Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

So remember when I told y’all about that 12 week remote fit camp that I signed up for in Feb? Here’s that original post: Fit Camp! {from home}. Well…I DID IT! I completely loved it, needed it, and desperately want it back in my life again. It was the first time in far too long that I felt like I got my strength back, and then some.

Continue reading Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

Henry & Emily: 10 Months

We’re in DOUBLE DIGIT months now! I can’t believe that in 8-ish weeks they’ll turn one year old. I put together another fun Flipgram of the past month! Wanna see?! Here’s their 9 month recap:

Continue reading Henry & Emily: 10 Months

Review: LuLaRoe w/ Sarah Crook

Here’s my average morning: It’s 6 a.m. and one of my…..no wait…ahhh…now both of my babies are awake. I now have about 90 seconds to get myself together for the day before one of them starts crying.

While Sean gets ready for work I quickly brush my teeth, wash my face, throw my hair in a messy bun, and change into something. Daaahhh what do I wear? Has to be comfy enough for crawling on the floor + being crawled on by two 9½ month old twins, handling a double stroller + a yellow lab on a walk, and making a public appearance with the twins while running errands where at least 5 strangers will stop me for a conversation about twins. 😐

Especially for running errands, I usually look for an outfit that doesn’t scream: “Help me.” or “I haven’t showered in 2 days.” or “What day is it?” I’d at least like to give off an illusion of looking decent without having to put much effort in. Is that too much to ask?

Luckily, there’s always LuLaRoe in my closet. Actually, jk…it’s most likely in that gigantic pile of clean laundry that I haven’t folded in days. But regardless – it’s clean, adorable and comfy. It’s PERFECT!

I’m running out of time as Emily’s precious baby babble goes from cute to authoritative, so I grab my LuLaRoe leggings (chosen for me by the lovely LLR consultant, Sarah Crook) and matching LLR “Perfect T”.

It’s a new mama miracle. I suddenly feel ready for the day!

I was super excited to write this honest review because I look to my LLR clothes for just about everything. I’m stay at home mom of twins. I desperately need versatile clothes for any occasion. What has given me the most joy from these clothes has been how undeniably comfortable they are. It doesn’t hurt that I get to also support a friend’s business, and that I’m purchasing products that I know she personally admires. LLR has been a major breath of fresh air for ladies like me who want a trusted one-stop-shop for all things cute and comfy. And when you’ve given birth to a baby or two within the past year…trust me…you too want cute and comfy, and you want it immediately.

The consultant that I follow the most, and am reviewing in this post, is the fabulous Sarah Crook. She is an amazing consultant, y’all. Check her out.

Sarah Crook - LLR Review

https://www.facebook.com/groups/QueenCityLuLaRoewithSarah 

Her genuine enthusiasm and attention to detail in her role as a LLR consultant makes being her customer reassuring and totally exciting. The majority of her pieces are showcased through Facebook Live sales on her private group page where you can tune in, message her with questions, and choose from her constantly refreshed inventory. She’s quick to say “Hey!!” to you as you join the video so that you don’t feel silly tuning in live to watch someone you don’t know. She’s also good about re-caping the details on how each piece (shirts, dresses, leggings, etc.) will fit various sizes.

I love her LLR live sales because they often take place mid-week, they’re usually right after Sean and I have put the twins to sleep, and when I’m in the mood to shop I just pour a glass of wine and tune in with my feet up from a long day of babies being babies. It has truly become my new favorite way to shop. If I’m not feelin’ any outfits, no biggie! I just tune out whenever I want. But that rarely happens 😉 She also posts photos of adooooorable outfit pairings throughout the week and adds ideas on how she accessorizes each of them.

To give you a sample of some of my latest 4 LLR pieces that Sarah sent me, check out a little photo shoot of yours truly below. Be sure to look at each caption to see what style I’m wearing:

Perfect T + matching Leggings – Perfect for being crawled on & snuggled with.

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Perfect T + matching Leggings – On the move! Cute crawling twins not included.

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Amelia Dress – Super serious faces aside, this dress might just be my favorite:

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Amelia Dress – Just a different angle. Pockets! Wine and belt not included 😉

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Cassie Skirt – Oh hey, working world! When I start working again, I’m bringing THIS outfit with me. That cup of tea can come too.

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I love love looove them! Every single piece. Not pictured: lots of other LLR outfits that I own, but I can only wear so many outfits before a baby starts hollerin ;).

What’s your fav? I wear the Perfect T and leggings ALL.THE.TIME. But I’m kinda head over heals for the Amelia dress for a date night. And I adore that Cassie skirt for something fun mid-day this spring. Heheee!

