Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some Highlights Worth Mentioning

Eliza is so spunky these days. She is making all sorts of connections on her own and loves to tell jokes, ask funny questions, and entertain us with the most ridiculous antics. Here are some of the recent Eliza-isms.

One of her favorite phrases is, "Let's go pump!" She obviously has been overly exposed to me using the breast pump. After all of these weeks, she still thinks nursing is strange and doesn't quite understand why the babies just don't use a bottle all the time. She'll frantically tell me, "She needs milk!" (the babies are she to her). She then runs off, looking for a bottle.

Because of the babies, Eliza has taken a sudden interest in her dolls and enjoys feeding them with their plastic bottles. This newfound interest means she is more aware of her little brothers. When she attempted to pick Ezra up and put him into her stroller, I had to let her know that real babies shouldn't be lifted by her.

Something that is not new is her love for chocolate. She will randomly ask for a "treat" countless times throughout the day. What is new, though, is her tenacity regarding obtaining chocolate. Earlier today, Cheryl caught her climbing up our bedroom dresser to get to her Valentine's Day stash of candy. She had used her potty as a stepping stool and then pulled out the drawers to stand in as she climbed upward. She is quite the Houdini!

My favorite Eliza and chocolate experience involved our little girl dangling a bag of chocolate covered blueberries (Acai berries from Costco that are delicious) in front of Elliott's face. She then said, "Here, kitty kitty!" I mean really, where did she learn that!? We don't have cats, play with cats, or ever say those words. I can only guess she heard it once somewhere and then decided to randomly apply it to her brother. I was thoroughly entertained.

Eliza is also very observant. On Friday morning, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. She looked at me and then told Nathan, "She's sick. She needs to go to the doctor." I told her I was tired and she said, "Shhhh...she's sleeping!" and wanted me to close my eyes.

Lastly, Eliza has become quite the jokester during prayers. While saying prayers Saturday night, Eliza thanked Heavenly Father for "pink, balloons, princess shoes"... and then "Daddy." I didn't make the list that day.

We love that Eliza is talking so much and developing an adorable sense of humor. I sometimes wonder, though, how long will she incessantly ask, "What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?" She asks that about 40 times a day or so (if not more).

I really hope she starts taking notes, soon.  This repeating myself constantly thing is really getting old :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

We Made the Plunge

Cloth diapering. We're doing it.

We're only five days in to our cloth diapering adventure, and I am loving it. In those five days, we have saved approximately $20.00 in disposable diaper fees. It is so economical and easy that I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner.

After asking for suggestions back in January, Nathan and I received a ton of valuable information. Going off of various recommendations, I then did some extensive research and read a number of consumer reports on different products. I promised my sister I would give a play by play analysis of what we do, so that's what I'm going to do today! I want her (and you) to see just how doable cloth diapering is. Without further ado, this is the method we decided upon.

To begin, we chose Flip cloth diapers. This sums up their features:
These are similar to the amazing BumGenius diapers, but they are much cheaper. They fit babies and toddlers from 8lbs to 35 lbs. 
This means we can use the same system of diapers for the twins and Eliza, which is very convenient. The system has two halves: the diaper cover and the insert.
I stumbled upon a buy one, get one free deal for the covers and stocked up. Eliza ended up with several shades of Zinnia covers (she loves her pink diapers) and the boys have Noodle and Moonbeam colored covers. They have tons of cute colors to choose from, but these were the shades that were on sale at the time.
I then opted to use the stay-dry insert. We simply remove the insert and place a clean one in the cover each time we change the kids. There is no folding other than tucking in the insert into the front of the cover.

 I simply take out one insert and place another one. Easy.

After changing a few cloth diapers, Nathan remarked: "This is just as quick as changing a disposable!" It's the truth, too. It takes no time at all to get the babies in and out of the cloth diapers.

In addition to the stay-dry inserts, we also purchased several organic inserts. I read the difference between the two systems and here is the bottom line. The stay-dry inserts act more like disposable diapers in that they wick any wetness away from the baby's bottom. The organic inserts are much more absorbent, but do not pull away from the child. Because of this, many parents use the organic inserts to pad the stay-dry inserts over night. This add dual protection, and is highly recommended by parents who have children that are heavy wetters.

Now for the fun part: cleaning up the "mess."

