Friday, September 30, 2016

{iPhone Rewind} :: September

Date #27: Starbucks and baby shopping + lunch at Salata + a visit to Carlo's Bakery #wcsavethedate16

This month, we attended the Prepared Childbirth class offered by our hospital. I had already been doing my research on labor and delivery, but it was good to get the hospital-specific perspective so we could know what to expect when we arrive. We're getting SO close...

Y'all. I'm loving my new stainless steel tumbler! I had heard a lot of hype about the Yeti, but just couldn't justify the price. So when I saw Walmart's knock-off brand on sale for less than $10, I thought I'd give it a try. It's worth every penny, and my water stays cold for almost 24 hours!!

My cute brother and parents...letting us know that they got their Tdap shots so they could keep the babies safe :)

Hand-me-downs are AMAZING. Maddie will be all set when she's 12-18 months old! :)

September was "finish up the to-do list for babies" month! Mike was patient with me as I made him find the exact right place for the video monitors. Such a good daddy :)

It's officially a Babymobile when you add the car seats! We installed them the weekend before I went into preterm labor. Good thing we were prepared, but thankfully we didn't have to use them so soon.

SO excited about this simple hospital meal! I wasn't able to eat for a long time because they were worried I would have to be whisked to the OR to deliver babies. So when they finally said I could eat, this is the best omelet, biscuit, and fruit I have ever had. Haha- tell a pregnant lady she can't eat and see what happens...

My bed rest set up. My sweet mother-in-law brought me this lap desk, and it's awesome! I can keep everything I need close by. I am also thankful that I already work from home, so I didn't have to worry about making arrangements for that.

Date #29: Cookies + Presidential Debate #wcsavethedate16

Mike was gifted a Dad book and I read through it for fun. The book is hilarious {but still really informative}, and this was by far my favorite picture. Made me think of this photo from Mike's childhood :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

33 Weeks

How far along? 33 weeks {one more week down!}
Days since transfer: 213 days
Days on bed rest: 10 days
Total weight gain: +26.2 {not sure how I am losing at this point...gotta check with my doctor on that}
Maternity clothes? Yep. I try to "get dressed" every day so that I don't feel like such a slug, and so I am not always in my pajamas all day. It's totally in my head, but it makes me feel better. It's getting harder and harder to find things that fit belly seems to poke out from under everything. So I am definitely raiding Mike's side of the closet for t-shirts that fit.
Sleep: I'm sleeping pretty well. I try not to nap during the day, or at least not for very long so that I can sleep at night. I have started waking and staying up from about 3pm to 6pm, then finally falling back to sleep. It's annoying, but I am thankful that I am able to stay home and actually get a little more sleep in the mornings.
Best moment of the week: Hearing that Maddie's heartbeat was back to normal! And learning that my contractions had stopped. Also, making it through the weekend without incident while Mike was out of town. It makes me feel better that he's home.
Cravings: Not really. Just hungry all the time :)
Symptoms: Just growing bigger every day and all the aches/creaks that come with that. My back has started to bother me a bit, but I am sure it's because I can't be up and about as much. For going into preterm labor last week and being put on bedrest, I feel pretty good! Something new this week though, is that I am constantly out of breathe. And I'm not doing anything. Babies are squishing my lungs so I find it hard to breathe a lot. 
Labor Signs: None, thankfully!
Looking forward to: Making it at least another week. All my fun plans got cancelled, so there are no fun activities to look forward to, but I am thankful for sweet visitors and this unique opportunity to rest before the craziness of life with twins.