When Sarah sent me my order, here’s how it came:

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Pretty darn adorable if you ask me! If you’re new to shopping LLR, you can rest easy knowing that she has a 14 day return policy for LLR credit. You can message her details on what you want differently and she’ll steer you in the right direction for other pieces to consider. She personalizes it which, in today’s automated world, is so refreshing.

To sum up: I’m a big fan 🙂

If you have questions, want to join her group, or want more deets, check our her page and connect with her here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/QueenCityLuLaRoewithSarah

Big hugs!

Katherine

Henry & Emily: 9 Months!

The past 9 months have been a crazy beautiful whirlwind…but especially the past month. This whole mobile baby thing? And two at once? Wooooaaah, y’all. These two are keeping me & Sean on our toes and they’re not even walking yet! We’re in for a wild ride, but we’re loving it. Every minute. Like…crazy IN LOVE with these two!

Continue reading Henry & Emily: 9 Months!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Ohhhh I just adore you, chicken noodle soup! A few weeks ago I really wanted some homemade soup. I NEEDED homemade soup. Ya know that feeling? I really didn’t want to hear the awful “fffffflllooppp” sound as the goopy room temperature soup emptied out of its aluminum can and plopped into a sauce pan for re-heating.

No ma’am. Not this time. I wanted to hand cut the veggies, cook the chicken myself, personally choose the noodle type, and taste test the broth before bringing it all together. I figured that can’t be all that hard…right? A little time consuming, sure, but not awful.

Cooking anything “homemade” can be intimidating, but I channel my inner rock star of a mama and just do it. I know she’s in there somewhere! Sometimes she just needs coffee. I also just have strategize when’s the best time to prep and cook. Also, I buy the broth and noodles. I’m not gonna lie, one day I’d love to be that mother of twins who makes her own noodles and chicken broth AND soups. One day. But for now I think I’m doing just fine 😉

I also consulted one of my favorites to follow on All Recipes: Chef John. He has easy video tutorials, uncomplicated recipes, and a reassuring voice. I altered it just a bit, and below is how I bring to life this timeless classic.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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1 cupChopped Onion

1 cupChopped Carrots

1 cupChopped Celery

2 tablespoonsButter, salted

1 teaspoonSalt

1 teaspoonThyme

8½ cupsChicken Broth (Gold star if you make your own! Chef John’s got a recipe for that, too: Roasted Chicken Broth)

1 cupEgg or Dumpling Noodles 

1 pound (approx) – Boiled Chicken (I boil it at medium high heat in 2 cups chicken broth/stock, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt)

Step 1

Coarsely chop your onions, carrots, and celery.

Step 2

In a large stock pot start by melting the butter at medium heat, then add your onions, carrots, and celery to sautee together. Also add the salt and thyme.

Step 3

Once the onions start to get translucent, add all 8 cups of your chicken stock and stir together.

Step 4

Add in your noodles and chicken, stir, and let simmer in the broth for about 5 minutes.

Step 5

Give it all a taste! More time? More….thyme? Haah! More salt? You be the judge. And the cook. And the rockstar who get’s a high five from me for cookin yourself some homemade soup.

You did it! So proud of you! Here’s mine:

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Oh I almost forgot! I love me some oyster crackers in my soup.

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Ahhhh yes. There it is. Homemade heaven in a bowl. It always makes me happy. Sean loves it too! One day, I imagine also serving this to Henry & Emily as they come barreling in from a fun day outside in the snow. One day 😉

Enjoy!

Big hugs,

Katherine

Thirty Three

 

For those of you who follow this blog from time to time, I’m a day late on this special list! Sorry ’bout that. I was just having too much fun on my birthday yesterday. I ate chocolate cake for breakfast. I snuggled with my family. I laughed a ton. I met The Pioneer Woman’s daughter, Paige. I met sweet strangers from all over Oklahoma who also came to visit “The Mercantile” in Pawhuska. I bought myself a pair of earrings, far too much coffee, and a t-shirt. I sipped wine and laughed at dinner with my sweet hubby, my favorite person, while devouring sushi at Akira Sushi here in Owasso. I was also left SO grateful from the love and well wishes that poured out from my sweet friends and family all day.

15056492_919316835009_5101247483257918126_nIt was a perfect birthday. My heart is so full.

Now, in full “Kath fashion”, I’m sharing a list of the beautiful and random things I adore. The rules are that the list matches my age, so 33 things. Order doesn’t matter. Just things that make me happy. It’s that simple. Things that make me smile just as I did in this happy picture to the right, the day my besties visited Tulsa (photo cred to my girl & fellow mama, Christine Joiner!). I just feel like this photo screams “It’s my BIRTHDAY!”