Fortunately for us, Eliza is potty-trained to do her real business in the potty. If you have an older child who is not partially potty trained, there are great inserts that can be added to the cloth diaper. They catch any mess and are flushable.  With our current situation, once we have a wet diaper, we rinse it off and spray it with an anti-bacterial spray called Bac-Out.  Spray the insert only--not the cover. We reuse the covers several times or until they are "dirty."
This prevents the build up of ammonia and bacteria in the diapers. Bac-Out is wonderful because it also removes odors and is a stain remover.  My friend Brittany, a seasoned cloth diapering mother, recommended the rinse off method. It is simple and effective, and if you have a problem with touching dirty diapers, you can invest in a diaper sprayer.

Once the babies are older, I am sure we are going to love our diaper sprayer. It easily attaches to the toilet and allows you to clean off the diapers without really touching the messiness. One simply holds the dirty diaper over the toilet and sprays it off.  Nathan and I are luckily dealing with breastfed babies, who have only a couple of dirty diapers a week. Cleaning diapers off (for now) is not a big deal. Additionally, I read that breast milk diaper stools dissolve in water and don't really need to be sprayed off the diaper. I clean all my diapers, though.

And really, that is the hard part. It sounds super gross and disgusting, but it is EASY. Just think, though: every time you change a diaper, you save 20 cents. It really adds up!

Now what do we do with the dirty diapers? Well, we have an antibacterial pail liner for the messy diapers, which goes into a simple trashcan with a lid. I did a bunch of reading on liners and found the Kissa Antibacterial Liner had rave reviews. Because we use the Bac-Out, we have had no problems with odors. I have read recommendations to tape an Arm and Hammer air freshener to the top of the lid, so we will do that just as a preventative measure.We wash the diapers daily in our house because we do laundry so often.

So now to washing these diapers. I simply take the liner and empty it into the washing machine. I then turn it inside out and place it in the washer with the diapers. I never actually touch the diapers, which is great. I then chose this method for washing: Run a cold wash cycle first. Then, warm wash on regular cycle. Extra rinse. That's it. Easy! There is no need to soak the diapers beforehand. It is important to wash the diapers with cold water first because it prevents stains setting in. Washing the diapers in hot water first bakes the stains into the material. 

Top loading washing machines clean cloth diapers the best. Nathan and I have front loading, high efficiency washers, so we have to be careful with the settings. If the cycle is too hot, the fibers of the diaper can be destroyed. I never choose "hot" on our washer because it is way too much. Instead, we use warm water. Warm water is best in high efficiency washers because it helps rinse any detergent residue off the diaper and doesn't destroy the cloth material. "Hot" in most top loading washers is the equivalent of "warm" in high efficiency washers (typically). 

I've read mixed reviews regarding detergent. Some people do fine with regular detergent (you use 1/4 the recommended amount), while others deal with the dreaded hard water build-up. This can ruin your diapers, but is fixable (wash your diapers in Dawn or Ivory dish soap). In an effort to avoid any hard water damage (our water is incredibly hard here in the desert), I opted to use a special cloth diaper detergent. It costs me about 15 dollars and will hopefully last half a year. I use 2 tbs of Rockin Green detergent, and my diapers smell AMAZING. They are brilliantly white after several very messy diapers. 

Speaking of messy diapers again, did I mention that blow-outs are a thing of the past? We used to have a problem with Elliott and Ezra ruining their outfits and needing baths any time they went to the bathroom. The cloth diapers catch everything! I am so excited that I am willing to rinse off dirty diapers and wash them. It is worth it. 

So far, the boys and Eliza have done great. Unlike last time we tried cloth diapering, there are no signs of diaper rash. If there seems to be any sign of a rash, we have some California Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream on hand. Coconut oil is also a great, natural remedy for rashes that is safe for cloth diapers. Just remember that Desitin and other regular creams cannot be used with cloth.

Nathan and I are thrilled with the results and love saving money. It also feels good to not have a pail full of disposable diapers to throw in the trash at the end of the day.

You should think about it :)

A big thanks to all the ladies who gave suggestions and my friends who have shown me that cloth diapering can be done!

And in case you were wondering, I bought enough diapers to last through two days of not washing. This is approximately 36 inserts and 8 covers. Because I found a sale and received 10 dollars off my first order (along with free shipping), my diaper system cost just under $200. The additional supplies were approximately $80. In two months, everything will be "paid off," meaning we will break even with what we would have spent on disposables. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


 A fellow twin mom asked if I dressed the boys alike. My response: " I dress my babies. I feel like that's a huge accomplishment on it's own. My kids only get "fancy" for special occasions, and we dress them alike then so the people who showered us with gifts can see their cute outfits in action. Who doesn't love matching babies?!"
Obviously, photo shoots are a "special occasion."

