|I'm thankful to get to be their mama :)|
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
One of the best parts of focusing on being a mom has been developing a routine without questioning myself constantly. If something works the way I want it to, that's how it gets done. For us, this means cloth diapers don't work, and cleaning is much easier with traditional cleaning products. If I have to eat fast food once or twice a week because of my work schedule, that's okay. In the end, I've been much happier, and our house is much cleaner! The key to this is not the particular choices that we've made - it's not questioning myself. Living in a constant state of doubt is somewhat of a given for a new mama, so if there's anything that can be a sure thing, it makes sense to make it so.
Now that I have a little bit more sanity on my side, I'm excited to start decorating Emily and Erin's room! When the girls were born, we lived in an apartment. We knew we'd be moving soon, so we didn't do too much to decorate, but I did paint wooden letters in green and pink to spell each girl's name and we hung them on the wall. I've gotten some ideas in the meantime to make their room a little more girly, like making a bow hanger for their wall and adding some hooks for hanging up their little hoodies. We went shopping with Dan's mom yesterday, and found some very cute pink toy baskets and a pink closet organizer. I've also seen cute wall stick-ons that we could use to brighten up their walls. I want to get on Pinterest for ideas, but I'm a little nervous! Have any of you decorated a little girl's room recently? What was your favorite aspect of the decor?
Emily and Erin just turned 7 months last week. I looked back at some pictures from their first weeks of life, and I really have a hard time believing how far we've come. Both girls are very vocal and very mobile, especially on our hardwood floors. We have some toys that play music and make sounds at the push of the button, and those are the favorites right now. We also have an assortment of small rubber duckies, since their bathroom in the apartment was decorated in rubber duckies. One duck in particular has a sailor hat and necktie, and he is the toy worth fighting over. Other duckies are sometimes coveted, but this one always gets both girls' attention immediately. Their first crush - Sailor Duck. Awwwwww...
For some reason, they are both fascinated with our dustpan. In the apartment, I got the brilliant idea to 1) buy a red polka-dot dustpan and 2) hang it on the side of our garbage can with one of those stick-on hooks. I can't count the number of times I've had to redirect their attention from the dustpan in the past week alone. I don't quite know what it is or what they think they would do with it, but they sure love it. They also love our shoes, so we've had to get a lot better about keeping shoes out of their reach.
Erin loves books, which really means that she loves to chew books. She takes all of the books we have stacked up and pulls them out and samples the corners. Emily loves the bouncy chair and the swing, meaning she loves to nibble on the edge of them. It seems a little strange, but I guess there's really no harm in it. The world from a baby's perspective certainly is fascinating!
As far as size goes, both girls are in 9 month clothes, though that's mostly for length. They still fit into some of their 6 month pants, and when it comes to pajamas, they are almost in 12 month sizes. I don't know how much they weigh, but they are so tall that we've been looking at bigger carseats, so around 28-29 inches. Weight-wise, I'd guess Erin is around 17-18 pounds and Emily is around 16-17 pounds. When we were at the store yesterday, I saw some little preemie clothes, and I had such a hard time believing that we were scrambling to find those for our girls when they were born! Of course, they quickly outgrew them, but still. They grow up so fast. *Sniff*.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!
Monday, January 21, 2013
I'm not sure if I unknowingly sought out reading material in this vein while I was pregnant, or if this is just the prevailing theme online these days. Either way, I ran across the same story time and time again, and I was convinced. I wanted to do the best for my babies. What mom doesn't?
The idealism of pregnancy turned into the reality of motherhood, and I found myself simply existing for the first few months. I struggled mightily to make breastfeeding work, telling myself I'd pump until Emily and Erin were six weeks, then two months, then three months. In reality, I nursed one baby while Dan bottle-fed the other, and then pumped for 30-45 minutes. By the time I was done and all the parts were washed, the girls would be ready to eat again in 20 minutes. We supplemented with formula to make sure they got enough to eat, but I was determined that they would have my milk for as long as possible. Suddenly, magically (with the invaluable support of the lactation consultant and the help of clipped tongue ties) breastfeeding worked. I was immensely relieved. Nursing was much less of a burden than pumping, and gave me cuddle time with my babies that we all three desperately needed. I couldn't shake the guilt, though. No matter how much I tried to tell myself differently, I knew I just wasn't trying as hard as I could to get my supply up and breastfeed exclusively.
