Last but not least...
I think I'm ready to be a blogger again. I'm not sure what direction I will go in yet, but I think I need this blog as an outlet and as a place to leave my thoughts. More to come on that later...
I'll leave you with this picture...
Ryker and Averlee are into everything. EVERY. SINGLE. THING they can get their hands on. Playing in toilets, putting things in their mouths, pulling each others hair, throwing things at each other, chasing Harper (our 3 year old Shi tzu), and trying to "help" unload the dishwasher. There is never a dull moment with these 2.
Here are a few pics from their 9 month 1photo session, which was actually a week before they turned 10 months. . .
Nickname(s): We call him Ry, Ry or Ryker Roo
Favorite Food(s): He loves bananas, fresh fruit, avocado, grilled cheese sandwiches, yogurt, steamed veggies and basically anything I've given him so far. The child will eat anything. I hope he continues to eat so well!
Teeth: Ryker currently has 4 teeth. 2 top and 2 bottom. He likes to use them to eat, but he also uses them to bite me. Not cool at all.
Words: He says "mama" "dada" "ball". He babbles all of the time. We just can't figure out what he's saying. ha!
What's He Up To?: Crawling, pulling up, standing, eating, throwing his ball. He loves to hide and have someone find him. He lights up as soon as he hears his big brother's voice. He is so in love with his big brother. It just melts my heart. Ryker is a very patient, calm baby. He also recently decided he likes to be rocked to sleep. Ryker sleeps through the night all night, every night.
Nickname(s): Averlee Beth, Vee Vee, or AB .... because saying "Averlee Elizabeth!!" 57 times a day is just too hard!
Favorite Food(s): Gerber Puffs. She's still not sure about all of the table food we have offered to her. She prefers to stick to baby food on a spoon for now.
Teeth: Averlee has one bottom tooth! She had such an awful time cutting that ONE tooth. I'd be ok with her holding off on cutting anymore for a couple weeks.
Words: She says "mama" and "dada". She also babbles a lot, but we can't decipher what she's saying half of the time. I'm sure there are a few words in there somewhere.
What's She Up To?: Crawling, pulling up, standing, eating, torturing Ryker. Averlee likes to take stuff away from Ryker. If Ryker is playing with his ball, Averlee will take it from him. If Ryker is sipping his cup, she will take it away from him and drink out of it herself. Averlee is into everything. She likes to pull all of the diapers off of the changing table, tear pages out of books, smear food all over her highchair, her face, and her hair. She smiles with her entire face. She does not sleep through the night. We do good for her to sleep 3 hours solid.
I can see how we may have been able to blend into the crowd if had not had twins. People are so fascinated with twins. People ask so many questions. Some are good questions. Some are a little silly. Example: "Are they identical?" Do people even realize what it means to be an identical twin? I believe the first criteria would be for them to be the same gender. Just throwing that out there.
The truth is, I'm ok with not blending into the crowd though. I love telling people how God gave us our precious miracles, but sometimes I'd really like to be able to make it through a dinner without having someone grill me about how I got pregnant with twins.
Today. Wednesday, September 16, 2015....
I love my children. I love all three of them with every ounce of my being. I love them more than I love Oreos (which is a whole dang lot).
In March, I was desperate to whip my body back into shape. Desperate with a capital "D". I was doing literally everything I could think of within reason to lose the baby weight. One night while pumping, I stumbled across a health and fitness page on Facebook. I watched as this woman who was currently pregnant did some pretty intense workouts. I wanted to be her. I looked at the videos of her working out while her two kids played in the background. I wanted to be her so bad. I wanted to be in shape so I could be a better mom for my kids. At the current time, I was still wearing maternity pants and shirts even! My kids were three months old and I was still wearing maternity clothes!!! It made me feel so icky. I have ZERO self confidence.
Let me preface the rest of this story by telling you this... before we started fertility treatments, we agreed I would stay at home with the kids. All 3 of them. I wanted to be a full time mommy!
