Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's Almost Lake Season

Today was our first trip to the lake since last September.  My parents have a cottage on Hamilton Lake that they bought while my mom was pregnant with my older brother.  As we all joke, it's one step up from a tent but it's my second home and I love the little shack  I hope the babies love spending their summers there as much as I do.

If today was any indication, I think we're off to a good start.  They were very content to hang out in the octagon and play with their toys. Of course they loved being able to crawl and walk in the grass even more.  They both tried to beeline right for the water. I dipped their toes in and they both pulled them out immediately. The water was cold! In my younger days I would have went for a swim just to say I was the first one in.


My parents' dog is on restricted activity thanks to a leg injury.  H still wanted to play with her.

Tyson and Layla were in heaven.  Thanks to a not so friendly neighbor dog and Layla's I don't take no lip from anyone attitude, they have to be leashed when the neighbors are up.  Today they were able to run and play.

This high chair was our main reason for heading to the lake today.  I purchased it thinking it would be great at the lake to help save on space.  The cottage isn't big and there are often times 12+ people.  There's not a lot of room for two highchairs.  Thankfully it fit on the table just fine and I ordered a second one when we got home.  We'll be taking the portable highchairs with us when we head to Chicago too.

Things I learned on our trip to the lake today:

1. My babies, who used to love napping in the car for multiple hours, are now horrible car sleepers.  30 minute naps both there and back and they usually sleep at least an hour per nap.

2. My dogs stink. We always talk about how much they stink, but an hour in the car with them was terrible.  I considered tying them to the luggage rack.

3. Road construction takes forever! Ok, I already knew this one. But seriously, how are they not done with Union Chapel Road yet?

4. Auburn Indiana has a really cute town center.  It's been a while since I've driven down Main Street, but it's super cute. There's a Mad Anthony's, a Pizza Forum and a cute little bakery. Beer, pizza and baked goods? So my style!

5. I really like BabyGanics spray sunscreen. It goes on so much smoother than any other "natural" sunscreen I've found. This will be a permanent fixture in our diaper bag.

6. Pitbull and Christina Aguilera should be shot.  Whatever that terrible crap the radio was playing was, it made my ears bleed.  Between that and Taylor Swift, I have no faith in popular music.  I'm going to stick with Pandora.

7. Harrison really hates wearing a hat.  The one he was wearing has a velcro strap, but he still managed to take it off. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good hat that stays on?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Things We Love @ Ten and Eleven Months

Green Sprouts Stacking Cups - We are to the point where they love to take things apart and put them back together.  They received these cups as a Christmas gift, and they love them.  We have two different brands of stacking cups, but these ones are their my favorite. They have tiny holes in the bottom and we will take them into the bath and pour water through them.  Any toy that can transition to the bath gets bonus points in our house.

V-Tech Sit to Stand Walker - They still love and use their wooden walker daily, but we decided we needed a second one.  This one is soooo annoying, but they think it's fantastic.  It's my go to toy for when someone is extra fussy.  Set the walker in front of them, push some buttons and that usually buys five minutes of happiness.  That makes this toy golden.

Fisher Price Star Stacker - We have the traditional Fisher Price stacker too and the like it, but they really like this one.  It lights up and makes noise, every parents favorite, when the stars go on and it plays a song when you place the smiley star on top.  They like to carry around the base and push the button to have it light up/make noise.

Happy Tot Pouches - I thought for sure once they stopped eating purees that they wouldn't be interested in these.  We had a couple Plum pouches left in the cabinet and I tried them out one day just to see if they'd eat them. They were all about it! Now that they know how to hold them and feed them to themselves they are all over these. We like the Happy Tot, Plum and Ella's Kitchen varieties. They are somewhat expensive, so we limit them to one each per day, and I stock up when they are on sale.  It seems like Target, Babies R Us and Meijer run a sale on them once a month.

Plum Little Cremes - They love these things! We started feeding them cremes around 7 months and they are still hot on them.  They come in reds, purples and greens and they love all three flavors.  The red and purple ones are a bit messy when they are teething and extra drooly, so we've learned to limit it to the greens while on the go.  They like Gerber organic yogurt drops too, but not nearly as much as they like these.