Size of baby? About the size of cauliflower or a honeydew melon, a junior tennis racquet, or a ferret :)
Development: Babies are beginning to open their eyes. Their bones are still forming, and relatively soft, but they keep hardening. They are just about at their birth height, though they will continue to gain weight.
Heartbeat: Both sounded perfect and strong at my NST last week. Hoping that both stay that way!
Movement: Lots of movement. And they both apparently get the hiccups a lot these days! As babies get bigger, it's getting more and more uncomfortable as they move. There's just not enough space, and they are growing stronger every day haha. Their movement is definitely reassuring, so I don't want it to stop, but there are definitely times when I am ready for them to take a nap for a bit :)
Current Position: Both are still head down, so I am hoping they have found their final position and don't flip.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Countdown to Babies :: Freezer Meals

The one thing I still had on my To Do list that I had hoped to get done before babies arrived was getting freezer meals ready. And it was one thing that I wouldn't be able to do myself on bed rest. So I recruited my mom, aunts, and cousins this past weekend to get that knocked off the list!

My sweet mom headed to the grocery store for me. I hated not being able to go myself, but I am so thankful that she was willing to go for me. It was A LOT of groceries, but we got good deals for what we made. I didn't do too bad on my planning, and we weren't short any ingredient...a miracle for me, as I usually tend to forget something!

My mom and I worked on a few meals on Friday night. Or really, I sat in a chair and directed my mom as she cooked the meals. I cut up vegetables and helped bag meals, but really learned that I shouldn't have even done that much. Which was frustrating. So for day 2, I didn't do anything, except direct and manage the process. Gotta be good on bed rest!

Sitting. Just directing. Promise.

On Saturday morning, my aunt and cousins came over to join in the cooking craziness. My aunt showed up with coffee in hand {bless her}, and we had a fun day together. Everyone worked so hard, and I was reminded of the blessing of having family that lives close.

My cute mama

Morning crew :)

We had lunch together, and then our morning shift headed out. My mom and I rested for a little bit {or really, she did, since I had already been resting haha}, and then our afternoon/evening shift showed up. My other aunt and cousin came over to help us finish up the meals.

Afternoon/Evening crew :)

When it was all said and done, we had made 13 different recipes that divided out to 70 meals for me and Mike. We have a freezer FULL of meals, ready to go for when babies come. So, so thankful for the resources to get these prepared and ready. So, so thankful for family who was willing to come and help get things prepared {and really willing to let me boss them around for a day}. So, so thankful that I was able to get this crossed off the list before babies come.

So now we just wait. Of course, we want babies to stay put a few more weeks. But my list is complete, and we are just waiting to meet our little ones! :)

Friday, September 23, 2016

High Five for Friday!

{one} We made it through another week! I am closer to another full week with babies, which means we're closer to a better delivery time. It's so crazy to think that we have been planning for babies to arrive at the end of October, and now we're just trying to make it to the beginning of October. I have felt good {no contractions}, just trying to be good on bed rest. I don't do "nothing" really well haha. I am really thankful that I got most everything ready for babies already, so there's not any of the stress to get much else done. We really are just waiting for babies to bake a little longer and arrive!

{two} I went in for some more monitoring this week for Maddie's heart. And good news! Her heart looked really good- no arrhythmia! I have always loved hearing the sound of our babies' heartbeats, but it was that much better to hear Maddie's heart beat back to normal. They will continue to monitor her until she arrives, but for now she is ok. So thankful! It could have been just a normal growth stage and her heart has already corrected itself {or will at delivery}. Part of me feels like the Lord used it to get us to the hospital to stop the preterm labor I didn't feel. Either way, the Lord is watching over all of us, and we are thankful for good news this week.

{three} So with all of the issues with Maddie's heart and my preterm labor, my doctors have decided that I should come off my Humira {what I take for Crohn's}. I'll be honest- when they first mentioned this, I was terrified. I will do whatever I have to in order to keep Maddie safe, but the idea of coming off the medicine that has kept me in remission was overwhelming. I had a long discussion with my GI doctor about it, and he seems very confident that everything will be ok. Since I have been doing so well, he doesn't think I will have any problems coming off it until delivery, then restarting the medication after babies come. We have a plan in place in case I start seeing any Crohn's flare symptoms, and I will just need to keep him informed. So here we go...we're taking a step of faith, trusting the Lord with my health. 

