishment as they were SO rebellious with the shoes...screamed every time I put them on for the last several months! Of course any child of mine MUST love shoes, so I'm pleased that we have moved past that =)

Following simple instructions - if mommy says to go get in our highchairs to eat, we walk right over there and get in them; if mommy says to bring her the bottle, we bring the bottle to her, etc..

Learning general cause and effect - if mommy asks if we want to go outside we will go and get our shoes and coats and bring them to mommy so she can put them on us...I'm so impressed! We are also learning that if mommy or daddy says no 3 times and we don't listen that we get 1 minute of time out in our cribs. Definitely not our favorite place to be!

They understand exactly what we are saying to them - I'd say they pick up at least 80% of what is said, if not more. Crazy! A couple weeks ago I think they were maybe at 40%?

Rapidly expanding vocabulary - Livvy now says - thank you, Bailey, baby, ut oh, mommy, daddy, yes, yep, papa, Bri, hi, hey, tummy, I love you; and will sign: "more", "milk", and "all done" on a regular basis. Bri now says - thank you, yup, yes, ut oh, up, mommy, daddy, hi, please (she is a bit more selective on her speech apparently!) and will sign: "all done" on a regular basis and "more" occasionally

Learning how to brush our teeth - Every night in the bathtub the girls get their toothbrushes and mommy sings the "Brush your Teeth" song by Raffi while the girls brush their little teeth. They think it's so fun, and they love the song =). Speaking of teeth, I know that Livvy has 3 of her 1 year molars most of the way in, and Bri has 2 partially in. Yikes...these molars must really hurt coming in!

Now, specifics, per girl:

Your smile can light up a room peanut! So bright and vibrant. Everyone notices you first because you are almost always beaming when we are out and about. One of your new things is you love to mimick us! You are so adorable when you shake your head "no" at us with "that look"! I have got to capture it on camera because it is so precious. Your new favorite thing to do is take cups and bowls and spoons (or toothbrushes) and use them to stir whatever is in your cup/bowl. Ever since you helped mommy and Aunt Denise stir when we were making Rice Krispie bars a couple of weeks ago you have wanted to do it over and over again! You are going to love to help mommy and Aunt Denise in the kitchen, I just know it.
You love the bath. You could play in there for hours I think! Every single night we have to tear you away from your bath tub time because you are turning into a prune. And every night you fight it and want to go back in =)
You are always trying to figure out how things work. For Christmas Miss Whit got you a lock puzzle - you are so intrigued by it! You also love to read. Not only do you love for us to read to you, but you also like to sit on the floor and read to yourself outloud. Precious!!
Favorite Foods - Graham crackers, spaghetti, bread and butter, pancakes, bagels, cheese


You are absolutely precious! You love to play hard-to-get...shy and reserved while people are paying attention to you, but as soon as they stop, boom! You want to smile or play or talk to them. Momma loves this as usually she gets extra snuggles while you are playing your hard-to-get game =).
You love music! You are perfectly content to play music on one of your toys or on "Scout" your puppy pal, and you will just swing back and forth and smile from ear to ear. Your favorite activities include playing outside (you cry every time when we have to come back in), and playing with the household electronics. You are a TV remote magnet, you LOVE laptops, and you are absolutely obsessed with cell phones and the home phone. If it's electronic, you want to play with it!
You also enjoy reading, but you prefer quick books that don't have a lot of words. One of the cutest things you do right now is, you think that everyone else has body parts (currently a nose), but you don't think that you do! You walk around pointing to mommy's nose, daddy's nose, Livvy's nose, Aunt Denise's nose, but you won't point to yours! Same with ears, eyes, and mouths!
You also like to play in the bathtub, but your favorite part of the bath is playing in the water from the shower just giggle when you get wet =). You also like to squirt and be squirted with the rubber duckies...daddy has taught you well!
Favorite foods - Bread in any form, spaghetti, fruit (pears, bananas, strawberries, clementines), cheese, graham crackers

One obstacle that we still haven't overcome is a full transition to sippy cups from bottles. Not because they aren't ready, they totally are! I tried to go to full sippy cups last week and they did really first anyway. Livvy did perfectly throughout, but Bri started taking a drink from her sippy cup then spitting it out (on the floor, highchair, herself). I would tell her no and take the cup away from her, but then she would take Livvy's cup instead and do the same thing. Then I had to take Livvy's cup away too (totally not fair to her!). I tried again later in the day and Bri was fine at first, but after 20 seconds did the same thing all over again with the spitting of the milk on the floor (carpet...ick). So repeat of above...take away Bri's cup, then Livvy's, then the cups all together. Any ideas on how to fix this problem? They are totally ready for sippy cups instead of bottles, I just can't have Bri spitting out her milk all over the house. She doesn't do anything like that with bottles! Help please mommies!! Thanks!

Until next time -

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What a wonderful holiday!

We had a nice low key holiday this year and it was really quite refreshing! Normally we are running back and forth between Kearney and Omaha, trying to fit time in with both families for Christmas festivities, and really just stressing ourselves out.

This year was different. It was even, dare I say, slow? Christmas Eve we spent at home with the girls...having meatballs and fried potatoes, and watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (a Hollibaugh family tradition!). Christmas morning Si was up before the girls (and the sun!) and just couldn't wait for the girls to get up so they could open all of their gifts. Silly daddy! True though, Christmas is so much more magical now that we have kids. It's like we can be kids again too!

Once the girls got up they opened up their gifts and stockings and we had brunch. The girls have started feeding themselves ENTIRELY (holy buckets right?!), so they had fun chowing down on eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and cinnamon rolls. Once we were done eating the girls got a chance to check out their new ball pit - they LOVE it!