Playskool Busy Poppin Pals - We have a Disney version of this that their Great Aunt picked up for them at a thrift store. They have started figuring out how to push the buttons to pop up the characters, but mostly they love to push the characters back down.  This toy is one that gets fought over on a pretty regular basis.

Bright Starts Bee - This is another one that they received as a Christmas gift and are now really getting into.  The bee lights up and plays music, I know, fun, plus it vibrates and rolls around.  Like most musical toys these days it has a learning setting and a music setting.  They like both settings and love when the bee moves.  If you leave this toy on it will randomly make noises and wiggle around.  It always grabs their attention when that happens.

Those are our can't live without items of the last couple months.  They still like to play with all their toys, even a rattle if it's one they haven't seen in a while.  If they don't loose interest in some of these toys soon, we're going to run out of room for toys.  I think come their birthday, it will be time to start packing some toys into Rubbermaid bins so they can hang out in the garage for the next few years.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend on the Move

Somehow it seems like there's always something to do every day. Each day is always packed with multiple things to get done. Some days it's just a trip to the gym and afternoon swim class.  Other days it's multiple trips to work, grocery shopping and a trip through service for the van, all between naps.  That was our Saturday. Thankfully the babies were great through all of it.  Our 5 minute stop into service for a tire pressure light turned into an hour, but they were champs.

Waiting at the Toyota dealership.

After our busy Saturday it was great to not leave the house at all today.  I am still wearing my pajama pants as I type this.  Sundays are Rob's only real day off so most Sundays are spent having family time. In the last week B's confidence in walking has increased exponentially, so today was spent having her walk back and forth between Rob and I. She's still a bit wobbly but she's figuring it out.  She took 23 steps without falling down today. Such a big girl!  Here she is in action.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

First Birthday Party Planning

There are less than 4 weeks until H and B's 1st birthday party.  I decided on a milk and cookies party a few months ago after scouring Pinterest for ideas.  I pretty much have their next 5 birthday parties already planned.  I found these great invitations on Etsy and had them custom done in yellow.  I am planning to bake 5 or 6 different varieties of cookies and do smash cakes for each baby. We are going with gray and yellow for our color scheme.

Now that my mind is full of ideas, it's time to start crafting and get ready for this party!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning to me means cleaning out my closet and getting rid of things I haven't worn in the past year or things that don't fit. I didn't clean out my closet last spring because I was a whole lot of pregnant.  That means there was lots to get rid of this year. Brooke decided to help me by playing with the now unused hangers and crawling around on the clothes I threw of the floor.  It's like she knew I put them there just for her.

I filled three bags with things to donate.  The fourth one is Robbie's because I make him purge his closet every spring too. I ditched mostly shirts, but also a few pairs of shoes and pants. I had to get rid of a few shirts that aren't mommy appropriate, too much cleavage, and other than those I wasn't sad to see anything go.  I dropped everything off at Goodwill today. Now I have room for new clothes.

Aside from the clothes we donated, I have lots of old worn t-shirts that I don't wear anymore.  I think I've been holding onto my seventh grade soccer shirt for a wee bit too long.  I doubt that anyone wants an old soccer shirt with "Justice" on the back of a show choir shirt that says "phat model" on it.  I found some great ways to upcycle these shirts. Hair Pom Poms, Fabric Flowers, Dog Rope Toys. There are tons of other great ideas for things to do with old t-shirts on Pinterest.

My favorite one of these ideas is definitely the dog rope toys.  I buy tons of Old Navy tanks every year.  I practically live in them all summer. They last maybe a year or two and then they're usually stained or snagged.  I had a lot of them to get rid of this year, so I decided I would use them for the dog toys.  While sitting on the couch watching a movie I made a few last night. They are super easy and only take a few minutes to make.  My dogs won't play with rope toys anymore and the dogs at the daycare certainly don't need them, so I'm going to donate them to the local shelter. I think they turned out really well and seem semi durable. Hopefully they'll hold up to some chewing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

11 Months

Only one more month till these babies are a year old.  I know I say it all the time, and so does everyone else for that matter, but time sure does fly.  A year ago I was on modified bed rest, swollen like a sausage and enjoying every move these babies made, I still miss that feeling. I'll gladly take my sweet munchkins being here with me though.

