Scenes From Monday Night

Once again, one of the dudes got my wallet out from my purse. They did some of the same thing as the previous day, but were also talking to each other (in gibberish) and dancing and giggling together. I lay on the couch reading my kindle.

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After dinner, they were hanging out in the living room. I said to one, “Chase brother! Go get him!” And it turned into a game of each of them running to one corner, then running back to me and crashing into me with a big hug. Sometimes at nearly the same time. Arms full of toddlers.

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After our evening outing, Emmett saw and requested some crackers. I gave him a few, and he asked for more. I said, “No more crackers.” He could see them on the kitchen counter, though. He gave me a grin, and proceeded to the living room, where he picked up his baby chair, and brought it back to the kitchen. He put it down right under the counter, climbed up, and reached into the bag of crackers. Chewing, he looked over at me with another grin. Little turkey!

Things I Love Thursday: Window Crayons!

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

I read about these on Elise’s instagram or blog and figured our dudes would enjoy it:

Crayola Window Crayons

Crayons for your windows! That is so clever!

We have a big window in our living room, and the babies love looking out of it. We have our DIY Learning Towers so they can stand there by themselves (those dudes get heavy if we’re just standing there holding them!). So I figured–let’s have them stand in the towers and color on the window.

WINNER!!!!!

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They loved it! In fact, they asked to do it again the following day (by pointing at the bin we’d put the crayons in, and saying/signing please). We’re going to try not to do it super often so the novelty doesn’t wear off too quickly.

It’s fairly easy to clean up. I wiped down all the crayon marks easily with a wet cloth (former burp cloth, cloth diaper!), and then used windex to get rid of the big streaks. The crayon marks on the wooden windowsill/trim wiped right off, too.

Some tips: keep this a no-clothes activity. The crayon marks get everywhere. (They seem to wash out just fine, but might as well skip that step!) Also, you may want to invest in two sets at first. They already wore down the tips from this first set quite a bit.

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This is such a great indoor activity, especially heading into the fall and winter! They’re only so-so about coloring with crayons and paper at a table, but they were super gung-ho about coloring on a window! And this is definitely something they’ll be able to use for a long time, since their fine motor skills and drawing skills are only going to keep improving for the next few years.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have these yet? If you have older kids, do you think they’d like these too?

 

*Amazon links are affiliate

One good thing about me

If I am out with other people at a restaurant and the server asks about dessert, I will always immediately say, “Yes.” Many women hesitate and waver and make excuses and apologies and justifications. Not me–I raise my hand as a proud dessert-haver. No excuses, no guilt. JUST DELICIOUS DESSERT.

So if you’re out with me, you never have to worry about the dessert question, you never have to worry about having a reason. We will have dessert, we will enjoy it, the end.

Life is short, people. Cake does a body good.

Note that this post is tagged with “advice” and “health.” On purpose. :D

PS: After I drafted this, I found this link snippet on Joy the Baker: “Eating: A Manifesto: Hey ladies, we can stop torturing ourselves about the brownie and just eat the brownie.  My goodness the way we torture ourselves.” AMEN.

Before and After Baby Tips

What I’m glad I did before babies were born:

Joined the local twins’ club (the classified section was a huge help; we got to shop early at the club consignment sale; we got to meet other new and expectant twin families in town)

Took photos every week to document my belly growth (see them here!)

Shopped at the big consignment sales (got tons of stuff for a fraction of the price!)

Got a new car (originally we thought we’d wait til about a month after they were born. Thankfully we came to our senses!)

Prenatal chiropractor (I could hardly walk for weeks, with this weird back/hip thing causing me to limp like an elderly person. My OB referred me to a prenatal chiropractor–I had no idea that was a thing! But thank god it is! My chiro was so friendly and she FIXED me!)

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What I wish I had done before babies were born:

Taken more time off (I only ended up with one real day off. There wasn’t much to do even when I was working, so I should have just let myself relax more.)

Gone swimming like everyone told me to (I didn’t have a swimsuit and I couldn’t shave anything. Dumb excuses that I should have worked through and figured out.)

Bought and worn more/better clothes (I had one nice pair of maternity jeans, plus maternity leggings, and a handful of maternity tops. But especially toward the end, I was in a maternity tshirt and sweats, and looking back, I looked so sloppy. I wish I’d enjoyed some more ‘real’ clothes a little more often.)

Prenatal massage (because duh.)

Did less stuff (I should have slept in more often.)

Done professional maternity photos (I couldn’t afford to do both maternity and newborn…but maybe I could have gotten a package deal. Above is one of my DIY maternity photos.)

