Henry & Emily

They’re here!!!! The little loves of our lives are HERE! Thank you all for your prayers, positive thoughts, texts & emails checking in. It truly meant the world to us and reminds us of the love that surrounds these two little miracles…who started their lives TODAY!

Both Henry & Emily were delivered naturally with thanks to a heavenly epidural, my amazing hubby cheering me on, our incredible doctor, and the most supportive team of nurses that parents-to-be could ask for!!! I needed to deliver in the O.R. simply because with twins, there is always a risk of having to do an emergency c-section. I was SO grateful that I could stick to my plan & goal of a vaginal birth. Welcoming these two munchkins into this world was the most incredible day of our lives.

Henry Wilson Mason

Born: June 6, 2016 @ 2:00 p.m.

Weight: 7 Lbs 3 oz

Length: 20 in.

Emily Carolyn Mason

Born: June 6, 2016 @ 2:07 p.m.

Weight: 5 Lbs 11 oz

Length: 19 in.

Here are a few photos from today. Of course there will be a million more updates to come, but for now – time to catch just a wee bit of sleep if we can!

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“Mama”

Growing up, I vaguely thought I understood the sacrifices that mothers make for their children, but as my days of entering motherhood are growing as quickly as my pregnant belly is – I’m starting to see it all more clearly now. I find myself clinging to every memory of what my mama did for me, my sister, and my dad over the years because I truly hope to be the same kind of mother to my children.

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In honor of my sweet mama, Jane, here are a few of my favorite things about her:

  1. Her pure, unapologetic, confident joy.
  2. The precious ways she turned chores into games when I was a little girl so that I’d actually enjoy doing them.
  3. When I thank her for doing something for me, she always replies with “Oh it’s my JOY!” 🙂
  4. Those mouthwatering meals she makes and displays with love.
  5. The many days that she stayed home from work to take care of me because I had strep throat for the 348th time.
  6. Every single joyful call to me just checking in.
  7. When she’s sitting in a chair and is so excited that she can’t keep her feet on the floor, so she sticks her legs straight out and they just stay there while she’s beaming with joy. Not gonna lie…I find myself doing it all the time too!
  8. When she plays the piano you can literally hear her spirit and happiness through the music.
  9. How she laughs genuinely at my jokes! I just love laughing with her.
  10. Her love of helping other people.

This is her first Mother’s Day without her own mama, my Grandmama Carolyn, who passed away last fall. When Grandmama Carolyn passed away it was hard for our entire family to imagine a life without her, even when we had time to mentally prepare that she was ready to go “home.” Grandmama was one of those ladies who would meet a stranger in the grocery store, change their life with her smile and sweet demeanor, then ask if there was anything she could help pray for. I remember friends and neighbors of hers would frequently stop by when I visited her just to “check in” or drop off a meal for her…but really you could tell that they just needed a dose of her happy, peaceful spirit in their life. What a beautiful soul she was. I see her spirit in both my mama and sister every day.

Grandmama knew that Sean and I had been trying to start a family for a while, so she prayed for us daily. Y’all…it still gives me chills to say this, but just days after we said goodbye to her at her funeral in North Carolina, Sean and I found out that I was pregnant! Weeks later we learned we’re having twins, and months later we learned that it was one boy and one girl. I call these babies our little miracles, and I thank God and my dear Grandmama in heaven all the time for them.

The love, joy, and care that a mother can give is remarkable. I feel such a special urgency to carry on these traits as I enter motherhood to these two little miracles. I’ll be tested with projectile vomit, about a million dirty diapers, seemingly endless tears, and both mental and physical exhaustion…but nothing can prepare me for the love that I’ll feel when they’re here. That, and the simple reminder from my mama that happiness is a choice, is all that I need. 🙂

Sending my love to my sweet friends who are mamas, soon-to-be mamas, and those who are going through the same journey I’ve gone through to get here. You are inspirational – I hope you know that!

Now, go thank your mama!

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!

 

32 at 32…with 2

Today marks 32 weeks pregnant at 32 years old…with 2 on the way! I’ve been pretty stoked to get to this mini-milestone just to be able to say that :). My real milestone is getting to 34-38 weeks and I feel confident we’ll get there. As my mama-friends have said, “Every day’s a win!”


I’ve done my best to mentally prepare for both delivery options and for any labor plans to change quickly if need be for the twins’ safety. We’ll just see what happens on “game day!” So far, we’re all doing really well. As of yesterday, both babies are in the head-down position (exactly what I want for labor – woohoo!), but our girl (Baby B) is quite the little gymnast in there showing off all kinds of movements, twists, turns, and positions…so who knows how she’ll be on delivery day.