Our biggest change over the last month has been in the sleep department.  I made a post about our achievements in the sleep department and since then things have continued to get well.  Two nights ago the babies moved into their own room and it was a seamless transition.  They are still coming into bed with us around 6am to nurse and sleep a little longer.  Sleeping, actually sleeping, not being awake half the night, in my own bed is glorious.  They are getting much better sleep now too, and it makes for an all around happier household.

Brooke took her first consecutive steps this week.  I was not at all ready for it and didn't get any video.  I tried to record her doing it again, and she was so excited about my phone sitting on the entertainment center that she lost her balance and face planted into a shelf.  She now has a bruise on her forehead and will probably never want to walk again.  They're both doing great with walking while holding someone's hand.

We started our third round of swim classes this week. I think this will be our last round of classes until after the summer. It's crazy how much they love the pool. Hopefully they will feel the same way about the lake.

Harrison is holding at seven teeth. The eighth tooth that I thought was through is still sitting right under his gums. I keep thinking it will break through and it never does.  Brooke had three teeth break through the skin in one week and she's now up to seven teeth too.  We have been using amber teething necklaces.  I'm not sure if they are really working or not.  Either way, they look cute with them on.

Mama, Dada and dog(daw) are part of their everyday vocabulary. The dogs are daw and their stuffed lambs are daw.  It cracks me up every time Brooke calls the lamb daw.  I finally gave them their teddy bears that they received as gifts from a family friend.  I'm sure those will be daw soon too.

I've started full on planning for their 1st birthday party.  The invitations will be going out in the mail this week and then I can start working on all the details.  Look out Hobby Lobby and Michael's! I will be visiting you both frequently over the next month. I will be making a post with some of the ideas and projects I'll be working on for their big day.

This is how Harrison felt about taking pictures today. I think he's over it.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stylin' Lake Babes

In Northern Indiana we don't have the beach, we have the lake, and for 3 months out of the year we get to enjoy the wonderful Indiana summer.  This used to mean floating drunk in the water while working on my tan. While I still plan to have a couple weekends where I indulge in a few too many Summer Shandys, most of my weekends will be spent playing in the shallow water with the two cutest babies I know.

I may have went a bit overboard on swimsuit purchases for the babies, but everything is so cute! Below are their current swimsuit line ups.  They also have a couple hand me downs from their cousins.
Octopus Trunks, Fish Trunks(Old Navy last Season), Hibiscus Trunks

Neon Yellow One Shoulder, Navy Stars(Old Navy Last Year), Pink One Shoulder(Sold Out),
Yellow Polka DotBlack and White Stripped, Blue Polka Dot Tutu(Target Last Year)

As you can see Brooke pretty much has a swimsuit for each day of the week.  I have to resist buying anything else for her.  Harrison may acquire one more set of trunks before summer gets here, but he is pretty much set too.  If you're still looking for cute swimwear for your little ones, Below are some of the cutest suits currently available.  While we're all set for this year, I may wind up picking up a few of these suits for next year if I can get them on sale.  

Happy swimming and shopping!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hair Accessories

For a baby girl with almost no hair, Brooke sure has a lot of hair accessories. She has more headbands than I can keep track of and they've been sitting in a bin for the last 11 months. Sometimes I remember she has something that I bought to go with an outfit and other times I completely forget she had a matching headband until the end of the day. I decided it was time to solve this problem. Here come my crafty side.

Spending about $20 and using the time span of two naps I made a decorative storage display for all most of Brooke's headbands and eventually hair clips.

All of the supplies: 11x20 canvas, quilt batting, 1 yard of fabric (I only used about half of it), ribbon, screw hooks and silver spray paint.  All of the items can be purchased at any craft store, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, etc.

The hooks were gold so I spray painted them with Rustoleum metallic silver spray paint. (Why do they make everything in gold and not silver?)

I cut out the quilt batting leaving about an inch and a half on each side.