To add to my guilt, we pretty much did as we were told in every other aspect of parenting. It began before the girls were born, when I was induced at just over 38 weeks. I was determined to have the girls naturally, but after I asked for an epidural 5 hours into the induction, my labor stalled and I ended up having an urgent (not quite emergency) C-section because I was vomiting and Emily's head was jammed in my pelvis. It was a very scary experience, and I really don't remember much of the next two days. I'm not sure what I'd thought our hospital stay would be like, but I'm fairly sure I didn't imagine a blur of nausea, pain, and being bedridden, trying to figure out how to eat and walk - not to mention everything associated with caring for our beautiful new babies. I felt the first twinges of failure after less than a week as a mom. Dan did everything in the hospital - changed diapers, helped with their bath, washed their bottles and the SNS system, and brought them over for me to help soothe. Even in my drugged state, I knew I should have been doing more, but even standing up to get to the bathroom was a monumental undertaking.
There was no room in our tiny bedroom in our apartment for cribs, so the girls slept in their own room from the first night we were home from the hospital. ("Slept" was a relative term for the first couple of weeks, but that was where we put them to bed!) In the end, I think this was a good thing, and knowing that they had each other did really ease my mind about having them in their own room. I still felt as though I had to justify this every time the topic came up.
When it came time to consider introducing solid foods, I was intrigued by the idea of offering whole foods rather than purees, but mainly because I felt as though "a good mom" would do so. Our pediatrician expressed concern over this, and Emily and Erin showed little interest in actually eating the steamed squash we offered, so we offered rice cereal mixed with various pureed fruits and vegetables. This proved popular, so it's the method we've stuck with. Every time I opened a jar or pouch of baby food, though, I felt a surge of guilt over not making my own baby food. Just as with breastfeeding, I knew I just wasn't trying hard enough.
As the months went on, the guilt became overwhelming. Everywhere I went, some aspect of natural parenting would pop up to remind me what a failure I was. I began to doubt every detail of our days, from the brand of soap we used to whether or not we used cloth diapers. I even bought some cloth diapers to try, convinced that I could make them work for us. (I couldn't.) Switching brands of soap didn't seem to clear up the patch of eczema on Erin's ankle, and I worried that I'd damaged my beautiful girl for life. Each fun-filled bubble bath came with a side of angst over whether or not I used the bubbles too often. If Emily gnawed on her rubber duck, I fretted over whether or not it was safe to chew. I became paralyzed with guilt and fear. Everyone else was researching their options and making the best choice for their family's health and safety - I was taking the easy, lazy way out. I knew I was a terrible mother. It was just a matter of time before the world found me out.
I considered unsubscribing from websites that talked about natural living, and hiding the books I owned on the subject. Every phrase suggesting the better way to do things struck at my very core, reminding me of my imperfection and insufficiency as a mother. I was vocally supportive of natural parenting (how could all these people doing it right be wrong?) and I even wrote some blog posts about changes we were considering, but my "support" came mainly from guilt and fear. I wanted to do the best for my baby girls, but what often happened was nothing. Many days, I avoided giving them baby food in favor of milk and formula because I was sure we weren't doing it right. I read lists of things we should be avoiding and tried to imagine actually avoiding all those things. Meanwhile, life slipped by as I tried to protect my babies from its dangers.
This past weekend, things came to a head. After nearly a week of fractured sleep, with nights reminiscent of our first weeks home from the hospital, I was exhausted. The smallest things brought me to tears. After yet another tearful breakdown, I realized what was going on. The refrain that had been playing over and over in my head since mid-June - you aren't a good mom, you aren't doing this the right way, you aren't trying hard enough - had taken over. I actually believed it. In the world of sports, this is commonly known as "paralysis by analysis". You think so hard about how to do something that you can't do it at all. I was so overwhelmed by my perceived inadequacy, I was barely able to function. And I was miserable. I wasn't giving myself any credit for what I was doing, just focusing on what I wasn't doing.
It wasn't easy, but I took a deep breath and a few steps back, to the way things were when we came home from the hospital. I cared for the girls as we'd been shown and as I knew how, and did my best to banish the guilt. I took pride in changing their diapers, soothing their tears, and filling their bellies. We played and laughed together. I allowed myself to feel a sense of accomplishment in simply meeting their needs. Most of all, I enjoyed them, and I enjoyed being a mom.
