Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weekend Happenings

I realize it's already Wednesday, but it's not too late to talk about the weekend, right? After several weekends in a row where we didn't have too many plans (we were busy, for sure, but busy at home), this past weekend felt pretty packed with activities! 

On Friday night, I went over to my friend Tia's house to help her do some prep and decorating for her baby girl's birthday party the next day. We were so thrilled to join our friends in celebrating sweet Sadie's first year! Isn't she the most precious thing?!?

The party was pretty big (like about 60 guests, I think), so it made Sadie-girl a little nervous when we all gathered around to sing to her. Brianna was trying to comfort her a bit :-).

Their entire house was decorated SO sweetly for Sadie's party. I love watching Ross and Tia parent their little girl!

One super fun thing about the party was that Ross and Tia hired a food truck to park in their driveway, and all the guests could order food right on the spot. And, the food was YUMMY! I had a hot ham-and-cheese sandwich that melted in my mouth.

Drink station with delish punch:

Tia had also set up a Candy Bar in their dining room. The M&Ms were custom made with Sadie's photo on them, but there was all sorts of other great candy to choose from as well.

Even the napkins were personalized!

There were a ton more decorations and details that I didn't get photos of (like the three-tiered cake!), but everything was just adorable! They even hired a balloon artist to come and do balloon animals for the kiddos . . . and my kids LOVED this! Brianna kept going back to get more and more balloons. Ross and Tia have a fantastic yard for entertaining - and the weather was fabulous - so we spent the majority of our time outdoors. Despite the dozen or so yard games that they had set up, all the kids wanted to do was play in the pool. Of course!
Happy birthday, sweet Sadie. We love you!

As soon as we left Sadie's party, we headed home so the kids could go down for nap and I headed to an engagement party for my friend, Joy Lin. She is getting married THIS weekend, and I couldn't be more excited for her! We worked together back in the day when I worked outside the home, and she was my sanity many days. I'm super sad that I forgot to snap a photo of us together on Saturday, and the most recent photo I could find of the two of us together is from over four years ago. How can that be? I must remember to get a photo of us together this weekend!

While I was celebrating with Joy Lin, our next door neighbor was having a first birthday party for their daughter. As soon as the kiddos got up from nap, they headed next door for the second birthday party of the day. They had a live petting zoo at this party, so my kids thought it was GREAT! Chris didn't get any photos of this, but they told me allllllll about it when I got home. 

After such a big day, I was exhausted when I got home that evening. Brianna really wanted to wear her hair curly for church the next day, but I was too worn out to do it. However, Chris decided he could curl her hair, so he did! It was his first time to ever use sponge curlers, and he rolled her hair super tight. That meant that Miss Bri had BIG and CURLY hair the next morning, but she loved it! And hey, I was impressed that he even tried. What a lucky little girl!
I generally take my belly pics on Sunday mornings before church, so Brianna was copying me, haha!

After church on Sunday morning and evening, we went to a Trunk of Treats event that we have made a tradition since Brianna was 1 year old. Our friends, Wes and Kendall, generally have a trunk, so we always enjoy seeing them at the event. As a sneak peak, here are my littles all dressed up for the Trunk of Treats this year: 

We went with a literary theme this year. Brenson went as Max from Where the Wild Things Are (his current favorite book, although this changes frequently), and Brianna was dressed as Olivia the pig from the Olivia books. They both looked adorable!

Overall, it was a busy but great weekend! This week is full of Halloween activities, so we're just trying to soak it all up and enjoy our time together. I hope you all had a good weekend, too!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: 24 Weeks!

Yay for 24 weeks today!!! This is a big milestone as it's generally considered "viability", meaning that if the babies were to be born now, they would have a chance at survival outside the womb. Of course, them being born this early is NOT what we are praying for, but it is a little comforting to know there is a possibility of survival. 

Here are my little twinbies this week:

Brianna wanted in on the belly pics this week. She loves to hug on the babies, especially when they kick her :-).

I haven't done a comparison photo in a few weeeks, so here I am at 24 weeks with Brenson (on the left) and the twinbies (on the right):
I personally don't think there is much difference in belly size. Overall, I am heavier in the Brenson pic (as usual), but the belly is about the same. What do you think?