Journaled more (Because I have the world’s worst memory, and blog posts don’t tell the whole story.)

Taken more regular photos of me and us, out and about with the belly (I wish I’d done more of my whole self, of the both of us. I did make sure to take a bunch on our cross-country road trip!)

 

What I’m glad I did after babies were born:

Had our first few days be just us (I didn’t want anyone else around while we got to know our new babies. I wanted us to be a family and focus on the four of us. No extra noise, no extra personalities, just us. Later on we had visitors and that was wonderful–made even better because of our just-family time at the beginning.)

Did professional studio photos of babies (They were so very tiny. We had no idea. I knew in theory they would change and grow a lot, but man, it happened so fast! We have a storyboard (three 8×10 images on one print) up in our room and we just treasure it. The babies themselves even like looking at it.)

Bought a new bra, undies, and jeans (This was probably my favorite thing I did. Two months post-partum, I went to Target and got some new, non-maternity jeans that actually fit properly. Same with a new bra and underwear. I knew that none of these would fit for very long, but I had been haaaaating wearing all the ill-fitting, loose and baggy everything. I seriously felt like a new person with clothes that fit my current body! Truly, it was amazing, and the cost wasn’t very prohibitive.)

Bought new socks (Just because all my socks are years old and I decided to just treat myself to brand new ones. Plain white ankle cut, 6 in a pack, nothing fancy at all. But soft new socks are such an inexpensive delight!)

Went out for groceries and Target by myself (I started doing this after the first month or so–I would go late at night, like 10 or 11pm. It was so nice to get in the car by myself, and be invisible, with nothing/nobody else to carry. It was a little melancholy, but it was such a relief too.)

Took a shower regularly (it felt great to be clean (and be off the couch), plus it was a good place to cry in private)

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What I wish I had done after babies were born:

Eaten more (It probably would have helped take the edge off a bit–physically and emotionally. I wasn’t actively hungry until about a month post-partum. I knew that I should be eating, but with our ridiculous schedule, I just couldn’t work up the energy enough to care, let alone the energy to find something to eat and the time to eat it. I should have done it, or I should have prepared my husband to make me do it.)

Rested more (after the first week or so, I started moving/lifting more because I felt bad about my husband doing everything. I shouldn’t have, and should have stayed more sedentary when it mattered.)

Had a post-partum doula (It was expensive, my husband had paid paternity leave, my mom visited a few times, and my husband’s parents visited for a week. So I/we had help. But it might have been a little different/better to have a third-party helper come in and help us out too.)

Made a list of chores for visitors to help with (Although really, who cared. I certainly didn’t. I thought that I *should* care if the house was a mess. I’m a terrible grown-up that way.)

Called/emailed people who reached out (I didn’t know how; I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling. I couldn’t articulate much. I really appreciated the reaching out and I wish that I had just picked up the phone and done something.)

Had my husband take more photos of me and the babies (I have ONE good photo of me with the babies, when they’re about a week old. [Which I had to ask him to take for me.] None from the hospital. I have lots of phone shots, mostly selfies of low-quality shot in the horrible lighting in our living room. I hate asking people to take pictures of me, because it’s annoying. But I always love to have real-camera shots, and I should have just asked more. I would treasure them. There is no such thing as enough good quality photos of a mama and her baby/babies!)

What about you? What are the best things you did or wished you did before and after you had a baby/babies? Please share in the comments!

Things I Love Thursday: Our New Car!

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

At the end of July, I sold my 1998 Saturn sedan.

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I bought it in 2001, when I got out of college. That car served me well for fourteen years–it got me to work and back, it took two trips across the country, it circled the same Brooklyn blocks forever looking for a parking spot. I listened to countless hours of mix tapes through its tape deck, and when I finally joined the 21st century, I hooked my iPod up through the cassette converter.

When we were expecting twins and moving 3,000 miles, we knew that we needed to get a new car–something more reliable and easier to transport twin babies and all their accompanying stuff. We found a great deal on a 2009 Honda CR-V, and the Saturn became our little ‘extra’ car.

It needed work, so we figured that we would make it last as long as we could, and instead of putting more money into it, get a new second car sometime.

So this summer, it was finally time. I found a family who would be able to make the repairs and get some good life out of it.

Our search for a new used car accidentally led us to this little 2010 Nissan Versa.

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It’s a really stripped-down model–no power doors or windows, no cruise control, not even a key entry on the passenger door. But it gets good mileage, the backseat is surprisingly roomy, it has an auxiliary cable plug-in, and it even has that new-car smell! We hope it will last us at least ten years or so–maybe the twins will learn to drive in this car.

