Happy Birthday, Henry & Emily!

Exactly one year ago today, Sean and I set our alarm clocks for a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. I was being induced for labor that day! I was 37.5 weeks along, officially “past due” (37 weeks is considered full term for twins), and the babies were both estimated to be healthy weights + facing head-down.

Continue reading Happy Birthday, Henry & Emily!

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

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!

Henry & Emily: 6 months

Six months?! It feels like just a few days ago we were bringing them home from the hospital. Then – they were too tiny to hold up their preciously fragile heads and still reeling from their wild new surroundings. Now – they’re babbling, giggling, wiggling, smiling, verge-of mobile little people!

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Sean and I are truly amazed by their growth, development, and contagious joy. This morning I took them to their 6 month pediatrician check up and they’re growing beautifully!

Henry (right) is at the 90th percentile for his height! He’s now rockin 28 inches tall and 18 pounds. Our super tall “little man” is SO STRONG, y’all. He’s also quick as lightning in his walker, and desperate to finally figure out how to crawl, walk, and let’s be real…he wants to RUN RUN RUN as soon as he can! He has his daddy’s engineer brain for sure. Give him a toy and he’ll study it for ever. His joy is everything; all I need to get through a day, a week, a year. I am completely in awe of how genuinely joyful Henry is. One head turn and a wide-open, toothless grin from him and your day will be made. Guaranteed.

Emily (left) rings in right on cue at the 40th percentile for her height. She’s 26 inches tall and 16 pounds. Way to go, little angel! This beautiful girl was super underweight for her very first week-old check up but has completely soared since that day. She is the cutest ‘lil chatty-mac-chatterson these days. “Emmy” loves to study our faces as we talk to her, then babble on her own…then squeal to the highest heavens. She loves a good toy, but she’s her mama’s daughter for sure when it comes to being more interested in people; a true people watcher. She’s more careful when she shows off her smile (which I kinda love about her too), but when you do make her smile….wooooo your heart will melt!

This has been the fastest, most joyful 6 months of my life. As we enter the “mobile babies” phase in the 2nd half of the year, I’m gonna hold on tight and get ready for that wild ride!

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

Yay for the Day

5:30am feeding in exchange for baby snuggles. Back to sleep for another hour.

Henry’s giggles. Emily’s chatter. Emily’s smile. Henry’s smile. 1st cup of coffee…I smile…they both smile. Back to giggles.

My forever comfortable grey LuLaRoe leggings. Stormy morning. Let Henry & Emily see & hear the rain from our covered patio. Zero expectations for the day and loving it so far. Playlist compilation for Saturday’s Tulsa Run. Tummy time rockstars. Double snuggles.

2nd cup of coffee. Diaper changing chit-chat. Sauteed veggies with leftover seasoned chicken. Trader Joe’s cold pomegranate flavored green tea. FaceTime with my sweet mama. Henry & Emily showed off their cute moves for her.

Discoveries in their walkers. Ambition setting in. Productivity. Clean laundry. Naptime article reading. Afternoon sunshine. Slow stroller walk one neighborhood over. Fresh air. Trees changing color. The kind old man who drives a tractor yelled out “How ‘dem babies?!” 2 miles conquered. Smiles turned to sleeping on the walk. Bottle prep success.

Zero dinner prep thanks to leftovers. Hubby’s home. Put their Halloween costumes on. Laughed hysterically. Took pictures (posting tomorrow!). Fell in love with my babies all over again. Bottles & pureed carrots. Bedtime routine as a fam.

Red wine. Modern Family.

Great day.

 

Postpartum Fitness Struggles

At first I titled this post just “Postpartum Fitness”. Silly Katherine. I quickly remembered the reality of my life right now, and that adding one word would make this a much more accurate title. Postpartum fitness is totally a struggle, am I right? Instagram and Facebook pictures may make it look like a breeze when you see friends all smiley and hashtag-ie…until your joints and weak muscles start yelling at you mid-work out.