When I weighed this morning, I was surprised to find that I didn't gain any weight from last week. I lost about a half of a pound, actually. That puts my weight gain total still at 13 pounds overall. With Brenson at this point, I had gained 14 pounds, and it was about the same with Brianna. I didn't pay as much attention to it when I was pregnant with her. So, that makes me feel good that I'm right about where I was with him regarding weight gain, although weighing about 13 pounds less overall.

Sleep has been really good for me some nights and not good at all other nights. I can't figure out what the difference is, but I do know that I feel MUCH better the day after a good night's rest. We had a pretty low key week last week as I was still recovering from my Chicago trip, so I did take advantage of the opportunity to nap a few days. I don't generally nap for long (just about 45 minutes or so), but it feels SO good.

My food cravings have pretty much gone by the wayside, along with my food aversions. My appetite right now is just pretty normal for me! The one thing that does sound really good all the time is iced tea from Quik Trip with crushed ice. I drink unsweetened tea - so aside from the caffeine concern - I don't mind letting myself indulge in one several times a week. We go to a local Mexican restaurant pretty much every Wednesday evening before Bible study, and this past week I downsized my usual order. I just can't eat too much without being absolutely miserable, so I decided to just take away the temptation to eat my normal portion size. I certainly felt better Wednesday night after eating only a small portion, but I did have to grab a snack before bed that night :-).

We had an appointment with Dr. N this past Thursday, but his nurse called and moved me to Friday due to a c-section situation with another patient. She said that he wasn't originally taking appointments on Friday, but that he opened up a small time frame (less than two hours) to see his "higher needs" patients. The great thing about this was that his office was not busy at all, and we had ZERO wait to see him. Chris and the kiddos were with me, so it was perfect timing.

I was 23 weeks and 4 days along, and my blood pressure was 122 over 72 at this appointment. The babies were in the same position that they've been in pretty much all along (Baby B on the left head up, Baby A on the right head down). We heard both heartbeats, and Dr. N even decided to do quick measurements since he had a little time (his words). He and I were both thrilled that both babies are now weighing 1 pound and 7 ounces! That's a good, healthy weight for this gestational age. He did ask us about names, so we shared with him the names that we're using right now to see how they work and feel. Then he asked, "Who's first?", meaning which one is Baby A, to which Brianna very quickly replied, "I am!" Hahaha! She is SUCH an oldest child! He has checked on the ultrasound that my pelvis is "empty" at every appointment, and is always happy to see that it is. I'm not entirely sure what the significance of that is, but praise God that everything is going smoothly and both babies are growing and healthy!

Dr. N's nurse did tell me that I needed to pick up my glucose drink for my next appointment, and y'all I FORGOT. I straight up walked out of the office without thinking about it again. Pregnancy brain is REAL and it has been a struggle this pregnancy. For a person who easily remembers details and dates and appointments and never runs late, I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have a brain that is not functioning like it normally does! And, because I don't generally need to, I'm not accustomed to writing things down or setting reminders for myself, so Chris has been teaching me his many "life cheats" to help me hold my mess together. So anyway, I don't have the glucose drink, so I need to call the office to see if I should come pick it up for my next appointment or not. My next appointment is at 25 weeks and 3 days - and generally Dr. N does the glucose test at 28 weeks - so I'm wondering if the nurse forgot that I come in every two weeks instead of every four? Or, if I need to do it earlier since I'm pregnant with twins? I just need to call and find out!

Our countdown to our 38 week due date is now in the double digits! Yay for that! We are so excited to meet these little people growing inside of me!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: 23 Weeks!

As of today, we are now 23 weeks along in our pregnancy with the twinbies! I will say that I've been feeling much farther along than I am, but this week I have definitely felt like I am closer to 30ish weeks. I'm sure that's because I'm carrying two babies at once!

 The twin baby belly:
If you think I look extremely tired in the above photo, that's because I was! I spent 3 days in Chicago on a trip with three of my besties this past week, and that photo was taken the morning after we got home. It was a GREAT trip, but I was EXHAUSTED by the time we got home. I will do a full post or two all about the trip soon :-).