So I joined a "sneak peek" group and realized there were tons of women just like me out there who also wanted to whip themselves back into shape after having kiddos. I chatted with other twin moms and realized, "Hey! They are doing this too! So can I!" Long story short, a week after joining this group of women, I became a Beachbody coach. My original plan was to just use the sweet 25% discount to get my Shakeology shakes cheaper and I would get a discount on products (programs and equipment if the need came about). Well, as I started losing the weight, people started asking me what I was doing. I gladly told them what I was doing, but didn't really push any sales. I was NOT wanting to become one of those people who turned their social media accounts into a "PLEASE BUY THIS FROM ME" deal. There's nothing wrong with it if you are the type of person who does that sort of thing, but it just wasn't what I wanted to do. I did make an attempt to let people know what I was doing though that way if they happened to want to join me or purchase products, they might think of me before buying off of Amazon or Ebay. Once again... I didn't want to spend a lot of time on this. My goal was to get myself back into shape. Period.
Here I am today though. This afternoon I have no clue where my phone is because my twins crawled away with it when I refilled my water bottle. As earth shattering as that may seem, I'm so relieved I have no idea where it is right now. Aside from me being on my laptop pounding my thoughts out on the keyboard.... I am officially UNPLUGGED. This afternoon I have realized I allowed myself to get sucked into working again. Yeah... its a little business. I'm not raking in the dough, but in the last month I have felt the need to be so present on social media so people will realize, "Hey! Kari sells that stuff I was reading about!" I feel like I have to reply to messages as quickly as possible out of fear I will lose a sale. I stay up late at night scheduling posts for my like page.. I sip coffee while I read up on the latest Beachbody news. I scroll Pinterest during nap times so I can find new and motivating things to post on my page or within my groups so maybe just maybe someone will choose ME as their coach. ON VACATION I STAYED UP LATE ONE NIGHT SENDING EMAILS OUT TO PROSPECTS because it was the end of the month and I was trying to close some sales.
Don't get me wrong. It is fun helping people, but in the grand scheme of things... this isn't where I want to be. I will share my love for health and fitness with whoever asks! I will tell you what I do and what programs have worked for me. If you ask, I'll tell you about the Beachbody products. If you want to start a program with me, I'll gladly shoot you a text each day and we can help hold each other accountable. If you'd like to run with me at the park on Mondays or Tuesdays, I would gladly enjoy your company!!
I have twins who are growing quicker than words can explain. I have an almost 12 year old who is involved in sports. I don't shower everyday because I feel like I have no time! My hair is in a messy bun 99.8% of the time. I love the way I feel now physically. I'm healthier than I've ever been. I know how to eat and what to eat. I'm wearing the same size jeans I wore in high school. I'm also losing precious precious time because of my presence on social media... all so I can make some extra money. Money I don't necessarily need. What started out as just a hobby and a way to get a discount on my programs and shakes has totally taken over my day because I have let it.
So today, Wednesday September 16, 2015 I'm telling you this: I don't have it all together. There are some days I hide in the bathroom just to reply to emails. I ate 5 Oreos last night because I was stress eating. I will not reply as soon as you send me a message. I have no clue where my phone is. I need a shower.
We made it to 9 months. I'm not going to sugar coat it for you. Being a twin mama has been rough. It's the good kind of rough though. It is challenging but oh so rewarding. Being the mom of a middle school student AND a twin mama while living at least 40 minutes away from family and friends and having a husband who works crazy, long hours and travels.... Eh.
When Trey and I decided I could be a stay at home mom, I had all of these amazing
I'm not complaining. I'm just stating that what I had imagined staying at home would look like is not what staying at home actually looks like. Often family members assume since I do not work outside of the home, that I'm just sitting at home waiting on someone to come visit me. Negative. To be honest, there's not a lot of sitting. . . ever. I'm sitting right now only because the twins are asleep. *Thank you teething tablets!* In two hours I will load up R&A and we will go pick Big Brother up from school. I'll come home, fix dinner, and load everyone back up and we will go to football practice... where I will push the stroller on a walking trail round and round in circles. I love it. I love how I've become so comfortable without make up on. My hair is rarely ever "fixed". I have officially given 95% of myself to taking care of my family. I cannot imagine anything more important than being the best wife and mother I can be to my family. If that means I have to strike up a convo with the grocery store cashier once a week while I'm convincing a little boy to sit in the buggy and not pull his sister's hair... I'm completely ok with that.