In all honesty, Ezra and Elliott spend most of their days in sleepers we found at garage sales. The sleeper gowns are comfortable for the babies and make it easy for us to change their diapers. The boys are growing so fast that they are nearly out of their 0-3 month clothing. We have tons of matching outfits with the tags still on them, and I am doing my best to ensure that all clothes are worn at least once so I don't feel guilty about wasting the generous gifts from our friends and family.

So, our little guys match sometimes. I think it's cute when twins dress alike, but I Nathan and I both agree that complimentary outfits are more our style.
Speaking of matching, don't they look UN-matching here? As in not identical? They look so different these days! Starting last week, I can tell them apart without cheating (checking for the "different" ear Ezra has). I quickly glance and know my baby. I love it.

And while they have changed in appearance...

...they still like to hold hands.

 Having twins is the best.

Do you see the reflection of the chandelier lights in his eyes? It took me forever to figure out what it was!
(Eliza is the best too)
p.s. Nathan got me Photoshop! I was dying to have it so I could use my friend Becky's HoneyBee Actions. I have no idea how to use it, but I did figure out how to apply "actions" to photos. I only edited the first picture, using Becky's "Lighten Up" action, and I loved it! If you have any Photoshop advice, please send it my way. I am in WAY over my head.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Valentine's Revisited

Valentine's Day lasts longer than just a 24 hours when you ration out your two year old's candy stash! Eliza came home from preschool with a bag full of delicious treats. Cheryl, my mother in law who is the preschool teacher, also received a mound of goodies.

Here were a couple of the cutest ideas:

Eliza's favorites were the sock monkey she received.....
and especially the bottle of squeezable Kool-Aid,

 She simply couldn't get enough.
 And she couldn't have cared less about the chocolate.
Perfect for me!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wrapped Up in You

When Eliza was just four days old, Nathan and I went to Target for some emergency baby supplies. Our little girl was 5 weeks premature, and her sudden birth had taken us by surprise. I put on my Moby Wrap and placed her securely inside. I remember feeling her tiny body breathing against my chest as I walked through the aisles with Nathan.

A woman suddenly approached us. With obvious curiosity, she walked over to me and in a hushed voice asked, "Is that a...puppy?" The word "puppy" was said with such reverence that I nearly burst into laughter. Instead, I controlled myself and let her know it was actually a baby (far less exciting, I know).

Her look of curiosity turned instantly into confusion.

"A baby!? In there!?," she gasped.

I nodded.

"But it is so small!" ("It" being my daughter, who no, is not an inanimate object and thus deserves a proper pronoun).

I explained that Eliza was premature and that she only weighed 6 pounds. I opened the wrap and let her see our precious baby. The stranger nearly squealed with excitement. She was amazed by our tiny baby and even more astounded that I had her wrapped up against my body.

It seems as though most people are fascinated with mothers who wear their babies. It's common enough to see, but still attracts the attention of curious onlookers. I find myself even staring at fellow baby wearing mamas and wondering what their little one, who is often completely hidden, looks like.

We used the wrap to combat Eliza's colic. It calmed her for a little while and even helped her sleep for a few all too brief moments.
Can you see the sleep deprivation on my face? :)
We used it when Eliza was older and enjoyed walks around the neighborhood. From a very early age, she hated facing me in the wrap. She insisted on looking outward.
And now, with the twins, we are using our wrap again. Although the Moby can hold both boys at once (which is AMAZING), we decided to get another wrap so Nathan and I can each wear a baby. (Thank you wonderful lady on Craigslist who sold us our lovely new wrap for only 20 bucks!)
I'm looking forward to summer walks with the boys in their Mobys. If you couldn't tell, they are one of my favorite baby gear items.
Nathan likes them, too :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is Not Is Not Not Is

Imagine walking into your History of World Religions class and seeing those words on the chalkboard. Following them is the lone word, "Explain."


My World Religions class in high school was one of the best classes I have ever taken (college courses included). Our teacher encouraged us to think and gave us the tools to answering questions rather than specific answers that could be regurgitated on a test.