Here is a photo we took of me while in Chicago. Isn't the foliage unbelievable?!? It was the perfect time to visit the city.

I took the photo below on Saturday evening, while on the plane flying home. We did a TON of walking in the city . . . lots of stairs, riding public transportation, being on our feet, etc. By the time we boarded the plane, my back was aching something fierce. I noticed each day that as the day would go on and I would get more tired, I would start to really arch my lower back while walking. I was extremely uncomfortable on the plane, but every time I looked down and saw the baby belly it made me smile. Love it!

With all the walking I did on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Chicago, I was kind of surprised by a three pound weight gain when I weighed this morning! We did eat well while in the city, but we seriously walked SO MUCH. That puts my total weight gain at 13 pounds now. I think the babies are still in a major growth spurt (judging by how my belly is rapidly growing), and it makes me happy to know they are growing :-).

While on our trip, I had several people ask me when I am due or how far along I am. I always say, "I'm such-and-such far along . . . with twins!" I mean, I'm pretty huge so I like to clarify that there are two babies :-). The next question is generally, "Are these your first?" People tend to act pretty surprised when I tell them that I also have a 2 year old and a 4 year old! I even had people give up their seats for me on the "L" and on a city bus in Chicago, so that was nice. And you had better believe, I took advantage of it! My feet were swollen on Saturday night after flying, but I propped them up while sleeping and they have been fine since then.

I'm not really having any cravings right now. I made my way through most of a box of Twinkies (the kids ate a few), but I'm not feeling like I want to go buy another box. I am craving water throughout the day, so that's a good thing. Of course, drinking tons of water results in having to use the bathroom constantly, but it's worth it. I know it's so important to stay hydrated. We flew to Chicago on Thursday morning, then I drank Coke for lunch that day. Even though I had drank several glasses of water as well, later that afternoon (after tons of walking) I started to have some cramps in my lower abdomen. We were trying to make our way back to our hotel room, but I told the girls I needed to stop and take a break. We sat down at a Starbucks where I downed a bottle of water and immediately felt much better. Later that evening, I made sure to drink several more bottles of water (I think four?) before bed. I really think that I had gotten a bit dehydrated and my body was telling me about it. The girls were always so great to make sure I was okay and that I wasn't overdoing it too much, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that!

Sleep is back to being much better than it was last week! I think it's partially because I was so exhausted on the trip, but I was sleeping better before we left, too. Each night before bed, Chris has been helping me do leg and back stretches. They have really made a difference with the restless legs and achy hips. They aren't very comfortable to do because if I lay on my back or fold my body up in any way, I feel like I can't breathe. However, they are worth it so I am going to keep at it!

One last thing, I went and got a pedicure early last week before my trip. I normally love having my toes done, but I kind of hated it this time. I'm very sensitive to touch right now (I also had my eyebrows waxed and that was horrible), so my feet were extremely ticklish! Also, she rubbed my calves and feet, and it just bothered me more than it felt good. I initially turned on the pedicure chair to rub my back as well, but turned it off completely after just a few minutes. I've gotten pedicures while pregnant before and can never remember this being an issue. However, I have to keep reminding myself that everything is different (more intense) with this pregnancy!

Today is Chris and my 13th wedding anniversary. We're not going out to celebrate or anything as I'm just too exhausted by the end of the day (officially no fun, I know). However, we ordered food in and are enjoying each other at home :-). Next week we reach the big 24 week milestone!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Harvest Delight

Last week, we took one of our annual trips to the Pumpkin Patch. We generally visit three different patches each year, but this year I think we're just going to make it to two. The one we visited last week is called Carmichael Pumpkin Patch, and it's one that Chris and I would visit even before we had kiddos. We've gone every year since Brianna was born!

We always go on a weeknight as it's less busy at this time. We chose a Tuesday night this year, and when we got there, our twin BFFs were there, too! This was completely random, as Kendall and I hadn't even talked about taking our kiddos to the pumpkin patch, let alone what day we were going. It was a fun little surprise! Of course, getting a good photo of all four of them is next to impossible! This was the best we could do :-).