After a bit of playing we decided to go down to the Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha for some fresh air and go down the big slides!

It has been unseasonably warm here in Omaha, so we thought we would take full advantage of the sunshine and warm temperatures (warm being 45 degrees that is=)). What fun we had! Mommy, Daddy, Aunt Denise, Livvy, Bri, and Bailey and Jameson pug all went to the park. Livvy LOVED the slides. LOVED. She just giggled and squealed when she went down. Bri was a bit more tentative. She was fine the first time we went down, but after that she fussed every time. Ah well, she will grow into it. =)

Christmas evening we went to Aunt Bridget and Uncle Jon's house for my side's Christmas. We had a wonderful supper and then some very tasty "Better than Sex" cake for my mom's birthday. The whole experience ended up being WAY too overstimulating for the girls! By the time we had eaten and actually got around to opening gifts they didn't want to open anything OR play with the toys. They got a ton of stuff (thank you all!) and have had fun over the last 24 hours taking everything out of the big box we brought them home in and discovering them all over again. Better late than never, right?

Si's parents made the trek down to Omaha to visit on Sunday night, right before bed, and the girls were so excited to see them! Monday morning we had a low key brunch, then Monday evening we had a good old fashioned turkey dinner (like Thanksgiving all over again!). Aunt Denise had a frozen turkey from Thanksgiving that she hadn't used yet, so she decided Monday was the day. We had a wonderful meal with wonderful people and it was the perfect end to a lovely holiday weekend! Thanks Gramz and Grandpa for making the trek down to see us! Merry (belated) Christmas!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well! For those of you that have blogs, it appears as though you definitely did =).

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The "leaving others behind" guilt

I know we all have some feelings of guilt....being a parent is filled with guilt, right?

I swear that is one of the first things my mom told me after I gave birth to the girls. Her logic/wisdom went something like this: "From this point forward you are going to feel guilty about nearly everything you do or do not do for your children. You will question your decisions constantly. But the best thing you can do is make the decisions to the best of your ability at the time, and not look back or question it later." She was right. I have felt guilty about a lot of things! Some seemingly important, and some not so important.
- Some days I feel guilty that I have to work outside of the home to support my family instead of being able to stay home with my girls and raise them myself...
- Other days I feel guilty that I would actually prefer to work outside of the home to staying home with my crazy toddlers...=)
- Sometimes I feel guilty that as hard as I try, both girls don't get exact equal treatment...
- Often I feel guilty that on my day off with the girls I spend way more time managing them then I do enjoying them...

Sound familiar?

Then there is other, non-toddler related guilt...
- I feel guilty that sometimes I neglect my marriage in favor of spending more time with my children...
- I feel guilty that I have lost touch with several of my friends, especially non-mommy friends...and I don't have the time or energy at this point to work on re-establishing contact...
- I feel guilty that every once in a while I want to think about myself, a massage, shopping, and a pedicure, instead of spending time with my family....

But there is an infertility related guilt that has been eating away at me since I found out I was pregnant with baby #3...the "leaving others behind" guilt.
Let me explain.
Some of you had a long road with IF and fertility treatments on your path to parenthood and you will understand exactly where I am coming from with this. Others of you though didn't have to really try to start your family...getting pregnant and maintaining pregnancy wasn't difficult.
Way back in 2008 after we had tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant "the old fashioned way" for a couple years, we sought out the help of my OB. He decided to try clomid as a first line treatment for infertility. The day I started clomid I sought out support from the online IF (infertility) community. It was AMAZING to find this sort of support. Loads of people in the exact same boat and all with the same goal; to have a baby. I made a lot of close friends on these infertility boards. We went through everything together. We were there for each other through all of the failures, and through the joys as well (although admittedly there were way more failures than successes, and we went through years of treatments together - clomid, IUI's, IVF's). These girls have a piece of my heart forever...literally. I swear they could feel my pain and I could feel theirs...and I still can.

When IVF#2 worked for us and we were finally able to maintain a pregnancy (instead of miscarrying AGAIN) I felt relieved, yet incredibly guilty. What about my IF ladies???? I knew how much it hurt for someone to announce a pregnancy...I remember how much it hurt to hear people talk about (and especially complain about) being pregnant....I remember crying every time I got invited to a baby shower and trying desperately to come up with some excuse why I couldn't go. I never wanted to hurt people the way that I had been (unintentionally) hurt.

I have two people close to my heart that started trying to concieve very close to the same time we started trying to concieve, and who are still trying. They have both had multiple miscarriages and no live births.
When we got pregnant with the girls, I felt we "deserved" it. We had been through years of heartache and tears....maxed out credit cards, more tests on my lady bits than anyone should ever have to endure, hundreds of shots, piles of blood draws, multiple surgeries, probably 50 was my turn to have a successful pregnancy and a take home baby.

But this time?

We thought we were probably done having kiddos.
We were perfectly happy with our girls.
We had no intention of using our frozen embryos...I mean, we had considered MAYBE in 5 years trying a FET...but really, we were happy just the way we were. We spent so much time thinking that we may not be able to have any kids. We would have been thrilled to have just one. But two? And absolute blessing from God! How perfect!

But this? Baby #3? We weren't even trying....
Our girls are still little....
Why us?
Why now?
Why not Catherine? Why not Mo? Why not one of my friends that had decided to go the adoption route and has been patiently waiting for YEARS to get their baby? They have been waiting SO long. It is their turn. It broke my heart to post that I was pregnant. Literally. That's why it took me a while into my pregnancy to post. I didn't want to offend anyone. I didn't want to be THAT girl....
Yet that seems to be exactly what I am....
And I feel SO guilty...
Mommas with a "natural" pregnancy after infertility, or any pregnancy after infertility, is this normal? Anyone have any insight???

