8 Weeks!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A miracle occurred as I went to take the twins' 8 week pictures -- they both fell asleep, Max laid his (not so) little head on Clara's shoulder, and he even gave me all sorts of smiles. I was melting and snapping the camera like crazy. These little guys make me so incredibly happy. We are all beyond exhausted and a little frazzled at times, but the joy they bring is irreplaceable.

Their 2 month appointment is in a few days, but I cannot wait to find out their stats. They have both chunked out like crazy. Max is definitely bigger than Clara, but they are both growing like weeds! Other fun advancements include coos and smiles, their ability to follow us (it always cracks me up when 4 little eyes follow me as I leave the room), and 4-5 hour stretches at night! Hallelujah! :)

And their feet. I just can't get enough of these 20 toes! :)

People Say Stupid Things, Pt. 2

Friday, December 13, 2013

I think this is one of my favorite videos right now. I've only been a mom to twins for 8 weeks and I think I've already experienced all of these questions and awkward situations. Just watch.

Before I was pregnant, I had already become more than aware that people say stupid things. It's just human nature. Battling with infertility was hard in itself, but being asked "why don't you have kids yet?" was just pouring salt in the wound. I think one of my favorite comments I had received during this time was "well at least you guys get to make money and buy furniture!" Yes, because furniture fills the void of infertility. Thank you for that. 

Now that I have twins I have experienced an entirely new set of awkward social encounters (as shown in the video above).  I understand that twins are unique and a foreign idea to most moms, but do people have to be so gosh darn NOSY?! Almost every single time I have been out with the twins I have been asked awkward, personal questions. The three below are my favorite.

"Do twins run in your family?" 
...aka "are they natural?" I have come to learn that this is a backwards way of asking whether or not I did infertility treatments to have these twins. Even though I have talked about my experiences a bit on this blog, it doesn't mean I want to re-hash this experience every day in the checkout line with a complete stranger. Infertility is incredibly personal! And so is how children are conceived! I can bet a lot of money that a woman with one baby does not get asked about the details of that child's conception. 

"Are you breastfeeding them?" 
First, why does it matter to you? My children are healthy, happy and fed. It should not matter if they are drinking breast milk or formula, especially since I don't even know your first name. Second, I'm not really wanting to talk about what I do with my boobs all day with you. Pumping? Breast feeding? None of the above? Not really your business, complete stranger.

"Did you deliver vaginally?"
It seems pretty obvious why this is an awkward topic for a dressing room attendant to ask me, but come on! I don't really want to talk about that part of my body right now. Moving on.

Now obviously if we have become friends or acquaintances and are having a sincere conversation these questions aren't so annoying! It's just the sheer nosiness that gets really old. I'm trying to figure out a way of responding to these questions and letting them know I feel uncomfortable without being rude. It's proving to be harder than one would hope. 

Anyway, thanks for indulging my rant. The moral of the story is that, well, people say stupid things. Life goes on! (and here's a picture of these cute little twins just for good measure)


Monday, December 2, 2013

Yesterday was Max and Clara's blessing day, which was the perfect end to this Thanksgiving weekend. My heart is so full of gratitude! As we sat in church yesterday and blessed these perfect, pure little people I couldn't have been more grateful for this long road we have been on to get them here. Trials truly are a blessing, which is usually easier to realize after the fact. :) Everything happens for a reason, and I am grateful someone else is in control, as much as I try to fight it. 

I love my little twins more than anything in the world - I feel as though my heart has been split in three! These are my people, and I love them so, so much.

Clara wore a special Lewis family heirloom. It is a christening dress that has been in the family for about 150 years. It's absolutely gorgeous and so very delicate. She looked beautiful. 

Max was able to wear the same shoes my Dad was blessed in 55 years ago. He wore my brother's blessing outfit as well. I loved how both of them were able to pay tribute to different sides of each family. 

A lot of our family and close friends were able to help celebrate Max and Clara and were present for the blessing. Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come - it really meant a lot! We were also incredibly lucky to have gorgeous weather for December 1st in Utah. Who would have thought we could hang out on our patio at this time of year?! All in all it was a very special day and perfect end to a weekend full of "Thanks"!

