Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How Sweet It Is

I think it's time.

I'm not really feeling fat. I'm not really feeling cranky.

I'm just becoming more and more aware of the effects my eating habits have on my body, my mood, and (for the next 2 months + however long I breastfeed) my boys.

I've been playing around with the idea of doing this again. It's kind of pointless to only do it for a year, though. I've already proven to myself that no treats for a year is very possible. Last time, I learned that my body absolutely loves when I don't eat treats. I sleep better, I have clearer skin, I freak out at Cam less often. Wins all around.

I told a friend of mine that I was going to do it again as soon as the boys were born, because I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with calories, so I just need to keep eating everything right now, but really? That's lame. These boys don't need empty calories and high fructose corn syrup. They need real, good, food.

So, I'm starting now.

No more cakes, cookies, brownies, soda, candy, etc.

And it's not just for a year. It's for good. To make the lifestyle change realistic though, I know I'll need "free days" to pick ONE treat. To avoid me justifying extra "free days" (like, HEY! Today is National Sock Day. Let's celebrate!) I've made a list. Every year, I can pick ONE treat on the following days:

  1. January 2nd - Our Anniversary

  2. Valentine's Day

  3. The Boys' Birthday

  4. Easter Sunday

  5. 4th of July

  6. My Birthday

  7. Cam's Birthday

  8. The Last Day of School (this will eventually be in June, once our boys are in school. For now, it is to celebrate the end of the chiropractic school trimesters that end in May and September.)

  9. Halloween

  10. Thanksgiving

  11. Christmas Eve/Day

  12. New Year's Eve

This gives me roughly 1 treat a month. Do I HAVE to eat a treat? no. I can totally see myself not wanting one after I get going. But I also love celebrating holidays, and to me celebration almost always involves food.

Going off treats the first time made me realize just how much access to junk I have. Multiple times per week there are just plates of brownies and cookies and everything else for the taking. Church activities are the worst for this. Making the decision that I wouldn't have any before hand made it so easy to avoid it in the moment. And I loved it. It hasn't even been a year, but I miss it. (I'm sure that sounds strange to some of you, but don't knock it 'til you try it!) I also think that by having this list made, it will make me really think about what I want to indulge in that day.

Like the day the boys are born? You better believe I'm having an irish cream cocoa bean from the cafe where my sister works. And I really look forward to it!

Also, if I really REALLY just can't handle the no sweets situation, anything from here is on the good list.

And if any of you are ready to join me, I welcome you with open arms. I feel like this is a very happy medium for me, but maybe with some tweaks (or not) it will fit for you too. I can't wait for the benefits to start kicking in again!

Bring on the deep sleep, non-crazy dreams, patience, and clear skin!


Monday, January 30, 2012

The Six List

From reading other blogs and talking to other women in similar situations as mine, it seems we have similar problems. How do we balance all the different facets of our lives and feel fulfilled and NOT burned out at the end of the day?

I found myself being so angry at myself while I was working full time because I had all these things I wanted to do, but never enough time to do them. I did, though, have time to watch TV shows at lunch, and spend time on Facebook/Pinterest/etc. I was also having a hard time keeping up with my design clients because I just flat out didn't want to do ANYTHING when I got home from work at 5, let alone make a good dinner and tackle even the tiniest of projects.

While trying to find a solution to my productivity dilemma, I stumbled upon this piece of advice:
There is a legendary story that in the 1920's, Charles Schwab (at the time one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States and founder of Bethlehem steel) wanted to get more done each day for himself and his executive staff. He was approached by Ivy Lee, a public relations expert, who told him a "secret" to increase their productivity.

Mr Lee told Mr Schwab to implement this secret methodology and then, after he had seen the results of the method, to come back and pay him what he thought it was worth. Mr. Schwab and his executives tried the idea for a month and received such amazing results that Mr. Schwab wrote a check to Mr. Lee for $25,000, which at that time was a huge sum of money.