I know I don't like it one bit. I want to enjoy being pregnant. I want to show it proudly. Instead, I spend more time trying to hide it than anything, almost like I am ashamed. But I shouldn't be ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed of. What am I doing wrong that is making me feel this way? Why can't I move on and live my own life?

So this is my guilt...sorry for the long and heavy post....I needed to say it though and get it has been eating away at me for months.

On a happier note, the girlies are cute as ever! 14 months is SUCH a fun age!! I love it! And they are loving this Christmas chaos...the tree, the presents, the sparkling lights...their eyes just light up. It's precious! I just want to bottle them up and store them for later! I love their innocence =)

A picture of Daddy and Livvy

A picture of Brianna

I love them so much!!

Anyway, I hope you all are well and are ready for a fabulous Christmas! I know we are!

Until next time-

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's official!

We are expecting a baby BOY in June!

My OB is 100% certain (and at 14 weeks!). We saw the full "package" today via ultrasound (see below). And HE looks great! He is measuring exactly where he should be. My OB is absolutely amazed and says that this little guy is absolutely a miracle. He was quite sure at 6 weeks that the pregnancy was doomed and I would miscarry. But not this little guy....he wouldn't give up. Such a little fighter!

If you look at the ultrasound picture, what you are actually looking at is his little legs, spread open kind of in a U...then, in between the legs is said "package" can't miss it!

We also got our NT scan results back:
Blood work - well within normal range for all tests
NT measurement was 2.1 (1.8-2.2 is normal for 13 weeks) - so normal

No indication that further testing is necessary. YAY!

Here's a picture from the NT scan of the little man:

My OB has decided to keep me on prometrium at night for another 3 weeks, then he is going to switch me over to 17-P shots (I did this with the girls, it's to prevent pre-term labor) until 28 weeks (or longer if indicated because of cervical changes). I tried to stop my progesterone at 13 weeks, and within two days I was a crampy mess. The OB immediately put me back on the prometrium. I suspect I may have a progesterone issue throughout pregnancy, not just in the beginning. I had similar issues with the girls and had to go on 17-P shots at 17 weeks. We assumed we had to do the extra medication because they were multiples, but now we are thinking probably it's more of a problem with my body than with the girls being a multiple gestation. Learn something new every day!

Otherwise all is well here! Trying to get the rest of the Christmas shopping done. Eek! Christmas is only 10 days away! The girls are done, or I always think that until I find one more thing that could go in their stocking! But I haven't even really started shopping at all for anyone else on my list. I feel like such a slacker...=)

Okay, that's all I have for now! We have received many blessings this holiday season! Hope that you and yours have too!

Until next time -

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday baking

Other than decorating the Christmas tree and putting up Christmas lights there's nothing that gets me into the spirit of the holidays more than holiday baking! Last year I admit I skimped a little; understandable as the girlies were only 2 months old, but this year? Oh no, I'm back! Today I made the candy coated pretzels and the peanut butter kisses cookies. It felt so great to bake!

I'm exhausted now of course as I used the girls nap time to do my baking, then since I made a massive mess baking (and then making lasagna for dinner), I felt that I had to know, wipe down the counters, do the dishes, vacuum and swiffer the floors. Whew! I'm pooped! But I feel like I accomplished something. I can't believe it's only two weeks until Christmas...still so much to do!

I did sit down (for like 30 seconds) right after the girls got up from their nap this afternoon. I snapped a couple of pictures of them just being their super cute selves. They are so happy after their naps!

And one with Daddy (they are SUCH Daddy's girls!)

Oh, and the GAP shirts they are wearing...yeah...those were supposed to be for Christmas. I am SUCH a sucker! How do you keep this stuff actually for Christmas?! I had them upstairs in our room and when Si was getting the girls dressed this morning he asked what I wanted them to I spout off that I want them in their new GAP jackets and pink pants...really?! Why Megan, why??? Good thing the girls are too young to have any concept of Christmas or Christmas gifts or how many they should get! I keep giving their gifts to them well before Christmas day! HA!

So, how far are you in your Christmas planning/shopping/baking? All caught up? Way behind? I'm always envious of those people that can shop throughout the year then never have to set foot in a mall during the Christmas season. Are you one of those awesome people? Or are you envious of them and way behind like I am too?!

Until next time,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The first snow of the season!

We got our snowsuits just in time! It snowed 4 inches of wet and heavy snow today - our first real snow of the season! The girls watched the snow fall most of the late morning from the doorway, perplexed and amazed at what they were witnessing. Once they got up from their nap they went right back to the door and it was obvious that they wanted to go check out this fluffy white stuff that mom and dad kept calling "snow".

We packed the girls into their new snowsuits, complete with booties and mittens, and out front we went! We placed each girl into the 4" of fresh snow in the yard and they just stood there, frozen in place. After a few minutes they started moving around some, but they were still very tentative. Bri had a hard time taking steps and keeping her balance, so she spent a good chunk of her time on all fours in the snow. Very funny. Livvy, after watching her sister struggle, decided that sitting was the best option, so she promptly plopped down in a pile of snow close to the sidewalk.

Miss Olivia when first placed in the snow =)

Miss Brianna after getting her bearings a bit and figuring out that she really could walk in her snowsuit =)

Both girls sitting in the snow...much easier than trying to navigate around in it!

They made it outside for about 15 minutes before they wanted to come back in. It was still snowing like crazy, and the wind was blowing, and frankly the girls weren't fans of wet cold snowflakes smacking them in the face. Regardless, I really think they had a good time! I intend to take them out again tomorrow =)

We have our MoM's group Christmas Party tomorrow, complete with Santa, so as long as I remember to bring my camera I will have more pictures to share. Otherwise, not a ton going on here, and that is TOTALLY okay.