6 Weeks

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Max and Clara are 6 weeks old today! 

I cannot believe that much time has gone by. As cliche as it may sound, in some ways I feel like they have been with us forever, and in others I feel like it was just yesterday I was in labor. But either way, I need time to slow down! We are trying to soak up as many of these newborn snuggles as we possibly can. 

Fun facts at 6 weeks:
Both Max and Clara are getting some major rolls on their thighs, arms and chins. I love all of them!
Clara still wears newborn diapers (although that is probably almost over) while Max has been in size 1 for about a week. We go through about 16-20 diapers a day. (!)
Their skin tone is totally different! Clara obviously lucked out with the more olive complexion from Russ's Hispanic side. Lucky girl. 
Max is our little smiley baby, while Clara is an amazing sleeper.
Max loves classical music. It soothes him to sleep almost every time. We call him "music Max."
Both are great eaters. Mom's milk is taaaaasty!

By the way, I have totally been loving our Milestone Baby Cards that I learned about from my friend Sada
And also, it is nearly impossible to take a decent photo of two newborns! Getting them in the same state of being at the same time is pretty humorous. At one point Clara was sucking on Max's arm as she thought it was her pacifier. Good times had by all.

A Gender Neutral TWIN Nursery!

Friday, November 15, 2013

 the view from the hallway/door

I'm so excited to show the twins' nursery today! This room has turned into one of my favorites in the whole house. It took a while to come together, but I am in love with the finished product. 

When we found out we were having twins, the room that had been intended for a future nursery was going to be way too small. We had to overtake the guest bedroom, move out Russ's office, and do all sorts of rearranging. I was sad to change the guest bedroom -- I actually really loved it! But it all worked out. The room started like this:

I was way overwhelmed by the idea of decorating for two genders in one room! I wanted to do more than just "gender neutral" -- I wanted to give each twin their own area that was obviously theirs. I think I achieved my goal. It's clean, simple and calming with enough personality throughout.

I started by repainting the room Edgecomb Grey by Benjamin Moore. It's the perfect "greige." I knew I wanted modern cribs, but dang those can be pricey! And when you're buying two of everything... well, you know. Anyway, I found these perfect grey cribs at none other than Walmart (they've actually gone up in price since I bought them).

I knew I wanted the bedding to bring out the different genders. It took a (long) while to pick out all the fabrics and make sure they coordinate with each other yet allow boy vs. girl to shine through. My amazing mother sewed the bumpers and made the quilts. (although I must add that my sister and I helped hand quilt the blankets while we were on our houseboat trip this summer, so there, I did do something :)) I absolutely love them!

The fabric is from www.fabric.com, although I don't think any of those fabrics are on there anymore. I think you can find some of them on etsy or other fabric sites! Here is a list of a few of the fabrics I used:

Blue zig zag: Indie Chic Woven Blue by Riley Blake 
Coral circles: Pearl Bracelets Peach by Lizzy House
Yellow stripe: Glimma stripe in Dandelion Yellow by Lotta Jansdotter
Flowers: Glimma flower pods in gold/grey/white by Lotta Jansdotter

The art above each crib also was a fun way to show different genders. I found the coordinating woodland creatures here. I also bought two coordinating prints from CinnamonInk. I stamped their little footprints and simply glued the piece of paper into an embroidery hoop. The remaining prints were gathered from around the house (i.e.: old Snow & Graham calendars). I made the "I Am a Child of God" piece above Max's crib using the same method I did here.

 Clara's wall

Max's wall

I bought the rug from Rugs USA during some huge Labor Day weekend sale (I think it was like 80% off or something crazy). It is super soft and plush. It's still shedding a little bit, but I can tell each time I vacuum it gets better. I love how it ties the whole room together. 

And the dots! Oh, how I love the dots. I call it the "confetti wall." I bought the 2" vinyl decal dots from Walls Need Love - best idea ever! Covering an entire wall with this method is super affordable and fun. Using the image from the website as inspiration, I just kept the dots a little more condensed in the corner to make it look like the confetti was literally "exploding." I love, love the end result. 