It helped that I read a post on Friday morning (originally posted on my birthday - coincidence? I think not!) that talked about how as moms, we need to give ourselves credit for what we are doing right. Every thing you do right is a drop in your Bucket of Awesome, according to the author. You don't take drops out for doing things wrong - you just fill it up as you go along. I'd had the picture all wrong - in my mind, there were holes punched in the bottom every time I could have done something differently, more naturally, better. The way I saw it, my bucket had been dry for so long, the Sahara Desert looked damp in comparison. I started filling it up on Sunday, and every time I started to berate myself for something I'd done, I tried to see the positive. It's only been two days, and already I can see the difference. I feel more relaxed and less frantic. I feel the freedom to act on my knowledge and instinct, instead of painstakingly researching the best course of action so I can do it perfectly. I've loved being a mom for the past 16 months, ever since I saw the + on the pregnancy test, but I've never loved it as much as I do today. Things are far from perfect, and it will probably take a while before I feel like my old self again, but this is an important step in conquering the fear.
I want to note that I'm not sharing this story to try and discredit or shame those who have shared their natural living journey, nor those who blog about parenting choices. I'm sharing this in hopes of helping someone like me, paralyzed with fear of doing it all wrong, berating themselves for being an inadequate mom. I want you to know that you're not alone. Being a good mom simply means loving your children and caring for them. If you're doing that, you're doing it right.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
|A better picture of the ponytail, deterring my darling daughter Erin's fingers.|
|Miss Emily, hanging out with her favorite musical toy. Check out those two TEETH!|
|Miss Erin, playing happily with Daddy yesterday. Her hair is getting so long!|
Friday, January 18, 2013
For something fun and a little different, I thought I'd write about the days of the week. Seven days, seven quick takes. Coincidence? I think not. Here we go!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
It's the middle of flu season, and by all accounts, this is a bad one. The CDC recently declared a pandemic based on the number of deaths from the flu so far this winter. All around, people are coughing, sniffling, and aching. Our family has been sick twice already, with another round coming on as I write this - I had a sore throat yesterday, Erin was sneezing yesterday afternoon, and this morning Emily was running a fever after a very restless night. I've been drinking orange juice and taking my vitamins, in hopes that I can stay well myself and pass some immunity on to my babies in my milk.
It's scary to think about what illness was like in years past, when routine infections could quickly turn deadly. Before antibiotics were discovered, a secondary bacterial infection could emerge with little hope of a cure. Today, we not only have antibiotics to cure these, we have vaccines for most of the major childhood illnesses of the past. It's important to use antibiotics wisely - new resistant strains of bacteria have emerged because of overuse - but the ability to combat strep throat, bacterial pneumonia, and bacterial meningitis with antibiotics is a true blessing. While I occasionally find myself thinking how wonderful it would have been to live in another era, I don't have to think too hard about illness in days gone by to realize that I'm pretty happy here.
Today, I'm thankful for modern medicine. There's a lot that doctors and scientists haven't figured out yet, but all that has been figured out is nothing short of miraculous. We know about foods and vitamins that will keep us healthy, and treatments for illnesses that can't be avoided. We have vaccines to keep us from getting dangerous illnesses, and hospital treatment for the seriously ill. We can save women in danger during childbirth (I was born via emergency C-section, and my C-section with Emily and Erin saved all three of us) and offer medicine to ease the associated discomforts. I can only imagine how miserable my labor, C-section, and hospital stay afterwards would have been without Zofran, the epidural, and pain medicine. When nursing wasn't sufficient for Emily and Erin's newborn appetites, the hospital had some donor milk available, and we have been able to supplement with formula and know that it's safe and nutritious. Not every aspect of modern medicine is perfect, but we are blessed to live in an era where many lives are saved thanks to the advances of science.