As many of you have asked, I did have Si snap a quick picture of my expanding belly tonight for your viewing pleasure. I don't really think I look pregnant at this point (12 weeks 3 days). I think I'm currently in that "did you eat too many bacon cheeseburgers?" phase. Bleh! Patiently waiting for the cute little pregnant belly to come forward...I suspect it will probably be 5-6 weeks yet though. I have my NT scan next Friday, and an OB appointment the following Wednesday (the 14th?). I will be 14 weeks at my OB appointment and as long as this little peanut participates, he thinks he will be able to determine gender. Woo hoo!

Okay, really, that's all for now. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The convertible car seat debacle

When we were pregnant with the girls, we decided that instead of getting the "standard" Graco 22 Snugride car seats (or other equivalent models) that we would pay the extra $60 per car seat to get the Graco Snugride 35's (which got way better side impact safety ratings than the 22's) and we could use them for a longer period of time (until the girls were 35 lbs or 32" tall).

We have about gotten our use out of these lovely car seats. The girls aren't even close to the weight limits for their current car seats, but at their 1 year check up the girls were up to 30", so it's just a matter of time before we will have to make the transition to new seats. As such, we are now in the market for our next step in car seats. The convertible car seat.
(Right?? That is the next step, isn't it? I'm only confused because some of these convertible car seats say they could have been used from birth on! Really?! We could have used a convertible the whole time? How?! These things are massive! Any insight group?)

I've been trying to do some online research and find out what convertible car seat is the best, but what I keep running into is a statement that "the best car seat for you is the one that fits your car, your budget, and you will use correctly every time." Um, okay. But that doesn't answer my question!!! What is the top rated car seat? And do consumers love it?

We are looking at getting these car seats...Britax Marathon 70 in Cowmooflauge (or we could do the pink, but I think the cowmooflauge is precious!!) looks like they got very high ratings (top rated on Amazon), but they are also quite expensive. Si doesn't think we should spend this much on convertible car seats. I think you can't put a number on saftey. It's not like they are $1000 a piece or something...but they are about $275 (normally - but Aha! - currently on sale for $220 on Amazon Prime! Eat it Si!). Not that that still isn't expensive because it is, but, if that's the best car seat, and they are going to be in it for a while, well, it's worth the money to me. Right?

I know I'm not the first of my bloggy friends to make the switch to convertible car seats, so help me out here guys! Should I save my money and get a cheaper car seats? They have what I suspect to be the low end of the Britax car seats at Target for $150...should we just get those? Or a different brand all together? There are a couple others that look good to me...then again, I guess I don't really understand what I am looking for!

Diono RadianDXT Price: $309 (Si will never go for this one - lol - but it's PURPLE! HA!) It raves that this could be the ONLY car seat you could ever need...birth up to 100 lbs! That's just nuts.

Graco Nautilus Price: $149. See, but again, this is so confusing to me - this seat can only be used forward facing?! I thought the new guidelines were to keep kiddos rear facing as long as possible, or until they are 2 years old or meet the height or weight guidance provided for rear facing on the particular car seat. So...this isn't an option for us at this point? Confusing!

Safety First Complete Air 65LX - Price $227. Not a huge fan of the color, but I like how it is nice and "looks" safe...HA....can you judge a seat based on appearance? LOL!

So, what do/did you use? Do you like it, and why or why not? Was it uber expensive?

Thanks as always ladies! You guys rock! I've got to keep these two peanuts safe!

Miss Bri, sporting her Christmas dress and actually SMILING for the photograher (the one picture from the entire shoot she was smiling in - lol!). She is very particular with her smiles...reserved for the ones she loves =)

And Miss Livvy, hamming it up for the camera, as usual! I love her beautiful little smile! It lights up a room!

Until next time -

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snowsuits? What's really necessary?

I scooped up second-hand cute little reversible winter coats at our fall MoM's sale for $10 each. A stellar deal! Or so I thought at the time. Maybe now I'm over thinking it.

It's been getting progressively colder here in Omaha, but we have yet to get any measurable snow. The girls have been going stir crazy inside so any time it's been 45 degrees or warmer outside I leave them in their nice toasty fleece PJ's, add on another hooded fleece jacket, and take them outside to play in the grass for 10-15 minutes. I've found it's really a necessity. They are SO much happier when they come back inside and they nap more soundly and for longer. Totally worth it for 10-15 minutes of chilly outdoor time.

Over the last couple of weeks I started thinking about exactly what my plan would be once it would snow. Would the girls still get to go out and play? What all would we need to make sure they would be warm enough, even for only 10-15 minutes?

This is what I came up with:
1. Winter Coat
2. Snow Pants
3. Stocking Hat
4. Mittens/Gloves
5. Boots

So far I had the winter coats, and one pair of mittens that I had bought at clearance time last year. That meant I still had A TON left on my list to pick up for the girls before they would be "snow ready". One ongoing problem that we have encountered with the girlies is that they have a major problem with shoes. And they don't discriminate. It can be any type of shoes. Tennis shoes, dress shoes, sandals, it doesn't matter. They get placed on their feet and the girls scream and scream and scream and make it their mission to get said shoes off. They refuse to stand up or walk in their shoes and will sit in the middle of the floor and just scream for an hour until they get them off (I kid you not - I have left them on assuming it would pass and they would get over it...nope). I have no idea if this is normal, but it doesn't seem normal to me. Anyway...