The problem with this (in high school, at least) is that I didn't want to do any thinking on my own. I wanted answers that I could simply memorize handed to me. I was blessed with the ability to retain large quantities of information (before pregnancy destroyed my brain cells) and wanted to use this asset. Looking over mountains of facts and reciting them on tests was easy; it just took time, which was much easier (I thought) than developing my own thoughts and answers. Because of this, history was always one of my best subjects with its countless dates and events.

So, when I signed up for the History of World Religions, I expected the focus of the class to be on facts. I'd memorize the definitions and history of Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. It'd be easy.

Imagine my overwhelming anxiety when our first test question was "IS NOT IS NOT NOT IS."

I read the statement over and over again. It didn't make sense. There was no question. The answer certainly was not in our book or the copious amounts of notes I took during the class. I looked around the room and felt sick to my stomach as I watched my peers share my confusion. I kept reading the words over and over again.

Finally, something clicked. "Is not" isn't "not is." This essentially means that all that is, is, and that anything that does not exist does not. I had the "a-ha" moment like the girl in Jurassic Park when she realizes the park is run on a Unix System and says, "I know this," thus saving them all from ravenous velociraptors. You get my point.

The answer to the philosophical religious question isn't important. The way I came to answer the question is where I see great importance. My wise teacher had given all his students the tools necessary to answering his clever question that really wasn't a question at all. We had been taught the definition of "is not" and "not is," but now we had to apply those meanings and see the actual question before even beginning.

My mind hurts even thinking about it.

I'm sure you're all thinking, "Great story, Celia. But really, what's your point (other than you like to brag about your memory and enjoy Jurassic Park)?"

Here it is: I think my expectations regarding this class are similar to my expectations regarding various aspects of my life and motherhood, in particular.

I think if I read enough books and learn enough facts, I can somehow always have the answers and "ace the test" without much effort. I often find there is no real solution to the specific problems I encounter, though. Dr. Weissbluth tells me how to get my baby to sleep, and it doesn't work for me. Dr. Karp teaches me how to have the "happiest baby on the block" and my children fuss all day. Various women write books about nursing, and I find myself the exception to many of their rules. I then find myself sorely disappointed.

While I realize these doctors and educated individuals do give me important tools of reasoning through their research and books, I also realize that as the mother to my unique children, it is my responsibility to know how to piece this information together and to know when to apply it.

Yes, my daughter is two and is not potty-trained. Yes, she still drinks from a bottle (only glass will do) at night. Yes, she wakes up most nights and needs us to comfort her before settling back down.

And yes, I have tried what the "experts" recommend to solve these "problems." More and more, I see that my child cannot be parented the way I expected. And therein lies most of my frustration. Why can't Eliza be "normal" and go to bed? Why can't Ezra and Elliott be "normal" and sleep more than two hours at a time? I'm applying all of the expert advice I've gathered, so why do I feel like a failure?

Unrealistic expectations.

As soon as I let go of all of my parenting books, I felt immensely relieved. I know they offer valuable information, but I also believe I expected too much from them.  I would rather learn from my fellow mothers (who I trust implicitly and why I love blogging so much) and rely on my own instincts.

In the end, it comes down to this simple fact:

I have intuition. I should trust it.

(I did pass that test with flying colors after all).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Stares and Smiles

The past couple of weeks, Ezra and Elliott have graced us with the most beautiful smiles.  They will stare off at seemingly nothing and suddenly grin from cheek to cheek. Most recently, they have started to coo and giggle at this "nothingness."

I put "nothingness" in parenthesis because I am not entirely convinced there isn't something there.

Eliza went through the same developmental stage, and I really thought nothing of it other than it was adorable. With the boys, I find it fascinating that they will look in the same exact direction and break into a smile simultaneously. It's like they are looking at someone and enjoying playtime.

And sometimes, there is great comfort in thinking that babies give smiles to angels.

Last weekend, we attended the funeral for Nathan's grandfather. Before we left the house that morning, Cheryl and I each took a baby to change their diapers. As we laid them down beside each other, they both stared off at the same point and giggled for the first time. Both of them giggled.
Cheryl and I looked at each other, and I knew we were thinking the same thing: The babies were visiting with Verle, their great-grandpa.

And even if that wasn't the case, it warms my heart to think about it.

War Stories

For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed war stories told by World War II veterans.

My grandfather was in the Navy and had a number of memorable stories to tell his grandchildren. Most notably, he enlisted when he was 16 (lying about his age in order to provide for his family) and ran the movie projector on the destroyer he was stationed on.  I couldn't believe he had gone to war at such a young age, and I respected him for the sacrifices he was willing to make for his family and country.