It's Thoroughly Thankful Thursday again! What are you thankful for? Share in the comments or link up your post below!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
|My adorable, fuzzy-haired daughter|
|A fun, playful "updo" for short hair! Oh, yes, and a lovely towel. Ignore the towel :)|
|The top bobby pin is holding my bangs back - the arch of pins starts behind my ears.|
I polled some of my mom friends on Twitter the other day, and they all agreed that having hair at least long enough for a ponytail makes life much easier. I am hesitant at times, because when I had longer hair it seemed like I always ended up wearing it in a messy bun or ponytail, but I think that as long as I keep it around shoulder length and make sure I have layers to make it easy to style I can avoid that trap. I'd like to avoid the stereotypical "mom" haircut too, although part of me thinks that maybe young mamas should just come up with a more stylish "mom" haircut!
What kind of hairstyles do you associate with moms? Any tips for growing out your hair?
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Shopping trips with your twins
Taking a baby to any type of store presents a logistical challenge. Will they ride in their car seat, or in a carrier? Is it better to take them while they're napping or wait until they're awake? What will your course of action be if they get fussy? Taking two babies can triple the challenges, because most shopping carts aren't nearly big enough to fit two infant carriers and still leave room for anything else. You also have to consider two different babies, with their own personalities and temperaments - and appetites! Here's what's worked for us:
1. Make a plan. A list is great, although I don't always have one. Sometimes you have to just seize your opportunity - happy babies, a break in the rain, you get the idea! Even if you don't have a list, make sure you have a plan. Having an idea of where you'll park, where you can find a cart, and how you'll carry your babies will greatly simplify your trip. If you can at least jot down the essential items you need to purchase, you'll be more likely to get out of the store with those - no coming home with three bags of groceries and no milk or wipes. I suggest parking near the carts, to make loading and unloading easier. To carry both girls, since they still don't sit up well, I use our Ergo carrier and one of their carseats in the cart (see below for details). I avoid going to stores that don't offer carts big enough for this setup - or that don't offer carts at all!
2. Be flexible. While this seems to contradict #1, you have to embrace both if you're going to get out of the house often with your baby twins. Have a plan for what you want to accomplish, but be willing to pack it up and leave when your kiddos have had enough. I like to have a regrouping routine that can get us back on track without having to go all the way home - I bring one of our Boppy pillows and a well-stocked diaper bag so we can recharge in between stores. I also bring water and snacks for myself, and treat myself to a coffee at the beginning of errands.
3. Multitask. As a twin mommy, this is an essential survival skill, and it can mean different things at different times. As I mentioned above, most shopping carts don't allow for two infant carriers and still leave room for anything else. When you're taking your twins shopping, take their personalities into account when you decide where they'll ride. For example, one of my girls, Erin, loves to be snuggled, so I carry her in the Ergo, where she often takes a nap. Emily likes to watch people and see my face, so I let her ride in the infant seat, sitting up on the top of the cart. She sometimes will fall asleep in the car on the way to the store, and often naps after riding on the cart for a little while. Being able to simultaneously snuggle and make faces to entertain both girls is a lifesaver, let me tell you! Don't forget why you're there, either - it's easy to get caught up in entertaining your babies and forget to fill your cart. I've done this more than once with less than fantastic results. Think double meltdown at the checkout. If you're not sure how long to allow in the store, try taking your babies on a walk and see how long they last. That will give you an idea of how much time you have.
4. Be ready for attention. People will approach you and want to see your twins, coo over them, and ask you questions. I really don't mind the attention - Emily and Erin seem to love it, and they pretty much always smile. I try to answer people's questions as honestly as I can, and I am always polite and cheerful. I want my girls to know I'm proud of them! If you are not comfortable with the attention, work with your comfort level. Smile, nod, thank them, and keep moving. I find that people often offer me help - bagging groceries, lifting something into the cart, or even adjusting the baby carrier! One polite gentleman even waited for me while I unloaded the girls from the cart and happily took the cart back for me. Again, work with your comfort level, but I try to accept help wherever possible. It always feels as though God sends it when I need it most!
5. Talk to your babies. Both of my girls like interacting, so I talk to them like they understand what's going on. I ask them what we should get and tell them why we need certain foods to be healthy. I sometimes get looks like I'm crazy, but most people don't really seem fazed. I've read that this helps their language development as well, so maybe they understand more than we think!