They were both measured for their “growth scan” a week ago, so by now our boy is likely well over 4.5 pounds (ahead of schedule!) and our girl is around 4 pounds (right on track). Heart rates are awesome, fluid levels are normal, and they’ve even been seen on ultrasounds doing some “practice breathing”…which apparently they  should be doing right about now. I’m so proud of them! Just a few more weeks to go now. The 3rd trimester has its ups and mild downs, but overall I’m really happy.

The good:

  • no back pain at all – thank you, bed rest!!!
  • food all the time – I don’t mind it 😉
  • the babies are now able to hear and recognize voices – Sean & I chat it up with them all the time!
  • they’ve even started to have dreams apparently!

The “meh”:

  • hellooo heartburn – especially in the middle of the night, even when I watch what I eat for dinner! No escaping it.
  • trying to sleep is a mess – between heartburn, growing pains, and having to get up to pee every 2 hours…it’s not ideal, but at least it’s starting to prepare me for the sleep deprivation ahead!
  • out of breath – sorry to anyone who has a conversation with me, because I need to stop and take a few breaths like every other sentence.
  • contractions…which are normal, just uncomfortable.

I cannot wait to meet our two little miracles!

Happy Friday!

Eating for 3

Food! It’s easily the hot topic on my mind every day. Hunger is no joke when you’re pregnant, especially with twins.

A few weeks ago my OB & high risk doctors had me take the glucose test (many pregnant women have to take it) in order to rule out Gestational Diabetes. It involves drinking a drink that tastes like a SUPER sugary orange soda within 5 minutes, then waiting 1 hour at the Dr’s office or local medical lab, then getting your blood drawn. Well…I failed the first test. Womp womp. I’ve heard that many other women do and sometimes it’s related to what you ate before hand even though we don’t have to fast for this test. To make sure that I didn’t truly have Gestational Diabetes, I was asked to take the 2nd test, a.k.a. the 3 hour glucose test, one week later. For this 3 hour test you have to fast for 8-10 hours starting the night before. At the appointment you get round #1 of 4 done for your blood draws, drink the sugary drink, then get rounds 2, 3, and 4 of more blood draws at 1 hour intervals. That was a long time for a VERY hungry pregnant woman to not eat anything since the night before.

Good news…I passed the 3 hour glucose test and do not have G.D.! Woohoo!

Bad news…I nearly passed out at Sprouts getting food right after the test. It was really bad, y’all. Apparently the Dr’s office even tried to call me after they received the results because my last blood result was the lowest they’d ever seen. I was a mess: blurred vision, shaking, dizzy, starving, out of breath, and even in a cold sweat. It took me a good 5-7 hours to finally feel normal again. Low blood sugar is something that I assumed I had just a little of, but I had no idea it was that bad. Long story short – I need to eat little meals ALL the time to help maintain the crazy hunger I’ve had these past 9 months.

Even though I don’t have Gestational Diabetes, the process of those tests was a strong reminder that I’m eating for 3, not just me. Obviously I was well aware of this to begin with, but when cravings strike and you’re hungrier than you’ve ever imagined it can be a struggle to have the patience of nutrients in mind at the pace that my scrunched organs can handle each digestion. I’m reminded that this is the time for some serious diligence. For the next decade or so these little ones will be completely dependent on me & Sean for what nutrients they get and what food choices they will ultimately make as they grow up to take on the world by themselves. Oh my gosh…I can see it now – they’re already growing up so fast!!!

6O9C3868Though I haven’t drastically changed my diet or anything, I have really learned to maintain more of a daily pattern that both I and the babies can depend on; to not get to the “insane hunger” level as often by balancing each day with consistency. I thought I’d give y’all a “taste” (hehe) of what I ate yesterday for a sample of what’s been helping me. The twins are pressing on my stomach and lungs as they continue to grow, and too much food at one time just doesn’t work (3rd trimester heartburn problems). With that in mind, you’ll notice that I eat every hour and a half to two hours.

Important note: This is not meant to be some fabulous revolutionary meal plan that just any pregnant woman should try. Every woman and pregnancy is different, with varying nutritional needs. For some of you though, maybe this line up below will help if you’re struggling to keep up with a consistent and healthy pattern each day. If it does, then YAY! This just works for me while also making my growing babies happy! When in doubt though – always consult your doctor ;). I don’t count calories and have no clue how many are in each day’s line up. Frankly – I don’t care about “counting” calories. If I’m hungry, I eat, and I do my very best to keep it nutritious 80 – 90% of the time. If I feel like I’ve been consistently healthy and am craving fries and milkshake once in a while…you better believe I’ll devour that reward with pure joy and zero guilt. If you’re curious about the recommended caloric intake when you’re pregnant with twins, here’s an awesome article I found which outlines how many extra calories pregnant women with multiples need to take in by trimester, as well as a breakdown of nutrients that your babies should be getting: The Bump – What to Eat

“Healthier” is working, by the way! Both babies are growing right on track with their weight and it makes me so happy! The meals and cravings are sure to increase over these last few weeks, but for now here’s what was cookin yesterday:

6:30-7:00 a.m.

