Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter 2013

 Yes, I know I am a week late, but since I missed posting Kaylie's 6th Birthday, I figured it is time to update.  So here are some pictures of the kids at the park right after the Easter Egg Hunt that lasted a whole half a second and there was maybe one quarter of an egg for each kid there, Community Easter Egg Hunts are quickly becoming a "no-go" for me any more... too many kids, and way too many parents its more like an Easter Stampede. Aaron only got two eggs and Kaylie got at least six, but I didn't even bother letting the twins go... no way. 
 Gotta love the ears... it sure made it nice when it came to keeping track of all my kids... Lydia loved the ears so much she wore them basically all day long.
 Aaron quickly realized how un-manly he looked with ears... so I didn't get any really good pictures.
 Meeting the Easter Bunny at the Gorcery store, this was the first year that Aaron smiled at him. Alyssa (purple bunny ears) didn't get any closer to the Easter Bunny than you see here.
 Love it... this was the best picture I got... oh well.
 Trying to keep the twins entertained long enough for the hunt to start.
 Easter Day and all my girls... I have always been a sucker for dresses, and I always will be.
 At least two of the kids are smiling here....
 Had to include this one... cause I love Alyssa's scowl... too funny. 
 And that is it for pictures... and the twins are off in their own direction like usual.
 Lydia, lil miss smiley! She is such a sweet heart.
 Miss Alyssa is my curious baby, she didn't care about the camera only the tree. The only thing she says basically ever is "what is this? what is that?"
 Crazy Aaron... he got flip-flops from the Easter Bunny... and that was all he cared about all day long.
And who can forget Kaylie? I can't believe my lil girl is already 6 years old and already reading and almost done with Kindergarten... my how time flies.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Summary of my First Year with Twins

Technically, my twins are now 15 months old, so this post is three months late, but ever since I found out I was expecting twins I knew that the first year would be the most interesting. I always wished that all the other moms of twins that I know, had written a summary of the first year, because every mom all "mysteriously" seems to have forgotten many of the details of what the first year was like for them.... and trust me, there are many things I can't wait to forget, but I am writing my experience down for other moms of twins, or those who are curious, this post is an honest one which includes ALL of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Twin Pregnancy for me was a love and hate experience, when it was really good it was really good, and when it was really bad, it was really bad. I got morning sickness at about 4 weeks and it lasted until about 16 weeks. And it was awful! I would work for 10 minutes, and then run to the bathroom for 10 minutes of vomiting, and then start the cycle over again... all day everyday until I discovered Ginger Caplets, oh my goodness, they were a miracle! Exhaustion... YES... it was twice as bad. I had to gain twice the weight, twice as fast (to ensure my twins got the weight they needed). The last three months were excruciating,  I had gained just about 50 lbs... (that is roughly half my body weight) and my knees still hate me for it. But just knowing that I had two babies on the way was overwhelmingly humbling. I remember a friend of mine telling me that I must be an extraordinary woman, because Heavenly Father only chooses special women to send twins too. My doctors told my husband and I when we had the girls, that they always worried about sending twins/multiples home, but with us they had no worries at all, they knew we could handle it (despite running our own business, blindness and two toddlers already.) I never felt so close to heaven, as I did when being pregnant with my girls, I knew angels were present, I can't tell you how many times I drove to the store and the very front parking spot would open up right as I pulled up, it was just the little things that reassured me that Heavenly Father was aware of our situation. I hated it at the time, but I worked all day everyday right up until the night before I went into the Hospital for my C-Section. I was so tired, but I know now that it was a blessing to be as busy as I was, because I never had a moment to complain about my discomfort, or worry about what was to come, I just had to put all my trust in the Lord.

C-Section, yes I had to have one, and I am so grateful I did. 100 years ago if I was having twin babies both being breach, odds are very slim that I or my girls would have survived. But with modern medicine it was a very happy experience. It took just minutes to see my tiny girls, and witness their personalities instantly. Alyssa, didn't cry, just pulled both hands together to her cheek and looked around, and then two minutes later... Lydia, tiny as can be, arms out as far as possible and screaming as loud as a 4 lb 13 oz baby can.... non-stop for at least an hour. Yeah, it was hard not being able to hold them instantly, but I knew they were getting the medical attention they needed. Lydia was the first baby they brought to me about an hour later, she had calmed down, but immediately knew who I was, she is a mamma's girl and there is no changing that. Alyssa finally came to me after 4 hours in the NICU being on oxygen, and it was so hard getting her to eat... but once she figured it out... she never stopped, this girl now out weighs her twin by about 2 lbs.