Here we go:

  1. Popcorn popped over the stove
  2. The first cup of coffee in the morning
  3. The comfort of family and friends
  4. A fire in the fire pit, blanket on my lap, glass of wine, and lots of laughter
  5. A slow drive through the countryside
  6. Sipping white wine outside in the summer watching the sunset
  7. Sipping red wine inside in the winter watching a movie…or reality t.v.
  8. Henry’s jovial spirit bursting from his wide open smile
  9. Emily’s gorgeous face, especially the way her eyes light up when she smiles
  10. Sean’s incredible love for our family
  11. Remembering that my happiness is my choice
  12. Cheese
  13. When Stella falls asleep on my lap
  14. Chamomile tea before bed
  15. Anything on HGTV
  16. Seeing my running pace drop each week
  17. How having “me time” makes me a better mama
  18. Prayer
  19. The relief of a changing season
  20. Date nights with my hubby (my favorite person)
  21. Making both Henry and Emily laugh at the same time
  22. How Henry loves to give hugs
  23. How Emily squeals with joy and smiles when I get right up in her face
  24. Steak. Medium rare.
  25. Bacon and coffee on a Saturday/Sunday morning
  26. Hearing anyone say, “It’s my birthday!”
  27. When you can tell that someone is 100% focused on your conversation
  28. Perseverance and hard work for something you really want
  29. The power of positive reflection
  30. Sushi
  31. A chocolate milkshake & fries tossed in Old Bay
  32. Old classics on vinyl playing on a rainy day
  33. Having time for a shower (fellow mamas will especially understand this one)

You’re up! What are your favorite things? Make a list! Feel free to share a few in the comments below. Consider it a belated bday present for me!

Big hugs,

Katherine

 

Yay for the Day

5:00 a.m. feeding then back to sleep for 2 more hours…and the same for mama :). Already felt I was winning and the day barely started! Henry woke up first (he usually does) at 7:20 a.m. Cute cute cuuuuute ‘lil sleepy smile as I peaked over the crib to say good morning. Took him over to Emily’s crib and we peaked over. I said “Your sissy’s sleepin!” He looked at her sleeping, then looked at me, then looked at her and smiled. Kept him on my hip as we went down to the kitchen for mama’s magical first cup of coffee. He loves to watch the Keurig do it’s thing. Switched him to my left hip cause he’s getting so heavy, which reminded me of how good it is to be starting fit camp from home on Monday! As the coffee poured into the cup, Henry stared with his classic open mouthed amazement. I put him into his walker while I got bottles ready. Laughed as I saw him smiling and giggling at Stella (our lab) chomping on her dog food.

Watched the monitor and listened as sweet Emmy slowly stirred, as did her “dadadadadagugugah” sounds. As I climbed the stairs to get her, I remembered wanting this moment for years. That moment when I walk in, my child beams with joy, and I get to welcome them to the greatest new day. My messy house, those years of waiting, my tired feet, or my sore muscles just melt away when I see her or her brother smile. Overwhelmed with gratitude as I held her close and smooched her squishy cheeks.

Bottles were guzzled down plus a pureed oatmeal + fruit mix started off their day. Coffee and their smiles kicked off mine 🙂

Sean woke up as we were playing on the floor in the living room and he crawled down to play with us. We all adored the hilarious voices he made imitating stuffed animals. Then he made bacon. High five, hubby. 😉

Opened up the windows to see what the ice storm had done. It looked so gorgeous. Lots of floor play time upstairs and downstairs. We all worked on saying “Hi!” while waving our hands and arms. Henry was more observant for that little lesson than ever before.

Watched HGTV while feeding Henry & Emily bottles and pureed butternut squash. Plantation style, partially renovated town home for the win! Worked out on our old stationary spinning bike for 20 min while they napped.

Tag-teamed baby duty with Sean for a bit in the afternoon. Browsed a few other blogs and read some articles. That bit of “me time” to clear my head was so helpful. Heard him playing songs on the ukulele for them. Made my heart happy. We both tried entertaining them in the last 20 min before their final bottle & bedtime. Decided to see how long it took for all four of us to look out every single window in the house…haha, it was cute. Sean took the last feeding. Bed time changes and snuggles.

Glass of red wine. Feet up. Blogged a bit while Sean watched a game on T.V.

Great day :).

 

 

 

 

 

My 2017

Well hello there, 2017. You sound so fancy! “Twentyyy…seventeeeeen

I love facing a new year filled with goals. As this little blog of mine is all about my new adventures, I’m pretty stoked to share my goals for the year with you. So, in no particular order, here they are:

  1. Sit Up.

    • I mean it. My posture has always been inconsistent over the years unless I’m exercising or posing for a picture. And lately, twin-motherhood has brought my “slouch status” down to a whole new level as I slump down to play with and talk to my sweeties. Sean lights up when I have good posture. He’s told me that both my confidence and joy radiate when I simply remember to sit up straight. It’s both a reminder and incentive to stay poised not just for him, but for myself! Bring on the poise, 2017 😉
  2. Seven Workouts.