My “Wake Up” Staple

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2 Whole Wheat Eggo Waffles

1 Apple, sliced up

1 cup of “Half Caff” Coffee or 1/2 a cup of Regular Coffee (allowed 200 mg of caffeine per day, and this is well under that limit ;))

500 mL of Water

8:30-9:00 a.m.

Eggs & Avocado Time!

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IMG_96062 Eggs either Boiled or Scrambled + a ‘lil salt & pepper

½ of an Avocado

2 Prenatal Vitamins

1 Folic Acid pill (400 mg – recommended to take this extra to help supplement for the twins)

500 mL of Water

10:30-11:00 a.m.

Fancy Pants Grilled Cheese + 2 sides

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IMG_96122 slices Whole Wheat Toast

4 slices of Cheddar Cheese

1 slice of Tomato

½ of an Avocado, sliced up

(fun fact – did you know that yesterday was “National Grilled Cheese Day”?! I didn’t even know it when I made this! Glad I still sorta participated)

½ of a bowl of Watermelon chunks

Small handful of Pita chips

500 mL of Water

12:30-1:00 p.m.

Satisfying Snackaroo

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Carrot Sticks from 3 whole carrots

⅓ cup of Hummus (don’t have any store-bought hummus at home? Check out my recipe for: Easy Homemade Hummus)

500 mL of Water

2:30-3:00 p.m.

Smoothie Time!

½ cup of frozen Mango chunks

⅔ cup of frozen Blueberries

3 frozen Strawberries

1 cup of Water

Note: at least twice a week this is replaced with a chocolate milkshake from Freddy’s or Braums. Just sayin…it’s good to add some extra calories in there from time to time :).

500 mL of Water

4:30 p.m.

Yep…still hungry.

 

Instant Brown Sugar and Maple Oatmeal w/ hot water

6:30 p.m.

Hubby’s Pasta!

 

¾ of a bowl – it’s like his version of lasagna but with bowtie pasta. Super delish!

500 mL of Water

7:30 p.m.

Mama needs her chocolate. 

2 dark chocolate Dove candies

9:00-10:00 p.m.

Last Call

 
A String Cheese or two right before bed (otherwise I wake up hungry at 2 or 3am)

500 mL of Water throughout the night

So there we have it! A day in the life of me constantly eating but trying to keep it mostly nutritious yet still hearty. I’m also a huge fan of greens (spinach, broccoli, kale, arugula) but ironically didn’t include it yesterday. It’s normally in there somewhere! 😉

It’s been nearly 30 weeks and the 30 pounds that I’ve gained with this twin pregnancy is exactly right on track with where I should be. I’m so proud of that! More than anything, I love that it makes me feel good when I interrupt menu’s like the one above with a juicy burger, savory pizza, velvety chocolate cake, or whatever else ;). It’s well deserved when 80-90% of the week is balanced with everything these babies need!

Happy eating 🙂

Katherine

 

 

 

 

Now, we wait.

Tomorrow officially welcomes my 3rd trimester (woohooooo!!!) at 28 weeks and we’ve done a lot to prepare knowing that the twins are likely to arrive early. Obviously we’d LOVE for them to stay in my belly as long as possible, but we’re prepared for any week now. It could happen in 2 weeks…4…6…8…who knows! IMG_9573

The hospital bag is almost ready.

The diaper bag that I’m already in love with is packed.

We’ve learned how to install both car seats.

The nursery is coming along adorably.

Sean and I took an Infant CPR class.

I took a breastfeeding class.

I’ve joined the Tulsa Mothers of Multiples group (shout out to the TMOMs!).

We’ve gone on a tour of the labor, delivery, and NICU wings of our awesome hospital in Tulsa.

I’ve even got our little 3 ring binder ready with all the important documents we need. (Nerd alert!)

Can you tell we’re excited?!

Now, we wait.

It’s a very strange feeling to just sit here and wait for my children (and this crazy new chapter in my life) to get here. The waiting game is not easy. Do you remember that perfect scene at the end of When Harry Met Sally? Harry sums it up beautifully by saying:

“…when you realize you wanna spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Well said, Harry. I luckily found my “somebody,” but now we’re both ready to spend the rest of our lives with our two little ones and we’d LOVE for the rest of our lives to start as soon as possible :). But…we have to wait…and wait…and wait. Life with our twins will undoubtedly be the greatest, most rewarding chapter in our lives. However, the whirlwind of the: intense challenges, screaming fits, bumps and bruises, temper tantrums, and sleep deprivation that will face us as new parents, not to mention attempting to do all of this “times two”, is very intimidating.