I was amazed at how naturally caring for twins came. Holding the girls at the same time was easy, and I haven't had the hip problems that I usually get with my babies, because I have to have one on each hip. Picking them up, was another story, but they have always seemed to understand, and have always helped me with picking them up. I nursed both girls at the same time for 10 months... this was awful, but if you are going to nurse have to feed them at the same time or it will never work out. I was a human cow, but we all make sacrifices for our kids. The day I finally got them taking formula... I stopped, it was just too much to have to eat all day and fight two babies without an extra hand, once they started fighting with each other... that was enough.

The first month was so easy! I remember thinking..."wow, this is going to be a piece of cake". They slept, woke up to eat and then after their diaper changes, they fell right back to sleep all day and all night. So naturally  when friends and family offered to help, I was able to say "no thanks"....big mistake.

Months two and three were the worst. It's like the girl's all of the sudden woke up... and the only thing they wanted to do was scream... and scream all day long, and they did. With twins, you have to have a very scheduled routine, and you have to enforce it early, if you ever want any sanity. So according to my books I started sleep training and they just did not want to sleep. So I would lay them down and they would both scream for an hour, then one would fall asleep to the other one screaming, and when the second one would finally fall asleep the sleeping one would start to scream, which would wake the one who just dosed off. They screamed all day, everyday from about 7 am until about 9 - 10 pm. IT WAS AWFUL!!! It got so bad that even when they weren't screaming, I could still hear their screaming in my mind, I seriously started to think I had snapped. And Jacob felt the same way. All my books told me it would be this way, but to stick to it and it would pay off (which it definitely did pay off.)

The bigger problem was when I needed a nap, trust me, I needed a lot of naps. So we are self-employed, and we both work at home. The worst part of the twins was that no one ever felt like we needed help because Jacob was at home all day everyday. Well... reality check... Jacob WORKS from home, not ASSISTS me from home. He almost never helped me with the twins during the day, he couldn't, some one has to get the work done so we can pay the bills. Yes, we live by both our families, but my mom works full time and Jacob's mom has health issues and a few kids still at home. There was nothing more discouraging than asking for help, when we finally hit the wall... and no one was able to help us. Because we had family around, no one outside our family felt the need to help. Now, I did get help... don't panic. Just not any where near as much help as I needed. I had a grand total of four meals brought in, until my awesome sister dropped by about 10 months later and made me a freezer full of meals (and she is the best cook ever.) I had a neighbor help with my other two kids in the summer, off and on.  And my sister and sister-in-law would come babysit about once a month. If you or someone you know is having twins, ask for help now, and get it lined up before you have them, and plan on getting that help a few months after you have the twins not right after you have the twins.

Around month four, Alyssa calmed down, and they both started to sort of take naps, which made life a lot more bearable. However, Lydia still kept right on screaming. Lydia definitely had and still has colic. I love her so much, but she is the most high-strung, and easily ticked off baby. Once she is set off, she will cry for the rest of the day, non-stop, and it doesn't take much to make her tick. I went through a phase, where I had a really hard time not favoring Alyssa over Lydia just because of the strong personalities. Alyssa is very calm and easy going while Lydia was jealous and loud (always cried.) Which is one thing that only a mother of twins would understand. For the longest time no one ever wanted to hold Lydia because she would just scream. It got to the point where everyone that would visit would fight over Alyssa but no one even wanted to hold Lydia. It was really heart-breaking. Fortunately, Lydia has gotten much better, and she warms up to people now, but I still have issues with people favoring one twin or the other for whatever reason.

The absolute worst thing for me with twins was sympathy and empathy or lack there of from others. I hate attention, I am the type of person that likes to sit in the back corner and would prefer to never be noticed, but with twins, you become the center of attention, and comments. Whenever we go out, I have to brace myself for some sort of comment, most are just curious people that compliment how adorable your babies are, or don't know how you do it. Others say the normal "I'm so glad it is you, not me." reaction... "thanks.... I guess." what are you suppose to say to that...? A real eye opener to me was that many people, friends, family and even strangers may be offended or threatened by the natural attention that twins bring, keep in mind people that may be having fertility issues, or those who are comparative. I have learned through experiences with my twins to be more aware of these personalities, and be aware that unexpected jealousies will happen much more frequently with twins. Also, if you have older kids, always make sure to bring attention to them. People will always comment on the twins, but always seem to miss that there are other children, which can cause jealousy, so always point out to commentor's your big helper or helpers, this helps them feel just as important or needed.