That recliner/glider has been one of the best purchases (we found it at Babinski's Baby, a local store in Utah). I had been looking at some other gliders that were perhaps a bit more "stylish," and then my wise sister encouraged comfort over anything else. I ended up buying the exact chair she has. Best decision ever! I have spent so much time in that chair already, and these guys are only 4 weeks old! 

And how have I gone this whole time without talking about the beloved dresser?!? I had been eyeing this dresser from West Elm for years, and then one day I saw it at DownEast Home (a local discount home decor store). It was my very first nursery purchase, I was just barely pregnant. It was a total splurge, but with it being more than half off of what West Elm had it for, I haven't regretted it one bit. :) And plus, it can be used forever as it doesn't scream "baby!"

(oh, the fun owl lamp is from Target)

The bookshelves are just spice racks from Ikea that I spray painted a sage-y green. They have already been used a ton. I am sure once we continue to accumulate more books we will need to figure out a system with more capacity, but for now the racks are perfect.

So there ya go! That's the nursery! Aaaaaaand... If you are still reading this you deserve a prize. :)

The Whole World In Our Hands

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Just checking in. These two pictures pretty much sum up what we have been up to for the last 3 weeks 
(I can't believe the twins are 3 weeks! Tell time to slow down pleeeeeease!).

I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing better than a sleeping baby on your chest. I know I will be able to hold both babies like this only for a short time, so I am trying to live it up. They are too precious. I could kiss those cheeks all day long! And I love how Clara is staring at Max. I can tell that they already have a special bond. 

And then there's this picture of Russ and Clara. It kills me. He and I were tackling the midnight shift together and I was sitting on the floor with Max. I look up to see this moment, and luckily captured it on my phone before it ended. That little girl already has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. 

This is Life Now, and I Love It

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My mom has been here for a while to help out with this major life adjustment we call having twins. Oh, I have been so grateful for the help. I'm not sure how we would be surviving without it. Anyway, yesterday she was gone for most of the day running errands. As she left I gave myself a pep talk thinking "OK Camille, you got this!" It was a great trial run for what it will be like without stay-in help. Let's just say it was interesting. :)

It was mid-afternoon and at that point I had successfully fed/burped each baby twice, bathed both of them (with lots of screaming.. from the babies of course), been pee'd and pooped on (that's a right of passage, right?), changed lots of diapers, and then swaddled both little babies. A miracle happened and they were both out smack dab in the middle of the floor. I was so exhausted! I felt like I had run a marathon. But then I chuckled at this image and thought "this is life now!" But I love it. It's amazing.

I grabbed my camera and tried to capture this moment of my two sleeping burritos in the middle of the nursery. I wanted to document every detail of their sleeping faces. Max and Clara are just over two weeks now and I am wanting time to stop. I cherish the cuddles and faint smiles. I have been told that every stage is so fun, but I am trying to revel in this fleeting newborn stage.

So yes, my "trial run" yesterday was a bit crazy and hectic, but I am just so grateful that this is my new life. I sure do love it.

Max and Clara

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I am a tad bit late on posting about this, but our perfect little babies came on October 15th!

Maxwell John (6 lb 5 oz, 19.25" long, born at 8:58 am) and 
Clara Evelyn (6 lb 7 oz, 19.5" long, born at 9:23 am)

This is the first picture we have of them together. They were about 6 hours old at this point. 
I think Max looks just like Russ, and Clara looks a lot like I did as a newborn. 