Nathan's grandfather, Verle, was also a World War II veteran who served in the Navy. When I met Verle for the first time, he mentioned his time spent as a solider. Of course, I wanted to know more. For a solid hour, he regaled me with unbelievable, sometimes amusing, and even miraculous experiences.

This weekend, I asked Thelda, Nathan's grandmother, to help me remember some of the facts regarding one of Verle's accounts. After his funeral last Saturday, I had the distinct impression that I should write down this particular story. Hopefully, my children will read it one day and feel amazed like I do every time I hear it.

A poor boy, who was raised by his grandmother, Verle was not the most popular child in school. His threadbare clothing, gangly figure, and overall appearance made him the target for many bullies. At the young age of six or seven, Verle prayed for protection one day as he hid from a group of would-be attackers. As soon as Verle said his prayer, he felt comforted as he heard the words, "I will always protect you."

Years later, this promise of protection would come into play multiple times as Verle served in the Navy.  Three times, Verle was assigned to serve on submarines....and three times, Verle contracted measles and was unable leave. All three of these submarines were sunk.

Because of his exposure to measles, Verle was unable to serve on a submarine, which was his real dream. Finally, he was healthy enough to leave on a destroyer escort. As the escort went through enemy waters, it suddenly was attacked by a Japanese bomber. Verle, who was a gunner on the ship, fired at the enemy plane. The plane was so close to the ship that Verle could actually see the pilot's face. The men on board frantically tried to bring the plane down before an aerial torpedo could be launched. At the last minute, right before the plane crashed into the ocean, Verle saw the torpedo release from the plane.

He braced for impact.

And then suddenly, a rouge wave came out of nowhere and lifted the ship. The torpedo passed underneath the destroyer and caused no damage. Once again, Verle was protected. After these experiences, a number of Verle's shipmates told him, "If you get off this ship, we're leaving too!"

Thank you, Verle, for your wonderful example. Thank you for all of the hugs and the kindest smiles. Thank you for your service to our country, our family, and God.
You are missed.

(Thank you, Jenny, for the link to his obituary and the lovely post!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012


We had a wonderful weekend! Nathan's grandmother, Thelda, and Aunt Dee volunteered to spend the night and help Cheryl watch all three children. After weeks of sleepless nights, we desperately needed a good night's rest. Nathan and I originally planned to stay in town and sleep at his grandmother's empty house. At the last minute, though, we decided to go to the Tricities and stay in a nice hotel, eat at a real restaurant, and make a date out of it!

We began our night away with a stop at Ty and Jenny's house to meet our precious niece, Anna.
She is a doll! I couldn't believe how big she was for a newborn.

We then headed over to the hotel. Using Hotwire, Nathan was able to bid on the room, saving us over 40 dollars. A night at the Hilton for 67 dollars? We'll take it!

As we walked through the luxurious lobby and stepped into the elevator, we both giggled like children. We weren't sure what to do with so much time to ourselves. I nearly clapped my hands with excitement when we opened the door to a lovely (and very clean) room.
We rested, got pretty, and then went to Outback. Nathan was pretty excited about his meal (especially the Bloomin' Onion).
I was happy to be there, too, but did not enjoy being stared at for 30 minutes by some random old man. I spent most of the time avoiding his gaze by staring off in the opposite direction.
I wanted Nathan to shake a threatening fist at him, but we decided to just leave instead. Nathan said he did stare the guy down as we walked out (that's my man!).

The best part of the trip: SLEEP. Glorious, uninterrupted sleep. (I still had to wake up to pump, but at least I was able to go back to sleep immediately afterwards.)

Of course, we kept Eliza updated with a series of photos. She loves funny faces. We do them most nights before she goes to bed.

She specifically requested to see us "sleeping in a bed" before going to sleep herself that night. Cute girl.
I missed all of the kids before we even left the driveway! Nathan knew we were coming back in less than 24 hours, so he didn't vocalize missing the children as much :)

Yet again, I am reminded that it does, in fact, take a village to raise a child (and twins, toddlers). I am so happy Nathan and I decided to defer chiropractic school. I can't imagine not having the loving support of our family members.