Friends of ours have reminded us to take time for ourselves these last few weeks. Even though I’m on “modified bedrest” I can still go out w/ hubby for occasional dinners, movies, or even short road trips just as long as I’m not on my feet very long. I try to savor sleeping in for a little while longer (and through the night for that matter). I’m also trying to appreciate the simple freedom of managing each day with only my & Sean’s agenda in place. As it’s all about to change, this is the time to celebrate “just us” for a little while longer.

22 weeks - 2Words can’t even begin to express how thankful we are to have our little boy and girl both on the way. We’re honestly still in shock and can’t believe that this dream came true. The other day I said to Sean, “Babe, how did we get so lucky?” Sean confidently replied with a smile, “Because we deserve this.” I love him so much. He’s right. We do deserve this! We’ve been praying for children for years. Years! Getting pregnant can be a long-term struggle on its own and it doesn’t just happen as quickly as most people think. There are so many couples who deserve this too and wait patiently for their turn to finally become parents. We’re very lucky to finally be here.

Hubby’s gentle reminder eased my heart. It allowed me to set aside those normal mama-to-be fears and instead turn it into the gratitude and confidence that I know I have in me to be a good mama; also to not only survive any parenting challenges ahead, but to celebrate that they even exist.

Lately, I like using this time to mentally prepare by remembering any fears I’ve overcome in order to tackle some of my greatest challenges to date. It’s a beautiful reminder that I’ve got everything I need now – all the spiritual, mental, and physical tools to be a great mother. I channel memories like:

  • rowing competitively for 8 years
  • buying a one-way ticket to Seattle, WA to live there after college, knowing no one
  • cycling coast to coast across America during the summer of 2007
  • running 2 RAGNAR relays with my fellow Washington College alumnae
  • moving to Oklahoma in 2014 knowing no one but my hubby and our dog

These things started out a ‘lil terrifying, were out of my comfort zone, and at times made me question whether I was up for the challenge. Beautifully though…every single one of those outcomes made me feel that it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. The friends I made, the mental and physical fears I overcame, and more than anything – the trust I grew in myself all reminded me that I have everything I need to get through this whole “two at once” + 1st-time-parent path ahead.

So, to my babies, I say bring it on :). I cannot wait to have them change our lives forever!

Thanks for reading, friends! Anything you’re anxiously waiting for? I hope this helps you too. It certainly helps me!

Happy waiting ;),

Katherine

 

Easy Homemade Hummus

I love how my preggo-cravings are like my body’s way of telling me which nutrients that my growing twins need. Our bodies are SO amazing at telling us what we need/don’t need if we listen well enough! My latest cravings have been for chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I love them, I need them, and I craaaave them.

I’ve learned that chickpeas pack a hearty dose of nutrients that any baby-mama needs. Things like: magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, fiber. They even help to lower glucose levels! Since my twin pregnancy automatically puts me at a higher risk for gestational diabetes (I’ll find out later this week if I passed that test…eeek!), it’s no wonder why I’m craving them lately. I’d like to think that I’m usually a pretty healthy lady 80-90% of the time by avoiding unhealthy foods, but I’m “normal” and love it all; the good and the bad, the healthy and unhealthy. I’ve never been one to discriminate ;). Most recently though, I’ve been paying much more attention to how my cravings reflect my daily nutrient-needs.

Today, for example, I was craving chickpeas yet again and needed what felt like my 45th snack of the day. I didn’t have tahini which is a common ingredient in hummus, but I did have just about everything else needed to make this delicious low-calorie, filling snack. So, here’s what I threw together for a SUPER easy, preggo & bedrest-friendly recipe for hummus.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp – light Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup – cold Water
  • 2 cans (15 oz) – Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1½ Tbsp – minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp – Cumin
  • 1 tsp – Salt
  • 1 tsp – Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp – Lemon Juice

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Step 1 of 1

…seriously…there’s just one step

Mix it all together in a food processor!

Homemade Hummus

There you have it. Scoop out a few spoonfuls into a ramekin or small bowl, and you’re instantly ready to lay back in bed and enjoy this ‘lil heavenly homemade dish with some rice crackers, sliced carrots, or any other healthy side that your heart desires.

Homemade Hummus w/ sides

Happy snacking 😉

Katherine

10 Ways to Avoid “Bedrest Blues”

Hellooooo from my bed! I’m about 6+ months into my twin pregnancy and currently on “modified bedrest”. Early on I assumed that being preggers with twins would result in some sort of bedrest eventually, but I never imagined it would happen so soon!