{four} My mom came into town for the weekend, and I am so glad she is here! Mike had a hunting trip planned with my dad and brother, and we decided he should go ahead and go since everything seems to have calmed down. So my mom came up here to stay with me and help me while I am on bed rest. I'm sad it can't be our usual fun girls weekend, but I am sure we will be able to make the best of it :)

{five} I have to say that this is probably the first summer I am actually a little glad to see go. The heat has just been too much for me haha. And it really hasn't even been that bad of a summer. The temperatures are still high, but we should start to see cooler temperatures soon. My pregnancy hormone body is ready for fall! And I am sure my husband is ready for the cooler temperatures in hopes that I stop freezing him out :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Nursery Reveal

I had so much fun designing and organizing the nursery! I had hoped and dreamed and prayed that I would be able to decorate {and fill} a nursery, and the Lord was gracious in allowing me to do that. This space was a labor of love and prayers.

I knew I wanted to do neutral colors, regardless of whether babies were boys/girls. And then I just decided to choose colors that I enjoyed, because babies aren't going to remember, and I will spend a lot of time in this room...might as well enjoy it myself!

You got to see a sneak peak of the main part of the nursery, but I thought I would share the rest of it, as well as the specific projects I have been working on. Of course, my photos are not as good as the professional photographer, but you get the idea :)

It's not as cute/pretty now that we installed the cameras, but we have to keep an eye on babies ;)

For the safety conscious...we already have a plan to tack off the curtains so they're not touching the crib. Gotta keep Maddie safe!

Baby Quilts
This was at the top of my list. My sister-in-law has been patiently teaching me how to sew, and I knew this was a project she could help me tackle. I am pretty excited about my first quilting project! I chose a super basic design {straight lines, my friends...nice and simple}, but I loved the way they turned out!

Materials: fabric {JoAnn's + Hobby Lobby}, thread, batting
Tools: sewing machine, adhesive spray
Total Project Cost: $75 total for both quilts

Crib Skirt + Crib Runner
Maddie has a crib skirt, but Eli has a crib runner haha. Mike refused to have his boy have a skirt. And hers is definitely more girly anyway :)

I used this tutorial for hers and this tutorial for his. I made some adjustments to fit our cribs, and I actually only did 2 sides, since our cribs are up against the walls. I sewed in ribbon ties so they could be adjustable as the crib height is adjusted {kind of like in this tutorial}.

Materials: fabric {JoAnn's + Hobby Lobby}, thread, ribbon
Tools: sewing machine
Total Project Cost: $20 total for both

Ribbon Garland
This was actually one of my first projects, back when I first decided on nursery colors. It was so simple; just cut the ribbon strips, tie them on the twine, and you're done!

Materials: ribbon {varying designs}, twine
Tools: scissors
Total Project Cost: $20 {because I used so many different ribbons...I even used coupons and waited for 50% off sales too}

Wooden Growth Chart
I recruited Mike to help me with this project. I could have done all the sanding, but he graciously did it for me! I just stained the board and added the vinyl letters. I used this silhouette file {it's free for personal use} for the numbers, but it would be super simple to create on your own with your own font.

Materials: 1 cedar board {3/4" x 6" x 6 ft}, wood stain, vinyl
Tools: paint brush, silhouette cameo
Total Project Cost: $10

Nursery Wall Art
A few pieces that I worked on, courtesy of my Silhouette Cameo. These photos are courtesy of Jillian Zamora from our maternity shoot :)

Materials: 4 Ikea frames, fabric, gold paper
Tools: silhouette cameo, printer, Keynote program
Total Project Cost: $10

Materials: 8x8 wood artist boards, acrylic paint, vinyl, large wooden letters
Tools: paint brush, painter's tape, silhouette cameo
Total Project Cost: $25 {for all 4 boards and both wooden letters}

Remembrance Wall Art
I knew I wanted to have some sort of remembrance art for the sweet little ones we lost last year. So I decided to put the art I had already created in a frame.