Nathan and I haven't had a night out to ourselves since Eliza was born, so this night out was a huge deal to us. A quick trip was enough to lift our spirits and give us some much-needed time to treat each other like spouses rather than business partners (our business being a daycare, obviously).
 And to top our weekend off, we were able to see two of our closest friends. Ben and Megan came to visit from Seattle, and it is always amazing to hang out with them. Ah, socialization! I will have to relearn how to not be socially awkward when we start hanging out regularly with adults again.

Once again, thank you Cheryl, Thelda, and Aunt Dee!
We appreciate your help, and we're glad to be home!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Such momentous fortitude has brought us two posts in a row by me! (I'm Nathan (Celia's husband (you probably don't know me))). Are we clear on that punctuation?

Well, I just wanted to assure everyone that I am trying my hardest to make sure that Eliza grows up to be the eclectickest girl possible. Much of our day is spent speaking in weird voices, making crazy expressions at each other, and doing fun experiments.

1. Every time she walks by the mirror in her room (floor length, like on closet door) she walks up to it, stares at herself and alternates between happy and sad faces. Then she looks at me and says "your turn." I oblige.

2. Her bedtime routine consists of singing songs in three different versions. Normal, fast, and baby, where we sing with the highest-pitch voices we can muster. She then repeatedly tells me goodnight and "sweep dreams" in the same high-pitched voice.

3. RANDOM DANCING!!! (Thank you good people from iCarly for your written consent to use that phrase)   <-- JK, I totally pinched it!

4. This:

Ok, big deal right? We made a measly crown out of your average, over-the-counter Magnetix, you say. Well you're correct. But this was only in preparation for the EEG headset I made to read her toddler brainwaves. That picture is going to be much, much weirder.

Much more along these lines:

(Interesting side-note: Rick Moranis - also ENFP)

The thing is, I like being an unconventional dad. I like knowing that my kids will have the option to be as non-normal -- or normal -- as they want. No this does NOT mean I'm going to entitlement-society them into believing that whatever weird random crap they do is TOTALLY AWESOME and everyone will love it no matter what. But I'm also not going to try to condense them down into a society-approved can of predictability and "normal" behavior. Although, their dad (me) is a Mormon, synth-pop musician, holistic healer and theorist/writer so I don't think I'll run into too much of the latter. Uhhhh. . . I should probably make Eliza comb her hair more.

So to sum up this post in one shareable/coinable/purchaseable catch-phrase:

Parents - they'll let almost anyone be one.    <-- (Don't knick that, it's totally mine. (According to a simple Google search)).

Thursday, February 16, 2012


How dare I use such an en vogue word for a title, right? So hip, right? Awkward! Random! Uh, cliche much? (That literally hurt me to write. And reread.)

But ever since Eliza was born, I had her pegged as a certain personality type. ENFP. And while that means nothing to 99.9% of you, suffice it to say that it's a big deal to me. 1) Because I love temperament/personality-typing every single person I know and 2) because that is my absolute favorite personality type. (BESIDE MY WIFE'S!!!)          <--For my protection

Well, I found some evidence. See, personality typing is based of phenotype -- essentially, the way someone looks -- so people who look alike have similar temperaments. Thus the whole birth of the doppleganger craze. Dear friends, I have found Eliza's doppleganger.

Without further ado:

Ok. I know what you're thinking. Which one is Eliza?!?! Well, as it turns out. I can't tell anymore. Both of them are successful child-actors (Eliza puts on a show and gets whatever she wants), both have two brothers (in the Movie, not in real life) and one of them IS NAMED ELLIOTT!!!!

Anywho, Drew Barrymore is an ENFP, so maybe they're the same temperament, maybe not. But whatever Eliza turns out to be, that's my new favorite personality type.

(Full House violin moment, yeah!)

Twins, Again!?

No. We are not expecting another set of twins. The "twins" that I speak of belong to my lovely sisters-in-law. My two newest nieces were born today! That's kind of like twins, right?

Ty and Jenny welcomed their first baby, Anna Renee Robbins, early this morning. Jenny sent out this adorable birth announcement via Red Stamp on her iPhone.
Chad and Danielle welcomed their fourth baby less than 11 hours later. Evelyn (Evie) Robbins was born at 12:11 PM. She weighed 8 lbs, 14 oz, and was 20.5 inches long.

These were some big babies! I couldn't believe they were only an ounce apart in weight. They were twice the size of this guy (Ezra) when they were born.
Check out the size of that binkie!

I bet they'll catch up to Ezra and Elliott in no time!

Two more nieces (and cousins for the kids) in one day! We feel pretty blessed in the Robbins home.