Modified bedrest can mean slightly different restrictions for different women, but in my case it means that both my high risk doctor and my OB agree I should limit my on-foot activities to 2 hours a day…just not all at once. Ummm…that’s a heck of lot of time to just lay here and rest every day 😦 Telling a lady like me who LOVES to run, bike, walk, cook, bake, and even go grocery shopping (totally serious – grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do) to suddenly stop all of it and “just rest” is like telling a 2 year old to go take a nap during a birthday party. It just feels like a very strange thing to do, but in the end…I’m 32…not 2…and I need to actually grow 2 little humans to their full development. So, I get it. I’ll stop complaining ;).

Walking around for more than a few minutes, or even just sitting upright at a desk for 20-30 minutes adds plenty of stress that my body’s still trying to catch up with. Luckily, ever since I stopped working and stuck to these bedrest restrictions my back pain has become MUCH lighter, sometimes even non-existent. After plenty of rest, and then more rest, and then resting again…I’ve learned that it can get lonely, boring, and straight up annoying when I let myself get to that negative-nancy mindset. But when I keep myself occupied, try to stay positive, and just enjoy this last bit of quiet time that I’ll have until the twins arrive and change our lives forever – I quickly shut the door to all the negative thoughts and remember that this time to rest is such a gift, not a punishment.

Here’s a list of 10 things that I’ve found helpful. I really hope this helps any of you mamas-to-be out there who are also on bedrest and feelin’ the blues!

1. Be grateful. 

My biggest fear is having to deliver the twins way too early where the likelihood of them surviving isn’t strong. That’s absolutely terrifying. This whole “take it easy” warning was a reminder that at any moment after doing too much I could be elevated to strict bedrest or even hospital bedrest. FullSizeRender (2)I’ve read blogs from women who were in the hospital for weeks/months just trying to stay sane while their developing baby/babies kept on growing. Remembering to take this precaution seriously has really helped me to stay thankful and positive. I love our home so much, but I appreciate it more than ever when comparing it to months in the hospital!

If you’re reading this and are already there – on strict or hospital bedrest – my prayers go out to you girl! Know that you keeping your baby/babies safely monitored is the most important thing in your world right now. Stay strong, be grateful, and trust that your positive outlook will carry you through this.

2. Create a schedule.

Can I get a “hallelujah!” for Google Calendars?! I know this sounds odd since I have zero work related to-do’s each day, but I still use Google Calendar to schedule things…like…well…anything to do throughout the day. 2 hours for reading, another for sifting through old papers/junk mail that we don’t need to hold on to. 1 hour for writing. Half an hour to fold laundry in bed while I’m watching Netflix or Hulu, and maybe another hour for a couple of phone calls to family or friends. It also helps to keep track of those escalating doctor’s visits, blood work appointments, our newborn CPR class, etc. Just throwing the day together on a calendar has given each day more of a focus, and frankly, it just keeps me sane.

3. Write thank you notes. 

IMG_9536As you get closer to your 3rd trimester you’re bound to get gifts from friends and family to help prepare you for parenthood. This is the time to write them a hand written note to let them know how much their love and support means to you.

At a time when you crave social interaction, it’s a lovely way to stay in touch with them without just “writing on their wall” or sending a thankful-looking emoji. Nothing compares to a handwritten note, and you know how much joy it brings you personally when you receive a note like that addressed to you in the mail 🙂  You’ve got time to return the love now!

4. Catch up on movies & TV.

“Netflix and chill” is my new jam, y’all. Whether you’re a binge-watcher or not, watching at least one or two episodes or a movie really helps to fill the time. I love mixing in a nice documentary in between watching good ‘ol guilty pleasures like Laguna Beach & The Hills (no judging…), The Bachelor/Bachelorette (duh), or Parenthood (absolutely love that series!).

You know what else Sean & I have really gotten into lately? It’s on PBS and you can watch all of the episodes for free online: A Chef’s Life. We LOVE that documentary-style series. It’s a refreshing mix of culinary fun, entrepreneurial ups and downs, the raw sense of urgency required to run a restaurant, parenting boy + girl twins (I mean, WHAT are the odds!?!), small town living, a genuine and honest narration, and a celebration of local farmers. Check it out. We absolutely love it 🙂

5. Research new recipes, then cook in stages

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I love how much healthier and cheaper meals can be when I cook at home instead of getting takeout all the time. Sure, we totally indulge in some takeout pho, bbq, chinese, or pizza from time to time (we’re normal), but for the most part we’ve been working on good ol’ home cookin. Problem though – that whole part about not being on my feet for too long gets in the way of my crazy love for cooking. So, I break it up in stages!

Last week I made this DELICIOUS recipe for PF Chang-style chicken lettuce wraps. It had multiple steps and plenty of ingredients involved, so I made the sauce and chopped up some veggies in one stage, then a few hours later I browned the ground chicken, then right before dinner time I simply threw it all together. BOOM! Done and done without overdoing it. It was so delicious too. Oh golly. You should seriously give that recipe a try.