Here's the trick: At the end of each day, write a list of the six most important things to do for the next day and order them from one to six. In the morning start with number one. Keep working on it until completed, then move to number two. Keep working on this one until completed, and then move to the next item on the list. Continue this way until completing all the priority items on the list.

I decided to take this a step further, because I need a little flexibility in my day. I need to be able to choose what to prioritize or what to work on. Enter, the six list:

I printed two to a sheet, cut them in half, and got them bound into a little pad at Office Max. Since I'm not working anymore, that top section has been modified to be "baby" focused. A lot of you might be thinking that 24 things in a day is too many. You're right. I shoot to get 3-4 done in each section, but by listing out all 6, in case I'm feeling great I don't just sit around saying "my list is done!" I know the next thing I want to work on immediately. Also, some of my 6 things are very small. I've had a hard time remembering to take my prenatal with food, so under baby, the first 4 normally look like this:

  1. Good Breakfast

  2. Take Prenatal

  3. Good Lunch

  4. Take Iron

These might not seem like a big deal, but I know myself well enough to list it because it won't happen otherwise. And when the days all blur together, it's nice to be able to look and say "yep. I did take my supplements today."

Also, when I'm filling out what I want to get done the following day, I already have 2-3 things in each section (because they weren't crossed off) so making the list each night only takes a minute or two. And because it's in a notepad, while I'm working on the list, if I notice something that needs to get done the following day, I can just write it in, instead of hoping I remember that night.

Other things that make the lists are: "plan FHE, shower & ready, catch up finances, pay bills, pack Cam's lunch, read hypnobirthing, take a nap, dishes, sew 1 diaper, deposit cash, grocery shopping, wipe down bathroom, make bed, make dinner, Julie's insert designs, fold laundry, make freezer breakfasts," etc. Some are bigger than others. Some take more time than others, but being reminded of the little things that need to be done is often just as important as making sure the big things get done. Before bed each night, I ask Cam if he has any requests. This makes sure that he doesn't come home from work and ask if something got done that we haven't clearly discussed earlier. He knows there's a time at the end of the day where he can put something on my list.

Clearly, all 4 categories probably won't fit with everyone's situation. I made a six list for my sister Lindsay at her request. She has said that it has helped her get so much done during the day. Which is when I figured I should probably share with the world, because if something works this great for two people as different as me and her, it will probably work great for a lot of you too! Hers looks a bit like this:

The bottom can be used for phone numbers, reminders, dinner ideas, etc.

This design is copyrighted, but I'm happy to make a custom, print-ready file for anyone who wants it. I was thinking $5 for the time it takes to modify would be fair.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