My staple gun spits out at least two staples at a time and I hate it, so I opted for hot glue. It was a little messier and not quite as tight as I would have liked, but it worked. The batting should be pulled as tight as possible when attaching it to the canvas frame. Once the batting is attached, do the same process with your fabric.  The batting keeps the fabric from tearing/wearing on the corners of the canvas.  If you are using a fleece or another heavier fabric you can skip the batting and just use your fabric.

This is what the canvas should look like after you have attached the batting and fabric.

The next step is to attach ribbon for the hair clips. Again, just hot glue the ribbon the the frame. 5 seemed to be the right amount for this size canvas. 

The final step was to screw the hooks into the frame.  I marked off inch spaces on the bottom of the canvas with a sharpie marker.  I personally believe the best projects involve power tools, so I broke out the power drill for this.  Big mistake! If you want to pre-drill the holes for the screws, do it before you attach any fabric.  I didn't think about the fact that the fabric would get twisted around the drill bit.  I wound up tearing a hold in the fabric.  Thankfully it's small enough no one will ever notice it.  I wound up twisting all 20 screw hooks in by hand.  It wasn't terribly difficult, just time consuming.  

Once the hooks were in, I used Command Utensil Hooks to hang it on the wall.  They were the perfect depth hook for the canvas.

Now there's a pretty, visible place for all of Brooke's hair accessories. Most of Brooke's headbands are made with very small elastic.  The small hooks were great for the small elastic, but bigger hooks would definitely be necessary for larger headbands.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Post Baby Body

I gained 81 pounds with the twins.  30 of it was in the last couple weeks and was pretty much all water weight.  Even without that, 50 pounds is a lot. I was fortunate that the pounds came of pretty easily.  I was back to my IVF weight by 3 months postpartum. I still don't have my post baby body back though.  As it is for most women post baby, my stomach is my trouble area.  I am pretty sure there is some degree of diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, I look like I'm 4 months pregnant after eating a meal.  This means that traditional abdominal exercises don't work for strengthening/firming your core. I found this grouping of exercises that I am going to start with.

We enrolled at the YMCA last month and I'm finally ready to start taking advantage of our membership.  I am terrible about working out.  I always feel better after, but actually getting myself to go to the gym or Zumba class is tough.  I always seem to find a reason not to go.  The Y has child care and for non-walking children you have to call a day ahead to make an appointment. This work out great for me because it means I am already committed to going.

The hope is that with 3-4 visits to the gym per week for cardio and by working on fixing the abdominal separation that my stomach will start to resemble its former self soon. Hopefully I'll see results before I have to put a bikini back on.  There are 45 days until the start of Memorial Day weekend.  I will update then with before and after pictures.  here's to feeling better and finally getting back into shape.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Happy Day after Easter everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful day.  Thanks to a bout of food poisoning, I was feeling a little under the weather, but we didn't let that dampen our mood.  The babies woke up bright and early at 8, and when they saw their Easter baskets, they couldn't get to them fast enough.

Look mom, an egg! He was so proud.

Brooke was very neat and ate her cheddar bunnies straight from the egg.

Harrison on the other hand poured them on the floor so fully assess them before eating.

The eggs proved to be invaluable during mass.  Thanks to three baby baptisms, mass ran an hour and a half.  Without treat filled eggs, I don't think we would have made it that long. They both figured out how to pop open the eggs and help themselves to the treats inside.

I found these adorable sippies at Target.  Harrison had a little yellow chick sippie.  So cute!

When we got to Grandma's they got to open a couple Easter gift bags.

Harrison was so excited about Easter Snoopy.  They also got 4 new books.

After Easter dinner and a nap it was time for a little Easter egg hunt.  We spread a few eggs in the back yard and let them crawl around.  They weren't sure about the grass as you can tell by the concerned look on Brooke's face.  Once they figured out it was ok, they went straight for the eggs.

Just because bunny butts are cute.

We live in a ranch, so no stairs at our house.  Today was the first time the babies we're ever given the opportunity to play near the stairs. Below is the excitement that happened once Harrison discovered the stairs.  Notice he is still holding onto his Easter eggs.