    • Whether it’s cycling, running, walking, going to the Studio for a workout, or carrying my twins around the house as they increasingly grow and become mobile babies…I must keep up my fitness consistently for my own good. My health and energy levels depend on it. As I’ve said before in other posts: I am my best self when I make exercise a priority. With that in mind, I’ve listed my favorite ways to exercise below. I could care less when I do which activity, or how often I do each one…I’ve just gotta keep moving and stay consistent.
      • SPINNING (we have an old stationary spinning bike at home…now I just need a good app to keep me motivated. Any recs for a good spinning app?!
      • RUNNING
      • WALKING
      • 1 class @ StudiOne Tulsa
    • My goal is to fit in a total of SEVEN 30+ minute workouts each week. It’s TOTALLY doable in 20-30 minute intervals, and I can even do 6 of them with my babies nearby or in their double stroller! No excuses. If I could fit in those workouts in Henry & Emily’s first 6 months, I can absolutely do this in the next 12! Let’s do this.
  3. Declutter.

    • It’s true what they say about how too much stuff adds to your stress level. I feel like I am constantly thinking, “We have too much stuff.” I find myself shifting things from one area to the next rather than taking the time to look at that item and say, “Do we as a family need this? Will we truly benefit from this? Could someone else find joy from this?” Time to start paying attention, re-organizing, and heading in a decluttered direction for our sweet little home. I’m also eager to watch this documentary that my sister recently shared. Apparently it’s hot on the que these days for lots of aspiring minimalists: http://minimalismfilm.com. In no ways do I see our family being complete minimalists, but I adore the de-cluttered direction it could lead us in.
  4. Speak Up.

    • “Do you need any help?” – I’ve been asked this more times over the past 7 months than I could ever recall. Now, pre-mama Kath would have smiled and said, “Oh no thank you!”, and carried on my merry little way. But if ever there was a time to quiet my pride and look up to whomever offers help when I desperately need it…motherhood is that time. That awful silent perfectionist in me is learning to shut it down and let others help. This is a journey. It took me a long time to simply acknowledge how hard this can be, but I’m getting there! It helps me let people in, take a deep breath, and build my trust stronger than ever. I’m learning to speak up and ask for help when I truly need it. Is it just me…or is this hard for lots of us?
  5. Give Back.

    • Visit a nursing home. Donate items from my decluttered home. Help a community recover from a natural disaster (plenty of them out here in Oklahoma during tornado season, unfortunately). Those are just a few examples, but I look forward to keeping more of an open mind this year and notice how I can help. I feel so fortunate to have all that I do, and I know in my heart that the best way to say “thank you” for my many blessings is to give back.

So there we have it: My 2017. It’s written down…therefore I’m officially accountable, right?! 😉

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When I can, I’ll be sure to update y’all on my progress on these 5 things. Meanwhile…what are your resolutions?! Are any of my 5 ones that you’ve added to your list too? Any advice? Comment below!

Happy New Year, friends! I’m SO excited for what this year will hold!

Big hugs,

Katherine

Cheers, 2016!

It’s crazy that a brand new year is almost here. This has truly been the wildest year of my life. The most beautiful, mentally exhausting, physically demanding, emotionally draining year…but also, hands down the happiest year of my life.

Funny how that works. A year of challenges unlike any others you’ve faced…all to bring you to a place of happiness you’ve never known before.

I’ve re-learned how to trust, how much my mind and body are capable of, how unbelievably powerful faith is, how to remain patient, and how much good there is in the world.

I couldn’t be happier to celebrate 2016 and welcome 2017 at home with my hubby, our sleeping babies, a glass (or more…) of wine, chinese takeout, t.v. movies, and text updates from my family and my besties.

And yes…Sean is absolutely wearing Henry’s tuxedo bib in this picture. You’re welcome. 😉

To our sweet Henry & Emily who are sleeping away upstairs: we only hope that we make you as happy every day as you make us.

2017 – you’re up 😉

Big hugs,

Katherine

Stay thankful.

After a long day of nonstop newness, Henry & Emily had just drifted off to sleep in their roll-able hotel room cribs. I finally crawled onto the bed knowing that our traveling escapades from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. were over. It felt like our little family of 4 had just completed a herculean task.

Sean ordered drinks and dinner to go from the restaurant downstairs. We were starving. A glass of white wine, a burger, and garlic fries for me! I sat in bed, took a sip of my wine, looked at our babies and then my sweet hubby, and we both sighed with relief. The journey was done.