29 Week Update - Movin' Right Along

How far along? 29 Weeks exactly
Maternity clothes? Yes. But this sweater isn't a maternity sweater. It's got about 2 days left of life in it, so I figured I'd give it a last hurrah. I'm still loving those jeans. :)
Best moment this week: Finishing 3 cloth diapers! I'm pretty proud of myself. Also, Cameron gave me a rub down, followed by practicing some counter-pressure/labor techniques. All I gotta say is the riboso (sp?)  is life changing. Also, I do NOT have gestational diabetes. boo-yah! Thanks for not liking treats boys! I was really worried about that because gestational diabetes comes from the placenta. Since I have 2 placentas, I was at greater risk for it, or so they say. I'm just grateful I don't have to worry about that. I'm having a hard enough time getting enough calories as it is.
Movement: Yes. GRAY GOT OFF MY RIBS. 10 gold stars for that kid. He is the BEST. I have no idea how he found a little extra room to get comfy, but I am so grateful. I'm sure he'll be back up there eventually, but it sure has been nice!
Food cravings: Fruits & veggies. Also, rootbeer. And ice cream. Weirdy. Those are actually current cravings. Perhaps a caffeine-free pepsi float? I think I mostly just want the carbonation. OMG DR. PEPPER. (I'm worthless. Are you getting that?)
Labor Signs: None. Nash is using my cervix as a punching bag lately. That's a weird sensation.
Belly Button in or out? I'm pretty impressed with how well my button is hanging in there. lol. I thought for sure it'd be popped by now, but no. There's a tiny corner that is flirting with the line, but other than that it's just stretched.
What I miss: Not gonna lie, I had a utter and complete meltdown because I was no longer young and hip and fun and hot. It was fueled by the realization that no one would mistakenly come up and hit on me if we happened to be out at a party of some sort. (Totally rational, I know.) I was also looking through a bunch of fun date ideas and couldn't muster up the energy for any of it. Cam came home to a crying wife and wails of "I'm the lamest of the lame!" over and over again. I also believe I asked him if he was OK that I had no plans for a date, but wanted to get out of the house. We ended up getting some food at Costco (where TWO separate women commented on how cute I looked...tender mercy from the Big Guy? I think so.) and sitting on the floor of DI (a thrift store) looking through childrens' books. (I found TACKY: the penguin for $.75. Major score!)
What I am looking forward to: Baby Shower this week! Also, my sister just came and picked up everything to finish up THIS. I can't WAIT to see it all finished!
Milestones: Nash's head has dropped. I'm not dilating at all, which is nice, but the Dr. did say that he really has no room to move and he's ready to go when the time comes. That's kind of crazy for me to think about. Also, my list of people who are due before me is dwindling. Babies are being born, people!
Realization of the week: Height helps with this whole pregnancy thing. I thought I would be WAY more uncomfortable than I really am at this point. Sure, I have a hard time getting up out of the car or putting on pants in the morning, but after that I'm really just fine. I don't realize how much bigger I've gotten until I see the picture we take for these updates. Major respect to you more petite ladies. I'm measuring 36 weeks right now for a singleton pregnancy and I'm pretty sure if I was having one baby, I would not get the full discomfort of pregnancy. Don't you worry, I'll be measuring 44+ before this is all over. All's fair. :)

Also, I was reading through past journal entries from during IVF and my word I was blessed with one of the most incredible husbands on this earth. I'm sure he had a ton of emotions to sort through too, but he spent every bit of energy he had taking care of me, making sure I was ok, protecting me from well-intentioned idiotic comments, etc. He is such a good man. And me and these boys are the LUCKIEST to have him as a husband and father.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

28 Week Update

How far along? 28 Weeks 1 Day
Maternity clothes? Yes. Although the black shirt in the picture isn't a maternity shirt. In fact, it's my "I don't want to feel huge today" shirt. Also known as the "magic black shirt." It makes me look smaller than I really am from the front. From the side, it's really impossible to look smaller, but that's ok! I like that we have big boys.
Best moment this week: Lotion rubs before bed. Cam rubs lotion on my belly before we go to sleep and the boys just kick and kick. I like it when all four of us are connected that way.
Movement: All the time. It's wonderful. Poor Gray is running out of room. He is up on my ribs and if I cough, his head gets smashed against my ribs. If I sneeze, same story. Baths and Ice Packs are helping the soreness at this point.
Food cravings: Just food. And I can't get enough water. Still no chocolate really. I want fruits and veggies all the time. And I love spicy things. Yum. :)
Labor Signs: None really. Practice "surges" (I'm reading hypnobirthing...) come and go pretty often, but everything stops if I lay down and keep drinking water.
Belly Button in or out? Pretty sure the end is near. Still in though. :)
What I miss: Nothing really right now. I have good time with my husband. The boys are healthy and growing well. We have a beautiful home and I am blessed enough to be able to be at home right now working on my homemaking skills. This is something I've dreamed of since I was a little girl. It is already better than I imagined it would be.
What I am looking forward to: Actually getting the guts up to sew the first cloth diaper. Yesterday I sat and stared at it for about an hour. It's just intimidating to me! Also, plans are moving forward for a baby shower here in Utah! I keep getting e-mails from the girls putting it on and I am getting SO excited! (If you want an invite, e-mail or comment with your address). :)
Milestones: We are officially in the 3rd trimester! This also means that the boys can come any time from here on out and they will be fine. (Granted, it would take a lot of modern technology to keep them healthy), but we're just cutting down NICU time from now on. These boys are ACTUALLY coming to our family. We will get to meet them. I just can't wait.
Realization of the week: I am looking forward to the little things the most, I think. I keep dreaming about their features. Their hair, eyes, nose, toes, little beany bodies, everything. And I can't wait for that new baby smell to come to our house.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Night We've Waited For...