6. Get out…briefly.

On Monday, for example, I was so desperate to get out of the house that I basically searched for things that were dry clean-worthy, threw them in the car, drove reeeeeally slow with the windows down and country music playing on that beautiful sunny day, dropped the clothes off, continued on to get a drive-through chocolate milkshake (because I said so. I love you, Braums!), then came right back home and hopped into bed again. It was something…it was anything…and it was so lovely :).

Even if you don’t plan on going anywhere, I highly recommend taking time once in a IMG_3154while to get dressed in “normal” clothes (not just sweats or p.j.’s for a change) and just enjoy looking your best. It’s a game changer and it puts you in a better mood, believe me. All those trips to the bathroom to pee for the 974th time also yields juuuuust as many glances in the mirror, and while you’re beautiful regardless of if you’re dressed up or not – you’ll perk up seeing you at your best :). You deserve it!

Meanwhile – open up your house/apartment’s windows on a beautiful day. Sit or lay outside on a blanket for a bit to soak up some well deserved sunshine. If you have a yard/shared lawn/whatever – take advantage of it and relax in the beautiful weather for a bit!

If you’re like me on “modified” bed rest and aren’t on house-arrest…enjoy the freedom while you have it. But, just briefly enough to not overdo it. It helps me to remember that this is the last time I can just get up and leave the house without having to lug the twins into their car seats, pray they don’t have a melt down in a store, transfer them back to the car, then back home. For a little while longer, it’s good to enjoy this last bit of simplicity and freedom :).

7. Take naps.

I find it kinda funny that I think this is top-10 worthy because in my former non-pregnant life I just didn’t take naps. In the past if I was tired I’d just relax for a bit, down some coffee, or sometimes I’d just go to bed early…but I didn’t take naps..until now!

Carrying these twins makes me super tired even when I’m on bedrest. Somewhere between 1-3pm I get all heavy-eyed and exhausted. The magical thing about napping when you’re pregnant (for me at least) is that you’ll likely be tired again by 9 or 10pm when it’s actually time to go to bed. Score! Rest that precious baby bump while you can.

8. Read Read Read. 

Summer Reads

We live in an incredible world where we can read anything we want on demand simply by having internet access and a computer/tablet. From articles on labor, c-sections, parenting strategies, or breastfeeding to finding out who the next Bachelorette is if you missed The Bachelor finale (*spoiler alert* if you missed it….congrats to Ms. Jojoooo!!!)  – use this time to read.

I’ve received some great books from friends and family on labor, parenting twins, and so much more. It helps me feel prepared. It also rids any prior excuses I’ve reverted to in the past for “not having enough time” to read those NY Times Best Sellers. But now? Bring…it…on.

If you need any advice on a few good reads, check out my post from last year: 4 Ridiculously Good Reads. Happy reading! 🙂

9. Call your family & friends.

My sweet family and friends have been incredible. Seriously. Between my caring and supportive hubby to my family back East, my friends scattered around the nation, and my dear sweet Okies nearby – not a day goes by without a text/call/FB message from them to check in to see how I’m doing. Way to melt my heart, y’all! Thank you so much for being there for me.

There are days when I just miss people, face to face conversations, and laughing with co-workers (miss you already, Clary Sage!)…but then I realize I have so much phone/text/social media support in front of me to stay connected, and all the time in the world to reach out.

I’m also not the only one “going through something.” Everyone I love might be going through their own hurdles, or busy parenting their own beautiful children, or attempting to balance work + grad school + life at once. It’s time to check in on them and be the good friend that they deserve. I’ve got time for that – no excuses!

I love y’all SO much, sweet family & friends!

10. Let music & coloring books take over.

Ummm…so this new “adult coloring book” craze is seriously the greatest thing since Facebook…sliced bread…pockets…everything good! For my 32nd birthday last month Sean got me a vinyl record player, some good ‘ol records (Etta James, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, all my favorite classics!), and since bedrest seemed to be in the near future he also surprised me with 2 adult coloring books and a set of colored pencils. That precious man!!! How did I get so lucky?! I just love him.

Coloring not only helps to pass the time, but it’s also a great way to relieve that bottled up stress you’re probably suppressing. Am I right? I sure was. Let’s be real – life right now is limited to lying down most of the day in my house + a few rare outings, I can’t go for walks or exercise, I’m dealing with a watermelon sized bump at only 6½ months, annnnd I’m about to go from zero to like 90 mph in a matter of weeks to care for two little beings for the first time in my life…chances are I need to just chill and color a little right now.