I started thinking about my list of necessities to be snow ready, and it occurred to me that it may actually be more expensive to buy each of these items individually than it would be to buy them as a set. I found snow pants at Target for $15 each, and I found boots at Target for $12.99 each. Hats would run around $10 each, and mittens/gloves probably about $5 each more. That's $42 more, per girl, shopping at Target! And that's with me already having the coats! Kids really are expensive!

I looked around at Baby Gap, Carters, and online at JCP and came to the conclusion that I would buy each girl a one-piece snowsuit from Baby Gap during their Black Friday Sale (40% off + and additional 20% off when ordering online - sweet!). They were relatively pricey to start with but the discounts definitely helped a ton! Plus, they came with an attached hat/hood, mittens that snap into the snowsuit, AND little bootie covers that also snap into the snowsuit (so the girls won't absolutely have to wear boots with it!). I think I covered all of my bases with these suits and hopefully won't have to purchase any additional items.

Now my question for the group is, was the snowsuit purchase really necessary? I mean, could we have gotten by with what we had already? Could I have put them in multiple layers of pants and socks and such to let them play outside for 10 minutes? Was this a good purchase or a bad one?

I had the girls outside today while Si was trying to perfect our Christmas lights in the daylight and I put them in their winter coats. They were absolutely HILARIOUS! It was like they had lost all of their balancing skills! And once they teetered over, they couldn't get back up! HA! Here's a picture of the girls trying to maneuver around the front yard....


And, Gramz and Grandpa were down this weekend (YAY) so we snapped a quick picture of Gramz with both girls. They love her SOOOOO much and it's so precious! Their eyes just light up every time they see her or hear her voice...such a special special bond =).

Hope you all had a wonderful extended weekend/Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends! Did you stay as busy as I did?!

Until next time

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Music for toddlers?

We have a couple of lullaby and praise CD's, but the girls really like more of the upbeat/pop type of music. When I was little I listened to Raffi, so I tracked Raffi down on Itunes and I still remember the words to most of the songs I used to listen to! Can you believe that?

We've tried the toddler tunes on the music channels on TV, but they aren't big fans of that. They love their Disney Princess Christmas music book, and Bri dances to the music that some of her toys play, but otherwise I don't have any idea what they may like. I don't really want to invest in a bunch of CD's that they may or may not like, know what I mean?

So I guess my question is, what music did your toddlers listen to and love? How many CD's did you have to go through before you figured that out? LOL.

And a baby #3 status update. I'm good. I haven't had nearly the morning sickness with this baby as I did with the girls. Definite bonus! I also haven't really moved into maternity clothes yet. Maternity jeans, yes, but otherwise, I can still wear my normal work clothes and tops. By 8 weeks with the girls I was 100% in maternity clothes. This time it's looking like I might make it to 12 weeks or beyond! And here's to hoping that I can actually stay in one size of maternity clothes with this pregnancy (instead of the whole range S-L that I did with the girls)! I'm definitely pumped to buy and wear the cutesy maternity clothes this round =).

I finally told my boss today that we are pregnant. He was excited for us. He still doesn't have anything firm for me to do after June, but at least now he understands my urgency in trying to find something. He also knows that I intend to work after the new baby comes (as long as Si doesn't do catastrophe adjusting), so he knows if he finds me something that I will be there to do the job. It makes me feel better knowing that he knows he can look out for me now more...its not just me flailing trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do once my contract is up. I feel like it takes a little bit of the weight off my shoulders.

Otherwise, not a lot going on here. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our place, so cleaning is on my agenda for tomorrow. I just figured it would be easier to bring people here than have to cart the girls to someone else's house that isn't child proof and have to follow them around for hours on end making sure they don't get into stuff. We'll see!

So are you guys all ready for Thanksgiving? Are you hosting?

Until next time -

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm going to have to rename my blog!


(We were surprised too!)

We are currently about 10 weeks pregnant (with ONE little peanut). Sorry I didn't fill you all in earlier, but honestly I figured we would miscarry (jaded I know, but such is the life of an infertile I think). The baby was measuring behind for several weeks, I was bleeding, etc...the bleeding has since stopped and the baby has caught up (a whole week!), so we are finally (kind of) breathing a sigh of relief.

Anyway, all seems to be going well at this point, so I figured it was relatively safe to clue you all in!

So...any ideas on new blog names? =).

Have a great night ladies!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The bubbles, the bubbles!

I'm ecstatic...the girls finally like bubbles! They have spent the last 6 months of their little lives being terrified of them, but tonight my friends, we crossed a major bridge in our relationship with these strange floating iridescent phenomena.

Ryan and Kim got us the coolest purple octopus singing bubble blowing bath toy in the world for our first birthday. Like super cool. So cool that mommy kind of wants to play with it too...I love bubbles!

For the last month I have been trying to reintroduce the girls to bubbles at night in the tub. Every time they scream bloody murder and try to vacate the bathtub just as quickly as they possibly can.

Until tonight...

We got our bubble blowing bath on tonight, and we LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! Can you see the joy on Bri's face, and the amazement on Livvy's face?! Awesome!

So, were your kiddos ever afraid of bubbles? Is it some normal phase that little ones go through? Or are my girlies just bubble scaredy cats? LOL =)

Until next time,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In memory of Meghan...

I don't know how many of my followers are also followers of Meghan's blog "Wishing & Hoping & Thinking & Praying & Planning & Dreaming", but I suspect at least a couple of you are. Meghan had her triplets on 10-15-2010, two days after I had the girls. I loved reading her blog and exchanging comments and ideas since our kiddos were all so adorable (hehe) and so close together in age. I hadn't heard from Meghan in a while, and when checking my stats I noted that I was still getting hits on my blog from her blogroll, so I thought I'd bebop over and check on her.

What I found was beyond disheartening.