What's one of the best parts about running into someone you know at a place like this? You have someone to take your family photo! I adore this photo that Kendall snapped for us!

Our pumpkin patch photos are some of my favorite every year, so I have a rule that we get good photos first, then we get to play and see the animals, pick pumpkins, etc. This was the first year since Brianna's first trip (at 7 months old) that getting good photos of the kids was seriously so easy. They are both old enough to be cooperative for photos for the most part! I did tell Chris that as easy as it was this year, just think of what it'll be like next year when the twins are here. He said that next year will probably be fairly easy compared to the year after that, ha!

My sweet girl is growing up so fast.

This boy is seriously the most photogenic child.


These were the first four photos we took. Can you believe that?!?

And, I love this one that's a bit more close-up.

For the first time, I even decided to attempt a photo of both of them. This was also the first one I took! 

After photos, we grabbed a wagon. One of Brenson's favorite things to do at the pumpkin patch is to ride in a wagon and to pull a wagon!

It was a beautiful evening! The lighting was perfect, and I'm so glad Chris took these next two photos!

After looking at our photos from this trip, I remembered that Chris took a very similar photo of me with Brianna (while I was pregnant with Brenson) three years ago. Once again, can I just say that I'm carrying this pregnancy so much better than I carried him? Love both of these photos, though!

This year, both kids really enjoyed the little haybale maze that was set up for the littles. Brianna raced through it time and time again. 

Brenson was a bit more cautious, but he also went through it multiple times. At the end of our visit, they even asked to go back to it and run through it again.

At one point, Brianna grabbed Brenson's hand and was practically dragging him through the haybale maze. Poor guy, haha!

They were also fascinated with this scarecrow in an outhouse this year. Sigh. This is so typical, though . . . one photo is great of Bren but Brianna isn't looking . . .

. . . and this photo is great of Brianna but not-so-much of Brenson.

Carmichael's has lots of animals to look at, feed, and ride. That's one of the reasons we love this pumpkin patch! This whole area was full of pigs . . . stinky, nasty pigs. Of course, the kids thought they were great!

Brianna loves to feed the goats and sheep. She's a pro these days!

Brenson didn't really want anything to do with touching or feeding the animals. It's okay, bud, I feel the same way!

Bri took a particular liking to this goat :-).

Even this big sheep didn't intimidate her!

Daddy really wanted Brenson to experience feeding a goat. He was so hilarious about it! Here's a great video!

Love my big girl!

Chris has a video on his phone that he took at the pumpkin patch last year of Brenson pulling Brianna in a wagon. Brenson LOVES to watch it over and over. On the rare occasions that he's allowed to play with Chris's phone (mainly in the car to keep him from falling asleep when we don't want him to), we will hear him playing that video over and over again. So of course, he had to pull her in the wagon again this year. Here's a video.

Soaking up these simple moments with my sweet little man.

Last year, we let Brianna ride a pony for the first time. And of course, the child remembered! Pony rides cost extra - and generally we skip anything like that - but we decided to let her do it again this year. MUCH to our surprise, Brenson also wanted to ride an animal. At first, he said he wanted to ride a camel, but quickly changed his mind when he saw how big they were. I was really reluctant to pay for him to ride anything because I know how he can be about that sort of thing. However, he picked out "Shadow" to ride, and rode him like a champ!

Not only did he ride, but he enjoyed it! Smiles the whole time!

Brianna chose to ride Sugar, and later told us it was because she had purple straps. Of course :-).
We'll probably continue the tradition of allowing the kids to ride. They truly enjoy it so much!

Chris snapped this photo of Bren on my phone, and I love it. It just captures him.

On our way out (after choosing a few pumpkins to buy and take home), the kids decided they wanted a photo with this scarecrow. Okay :-).

Then, Brianna wanted to take a photo of Chris and me. I was shocked to see what a good job she did! There were several other shots she took, but this one was by far the best. Brenson also attempted to use the camera, but I think all of his photos were of the ground :-).

This is truly one of my favorite outings we do every year!!!