So, I put a little Etta, Miles, or Frank on vinyl and color away. You can easily lose yourself in a hour or two in the mosaic pages or other creative sketches. I love every minute of it! Wanna see my latest from Sunday? Sure you do. Sunday I had all the hormones…all the feels…and I was totally in need of a good color session. So, here’s Sunday:

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So there we have it. No excuses. Time to perk up and enjoy this tiny little “bump” (haaah!) in the road. It took some time for me to get used to just lying down all day and to truly stay positive, but I’m getting there thanks to the blessings on this list.

Before I know it I’ll be learning how to hold my TWO precious babies in my arms at once. I’ll get to snuggle with them, sing to them, read to them, giggle with them, and learn from them every single day. It will be the greatest joy I’ll ever experienced and I’m thrilled that I get the opportunity to rest just for them right now.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any other suggestions – I’m all ears! Literally…6 ears. My body is currently carrying 6 ears between myself and the twins. How craaaazy is that!?

Comment below and give me your thoughts, or simply give me ideas on more fun things to do. Got more blog posts, awesome sites, or articles for me read through? I’d love to check ’em out! Thanks so much for reading.

Big hugs, and happy resting 🙂

Katherine

My Twin Pregnancy: 22 Weeks!

Hello from 22 weeks!

I’ve been really fortunate that my pregnancy with the twins has been so healthy for “the first half” (hah…makes it sound like a football game). Both babies love to kick, especially our little girl, and move around mostly in the mornings and evenings. They’re growing at lightening speed and so is my belly! Earlier this week Sean and I went in for my anatomy scan and learned that our boy (Baby A, sitting lower) is weighing in at a hefty pound & a half, when normally babies at 22 weeks are about a pound. Way to go little buddy! Meanwhile, our little girl (Baby B, sitting higher) is right on target at a pound but carrying a bit more amniotic fluid which luckily is pretty normal for twins. The doc said they both look healthy but between their combined fluid, baby weight, my increasing back pain, and how I’m only 5 & 1/2 months so far – I’ve been asked to start taking it waaaaay easier. No more long walks or opting for the stairs. Shortened work weeks are encouraged. Unfortunately, no more air travel either :(.

My sweet mama and sister planned the sweetest baby shower for me that would’ve been next weekend in D.C. Y’all, I was SOOO excited to see so many of my favorite East Coast ladies again. It just about broke my heart when I learned that I shouldn’t fly. These are women who have known me since I was a little girl at our home church in Pennsylvania, others who are very dear friends from different chapters in my life, and most importantly – my amazing Wilson & Mason families. Being miles away from those who’ve known you for years isn’t easy. When we had to cancel the shower I was so sad, but then I started hearing from many of these sweet ladies with happy wishes for the babies and it reminded me to stop pouting immediately because I’m a very, very lucky lady to have them in my life despite the miles between us. It also reminded me of how lucky I am to have met such sweet friends here in Oklahoma too. Though Sean and I miss friends who’ve known us for years, our new friends here in OK have welcomed us with open arms and it means the world to us! We feel so blessed to be here.

All of this reminds us of the sweet world we’re bringing our children into. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the negativity surrounding the news and media, but we’re constantly reminded about how beautiful it can be when we choose to look at the world with newness just as our little boy and girl will; with wide eyes for the day’s new adventures and for the happy people who surround us. Now if that’s not exciting…I don’t know what is ;).

Speaking of “new adventures” – we took a drive to somewhere SUPER incredible yesterday. Has anyone ever been to Tallgrass Prairie Preserve up in Osage County? It was breathtaking! We drove an hour North to Pawhuska, OK which is basically the gateway to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. After lunch and a few photos in Pawhuska we drove into the prairie. Y’all…within minutes you’re like…IN IT.

Herds of buffalo.

Rolling hills for miles.

Dust stirring up behind our tires while navigating the dirt road, just as Sean’s truck was born to do.

Stella panting with excitement as she looked left and right at the new sights around her.

Tall grass brilliantly painted by the sunset’s golden hour.

The subtle sounds of peaceful nature on a beautiful day.

It was the perfect day 🙂

Tallgrass Praire Preserve - Osage County, OK

Tallgrass Praire Preserve - Osage County, OK

Happy Family

Happy Stella

As my 22 week-bump with twins is much larger than most women’s 22 week-bump with one baby, we took this trip as an opportunity to snap some photos of my pregnant belly before I get gigantically huge (say some prayers that I make it AT LEAST another 2 months…but we’re hoping for another 3!). Here are some shots from my little preggo photo-shoot. Give it up for my handsome hubby’s photography skills! I love you so much, Sean!

22 weeks - 1

 

22 weeks - 3

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22 weeks - 5

Twins’ Gender Reveal!