Twice as hard, but twice the laughs. Every milestone with the twins has been double the fun or trouble. To watch them roll over, then crawl and now (as of this week) walk, has been twice the fun. I love how much my girls love each other... and I am surprised at how much they bug each other! At 7 months I had to put them in separate cribs just because Alyssa likes to cuddle (more like lay on top of her smaller twin) and Lydia prefers to spread out and enjoy her space. It is still funny to me, how they can't sleep without having the other in sight. They always sleep as close as they can to each other (even though they are across the room from each other.) They always lean towards each other when in their highchair or car seats. And in the tub, they always have to be on the same end. When one falls down the stairs, the other cries until mom comes to help, or will try to pick up and help the other. When one is in time out (the crib) the other sits outside the crib and patiently waits until she is released. When Lydia was taking her first steps, and mom and dad where cheering her on, Alyssa was cheering her twin on even louder. But when they fight....boy do they fight. They pull hair, kick and bite much more than my other two do. And when Aaron goes after one, the other twin is right their to put up a fight, which usually ends up with Aaron in tears.

The biggest thing with twins is the exhaustion! Which is why I am sure most of my twin mom friends have forgotten so many details.
Here are some of the best tips I have gotten and or learned from my experience when it comes to the first year of twins.
-Schedule EVERYTHING! If it isn't on the schedule, it won't happen ever.
-Get all your help lined up before you have the babies, plan for most the help after the first month.
-Plan on paper and plastic plates and utensils for the first 6 months... trust me, dishes are the last thing to ever get done.
-Always do both twins at the same time for everything! That goes for feeding, diapers, naps, play, bath and ect. If one baby wakes up to eat in the night, wake up the other one... trust me, this is a LIFESAVER!
-Go to sleep the minute your twins go to sleep, if you don't, you will never sleep.
-Let the hubby take care of dishes, laundry and other kids for a while.
-Get out, whenever you can by yourself, you will need to walk away at least once a day. Even if it is only 10 minutes, do it!
-Double stroller, I use mine everyday... get one, and get the best one you can buy.
-Amazon is the best and cheapest place to buy bulk diapers, especially with the mom rewards points... look into it.
-Find someone you trust (beyond your spouse) and vent to them as often as you can... you need some adult time.
-Be blunt with the comments. If someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, tell them it makes you uncomfortable and why...even if it is a complete stranger... just say it and walk away, this will help get it off your chest immediately... and believe you me, you don't have time to dwell on all the weird or rude comments you will get from people.
-Just keep breathing... take it one minute at a time literally  And ENJOY it! Like my friend said to me...Heavenly Father only chooses special women to send twins to, you have this blessing for a reason, and many other mothers will never experience this, so enjoy it, enjoy every minute!

Wrapping Up Christmas 2012

 I can't believe I haven't posted in so how time flies! November and December were crazy busy for our business so forgive me as I play catch-up real quick!
Pictured above is Kaylie at her School's Christmas Program, there were so many people there, that this was the best picture I could get. This program was on December 14th, the same day as the awful Newtown Elementary School Shooting, news was still breaking when I went to it, and I can't express the uneasy feeling that was in the air, at the time the news was saying that the shooting took place in a Kindergarten Class, turns out it was first grade, but being a panicked parent, you better believe I took her home right after the program. As awful as the whole shooting was, I am grateful for a reminder of how fragile our kids are, and I have made it a resolution of mine to enjoy every possible minute with my kids.

 Christmas Morning! 
My kids didn't wake up until 8:45! It was a great Christmas Present for mom and dad! After literally working 15 sometimes 18 hour days all month of December, it was a priceless extra 2 hours of sleep! 
Aaron is sporting his Spider-Man PJ's... he loves them. I have to tell you, they were a Black Friday (aka Black Thursday) steal at Target. They were $5, and the last available pair right in the middle of the pile of girl pj's and they were his size... it was a Christmas Miracle.... yes I am playing it up a bit... but hey, it was worth fighting the awful crowds!
 Kaylie and her Hello Kitty Pj's.... she loves them too!
 All the kids... I still can't believe I have four... from left to right, Aaron, Alyssa, Lydia and Kaylie!