6. Use distraction. If all else fails and it's clear your kiddos just want to be somewhere else, switch it up. I trade toys back and forth, point out interesting things, talk in an excited voice, make silly faces. I use this tactic as I hastily wrap up my shopping and unload my cart at the checkout. Changes in motion can also help here, since some babies particularly enjoy being pushed in the cart or jiggled in a carrier. I've gotten so used to this that I actually have trouble standing still now! I find myself swaying slightly every time I try.
7. Remember you're learning - and they are too. Don't get too frustrated if your first outing is short and cranky. When you look back on it, you'll undoubtably have learned something for next time. Shopping might take a little longer when your twins join you at the store, but you're letting them learn about the world around them, and teaching them about how they can interact with that world. So take a deep breath and enjoy!
Do you take your kiddos shopping, twins or otherwise? What are your favorite stores for shopping with little ones?
Monday, January 14, 2013
10:30-11:30 - Wake up. Change diapers. 2-4 oz bottle (depending on length of nap). Errands, outing, or appointments as needed.
1:00 - 1 oz of "solid food" in baby self-feeder. Nurse.
1:30 - Play. Lunch for Mommy.
2:30 - Nurse, 2-4 oz bottle for both.
3:00 - Nap.
4:30 - Daddy finishes work. Wake up, change diapers, 4-6 oz bottle for both. Family walk or playtime depending on weather.
5:00 - Mommy fixes dinner. Babies play with Daddy. Change diapers just before dinner (5:50)
6:00-6:15 - Dinnertime. 1 oz of "solid food" in baby self-feeder.
6:30 - Playtime while Daddy loads dishwasher.
7:00 - Bathtime. Turn on space heater in babies' bedroom.
7:30 - Nurse, offer bottle.
8:00 - Bedtime.
10:30 - Bedtime for Mommy. Nurse if babies refused bottle at bedtime.
As you can see, we have pretty packed days around here! There are definitely variations, depending on family activities and such, but I think we can probably stick to this for the most part. It will probably be helpful to have this in writing to refer to, especially when we're trying to plan activities! The naps are the most variable part of the day, but playtime is pretty flexible, so as long as they actually take two naps and go to bed within a 30 minute window, I think we'll be all right. I'll post next Monday about how this actually worked out for us this week!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
|Close up of scarf print. The pattern is actually little green and yellow owls!|
We solved an ongoing dilemma last night, much to everyone's relief (I'll just go ahead and speak for Emily and Erin here too!). Both girls had been on a sleep strike since last weekend, when it first started to get chilly. They went from sleeping most of the night with only one or two wakeups at most to only sleeping about 6 hours, waking up constantly for comfort. They also stopped napping, probably because they weren't sleeping at night. After several days, we were all exhausted and very cranky!
The solution? Well, there is heat in our house, but only in the main living area. I think this is pretty common in older houses. Anyway, when it started to get down into the teens at night, we weren't sure what to do. While their room stays above 60 for sure, it's hard to put them to bed and leave the door open enough to let heat in without also letting in way too much noise and light. So Dan picked up a space heater yesterday. It was almost like magic - 9 hours of sleep for both girls, along with nice long naps in the car today. They seem much happier!
I thought our last trip to IKEA was the most exhausting ever (I was 4 or 5 months pregnant) but this was much more so. Their carts are not designed to hold infant carriers, so we used the Ergo carriers. Walking that much and pushing a cart while wearing a baby is a good workout! I think we'll be heading back soon, because there were a lot of things we wanted to see but didn't get a chance to check out. It was really crowded and hard to walk over and look at things without being in someone's way!
We did get a new coffee table (ours had an unfortunate accident and really needed to be replaced) and a new work table for Dan's office. Together, they were only $45! They are still in boxes, but I will post pics when they are assembled. We also got a new can opener and some fun ice cube trays, shaped like fish and stars. I could spend hours in that store. I hope you all had a great weekend - I know we did!
Do you like IKEA? What's your favorite IKEA find?
I'm linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday!