We found out the gender of “Baby A” and “Baby B” yesterday! Sean and I both raced home after work to throw together this cheesy (yes, I know it’s cheesy) but oh-so-fun & fabulous little video to reveal the news to our families (all who live back East) last night. We’re thrilled!!! Had to share it on the blog too. I couldn’t resist 😉

Here we go. Are you READYYY!?!

WE’RE SO THRILLED!!! Like….OVER the MOON! Oh my gosh. I can’t stop smiling 🙂

Love, big hugs, and thanks for watching!

Katherine

Pregnant!

I’m so excited to finally bring my news to “Newlie.” If you haven’t seen my FB or Instagram announcement: I’m PREGNANT with TWINS!!! Sean and I are over the mooooon! Three years of marriage, just the two of us, and we now get to grow to an immediate family of 4…actually 5 if you include our perfectly precious lab, Stella 🙂

Here was our Christmas/preggers-with-twins announcement, featuring Stella, the world’s best dog and soon-to-be big sister:

Pregnant w/ Twins Announcement

We’ve been wanting to be parents for a long time now so it still feels surreal that these little miracles are growing each day in my quickly growing belly. It’s crazy, it’s beautiful, it’s totally scary, and it’s all a dream come true.

I’ve made it through the 1st trimester (cue the Hallelujah Chorus!), and hubby & I have seen our two little ones in a few ultrasounds already. Hearing those two heartbeats…oh my gosh…that’s such a rush. I still can’t believe that they’re apart of me right now. Those two little lives are growing stronger every day…it’s the definition of amazing! Wanna see? Here’s my bump pic at 13 weeks (one week before Christmas) when we finally told the world. Shout out to my amazing co-workers for taking this photo for me!

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I’ll post a new bump pic this weekend once I’m at 16 weeks. I know that growing twins means my bump will continue to grow way faster than a single pregnancy, but y’all….I’m gonna be HUGE when we get to the Spring! HUGE! Official due date is June 24th but we know it will be more likely that I deliver in late May/early June given there’s two in there.

I’m coming up on 4 months soon, so just for giggles here’s a little preggo recap so far:

  • Hunger. I’m starving every morning. I’ve never experienced hunger this sudden, often, and immediate in my life until now. A few months ago I started noticing that after having a pretty decent breakfast I would then devour snacks, immediately followed my my entire lunch, all before 11am or so. Dang, girl! Luckily I’ve started bringing 2nd breakfasts, and tons of snacks. ALL I wanted in the 1st trimester were potato chips, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fries….anything with potatoes. I also had intense cravings for rice. Cheesy rice especially. Mmmmm cheesy rice. Guess those cravings aren’t over 😉 I’m doing my best to keep most of my intake as healthy as I can, but when I don’t feel like being Miss Healthy Pants it’s just marvelous when I break for a milkshake, fries, and whatever the heck I want. BOOM. Now that I’m in the 2nd trimester though, I’m luckily back to craving more healthy choices: oranges, apples, spinach salads, avocados, among like 78 other things 😉
  • Pregnant Brain. The struggle is REAL. If I only have one “pregnant brain moment” a day then it’s been a very good day, but usually it’s much worse than that. I don’t know if it’s because these twins are a double whammy of brain power or maybe that I’m just tired in the afternoon and things don’t connect as well when I’m tired…ugh. Whatever the reason – forgetfulness & silly statements are now part of my day 🙂 Well…they were before…it’s just on preggo-power now!
  • Exhaustion. Come 2pm I’m usually exhausted, even on weekends. I usually just chug some more water, walk it off and try to keep up my energy that way, but the exhaustion is no joke in the afternoon. Bed time is now officially 9pm. Even when it’s 8:30pm I start thinking about getting ready for bed juuuust so I can snuggle into bed by 9. Hmmmmm sleep.
  • HAPPINESS. I felt like this list was getting a little winey. It’s due for some positivity because honestly – I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. Sean and I know that we will never be fully “ready” for the whirlwind that this whole parenthood thing brings us, but all we can do is take one day at a time. For now, we thank God everyday that we’ve gotten this far. Sean is going to be the most AMAZING father. I knew this a long time ago just seeing him with our nieces and nephews. For me, I’ve always wanted to be a mama. Always. Though we both were “ready” years ago, we look back on the time we’ve had together as “just us” and are SO grateful! Holy cow we’re so grateful. Our world is about to be forever changed, so these past years together pre-kids has been such a gift.

Also, I’m overjoyed for not having nausea! How on Earth did I get so lucky!? I still can’t believe I haven’t been nauseous yet. We’ll see how the rest of my pregnancy treats me. So far so good!

That’s all for now. More news (including finding out the twins’ genders in the next few weeks!!!! Boy Girl? Boy Boy? Girl Girl? Ahhhh so excited to know!) to come soon.

Love & thanks for reading!!!

Katherine