Meghan passed away on October 26, 2011 after a 5 year bout with cancer. I'd known that she had had several surgeries since having the babies, but I thought she was doing better, I thought she had been on the mend for a while now. I figured she was busy with the kiddos and that was the reason for the lack of posting. There was nothing posted on her blog after her last post when the triplets were 9 months old, so I was reading through the comments on her last post, fully intending to leave her a comment about hoping all was well and couldn't wait to see the one year pics and update when something about the comments just didn't seem right. I found a link to her Caring Bridge site and went backwards and read through what had happened.

On September 29th after a trip to the ER the doctors found that Meghan had three tumors in her brain. They set her up for surgery the next day. She did okay with the surgery, was in ICU for a couple of days, then on a normal hospital floor for a little while, then in rehab for a bit. She was still in pain and still had a ways to go in terms of her recovery after her brain surgery, but she was home in time for the triplets first birthday party. I'm sure she was thrilled to be home for such a monumental occasion!

Sadly, shortly there after, on October 26, 2011 Meghan had an unexpected brain hemmorrage and passed away.

I am so so sad for this family. I did not know Meghan personally, but over the last year I have gotten to know her and her babies through our blogs and am so saddened by her passing. Her babies will grow up without a mommy. Her husband will raise their children without his wife. Meghan was 33 years old. So disheartening.

The funeral was November 2nd in Broomfield, CO. A memorial has been set up for the triplets education if anyone would like to donate. The information can be found here (this is a link to Meghan's Caring Bridge site - you can also read her Caring Bridge journal updates here).

Things like this always make you remember just how short and uncertain life really is.

Live deeply...laugh often. You never know when your last day will be. Cherish every second. Sorry for such a heavy post, but I thought it was important that everyone who knew Meghan know about her passing...


Leaves are the coolest!

It's been pretty chilly here in Omaha over the last two weeks so the girls haven't been able to go outside and play hardly at all. To say they are going stir crazy in the house all day long is a definite understatement. I'm not looking forward to the winter at all!

Tuesday a TON of the leaves fell from our big maple tree out front making a perfect leafy wonderland for the girls. Once it warmed up on Thursday I made a little pile for the girlies to play in. This was their first exposure to leaves.

It's official, they think the are pretty amazing!

The only picture I took of them where they are both looking at the camera and of 45 pictures...of course it was the very first picture I took!

Livvy getting ready to tackle Bri....note the massive smirk on her was all downhill from there. Two toddlers wresting in the fall leaves! HA!

Do your kiddos love the leaves as much as mine do? Have you had decent weather this fall to actually be able to enjoy the leaves?

Have a great weekend ladies!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just lovin the crazy chaos

I'm way behind in blog updates. I know this. But I've been really busy with these two crazy beautiful mobile (walking!) ladies! They have turned into little people; these are not babies anymore ladies and gentlemen!!

Bri has been walking for almost a month now, but Livvy just started really walking last Tuesday. She is so proud of herself. It's so cute! She's still a bit wobbly (more of toddling sometimes than walking) but now that we have two walking (Bri nearly running) toddlers, I have found that there is even less time in the day to get things done. Even factoring in daylight savings time...and that's sad, after all we did GAIN an hour!

So, updates since I last posted:

1) I am done breastfeeding and pumping. It's been 4 days. It's been hard, yet kind of nice at the same time. I miss the closeness of breastfeeding, and knowing that they were getting the best possible nutrition from me, and now they aren't. On the bright side, not having to cart my pump to work with me every day has been stellar, I'm not going to lie. And I'm saving a ton of time by not pumping multiple times a day. Still not sure where this time has gone then, and how I've still had zero time to blog...hmmm...

2) The girls had their 1 year well check on October 21st. Yeah, like over 2 weeks ago. I know I'm a slacker. But, here are their stats... definitely some healthy girls!

Miss Olivia - AKA Baby A
Weight - 24 lbs 0 oz (86th percentile)
Height - 29.75 inches (62nd percentile)
Clothes - mostly 12 months, some 18 month, but most of the 18 month are too long in the legs or arms
Diapers - size 4

Miss Brianna - AKA Baby B
Weight - 25 lbs 4 oz (93rd percentile)
Height - 30.0 inches (62nd percentile)
Clothes - about 50/50 between 12 month and 18 month
Diapers - size 4

3) Livvy has kicked the paci habit, except at bedtime and naptime. She always had that thing in her mouth, so we took it away. She did fine! And she is talking SO much more! We took it away about 10 days ago, and has since learned how to say "baby" (we met Baby Jackson - the girls new cousin last weekend) and "ba-la" (Bailey, one of our pugs). She is talking SO much more without her paci! More than her sister now, and that, my friends, is a feat in itself! So glad we took it away when we did =)

4) Halloween was an epic fail in terms of costumes for the girls. We got them the cutest little costumes (Livvy was a pink elephant and Bri was a lamb), but they REFUSED to leave the headpeices on, and Bri figured out how to get her outfit off about 5 mintues after we put it on. We had grand plans to parade the girls around the neighborhood in their cute little costumes, but since we couldn't keep the costumes on them, that idea went totally out the window. We are going to try and have their pictures taken in their Halloween costumes when we get their pictures taken this weekend. Wish us luck...I'm not holding my breath!

5) The sippy cup transition has begun! The girls get their 50/50 juice/water only in sippy cups now, not in bottles, and they have responded pretty well to it. They are ticked when you try to put milk in a sippy cup though, so that is going to be a work in progress for a while I think. But hey, any progress is good.

6) Bathtime! Bathtime has morphed into both girls at the same time in the tub. Too bad they have no intention of sitting in the bathtub, and think it is crazy fun to play with the faucet and shower head more than their bath toys. Sweet.