11899629_413323558859114_1028898289_nIt’s been nearly 3 months since I gave birth to my fraternal twins, Henry & Emily. Before that I was on modified bed rest for months. A part of me desperately wants to dive right back into running with ease, while the more intelligent part of me remembers very well that my body has been through SO MUCH in the past year. It’s like my mind sees a running path and goes “Yaaay let’s do this!” and my body’s all “Woooo! Okay, Kath! Let’s go!” and for the first couple of minutes they’re both like “This is GREAT!” – adorably in unison. But then, 5-10 minutes into the run both my mind and my body are like “AHHHHH this is awful!” Annnnd that’s when I get frustrated. The struggle is real, but I can’t just give up. I’ve got precious twins, personal goals, and a happy little life to keep up with!

Shortness of breath and a sore back are my latest complaints when working out, so I consulted my friend Jessica, a fitness coach and co-owner of StudiOne in downtown Tulsa, on what she recommends. Fun fact about Jessica: she was my very first friend when I moved to Tulsa two years ago! She’s also a fellow blogger and you should absolutely check out her blog: Sprenkeled. She showed me a super helpful stretch to support my lower back after workouts.

That got me thinking…and us chatting. I asked her if she’d be willing to listen to my and YOUR postpartum workout concerns and she’d love to help! When it comes to strengthening and stretching our bodies properly, she’s happy to offer some advice. Yaaay!

So…what questions, concerns, and problem areas do you fellow mamas have for her? We’re all in this journey together. Comment below and I’ll have her address it in a follow up post!

Big hugs!

Katherine

 

New Mama Life

Well helloooo! Sean and I have made it through the first 8 weeks of parenthood…with a twist. If you’re just “tuning in,” we have newborn fraternal twins! You can check out my blog announcement from the day they were born: Henry & Emily, or read all about what my twin pregnancy was like: Pregnancy.

So…twins. Oh my goodness, where to begin…

We’re over the moon that this little boy & little girl are ours. We’ve fallen head over heels for them! I’ve got a post coming soon, once they reach 2 months, on how they’re growing and what’s new with their development. But for now, I want to share what it’s really like for us these first few months, how I’m doing, and how my day to day life has changed.

Honestly, much of those first few weeks are a TOTAL blur. I’ve never been that sleep deprived in my life yet as all of our friends who are parents told us – you somehow just do it. You have to! You manage to stay painfully awake, snuggle with them through the tears (yes, both yours and theirs!), drink coffee, chug water, and sleep whenever/if you can. It ALL gets better. Trust me. There are good mornings and bad ones, easy afternoons and stressful ones, short nights and never-ending ones. Coming off those first few weeks I felt like Will Ferrell at the end of this scene in Old School where he finishes a killer response then says “What happened…I blacked out.” 

Yup. I totally felt like that midway through our first month. What just happened? Did these 2 little people really grow in my belly for nearly 9 months? Did I really just give birth to them!? Did we actually survive those first weeks as new parents with newborn twins!? WHAT! We really can do this.

In order to keep my sanity (so far) I’ve been reminding myself of three important things:

1) Make it a priority to take care of myself.

2) Embrace all of this as my “new normal.”

3) Remember to stay grateful.

Together, those things have made all the difference in my attitude through the sleepless nights, the projectile spit up in my hair, the 4320483294 diaper changes, those first few weeks of crazy postpartum hormoooones!, the breastfeeding vs. formula feeding dilemmas, the attempts to get both babies on the same feeding and sleeping routine, the ear-piercing cries at bath-time, or the isolation of staying at home every day.

At first, I found myself fighting the reality of exhaustion in attempts to sneak in a baking session, a blog post, a cleaning spree, or other projects that I had time for in my pre-mama life. So many of those attempts continued to fail and I ended up exhausting myself even more. I finally listened to my gut (and prior advice) by rewarding those rare pockets of time when the twins are sleeping with my basic needs (sleep/rest & mental health).

As far as gratefulness goes – I’ve prayed for these little ones (so many of you have!) for years, and now they’re finally here! That alone is enough to give me the kick in the butt that I needed to stay positive and remain grateful. Honestly though, it’s really not that hard to be grateful and to stay positive when you’re so in love with your babies and you have the love and support from friends and family! Sean and I feel so very lucky.

My “me-time” is different now. It’s no longer sitting at a coffee shop to blog about recipes, or to go for a long run followed by a long shower and then taking my sweet time to get ready for a night out, or sipping wine with some tunes in the background all while cooking…uninterrupted, or hoping in the car with hubby for a day trip somewhere in Oklahoma. I can still do those things, technically, but it takes some serious strategic planning and back up care to make it happen.