Friday, January 11, 2013
|Newly organized shirt drawer. Note that the drawer has room to close!|
|My half of our closet, remaining shirts organized by type and color|
Fine Linen and Purple, I've been putting more thought into what I wear on Sundays to church. The biggest change I've noticed so far is that I'm much more intentional when shopping. I'll notice something that's missing from an outfit, and the next time I'm perusing the sale rack at Target or looking at clothes online (which isn't very often, really!) I'll be looking for something specific. If I find it and buy it, it gets worn often. Gone are the days of casually perusing the sale rack and picking up random items that look a lot like something I already own. I'll never be mistaken for a trendsetter, but my closet does shrink noticeably leading up to laundry day, and that makes me happy.
this excellent question earlier in the week, and it really seems to apply to my style dilemma. Does God want us to dress well? Is this a way we can glorify Him? I'm not even going to pretend that I know the answer. In the short amount of time I've had to pray on the matter, my calling as a wife and mother came to the surface. Do I glorify this, His plan for me, by dressing sloppily? Can I glorify Him by trying a little harder?
|Dan, standing outside the Idaho State Capitol on our 2011 Boise trip|
|Emily and Erin on their 5 month birthday (hard to believe it was 2 months ago next week!)|
Thursday, January 10, 2013
3. God's love for us and all of His blessings. I pray that we can continue to grow in our faith to be even somewhat worthy of His love.
4. The abundance of healthy food choices here. We are so lucky to live in a region that really values healthy eating, where there are several healthy grocery stores and lots of local options. We are also lucky that the amount of competition keeps prices relatively low, so we can choose to make the healthier choices, knowing that it'll pay dividends down the road in better health.
5. All the experiences that Dan and I have shared and the ones we will continue to share. Even when (or maybe especially when) the day hasn't gone so well - to be able to look back and say that we went on a wonderful trip to San Francisco together, or how we used to go on a little date every Friday evening before we were married,
6. The cozy clothes we get to wear this time of year. It's so much more fun to make outfits when you can add lots of layers!
7. Precious moments shared with my baby girls. I love seeing them grow up, day after day, and getting to share their discoveries and experiences. As I'm writing this, Miss Emily is fascinated with the edge of the rug under our coffee table. Miss Erin has been exploring the edge of our giant IKEA TV cabinet/bookshelf this morning. It's all punctuated by happy shrieks and dolphin squeals - I love it!
Now it's your turn. What are you thankful for? You can link your own Thoroughly Thankful Thursday post below or just share in the comments. I can't wait to read! Grab the linkup button too, if you like!
Monday, January 7, 2013
Motivation: It's now the second week of January. Emily and Erin are 6.5 months old, just 12 days from being 7 months. I've created a board on Pinterest called "Back to it" and filled it with workouts and healthy food. Oh...and did I mention that I looked through some old pictures of myself yesterday?
I've been searching for motivation to get back in the exercise/health groove for a few months now. If I'd known it would be as simple as seeing a picture of myself in the same shirt twice - the first time a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant, the second about two months after Emily and Erin were born. Needless to say, there was a huge difference. When I was pregnant, I gained about 50 pounds. Within two weeks of the girls' birth, I had lost 35 pounds. I knew I was supposed to try and maintain some extra weight to help with nursing, so I didn't try too hard to lose more - I was actually somewhat alarmed that I'd lost so much so quickly, as was my doctor. So I made a concerted effort to eat more, and ate just what sounded good, not what necessarily was the most nutritious. I exercised occasionally, but I never got in a routine.
Direction: So this week, my goal is to start working out again and generally live a healthier lifestyle. We're far enough along in the nursing game to add solids as a supplement, and according to our lactation consultant, it's also less dangerous to lose weight after 6 months because your body apparently gets used to your babies' needs.
I decided to try skipping my morning shower and just putting on workout clothes right away. If I shower in the morning, it feels like a little bit of a waste to go running or do a workout video and then need to shower again. Putting on workout clothes also takes away one more obstacle - I don't have to change my clothes to exercise!
I've also been making more of an effort to skip my regular grocery store and hit up Trader Joe's for as many healthy foods as I can. Some things are a little more expensive, but most are very reasonably priced. I love that for the packaged things we do buy, Trader Joe's commits to no GMOs. A lot of things are organic as well. Best of all, the store is tiny, so I can't get off-track as easily - unlike the regular grocery store, there aren't aisles upon aisles of pop, chips, and cookies. The regular store is still best for bulk items, but I only need to buy those about once a month. Overall, I feel like I end up going home with just what we'll realistically eat in a week, no extra, and spending roughly the same amount. You can't really put a price on good health, so I think this is a winner!