7) Feeding time - The girls now do a lot of their own feeding. Bri loves it! She really isn't a fan of getting fed much anymore. Stick everything down on her tray and let her go to town! Livvy on the other hand is fine with getting some food on her plate, but she really prefers to be fed. Funny the differences between the girls!
Here's a pic of the girls after we let them go to town and feed themselves spaghetti. They LOVED it! They did go almost directly into the bath after this though (lol)...

I think that's all I have for updates right now. I promise I have been reading all of your blogs, sometimes commenting, sometimes not (I can't comment at work), but I am at the very least reading all about your trials and tribulations =).Keep up the good work ladies!

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Can you learn to love your body again?

While I was pregnant with the girls I kept going back and forth in my mind about how I felt about a C-section vs. vaginal birth. I really wanted to have a vaginal birth. Really really. I thought it would be an easier recovery and easier to lose the baby weight (which was 74 LBS!!!) after the babies were born. When the time came though, I wasn't really given the option....pre-eclampsia was in full swing and while they could "try" inducing me, there were absolutely no guarantees that it would work and I could very likely end up with a C-section anyway. So...I opted for the C-section. Good thing I did. When the OB was in there (taking the babies out) he told me there was no way I would have been able to deliver Miss Olivia vaginally, so I would have been forced into a C-section anyhow.

So what's my point with this rant?

Well...I have had a difficult time accepting my post baby body. After being on pelvic rest and a no exercise restriction for the last 6 months of my pregnancy, I felt fat and unhappy. Sexy was by far a thing of the past. Post C-section my tummy was anything but toned (more like deflated balloon!). I am sure many many of you share my sentiment. So, once I was given the okay, I started trying to tone my body again in my "free" time (HA). Unfortunately I continued to weigh the same from 3 months post birth to 8 months post birth. It was very disheartening. Then for the last 4 months I decided to change things up. I have been doing 75 sit ups every day, speed-walking a mile, and done other miscellaneous toning exercises (and a smidge of yoga) along with watching what I eat.

The results?

As of the girlies 1 year birthday, I am only 3.1 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight!!! Can you believe that?! Now of course my body is never going to actually be the same as it was pre baby girls, but I can go and buy (relatively form fitting) clothes and feel comfortable in my skin again! 71 lbs...that is just crazy!!! It took me a FULL YEAR to get there....I'm just glad I kept working on it!

Now here's to hoping that once I stop breastfeeding I don't gain any of it back! Fingers crossed! And then of course I still have 20 lbs to go before I hit my pre-IVF weight....I'm not holding my breath...

So for full disclosure....

Here's me 6 weeks pregnant with the girls (documentation picture of what size I was going into it - lol)

Before giving birth to my two princesses:

Now, 1 year post babies (no spankx or any other suck me in's involved!):
Sure, my body is totally different, and I still have the extra "deflated balloon" skin, but I'm okay with it =). My OB said if/when he delivers our next/final child (via C-Section) that he will go ahead and do a tummy tuck free of charge....sweet....

So, where are you in your post baby weight loss journey? Is it something you are having to constantly work on? What has helped you lose the weight that you have lost so far? If you have lost all of your baby weight, have you been able to keep it off?

Oh, and a breastfeeding update since I just brought it up....I am in the process of weaning. I am pumping 3 x a day now, and Bri has stopped nursing entirely, even in the mornings. My supply has dropped significantly in the last 3 weeks, so I suspect in another week or two I will be able to stop pumping all together. Bittersweet! The girls don't need it anymore though, so I'm okay with it =)

Okay, that's all for now!
Have a great weekend ladies!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

We are ONE!!

Happy 1 year Birthday Olivia and Brianna!

As of 8:59 and 9:00 PM tonight, Olivia and Brianna (respectively) are officially 1 year old. And what a wonderful year it has been! I can't believe how much our lives have changed in one short year.
In the beginning....



So what’s new with our precious little one year olds? (Oh geez, I have a hard time even saying that!)

We are becoming more and more independent every day. We are very interested in what is going on around us and how things work. We are incredibly curious. We have figured out how to flush the toilet, open up drawers and cabinets, unroll the roll of toilet paper, and empty the trash can. We aren’t trouble makers at all! They also both love the water and the hair dryer and insist on assisting mommy in the bathroom every single morning while she gets ready for work. I don’t mind one bit =)

Okay, so now on to toddler (yikes!!) specific facts for 1 year…

Miss Olivia – AKA “Baby A”

Favorite activity: Cruising the furniture, playing peek-a-boo, reading books
Mobility: She is cruising like a wild woman! She will take a couple of steps between two pieces of furniture, but can not walk unassisted yet. She is making an effort to stand unassisted, and she loves her new push carts that she got for her birthday, so it's just a matter of time before she is walking. Crawling is still her preferred mode of transportation.
Favorite food: NOT CAKE! LOL! I would say mashed potatoes, pancakes, and any sort of puffs or food that she can eat easily on her own are her favorites
Personality: Drama Queen, yet very tender hearted. Very outgoing. Is waving at everyone, especially daddy, mommy, and sister first thing in the morning and any time any one leaves the room or the building (LOL). Wants to be involved in everything that is going on. Definitely very observant. Also very smiley =).
Favorite Person: Still Daddy!
Teeth: 4 currently, 2 on top and 2 on bottom cutting 5&6 (both on bottom) as we speak
Words: Da-da, ma-ma, hey, yep, ut oh, hi
Can sign: "All Done" and "More" on occasion

Miss Brianna - aka "Baby B"