The twins celebrated turning 9 months old while soaking up some sun in Orange Beach, Alabama this week. I must admit... I was dreading this vacation. I started packing a week before we left out of fear we would forget something. Needless to say, we did not forget anything, but we did have to run to the closest Walmart at least twice to buy more wipes and diapers! I guess I never realized just how many diapers we go through in a week since I always have a stock pile readily available in our nursery at home. In case you are wondering, the magic # was over 54 . Yes. Two little 9 month olds went through over 54 diapers in just 4 and a half days.
For the most part, we had a wonderful vacation! Ryker and Averlee were so well behaved (for 9 month olds) everywhere we went! Dinner was super easy each evening since we were at the beach during the off season. We walked right in and were seated immediately everywhere we went. Our food came out pretty quickly too which made things so much easier!
The twins also enjoyed having their big brother, Gavin with them all day everyday for 5 days solid! They enjoyed playing in the pool, the splash pad area, on the beach, and in the floor of the condo. Averlee loved playing in the sand more than Ryker. For some reason, Ryker always wanted to curl up under the beach shade and take a nap when we were on the beach.
Things I learned with babies at the beach:
☆ baby powder is great for getting sand off of hands and faces.
☆there's no such thing as having too many baby wipes
☆ babies eat sand... and it doesn't kill them. So don't fret when they keep putting their hands in their mouth. It happens.
☆ a wagon is a must! We had a collapsible on we use to haul our stuff at ballgames. It worked great for toting the babies from the condo, to the pool, then to the beach. We had room to put their toys, a small cooler, towels, and our beach bag too. It was a bit of a challenge rolling it in the sand, but totally worth the struggle!
I'll have their official 9 month post up after we make it back home to Tennessee! Happy Thursday!
The last 7 months feel like a complete blur. People say "they'll be grown up before you know it!" Seriously. If it wasn't for my iPhone (which crashed a couple months ago btw), iPad, and our camera, I do not think I would be able to wrap my head around just how far we have come since the days of less than 5lbs, feedings every 2 hours, and the tiny, tiny outfits. They have grown and changed so much!
Nickname(s): We've come to call him Ryker Roo or Ry Ry. I'm convinced he will grow up introducing himself as "Ryker Roo".
Favorite Food(s): Anything on a spoon. Seriously. The kid will eat anything. I have only come across one Gerber baby food he doesn't like and that's peas. I despise peas myself, so I cannot really blame him for not liking them!
What's He Up To?: Ryker has mastered the art of sitting up. He has started reaching for me if he wants me to pick him up. He wants to crawl so badly, but he hasn't figured out how to get his arms and legs to move at the same time. He wears a permanent smile on his face all of the time. He loves loves loves to play in the floor. He loves to drink water from his sippy cup. He enjoys trying to squeeze his sister's head, stealing her paci, and just touching her in general. Unfortunately, his sister does not enjoy having her head squeezed, paci stolen, or to be touched by him in general. He is determined to make her his best pal though. I admire his efforts. haha.
photo credits to Jenna Henderson @ http://jennahenderson.com/
I also want to add that in the last year, I have been contacted my a number of women who were touched or inspired by our journey. In the last year I have held hands, cried, and prayed with women who are walking a similar path I once walked. My heart aches for them. The pain of infertility is still so fresh in my heart. Everytime someone (often strangers) say, "Oh are they twins? Bless your heart. Your hands are full." I want to jump up and down and explain to them how hard I prayed and how long I fought just to have ONE baby. Don't say "Bless your heart." out of pity for me. I do not need pity! My heart is so full just like my hands. I love every moment of it. I fought hard to have this. There are so many women who would give anything to have just one baby. My heart still aches. Now my heart aches for those women and not myself though.
Here are a few pics from their 3 month photo session.