It would be easy to feel defeated and even entitled to negativity after 2 tiring flights with our infant twins and over packed luggage. Henry’s wailing cries in the dark rental car garage mixed with that seemingly endless airport shuffle was all enough to drive a new parent mad. But suddenly there they were, sleeping peacefully as I sipped my wine and remembered that I am one very lucky lady. I also saw pure joy spread across Sean’s face as he took in the precious sight of his son & daughter. It was enough gratitude to bring a new mama to tears.

We made it.

In so many ways, we made it.

The hours and days that followed were everything that we had wished for. We were reunited with both of our families and close friends. We watched as they met, snuggled, and adored Henry & Emily for the first time. We got to see their own beautiful kiddos, catch up on life, and most importantly – laugh :).

10 days flew by. Suddenly it was time to return home to Oklahoma. Just two more flights.

On our way home our double stroller had to be checked at the gate and bypass our connecting flight, but our carriers were accidentally packed and checked too…

…awesome.

Luckily many kind strangers, one taxi ride through the Dallas airport, and two resilient babies later…we made it! If ever there was a time to trust humanity, it’s when you desperately need another pair of arms to hold your child. We were so thankful for the sweet strangers who offered to hold our bags and even our babies while we desperately tried to do it all. We let them!

Family, friends, strangers, and most of all – sweet Henry & Emily…

…thank you a million times.

We truly could not be more thankful for all that we have in our lives. After all, the journey (not the destination) is what keeps us thankful, isn’t it?

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, friends. Stay thankful, always.

Big hugs,

Katherine

Braving The Outside World

After I gave birth to Henry & Emily, I didn’t leave my hospital room for 3 days. It wasn’t out of fear or orders from my doctor, but because that one little room had everything I needed to nurture both my recovery and my daunting new mother-of-two tasks. I didn’t even miss the outside world!

Then…we came home.

As my strength grew back day by day, so did my desperate need to rejoin civilization. At that point I just wanted to feel human again. When you’re roughing those first few weeks and months of sleep deprivation, you crave even the slightest ounce of normalcy. I’ll never forget when I ventured into town on my first solo-outing since having the babies. Sean watched the twins for a couple of hours while I went out for a heavenly blended iced coffee and to get groceries. That was a magnificent couple of hours!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGuZha9tOyf/?taken-by=ok.kath

 

Sadly though, getting out of the house regularly and on your own takes some serious coordination (and financial planning for a sitter/nanny without family nearby), so these past 5 months have taught me lots of great lessons on getting out of the house WITH the twins when Sean’s at work.

Whether you have 1, 2, or 6 little ones (like my mom hero, Danielle Busby, mom of quints and a 5 year old!) you’ve got to get out of the house with those little ones for your sanity. Here are 6 things that I’ve found helpful when braving the outside world. Hope they help many of you out there whether you’re on maternity leave or a stay-at-home mom/dad:

Walk every day.

First and foremost – wait to go for walks until your doctor/midwife gives you the “okay” to do so. Much of the first few months postpartum was my mind saying “Let’s goooo!” but my body saying “Let’s not!!!” Listen to your body. Take it nice and slow. Exercise routines will come, but baby steps for now.

That said – when you ARE ready, walks are like gold. You’ll breathe in and out some much needed fresh air, you see other people going about their day, and if you’re lucky…your baby/babies will fall asleep in the stroller. Walks have instantly settled the fussiest of hours for my twins, so we’ve made it an afternoon staple to walk at least around the block a few times. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy fresh air and a workout all in one! WIN! If your neighborhood isn’t necessarily walking-friendly, research nearby parks and running paths.

To my fellow Owasso-area mamas: here are my favorite go-to stroller friendly paths when I need a change of pace from my neighborhood loop!

Centennial Park – it’s a beautiful park in between a few neighborhoods. My hubby often joins us on weekends and plays frisbee golf with our lab while the twins and I do laps!

Skiatook’s Osage Trail – smoothest and straightest path I’ve found yet. It’s my favorite place to jog with the stroller. The only draw back is that it’s a 20+ minute drive out there. Worth it on a beautiful day though!

River Walk – if you’re down for the half hour drive, the Route 66 River Walk is excellent and has recently been renovated. I love how some parts of the path branch off for cyclists vs walkers. Makes me less paranoid about bicycle-stroller fiascos!

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One stop shop.

If you have a long list of things to get that can’t all be found in a grocery store, try aiming your focus on a one-stop-shop type of place instead. I’m all about Target these days. I can get groceries, clothes for the whole family, dog treats for our lab, and stock up on the long list of baby things (diapers, formula, wipes, etc.) that we constantly need. Also…Targets have a Starbucks…..it’s practically heaven.