And for a quick rundown of how they made their entrance into this world. I had been feeling really uncomfortable since Sunday morning. After little to no sleep that night, I woke up Monday morning feeling like something was different. I remoted in to work for most of the day just to distract myself from the pain. By about 3:00 pm my Mom drove me down to my OB to just get checked out and see if what I was feeling was in fact labor pains (Russ was working). I was 5 cm dilated! I was sent to labor and delivery and after a quick ultrasound we found that Clara had flipped yet again and was breach - they started preparing me for a C-section. By the time the doctor arrived at about 6 pm she had flipped AGAIN! The doctor felt we could try for a vaginal delivery. I was finally fully dilated at about 4 am. At 4:30 am I started pushing. I pushed for over 4 hours (yes, that is correct) until Max finally came with help of forceps. That little stinker just didn't want to come out. It took every ounce of motivation to push again, but after holding him for about a minute I found it in me to push again. I was so exhausted. However, with help of forceps as well, Clara was finally born. 

Both Max and Clara had to spend a few hours in the NICU to check out their lungs, but I was able to have both of them in my room with me by about 2:00 pm. What an amazing blessing. 

I love them so much, and I am so grateful to have two little perfect babies. Thank you to everyone for their continued support. It's been a long road, but so worth it. 

Clara feeling pretty as we were leaving the hospital.
Mr. Max snoozing next to his sister on our first day at home.

And now to go cuddle these babies some more. I seriously can't get enough of them. 

Pre-Baby Ramblings

Monday, October 7, 2013

I was going through my "Baby Stuff" Pinterest board a few days ago and I saw this e-card and laughed out loud... again. This is truly how I feel! 

I'm still on bed rest (obviously) but will be 36 weeks on Wednesday. That is a very "average" time for twins to come, so really, these guys could come pretty much any day. And maybe I'm freaking out a bit?

Not in a bad way, don't get me wrong. I want them here more than anything. But how in the world do you begin to prepare for going from "just Russ and I" to parents of TWO newborns? Besides the obvious checklists of 2 cribs, 2 bouncers, diapers upon diapers, clothes for two genders, etc., I don't think you can. I'm pretty much expecting this to be a day-at-a time experience. It will be crazy. It will be exhausting. But I am also positive that it will be amazing. 

It's still very surreal. We bought two Fisher Price Rock n' Plays last week and as I sit on this couch and stare at them set up in the living room it seems so crazy that soon, very soon, my son and daughter will be laying in them. I feel so blessed. It's been quite the year, and I have a feeling that it's only going to get a little crazier from here on out. 

Bring it on!  

Laundry Room!

Friday, October 4, 2013

One of the few projects we were set on completing before the babies came was our laundry room. I love our house, but I had always HATED the laundry room. It is in the worst location (in between the garage and the kitchen). It is cramped. It allowed zero room for "dumping" the every day items before walking into the kitchen. These factors then translated to everything flooding into the kitchen resulting in constant clutter. Let me show you our "laundry room" before:

The shelf above the washer/dryer was nice, but it was very hard to keep organized (and was so visible!). We knew we wanted a new washer/dryer -- especially with all the laundry we will be doing very, very soon. We had bought our used ones from an old retirement home when we got married for $300 combined. They were very used. I was also positive we needed front-loaders. Since there was no counter top, we would place things on top of the washer, then when it came time for laundry I would move the clutter either onto the counter in the kitchen, on the floor in the kitchen, etc. And then when it came time to clean up, the clutter ended right back on top of the washer, and the cycle continued. 

After racking our brains on the best arrangement of our new washer/dryer, cabinets, shelving, and hangers, we finally came up with an arrangement that has made life a lot easier (and cleaner).

We decided to stack the washer/dryer and add a cabinet and counter top that would be the perfect "dumping place" for the purse/mail/keys when we came in from the garage. 

We used the original shelf and just cut it in half and added brackets. These shelves are the one area where things didn't work out as planned - I wanted a small rod on the bottom shelf to hang clothes that shouldn't be dried. However, after we finished the shelves and almost placed the rod, it was too shallow for hangers. DANG! If I knew this wasn't going to work, we probably would have hung the shelves a little lower, but such is life. We ended up removing the door from the closet and hung the rod there - this is basically where I'm standing in the picture. This is also where we can now take off shoes and store laundry baskets during laundry time (as opposed to the kitchen).