My hormones are crazy these days, and I remain overly emotional due to the high stress of parenting and sleep deprivation. With the events of the last 12 hours, I feel as though I am emotionally overloaded with both exciting news and tragic news.

The good news is, in fact, joyous news, so it undoubtedly deserves its own post. The sad news, though, is weighing on me so heavily that I need to get some thoughts off of my chest now.

If you have been reading my blog for the past couple of months, you probably have noticed that I am a bit overwhelmed with twin and toddler parenthood. I continually try to give myself pep-talks and keep a positive attitude, but some nights, when it is 3 AM and both babies cannot be comforted, I have moments where I plead with Heavenly Father to give me strength and sustain me for just one more hour.

These days, I live minute by minute. I love to plan and schedule life, but I am learning to pray for strength on an hourly basis, rather than a daily one. If I have no expectations for the morning or evening, then I don't have to focus on anything other than surviving the moment I am in.

Nathan often tells me that unhappiness comes when expectations differ from reality. I try to limit my ideals regarding the twins, so I am overjoyed when they sleep a two hour stretch. If I had dreams of them sleeping through the night, I would constantly be disappointed and unhappy. I also keep the same mindset with Eliza and her fierce independence. I try desperately to allow my children to exist within their own mold and not to compare them to their peers, who are seemingly more "normal" at times.

I say all of this because of some news I received last night. I have two sisters-in-law who are expecting babies today. Because of this, I was checking my phone constantly for updates. Of course, I got onto Facebook during this time. One of my favorite things to do is read posts from other mothers in my "Mothers of Multiples" group. I have been a member of this group since June when we found out we were expecting twins. All of us mothers had twins around the same time and over the past few months, we have shared our pregnancy updates, our fears regarding delivery, our joyous birth announcements, and now our day to day struggles and triumphs. We have undoubtedly become very close as we have shared this journey.

And today, my heart is broken by a terrible tragedy that has befallen a fellow twin mother. Our friend, "M," posted that one of her twins was in the intensive care unit with a broken collar bone and brain hemorrhaging. Her son, "B," was the victim of shaken baby syndrome. M works long hours at the hospital, so her husband was alone with two very fussy babies for 12 hours a day.  Apparently, he could not handle the stress. They are a loving couple and family, and I feel sorry for all people involved.

I am sharing this because if anything can come from such a tragedy, it should be knowledge. M let us know about her darkest hour to put things in perspective for all of us mothers who felt defeated and overly tired. She wanted us to know that it is always okay to walk away from a crying baby and that asking for help is never a sign of weakness. She wanted us to know that our babies are precious blessings.

My heart aches for little B. I have looked at Ezra and Elliott a hundred times since I read M's post and each time, my heart pounds with a surge of love for them. I need to stop thinking about this tragedy so much, but I wanted to share this story in order to ask for prayers for M and her little boy.

The baby was transported to a hospital in a different state. M's husband has been arrested, and she is with her other son in a hotel. Our twin group has set up a way to make donations to her family during this time of need, but I know prayers are one of the best ways anyone can help. If you are interested in donating, I have a link to the secure donation site. It will only be active for 24 hours.

Even with all of the crying and sleepless nights, I consider it a privilege to be a mother. I realize I am incredibly blessed with gifts from God. One friend said, " I know that we don't necessarily deserve God's gifts, but He trusts us, and we should never take these children, these gifts, for granted."

So true.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day For the Weary

Valentine's Day for Nathan and me meant dressing Eliza in various red and pink outfits, painting nails pink (Nathan's nails included), and avoiding all forms of food (including candy). Yes. We were sick on Valentine's Day. As a special gift to us, Cheryl and Rex watched the children, so Nathan and I could go to bed at 9.

These days, sleep is more precious than any form of jewelry or chocolate. Therefore, we couldn't have given each other a better gift! 

I suppose we'll celebrate Valentine's Day and go on an actual date in a few months (or years?). In the meantime, we don't mind sharing this romantic holiday with our little Valentines. They really are what we love most, so why not?

I can imagine Ezra thinking, "Punch!"

But really, does somebody want to offer to babysit? And do you think it would ruin the date if I had to bring my breast pump to the restaurant? My life is super glamorous.

(p.s. I am going to start labeling some of the pictures with the boys' names. My friend Becky, who has identical twin sons, does this, and I love it! I like knowing who is who...and I bet my mom does, too).