So Kaylie brought home some reindeer food from her school Christmas Party, and since we have no front yard, we put it on the porch and the next morning most of the food was gone and the kids were ecstatic to find reindeer tracks... I hurried and snapped a pic, before they melted.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer 2012

 So it's been a long time coming.... this has officially been our busiest summer so far... but thankfully we have had a lot of fun too. So prepare yourself for our whole summer in one short post. Pictured above is a nice shot of Alyssa in action... she is a crazy girl... but tons of fun.
 Lydia can't figure seem to figure out what is up with her twin...."she's so weird."
 Because mom and dad work all day, the kids have a daily melt down at about 4 o'clock to the dot ever afternoon... so we have been taking lots of walks.
 For Aaron's 3rd Birthday he got the Spider-man bike he has been talking about for months... he finally got the potty thing down about a month and a half before his birthday... so we held off on the potty prize and added it to the Birthday fun.
 Dad and Kaylie trying to teach Aaron how to pedal.
 So cute... these two are best buds... only problem is Kaylie's hair wasn't done yet... my kids are very early risers.
 Yes... it is R2-D2... I can thank Jacob for the recent Star Wars craze of this little boy... he was so excited about this cake.
 I had the idea to make the cake... and I started it but when I asked Jacob to help me... he just took over... so I have to give Jacob all the credit.
 Making a Wish.... thank you to all the family and friends that came... you all made his day!

 Here's my little beach babes.... I tried to get a shot with the sunglasses on... but this is as good as it gets.
 Love these swim suits... they are so cute!
 Aaron and the slip and slide he got for his Birthday.
 And yes he is still a little squeamish of the water.
 Alyssa having fun splashing in the sun!

 Lydia having a blast and a half.
 And yes... Alyssa drinking the water... totally no surprise!
Last, but not least.... Kaylie's First Day of Kindergarten!!!! I took her to school and she couldn't get rid of me soon enough, she kept telling me to go, while all the other kids were crying for their moms to stay... but thankfully the next day I dropped her off she asked me for a hug. I love my little girl and I can't believe how fast time flies!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Super Quick Update!

Sorry... no pictures today... just a quick "tie-over until I have pictures to post" post.

Jacob and I have been super busy lately with our Shop, we've gotten a huge boost from pinterest over the last couple months and as a result we have been sewing around the clock and hiring more recruits... if you know of anyone in the Rexburg Area that is a good crafter/sewer and that could use some extra cash doing work at home... lemme know, we really need the help! We are so happy to be too busy rather than not busy at all, a definite good problem to have, Heavenly Father has really blessed us!

Aaron will be three next weekend, Kaylie will be starting Kindergarten in two weeks and Alyssa and Lydia are army crawling in opposite directions all the the kids definitely keep us on our toes!

I'll be back with more hopefully next week! Off to do more work!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good Samaritans

Last Sunday our teacher in Sunday School asked "How do we help bear other people's burdens." I knew I needed to answer but for starts, I hate answering when I could learn from others, rather than the flood of answers there was a long awkward silence.... you know the uncomfortable kind. I was about to raise my hand but fortunately someone beat me to the punch.   My opportunity to share my answer passed, but over the last week that question has been on my mind and I want to reflect a little on it, just with the hopes that I can clear my mind.

When I think of carrying the burdens of others the first thing that comes to mind is the story of the Good Samaritan. We all know this story, we've all heard it hundreds of times... but I want to add a little bit of my perspective to it.

Just as this certain Jew was robbed, beaten and left to die, at one point or another we will all find ourselves in a semi-relate-able situation (hopefully not near as severe). Trials/Burdens beat us up, rob us of not only things but our pride.  And as suddenly as they come they quickly leave us in our battered condition on the roadside. Sadly more often than not, like this Jew, many people are left alone. Image with me for a minute being completely abandoned and injured by the side of a road. Not just any road... a very busy road, filled with not just strangers and enemies but maybe even friends and acquaintances. Now image all these people just passing you by and looking at you with almost audible thoughts saying : "Someone needs to help them". "If I had the time I would help." "I would help, if I had the resources (i.e. money). I don't even know how I could help them." "It's not bad enough for me to get involved." And worse are the ones that pass with disgusted looks of "Well, your mess your problem."