The baskets and mail organizer are from Home Goods (and the baskets are actually empty)! The cabinet ended up storing everything! I'm sure I'll find stuff to put in there before too long. :) The magnetic chalkboard is an old magnetic board I had from Freshman year of college that I bought at Ikea. I just spray-painted it with chalkboard paint so that you can write on it as well as hang up invitations, coupons, etc.

The cabinet and drawers have been soooo nice. All the cleaning supplies and odds and ends can be placed in this cabinet rather than in plain sight above the washer/dryer. I painted the cabinet (that is just from Home Depot) one of my favorite paint colors - Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue. The counter top was the left over butcher block from our DIY island project.

So there ya go. My main "nesting" project is completed, and I am oh-so-happy about it. Besides the new washer/dryer, I think we ended up spending maybe $200 total since we used a lot of supplies on hand (i.e.: the counter top, shelf, magnetic board, etc). It feels good to get such a big project out of the way before these two crazy babies turn our world upside down!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A week and a half has gone by since we were admitted to the hospital for preterm labor, and I am just so grateful that these twins decided to wait it out a little longer. We were there from Friday evening till Monday evening -- definitely not the kind of weekend getaway I would have chosen, but it was worth it. I had already progressed quite a bit, leaving the hospital at 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. However, the ultrasound with the parinatologist showed that the twins were doing awesome, so much so that they were both measuring "ahead of schedule." As of last Monday, baby girl was 5 lb 14 oz and baby boy was 5 lb 4 oz. Such a relief! The doctor released me from the hospital on strict bedrest with continued "hospital behavior" (aka I can't do anything). 

Bedrest has been an adventure. I have been able to remote into work which has been really nice actually. It makes me feel somewhat productive. There has been plenty of TV and movie watching, reading, and online shopping :). I have been completely overwhlemed with the kindness and service we have received from friends and family. The friends in my neighborhood stop by regularly to make sure I'm not going too crazy. My friend took it upon herself to organize weeks worth of meals brought into our home. Last night a friend even came to my house to cut and color my hair -- just the pick-me-up I was needing. And of course, Russ has been the kindest husband and makes sure I'm well taken care of. I know some women have to be on bedrest for months, and my hat goes off to them. It is harder than I would have thought, but again, so worth it.

I will be 35 weeks tomorrow! We are getting to a much safer place and I'm not as worried about the health of the babies should they come early. I probably have about a week or two max until they come. Yikes!

One of the few activities I have allowed myself to perform is making headbands for baby girl! There are plenty more I plan on making, but I think I have a good start for when she comes. Some of the tutorials I referenced include my good friend Sada, here, and here.

I will continue to try to keep this blog updated as we get closer and closer to the twins arriving. I cannot wait for them to come. Life will be very different, but definitely for the better. 

Thank you again to everyone for the calls, texts, visits, and love sent our way. It has meant so much. 

Stay Inside Babies!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Well this weekend sure isn't turning out how I thought it would. I had plans to play Bunco with my friends (yes, I play Bunco and love it), show up to my hair appointment with unbelievable excitement (we all know getting your hair done is the best feeling, right?), and attending a football-watching party for the BYU vs UofU rivalry game tonight. All fun and exciting things.

Well, my main new goal for this weekend is this:

It all started at my routine appointment where I get strapped to all sorts of monitors as they watch the baby's heartbeats and check to see if there is any contracting. Well there was, which was a bit of a surprise to me. If I had been contracting, it hadn't been painful or regular enough for me to notice. They then took a "fetal fibronectin" test to check whether or not my body was producing a protein that can indicate preterm labor. They sent me home to lay on the couch until I heard my test result. 

At about 4:30 pm they told me to head straight to labor & delivery because all signs were pointing to preterm labor. I have to admit, after this call I was scared and emotional (duh). Luckily Russ was home within 10 minutes and we headed out together. Thank goodness for Russ. 

I was given a steroid shot last night, and will receive one more tonight. This is meant to help the babies' lungs get stronger at an accelerated rate in case they do in deed decide to come early. I have also been given some medicine every 4 hours that help relax the muscles and hopefully slow contractions. I will be here most likely till Monday morning so that I can have an ultrasound with the neonatalogist to check the babies' physical state (besides heart rates).