One of our family new year's resolutions is to hold family home evening every single week. It's an opportunity to spend time together as a family and learn about church-related subjects in the home. We tried having family home evening when we first got married but it was so...awkward. Without children or siblings, we'd just end up watching a movie or having a normal night. When there's just 2 of you at home, it's really hard to distinguish just what makes a night "family night".

I set out to tackle this problem, because I really believe in the importance of establishing the habit of family night.

This is what I came up with:

Now our family home evenings go about like this:

  • Sing a hymn that goes along with the lesson. Cam plays the piano, we both sing.

  • We switch off who says the opening prayer.

  • We go over finances. I have a little printout in my wallet that has our budget outline in it. Every time I pay a bill or make a purchase, I record the amount in the budget. That way, every Monday it takes me about 5 minutes to calculate how much we have left in each budget. We talk about upcoming expenses, things we'd like to use the miscellaneous budget for, and potential date ideas.

  • We check in with each other on how we're doing spiritually. How are our family prayers? Personal prayers? What are we studying in the scriptures personally? As a family? Are we happy with how family scripture study is going? etc. We also set a goal together that we want to work on the next week.

  • We talk about our relationship. We start off with 3 compliments and an itch. The nice thing is that after you've given 3 sincere compliments to the other person, it's pretty hard to come up with an "itch". BUT, if there is ever something we really need to talk about, this is an easy way to get it out in the open. And then we do 3-minute massages. (Honestly, these normally wait until right before bedtime, but sometimes we sit on opposite ends of the couch and do foot rubs.) I strongly believe that physical touch is an essential part of feeling like you're "on the same page." It's really hard to be annoyed with each other if you're touching, and good feelings between spouses invites the spirit into our home. We also go over current stressors. If I don't know what is stressing Cam out, I can't help relieve that stress and vice versa. Also, a sure-fire way to increase the love you feel for your spouse or your spouse feels for you is to get rid of whatever it is that is setting off red flags in his or her mind.

  • The last part of the paper is a week-at-a-glance calendar. There's VERY little space here, for a reason. This is where we make sure we're both planning on the same things for the upcoming week. It has virtually eliminated any freak outs caused by "You didn't TELL me you were working overtime tonight." And, "No. My work party is tonight. We have to be there at 6. You'll have to cancel with so-and-so." We outline major events in the upcoming week.

  • We have a lesson. (Cam and I switch off who gives it).

  • We have an activity. (This is anything from organizing the nursery to going on a walk to going to concert to playing a card game etc.)

  • We have a treat. (And a closing prayer)

For a while this paper was posted on our fridge for the week, but since we've tried it for almost 2 months now, we've decided to save some paper because it has worked beautifully. I plopped mine in a frame and we use a dry-erase marker to fill it out every week. It sits on our end table next to the couch where we will see it all the time. Here's what it looks like all filled out: (This was last week's)

Every time someone has asked about it, they inevitably ask how long it takes to get through. 15 minutes tops. 10 minute lesson, and then a treat means family night is still about a half hour long, but we are so on the same page and prepared for the week, the difference is incredible.

And we feel like we're on the same team.