Favorite activity: Splashing in the bathtub, playing in the dog water, and anything that lets her be outside for any extended period of time
Mobility: WALKING! AHHHHH! She started walking last Thursday (October 6th). She took 5 unassisted steps from her daddy to the middle of the floor. Since then she has continued to take unassisted steps, but so far not any more than 10 at one time. She still prefers crawling to any other mode of transportation. Well, other than being picked up and carried around...that is still by far her preference...
Favorite food: Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, triple berry ricotta pancakes, cake (LOL), shredded cheese, grapes, and puffs. And you, little peanut, still nurse first thing in the morning =).
Personality: Shy/Reserved. Will smile at and interact with you, but has to warm up to you first. Loves to be around others. Does not often enjoy being the center of attention...unless there is cake involved (hehe). Loves to chatter away while she is eating.
Favorite Person: Mommy or Papa Ken, depending on the day
Teeth: 6 – 4 on top, 2 on the bottom
Words: Da-da, Ma-Ma, yep, oh, thank you, hi, hey
Can sign: "Milk" and "All Done"

You little princesses are growing up TOO fast!!!! Mommy and Daddy love you both so so much and can't fathom life without you! We are so honored to be your parents!

Until next time -

Our 1st Birthday Party!!

Olivia and Brianna are officially 1 year old today! Ahhh! I will do an updated 1 year post shortly, but the girls birthday party was Saturday and so I figured I should probably go ahead and post about it!

The girls had an absolute BLAST at their party! We packed as many people as we possibly could into our home, the girls played with their friends, were held by lots of people they hadn't seen in a while, and enjoyed some super tasty cake. Well - Bri enjoyed the cake anyway - Olivia screamed bloody murder when we put it in front of her and cried even harder when we put some in her mouth. She is not a cake girl apparently! Bri however took every opportunity to get messy getting less cake in her mouth than she did just about anywhere else. She had a great time!!

Here are some pictures from the party!
The cake(s) that Aunt Bridget made (they were SOOOO good)...

The Happy Birthday banner Auntie Renee made for us....

The monkey door hangers I ordered (super cute!)....

The girls awaiting their cake....(note the "I am 1" monkey highchair banners =))

The girls post cake on their plate (see poor Livvy just screaming?!)

And Bri still eating her cake...10 minutes later....

I realized after the fact that I didn't really get any good pictures of the girls in their little birthday dresses...bummer....not that they were special birthday specific dresses anyway, but still, I totally spaced taking their pictures in them! Here's what I do have....the girls were checking out their massive collection of birthday presents=)

Thanks to everyone who came and who sent their birthday wishes from afar! We love you all!

Until next time -

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A new path?

I've been kind of an absent blogger...sorry...

Something has been weighing on my mind for about a month now...

Staying home with my girls

When I went back to work 10 weeks after the girls were born I was honestly a little relieved. I had some "me" time back. I was something other than "the twins mom" for 10 hours a day, 4 days a week. I could go to work without worrying about the girls. I had a fabulous, fully capable nanny for 3 days a week, and my awesome dad for the other day. I was off on Wednesday's, so between Wednesday's and the weekend, I had 3 days off to spend with the girls. Ideal, right?


I liked this set up. I would venture to say it was almost perfect. Until about a month ago....the girls now know that I'm leaving. They know that I'm gone. They sometimes cry when I leave. I don't want to leave.

This is becoming the common scene whenever I leave to go anywhere (work, the store, etc.)

Insert sad face here!

I'm the breadwinner at this point. I've been working in the same government job for 4+ years, and it's been great. I make good money, carry the health insurance, have a good benefits plan with awesome time off.

But my contract ends in June...then what?

Are there other options for me to keep working? Sure!
Is the money guaranteed to be the same? Not a chance.
Are these positions within the VA where I am now? Probably not.
Would I have to start all over with my time off, switch insurance, and move to a different location? Very likely.
Do I want to do this? No.

For the first time, I don't want to advance myself. I want to be with my children.

And this is a STRONG desire....not just yeah maybe that would be cool, but like, this is what I am supposed to be doing desire. We worked SO hard to get these girls here and they are growing up SO fast...I almost feel like I am missing it. And I regret that. I don't want to have regrets.

The bigger piece of this puzzle is money (of course). We just can't afford for me to stay home all the time. I would have to take some sort of job doing something. So we are thinking about our options.

One thing that Si has wanted to do for years and years is be an IA (Independent Adjuster) for catastrophies (hurricane's, floods, tornados, etc.) and travel to where the storms are and work on assessing damage and helping people get their lives back together. I had always told him no before. I wouldn't be able to deal with him being gone for weeks or months on end multiple times a year. But now I'm seriously considering it.

We could go with him.
All of us.
Even the pugs.
24-7 with the girls and the pugs.
I could help do the IA stuff too, so we could work twice as quickly. (okay, or with the girls, maybe 1.33333 x more
We would get to travel to where the disasters were (something we wouldn't be able to do once the girls are in school).
We would be helping people get their lives back together.
We could make the money situation work.
We would only work 1/2 to 2/3 (ish) of the year (in theory of course), and would be "off" the rest of the time

The negatives?
We would be away from our family and friends
We would get zero breaks together from the girls
We would never know where we were going next or how long we would be gone
I would really have to learn how to budget.

So this is the battle that is going on in my mind right now...and with all of the party planning, there hasn't been as much time to blog. The big banana birthday extravaganza is next Saturday - oye! I hope I'll be ready!

We made a trip to the apple orchard today with our parents of multiples group, and the girlies had a great time =). Here's the girls trying to figure out why we had parked their stroller in the middle of an apple tree. No worries...they figured it out...they each got to pick out 3 apples, and now mommy gets to make them their own batch of applesauce! YAY!

So that's all for now (like that isn't enough!)...hope you are having a happy hump day!

Until next time -