Materials: 1 IKEA frame, white cardstock
Tools: Keynote program, printer
Total Project Cost: $1.00 {I already had the frame}

Monday, September 19, 2016

32 Weeks

Sorry for no least I got dressed ;)

How far along? 32 weeks {Every week counts!!}
Days since transfer: 206 days
Days on bed rest: 3 days
Total weight gain: +29.2 
Maternity clothes? Yep. And now mostly pajamas and comfy clothes...because I'm not going anywhere for awhile :)
Sleep: Sleep was a little crazy this week, with all the hospital adventures. I definitely didn't sleep much while we were there, and I think my mama radar is keeping me from sleeping too much right now. I am watching for every little thing, so it's hard to actually rest. But I will be doing A LOT of resting in the coming days {and hopefully weeks}, so I am sure I will be getting lots of extra sleep. We'll see :)
Best moment of the week: Getting to go home from the hospital!! We were looking at hospital bed rest {and that may still be on the table at some point}, so we were thankful we got to go home this week. Also really glad that they were able to slow my contractions and that we caught Maddie's irregular heart beat.
Cravings: I was just glad they let me eat! They kept me from eating for awhile, because they weren't sure if I was going to have to be rushed off to a c-section to have babies. So when they finally said it was safe for me to eat, I was definitely NOT picky, but rather just thankful to be able to eat food!! Tell a pregnant lady she can't eat... haha.
Symptoms: More achy joints and swelling feet. And apparently contractions that I can't feel. So crazy to me. I definitely started feeling them more toward the end of our hospital stay, but they were not quite what I expected. They aren't painful, more like a tightening and a pressure? And I definitely am not feeling all of them. So it's hard for me to actually time them at this point, as I think I am only feeling the height of the worst ones right now. I have no doubt that will change though ;)
Labor Signs: We discovered that my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and I was dilated to a 1. They were able to slow them down to 2-3 an hour and keep me from dilating further. 
Looking forward to: My next follow up appointment. I just want to be sure babies are ok, and we want them to stay put a little while longer! We can be done with the drama and adventure for a little bit...


Size of baby? About the size of a Florida pomelo, a plastic scooter board, or a naked-tailed armadillo :)
Development: Babies are probably sucking their thumbs, and they are sprouting peach fuzz on their heads. They are practicing their breathing and are "swimming" like crazy {though they're running out of room quickly!} 
Heartbeat: At my perinatology appointment last Wednesday is when we discovered Maddie's irregular heart beat. Thankfully her heart's structure looked good, and they found out after further monitoring that she did not have a heart block. But we're still trying to pinpoint the arrhythmia. Eli's heartbeat was nice and strong, and he is doing just fine!
Movement: They are both still moving all the time, nothing has really changed with that! Of course, it's not really convenient when the doctors and nurses are trying to monitor them, but I am ok with them "acting up" by keeping active :)
Current Position: Good news is that they are both head down! So even last week when they thought babies were arriving early, they were going to let me deliver without a c-section. Definitely positive news! We are obviously playing A LOT by ear these days, but it's nice to know that is an option right now.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Showering the Babies :: Dudes, Diapers, Guys, and Guns

This weekend, Mike got his very own "baby shower." Despite all the crazy baby adventures, we made sure he could still enjoy his celebration! He headed to the gun range with his guy friends and they grilled out at his parents' house. The entrance fee? A box of diapers for our babes :) 

Baby showers are generally female affairs, though my husband would have been a good sport for a couples shower {as he was for our wedding}. But there's something about getting together with his best guy friends that I know fills his tank. So when Ben came up with this fun and manly idea, I was so excited for Mike. Celebrating babies or not, I know this was a great opportunity for the guys to hang out. I'm so thankful to Ben for initiating and hosting this fun day for my love. 

Of course, I wasn't there, but I was able to steal a few photos from Mike.

I'm so glad that Mike had a day where he could be celebrated as a dad. He's going to be the best daddy to our babies, and I am so thankful for the guys who came out to celebrate and encourage him.