I think that's worth every second.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

27 Week Update

How far along? 27 Weeks exactly
Maternity clothes? There is a bit of a panicked undertone when it comes to getting dressed. The jeans are fine, not concerned about those. However, my sister-in-law gave me a huge bag of maternity tops for when I get HUGE (think 4 weeks from now). I just tried on every single one and none even cover my belly. She wore them in her last trimester with her twin boys. She is also about 5'4''. I am 6'0''. Stupid long torso. Not sure what I'll be wearing in February. Could make for a rather "exciting" Valentine's Day, don't you think? jk. I will still have to get out of the house somehow!
Best moment this week: Appointment with the maternal fetal medicine specialist. Hands. down. We got a 90 minute ultrasound. Got to see our boys and get accurate measurements on them. I spent all week trying hard not to be worried. I did find myself paying a whole lot more attention to feeling kicks and movement from Nash, though. So much so, that I freaked myself out because Gray had flipped and I was no longer feeling kicks where he used to kick. Anyhow - we went into the appointment wanting to know what was going on with Nash and why he was "so small" according to our doctor. The ultrasound tech said that whoever did the ultrasound last week probably didn't know what they were looking for because things couldn't look more perfect. Nash (Baby A) is nice and squished at the bottom. I'm not dialated at all. He is weighing in at a healthy 2lbs 7oz. He's in the 61st percentile. Above average. We like that. His head is in the 98th percentile. He's in the 93rd percentile for height. He's a big chunk according to the specialist. We like that. :) Gray is currently sitting on Nash's head. Ah, the wrestling begins. He is weighing in at 2lbs 14oz. He's in the 79th percentile. Very much above average. His head is in the 94th percentile. He's in the 97th percentile for height. We finished measuring Gray and I said, "Gosh - we've got a linebacker!" The specialist said "You've got two!" She said that if I make it to 36 weeks that the boys will definitely come home from the hospital with us and that natural childbirth is back on the table. She also said that she sees no reason our boys won't be between 5.5 and 6 pounds at birth. I'm thrilled. It's also really encouraging to know that I am currently carrying over 5 pounds of baby already. We also determined that the boys are, in fact, fraternal. There are two placentas, two amniotic sacs, etc. Also, because we did a 5 day transfer, one embryo splitting earlier enough to create two placentas is impossible at that point. The embryo could've still split, but if that was the case, they would be sharing a placenta.
Movement: It seems to come and go. Maybe that's because I just paid extra close attention this past week. Also, Gray flipped so I thought I was feeling extra kicks from Nash, but that wasn't exactly the case. Their feet and legs are all in the same place now so I have no idea how I'll keep them straight when I have to do kick counts next week.
Food cravings: Anything. Still not a huge fan of straight chocolate, but I did down a bunch of heath bar chocolate chip cookies on Sunday that made for a pretty blissful day. I'm just hungry all the time and I can't get enough water.
Labor Signs: Lots of contractions, but not dialating at all. Which is really encouraging. The boys are taking the contractions just fine, so we should have a beautiful and hopefully uneventful next couple of months.
Belly Button in or out? Pretty sure the end is near. Still in though. :)
What I miss: Sleep. And yes, I realize it will only get worse. Cam no longer asks me how I slept. He asks if I slept at all. Most of the time, the answer is no. Naps are my only saving grace right now.
What I am looking forward to: My nap today. :) Watching Parenthood. Finishing the boys' bookcase and rearranging the nursery.
Milestones: 9 weeks left! (until 36 weeks) Single digits! Crazy.
Realization of the week: I believe my dad put it best when he said to my mom, "She's about to embark on a whole new level of tired she doesn't even know exists yet." I don't think I'm quite there, but my word I can see where this is going.

At this point, I think Nash has Cam's nose, and Gray has mine. We'll just have to wait and see! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Silhouette Living Room Makeover

Cam and I have been trying to clean out our 2nd bedroom to make room for these two boys that are coming in March and it's taken a little bit of creativity. We've ALMOST done it, there are just a couple more things to clear out. (If you are interested in buying our elliptical machine, let me know!) However, this sparked a need to re-do our living room. We love our purple couch, but since we finished it, our piano was still red and looking mighty out of place. Also, I was sick of the "shrine" to the television. Also, the couch was way too far away from the TV so watching movies was a pain (rough life, eh?). I also really just like change. So we rearranged the room one Saturday. Cam promptly broke the coffee table while trying to move it out of the way so we could try different couch layouts. The flimsy little thing just completely collapsed, which turned into a blessing in disguise. We went to Lowe's, bought some yellow and black paint and the projects began.