Wow. It has been way too long since I have sat down at the computer to write a post. If you are reading this, thanks for sticking around! I have a really good excuse... excuses... for not writing lately.
Averlee and Ryker
These 2 keep me busy. It has taken us a little while, but I think the 3 of us have finally figured out our daily routine. It was rough for several weeks, and from time to time we do stray from our routine. For the most part, I think they will keep me!
**I do not have a picture for this excuse. You'll see why.**
I gave it up. I fought hard for nearly 10 weeks. Seriously. There was nothing fun or relaxing about it. It started out rough with my milk not coming in until the babies were almost 5 days old. When it did come in, I was only allowed to pump and take what little amount I had to the NICU for the nurses to mix with the high calorie formula. Before we brought Ryker and Averlee home, my lactation consultant encouraged me to put the twins to breast whenever I felt the time was right. The thing was, I had already begun pumping. I was pumping every 2-3 hours. Since I was pumping, I could keep up with how much milk I was producing and how much the babies were actually eating. Tracking the babies' intake was kinda important since they were preemies and them gaining weight was a really big deal. As time went by and they started needing more and more milk at each feeding, I could not keep up. I was waking up to pump in the middle of the night 2-3 times on top of waking up with newborns. My husband was a wonderful help with giving bottles, but there came a time when I just wanted to sleep. I cut back on my night time pumping to just pumping one breast while I was feeding a bottle to a baby. Once my husband went back to work, pumping during the day became difficult. It seemed everytime I sat down and got all hooked up, one or BOTH babies would start fussing or crying. It isn't easy to hold TWO unhappy babies AND those pump shields! There were many times the babies just had to cry for 15-20 minutes while I pumped. Eventually I purchased a pumping bra that held the pump shields in place for me so my hands would be free to pop a paci in a mouth or shake a rattle. Even with the pumping bra, I was not able to dedicate the time I needed to pumping as often as I needed to, so I started pumping when I had a chance and didn't fret over if it happened every 2 hours or not. I did try nursing the babies at least once a day after they reached 4 weeks old; however, Averlee never would latch on. Averlee also had (still has) awful reflux. It was better for us to give Averlee bottles so we could keep up with just how much we were giving her and how much we thought she was actually keeping down. Ryker would latch, and he would nurse for a good 15-20 minutes; however, he was still hungry after nursing so I would still have to give him a bottle of formula. A couple weeks ago, I had a day where I realized I was rushing through feedings just so I could pump 2oz of breastmilk. That's right. I was only getting 2oz each time I pumped. I was taking the supplements. I was eating like crazy. I was drinking water constantly. I had bought a fancy pump. I had done everything I knew to do. I was still only getting 2oz. Considering Ryker was eating anywhere from 5-6oz every 3 hours and Averlee was eating 3-4oz... me pumping 2oz every 3-4 hours was not cutting it. AT. ALL. So I weighed my options. I talked to my husband about it. I prayed about it. I was so afraid to give it up. I felt like a failure. I just had to keep pushing forward. A couple days later, I pumped first thing in the morning and I only had 1oz. The next time I pumped.... I had less than that.
I want you to know, I quit pumping that day. I didn't quit because I decided to. I quit because my milk was gone. I had nothing. I felt a relief that the decision was somehow made for me and I didn't have to make the decision myself. I now have more time to play and cuddle with my little ones. We can actually leave the house and not have to worry about lugging my pump, cooler, and ice pack around with us. We are F-R-E-E. Side note: Now we solely depend on the mail man to deliver our expensive high cal formula every week though!
We moved! Yes. My husband and I had the bright idea to buy a house and sell a house all before the babies turned 8 weeks old. WE. ARE. CRAZY. I do not recommend it at all, but we survived! We have been in our new house for almost a month. It really is our dream home! I have a kitchen island and a wrap around porch like I've always wanted. The twins will have their own rooms once they get old enough. I have a workout room. My husband has room to build his machine shop the way he wants it. We are extremely happy in our new home!
So there are my excuses! Please forgive me! I hope to be back in the saddle for good sharing the adventures of being a mommy to twins and an 11 year old before too long. Until next time....