It’s our get-around-town car: I drive it to weekend photo shoots so that Andy can still drive the babies in the CR-V, and we drive it for errands during weekdays if we need to.

We bought it on August 1, so it’s been just over a month. We’re really enjoying it; it’s a nice little car–it feels zippy and modern.

21 Months Old

Dear sweet babies,

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You are 21 months old! You are getting more independent and opinionated–learning and growing and figuring out.        DSC_1611_WEB

There are definitely more tantrums lately…mornings can be tough sometimes. Actually so can evenings. You have so many things you want to do and when you can’t do them, you get very upset.

DSC_1617_WEBBut there are other times when you are just peachy. You give hugs to each other, and this month you started really giving kisses {VIDEO}. Mainly it consists of you moving your face up and closer and making a sound–but you do it on purpose, sometimes on demand and sometimes spontaneously. It’s pretty awesome!

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Huge milestone this month–you moved to using sippy cups only! No more bottles!!!!! You probably could have done this sooner, but we have been lazy. It wasn’t a hard transition at all–other than finding the right kind of cup that won’t leak. This was our third kind and thank goodness, it works, it doesn’t frustrate you, and doesn’t leak.

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Another milestone this month was moving up to the toddler 2’s room! Once again, the teachers were surprised at how easily you transitioned. Though for awhile they were saying that Emmett, you were so quiet and serious. We thought that was pretty funny because you’re actually so funny and playful.

We think you’ve picked up a few things there, namely saying “mine” but also sitting criss-cross applesauce. (Which is SO cute!)

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This month you both have developed an Elmo obsession. You say, “Elmo? Elmo?” whenever you see the television (whether it’s on or off, whatever is playing–normally we play Pandora through the TV, but that doesn’t stop you from asking about Elmo). We let you watch it on the weekend–and you love it so much.

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Speaking of obsession: TRASH. You both are still super obsessed with it. Both of you (but especially Emmett) will point out LITERALLY every trash can that you see. You like pointing out when you see trash on the ground, and putting things in our trash can, though sometimes you find non-trash items. (Like the time that Malcolm, you put a pot and two lids in there!)

This month you started singing. Oh my goodness, it’s so freaking adorable. Your little baby voices! This month you’ve been singing the Elmo song of course {VIDEO}, plus a garbled version of the beginning of the ABCs, and a popcorn song our nanny sings to you, row-row-your-boat, and you request to hear the Rainbow Connection.

Other new words this month include baby, bowl, rock, shoe, water, beach, teeth (as brush teeth, and there’s a brushing-type motion that goes with it!).

Cup stacking was a huge deal this month. You both, but especially Emmett, really got the concept of the stacking and nesting. Emmett, you will sit for 10-20 minutes meditatively stacking and unstacking the cups. Sometimes you request to sit in your booster seat so you can use the tray as a stacking table.

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You randomly started this game where you say “Boo” to us. We act scared and you laugh and do it again. It evolved to where you throw one or both arms when you say it, like you’re throwing a curse. It makes us laugh every time. {VIDEO}

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Other things you’ve learned: A fake cry! When one of you is crying for real, sometimes the other one will go WAAAAH loudly too. We are not fooled. :)

And–you’re now tall enough to climb up on the couch! And smart enough to use a baby chair or couch as a stepstool! Oh dear. So far no one’s taken a header off the couch…but I figure it’s just a matter of time. :/

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We finally let you start going on the big slide at one of the nearby playgrounds. It’s like fifteen feet tall, and the steps are really steep, so even though you want to go by yourselves, we won’t let you. You are always so happy to slide down, which means there’s often a tantrum when we have to leave to go home.

You learned to jump! Whee!

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You’ve liked looking at pictures of yourselves for awhile now, but now you’ve figured out that my computer is full of them! So you come up to my desk and say, “Baby? Baby?”, wanting to get up on my lap to look through them.

You definitely like the pictures from our short trip to Seattle this month:

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We also went back for our second summer trip to the Oregon coast! Once again you loved the beach. IMG_6401_WEB (2)

I mentioned that you have lots of opinions, right? This month you started telling us where to go. Sometimes you’ll grab our hand and pull, to move us somewhere you want to go, and sometimes you walk over to a particular spot, and touch the ground emphatically, as if to say, “SIT HERE NOW.” Haha, like we’re your pets. :)

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Though you play with lots of toys around the house, books are always still welcome. Even better that now we bring them in the car and put them in your crib, so that a book is always nearby. <3

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We are still having so much fun keeping up with you and helping you learn about everything around you. It is so amazing to get hugs and kisses from you, after so many months of millions of hugs and kisses we’ve gotten to give you. We love you so much!

love, mama