Or, find a good outdoor mall that has a grocery store along with other shops you’ll need next door. The less car-stroller-car-stroller dances you can to do, the better.

If you have just one baby, you can usually put the car seat into the shopping cart without any problem. If you have multiples…haah…different story! I’ve found that attaching big carabiners to either side of your stroller works wonders! I simply hook on the hand-held baskets on either side so that I can load up small sized groceries in one, and other items in the other. I might look ridiculous with a double stroller AND two side baskets…but I’m used to being a spectacle when I go out with twins! Just try not to make too much eye contact with people and keep on strollin’ ;). When I get to the checkout counter, all I have to do is unhook the baskets, then re-hook the bagged items once I’m all checked out. Works like a charm.

Ask for & accept help.

When I meander around Target or the grocery store with my double stroller, I pretty much give up on toting around big, heavy items. If I know in advance what large items I’ll need, I’ll find a store clerk and ask sweetly if they wouldn’t mind taking those big items to guest services and reserving it under my name for my check out. This way I don’t have to use my babies’ stroller as an awkward shopping cart! Winnn!

Most stores, if they’re considerate, will notice my purchases at the checkout AND my two babies and ask if I need help getting these things to the car.

“You’re so sweet to ask! YES! I would LOVE your help!”, I joyfully reply. I get the help I need, they feel good for helping…everyone wins!

If they don’t offer…ask. You’re a paying customer; the least they could do is have someone waiting for you at the store’s front door and help load it into your trunk.

Timing is everything.

“When’s the next feeding?” is a constant question I ask myself. If I plan to leave the house that day, I’ve gotta be on my game when it comes to timing. As soon as those sweet babies are fed, burped, and changed into dry diapers, I’m all “OK! GO! GO! GOOOOOO!” I’ve got roughly 3 hours until the next feeding, so I’d like to be back home before then.

I let the babies play in their walkers as I make sure the stroller is packed in the car. I double check the diaper bag for diapers, wipes, 2 clean bottles, and pre-measured formula for mixing. I usually keep all of this in the diaper bag and only break it out if I have to, especially if the outing won’t get me home by the next feeding.

I strap each baby into their car seats, waddle them both to the car (so heavy these days!), do one last mental checklist (cell phone? purse? how much time to I have before the next feeding?) and off we go!

I’m not gonna lie, knowing how much time you have left is kind of a buzz kill when you’re joyfully strolling along, soaking in the outside world, but it’s so important for happy smiling babies when you’re out and about.

Timing is also important when it comes to where you’re going. I usually try to go anywhere public at a time when stores are the quietest. Otherwise you’re asking for trouble. Most people love babies, but babies don’t always love people. Makes sense to keep the public appearances to a minimum if you can to avoid strangers peaking their head into the stroller. It’s happened to me far too many times. I’m all for talking to people, but sometimes you’re on a schedule and you really don’t want to change the mood of a happy baby if you don’t have to.

When Sean and I have taken Henry & Emily with us to a restaurant, we go at weird times to eat…like 3, or 4pm. Don’t always rely on nap times to work when you’re taking them out to a restaurant. The new sights and sounds could just be enough to wind them up so it’s better to be sure that they’re fed, burped, and changed.

Think ahead.

If the twins are playing peacefully in their pack-and-play or walker, I start packing up before the next feeding. It makes the car pack up/home departure go SO much faster!

Once they’re in their stroller, I make sure they have two things: something to hold, and a pacifier on stand-by. Those two things are instant fussiness settlers if you get to that point! 😉

If you bottle feed, be sure to have your bottles ready to go in your fridge for your return home. Far too many times I’ve tried to do “just one more thing!” while I’m out and it’s gone past their feeding time a bit. Woah nelly…they were NOT happy. Far too many meltdowns have reminded me to think ahead before leaving!

Have a little faith.

If at first your outing feels like an epic fail…try try again, my dear! Have a little faith in yourself that your confidence will grow. Also have faith in your baby/babies that they’ll get used to going on more adventures.

I’ve learned that getting out of the house as a stay at home mom of twins doesn’t have to be daunting. I just have to be prepared. If there are meltdowns (and there will be) you’ve got this! Just stay calm, and remember that you’ll never have to see those strangers looking at your screaming baby ever again ;).

Big hugs!

Katherine

1st Halloween!

It’s official. We’ve got the cutest kiddos in the patch! Here they are in their adorable costumes as a “dress rehearsal” for their 1st Halloween:

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Henry’s our little pumpkin, making some entertaining expressions while melting our hearts.