I woke up this morning feeling pretty crappy, I'm not going to lie. I was frustrated and discouraged as I watched contractions come across the screen every 2-5 minutes. It probably didn't help that I got a max of 4 hours of sleep and have cables coming off of me all over. I really want these babies to be healthy, and I'm going to try my best to keep them inside. I'm 33 weeks and 3 days, so luckily if they came today (which hopefully will not happen) they would be OK. We would have time in the NICU, but they would be OK.

When I am released I will be on strict bed rest. I'm trying my hardest to stay positive and optimistic. At least while I'm in the hospital I get huge meals brought to me, right?!? (how's that for looking on the bright side?) :)

32 Weeks!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Forgive the quality of the picture. I'm just still patting myself on the back for doing my hair today. I'm 32 weeks and 1 day, and I thought it was time that I quickly documented how things are going. Even though this pregnancy has been looooooong, I also cannot believe I have a maximum of 6 weeks left! Crazy!

* I have grown out of most of my maternity clothes by now. This should get interesting.
* Baby girl keeps flipping from breach to head down (boy has always been head down). At this point I am just expecting a C-section, and if something changes last minute it will be a nice perk.
* I feel movement almost all day long. It's really fun. When they both have hiccups I feel like there is an earthquake inside of me.
* These babies are seriously IN my ribs. Sometimes I feel kicks in the back part of my ribs, which really hurts my back. I still get comments like "you are so small! I can't believe there are two in there!" These comments get kind of annoying because believe me, there are two in there. I want to say "I wish I was popping out further so they weren't jammed up in my rib cage." Discomfort aside, it's still a miracle.
* I had to stop wearing my fat, fake wedding ring last week. I gave up on my real ring in June. But it was a bit depressing when the fat ring no longer fit.
* The nursery is coming along! Just some last minute touches here and there and I will be set.
* I. Am. Exhuasted. A lot of twin moms get put on bed rest which I have been fortunate to avoid thus far. However, sometimes I wish I was prescribed bed rest so I had an excuse to be laying down all day. I am still working both my jobs (accounting and piano teaching) pretty much the same amount of time I was before I was pregnant. I have also maintained my calling as 1st counselor in the Young Womens' organization (a group for youth ages 12-18) in my church. We'll see how much longer all of that lasts.
* Still no set names.
* Sleeping? Not really happening.
* I go back and forth between getting extremely excited to meet my two little babies and extremely terrified that I will be a mom to two newborns. Like I know how to keep two newborns alive! :)

At the end of the day, I am just so grateful that both babies are healthy and I've made it this far. I'm trying to take it day-by-day, and you know what? It's working. :)

Trinity Lake, Round 3

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

About a month ago we went on our third annual trip to Trinity Lake, a remote and gorgeous lake in the Shasta National Forest in Northern California. I look forward to this trip all year long. It's my favorite! We are disconnected from everything spending the days as we please - fun is definitely had by all. This year I couldn't really do, well, anything, but I still loved every second of it. 

*All pictures are taken by Bella Torgerson - thanks Bella! You rock behind the lens.

Glass. A skiier's dream.

This guy obviously stole the show pretty much all week. He loved the boat!

Go Russ!

Captain of the boat.

My bro.

Pure happiness.

My doctor didn't really even want me to go. I was just about 28 weeks along -- he said being so remote wasn't the smartest thing. Well I went, and it was worth it. My dad bought a "Relaxation Station" that was just what the doctor ordered... kind of. 

My cute parents - Dad must have just finished with a sweet ski run.

So this happened. Stu and Russ shaved mustaches. No comment.

Me and the G-man. 

These guys have fun together. They were mustache twins. It was gross.

The air chair was a new addition -- I can't wait to try it next year! (Russ's face cracks me up, by the way,)

Can't wait till next year. It's crazy to think I will have two crazy 10 month olds running around. Oh how life will change, but definitely for the better. Thanks mom and dad, another amazing trip to remember!