Note the "shrine" to the TV. Hate that thing. Also, please take note of all the gross cords and the nasty gold cabinet. Blech.


We painted the gold cabinet black. Trashed the top drawer, used part of the wood from the recently broken coffee table to make a shelf and created ourselves a little TV console that goes on the back wall of the living room. From the front door, it is the very last thing you see, which just makes me so happy. Also, the couches now face each other which encourages conversation rather than TV consumption. For the pattern on the drawer front, Cam painted it silver first and I cut a "stencil" out of contact paper using my silhouette machine. We applied the stencil, painted the rest black, and voila, we're in action! I'm really REALLY pleased with how this turned out!(And I'm bummed the picture is blurry. I'm trying to figure out how to use my new camera...It's hit or miss right now.)

(This pic is a little better, but I was trying to avoid using the flash. O well. Practice, practice, practice!)

Please note that you can't see a single cord on the wall. This was BIG. Cam figured out how to hide all the cords for his surround sound system and all the cords from the Bluray player. I hate cords, and now they're invisible. I'm happy. Also, the picture doesn't show this very well, but the black paint inside that top portion really hides the media. It all just blends together. It makes it a lot less distracting/prominent in the room.

Cam then used the top of our little splintered coffee table to make me 3 shelves for the desk area. We moved our computer desk down out of the 2nd bedroom to make room for the boys and he built me a gorgeous new office area off in the nook of our living room. We have even MORE stuff in the living room now, but it's never felt so spacious. Funny how that works. :)

That was the small part of the makeover. (Sometimes I'm amazed Cam hasn't thrown in the towel yet. I am slowly but surely weakening him to my "wild" color schemes and patterns. Also, due to being prego, most of "my" projects quickly become "cam's" projects while I sit on the couch and watch. Marry a good man, ladies.)

Thus began the piano makeover. (The red was clashing with my purple couch.)

And because I LIVE to have little bits of ourselves injected into every piece of home decor I possibly can, after Cam finished painting, I started cutting vinyl for the front of the piano face. It took a long time, but was so worth it!

The finished product:

The vinyl on the front face is scripted song lyrics that we love. We try to keep it classy...ha. I picked a nice cursive/handwritten font so the overall appearance would get the effect I was going after. I also think it makes for a really fun little "treat" for those who look close enough to actually try to read the words. Things start off with a raucous "Rah rah rah ah ah" from Lady Gaga. There are tributes to our roots with the words "I'm ready to go for it! I'm ready to reach for the Northern star!" (shout out to my other EFY counselors and kids!) I believe Katy Perry actually makes 2 appearances. ("Own the night like the 4th of July" and the slightly more risque "let you put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans"). The entire right side is dedicated to Phoebe Buffay. "Are you in there little fetus? In 9 months with you come greet us? I will buy you some adidas!" Among other gems.

It's quite possibly my favorite project. Ever.

(And thus we see a "hit" with the new camera. Hoo-rah for a sweet shallow depth of field! That was my goal today, and I figured it out. Boom baby!)

Overall Room After:

All I need now are curtains. I'm thinking grey and white chevron. Cam is thinking we don't have money in the budget for that. We shall see, we shall see. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