Emily’s our little strawberry, 100% sweet as pie and cute as a button!

Can there be more halloweens each year?! Please?! I’m loving this. Their expressions, cute confusion, and straight up adorableness is just what the middle of the week needed 🙂

In case you didn’t get enough cuteness, here are a few outtakes:

Happy Halloween, from Henry & Emily! What are you and/or your kiddos dressing up as this year?!

Katherine

 

The Nap Time Hustle

The twins fell asleep! Readdyyyyyyyy…..GO!

Laundry. Clean? Dirty? Whatever…throw it all in the wash.

Clean Clothes. Folding? ………maybe this afternoon? ………suuure…

Dishes. Yes. Do that now.

Bottles. Get the next two feedings ready in the fridge.

Floors. Hello, dog hair! I have to vacuum every day. EVERY DAY. Luckily the twins don’t wake up to the sound of the vacuum. Win!

Food. Yes. Goodness yes. Healthy? What time is it? Sure…I’ll probably eat something unhealthy later in the day so I might as well stick with healthy for now.

Water? Nah…COFFEE.

Diaper Bag. Leaving the house today? What’s the weather like. Oooo! Yes. We’re gonna do this. Diaper refill. Back up onesies. Back up bottles & formula. Woooo! Park walk or a trip to BuyBuyBaby…here we come!

Shower? What time is it? What day is it? Shower…or rest….shower…rest. Maybe shower tonight? Or the next nap time? Sure…

Rest. HGTV here I come!!!!!!!! Buying & Selling? Meh. Love it or List it? Nope. Fixer Upper? Joanna Gaines for President! I wish. Or maybe House Hunters? YESSS!

Something Intelligent? TED talk for our walk? Downloading!

Emily’s awake!

 

Henry & Emily: 3 Months!

When they’re not fighting crime and making the world a better place, Henry and Emily are busy turning 3 months old! The world would be so scary without our little superheroes. We love them SO MUCH!

Crime Fighting Henry and Emily

Henry‘s kicking his little legs like crazy these days! He’s gonna be a strong, athletic dude for sure. He is a bundle of energy, has a wide open smile, and lets out these silent little chuckles that just melt our hearts. He is SO adorable!

Emily‘s our little doll-face! She is chatting up a storm with her sweet sounds lately. She welcomes any and every ounce of chit chat with us. She is very calm, cries only when she’s hungry or really needs something, and is so preciously observant. She’s such a little angel!

Both are smiling ALL the time and completely melting our hearts ❤️. Happy 3 months to our precious superheroes!

Feeding Newborn Twins

Feeding one baby can be challenging, so adding another baby to the mix is certainly no walk in the park either. For twins, it’s SO important to sync up their feeding times at or right around the same time…otherwise you’ll be spending every waking hour in the first few weeks feeding and changing babies. I mean…it feels like that already…but every 30 minutes that you can spare yourself for sleeping, tidying up, or eating is worth it! I often get questions like:

Do you breastfeed or formula feed?

Do you pump?

Which pump do you use?

How do you feed both at once?

How long does it take to feed them?

Are you on a schedule?

Are you getting any sleep?

Which bottles do you use?

I constantly asked those questions to other moms of twins before Henry & Emily were born, hoping to gain some insight into what my life would look like. My “plan” was to breastfeed or pump for at least 4 months, and I was completely open to offering the twins formula if my supply couldn’t keep up. Having a plan or personal goals in place is a great benchmark, but I quickly learned to be open to changing things up in the first few months to find out what worked best for our family’s sanity, and of course for the twins’ development. Here’s the play-by-play of what happened:

Week 1

At first, I only breastfed. I tried tandem breastfeeding from time to time, but I mostly fed just one baby at a time. While we were in the hospital a lactation consultant came by our room every day. It was so helpful to have that support! By her third visit both babies were feeding better. By day 5…hello hormones! I would burst into tears at any moment from both exhaustion and my milk coming in. We were warned that when a mother’s milk comes in after labor, so do the emotions. Knowing that in advance really helped me distinguish between new parent anxiety and the postpartum induced emotions which overwhelmed my thoughts. I worked so hard at remembering that my emotions were the result of my body’s hardcore changes in such a short amount of time, and that really did help. It’s a very difficult battle for any new mom to go through, but we get through it because we’re AWESOME! Am I right?! Wooo! You just have to ride it out, stay positive, build up your support system of positive people cheering you on, and do your best to take care of yourself.

Trying to breastfeed twins in the beginning was rough, especially during night feedings. Each twin took at least 20-30 minutes to feed, and it was exhausting. I was barely getting any sleep. Luckily, we had a pattern that first week where Sean would do a baby tradeoff, change a diaper, re-swaddle them, and rock them back to sleep while I fed baby #2. I sluggishly snuck back into bed only to get an hour of sleep before the next baby would wake up. It was rough…but as all parents do…we got through it!