Do you know what this feels like, or can you at least imagine what it feels like? These looks and thoughts are very common... and I, sadly, am guilty of all of them. But like the Jew I have also been the one on the roadside being overlooked and passed by many around me.  It hurts, it hurts beyond reason. You need help, you may not be sure as to how others can help, but you ask for help, you beg for help but despite the crowds around you... no one is willing to take the time to help. Like I mentioned their thoughts are almost audible, and every thought is just another excuse or justification of others as to why they are not helping you.

This is not bearing the burdens of others...not at all, as a matter of fact it is a prime example of adding to the burden. Every passing glance, down cast eye, and every exaggerated detour around you just adds weight to your load. It creates that huge lump in your throat that prevents you from the ability to ask for help, and you just sit and wonder why no one around you will take the time to help you, it is heart-breaking.

I am sure that due to the severity of his situation, that this poor Jew was embarrassed and probably lost all will to live. And at the last possible minute it all changes with just one person. Someone can't bear what they are seeing, they are compelled to help. They stop everything they are doing, get down on the ground next to you and start putting you together. They pick you up, put you on their own mule, and walk themselves all the way into the nearest town. They take you to a decent hotel, get you a room and medical attention. They can't stay with you for whatever reason, but they take the time to find someone and pay them to care for you until they return again. The Good Samaritan is our Gospel. We are taught to lift people up, and to care for them as we would for ourselves... no matter whether they are family, friend or enemy... yet how many of us on a daily basis just pass these people by with our measly excuses. How would you feel if you were that person being looked at and repeatedly passed by?

To help bear a burden is to take action, it isn't supposed to be a pleasant experience, you might get dirty, it might be heavy and it will most likely be a huge undertaking.  You may never be thanked or repaid, the person may even take advantage of your services, but it doesn't matter, what matters is your good intentions and putting those intentions to use.  I honestly believe that people around us are given obvious burdens and left in our path for the sole reason to test us and see if we will stop and drop everything and do something... and if you can't do something, take the time to remain by their side until you can find someone who can. Every situation is different and some may require more creativity to help than others, but if and when we put the burdens of others first, all the other pieces fall together.

This is how we help bear the burdens of others, no help is too small. To those who have help  Jacob and I with our burdens, whether it be encouragement, support, money, food, diapers, prayers, meals, notes, yard-work, babysitting, rides and ect... Thank you! Words can't thank you enough, you saw our need and you helped, even though we never asked, you helped. You have all been a Good Samaritan to us, and you have shown us through your examples how to bear the burdens of others!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flamm World Lately...

 So this is going to be my quick photo binge for the month.... at least until I get more than 10 minutes to post.  In the above pic... notice how Alyssa has a death grip on both of Jacob's thumbs? It is so funny to me how the girls really don't trust him much at all.
Gotta love the matching father/daughter hair dos... and this pic shows one of Alyssa's classic faces!
 I don't know what I am going to so with this girls hair... I am thinking that her hair will be straight and when it comes to girls I'm only used to curly... it is always sticking up like this by the end of the day no matter how I style it.
 The girls love to play with each other's hair... as seen here.
 After about a dozen photos they are all of the sudden surprised that I am there taking pictures.
 So a little over a week ago I separated the girls and put them in their own cribs. Alyssa kept ending up on top of Lydia (on the other side of the crib) and it would make Lydia really mad.  Now that they are in their own beds I have to position them so that they can see each other through the bars, if they can't see each other they have a fit. I know Lydia loves the space but Alyssa keeps trying to get to her twin, every time I go in the room to get them up Alyssa will have her legs hanging out the bars as far as she can get them... when she can't get them out herself anymore... she gets quite mad.
 (Yes I know her sheets are dirty... she spits up pretty much every meal... hence the reason I do a lot of laundry.)
 Lydia loves her jumperoo.... (even though she looks a little spacey in this photo.) She will spend up to an hour at a time just turning in circles, bouncing up and down and humming and screaming to let the world know that she loves her jumperoo. I guess Jacob was the same way when he was a baby... it was his favorite thing to do... jump in his jumperoo.
 Cute smiles... this poor girl got both her bottom teeth in on the same day last month... I have never had a baby that has had two teeth come in at the same time... funny thing is Alyssa isn't even close to her first tooth.
Last but not least... my headache right now... trying again to potty train this kid... I swear if he is potty trained by the time he gets to high school it will be nothing short of a miracle...think you can do it... come be my guest I will seriously pay you if you succeed.