26 Week Update

How far along? 26 Weeks 1 Day
Maternity clothes? Can you say maternity skinny jeans, in LONG sizes for $17 bucks?? wahoo! I feel like a whole new person! I have been feeling SO frumpy lately and the jeans, oh the magical jeans, have really turned that around. It also might be the incredible face wash system I got for Christmas from my mama, and the new eye-liner and mascara too.
Best moment this week: Besides buying the jeans? LOTS of things. My family getting to feel the boys kick for the first time, seeing our boys on the ultrasound yesterday, sleeping in our own bed after 10 days on vacation (rough life, I know). Meeting up with Julie (AMAZING friend and certified doula) to talk natural childbirth...which was always the plan until I got a phone call from the doctor about 10 minutes ago. After our ultrasound yesterday, we learned that Nash (Baby A) is a full half pound smaller than his brother. I have an appointment on Tuesday with a specialist to hopefully find out what's going on and what we can do about it. Until then, prayers would be very much appreciated.
Movement: All the time! I am really enjoying it, honestly. Although Gray often gets all up in my ribs. I think he's bruised something in there. One tiny little kick can make me tear up.
Food cravings: Anything healthy. Fruit, nuts, bagels with cream cheese. (Healthy is a relative term here). I'm still digging on vinegar. Veggie subs from Subway hit the spot every. single. time.
Labor Signs: Oh the contractions. Apparently elevation change can cause contractions. These are fake-os though. They don't hurt, they're just uncomfortable and the boys always kick like crazy afterward. I'm sure I would too if all the walls of my house all of a sudden decided to cave in and squish me up for a minute at a time.
Belly Button in or out? Pretty sure the end is near. The top half is looking mighty strange.
What I miss: Nothing really. Maybe the luxury of having a non-high-risk pregnancy. I have been really enjoying not worrying too much about the boys until today. Hopefully I get to regain that peace of mind after the appointment on Tuesday.
What I am looking forward to: Christmas morning with our boys next year. Also, seeing their little bodies in the clothes and blankets we got over the break! I'm also looking forward to my snaps coming in so I can sew up these cloth diapers, pronto.
Milestones: Got all the cloth diapers cut out. Baby B is 2 lbs 6 oz. Baby A is 1 lb. 14 oz. I am carrying over 4 lbs of baby already! Grow boys, grow! We also celebrated our last anniversary as just the two of us. Cam out did himself again. (See the Christmas post) and bought me the book "How do you tuck in a superhero." It's really a celebration of mothering boys. I think a hot bubble bath and a long read of that will make me feel better about everything today.
Realization of the week: I need naps. I will probably need a nap every single day until these boys arrive. And that is okay. I refuse to believe anything is wrong with the boys until someone really tells me whats up. It would sure help, though, if the doctor wouldn't be so vague. 6 days seems an eternity away.



This year we spent Christmas at the McGuire house. (my family). It was a total blast. I loved it. Not a lick of snow on the drive down, either, which made for a nice, easy, and quick drive (relatively speaking...I was pretty uncomfortable due to the sudden growth of these two boys.)

Christmas Eve is my dad's birthday, so we had a big breakfast and did presents for him. Then, we all went out to my Grandma's house (that they're selling this year) to take family pictures.

The photographer was nice enough to snap a couple maternity photos for us. This one is my absolute favorite. :)

Christmas Eve we went caroling. Normally, I hate caroling. I have always said my family just isn't good at it. We have caroled to a dog, through a glass door because the family wasn't home (all 3 verses). We have caroled to the wrong house, which turned into the right house about halfway through the second verse (the family had just moved to a new house and the cousin answered the door...a cousin we had never met before.) We have also caroled to a house where the inhabitants did not hear us knock and the daughter opened the door to take out the trash, saw a bunch of large hooded figures, screamed and slammed the door. However, in the years I have been out of the house apparently we have improved at it.

This year, my brother brought his guitar and my other brother brought his cahone [sp?]. (It's a drum that makes all sorts of different sounds. Pretty rad.) We were a hit wherever we went! Such a different experience than years past. We only went out for an hour and sang to our good friends, and neighbors we hoped to meet, etc. I was actually sad to be done when we were out of treat plates.

Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, my parents wrapped up the living room and we all got ready for church at 9am. It was pretty bizarre to not be awake before the sun on Christmas Day. (My super mature 26 year old sister is still the first one awake every Christmas...at like 4:30-5 am. It's a riot. I was definitely not complaining about the extra hours of sleep, though!

I really enjoyed having church on Christmas Day. It was a beautiful musical program. Cam sang with the choir to help out the tenor section and the boys kicked and rolled through the entire thing. That was probably the best gift I could've received because I was nervous about making the drive. The reassurance that they're both OK is the most important thing to me.

We came home and got back into pajamas.