Tip: Have your “feeding station” ready. It helped SO much to have everything waiting for me in advance. After each feeding and before I went to bed I’d make sure there was a: fresh glass of water, cell phone charger, granola bar (breastfeeding makes you super hungry!), iPad/cell phone, and nursing pillow. I looooved my twin nursing pillow, even when feeding just one baby at a time – it was a life saver!

Weeks 2 – 4

I mainly breastfed, then offered 2 oz of formula (Similac for Supplementation) if they were still hungry after 20 minutes (and they usually were). I broke out the pump by week 2 in an attempt to keep a stash of breastmilk in the fridge so that Sean could help with a feeding from time to time. I LOVED the Medela pump, and luckily our insurance covered the cost so I received that for free!

Tip: if you plan on pumping, check with your insurance while you’re pregnant to see if they’ll cover a pump for you before you purchase one yourself, or before adding one to your baby registry.

Weeks 5 – 8

Around this time I had completely stopped breastfeeding and switched to only bottle feeding. I’d pump after each feeding and either stored it in the fridge or kept it covered and at room temp for the next feeding. Breast milk can stay at room temp for about 4-6 hours, and for a few days in the fridge. I began getting SO tired at night by pumping after each feeding that I decided to only pump once at night and instead offered formula for those late night & early morning feedings. That worked like a dream because it meant a wee bit of extra sleep for me! Win!

You know what else was a win? Sean’s double-feed method. That’s right. My sweet hubby was the one who came up with the comfy set up on our couch where whichever one of us was feeding the babies would sit in the middle with one baby on the right and one on the left, each in their newborn Boppy pillows. It works like a charm, and also cuts the feeding time down by 50%. WIN WIN WIN! Here’s what I looked like in all my “mom-bun” wearin, comfy clothes sportin glory:

Photo on 7-20-16 at 10.36 AM #2

Tip: make sure that when you purchase bottles, you buy an adapter that will fit your bottles to the pump. We tried SO many different bottles in the first 2 months, and you might too, so make sure whichever you’re using will adapt to your pump for quick & easy usage/storage. If you’d like my opinion on Munchkin Latch, Dr. Brown’s, or Madela bottles, comment below and ask!

Weeks 9-11

The less I pumped, the less supply I had. Your body will work hard to give you a good supply if you create a demand for it by pumping or breastfeeding, so as I began offering more formula and less breastmilk, my supply began to slow down. I definitely began to worry at this point because I was only just reaching the 2 month mark and already seeing my supply go away!

Was I being a bad mother? Were the twins being deprived of nutrients? Would people judge me for “giving up” on giving them breast milk?

No….nope…and not one bit. 😉

I struggled with those fears at first, shed a few tears, and quickly got over it when I remembered

“Hmm…I have two babies. Two of them. TWO hungry babies. So many women can’t provide enough breastmilk for one baby, let alone two. So…stop being sad and celebrate what I can do for them! Bring on the formulaaaa!”

If I could breastfeed both twins, get enough sleep, and maintain that supply for months to come then that’s exactly what I would do…but I’m not perfect and I just can’t do it all. So, “fed,” is the best thing I kept remembering. I’m so grateful that I live in an age where I can feed my babies good formula without ridicule or judgement.

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By now, we’ve got both twins on 100% Enfamil Gentlease for their acid reflux and it works like a charm! The twins love it, and you know what else they love? Dr. Brown’s bottles! God bless yooooouuu, Dr. Brown’s bottles! Though it takes a little longer to feed them, their reflux and fussiness is WAY more controlled now. It also takes a while to put each bottle together due to the filter it comes with. But again…it’s worth the extra work! Check out a time lapse that I put together for just 4 feedings worth of bottle prep for the twins (8 bottles):

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJOoDk8A1cR/?taken-by=ok.kath

Tip: I recommend getting the Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher. An Instagram user recommended that I give it a try, and I’m SO glad I did! I can make up to 32 oz of formula in one pitcher, I close the top, store it in the fridge, then boom…I just pour as needed when it’s feeding time. It’s so much easier than measuring out enough scoops + water + shaking before each feeding when the babies are crying. So much easier when I just pour, tighten the bottle, and feed! 

Phew! Thanks for reading, y’all. What did I leave out? Any thoughts or questions? I’m no expert…just sharing what worked for me & my little fam. Does this bring back memories for some of you? Share below in the comments section. I would LOVE to hear from y’all! Every baby & family is different and I applaud every mother & father for feeding their baby the best way they can!

Big hugs,

Katherine