My “me-time” is now in a million different little things. And sometimes, what’s even better than “me-time” are those small victories throughout the day that remind me how I’m doing just fine. Here are some examples. Shout out to all you fellow mamas & papas out there who can relate:

  • Getting the twins to nap during the day at the same time. Hallelujah!!! It means I can nap too, or shower, or tidy up, or eat…ya know…those luxuries 😉 . They sleep during the night every 2.5 – 3 hours, but during the day one baby will often be sleepy while the other is wide awake, then they often flip flop. Simultaneous day-sleep means this mama gets a break!
  • Leaving the house with them in under 30 minutes. If that actually happens – it’s a dream come true. It’ll buy me time for a drive-through trip to Starbucks!!! This is usually what goes through my mind before leaving the house with them:

Is the diaper bag ready? How many back up diapers are in there? Burp cloths? Extra onesies? I should bring two extra bottles. Holy heat index…I need to start my car early and get the AC running. Now to make sure they’re fed, changed, and burped before I even think about putting them in their car seats. Is the “snap & go” stroller in the trunk? Omg I’m starving…have I eaten? There’s spit up on my shirt….awesome…do I really need to change? Whatever. What time is it.

  • Post bath preciousnessWhen it’s bath time and neither twin screams. That’s one for the win! At first Henry & Emily HATED bath time. Now – they’re starting to really like it! Then once they’re dried off, clothed and swaddled, there’s that sweet baby-after-bath smell! Ohhhhh my heart! It’s the definition of precious! They both are two tightly swaddled, beautifully smelling, precious little ones!
  • Waking up from a 1 or 2 hour nap while Sean, or a family member Blended Iced Coffee Heavenvisiting, has been looking after them. When you’re so tired that your body literally hurts, a nap like that is EVERYTHING for your sanity. You might as well have just won the lottery.
  • Getting that much needed first sip of coffee in the morning as the sweetest reward for another long night of feedings, diaper changes, burps, swaddles, and lullabies.
  • Getting out for a solo drive to run errands for a couple of hours on the weekend while hubby takes over. Watch out, world! Happy mama on the loose! Blended iced coffee bliss. Grocery shopping fun. TARGET. Windows down, country music blaring, singing along, driving slow. Win win win!Family movie time
  • Watching a movie at home with hubby, wine, popcorn, and only needing to pause the movie once to feed/change/snuggle with the twins before they go back to sleep.
  • Date night. MAJOR WIN! Our family has blessed us with a couple of date nights out as they came to visit and we couldn’t be more grateful! I feel like getting out for multiple date nights in those first 2-3 months is almost unheard of, especially for parents of multiples. We are so lucky to have such support! Sean even watched the twins one night and gave me & my sister a night out in Tulsa!
  • Walk + Run with my girl!Going for a run/walk on my own. This is huge. My first song of choice? “Can’t stop the feeling” by JT. When no one’s looking…errr…when I think no one’s looking…I bust out some dance moves mid-walk. It’s the best feeling in the world!
  • Walking the twins AND Stella on my own. If you ever want instant cool-points from strangers – walk two babies and a Dog + Twins + Walk = Windog at once. I usually end the walk feeling like I’ve just climbed Everest after I’ve managed to keep Stella (our lab) mildly tame on the leash while also steering the twins in the stroller.

Date nights, exercise, getting ready, leaving the house, etc. are things that were apart of my normal life pre-motherhood that I totally took for granted. Now, I treasure them. There are so many more small victories that I could describe; moments that make me light up with joy and feel re-charged again. For now though, hopefully those are some that give you a glimpse into what it’s like so far.

I couldn’t ask for a better “new normal.” Though it may seem like a stressful time, it’s also the happiest I’ve ever been. Sean too. We are more in love with these two little love bugs than we ever could have dreamed of. I’m getting teary just writing this part! Seriously y’all…these two are such a gift to us! Their new smiles, heartfelt snuggles, “coo’s,” beautiful faces, and wide-eyed astonishment at the world are things that overtake exhaustion any day.

To parents out there (especially parents of multiples): I get it now 🙂

Love,

New Mama Kath 🙂

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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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