And tore down the wrapping paper. :)

Please note Jessica's pajamas. That girl is so absolutely my favorite. lol.

Lillie got a dollhouse full of a variety of characters. Disney princesses, dinosaurs, trucks, Woody, Buzz and Jessie (who are favorites), and woodland creatures all live in harmony there. We try to embrace diversity. :) She was so fun to watch! Having a kid around really brings a whole new level of Christmas magic. It made me terribly excited for next year when we will have two rambunctious, probably crawling boys to keep track of.

JT getting "conservative ties for his mission." :) This was the last year we would all be together. Mackay and Lindsay won't be coming out for Christmas morning again and JT will be on a mission for the next two Christmases, so it was nice to have everyone together this time.

Hair done and make-up on for Christmas morning is a definite first. There were onesies in our stockings and cute little socks for the boys. What a fun Christmas!

Also, major husband points right here: Cam got on my pinterest account, found my board of books I'd like to read eventually and ordered two of them. WHOA. I had no idea he even KNEW about that board, let alone how to get on my pinterest account. Total win right there.

There was one bag for the in-laws, which we found a little weird considering Cam lives in Utah and Mackay lives in Colorado, and my parents made them wait to open it through the rest of the Christmas presents. They gave a bag to us McGuire kids after all the presents were unwrapped. Inside were 3 DVDs of our family photos, set to music, with video clips of major highlights. We got to see pictures of my parents growing up, the night of their first kiss, mission pictures from my dad I had never seen before, all the way through the growing up years of our family and into the marriages of me and Cam and Lindsay and Mackay, the birth of Lillie, the glory days of all of us in high school sports. It was 2.5 hours long! Such a blast! In the "in-law bag" was a pack of oreos for Cam and a pack of oreos for Mackay along with a magazine (something financial for Mackay, and one on woodworking/projects for Cam). It was their "we're sorry you have to sit through 3 DVDs of our family" present. :)

We ended up watching the DVDs on Christmas day and the day after. So awesome.

The days after were spent on a cloth diaper making blitz and playing a new game called Pandemic.

Lots of laughing til you cry, kicks from the boys, and pajama days. Tons of amazing food, including a beautiful Christmas dinner of prime rib served on my mom's gorgeous china...that we all ate in our pajamas after waking up from naps. Sometimes Christmas is just meant to "be". No expectations. I think that's what I love most.



Baby Shower!

Over the Christmas Break, my mother-in-law and aunts threw me a baby shower. It. Was. So. Fun. I didn't really know what to expect because I've never been on the receiving end of one, and in the past baby showers were hardly my favorite place to be. It was incredible to me to see how excited and supportive everyone was and to finally be in the "mom club" where other moms actually want to know what you think regarding baby related things. It was wonderful. Definitely a turning point from the infertile mentality I was in for so long. I felt like I belonged. And I loved it.

And that's not to mention all the wonderfully adorable BOY clothes, burp cloths, and blankets we received. What a fun thing to have it so close to Christmas! It was like present overload! (And pretty surreal to pull TWO of everything out of each box or bag.

Cousin Anne made some cute receiving blankets for me and taught me how to swaddle the boys with her daughter's baby dolls. It was crazy to see two babies there. I had read how to swaddle in "The Happiest Baby on the Block" but never tried it. It's a good thing I tried before the boys are here because Anne walked me through it the first time and it was fine, but when I tried to do it on my own...yeah. :) Practice makes perfect.

Aunt LaNell made the banner out of 8 burp cloths and sewed one letter of each boys name to the front for the clothesline. I can't believe all the effort that went into this!

These boys are already spoiled!

My gorgeous sister-in-law and mother-in-law. They are so much fun. Amberlee made the boys 4 bibs all on her own! Pretty impressive!

Pretty crazy to think that in less than 3 months, those dolls will be replaced with REAL boys! Thank you to everyone who brought yummy food, the beautiful gifts and came out and supported. It was wonderful to get to talk to you and spend some girl time. It got me all excited for these boys to get here!