Accountability: I downloaded an exercise and foodtracking app for my phone, one that I'd had for a previous phone but hadn't used in a while. It has pretty much every food I've looked for already loaded, with calories, and it lets you add your own exercises, so I just added one called "breastfeed twins" with the appropriate caloric deduction. I will probably need to set an alarm on my phone at first to remind me to track the food and exercise, but I hope to make a habit of it quickly. Twenty-one days, right?
I'm linking up with Megan for Make It Count Mondays!
Sunday, January 6, 2013
We were treated to a great homily, too. The priest teaches at the local Catholic high school; and after talking about how the Catholics will need to play their best to overcome Alabama tomorrow, he chose the carol "Twelve Days of Christmas" as the subject. I remembered learning in a comparative Values and Beliefs class in high school that the song originated as a covert way for Catholics in England to teach their children the Catechism. The priest proceeded to take each verse and explain what it stood for in regards to the Church. I found it fascinating! (It was also kind of funny that neither Dan nor his best friend, who both attended the school where this particular priest teaches, had ever heard the annotated version of the carol - but both his friend's girlfriend and I had heard it in public school.)
He finished by talking about a man who had grown up learning the piano at the request of his mother, who was the music director at a church. No matter how hard the man tried, he had no talent for the piano. In exasperation, his mother asked that he just learn the C scale. Not a song, just the scale. The priest asked the music director to play the scale for us this morning; first ascending and then descending. Then he said that when the man's mother died, he found a note in her belongings that simply said: "C scale, in reverse, pause after 1, 2, 4, and 6." The music director played the scale this way, and it formed this line: "Joy to the world, the Lord has come!" The priest concluded there was a second homily here: life is pretty much blah, blah, blah - it's the pauses that make it count!
Christmas has been great this year, but I'm relieved to be getting back to normal. We took down our tree this afternoon, since it was getting dry enough to be a fire hazard. I'm really excited to have been well enough to both decorate and undecorate the tree this year - that's a first since we've been married! Emily and Erin are thrilled to have an additional nine square feet of floor to test their crawling skills. Best of all, I stumbled upon some great tips over at IHeart Organizing for packing up holiday décor, so I'll be able to get everything neatly put away for next year. I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend!
Friday, January 4, 2013
Thanks again to Hallie for hosting, and please keep Jen and her baby in your prayers!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Thursday, January 3, 2013
The trip was not without its challenges (more on traveling with baby twins in an upcoming post!) but overall, it was a nice, relaxing weekend. We spent the first night in a chain hotel, using up some rewards club points we'd accumulated during our trip to San Francisco a couple of years ago. It was a little crowded once we got everyone and all of our stuff into the room - especially the playpen we'd brought for the girls to sleep in - but we had a nice view of the ocean. Plus, a free room is a free room, right?!
The biggest challenge related to traveling with kids, in my opinion, is trying to keep their routine constant without packing up your entire house. For example, bathing is still a necessity. However, Emily and Erin don't sit up well enough for a regular tub bath. Bringing their bathtub was out of the question, so we improvised by handing them in and out of the shower with me. They got clean and it was quick and easy, although both of them hate the sound of the shower on a good day. Changing diapers can also be a bit challenging - we stuck with disposables for the trip, though we brought along a few of the cloth diaper covers to minimize leaking in the car. While it wasn't nearly as cold at the coast as it gets at home, standing with your back in the wind and rain while trying to change a diaper on the seat of the car is no fun for anyone involved.
The blessings of this trip, therefore, were twofold - we got to spend a lot of quality time as a family; walking on the beach, wandering through the little coastal towns, and riding in the car along the breathtakingly beautiful coastline - but it also made me appreciate anew the ease with which things are done at home. I jumped into my chores with renewed fervor when we got home, doing laundry and getting the babies fed and cleaned up. Everything that normally feels so tedious suddenly felt easy, just because we were doing it at home and not in a hotel room or in the car.
So this week, I'm thankful to be home with my family after our trip. I'm thankful that we have the opportunity to drive just an hour or two and be by the ocean or up in the mountains. I'm thankful that we are able to travel away from home, even if it's not as often as we used to. And most of all, I'm thankful for beginning this year as a family of four, and for how much my life has changed since this time last year! What are you thankful for as we begin 2013? Share in the comments or link your post below - I can't wait to read!